Keep your foreign holidays - I'd pick the countryside any day

View over Norfolk wheat field with wide Norfolk skies and a wooden fence

The Lodge backs on to neighbouring fields - Credit: Savills

This week, I write from a farm in Surrey.

Would I have ever booked to stay in a cabin in the woods in a farm near Guildford if the pandemic hadn’t totally limited most other holidaying options? Nope.

But as it turns out, doing nothing but sleeping, drinking tea, going on walks in the forest and having an inordinate amount of pub lunches is actually quite relaxing.

I’ve never really been a beach holiday gal because I’m far too pale and northern. We’re all Vitamin D deficient.

So pre-pandemic times, whenever I rarely had enough money to go away, I’d head to some nondescript European city. That way, there was constantly enough cover for me to enjoy myself without receiving third-degree burns.

I’d probably browse some art galleries, go on a walking tour (wearing factor 50+), hit the bars and then maybe some random ballet show where the gist of the performance remained intelligible, despite the language barrier.

Fun, right?

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But see, while I miss my city breaks, I’m increasingly becoming a convert to our own English countryside.

Being half-Scottish, I’m already a big fan of the countryside north of our border, but apart from a couple of sojourns to the Lake District I’ve never explored places such as Surrey until the pandemic forced me to.

It’s kind of like being back in my own self-imposed lockdown, and I’m loving it.

There’s nobody around save for a few squirrels, rabbits and deer, and I can fall asleep listening to owls t’wit-t’woo-ing instead of the steady drone of motorbikes and drunk men singing football chants at 2am. 

And the best part is that I don’t feel like I’m missing out. Yes my friends look like they’re having a lot of fun abroad, but so am I in my cabin.

In fact, maybe even more – because I didn’t have to pay for an expensive test to get here.