The Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace Westminster London

‘Blue Monday’ is said to be the most depressing day of the year – but never fear. VisitEngland has launched a special campaign that aims to beat the January blues by way of exciting travel experiences.

The digital campaign seeks to promote round-the-clock activities and experiences across the UK today, encouraging Brits to be inspired rather than disheartened by the start to the New Year, by taking a holiday at home.

The campaign comes after official statistics reveal that more people are taking holidays at home and they are spending more too. VisitEngland discovered that from January to September 2017 Brits took 47 million domestic holidays in Great Britain, spending £11 billion, more than the same period the previous year.

The Blue Monday campaign hopes to build on this and showcase even more of what UK has to offer.

From surfing to torch-lit tours

Special films have been created to showcase activities across the UK throughout a 24-hour period, with a suggestion for every hour. Think a street art tour in Bristol; early morning surfing at Scarborough; a torch-lit tour of the Roman Baths; and exploring the wilds of Hampstead Heath in London.

VisitEngland director Andrew Stokes commented: “With many of us looking for travel inspiration to beat the winter blues, these snapshots of destinations across the country will get Brits booking mood-boosting experiences, and exploring more of the country, boosting growth from tourism.”

The video below is one example showcasing just two things you could be doing at 11am – sea kayaking in Dartmouth or learning about Glengoyne Distillery’s unique Scottish highland whiskey…

More choice for groups

Groups can choose from a wide selection of activities being promoted – many of them are available year round and suitable for organisers looking for inspiration in the future.

Take your pick from these five suggested ideas:

1. Step back in time with 1940s inspired music and cocktails at Cahoots in London – a bar that’s ‘keeping the spirit of the Blitz alive’ and can be booked out privately for up to 150 people.

2. Take an early morning surf in Scarborough, Yorkshire. Scarborough Surf School takes private group bookings, no matter what your surfing ability.

3. Try your hand at sea kayaking in Dartmouth in Devon. GTOs booking with Sea Kayak Adventures can arrange guided tours by kayak around the coast.

4. Catch the Changing of the Guard at Horse Guards Parade in London, a free experience to watch for groups of unlimited numbers. Those seeking an extra special experience could take a Changing the Guard Walking Tour by Fun London Tours. This experience takes in various stages of the ceremony, including the inspection, Old Guard, New Guard, and palaces.

5. Take lunch and cocktails at the Rooftop Restaurant at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. A private room is available for big numbers, and groups could follow up by watching a Shakespeare production afterwards.

To discover more about the Blue Monday 24 hour experiences head to, and follow the Blue Monday campaign on Facebook by searching for @LoveGreatBritain.

Lead image: The Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace. (Photo credit: VisitBritain/Pawel Libera).