Are you off on a staycation this summer? We really hope so: we can safely say you’ve earned it. Whether you’re off to Salcombe, the Cotswolds, the Scottish Highlands or Cornwall; whether you’re opting for sun and sea or an off-grid detox — we wish you a happy, restorative trip. Leave your smartphone in a drawer, splurge on the sun cream and don’t give your work emails another thought.
"You never know what the countryside may throw at you..."
Of course, regardless of where you’re going on your staycation, the right gear is essential. You never know what the British countryside may throw at you, after all. That’s the wonderful thing about our humble Isle — a quick trip away to your country house could turn into a full-blown pool party (at which you’ll need the perfect speakers…); you could be hit by torrential rain or blistering sunshine (in which case you’ll need to protect your eyes and neck…); and when the mists clear, you’ll be hit with a panoramic countryside view so beautiful you’ll be grateful you’ve got the perfect camera to snap it up with.
So we’ve curated a staycation gear guide; to ensure that, no matter what the British Isles choose to send your way, you’re covered for all staycation eventualities. You’re welcome; and have a wonderful trip. It’s about time, after all.
Everything starts with the bag
It sounds obvious: but you truly do need the perfect bag for a British staycation. Why? Because this isn’t like jetting off to the Caribbean or to Bali, gents. You can’t be sure what weather you’ll be greeted with on any given day; and you’ll need to plan for activities that extend beyond sunbathing on a beach. Pack for the beach, by all means — but pack for country walks and terrace barbecues, too. Pack your waterproofs and your umbrella, and a solid set of books in case it chucks it down all weekend. Sounding like a lot to pack in? Well, that’s why you need the perfect bag.
Happily, Bennett Winch have got you covered for all your staycation packing needs (literally; you’ll be able to pack for every conceivable eventuality). Their Cargo range has been designed specifically for road trips when you need to plan for every occasion. The 600-dernier nylon makes the bags exceptionally lightweight, while the military grade webbing ensures it’ll last a lifetime.
Then there’s the Bennett Winch Weekender, about which we’ve waxed lyrical before and which serves as the last word in travel luxury, handcrafted as it is from full-grain vegetable tanned leather (they’ve also got Tote Bags and Washbags, for when you actually get there…). Finally, Chapman offers a Cargo Kit Bag which should have all your active packing needs sorted: cricket, fishing: you name it, it’ll fit it.
Bennett Winch Cargo Bag
Bennett Winch Full Leather Weekender
Chapman Cargo Kit Bag
Capture the staycation memories in style
Not to keep banging the same drum; but it really has been a while since any of us were truly able to throw all our cares and stresses away, and head off on a much-needed break. So this much-anticipated staycation is an occasion you’ll want to capture; we guarantee it’ll be one you’ll want to remember forever. We are living through history, after all. And what better way to do that than with the perfect camera?
Leica knows the photographic drill: the M-A (Typ 127) is brilliantly compact (perfect for accompanying you on all those country walks) and has the final say on precision-engineered analog photography. GoPro’s Max 6K offers unbreakable stabilization, immersive 360 footage and four digital lenses to help you nail any shot: Narrow, distortion-free Linear, Wide and Max SuperView (the brand’s widest view yet; perfect for panoramic shots when you reach the top of that mountain).
And if you’re thinking you’d prefer a smartphone that can take a brilliant photo, we’ve waxed lyrical about OPPO’s photo-capturing abilities before; and their Find X3 Pro is sure to deliver.
Stay one step ahead of the sun with the ultimate protective gear
If the last few days have been anything to go by, you’ll know that Britain can deliver some fairly blistering sunshine and oppressive heat when it sees fit. We don’t want anything to ruin your much-awaited staycation; so don’t run the risk of sunstroke, gents.
Instead, make sure to pack a stellar pair of sunglasses — Cubitts offers the ultimate classic look with the Herbrand sunglasses, while Oscar Deen’s Otis pair are inspired by vintage frames from the 80s, and appear in the aesthetically pleasing ‘Russet’ shade. And whatever you do, make sure you never go anywhere without your cap: Ralph Lauren can proffer a denim Chambray Ball Cap, which should keep your face (or neck) suitably shaded.
Cubitts Herbrand Sunglasses
Ralph Lauren Chambray Ball Cap
Oscar Deen Otis Sunglasses
Bring some serious sound to your staycation
While we’d never advocate irritating your neighbours (assuming you haven’t opted for the off-grid option), you’ll want to bring some sound to your staycation. Whether that’s throwing off all those inhibitions and blasting some tunes around the pool as you all celebrate Freedom Day, giving a musical backdrop to your refined barbecue or even just playing some quiet tunes to yourself as you lie on that Salcombe beach: you’ll want that sound.
Happily, such things as portable speakers exist: and they may as well have been tailor made for staycations. Bose gets it: their Portable Smart Speaker is made for the pool or the beach, with its water-resistant design and built-in voice control. Bang & Olufsen’s Beolit 20 Bluetooth number offers True360 sound, and it won’t look too bad in your luxury staycation house, either.
And if you’re going down the headphones route, KEF has delivered the goods as usual: their Mu3 Headphones are the last word in noise-cancelling; and they’re effortlessly elegant to boot.
Bose Portable Smart Speaker
KEF Mu3 Headphones
Bang & Olufsen Bluetooth Speaker
A portable barbecue is a staycation essential
Trust us: you’ll regret it if you don’t take a portable barbecue along. If the weather’s beautiful —and all around you you can smell the wafting smoke of others chargrilling meat and seafood nearby — your heart will ache for the portable barbecue you didn’t bring. What summer staycation, after all, is complete without a barbecue? None at all, that’s what.
Weber’s aptly named Go-Anywhere Charcoal offering seems a good place to start: easily portable, it’ll get the job done — and it’ll get it done in style. So, too, will Mon Oncle’s Moveable Charcoal Barbecue; just look at that elegant vintage briefcase. That’s a barbecue that’ll travel well. And UNA’s Portable Table-top Charcoal Grill is simple, efficient; and guaranteed to cater to all your staycation grilling needs.
Weber Go-Anywhere Charcoal Barbecue
Mon Oncle Moveable Charcoal Barbecue
UNA Portable Charcoal Grill
Above all, make sure you pack the perfect shoes
Shoes can make or break a staycation. Excruciating blisters on a long walk can bring down the whole trip; sodden loafers in an unfortunate downpour can cast a fit of gloom; and being caught short without a suitable pair of elegant shoes when there’s an impromptu beach barbecue can lead to style-induced panic and ultimate embarrassment. Pack the right shoes, gents.
You’ll want to look effortlessly stylish on your staycation, of course; in which case, Tod’s Gommino Driving Shoes will look suavely elegant for any evening barbecues; especially when paired with chinos and a linen shirt. If you’re planning an active staycation, Oliver Cabell offers a timeless tennis shoe in an understated off-white, in the form of a Low 1.
And if you’re planning on hiking through the British undergrowth and so see the need for something sturdier, you couldn’t do better than Crockett & Jones: specifically, the Snowdon. It’s a plain front derby boot utilising the water-resistant Veldtschoen construction, with waterproof uppers and heavy duty Commando rubber soles.
Tod's Gommino Driving Shoes
Oliver Cabell Low 1 Sneakers
Crockett & Jones Snowdon