From adventures in the heart of Dartmoor National Park to cycling tours around Edinburgh, there are many ways to enjoy a summer staycation.

In partnership with the Great British Entrepreneur Awards (GBEA), Starling has picked a selection of award-winning GBEA businesses from around the UK, to help fill your holiday itinerary. When you’re out and about exploring, you can always keep track of your money with the Starling app.

Outdoor adventures

Based in Princetown in the heart of Dartmoor National Park, Dewerstone is an outdoor outfitters with a focus on sustainable materials. It also has a tree replanting commitment.

Founder Rory Atton says, “We’d love nothing more than to invite you in and show you how we’re making a positive impact on the environment that we love to enjoy.”

A picture of Dartmoor National Park landscape
Dewerstone has a shop in Dartmoor National Park

Bike it in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a beautiful and historic city to explore – especially by bike.

Leanne Farmer, director of A wee pedal, says a guided bike trip is the “perfect choice for your staycation activity.” There are tours on new bikes around the city, to the coast and to castles and a palace. Leanne says she chooses safe, mostly traffic-free routes designed for families or groups of friends.

An adult and two child cyclists
Bike tours on mostly traffic-free routes

Natural products

Wherever your staycation takes you, you may want to top up on bath or shower products on your travels. One company that sells natural products is Goodwash, a social enterprise based in Barry in Wales. Items include essential oil shampoo bars and even a pet-friendly woofwash bar for your dog.

As founder Mandy Powell says, you can feel proud to help others “one wash at a time.” Goodwash has donated money to projects tackling waste reduction, social isolation and mental health awareness.

A picture showing a beach landscape
Goodwash products are sourced from natural ingredients, from land and sea

Time for the cinema

Summer nights and films: what’s not to love? The Backyard Cinema hosts themed indoor film nights in locations across London. This year’s themes are Miami Beach, LA Nights and Romeo & Juliet.

Dominic Davies, founder and creative director, says, “We’ve worked hard to transport you to another world!”

A themed night at The Backyard Cinema
Themed film nights with The Backyard Cinema

Calling all cake lovers

Have you ever wished you could bake a cake in a marquee tent alongside family and friends? Well, The Big Bakes, based in Birmingham and London, is here for you (social distancing rules respected).

Eloise Frank, co-founder of The Big Bakes, says, “Our event is hosted in a beautiful fully kitted out marquee, with 12 idyllic bake stations, a treasure trove of customisable decorations and is led by a team of professional bakers.”

A picture of a layered cake with a strawberry on top
The Big Bakes events are led by top patisserie chefs

Get ready for the holidays

Before a beach holiday in Cornwall or a weekend away in Whitby, you and your friends may want to treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure. London Grace has locations across London and Essex and sets itself apart by offering groups sparkling cream teas, pizza and prosecco.

“Our salons don’t look like traditional nail bars – they’re more of a coffee shop / cocktail bar vibe,” says London Grace director Lauren Williams.

A picture of some London landmarks
London Grace has several salons across London

Beauty tools

Spectrum is a beauty and accessories brand co-founded in Barry by two sisters Sophie and Hannah. This summer, they joined together with actress Michelle Keegan, to create a summer make-up and accessories collection, which as Sophie says, “is inspired by the adventure and easy elegance of Italy’s Amalfi coast.”

She says that the products are “a first class ticket to a summer state of mind.” The products are vegan and cruelty free, sold online and from their shops in Bicester (Oxfordshire) and Barry.

Supporting independent business

If you’re heading to Wales this summer, look out for Cole & Co, a family run gift shop with stores in Cardiff and Beaumaris on the Isle of Anglesey.

A picture Cole & Co store front
Cole & Co sells products from its shops and through other independent stores

All their items are made on site, including soaps, candles and lotions, says co-founder Hannah Cole.

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