After the chaos caused by the preceding year and the stop/start reopening of the travel industry, some of us just could not be bothered to make any serious international travel commitments. That’s one reason why I spent my summer in a bathtub somewhere in Britain…several bathtubs actually.

Our “travel bug” remains alive. However, its previously potent bite has been somewhat blunted by the mental stress of having to constantly monitor news headlines and government advisories (for both origin and destination country) to know what ‘safe and legal’ travel means.

And just like that, almost twenty months have passed since we last boarded a flight anywhere. This imbroglio is one situation we are keen to end before the year runs out. There’s such a thing as ‘revenge travel’ and we are here for it.

In the meantime, I’ve been chilling in bathtubs around Britain and making the best of the situation. Afterall, they say when life gives you bath towels…

Staycations in the UK – are they worth it?

As the title of this blog post suggests, summer 2021 for us has been a series of staycations in various UK destinations. Some of these have been on our travel list for ages. Given the current chaotic state of international travel, our previous excuses for postponing visits to these local destinations have worn somewhat thin.

Truth be told, for us locals, vacationing in the UK can be a tough sell. Everything from the weather to the unimaginably high cost of rail travel makes it easier to choose the ‘escape route’ to warmer climes where the coins go much further. The answer to the age old question about whether or not UK holidays are worth it is, “It all depends.”

Coincidentally, a few opportunities opened up for us to do some content creation projects in collaboration with some exciting UK brands. So, with our escapism dialled back up, we embraced the staycation vibe.

Within the past year, we have visited various towns in Kent (our new home county) and parts of Surrey, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire, Bath and Manchester to name a few. Each of these experiences deserves a separate blog post.

When planning staycations in the UK, depending on your budget and level of curiosity, you’re certain to find something to suit your interests.

While on our domestic travels, we have managed to find a few memorable properties around the country. Some of them came with interesting bathtubs…and that’s how I spent my summer lounging in bathtubs around Britain. 

Here are three notable ones:

Hotel Indigo, Bath, Somerset

For real though, how cool is it to find a luxurious bathtub in a city named…Bath?!

Bath was an opportunity to work on the ‘Escape the Everyday’ summer city campaign by Visit England (check out our instagram). This famous city hosted a beautiful weekend spent roaming her cobblestone streets, viewing Roman baths, Georgian architecture and following the trail of locations used as filming sets for Bridgerton, the Netflix hit show. After a visit to the Jane Austen Centre, a cruise along the Avon canal and sampling local gastronomy, it was time to retire to Hotel Indigo, Bath for a soak.

Finding a bathtub to comfortably fit my 5 foot 11 inches frame isn’t always easy and so I was pleased to find one that was both long and deep. The forest decor made up for the absence of a view worthy of such an elegant bathtub. Although the inset bathroom speakers produced crisp, quality sound, I was content to immerse myself in a more intimate musical experience on my Nura headphones.

For a moment, it was just me, my music and my bathtub in Bath.

Salthouse Harbour Hotel, Ipswich, Suffolk

Technically this was a winter staycation but I’m counting it as summer because, in these British Isles, it almost always feels like winter!

Anyhow, The Salthouse Harbour Hotel is a fascinating luxury boutique hotel located along the town’s harbour. This remains one of my favourite hotel stays in the UK (so far) and their in-room bathtub has a lot to do with it.

The medieval town of Ipswich is worth visiting. Experiencing local history, art and culture, and gastronomy were highlights for us. Further afield, Suffolk Food Hall, located by the remarkable Orwell Bridge, is a notable food stop.

However, it is the memory of the large copper bathtub that lingers. The bath/room designers thought this one through. The tub is positioned to provide a panoramic view of the Ipswich Marina and the perfect sunrise (if you’re lucky). 

The proximity between the bed and the bathtub means I was able to immerse, soak, step out, dry off and hop straight into bed in one seamless flow. Bliss!

The Old House Inn, Copthorne, West Sussex

This one was a bathtub in a converted barn, affectionately named ‘The Coop’ after British chicken breeds. Thankfully, I didn’t have to share the space with any feathered friends.

After a long day sightseeing stunning West Sussex gardens curated by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) as part of the Gourmet Garden Trails experience, retreating to the Old House Inn was an opportunity to enjoy some decent cooking (their rotisserie chicken is legit!) in a cosy property, parts of which date back to the 1500s.

There isn’t much more to say about this bathtub. I feel that the bathroom designers missed an opportunity to incorporate more creative elements, perhaps opting to keep things simple and rustic.

However, the enclosed space provided natural noise cancellation and a chance to shut off the  outside world. Sometimes, after a long day, that’s all you need.

This is not really about the bathtubs…

Not really.

This is about maximising opportunities for self-care, travel or no travel. It’s about finding those precious moments to ‘escape your everyday’ and reconnect with yourself. It’s about prioritising yourself and your sanity. It’s about creating your own moments and memories without the post cards and pretty Instagram photos.

These are the reasons why I spent my summer in bathtubs around Britain.

I’m sure there are much more thrilling bathtub experiences across the UK – bathtub glamping under the stars, luxurious bathtub/spa affairs in stately homes, and bathtubs looking out over treetops, to name a few. There’s a bathtub for every budget, taste and style. You’ll find one if you look hard enough (might even be in your own house!)

So, whether you’re planning your ‘escape’ away from the UK or embracing staycation opportunities closer to home, maybe you’ll find a nice bathtub somewhere to help you make the most of it.

Co-Founders & Curators at HDYTI

Eulanda & Omo Osagiede are London-based freelance writers and award-winning social influencers who run the popular travel, food, and lifestyle blog HDYTI (Hey! Dip your toes in).