From traditional pies in Barnstaple to vegan burgers in Brighton, from cycle tours around Edinburgh to kayaking in Wales, there are countless ways to enjoy a great staycation this summer.

As part of our #BritainOnTap campaign to celebrate the summer staycation, we teamed up with the Great British Entrepreneur Awards. Together, we’ve identified a selection of British businesses from around the country that can’t wait to welcome you on your travels.

Wherever you choose to go in the UK, don’t forget to pack your Starling card. Contactless payments with Starling really do mean that Britain’s on tap. And with the Starling app, you can categorise your payments under ‘Holiday’ to keep track. Have a wonderful staycation.

1. Sally’s Cottages, the Lake District

“We’re all about the little moments of happiness,” says managing director Sally Fielding. “That moment when you put your feet up in front of the fire with a cup of tea, when you stop and stare at the night sky with all the stars, or when you’re hanging out by the lake, swimming and having a picnic with your family.”

Rather than stressing out over a faceless booking website, enjoy the personal touch from Sally’s Cottages in the Lake District. Each cottage is owned and run by different people who care about what they’re doing, many of whom live in the area and can make local recommendations of the best things to do or see.

Priceless moments, no hidden charges, and on the website you can even choose if you want to be within one mile of a pub.

Sally’s cottages, a great place to relax in nature

2. Big Blue Adventures, Wales

Forget the Costa del Sol. Wales has a stunning dramatic coastline steeped in myths and legends with old pirate coves and golden sandy beaches, alongside mountains with epic views. These beautiful landscapes make a great venue for incredible outdoor experiences, from sea kayaking in Pembrokeshire and coasteering in the Gower Peninsula, to gorge walking in the Brecon Beacons and hiking up Mount Snowdon in north Wales.

Big Blue Adventures creates tailor-made staycation packages to suit a variety of budgets and goals, as co-founder Daniel Manley says, “for one hell of an adventure holiday.” His local team has the energy, experience and knowledge to make you feel you’re in safe hands, whether you’re doing team building, a stag or hen party, or a family holiday.

Think of Big Blue Adventures as your friendly one-stop shop, with group accommodation, local transfers, outdoor activities, sightseeing and food and drink.

Time for an adventure

3. Trevisick’s Pie Emporium, Barnstaple

North Devon is known for its coves and cliffs, sandy beaches and wild water. But we all get hungry. And it would be a travesty to visit this town in North Devon without picking up a tasty pie from Trevisick’s - their steak and kidney pie has won awards. Tresvisick’s can also boast that it’s the first pie company in the world to be certified as palm oil free.

Look out for their takeaway opening, selling pie and mash, local faggots, hogs puddings and roast dinners. And after you’ve tried their delicious food, why not also visit the traditional Pannier Market, Barnstaple museum and the 17th century Penrose’s Almshouses.

Very tasty pies at Trevisick’s

4. KASK, Bristol

Think of a wine bar in San Sebastian, and now place it in Bristol. KASK is the stylishly decorated, ideal spot to while away a long and lazy afternoon over a bottle of wine, perfectly paired with a cheese and charcuterie plate. As co-owner and Starling business account customer Natalie Taylor Johnson explains, KASK serves organic, sustainable and minimal intervention wine from winegrowers who respect the environment and avoid the use of chemicals and pesticides in their winemaking.

The menu of 10 wines by the glass changes weekly, and on Sundays they offer a tasting flight of three wines and cheeses for £17.50. The burrata is delicious, the summer garden is newly renovated.

Welcome to Kask

5. The Vurger Co, Brighton

Just a few minutes walk from the seafront and pier in Brighton, The Vurger Co has opened its third branch in the famous Brighton Lanes. Enjoy their sunny outdoor seating, or grab a takeaway burger and legendary shake and explore the town. Just watch out for the seagulls.

“We are constantly innovating and introducing new specials to our menu to keep things fresh,” says co-founder and Starling business account customer Rachel Hugh. “Keep an eye on our instagram @thevurgerco for all the latest launches!”

6. Flight Club, London, Manchester, Birmingham

In cities like London, regular visitors may think they’ve seen and done it all - from Buckingham Palace to the Tate Modern. But not quite. Thanks to Flight Club, the game of darts has been revolutionised for the 21st century. In fact, if you’re looking for a little more from your night out, this is an experience which Flight Club co-founder Steve Moore describes as “bringing groups of people together for unexpected, ridiculous joy.”

Technology will guide you through the game and there are multi-level throw lines for different abilities. If you don’t want to step into the oche (playing area), you can enjoy the food and drink in one of their spectacular bars.

Flight Club in Bloomsbury, London

7. The Big Bakes, London and Birmingham

Staycations are not just about rural cottages or going off the beaten track. You could enjoy a city staycation and bake a cake at the same time. So, if you fancy grappling with a whisk or spatula alongside your friends, family or colleagues, look no further than The Big Bakes. Everything about this baking experience is British – the white marquee, the 12 cooking stations and the colourful equipment. While the sponge rises, check out Creation Corner for decorations and twiddly bits to perfect your bake, and then let the head baker judge the final, edible result.

“The competitive spirit is truly alive in our award winning events,” say founders and Starling business customers, Adam Chaudhri and Eloise Frank.

Use the 10% discount code STARLING10 for tickets to their events from August to October 2020.

Who is feeling hungry?

8. A Wee Pedal, Edinburgh

To translate the business name – bike tours! Enjoy the beauty and history that Edinburgh offers on two wheels. Don’t worry about hills or cobbled streets: the guided tours are mostly on easy cycle paths, with history and beauty spots along the way, and are perfect for families and day-trippers.

“I am from Edinburgh and love this city – I want to showcase it,” says owner and former PE teacher Leanne Farmer, who lent out her fleet of bikes to keyworkers during the pandemic. “I know how to make tours fun, appropriate and enjoyable for kids so the adults can have a well-earned break and just enjoy the tour, knowing that I am leading and will fix any problems that may arise.”

Wee Pedal provide cycle tours in and around Edinburgh

9. Moddershall Oaks Country Spa Retreat, Staffordshire

Sometimes we just need to get away from it all, and a five-star country spa retreat nestled in the rolling hills of Staffordshire is the perfect place to do it. Moddershall Oaks is a family-run business, offering an outdoor vitality pool, relaxation and sleep lounges and hydrotherapy. The MADE wellness centre at the spa is the brainchild of entrepreneur Penny Weston and has a range of workshops and fitness classes.

The 11 boutique suits are stunning, and allow you to feel like you really are out of the hubbub.

10. Caribe Coffee, home delivery

The ultimate staycation is perhaps just relaxing in the comfort of your own home - but with a good cuppa. And Caribe Coffee delivers eye-wateringly good Honduran coffee straight to your door.

As founder Wilmer Carcamo explains, Honduran coffee is among the best in the world, not only in terms of the variety and depth of flavour, but also “the love and passion our producers put into growing and harvesting their crop.” The coffee trees grow slowly at high altitude, absorbing the surrounding flora which impacts the richness of taste. Once delivered to Northumberland, the single origin coffee is hand-roasted to perfection.

Wilmer and Elle Carcamo, the owners of Caribe

Business owners Wilmer and Elle are committed to providing a sustainable business. They trade directly with small family farms, some of which are members of the Rainforest Alliance, and the packaging is 100% recyclable.

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