Alex celebrates the great British holidaymaker on a trip to Gower, Wales

It’s mid-winter. It’s raining. I am in a shepherds hut in Gower: the wind is howling, the night is dark, the loo is 100 metres away. What do I do?

I know exactly what to do – because I am born of these Isles and have been holidaying in the UK for more years than I’d care to mention. I have a torch, I have my wellies, and of course, I have my raincoat. I know the drill. It’s bucketing down, so I will run.

As I dash across the unfamiliar campsite through puddles and mud, I am aware I’m not alone. The lights are on in a motorhome opposite, surfboards tied to the roof, and guitar music is just audible from a neighbouring caravan.           

Tomorrow the weather report promises snow.               

When I make it back to the hut, wetter but happier, I think about how much I love the British holiday maker. We’re tough. We’re hard. We can handle the rain. 

Camping in January: of course. A family outing in the sleet: no worries. We grasp every opportunity we can to get away, and get outside, whatever the weather!   

It’s that passion for embracing the elements that I admire. But I also think that embracing the elements is what makes our British holidays such fun.

When I return from my winter break, I realise these are the stories I relay, the ones where I got drenched, got stuck, faced the elements, albeit in a small way, and came out giggling, and I know it will be the same for my fellow campers.

Stepping out of your comfort zone can be very funny, and laughing is good, even if the humour comes after the event, and not at the time…

As well as the humour, the varied twists and turns of our climate don’t just teach us to be adaptable and prepared, they also put us back in touch with nature.

What we crave from our weekend breaks is often an escape from city life, the desk, our indoor lives and a chance to reconnect to the natural world. And when we are in the elements, whether it is sun, rain or wind, we are experiencing the natural world, and it is simply that, which often makes us happy. 

I am glad to say, despite what the papers say about obesity, laziness, and the ever increasing range of computer games keeping us indoors, the British holiday season is extending, not shrinking.

Recent advances in neoprene technology has resulted in an explosion of cold water surfing and hi-tech developments in outdoor gear means we are more waterproof and windproof than we have ever been. This is certainly one arena where new technology is getting us outdoors, not keeping us indoors!

What the British holiday maker knows is that nature is out there, on our doorstep. They don’t need to wait for the summer, or catch a plane to far off lands; they just step out physically and mentally prepared for rain or shine, and grab the opportunity to embrace the natural world whenever they can.

And they are better off for it.

Alex stayed with

'…embracing the elements is what makes our British holidays such fun.'