You don’t need to travel far to find epic places to go on holiday this year. This post is a collection of some of the best UK staycation ideas to get you inspired and get you moving. Below you’ll find 29 best UK holiday destinations from hiking, glamping and beach lounging to history and cultural discovery places.
Some people may actually wonder what does staycation mean? Staycation definition according to the Oxford Dictionary is a holiday spent in one’s home country rather than abroad, or one spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions. Staycation means that we get to travel slow and marvel at the beauty found locally.
UK Staycation Ideas
#1 The Cotswolds
By Mal from Raw Mal Roams
If you’re looking for an excellent holiday ideas UK, The Cotswolds is the perfect destination. Picture perfect sleepy villages that will take you back in time, traditional tea rooms and fresh local produce. These are just some of the reasons to get into the car and drive to some of the prettiest villages in the Cotswolds. If you want to go back in time to another era to get a feel of the authentic English countryside, then head to the Cotswolds!
When visiting the Cotswolds, Castle Combe is a must-see and one of the prettiest villages in the Cotswolds. This historic village was a movie set for many movies, including ‘Dr Dolittle’. Stroll through its streets and pop into one of the traditional pubs like The Castle Inn to have a pint on the sunny courtyard. Burton-on-the-water is another popular small town in the Cotswolds and an excellent destination for a staycation UK. Things to do there include a visit to the Cotswolds Distiller, checking out exhibits in the Motor Museum and The Model Village.
The best time to visit is between April and October when the weather in Britain is at its best behaviour. You can plan to visit three villages over a weekend staycation. If you decide to stay for a whole week, you won’t run out of activities. The area of Cotswolds has excellent cycling routes. You can also hike some of the 164km long Cotswolds Way, horse ride, climb in the Far Peak Climbing Centre or just take time to chill out.
Recommended Places to Stay
The 12th century Castle Inn is situated right on the market square of Castle Combe and has an interesting history being Oliver Cromwell’s place of retreat. The hotel features quirky, old-fashioned rooms with squeaky floors, wooden beams, four-poster beds and jacuzzi bathtubs. Guest can enjoy an in-house restaurant with outdoor seating which is serving British cuisine and an extensive wine list.
Stay at the stylish and luxurious The Swan Hotel that comes with tastefully furnished en suite rooms, tasty breakfast and an outdoor jacuzzi. The hotel also boasts a lovely riverside garden where you can spend the afternoon chilling on sun loungers.
Situated right in the heart of the bustling town of Burton-on-the-water, The Mans Hotel is an excellent base for exploring the Cotswolds (staycation UK 2021). The property features a range of rooms equipped with tea and coffee making facilities and en suite bathrooms with complimentary toiletries. Some rooms come with antique furnishing and river views. The hotel boasts a terrace overlooking the River Windrush, an in-house restaurant serving British cuisine and a bar.
By Jackie Rezk from Jou Jou Travels
Cornwall is in the Southwest Peninsula of England and is one of the best UK staycation ideas. It’s known for its picturesque harbour villages, stunning beaches, and towering cliffs alongside the coast. You can go surfing or sailing and enjoy many gorgeous hikes while you visit.
The most notable places to visit include St. Ives for its beautiful beach and art museums, Mousehole for its charming fisherman village, and Tintagel for its stunning castle. St. Michael’s Mount is often visited, which features a castle and church on this tidal island that resembles the French monastery, Mont St. Michel. Quieter towns include St. Agnes, known as rural Cornwall. The quaint feel of this small town is not to be missed. There’s a beautiful beach and wonderful cafes and shops as well as typical English cottages on the famous street, Stippy Stappy. There are so many endless places to visit in Cornwall, and all are pretty beautiful.
Summer time is the best time to visit as it will be warm enough for you to enjoy the beaches and a plethora of outdoor activities. If you want to see many beautiful Cornwall towns, perfect for a Cornawall staycation, you should plan to spend at least five days here. If you can hire a car, that would be ideal to get around to all the different areas easily. The roads are pretty small, but it will be easier than finding public transport, especially if you go to the smaller villages.
Recommended Places to Stay
Luxury The Gannet Inn
The Gannet Inn is located 5 minutes walk from Carbis Bay Beach and Cornwall Coast Path. It features a selection of stylish and luxurious rooms, each has a unique design. You can choose from cosy, quirky family or sea view rooms. Guests can enjoy an onsite restaurant serving hearty homemade dishes and boasting traditional Cornish hospitality. Other facilities include a spa, outdoor pool, bicycle rental, yoga classes and free breakfast.
Midrange The St Ives Bay Hotel
Located 1 mile from Carbis Bay and walking distance to Porthminster Beach, The St Ives Bay Hotel features en suite rooms with simple furnishing ranging from single to family rooms. All rooms are equipped with coffee and tea making facilities, wardrobe and desk. Bathrooms come with complimentary toiletries and a hairdryer. Guests can also enjoy an onsite restaurant and bar.
Budget Storm in a teacup B&B
Boasting a central location, this B&B is located 10 minutes walk to Porthmeor Beach and St Ives Harbour. The property has recently been refurbished, and each room has a unique feel with modern and contemporary décor and comes with en suite bathrooms and coffee and tea making facilities. Guests can also enjoy a continental breakfast served in the breakfast room.
#3 The Lake District
By Hannah from Get Lost Travel Blog
The Lake District in Cumbria is one of the excellent destinations for the best UK staycation. With beautiful sweeping landscapes and bustling towns, it’s the perfect place to unwind and escape the crowds. With an area spanning more than 2,000 square kilometres, you have a diverse selection of destinations to choose from.
Lake Windermere is one of the most popular destinations and is a vibrant tourist spot. Bowness-on-Windermere is the perfect town to use as a home base for your visit. The town is filled with independent stores and interesting attractions, including The World of Beatrix Potter, a fun, life-sized recreation of the stories of one of England’s most famous authors.
To get the most out of a visit to Windermere, you should invest in a day ticket for Windermere Lake Cruises. These leisurely boat trips are the easiest way to travel to the surrounding towns of Ambleside and Lakeside so that you can make the most of your Windermere staycation holiday.
If you’re looking for something a little more remote, Ullswater is perfect. Ullswater is the second largest lake in the Lake District after Windermere but doesn’t have the same tourist hubbub. It’s a dream destination for walkers and outdoor lovers and the preferred choice for people looking for an opportunity to unwind on their staycation.
Wherever you choose to explore in the Lake District, you will need a weekend as a minimum to get the most out of your stay. However, if you enjoy walking, water sports, or just relaxing in nature, you could easily fill a week-long itinerary.
As with many destinations, the shoulder seasons around June or September make for a great break and avoid the school holidays. However, no matter the time of year, weekends will be busy, so to avoid the crowds, you’ll want to book a mid-week stay.
Recommended Places to Stay
Macdonald Old England Hotel has a scenic overlooking the picturesque Lake Windermere and has its own private boat mooring. Windermere town is only a few minutes drive away, so is Beatrix Potter Exhibition, Castle Howe and Kendal Castle. Lake District National Park is 5 miles away from the property. A daily breakfast is included in the room rate, and some packages also include dinner at 2 AA Rosettes restaurant. Guests can enjoy extensive spa and wellness facilities, including a large pool and various saunas and steam rooms.
Midrange Embleton Spa Hotel & Apartments
Embleton Spa Hotel is located in Embleton, 3 miles away from Bassenthwaite Lake, 10 minutes drive from Keswick and Cockermouth. Other nearby points of interest include Whinlatter Forest Park and Sale Fell. En suite bedrooms come with either mountain or garden views and are equipped with coffee and tea making facilities, free toiletries and iron. Guests can enjoy a complimentary full Cumbrian breakfast. The hotel also boasts a swimming pool, gym and a steam room and restaurant.
Budget Ye Olde Fighting Cocks
This Inn is situated in the charming village of Arnside and boasts great views over the Lake Districts mountains and Kent estuary from its beer garden. The Lake District National Park can be reached by train within 5 minutes. En suite rooms come with tea and coffee making facilities as well as complimentary toiletries. Two onsite restaurants serve homemade food, and a bar featuring a fireplace serves a selection of local ales and craft beers.
By Angela from Exploring Dorset
Bournemouth is the largest town in Dorset, There are many award-winning beaches and plenty of attractions for families and adults alike. You won’t be short of things to do on your holiday staycation!
