Admiring the white sandy beaches of the Hebrides has been voted the country’s ultimate “happy place”, according to a new study.
The research looked into places in the UK which evoke special memories and ultimately make us “happy” – and found that for more than one in four (28 per cent) of Scottish people that place is a Hebridean beach.
Visiting Loch Ness (21 per cent) and walking in the Lake District (21 per cent) were in joint second place, while visiting the Roman Baths of Bath and enjoying fish and chips in Padstow harbour completed the top five happy spots for Scots.
The popularity of the beaches in the Hebrides extended to those from all over the UK, making them one of the top five happiest places overall.
Researchers from SACO, The Serviced Apartment Company, polled holiday makers and revealed two in five Scots believe there is “no place like home” when it comes to holidays.
The Highlands were by the far the most popular holiday destination for Scots, followed by the Lake District and Cornwall.
Nearly two thirds of the adults polled said some of their fondest memories of being a child were spent holidaying in Britain and 62 per cent are now trying to replicate those memories for their own children. More than a third (39 per cent) said some of their best holidays have been in the UK.
More than two thirds of those asked (70 per cent) claimed if you could always guarantee the weather, they would never go abroad.
A spokesperson for SACO, which offers serviced apartments in Scotland, said: “Scotland has a huge amount to offer when it comes to holidays, from exciting city breaks to endless opportunities to discover the great outdoors.
“The dramatic and beautiful beaches of the Hebrides offer breathtaking views that you would struggle to match anywhere in Europe, so there really is no need to jet off abroad to feel happy and content.
“It seems that many parents are choosing to relive their childhood memories by visiting places of interest with their own children across Scotland for their holidays.”
Nearly half of those polled said the biggest benefit of holidaying in the UK was the fact you could travel at a time of day to suit you, and one in five love the fact you don’t need to take out expensive travel insurance.
Being able to travel by car, avoiding sweltering heat and being able to take the family dog along were also listed as benefits of the staycation, as well as it being more affordable.
Must-do things on a traditional British summer break included paddling, skimming stones and building sand castles.
Many activities revolved around food with eating fish and chips, cream teas, pasties and sampling a traditional pub lunch all on the holiday checklist.
A more honest 22 per cent of the group said it was a must to get blown about on a windy beach and 34 per cent said, you haven’t experienced a true British holiday until you have been caught in torrential rain.
Interestingly, the research showed that a typical seven-day break in the UK would set you back £716, compared to £1,430 if you went abroad.
ULTIMATE BRITISH “HAPPY PLACES”
Admiring the white sandy beaches of the Hebrides
Searching for Nessie at Loch Ness
Walking / hiking in the Lake District
Visiting the Roman Baths
Eating fish and chips in Padstow
Eating ice-cream on Brighton Beach
Pub lunch in the Cotswolds
Walking in the Peak District
Enjoying a cream tea in the Isles of Scilly
Enjoying a pasty in St Ives
Open top bus ride in London
Picking fossils on the Jurassic Coast
Swimming in Bude Sea Pool, Cornwall
Boating on the Norfolk broads
Eating candy floss at Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Walking the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path
Walking the dog on Holkham Bay, Norfolk
Playing arcade games on Weston Super Mare Pier
Building sand castles on Blackpool Sands beach
Climbing St Michaels Mount
Winning a toy for the children at Barry Island
Rock Pooling in Polzeath Beach
Playing rounders on Perranporth Beach, Cornwall
Strolling over the Clifton Suspension Bridge
Riding donkeys on Great Yarmouth Beach
Surfing on Fistral Beach
Crabbing in Looe
Punting on the River Cam
Sailing in Salcombe