RATHER than swapping weakened pounds for Euros, many in this country are now wondering whether to exchange their holidaying habits instead.

Staycations might still have trailed Spain, France, Greece and USA in 2019's list of favourite summer destinations for British tourists but remaining on these shores and rediscovering what our small island has to offer does have its appeal in the current political climate.

As Boris Johnson looks intent on playing the tensest game of "Deal or No Deal" imaginable during his pre-October 31 Brexit negotiations, it certainly seems a good time to box clever and plan a more affordable break in the UK.

With that in mind, my family embarked on a trip to Fife this summer and, aided by July's record-breaking heatwave, were afforded a very warm welcome from everybody we met in the Scottish region.

Along with stunning scenery to be enjoyed on coastal path and beach walks, Fife is home to charming traditional fishing villages such as Crail, as well as 40 golf courses including the world-famous St Andrews.

It is also rich in child-friendly "days out" potential, with visits to the superb Scottish Deer Centre in Cupar and the fascinating Secret Bunker in Anstruther proving highlights of our stay.

At £30 for a family of four, the Deer Centre represented very good value and compared favourably - both in price and experience quality - to the more celebrated Edinburgh Zoo.

There are obviously fewer animals and the whole centre can be navigated in a relatively quick time, but the excellent and regular talks, feeds, shows and interaction activities mean it’s easy to spend a full day at the centre without feeling you've ever seen enough.

As well as 13 species of deer from around the world, the park hosts Fife's only wolf pack and Scottish wildcats who are now - in their purest form - classified as extinct in their historical habitat, largely due to their cross-breeding with the domesticated cat.

The European brown bears, meanwhile, are magnificent animals and surprisingly sociable with both mother and son happy to entertain visitors at the front of their enclosure.

Three different falconry shows are unmissable too, with the expert handler providing an entertaining and informative running commentary throughout with an impressive array of owls, kestrels and hawks.

A complimentary chance to meet and feed a deer with carrot also thrilled our ten-year-old daughter who, along with all the adults present, learned so much from the interesting, knowledgeable and enthusiastic rangers.

My favourite story was that of the Chinese Water Deer who, it was explained, in an attempt to enhance his attractiveness during mating season, urinates all over himself to acquire an alluring odour and rubs his head on the ground to gain a fetching grass wig on his antlers, before strutting his stuff and eyeballing rival suitors, which sometimes leads to the locking of horns.

We actually saw this comical scene played out which, with reflection, was perhaps not dissimilar to many that might be witnessed on a Saturday night in nearby Glasgow or, indeed, York's Micklegate.

Another interesting fact we learned was that the lynx cat might be reintroduced into the wild in Scotland, with the intention to control deer numbers as many are starving to death, whilst a staggering 9,000 a year are involved in road traffic accidents

The centre also boast two good playgrounds for kids - one outdoors and one indoors - as well as a tractor trailer ride, which is limited in numbers and should be booked in advance to avoid disappointment.

Still in Fife, Scotland's Secret Bunker offers an equally engrossing experience for visitors of all ages and, with the cost £36.95 for a family of four, will fall within the parameters of most holiday budgets.

The bunker was built in 1951 by the RAF to ensure that all of those who were considered Scotland’s most important dignitaries at the time could retreat to a safe haven in the event of a nuclear attack.

Just driving towards the remote location feels really evocative and the scale of the underground shelter, in terms of the man hours and expense that committed to complete its construction, is a real reminder of how seriously the Cold War threat was treated during the second half of the 20th century.

The myriad of different rooms, many left as they were more than 60 years ago, are transfixing.

One contains the desks and work needs for every department of the Scottish government to continue with business as usual, while the first minister - whoever might have been Nicola Sturgeon's unfortunate hypothetical predecessor - has their own office looking over the room with curtains and a bed.

There was little luxury, but it would, of course, have been a damn sight better than being above ground in such a desperate scenario.

Elsewhere, there was a fully-equipped radio studio with the intention to provide news and advice for those on the outside living amid the fallout.

In fact, radio stations still visit to host shows today, while scout groups stay in the dormitories too, and marriages have been staged in the on-site chapel.

You can also eat in the same canteen where Scotland's supposed superiors might have done more than half a century ago.

Information films from the 1960s and 1970s, meanwhile, offer guidance on how to survive a nuclear bomb and are frighteningly sombre and real, as must be the Hiroshima documentary, which carries a 12 certificate but regularly ends with grown adults in tears.

We decided against watching it, but it is only right that the harrowing horrors of nuclear warfare are addressed and a CND display is housed elsewhere too.

After an absorbing afternoon underground, we were, nevertheless, pleased to return a good few metres above sea level and breathe in the fresh air at The Bay Hotel in Kinghorn, where we enjoyed a two-night stay.

Set in the hills, with stunning views across the Firth of Forth to Edinburgh, the hotel is in an idyllic location and, watching the tide come in from our split-level executive suite balcony as dusk fell and the bay gradually lit up, was a genuine holiday treat.

You can also view the aeroplanes flying out of Glasgow as an island-based lighthouse guides others in, but you will feel very little jealousy from your vantage point towards those heading overseas.

The gym, indoor swimming pool and Horizons restaurant enjoy the same panorama, meaning making plans for at least one evening meal is recommended, as is the very generously-sized cheese board.

Breakfast shouldn't be missed either, with the full Scottish option including haggis and potato scones - both of which must be sampled.

Reservations for the Bay Hotel can be made by visiting thebayhotel.net

Full details on the Scottish Deer Centre are available at tsdc.co.uk and more information on Scotland's Secret Bunker can be found at secretbunker.co.uk