No matter what time of the year you decide to visit, there is always something happening. In the Summer months, enjoy the outside activities such as crazy golf with sea views. Or, if you’re brave enough, ride PierZip, the 250meter zip line from pier to shore!
During the winter months, the town and gardens light up with festive lights, pantomimes and seasonal shows in the large Pavillion. You can enjoy the Bournemouth big wheel at any time of the year. Why not experience it at night to see the twinkling lights through the Lower Gardens.
A weekend in Bournemouth is plenty of time to enjoy what the town has to offer. You’ll be spoiled for choice with places to stay. Choose from beach lodges, budget hotels or luxury hotels, all within walking distance to the town.
By day take in the sea air, walking along the coastline, sitting outside one of the many beachfront cafes enjoying the view. By night perhaps a cocktail in one of the many excellent restaurants and bars the town has to offer.
Recommended Places to Stay
Luxury Hampton by Hilton Hotel
Hampton by Hilton Hotel boasts a central location, only 5 minutes walk from the seafront and a few minutes’ walk from the Bournemouth Aquarium. The train station is located just over 1 mile from the hotel. Rooms are modern and come with coffee and tea making facilities, and bathrooms are equipped with hairdryers and complimentary toiletries. Guests can use the hotel’s fitness centre, which is open 24/7. Breakfast is included in the room rate.
Midrange Bournemouth West Cliff Hotel and spa
West Cliff is a 3-star hotel located 10 minutes’ walk from Alum Chine beach. The hotel boasts extensive leisure facilities that include a fully equipped gym and a heated pool. For an additional charge, guests can enjoy an adult-only relaxation area featuring a plunge pool, sauna, steam room and aromatherapy room. There is also an onsite restaurant, where guests can have breakfast for an additional charge.
Budget Hotel Celebrity
Hotel Celebrity is located a 5 minutes’ walk from the seafront, close to the East Cliff Railway, on the eastern side of the city. Bournemouth Pier is only 15 minutes walk. The hotel features simple rooms equipped with en suite bathrooms and coffee and tea making facilities. There is a free car park, a restaurant with an outdoor sitting area and a lounge bar.
By Claire from Go South West
It’s no surprise that Somerset is one of the best staycation destinations in the UK. This largely rural county is home to rolling hills and expansive countryside, 64 kilometres of coastline and charming towns and cities.
If you’re only visiting one area of Somerset, you could spend just a weekend here. However, if you want to see more of the county, it’s worth staying for a longer time. All of Somerset’s attractions are only a short drive from each other – so you could, for example, see all of these places on day trips from Bath if you stayed here.
Somerset is beautiful all year round, but it has the best weather in the spring and summer. Visit in May, June or September for warm, sunny days and fewer crowds. However, if you go to Bath in October or November, you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful changing colours of the trees!
There are so many things to do in Somerset. Cheddar Gorge is probably the most famous place – it’s the deepest gorge in the country with a lot of history – and the town is renowned for cheddar cheese! Don’t miss Wells – the smallest city in the UK, and Glastonbury – famous for its dramatic Tor and quirky high street shops.
For nature, visit the rolling Quantocks hills, the Somerset part of Exmoor, which has a glorious coastline, and the delightful Mendip Hills – the northernmost edge of these hills is only 7 miles south of Bristol.
Bristol isn’t technically in Somerset, although it borders the county, and it’s well worth visiting with attractions like the Clifton Suspension Bridge and SS Great Britain. And the famous city of Bath is a must-visit while you’re in Somerset, with the ancient Roman Baths, the modern Bath Thermae Spa, a beautiful Abbey where the first King of England was crowned, and countless rows of Georgian houses.
If you’re looking for a wonderful staycation in UK, Somerset has so much to offer!
Recommended Places to Stay
Luxury Beryl Country House
Beryl Country House situated conveniently within a short drive from Cheddar Gorge and Wells village, dates back from the 1840s and has been built in the Gothic Revival style. Today, the property offers luxury and unique accommodation. Think Chinese porcelain, chandeliers and Georgina furniture. An award-winning breakfast spread is served to guests free of charge, as well as afternoon tea with homemade cake. The hotel also features a well-manicured Japanese garden and an outdoor pool.
Midrange Old Manor House
Situated at the foot of Mendip Hills and on the outskirts of the beautiful, historic town of Axbridge, Old Manor House Hotel is an excellent base for exploring the Cheddar Gorge, the village of Wells, Burnham on Sea and Glastonbury, all within 20 minutes drive or less. The property has an old-time charm with a fireplace and two wells. Guestrooms are equipped with all the modern comforts, including coffee and tea facilities and even fresh milk in the minifridge. Breakfast is cooked to order and can be personalised to the guest likings.
Budget The Ancient Gatehouse
The Ancient Gatehouse located in Wells is also an excellent base for exploring Cheddar Gorge and other Somerset attractions. The hotel has an authentic period charm, but also, all rooms have been recently refurbished and are fitted with modern comforts while preserving the original character. Guests can enjoy an onsite restaurant specialising in Italian cuisine.
#6 Peak District National Park
By Rachel from Average Lives
The Peak District National Park is the oldest national park in the UK and is the perfect place for a staycation in the UK. 80% of the UK’s population live within a 4-hours drive of the Peak District, and for this reason, more than 10-million people visit annually. However, because it covers 555 square miles, you can easily find your secluded spot away from the crowds.
You can visit the Peak District for a weekend break or a week’s holiday. There is so much to do to keep you entertained. The Peak District is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit is the end of August and the beginning of September because the national park is blanketed in purple and pink heather. It is also when the weather is mild, which makes excellent hiking conditions.
The Peak District is divided into two areas: the White Peaks in the south and the north’s Dark Peaks. It would be best if you aimed to visit both because they offer different experiences. The White Peaks are where you will find the green forests and quaint, charming villages and towns, whereas the Dark Peaks are wilder with open moorland. Some of the best villages to visit and stay in our Castleton, Edale and Hathersage. You can find the best hiking at Ladybower Reservoir, Padley Gorge and Stanage Edge, and the best attractions include Peveril Castle, Chatsworth House and Blue John Cavern.
Indeed, each part of the Peak District is unique from the flora, to the rock formations, to the charming villages, and it’s not staycation holidays that you will forget quickly!
Recommended Places to Stay
All Midrange The Barrel Inn
The hotel is located in Bretton, which is an ideal location for exploring the Derbyshire Dales. Other nearby locations include Chatsworth House and The Botanical Gardens. Guests can enjoy various activities such as cycling and fishing around Eyam. The property features a bar and a restaurant where a complimentary breakfast is served.
The Plough Inn is located in the heart of the Peak District near local attractions such as the spa town of Buxton and Chatsworth House in Hathersage. The property features selection of luxury rooms and cute, unique chalets. Guests can enjoy a complimentary full English breakfast daily and an excellent onsite restaurant with ample menu choices.
This property is an excellent choice for outdoor lovers. The hotel is located in Bamford, Hope Valley and is an ideal base for exploring Ladybower Reservoir with various walking trails coming out of the Inn as well as villages of Castleton, Hathersage and Hope. Rooms are equipped with coffee and tea making facilities, and there is an onsite bar for guests to enjoy in the afternoon.
By Maria & Katerina from It’s All Trip To Me
A country as diverse as the UK has no shortage of gorgeous places to enjoy a memorable staycation. One of the best options for a short or even longer trip in the country is Oxford, the world-renowned University City.
Oxford is, beyond words interesting destination for many reasons. First of all, it’s home to the oldest English-speaking university in the world. Couple this with all the tales about Oxford’s legendary rivalry with fellow University City Cambridge and there’s no ending in the fascinating stories the city has to narrate to its visitors. Last but not least, Oxford is closely connected to one of the world’s most popular fiction characters, Harry Potter.
Although there are quite a few fantastic things to do in Oxford, the historic centre is rather compact. Therefore, the ideal length of stay for a trip to Oxford is between two to three days, unless you want to add a couple of days more to explore the surrounding countryside. The best time to visit Oxford is in the summer when the weather is glorious, and the students are back home for their holidays.
Strolling around Oxford and marvelling at the city’s impressive architecture is one of the best things to do there. However, it’s a lot better to do so on a guided tour of the University of Oxford, which will show you around the city’s most important buildings and explain how the university has forged Oxford’s character throughout the centuries. Alternatively, you can join a tour of the best Harry Potter filming locations.
