It feels very much like the end of summer here in northern England. Hurricane season has got off to a savage start due to exceptionally warm water in the Caribbean, and the effect on our part of the world has been lots of windy, wet and very cool weather for the return to school and work for many of us. So it’s tempting to look back on the summer.

Cheapest holidays ever?

With moving house earlier in the year, we wanted a cheap and (hopefully) cheerful, no fly summer option. So our main holiday this year was twelve days camping in Cornwall. With a tank of diesel to get us there and back, the holiday (not including food and the other usual expenses we’d have at home) cost us £150. That must rank as one of the cheapest family holidays ever!

There’s always a downside, of course. The campsite facilities were basic, so it’s probably not for everyone. But we’re used to camping, we’ve got a good tent and the necessary gear, and the kids in particular just love the freedom of being able to run outside and play whenever they want.  The campsite was huge and very quiet even in mid-August, and set on a spectacular clifftop. It was a five minutes walk down to a very quiet sandy beach with handy flat rocks for evening barbecues and watching the sun go down. There was plenty of surf, beach time, and catching up with friends. Who could ask for more, really?

Summer washout?

The weather is certainly the biggest potential downside of summer holidays in the UK. We had a couple of  days where it rained, for sure, but nothing that stopped us from having fun. The general consensus seems to be that summer 2017 was a bit of a washout in the UK. I think maybe all the talk of ‘global warming’ has raised expectations of hot summers. The summer as a whole was not brilliant, but probably a fairly typical in many ways. There was exceptional heat at times in parts of Europe, but increased temperatures are only part of the projections. High winds and more extreme rainfall in both summer and winter make up a lot of the less palatable side of the radical changes in weather patterns we are now experiencing.

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