I’ll admit I’m spoilt. Having the Lake District National Park within an hour’s drive of my front door is a privilege – especially in a time when staycations are in vogue. This week the National Park is celebrating its 70th anniversary – its platinum milestone comes as the area prepares for the kickstart of holidays and hospitality businesses and hotels work to lift the shutters after months in lockdown. Over the decades the Lakes has not only cemented a place in my heart, but the heart of the nation and the wider world – over 19 million people visit annually. I’d argue it’s the diamond in Great Britain’s holiday crown. But why is the National Park so popular with holidaymakers and daytrippers? It's simple – the Lake District has cracked the perfect staycation puzzle. Yes, there’s traffic, yes there can be crowds, yes there can be hostility from locals, but all-in-all the draw of a holiday in the Lake District far outweighs these niggling inconveniences – let’s do the maths. The ‘perfect’ weather I’ll begin by addressing the most unreliable variable in the perfect holiday equation – the weather. Yes, the Lakeland weather is often unseasonably unpredictable. In fact, it’s possible to experience all four seasons in one sitting – my most recent trip to the Lakes involved a packed lunch in beautiful sunshine, before reaching the summit of Coniston Old Man in a haze of drizzle and gusty wind. This was swiftly followed by a showering of snow – yes, in May. The same evening I watched the sun set over a still, calm and crisply clear Lake Windermere, safe in the knowledge that no day in the Lake District is ever the same. It’s this unpredictability that adds a sense of spontaneity to any staycation in the National Park – we’re creatures of habit and comfort, and without Mother Nature throwing some spice onto our holidays, life would be quite boring. Coast and country combine Booking data reveals that this year the British coast and the countryside are the favoured spots for a UK holiday. In the Lake District, luckily, there’s no need to choose between the two. To the west there’s a coastline of brilliant beaches and coves, close to the seaside villages of Broughton-in-Furness and Whitehaven, that lie almost undisturbed even on the hottest of summer days. Inland, visitors find some of the most stunning countryside this nation has to offer – the National Park wasn’t awarded Unesco World Heritage status in 2017 for nothing. Picture-perfect dry stone walls line winding country lanes, which lead to villages populated by slate-roofed cottages, traditional inns and valley-upon-valley of farmland.