Moreover, a river cruise is the best way to appreciate the beauty of Oxford’s natural surroundings. The ideal way to wrap up a day spent sightseeing or just soaking in the sun by the river is a pint and a meal at the Turf Tavern, a 12th-century historic pub near the dramatic Bridge of Sighs.
Recommended Places to Stay
This Inn has a convenient, central location which is within walking distance to all city’s main attractions and 2 minutes walk to Oxford train station. En suite rooms are elegantly decorated and are fitted with hardwood floors. Guests can enjoy in-room tea and coffee making facilities, complimentary toiletries and daily breakfast. The property also boasts an in-house restaurant and bar.
Midrange Jurys Inn Oxford
This 4-star hotel is located 5 minutes drive from Oxford historic centre, 10 minutes drive from Oxford train station and close to A34. Rooms are fitted with comfortable beds, desk, wardrobe and tea and coffee making facilities. Guest can enjoy a fitness centre including an indoor pool and an onsite restaurant.
Budget Sandfield Guest House
Sandfield Guest House is situated 10 minutes drive from Oxford historic centre and provides free private parking for its guests. The property features a range of rooms from single to double. All come with en suite bathrooms, tea and coffee making facilities and ironing facility. Fast speed wifi is available throughout the property.
By Ben Lloyd from Ticket 4 Two Please
Bath is a city known for, and named after, its famous Roman Baths. As Somerset’s biggest city, Bath has always been a popular location to visit in England, but never more so than now with the increase in Brits taking staycations within their own country.
Lying 100 miles west of London, with easy train and bus access from the capital, Bath has become one of the premier staycation destinations in the UK. Bath is fairly modest in size, making the entire city easily navigable in one weekend.
The historic Roman and Georgian spa city was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1987, largely in part due to the city’s impressive Georgian architecture, and it is for this reason that many people from the UK continue to be drawn to visiting Bath.
Undoubtedly the highlight of any trip to Bath is a visit to the iconic Royal Crescent. The dramatic Georgian architectural landmark is a row of 30 terraced houses laid out in a sweeping crescent formation.
Any staycation in Bath must feature a foray to the famous Roman Baths – a notable example of some of the best-preserved Roman remains outside of Italy.
Perhaps the best way to experience the city for the first time is to jump on board one of the City Sightseeing Bus Tours that drive you around the city, introducing you to the history and culture of Bath.
Though the summer is a wonderful time to visit, the city truly comes alive in late November to mid-December during the acclaimed Bath Christmas Market. The city centre becomes awashed with artisans from around the world selling festive delights and Christmas goods from charming, pop-up, wooden chalets.
Bath, a city steeped in history and culture, is a perfect destination for a UK staycation this year.
Recommended Places to Stay
Luxury The Gainsborough Bath Spa
This luxury 5-star hotel has a convenient location within walking distance to Roman Baths and other city attractions. The Gainsborough boasts an extensive spa and wellness facility, including access to naturally heated thermal waters. A range of rooms include suites and a three-bedroom townhouse. They come with a coffee machine, complimentary quality toiletries and bathrobes and slippers. Guests can also enjoy an excellent breakfast spread included in the room rate.
Midrange DoubleTree by Hilton Bath
DoubleTree by Hilton is located right in the heart of Bath and within walking distance to the main attractions such as The Roman Baths, Pulteney Bridge and Bath Abbey. The hotel features a variety of rooms, from Delux to family. The rooms are fitted with air conditioning and private bathrooms with complimentary toiletries. Guests can also enjoy a fitness centre, an onsite restaurant and a bar.
Budget The Z Hotel Bath
The Z Hotel boasts an excellent location, opposite the Bath Theatre Royal and within a few minutes walk from Roman Baths and other main city attractions. Modern, simple rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV including Sky and BT sports channels, tea and coffee making facilities, a desk and complimentary toiletries and hairdryer in the en suite bathroom. The hotel also has an onsite bar.
#9 The Lizard Peninsula
By Annabel from Smudged Postcard
The Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall is a brilliant destination for a UK seaside staycation. Unlike other parts of Cornwall, the Lizard receives fewer visitors, so it is usually possible to find quieter beaches and space in car parks and cafes, even during the peak weeks of summer.
The most famous beach on the Lizard is, without doubt, Kynance Cove – an incredible, rocky and sandy beach with caves and rock pools to explore. It has been used as a filming location for Poldark. Elsewhere on the Peninsula, you’ll find sleepy fishing villages and several National Trust managed beaches to enjoy.
Lizard Point, at the tip of the Peninsula, is England’s most southerly destination – there’s an excellent café overlooking the sea and a lighthouse as well as a rocky cove below. Other highlights of the Lizard include the Seal Sanctuary at Gweek and Flambards – an old fashioned theme park.
The Lizard Peninsula is undoubtedly at its best during the summer months but if you enjoy walking, come in spring or autumn to enjoy the changing scenery on the South West Coastal Path. There are some excellent cottages to rent in the Lizard – stay for a week or two to fully enjoy everything this region has to offer.
The Lizard does feel quite cut off from the rest of Cornwall as it juts out into the Atlantic, but it is possible to do day trips to other parts of the region – Falmouth, Penzance, and St Ives are all under an hour away.
Recommended Places to Stay
Luxury Mullion Cove Hotel & Spa
This luxurious hotel is located only a short drive (under 5 miles) from Lizard Point, Lizard Village attractions and charming Mullion village. Mullion Cove Hotel is perched on an imposing clifftop and boats some magnificent sea views. Guests can enjoy an extensive buffet breakfast spread, including choices such as egg benedict with smoked salmon. An in-house spa facility offers indulging treatments and massages as well as an outdoor pool and jacuzzi.
Midrange Haelarcher Farmhouse
Haelarcher Farmhouse is centrally located on the Lizard Peninsula, with all the best local attractions within a minutes drive. Rooms range from single to triple occupancy, and some also come with a sea view. All guests can enjoy a complimentary English or Irish breakfast.
Budget Chyheira B&B
Chyheira B&B is an excellent budget option, situated in the quiet area of the Lizard Peninsula, a short drive from the main attractions of the Lizard Village. The property offers a peaceful getaway for its guests. The property is a converted Cornish Farmhouse and features simple yet cosy en suites guestrooms. Breakfast is included in the room rate.
Recommended by Alice from Adventures of Alice
Cambridge is one of the most beautiful cities in England. You can visit some of the world’s most famous universities, marvel at the historic architecture, and get lost in narrow cobblestone streets.
If you’re looking for a staycation near London to relax and explore, Cambridge might just be what you need. Home to prestigious institutions like King’s College and Trinity Hall (among others), it has long been an intellectual hub with distinctive-looking buildings all around – making anyone feel as though they’ve stepped back into time. Plus, there have been discoveries made here that are still being studied today because this place really knows its stuff when it comes to science and technology.
There are plenty of things to do during your stay but make sure you see King’s College Chapel and The Backs. One stunning site is the chapel founded by Henry VI in 1446, with an imitated St Peter’s Basilica from Rome as inspiration for its stained-glass windows created by John Hayward (1693 – 1766).
For history buffs, Cambridge has plenty of museums and galleries to explore. This includes the Fitzwilliam Museum (one of the free things to do in Cambridge), which offers an Egyptian section or Darwin Centre where you can learn all about evolution.
Foodies will enjoy a brunch at Fitzbillies while nature lovers should head over to Paradise Nature Reserve or Coe Fen Park. With its iconic university and quaint little pubs, there’s no better staycation than in Cambridge.
Recommended Places to Stay
Luxury Gonville Hotel
4-starred Gonville Hotel is located in the heart of Cambridge, walking distance to its historic centre and overlooks the famous Parker’s Piece. Its luxury rooms are beautifully decorated and feature a valet system for the convenience of guests as well as tea and coffee making facilities and es suite bathroom with complimentary quality toiletries. Guests can also enjoy a cooked breakfast made to order and other meals in the onsite restaurant, as well as a selection of pampering treatments available in the hotel spa.
Midrange Ibis Cambridge Central Station
Ibis Cambridge has a central location 1 mile away from Cambridge University and the Botanic Gardens. Rooms come with a private bathroom including complimentary toiletries, tea and coffee making facilities and a desk. The hotel feature a coffee shop and a restaurant.
The Tas Suites are located in the Petersfield area, a 15 minutes walk to the historic city centre. The property boasts a range of self-catering accommodation with a shared kitchen. Each comes with a private bathroom. There is also a terrace and garden for guests to enjoy as well as room service.
