Country adventures or city exploring – where will you escape after lockdown?

WE'RE all looking forward to booking our next staycation, but where will you go when you're free to roam again?

Here, two families give insight into their fabulous trips to help you decide whether Edinburgh or the Lake District is more your style.

The Lake District

FABULOUS Picture Director Alan Gittos, wife Vivienne and kids Sofia, 13, and Thomas, 10, hit Graythwaite Estate for thrills and spills.

The pad: Newly refurbished Grassholme is one of several cottages dotted across the 5,000-acre Graythwaite Estate on the unspoilt west bank of Lake Windermere.

With two bedrooms, a stunning lakeside balcony and a cosy upstairs lounge with woodburner and water views, it’s a place to escape all year round.

The kids adored skimming stones down on the shore, while there is also an indoor pool a short walk away and a shop that can deliver food and drink to your cottage before you arrive.

Explore: There’s everything from archery, £20 per person, to paddleboarding, £35, on the estate, so you’ll find it hard to leave. Fancy a real adrenalin kick?

Try the off-roading course, scrambling the steep trails in a Land Rover while taking in the majestic scenery, £95 for an hour.

Or book a thrilling tour of Windermere in a RIB boat – there’s no better way to see the lake than to be out on it with the spray in your face. Trips cost £120 per boat for an hour (

And make sure you give pedal power a go, too – bike hire costs £30 for adults, £20 for kids (

We explored as far as Hawkshead in around an half an hour then nipped over to Bowness-on-Windermere via the ferry, £2. Warning: there are some steep hills!

Refuel: The Cuckoo Brow is a charming coaching inn 10 minutes’ drive away in Far Sawrey, with a menu to please everyone.

Order roast beef and giant Yorkshire puddings, £14.50, and indulgent profiteroles, £6.50  ( Or hit Boaters Bar in Bowness Marina.

Superb sourdough pizzas are served to your table – go for the fiery Bali Bros with chilli and prawn, £12, washed down with locally brewed Swan Blonde craft beer, £3.60 (

For a sweet treat, try ChoccoBar, also in the town. Hot chocolates all round were followed by delicious churros, £4.50 for four, and decadent waffles, from £7.45 (

Don’t miss: Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s home, is currently closed, but the gardens are still open and Joey’s pop-up cafe will serve you tea and cake. Garden entry costs £5 (

Book it: Grassholme cottage sleeps four and costs from £549 for four nights (         


WRITER Robin McKelvie, wife Jenny and daughters Tara, 12, and Emma, nine, staycayed in the Scottish capital.

The pad: Nervous about staying in a hotel post-lockdown? Sonder Royal Garden Apartments are ideal.

These swish, modern self-catering oases are spotless, have contactless check-in and lie a stone’s throw from bustling Princes Street.

Ask for one on the quieter upper floors and on the south side for views over the city towards the Firth of Forth.

Well-equipped kitchens have everything you need, plus there’s an exclusive garden for guests – great for little ones to let off steam in.

Explore: Walk up Calton Hill just minutes away and savour the sweeping views of Edinburgh.

Then hit the free Harry Potter trail around the city that inspired JK and pop by Thomas Riddell’s grave – said to be the inspo for Voldemort’s alter ego. Even for non-HP fans, the tour opens a window into medieval Edinburgh (

Later, head up to Edinburgh Castle and explore its wee nooks and crannies. Entry costs £45 for a family of four (

Or discover the life of our planet at Dynamic Earth. You’ll experience everything from the prehistoric world to what lies at the bottom of the ocean, plus real-life NASA footage – perfect for a rainy day. A family ticket costs £51.80 (

Refuel: Nip down to Leith Walk and pick up foodie goodies at the legendary Valvona & Crolla deli.

If you’re a cheese fan, Scotland’s blues are now world class – try the gorgeously creamy and tangy strathdon blue if you love gorgonzola (

In leafy Saughton Park, a 20-minute tram ride away, you’ll find the Garden Bistro with dishes bursting with fresh ingredients and flavour, including seasonally changing risotto, £13.95 (

Meanwhile, excellent Italian Amarone is within sleeping-child-carrying distance of the apartments.

Tuck into superb pizza and pasta – be sure to order the Scottish smoked salmon and prawn white pizza, with its lashings of garlic butter and mascarpone, £12.95 (

Don’t miss: We loved the National Museum of Scotland – free and fun for all the family, it’s got everything from dinosaur and whale skeletons, through to Dolly the famous cloned sheep.

Then there are racing cars, old-school taxidermy animals and prehistoric stones. My kids didn’t want to leave (

Book it: The Sonder Royal Garden Apartments sleep four and cost from £75 a night (

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