Good for the wallet and waist: the health benefits of a South Yorkshire 'staycation'

With the school summer holidays over halfway through, many people will be running out of inspiration for things to do with their children for the rest of the summer.

By Nik Farah
Wednesday, 24 July, 2019, 08:49
Staycation in South Yorkshire

Well now, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive is encouraging people to enjoy a ‘staycation’ in their very own local area, with plenty of adventure to be had in and around South Yorkshire.

The organisation is suggesting that locals, like most tourists, use public transport to explore the sights of South Yorkshire, discovering new places and leisure activities as they go – all ideal for boosting the wallet, and decreasing the waistline.

“There are many free top-class destinations just on our doorstep,” says Richard Pilgrim, from SYPTE’s Active and Sustainable Travel team.

“Parks, museums, villages, countryside - you name it.

“We have a number of parks in the region, all free and most of them accessible by bus. With cafes, walks, cycling tracks, urban farms, activities and playgrounds, it’s a great way to spend time close to nature in the middle of a city.

“Buses can also take people further, into the Peak District, its trails and its villages, for instance.

“And if the weather is not as summery as we’d like it to be, there are lots of free indoor destinations that are guaranteed to put a smile on any child’s face, such as the Clifton Park Museum in Rotherham, Experience Barnsley, Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery, or the Weston Park Museum in Sheffield.”

According to SYPTE, choosing to walk, cycle or travel via public transport is an ideal way to save money and add some physical activity into anyone’s day, making a staycation as good for the waistline in the long run as it is the wallet.

Richard added: “Making small changes can have a big impact on your life.

“Switching to active travel, even if it’s just for a few days a week, will help you reach the NHS recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week and can be combined with public transport to provide a significant boost to physical activity levels.”

According to Public Health England, walking and cycling for travel are thought to have similar health benefits to those of other types of physical activity. And, as they can easily be built into daily life – for instance walking to school, or to the bus stop as part of your regular commute - people are more likely to carry on exercising.

Richard adds: “With children travelling from as little as 80p per single journey, and with weekly and monthly travel tickets that offer unlimited journeys, it’s time to enjoy the long summer days and explore your surroundings with fresh eyes. It might just be surprising to you how easy it can be.”

Journey planning tools and information on different ticket options are available at the Travel South Yorkshire website, which also has some handy tips for places to go and things to do in the region.

Operators First and Stagecoach offer special deals for groups of up to five people – with a maximum of two adults over 16 - travelling together with day tickets starting at £5.

TM Travel offer day tickets to customers which include the peak district lines, available from £4 for children and £7 for adults.

Visit travelsouthyorkshire.com for more information about making Little Big Changes through active travel this summer.

You will also find lots of recommendations and ideas of places to visit in South Yorkshire, and journey planning.