#11 The New Forest
By Rachel Clarke, From EarthsMagicalPlaces.com
The New Forest is the UK’s smallest National Park. This often means it gets overlooked in favour of more famous attractions such as the Lake or Peak Districts. Yet, there are many beautiful things to see and unique attractions in the New Forest that make this destination one of the best places to go on holiday in the UK.
Located along the south-central coast of England, within the county of Hampshire, the New Forest is well placed to offer visitors a wide variety of activities. Such as walking and cycling throughout its 140,000 acres of pristine heathland and forests or relaxing at the beach! Meanwhile, regular ferry’s (from the charming town of Lymington) provides the perfect day out across the water to the picturesque Isle of Wight.
This said, the New Forest’s most famous attraction has to be the feral horses, donkeys and cows, which all roam freely around the National Park. It won’t take you long to spot your first New Forest Pony, but it’s particularly surreal to see them wandering through the villages in the area.
Whilst most of the things to do in the New Forest revolve around the great outdoors, Hurst Castle (built in 1544 by Henry VIII) and the Beaulieu Motor Museum are also fantastic places to visit if the British weather forces you indoors.
Along these lines, whilst the New Forest can be enjoyed all year round, it really comes alive during the warmer and drier summer months. In addition, a long weekend getaway is usually enough time to explore the National Park, but there’s still plenty to discover for those searching for a longer staycation destination!
The golden sandy beaches are also home to hundreds of Grey Seals, and these can be seen basking in the sunshine during the summer months and many of them returning in the winter months to give birth to their young, which is a beautiful sight to see.
Recommended Places to Stay
Luxury Macdonald Elmers Court Hotel
Located in the picturesque town of Lymington, Macdonald Elmers Court is an excellent base for exploring the New Forest or a peaceful getaway. The Lymington town centre and the train station is 2 miles away, and the New Forest Park can be reached within a few minutes drive. Rooms are fitted with a private bathroom, work desk, coffee machine and balcony. Guest can enjoy extensive spa and wellness facilities, including one outdoor season pool and one indoor pool.
Midrange Spot in the Woods
Spot in the Woods is a boutique b&b located in Lyndhurst, which is considered to be the capital of the New Forest. It boasts a range of unique rooms; some come with in-room bathtubs, private terrace. All rooms have en suite bathrooms with complimentary toiletries made of organic and locally picked lavender and a coffee machine. Guests can enjoy breakfast in the in-house cafeteria.
Budget New Forest Lodge
New Forest Lodge is situated in Landford, northern edges of the New Forest between Southampton and Salisbury, and offers one of the best UK staycation deals. Rooms feature a private bathroom, tea and coffee making facilities, a desk and complimentary toiletries. Guests can enjoy an in-house Indian restaurant as well as a bar.
By Caroline from CK Travels
This seaside resort town on the south coast is a great place to visit for a UK staycation and is famous for its iconic pier and its cosmopolitan, bohemian vibe. Brighton is also considered to be one of the top 10 UK holiday destinations.
Whilst the city can easily be visited for the day, there are so many things to do in Brighton that you will definitely want to make a weekend out of it. Brighton has plenty of great accommodation options, including boutique hotels, air bnbs and budget chains.
The best time to visit Brighton is during the summer months so you can enjoy the beach, swimming in the sea and drinking at the beachfront bars. However, Brighton draws in visitors all year round, and the iconic Victorian Palace Pier is always packed with people enjoying the retro fairground rides and stalls selling candy floss and traditional fish and chips.
If you are a shopping fan, you will love the Lanes – a district of small streets filled with around 300 boutique shops selling records, gifts, antiques and vintage fashion, plus many independent hipster cafes serving brunch and vegetarian food.
Another highlight in Brighton is the gorgeous Royal Pavilion – a Grade I listed building dating back to 1787 with fantastic architecture that resembles a Southeast Asian palace and surrounded by pretty gardens.
After the sun sets in Brighton, you’ll find many entertainment and nightlife venues across town – cocktail bars, karaoke, comedy, night clubs, traditional pubs and a great live music scene at Komedia – a Brighton institution.
Recommended Places to Stay
Luxury – Artist Residence Hotel
Artist Residence Hotel is located in the heart of Brighton and overlooks its most famous landmark – The West Pier. It features 25 beautifully decorated rooms, each with its unique and quirky features, such as a copper bathtub. Most rooms have sea view and come en suite bathrooms, flat-screen TV and tea and coffee making facilities. Guests can enjoy an onsite restaurant and a bar that overlooks the pier and the sea.
Brightonwave boats 4 -star accommodation located within minutes walk from Brighton pier and other city attractions. Each of the eight rooms is fitted with a private bathroom that included free toiletries, tea and coffee making facilities. In the communal area, guests can enjoy the use of computers and a complimentary breakfast served daily.
Budget Guest And The City
By Jiayi from The Diary of a Nomad
The stunning region of Dorset is located in southwest England and is famous for its 96 miles (154 km) stretch of Jurassic Coast. This UNESCO coastline is filled with natural wonders such as sandy beaches, secluded coves, and majestic cliffs. It’s also home to many quaint seaside towns, making it the perfect place to retreat from the bustling city life.
The highlight of Dorset is undoubtedly the captivating Durdle Door, a 10,000-year-old stone arch sitting in the water by a beach. It’s an extremely picturesque place, especially if you visit during sunset.
Right next to Durdle Door, you’ll find the stunning layered cliffs of Lulworth Cove. The best viewpoint there is Mupe Bay when you can swim, walk around, and enjoy a picnic. You can also camp overnight in this area. Another must-see place is Cranbourne Chase AONB, which is perfect for stargazing as it’s very far away from any light pollution. You can lie down by Knowlton Church at night and enjoy this magical experience.
Don’t leave Dorset without stopping by the historic Corfe Castle, exploring the picturesque town of Weymouth, or doing a hot air balloon ride in Poole. At the eastern end of the Jurassic Coast, you’ll also come across the incredibly stunning chalk formations of Old Harry Rocks. You can walk for 20 minutes up to the viewpoint to get an incredible view of the Jurassic Coast.
You can easily spend a week relaxing in Dorset but visit for a minimum of 3 days to cover all the main sights. The best time to visit is during the shoulder months of May, June, September, and October. During these months, the weather is still decently good, and there aren’t too many crowds.
Recommended Places to Stay
Luxury Mortons Manor
Martens Manor is a 16th-century manor house located in the charming village of Corfe Castle with its imposing landmark. Mortons Manor is an excellent base for exploring the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO Heritage Site which can be reached within a minutes drive. Rooms come with an en suite bathroom including bath and complimentary toiletries, tea and coffee making facilities are also available in each room. Some rooms come with a castle view. An excellent breakfast spread is included in the room rate, and guests can also enjoy lunch and dinner at the award-winning onsite restaurant.
Midrange Lulworth Cove Inn
This charming hotel is located just a minutes’ walk from Lulworth Cove beach. It boasts bright en suite rooms with a nautical design. Each room comes with tea and coffee making facilities and free wifi. There is an onsite pub that serves award-winning ales and lager as well as seasonal dishes and can make packed lunches for your treks.
Midrange The Red Lion
The Red Lion Hotel is situated on the main road to Weymouth, 20 minutes drive to Durdle Door beach and Lulworth Cove. The hotel is family-friendly and offers spacious family rooms. The breakfast is included in the room rate. There is free parking for guests, a garden and a playground and a picnic area.
#14 The Isle of Wight
By Nichola from Globalmouse Travels
The Isle of Wight is perfect for a UK staycation. This island of the south coast of England feels like you’ve gone back in time with its country roads and beautiful beaches. Life somehow feels slower on the Isle of Wight, and it’s impossible not to relax here.
It’s possible to visit the island for a long weekend, but a week would really give you the time to come and properly enjoy everything on offer and at a nice pace that is essential here.
Summer, balmy days are wonderful for beach walks and enjoying the countryside, but this is when it’s busiest, so the shoulder season and particularly warm springs and autumns would be ideal.
There is so much to do here, from dinosaur bone hunting with an expert on one of the pebbly beaches to visiting the fun, old school theme park of Blackgang Chine, perfect for family holidays to the Isle of Wight. The Isle of Wight’s castles and stately homes shouldn’t be missed either. The countryside home of Queen Victoria, Osborne House, is absolutely magical and has its own beach too (where she taught her sons to swim). And Carisbrooke Castle, packed full of history, is also worth exploring.
