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Helen Mead: Where’s the sand, where is the sea?
1:20pm Monday 7th July 2014 in Helen Mead
I DON’T want to give people the wrong idea when I say I’m about to go on holiday to Paris but I’m not looking forward to it.
I’m not spoilt, nor am I rich – far from it – and I know that a lot of people don’t have a holiday at all. I am grateful for it – I’d just rather be going somewhere else.
We are going to Paris because, should my eldest daughter reach university, it may be our last holiday as a family, so we allowed her and her sister to choose the destination. They picked the French capital.
With the exception of one summer in Wales, for the past 16 years we have holidayed in Sandsend near Whitby. We have never been abroad with our daughters, and I have never felt a desire to go.
We have rented charming cottages, met up with other families – many whom also go to Sandsend every year – and had a great time. We have sat on beaches, walked along cliffs, searched for fossils, eaten fish and chips and played cricket on moonlit sands.
I have eagerly looked forward to it every year, feeling a great sense of relaxation as we drive down Blue Bank near Whitby and spot the sparkling sea in the distance.
My daughters, and even my husband, think I’m crazy wanting to go to the same place every summer. But I’m not alone. Holidaying Britons are ‘boomeranging’ back to the same destinations. A survey found that more than two million of us have no desire to see a new country or a new resort and instead opt for favourite locations every year.
So, I tell my family, I’m not unusual in preferring the Yorkshire coast to the attractions of Spain, Italy or Greece.
Sea and sand are the top reasons for going back, says the research by a travel insurance firm. That strikes a chord with me – I don’t feel I can fully recharge my batteries if the coast is not nearby.
I will mourn Sandsend, when we are trailing around congested streets – earlier this year levels of pollution is Paris were higher than some of the world’s most notoriously polluted cities – searching for places that sell sandwiches for less than a fiver.
To give my daughters credit, they found a place to stay that costs about the same as Sandsend, but then you’ve got the travel on top.
That’s another benefit of the Yorkshire coast – you can be there in an hour and have an extra day’s holiday.
Ironically, the most popular places that Britons revisit every year include Paris. Our holiday might be so wonderful that I may forget Sandsend and be itching to return to France next year.