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Behind the ‘gram: Steph Fox Travel

We caught up with Newcastle-based travel blogger @StephFoxTravel to find out her top recommendations for local day trips and staycations.

By Bekki Ramsay

Hi Steph! Well, let’s get straight into the juicy question: As a travel blogger (and someone who works in the industry), are you itching for your next holiday? And if so, where and when do you plan on going?

I absolutely can’t wait to travel again, but at the moment, I have no plans to go abroad this year. I have a trip to the Lake District in September that we booked way back in January, so I’m mostly looking forward that.

To be honest, I’m not all that comfortable being in airports or on flights at the moment, and I don’t want to spend money on a holiday that wouldn’t be what it should be if we had to worry about local guidelines, distancing measures etc. Personally, I’d rather wait and go abroad next year – I have Paris booked for April and will be so ready for it by then.

For those that don’t plan on heading abroad but are on the lookout for a much-needed getaway, do you have any staycation recommendations? You seem to have visited a fair few North East based staycations over the past couple of years.

Personally, I think I’d go for either a glamping trip or a Shepherd Hut type of stay, where you’re in the middle of nowhere and can self-cater. I actually stayed at a fabulous one in Westfield House Farm, which is based in Rothbury, and loved it. 

Or if you’re after something more luxurious, you could consider staying in a hotel with a spa in the North East. Although the spas aren’t open, a lot of the hotels are offering alternative relaxing packages. For example, Walwick Hall, Rockliffe Hall, Matfen Hall or even those amazing new treehouses at Ramside Hall.

Do you have any tips for those who want to go on a mini-adventure – even if it’s just for the day – in the North East?

This is something I’ve only started doing recently, as I decided to buy a picnic hamper during the lockdown. Since, we’ve been up to Ingram Valley, which was lovely, but I’d recommend visiting there early to get a secluded spot. We’ve also been to the Rising Sun mid-week when it wasn’t as busy. It’s actually a great nice spot with a good view from the hill. Lastly, the beaches we have in the North East are beautiful, but they’ve been pretty busy recently so later on in the day is better, and please take your litter home!!

Throughout lockdown, you’ve been taking your followers on a ‘virtual’ tour of previously visited cities via Instagram Stories. Which holiday has this made you miss the most, and what did you get up to when you were there?

This is definitely the hardest question, as each week made me want to revisit a different place. I loved sharing my Capri photos as that was one of the best holidays I’ve ever had but the one that really made me want to book up again was Florence. I created a post on where to eat in Florence, and it just brought back so many good food memories.

However, the most popular one I created was Amsterdam – people had a lot of questions about the city break, and it’s always been a city I miss once I arrive back home. 

Although you love to travel, you’re also a massive advocate for the North East, so here are some quick-fire questions. During the lockdown what has been your favourite:

Takeaway meal? I couldn’t pick between three: From the coast, Allards on the Quay and Lobo Rojo. And from Newcastle, Blackfriars was excellent and so reasonable.

Takeaway drink? I really enjoyed a takeaway coffee and cake from Kiln in Ouseburn.

Sweet treat? The French Oven brownies were my favourite, which I bought as part of a Grainger Market delivery.

Walk? I’ve loved the promenade and beach at Whitley Bay, and a bit further afield when we could drive to places again – I did Craster to Dunstanburgh Castle which I really enjoyed. 

Day? During the proper lockdown, it was a Saturday where we held our own bottomless brunch in the house whilst on Facetime with our friends. It was inspired by Jam Jar in Jesmond and was a lot of fun. However, once restrictions eased a bit, I’ve really enjoyed seeing friends and family again in the garden or on the beach.

https://www.instagram.com/stephfoxtravel/

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