This is an island to come and enjoy, like the UK of yesteryear and excellent for feeling like you’re away when you’re at home. The Isle of Weight is also one of the best UK family holidays destinations.
Recommended Places to Stay
Luxury Lakeside Park Hotel & Spa
Set on the banks of a picturesque lake in Ryde, Lakeside Park Hotel features 4-star accommodation, including suites with four-poster beds. The hotel boasts an extensive spa facility, including a pool, sauna, steam room, a hot tub and a range of pampering treatments. Guests can also enjoy a meal and cocktails in a hotel brasserie with an outdoor sitting area overlooking the lake.
Midrange The Wight Mouse Inn
The Weight Mouse Inn is located in the southern part of the island in the town of Chale. The hotel boasts a range of rooms overlooking either the sea and the English Channel or the St. Catherine’s Down. The local area has some excellent walking trails, and Newport can be reached within 20 minutes drive. The room rate comes with a cooked breakfast.
Budget The Wheatsheaf Hotel
The Wheatsheaf Hotel is set in a 17th-century building with many original features dating back to that area in the city of Newport. It is also conveniently located in terms of the public transport links and 10 minutes drive to the ferry port that links Isle of Wight with Southampton. Traditional English breakfast is included in the room rate.
#15 Yorkshire Dales
By Sinead from Map Made Memories
The rolling landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales is a perfect destination for a UK staycation as it offers something for everyone. Most people visit the Yorkshire Dales for hiking, but it is also an excellent location for foodies and history buffs.
Foodies can visit the Wensleydale Creamery, home of the famous cheese or tour one of the region’s breweries such as the Black Sheep Brewery at Masham.
History fans can visit Skipton Castle, the ruins of Bolton Abbey or Bolton Castle.
If you like waterfalls, you will be spoilt for choice between iconic Aysgarth Falls, Ingleton waterfalls and England’s highest single-drop waterfall, Hardraw Force. But the Yorkshire Dales is best known for its fantastic hiking trails to suit all ages and abilities. Don’t miss the spectacular circular trail from Malham that incorporates Janet’s Foss waterfall, Gordale Scar gorge and Malham Cove, a huge stone amphitheatre 230 feet high that featured in the Harry Potter movies.
You could easily spend at least a week exploring the Yorkshire Dales, and though the area can be visited at any time of year, long and warm days of Spring and Summer will help you to make the most of your time here. You could also take a quick trip to historic York, just a one-hour drive away, to explore its cobbled streets, world-class museums and the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe, York Minster.
Recommended Places to Stay
Luxury Stone House Hotel
Stone House Hotel is located in Hawes in the heart of Yorkshire Dales. Nearby attractions include Aysgarth Falls and Bolton Castle. Set in a classic Edwardian country house, Stone House Hotel is full of original features and old charm coupled with modern comforts. The hotel features a range of rooms, including suites; all rooms overlook a garden and come with a seating area and tea and coffee making facilities. Free parking is available to guests, as well as an excellent breakfast spread. Guest can also enjoy a library area and a restaurant with a bar.
Midrange Cocketts Hotel
Budget East House
East House is located in Leyburn with nearby attractions such as Bolton Castle, Aysgarth Falls and Richmond Castle. East House features antique furniture and quinte rooms with private bathrooms. Guests can enjoy a continental breakfast for an additional charge.
By Katja from Globetotting
If it’s good enough for the Queen, then Norfolk must be a good idea. This British county sits on the mid-Eastern coast of England and is where Her Majesty holidays over Christmas – the estate of Sandringham has been home to the Royals for four generations. But even if your holiday accommodation isn’t quite up to the same standard, there are still many reasons to make Norfolk your next staycation destination.
There are countless places to visit in Norfolk. If you want a bucket and spade holiday, then head to the coast. Places like Cromer, Blakeney and Great Yarmouth are popular choices; however, Wells-next-the-sea is where you’ll find the best beach, lined with candy-striped beach huts. Horsey is another good option, particularly for wildlife enthusiasts. The beach here is famous for the grey seal colony that come there to breed. Seals can be seen year-round; the pupping season lasts from November to January. During this time, you can see fluffy white pups on the beach.
Other places to visit in Norfolk include Norwich, once England’s second city. Famous for its cathedral, pretty riverside and historic streets lined with half-timbered buildings and medieval houses. Elm Street is one of the most famous spots, but don’t miss the Norwich Lanes for boutiques and cafes.
Make sure to include the Norfolk Broads while here. This area covers 125 miles of man-made waterways linking charming villages through beautiful countryside. What are now canals were originally dug out during medieval times to provide peat, but they flooded and created the waterways we see today.
Recommended Places to Stay
All Midrange Armeria (Wells-next-the-sea)
The Red Lion Hotel (Cromer)
This 4-star hotel is situated right on the beach and boasts views over the Cromer Pier from its lounge. En suite rooms come with tea and coffee making facilities, and most rooms have a sea view. Guests can enjoy complimentary breakfast and a bar serving craft ales.
The White Horse Blakeney (Blakeney)
The White House features elegantly decorated rooms, including family rooms, all come with private bathrooms, flat-screen TV, and some come with a seating area. Guests can enjoy complimentary breakfast and an onsite bar and restaurant with outdoor seating.
By Lavina from Continent Hop
Scarborough is a pretty coastal town in the North of England and is an excellent option if you’re considering a staycation at home.
It’s got beautiful beaches, a historic harbour and an old town full of attractions perfect for everybody in the family. It’s close to other notable cities in Yorkshire like Whitby, York, and the North York Moors National Park, thus providing numerous options if one is keen to explore this side of England.
You could easily spend a weekend or even a week here as it’s one of the best coastal getaways in the North and the best time to visit is between April to September when the weather is more pleasant and the winds not too cold so that you can spend time on the beach without freezing!
There are attractions like Peasholm Park, Scarborough Castle, the Rotunda Museum, and the Lighthouse that you can visit within the city. If you’re looking to get away and do more, you can take a ride on a vintage train via the Scarborough North Bay Railway.
There are numerous opportunities for walks and drives for those who love the outdoors; however, when the weather is right, you can also opt for activities like surfing and camping, thus providing many options no matter what you’re looking to do here!
Recommended Places to Stay
Luxury The Farrier
The Farrier Hotel is located 10 minutes drive from the town centre. All rooms are beautifully decorated and include a desk with tea and coffee making facilities, a DVD player, flat-screen TV and a private bathroom including complimentary toiletries. Other facilities include free parking, room services, a restaurant, a bar and an excellent complimentary breakfast.
Midrange The Plough, Scalby
The Plough Hotel is located just under 10 minutes drive to Scarborough town centre with all its attractions. All rooms are equipped with tea and coffee making facilities and a fridge as well as en suite bathrooms includes complimentary toiletries. Breakfast is included in the room rate, and guests can also enjoy an onsite bar.
Budget North Bay Guest House
This budget guesthouse has an excellent location, only 15 minutes walk to the town centre, 20 mvia Booking.cominutes walk to Scarborough Castle and minutes walk to the beach and Peaseholm Park. The property features a range of simple yet comfortable rooms equipped with private bathrooms, including complimentary toiletries and in-room tea and coffee making facilities. There is free parking and free wifi available to guests.
By Sarah from Northumberland’s Best
England’s most northerly county, Northumberland, is also home to a wild National Park, acres and acres of beautiful coastline and more than 70 castles. There are many reasons to visit Northumberland for a staycation, and you’ll want to make your stay not less than a week.
The county encompasses a vast National Park with miles of hiking, including the famous coast to coast walk that follows the trail of Hadrian’s Wall. There are pretty seaside towns and villages, such as Seahouses and Bamburgh, for a northern beach holiday.
History lovers will rejoice in the castles to visit here, from the famous Alnwick Castle (home of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter film series) to the wild ruins of Dunstanburgh and the majestic Bamburgh Castle looking out to the stunning Holy Island and Farne Islands.
While Northumberland can be visited year-round, it is best visited between May and October. The weather is a little kinder in the great outdoors then.
A staycation in Northumberland will be suit history, wildlife and outdoor lovers – it is a must to visit at least one Northumberland Castle, and here you’re spoilt for choice. If you have to pick just one, then Bamburgh Castle will enthral all ages for an entire day.
