Some people joke about the rise of the ‘staycation’, a budget-friendly alternative to holidays abroad, but the UK boasts a wealth of opportunities for business travellers keen to make the most of their leisure time. Gems such as the Lake District, the New Forest and the Cornish coast make the British countryside particularly spectacular; perhaps nowhere more so than Scotland, with its otherworldly mix of lochs, mountains and wildlife.
I recently spent a week in the Scottish Highlands. My holiday was about as wholesome as they come, full of bike rides, long walks and trips to secluded beaches. But it struck me how easy it is to get from the main business cities into spectacular landscapes which make you feel like you’re in another time and place.
Edinburgh is remarkable in itself. The rugged Arthur’s Seat, just a mile east of Edinburgh Castle, is one of the city’s most distinguishable features and is very easy to climb. The Meadows, a large park criss-crossed with pathways, is beautiful in the summer, full of locals enjoying picnics and performers practising their routines. If you need to get out, the edge of Pentland Hills National Park is just a 15 minute drive from the city centre; slightly less rugged than other national parks, it’s the perfect place for a long, bracing walk. Whenever you’re lucky enough to visit the area on business, don’t forget to check out the options for serviced apartments in Edinburgh to avoid the packed hotels.
Glasgow is, in parts, equally beautiful, although I saw it only briefly on my trip while I ran frantically between stations. The Trossachs National Park, just a 30 minute drive away, is centred around Loch Lomond and its picturesque glens are perfect for cycling or hiking. Particularly intrepid explorers could even do the two and a half hour drive from Glasgow to Fort William and climb Ben Nevis. Don’t forget that Glasgow has the largest economic area in Scotland so is home to a lot of businesses – check out SilverDoor’s selection of Glasgow serviced apartments for a personal touch to your next visit.
On a summer’s day Aberdeen can be attractive in itself, the granite used to construct its buildings sparkling in the sun. But the city is also just an hour’s drive from the spectacular Cairngorms National Park, the largest national park in Britain and a perfect place to ski, hike or cycle through the countryside. There’s a wealth of accommodation in Aberdeen city centre and plenty of tourist attractions nearby including distillery tours and the ‘Castle Trail’ which, as the name might suggest, is a tour of Aberdeenshire’s castles. In 2011, the Centre for Cities named Aberdeen as the best placed city for growth in Britain and five of Scotland’s top ten businesses are based in the city so don’t forget to have a look at serviced apartments in Aberdeen for a great alternative to conventional accommodation for corporate visits.