OUTDOOR experts at a Tyne Valley activity centre have put together some top tips to turn staying at home into the "ultimate staycation."

With the coronavirus crisis scuppering the plans of many families to holiday abroad, the team at Kingswood, based at Dukeshouse Wood in Hexham, have put together a list of ideas to make spending time at home a bit more bearable.

According to Kingswood, ll you need for a "holiday at home" is an appetite for fun, an imagination, and a garden.

The team suggests families go camping together, even if its just pitching up in the garden or the livng room.

They advise putting phones and gadgets away and sharing stories around the campfire, with extra activities like bush craft, night walks and orienteering challenges to explore somewhere new you’ll feel like you’re on holiday wherever you are.

The team also make some suggestions on cooking - from making your own bread to cooking on a camping stove or campfire.

In terms of activities - Kingswood is well-known for its popular, action-packed adventures - suggestions include mountain climbing - providing it's safe - or replicating Kingswood favourite raft building at home with ice lolly sticks for the bath or paddling pool.

But the team's most important suggestion is to break the mould - set up a treasure hunt, walk longer than usual, and immerse yourself in nature.

The advice reads: "Holidays are also exciting as you’re often on your way to do something new. So why not break the mould and take part in some activities you wouldn’t usually?"

Mental health has been in the news a lot recently as people continue to suffer due to the effects of social isolation.

Dr Alice Jones Bartoli, Kingswood psychologist explained how holidays can help. She said: ‘It’s been a tremendously difficult year for everyone – and it seems to feel even worse when our usual escapes like holidays don’t seem likely either.

“Adults have been under significant stress balancing their responsibilities and children have had to show unprecedented resilience as their lives have been disrupted.

"But, we've got the opportunity to make the most of our time at home and create experiences that we will remember for being so different?

“Staycations can be fun, but there are also benefits to physical and mental health and well-being of being active, outside and getting to know our more local nature areas.”