Taking a tour to see at least one of Northumberland’s members of the wildlife community is a unique thing to do – there are red squirrels in the National Park, and seabirds, seals and puffins at the National Trust managed Farne Islands. Northumberland is also one of England’s least populous places, so chances are you’ll have a lot of the great outdoors to yourself. What are you waiting for?
Recommended Places to Stay
Luxury Beadnell Towers Hotel
Situated in the coastal town of Beadnell, minutes walk from the beach, the Beadnell Towers Hotel features luxury accommodation. Other nearby attractions include the town of Seahouses, 5 minutes drive and Bamburgh Castle, 10 minutes drive. The hotel features stylish and spacious rooms; each comes with a seating area and desk, en suite bathrooms with complimentary toiletries and tea and coffee making facilities. Guests can enjoy free breakfast, a restaurant and a bar.
Midrange The Olde Ship Inn (Seahouses)
The Olde Ship Inn is located in Seahouses, within minutes walk to Seahouses North Beach. Guests can choose between single and double rooms with an en suite bathroom. Rooms also come equipped with desk and tea and coffee making facilities. Breakfast is included in the room rate, and there is also an onsite bar.
Midrange No 3 King Street Apartment and Snug (Seahouses)
By Joanna from The World in My Pocket
Whitstable is a perfect destination for s UK staycation. This beautiful fishing village on the Kent Riviera is a popular touristic destination because of its charm, pretty colours, and famous Whitstable oysters. Each year food lovers come to Whitstable to try the native oysters, some of the best in the country.
Despite Whitstable being a popular place for day trips, it is highly recommended to spend at least two days in the village to get to see its charm after the tourists leave. In fact, this is a sustainable way to travel to Whitstable. The best time to visit Whitstable is during the low season, in autumn and spring. This is also the oyster season – if you visit in summer, you won’t be able to taste the famous native oyster.
There are plenty of things to do in Whitstable, staring with the harbour. Here you can enjoy fresh oysters at the market or one of the seafront restaurants, buy handmade souvenirs and also get on a boat for a sailing trip. The historical ship Greta, which took part in the Dunkirk evacuation from 1940, offers day trips around the harbour and the Thames estuary.
Walking along the seafront, you will stumble upon Favourite, the last remaining oyster yawl in town. Two centuries ago, the bay of Whitstable had over 100 yawls harvesting oysters every day.
Recommended Places to Stay
All Midrange The Marine
The Marine Hotel boasts a seafront location in Tankerton overlooking the Thames Estuary and minutes drive from Whitstable town centre. The hotel features a range of rooms; some come with a fireplace and a balcony, all are equipped with tea and coffee making facilities, and they come with private bathrooms, including complimentary toiletries. Guests can also enjoy an in-house restaurant, a bar and free parking.
Hotel Continental has an excellent beachfront location only 10 minutes walk from Whitstable town centre and 3 minutes walk to the train station that has direct services to London. The historic landmark of Canterbury Cathedral is 8 miles away from the property. Rooms come with tea and coffee making facilities and en suite bathrooms; some have a sea view. The hotel also features a restaurant and a bar.
By Katie from You Me Under The Palm Tree
Devon is the perfect place for a UK staycation. With its UNESCO Jurassic Coastline, beautiful moors and quirky towns, there is so much to explore in this beautiful part of England. There are some excellent walks in this part of England.
Make sure to head to the stunning Lydford Gorge that takes you through the insane White Lady Waterfall and a deep gorge surrounded by ancient woodland and the river Lyd.
The coastal path in Illfracombe also offers breathtaking views of the cliffs and black beaches below. If you are looking to relax on the beach, try Barricane Beach for an incredible local beach. There is also a Sri Lanka beach hut here that serves terrific curry! Beer Beach is also really stunning and a great place to discover its fascinating Royal history. Beer is where lace was made for the Queen’s wedding dress, so this part of Devon is steeped with heritage.
Clovelly town is also a beautiful part of Devon, known as the Positano of England. This quaint town clings to the cliffside. Clovelly whisks you away to a time before now and is the perfect place to escape for a UK staycation with no motorised vehicles allowed in the town. It is really peaceful. Whilst you can explore Devon in a weekend, and it makes for a great weekend away, to explore Devon and all it has to offer, at least a week would be ideal.
Recommended Places to Stay
All Midrange Crowne Plaza Plymouth
Crowne Plaza is located 10 minutes walk from the city centre and attractions such as Plymouth Aquarium and boast views over Plymouth Hoe and the coastline. Plymouth’s harbour, with a range of restaurants and bars, is just 15 minutes walk from the hotel. The property features spacious, modern rooms with private bathrooms, including complimentary toiletries. Each room is also equipped with tea and coffee making facilities, and some rooms come with a sea view. Other hotel facilities include a gym, spa, restaurant located on the 11th floor and a bar.
The Imperial Hotel is perched on the clifftop and boasts some stunning views over Torbay. The town centre, as well as Torre Abbey and English Riviera Centre, are minutes walk from the hotel. Spacious rooms come with en suite bathrooms and a seating area including a coffee table. Guests can enjoy an extensive wellness centre, including a spa and gym, as well as dining in the AA Rosette in-house restaurant.
#21 The Isle of Skye
By Bradley from Dream Big, Travel Far
The Isle of Skye on the west coast of Scotland is the most popular island of the Inner Hebrides archipelago. If you love natural sceneries, history and majestic wildlife, then Skye is worth a visit.
It’s an excellent place for staycations as you can find a range of unique and inspiring places to stay in. While two days are the minimum, staying here for three days will allow you to explore most of the island in your own time and see some of its hidden gems. If you only have enough time for a day trip, plan in advance and choose only attractions that interest you the most.
So, what is there to do in the Isle of Skye? One of the highlights has to be birdwatching, as you might spot the white-tailed sea eagle. This island is also home to otters, seals, whales, and dolphins!
Those who enjoy hiking and climbing would have to visit the Cuillin Range, which features more than 12 Munros, and the Trotternish Ridge, a nature preserve with some of the most stunning landscapes in Scotland.
The best time to visit the Isle of Skye would be some time between May and September. This is when the weather is warmest, and you get to experience the best that the island has to offer. However, note that the summer months can get quite busy with tourists.
Recommended Places to Stay
Luxury Greshornish House Hotel
Located in Edinbane with sea views and surrounded by nothing but nature, this luxurious country house hotel is an excellent getaway from it all. Rooms come equipped with a desk, wardrobe, tea and coffee making facilities and seating area to relax. Some rooms overlook the well-kept garden. Excellent breakfast, including vegetarian options, is included in the room rate. Guests can also enjoy the use of a garden and an in-house restaurant that specialises in British cuisine.
Midrange Lampay Chalets
The property features two chalets overlooking Loch Dunvegan and MacLeods Tables. Other nearby attractions include Dunvegan Castle and Suardal Lake that can be reached within a short drive. The chalet is suitable for a family or four adults and comes with a bathroom and a fully equipped kitchen. Large French doors leading to the garden and picnic area provide lots of light and a magnificent view.
Budget Trotternish B&B
The property is situated on a working croft in the quiet town of Glenhinnisdal, 5 miles south of Uig and 11 miles north of Portree. The B&B offers a complimentary breakfast, wifi and free parking. Guest can also relax in the garden or take up some local activities such as hiking or cycling. Simple yet comfortable rooms come equipped with en suite bathroom, tea and coffee making facilities, a desk and a wardrobe.
#22 Scottish Borders
By Heather from Conversant Traveller
The Scottish Borders are a bit of a hidden gem when it comes to travelling around the UK. Most visitors head straight up to the Highlands and islands, missing out on some of the most beautiful parts of the country as they pass through. Once famed for its fearsome ‘Border Reivers’ known for their cattle rustling, today this region is home to historic towns, lush green rolling countryside, and plenty of tourist sights worth visiting.
The most famous places to visit in the Scottish Borders are the four abbeys, in Jedburgh, Dryburgh, Kelso, and Melrose – the final resting place of Robert the Bruce’s heart. There’s a long-distance hiking trail linking the abbeys that takes in some of the beautiful landscapes, but they can easily be visited individually too.
Literature fans should visit Abbotsford House, the former home of author Sir Walter Scott. You can explore several rooms in the house and stroll along trails on the estate to discover the scenery that inspired much of his work. For views out over the iconic Eildon hills and the River Tweed, head up to Scott’s View just outside Melrose.
