Scotland’s happiest place is on a beach in the Hebrides

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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

Exploring Exmoor

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.

MUST-DO ACTIVITIES ON A BRITISH HOLIDAY

Eating fish and chips

A pub lunch

Having a cream tea

Building sandcastles

Paddling

Playing arcade games

Getting blown about on a beach

Skimming stones in the sea

Relaxing in a deck chair

Getting rained on

Playing in rock pools

Eating a pasty

Playing cards

Crabbing.