I am writing to you today from a park bench. It’s a beautiful bench in a beautiful park – Hyde Park in London.
The temperature is apparently 28 degrees celsius according to my phone. For those of you who prefer Fahrenheit that’s somewhere in the mid to high 80s. Tomorrow it’s going to be even hotter as we bathe in a UK heat wave. Hip hip, hooray.
Absolutely glorious… or is it?
Just as I took out my laptop a man with a dog in tow sat down, mopped his brow and let out a loud sigh. The dog did similar, panting away under the bench.
“It’s too hot,” he said to nobody in particular. Since there was nobody else around I acted as if he were talking to me.
“It’s a scorcher isn’t it! I love it.”
He didn’t look too impressed but we chatted and essentially the relevant conclusion was that he and his dog did not like the heat one little bit.
In the UK this chap and Gordon his cocker spaniel (somehow I got his dog’s name but not his) usually get their preferred weather but a really hot couple of months each year is not unheard of. So he goes on holiday to colder places would you believe.
As someone who chases the sun as often as possible this concept of running away from it was a little alien. But it got me thinking. What if I were trying to escape the sunshine and head somewhere cooler? Where would I go?
Here are my choices below. I’d love to hear from anyone who deliberately runs from the sun for their holidays. Let me know where you go.
Cromlix and Chez Roux in Dunblane, Scotland
As much as the rest of the world jokes about the English weather the English joke about the Scottish weather. The good thing about Scotland is that it’s as beautiful in the rain as it is in the sun. And heading 600 miles due north means it’ll be a few degrees cooler than here. As Andy Murray slogs it out in the heat at Wimbledon, I’ll head to his hotel which sits on a 34 acre estate (so Gordon would love it). He’ll probably head up there too, after his time in the Championship for a bit of relaxation!
Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl, South Africa
When one hemisphere is hot, the other is cold. So heading south is the best way to guarantee some cooler weather. It’s 16 degrees Celsius in South Africa today which is a temperature we can all be happy with. This hotel has suites among the vineyards, a working fruit farm, fine dining from Michelin-trained Executive chef Roland Gorgosilich and an award-winning wine list. What a spot to sit outside with a glass of wine and a cardigan over your shoulder!
Blanket Bay in Queenstown, New Zealand
If you’re serious about escaping the heat then snow is surely the answer. Queenstown is arguably the best spot on earth for adventures on the white stuff. This secluded lodge made of New Zealand stone and timber and the surrounding Southern Alps are beautiful all year round. And here you get a private balcony to sit on with a hot chocolate to enjoy the views of the mountains and Lake Wakatipu.