As with anywhere in the UK, the best time to visit is between Spring and Autumn, and it never gets crowded even at the height of summer. You could spend a whole week here, but you’ll still see lots during a weekend visit. Nowhere is very far away, and by basing yourself somewhere like Melrose or Selkirk, you can easily enjoy day trips across the region and even to Edinburgh.
Recommended Places to Stay
All Midrange The Barn @ The Coach House (Melrose)
Situated in Melrose, 1 mile from Melrose Abbey and less than a mile from Tweedbank station that runs a direct train to Edinburg, The Barn offers unique accommodation in Victorian Coach House and is surrounded by a large secluded garden. The rooms are furnished to the highest standard and come with a seating area, coffee machine, fridge, desk and an en suite bathroom with complimentary toiletries. Guests can also enjoy a complimentary breakfast that caters to all dietary needs.
Station Hotel is situated right in the town centre of Melrose within walking distance to its best attractions. Rooms are equipped with an en suite bathroom, tea and coffee making facilities and a desk. Breakfast is included in the room rate, and the onsite restaurant is happy to cater to all dietary needs.
The Glen Hotel is situated in Selkirk, a 1-hour drive from Edinburg, a few minutes drive to Melrose and boasts views over River Ettrick. The hotel is set in a Victorian building with many original features such as a balustraded staircase and a gallery landing. Each room comes with an en suite bathroom with complimentary toiletries, while some rooms boast four-poster bed and garden views. Guests can also enjoy a complimentary breakfast and other meals in an onsite restaurant.
#23 North Coast 500
By Maja Proescholdt from Away With Maja
One of the most epic road trips you can take in the UK is the North Coast 500 around the northern tip of Scotland. The traditional starting point is Inverness, and from there, you can drive either clockwise or anti-clockwise around the route.
Ideally, you should spend at least one week on the North Coast 500—but you could easily spend 10-14 days, particularly if you enjoy hiking and being outdoors.
May-September is the most popular time to do the North Coast 500, but for a good reason. You’ll have the longest daylight hours and the best chance for good weather, plus some roads may be unpassable in winter due to snow and ice.
You’ll be spoiled for choice with incredible places to visit on the North Coast 500. Attractions like Dunrobin Castle and Smoo Cave are certainly worth a stop, plus stunning, white-sand beaches such as Sango Sands, Balnakeil Beach, Sandwood Bay, and Achmelvich Bay. Villages such as Durness, Lochinver, and Torridon shouldn’t be missed either.
There are extraordinary opportunities for hiking as you travel on the North Coast 500: Ben Hope, Stac Pollaidh, the Old Man of Stoer, and the walkout to Sandwood Bay are some of the best. Visit Cape Wrath (the most northwestern point on mainland Britain) on a day excursion, or extend the trip to include a visit to Orkney, Lewis and Harris (from Ullapool), or the Isle of Skye.
Due to the remote areas on the North Coast 500, you will need your own car to get around. Be aware that many of the roads are single-track roads only wide enough for one car, and you will often need to use designated passing places. For unbelievable scenery and amazing sights along the way, Scotland’s North Coast 500 is a must.
Recommended Places to Stay
Luxury Shieldaig Lodge Hotel
Situated right on the shore of Loch Gairloch, a few minutes drive from Gairloch, the 19th century Shieldaig Lodge boasts exceptional views, and it’s one of the few traditional Highland shooting Lodges open to the public. This area is also an excellent base for hiking and mountain biking in Wester Ross or around Glen Torridon, as well as whale-watching trips and trips to the Shiant Islands.
Midrange Mansion House Hotel
Mansion House Hotel is situated just a few minutes walk to the historic town centre of Elgin on the banks of River Lossie, Glen Grant Distillery. Rooms have an elegant, country house style but also are equipped with all the modern comforts like en suite bathroom with complimentary toiletries, hot tub, ironing and tea and coffee making facilities. Guests can also enjoy a free cooked breakfast.
This apartment is located in Strathcarron and within a short drive from Eilean Donan Castle, Torridon and Kyle of Lochalsh. The apartment consists of one double bedroom, a bathroom and a kitchen equipped with a microwave, toaster, fridge and washing machine.
By Nichola West from Globalmouse Travels
There’s nowhere that feels more like you’ve gone abroad when you’re still in the UK than Shetland. This series of 15 inhabited islands and countless uninhabited islands sit at the very top of the UK, and until the 14th century, they belonged to Norway.
Even today, there is a Scandi look to many of the buildings here and an unmistakable Norwegian lilt to the Scottish accent that gives it a very different feel to other areas of Scotland. Just 190 miles off the coast of Norway, much of the landscape looks like this Scandinavian country too.
You need at least four days to really see Shetland, but a week would be ideal as it would allow you to get out into the corners of this lovely set of islands.
Visit May – September to truly enjoy it, as the winters can be particularly harsh here. The wildlife is the main draw of Shetland – seals, otters, whales, puffins and more can be spotted from its shores and enjoyed on boat trips.
If you’re visiting Shetland with kids, then it’s the perfect place to introduce them to wildlife. There’s plenty of Viking history here too. Shetland is a fantastic place for the best staycation and somewhere to feel you’ve gone away whilst still in the UK.
Recommended Places to Stay
The Grand Hotel situated in the heart of Lerwick is a great base for exploring the islands. Sumburgh Airport is 23 miles away. The hotel features a range of rooms from single to family rooms; all come en suite and feature complimentary toiletries and an electric kettle. The hotel has an onsite restaurant and a snack bar.
Eddlewood Guest House is conveniently located in the centre of Lerwick within walking distance to all its attractions. Sumburgh Airport is 23 miles away. Rooms are fitted with a private bathroom, complimentary toiletries, a hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities and a flat-screen TV. Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast and wifi through the property.
#25 The Outer Hebrides
By Kristin from Adventures with Ensuite
The Outer Hebrides is a group of islands north of mainland Scotland, and it is a paradise for lovers of the outdoors. With white sandy beaches, pretty mountain scenery and plentiful wildlife such as seals and puffins, the area is a strong contender for the best staycation UK.
One of the main reasons to visit is the pretty Outer Hebrides beaches. Luskentyre and Berneray beaches regularly feature amongst the top European or worldwide beaches in Lonely Planet and Tripadvisor awards. When looking out at the pure white sand and turquoise waters, it is easy to see why.
Harris and Lewis are the northernmost islands and have the most to do for visitors. Some attractions that visitors should not be miss are the Callaigh standing stones and a trip to the Shiants islands to see the wildlife.
Further south are the islands of North and South Uist and Barra. These islands are less visited but still worth seeing.
Self-catering cottages are the most popular type of accommodation, partly because there are not that many restaurants in the smaller villages.
April to September is high season, and during this time, most cottages need to be rented for a minimum of a week – but there is plenty to see and do to fill your time. The high season months are the best time to visit since many local attractions and cafes are closed during the winter. There are also frequent winter storms which can result in ferries getting cancelled.
Getting to the Outer Hebrides takes time and requires either a domestic flight from Glasgow or Inverness or a ferry. Ferries depart from Uig on the Isle of Skye, Ullapool, Oban and Mallaig.
Recommended Places to Stay
Luxury Lews Castle
Lews Castle Hotel is situated in Stornoway, in the Isle of Lewis. Nearby attractions include Lews Castle and Museum Nan Eilean. The hotel boasts stunning views over the waters of Stornoway and offers a unique range of accommodation within the gothic-revival style castle dating back to the 1800s. Each room has a unique décor boasting original features blended with modern luxury for an unforgettable experience. Certain rooms are fitted with a kitchen.
Midrange Borve House Hotel
Borve Hotel is situated on the West coast of the Isle of Lewis, 30 minutes drive from Stornoway. Modern, spacious rooms are fitted with flat screen tv and en suites bathrooms with complimentary natural toiletries. Rooms also have tea and coffee making facilities. The room rate includes an excellent breakfast spread and free parking. The hotel also boasts an in-house restaurant and a bar serving Scottish whiskies, and an extensive list of wines.
Riverside is a full apartment located 3 miles from Tarbert and boasts some spectacular sea views. It features two bedrooms, lounge, bathroom and fully equipped kitchen.
#26 Orkney Islands, Scotland
By Ela & Beata from Stunning Outdoors
Orkney archipelago is located 8 miles north of the Scottish mainland. The easiest way to get there is by taking a ferry either from Gills Bay or Scrabster if you travel by car or by plane to Kirkwall.
