It all sounds a bit foreign

by ANTONY CLAY

MANY people planning a holiday jaunt abroad this year have decided, or been forced, to think twice due to coronavirus.

People who have jetted away have suddenly found themselves having to isolate on their return, or even been stuck in a foreign land.

This has made many think again about booking a foreign trip in the first place and the confusion seems set to remain for many months to come.

But you need not miss out on places with exotic names – as they may be nearer to home than you think.

Travel firm Love Home Swap is one business which has thought outside the box and marketed holidays to British places with foreign names.

Destinations include California (in Norfolk), Melbourne (in Derbyshire), Egypt (in Buckinghamshire) and several other UK towns and villages that share their names with famous places around the world.

You could visit Moscow without having to have any of those pesky jabs, or enjoy Toronto without the jet lag.


Figures have shown that 64 per cent of British people are too nervous to travel abroad this year and will not leave the UK, a situation made worse by the uncertainty about whether rules for travel to certain countries will change at short notice if their coronavirus cases rocket.

Love Home Swap has created a free guidebook – called Around the World in Britain – to highlight foreign-sounding but very British locations complete with suggested itineraries and fun things to see and do.

A Love Home Swap spokesperson said: “It’s well documented that staycations are experiencing a boom this summer as British holidaymakers can’t or won’t travel abroad. However, just because a household might choose to holiday on home soil doesn’t mean they can’t say they’re travelling to the likes of California, Bermuda or New York.


“While they might look and feel very different from their international namesakes, the UK destinations with foreign names are nonetheless wonderful spots to holiday in this year.

“With 52 per cent saying they would now prefer to holiday in a home environment rather than in a hotel or resort, and with many looking for a more cost effective way to holiday in light of challenging circumstances, what could be better than a home swapping holiday in places such as Egypt, Melbourne, Holland or Hollywood?”

FOREIGN PLACES…IN THE UK

EGYPT
Not the one in the Middle East, this is in the heart of Buckinghamshire.
It may not have the River Nile but there is plenty to enjoy in this wooded, green and leafy village. Locals think the name derives from the Greek word for Romany travellers, who may have had an encampment in the area.

CALIFORNIA
The one in Norfolk not on the USA’s West Coast.
California is a seaside resort and sandy beach in Great Yarmouth. California’s name can be traced to the discovery of 16th century gold coins on the beach in 1848, coinciding with the Californian Gold Rush in America.

MELBOURNE
In Derbyshire and not down under. This quintessentially British market town happens to share its name with the second most populous city in Australia. Derbyshire’s Melbourne means mill stream and was first recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086. The town was once home to the father of modern tourism, Thomas Cook. Just like its Australian namesake, Melbourne in Derbyshire boasts quite a bustling food scene with award-winning restaurants and the 18th century Melbourne Hall is one of the best-known historic houses and gardens in the country.

MOSCOW
You can leave Red Square behind and instead sample the rural delights of Ayrshire. A holiday in the Scottish hamlet will see visitors sharing the precise latitude of the Russian capital. The origins of this Moscow’s name are disputed, with theories ranging from ancient Celtic origins to being a reference to Napoleon’s retreat from Russia. Nearby attractions include Dumfries House, Galloway Forest Park and the Scottish Dark Sky Observatory.

TORONTO
Named after the Canadian city, Bishop Auckland’s Toronto in County Durham might not have Lake Ontario or the Niagara Falls nearby, but it does have a splendid Victorian viaduct and is just a short drive from Barnard Castle.

NEW YORK
This is a sleepy hamlet in Lincolnshire which is a world away from the skyscrapers of Manhattan. Visitors can take a short drive to National Trust Belton House, eat at the NYC-themed Witham and Blues restaurant (after the River Witham) or hop down the road and visit the equally American-named town of Boston. New York was named after the city of York, unlike its American namesake which takes its name from the 17th century Duke of York, James Stuart.

BERMUDA
This Warwickshire settlement was originally a small pit village to house workers of a nearby colliery. Today it is the archetypal English village, with rows of brick cottages and leafy streets. It is a short drive from Kenilworth Castle and Stratford-upon-Avon.

HOLLYWOOD
Hollywood is a large village near Birmingham. While one might expect it to have borrowed its name from the iconic American neighbourhood, the UK village actually predates it with Hollywood in Worcestershire dating back to 1250, while the US home of cinema and celebrity wasn’t formed until 1853. Nearby attractions include Cadbury’s World, Worcester Cathedral and the Legoland Discovery Centre.

HOLLAND
When visiting the Netherlands tourists might squeeze in a visit to its canals and Holland in Surrey is not short of its own charming waterways, including the Basingstoke Canal. The Dutch are famously fond of their horticulture, something its Surrey namesake also has in common if the nearby RHS Garden Wisley or Titsey Place and Gardens are anything to go by.

FLORENCE
This suburb of Staffordshire is historically linked with British coal mining, with the nearby Florence Colliery built in 1874 and subsequently demolished in the 1990s. Italy’s Florence is known for its culture, Renaissance art, architecture and monuments but Florence in Staffordshire has its own cultural and historical icons nearby, such as the Trentham Estate (home to the award-winning Trentham Gardens) or the World of Wedgwood, which provides an interactive journey through the region’s world-famous pottery.

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