The Orkney Islands are mostly famous for their rich Viking heritage, Neolithic sites and WWII monuments. That, however, is not the only reason why tourists are drawn to Orkney. The community of amazing people, with characters outgrowing those in mainland Scotland undoubtedly, is the high factor why some keep coming back to Orkney!
The Orkney Islands are best appreciated at a slow pace, so book at least a week holiday to enjoy what these amazing islands have to offer fully. Apart from visiting the main sites such as Skara Brae, Italian Chapel, St.Magnus Cathedral, go for a distillery tour and visit The Orkney Brewery.
Take your time exploring Kirkwall (Orkney’s capital) and Stromness, two of the main towns on Orkney.
If you love hiking, do not miss a hike on Hoy Island to appreciate one of the highest sea stacks in the UK – Old Man of Hoy. Go diving in Scapa Flow diving centre or enjoy sea kayaking with Sea Kayak 59° North.
The islands are beautiful any time of the year, decide on your activities to choose the best month for your visit.
Recommended Places to Stay
Luxury Ayre Hotel & Ayre Apartments
This hotel is located in Kirkwall and boasts views over its harbour. Nearby attractions include Peedie Sea Lake, Highland Park Distillery and Orkney Fossil and Heritage Centre. Rooms come with a private bathroom, flat-screen TV and tea and coffee making facilities while guests can enjoy a cooked breakfast and other meals at extra charge.
Midrange Lilly’s Lodges
Lilly’s Lodges are situated in Finstown, with the nearest airport in Kirkwall 9 miles away. Other nearby attractions include Highland Park Distillery and Standing Stones of Stenness. The capsule, wooden lodges have a modern décor and feature one bedroom, lounge, bathroom and kitchen. They can sleep up to 4 adults. There is a patio for guests to enjoy and beautiful views over the sea.
Budget Braeswick B&B
This B&B is located on Sanday Island, a short ferry ride from Kirkwall and Stromness. The ferry terminal is 2 miles away from the property. Sanday Island is known for its beautiful beaches, imposing cliffs and rich wildlife, including seals. The rooms are equipped with tea and coffee making facilities and en suite bathrooms. Some come with a sea view. Guests can also enjoy a complimentary breakfast.
#27 Fort William
Jumana from Planet Hopper Girl
Fort Williams in the north of Glasgow and south of Inverness is one of the best staycation destinations UK, to explore the Scottish highlands.
Nestled around the Scottish highland mountains, castles and lochs, Fort William is perfect for a weekend or week-long staycation and even for an epic Scottish highland road trip to visit some of the major attractions Scotland has to offer. Ben Navis, the highest mountain peak of England, is close by and offers many options for hikes. The mountain peak also has cable car facilities to enjoy the view from the top. Taking the cable car is one of the most fun things to do in the UK.
Another mountainous route and region to explore here in Glencoe, which is one of the epic scenic routes to take. If you cannot go all the way up to NC500, Glencoe is the closest you can get. There are many walking paths here you must explore. If you are a Harry Potter fan, you already know about the Glenfinnan viaduct where the Hogwart Express was seen on its way. Glenfinnan is a picturesque little village to visit where you can not only see the Jacobite train pass by the viaduct but also has some cute churches and wildlife to explore. Just near the viaduct is a stag farm where you can see a lot of stags. Needless to say, timing your visit to see the Jacobite train pass by is well worth it.
Another attraction here is Neptune’s staircase, where you can see the boats pass this Caledonian canal, a true Scottish experience. Inverlochy Castle is nearby for a visit, which even has stay options, including hotels and B&Bs. Fort William not only has very charming attractions nearby, but you could also take day trips from here to Loch Ness, Inverness and even remote islands taking a ferry from Oban, making it perfect for a staycation.
Recommended Places to Stay
Luxury Ardrhu House Fort William
This 5-star guest house is located in Fort William, 17 miles away from Ben Nevis and 11 miles from Glen Nevis, which makes it a great base for hiking. The nearest airport is Oban Airport, uvia Booking.comnder 30 miles from the property. The hotel features rooms with old school furniture, four-poster beds and bathtubs. Guests can enjoy the use of a large garden, private beach and concierge service. Other facilities include a wellness centre with a hot tub and sauna as well as a games room and an excellent restaurant.
Midrange Victoria House Bed and Breakfast
This mid-range hotel is under 2 miles from Glen Nevis, 8 miles from Ben Nevis and a short drive from Ben Nevis Distillery. Rooms are equipped with a private bathroom and free toiletries and well as tea and coffee making facilities. Guest also have access to a microwave, toaster, fridge and a garden. Breakfast is included in the room rate.
Budget Alltonside Guest House
Alltonside Guest House is situated on the main A82 road with Fort William Railway Station. Just a 5 minutes drive. The property boast views over Loch Linnhe and the Ardgour Hills. Rooms come with a private bathroom and tea and coffee making facilities.
Staycation in Wales
#28 North Wales
By Bec From Wyld Family Travel
If you’re looking for holiday destinations in the UK, North Wales is one of the perfect places for a Wales staycation. It has so much to offer families, singles and couples when they travel in the area that will have you wanting to return again and again. From unique glamping experiences in an old slate mine to epic hikes, grand castles still guarding the country, all the way to picturesque seaside towns, everyone will find something they love when they visit North Wales.
The green countryside has many hikes for all abilities. You can go from mountains of old unused slate to green valley’s that go for miles. Maybe as you are wandering, you will find one of the grand castles dotted around or even one of the ruined castles that still have stories to tell.
If hiking is not for you, the country is gorgeous to drive through with signs everywhere begging you to follow them and discover something extraordinary.
If you are travelling in North Wales with kids, you will find plenty of places for them to have a great time. 2p machines are always good fun if the weather is turning bad. North Wales is one of the best holiday destinations in the UK for families.
If adventure and adrenaline is your thing, then a few nights are the Llechwedd Slate mines should be the top of your list. Here you can stay in a fantastic glamping tent overlooking the old mine. You can tour the underground mine, or you can ride a truck high into the mountains to see the above-ground mines. Ziplining, mountain bike riding and hiking are also brilliant activities, or you can grab some local produce, sit on the deck of the glamping pod and what the ever-changing Welsh weather.
Recommended Places to Stay
Unique S Pod VIP with Hot Tube
This is a whole apartment locates in Bangor with local attractions such as Zip World, Snowdon Mountain Railway and Penrhyn Castle. It features an outdoor hot tube and is an excellent destination for a romantic staycation UK or can also be enjoyed as a family staycation UK. The unit is equipped with a bathroom and kitchen.
Midrange The Management Centre
Located in Bangor, the hotel is an excellent base for hiking Snowdon – the park is 15 minutes drive from the property, and Llandudno is 30 minutes drive. The hotel offers a range of rooms, including family rooms, all come with en suite bathrooms and tea and coffee making facilities. The hotel also boasts a brasserie and a coffee shop. Guests can enjoy a free breakfast.
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Budget Garden Hotel
Garden Hotel is located 2 minutes from the train station, which makes it a great option if you decide to travel by train and. A great based to explore places like the Snowdonia region and the Isle of Anglesey. The hotel features en suite rooms and breakfast, as well as packed lunches, which can be provided at extra charge.
Northern Ireland Staycation
#29 Bangor, Northern Ireland
By Allan Wilson from It’s Sometimes Sunny in Bangor
Before cheap flights and package holidays, Bangor, Northern Ireland was a hugely popular seaside town with both local folks and visitors travelling over from Scotland. Nowadays, it remains with seaside charm, a large marina, many coastal walks and attractions, as well as Pickie Funpark for family entertainment. It is also an ideal town to base a stay in Northern Ireland for a weekend or even a week for wider travel in Northern Ireland.
A good start to explore would be at Bangor Castle, with a museum sharing the significant Christian heritage of the town, and there’s the nearby Victorian walled garden. Although most visitors to the town come for walks on the North Down Coastal Path, as Bangor seafront marks the start of coastal walks past some rather scenic seascapes and beaches and wooded area, including Crawfordsburn Country Park.
Bangor is also located just 20-minutes down the train line from Belfast, so the town makes an excellent base for exploring the city capital, and with Belfast City Airport located between the two, Bangor is used as a more relaxed seaside alternative when visiting Northern Ireland.
Many visitors will also rent a car on arrival at the airport for wider travel, and Bangor again makes the ideal base for exploring the wider region of County Down, including some stunning landscapes around Strangford Lough and the Mourne Mountains.
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