With uncertainty over flights to other countries this year, many of us will be looking to the UK for our holidays this year. Whether you plan to splurge or keep a tight control of the budget, we’ve come up with a few staycation ideas.
1. North Wales
Discover one of Britain’s best loved national parks in Snowdonia, explore the stunning island of Anglesey by bicycle, visit typically Welsh coastal towns like Conwy, and family holiday classics like Llandudno and Colwyn Bay. After you have conquered Snowdon’s summit you can attempt the largest zipline challenge in Europe, or try wakeboarding in Conwy.
Where should I stay in North Wales?
Dolgellau is a good base for climbing Snowdon, while Beaumaris is convenient for exploring Anglesey. Llandudno has all the charms of a classic family staycation, while nearby Conwy is smaller but more picturesque.
If you like options for going out in the evening, Bangor offers a reasonable amount of nightlife, while the royal town of Caernarfon offers history and charm.
2. The Lake District
There’s something for everyone in the Lake District. Walkers can spend all day on the high fells, while water sport enthusiasts will find plenty of action on the lakes. From water skiing, canoeing, and kayaking, to yacht charter.
Sixteen main bodies of water make up the park’s lakes, while England's tallest mountain, Scafell Pike, the second peak in the Three Peaks Challenge endurance event, is also located here. Hire bicycles, indulge in afternoon tea, and visit one of the many horse-riding centres.
Where should I stay in the Lake District?
Windermere and Bowness-on-Windermere are good options for a fuss-free staycation, while Buttermere is situated in-between the lake of the same name and Crummock Water. The town of Keswick is closest to Derwent Water.
Glenridding and Watermillock are within easy reach of Ullswater, while there are plenty of smaller villages in and around the Lakes, as well as campsites and caravan sites.
3. The Scottish Highlands
The Scottish Highlands should be high on your list of places to visit. It contains the Cairngorms, Britain’s largest national park; Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain; and Loch Ness, one of Britain’s most famous and scenic lakes.
It’s a vast, sparsely populated region and one of the best staycation destinations in the UK. Renowned for its castles, traditional Scottish clan history, distilleries, and friendly local bars and restaurants.
The Scottish Highlands offers some of the most breathtakingly beautiful scenery in all the UK — a must-visit place for walkers and drivers who appreciate wide open roads and spectacular scenery.
Where should I stay in the Scottish Highlands?
You have a huge choice of places to stay, as the Scottish Highlands are roughly the same size as Belgium! Why limit yourself? Load up the car and stay 2 nights in each place as you tour.
Set your satnav for Fort William to be near Ben Nevis, or Aviemore in the Cairngorms; for lakes, there’s Drumnadrochit on Loch Ness; for cities, try Inverness; and don’t miss the island of Skye.
4. The Norfolk Broads
Norfolk’s famous Broads span more than 125 miles. Every mile is open, meaning there are no locks and the whole thing is navigable by boat.
You can reach Norwich and Great Yarmouth by boat, if you fancy combining life on the water with a short city break or a trip to the beach.
Where should I stay in the Norfolk Broads?
This is easy. Hire a boat. In between boat days, you could stay in B&Bs, or quaint holiday cottages which line the waterways.
There’s a choice of market towns for an opportunity to shop in independent stores and sample Norfolk pub lunches. You can head to Aylsham, Reepham, Acle or Wroxham, the capital of the Broads.
5. Isle of Wight
A magical place for children and enjoyed by all ages, the Isle of Wight should be on your list for family and sailing holidays. It boasts a huge music festival, a walking festival for singles looking for love, and yacht races. Picturesque harbour towns, wide beaches and dramatic coastal cliffs are the norm. What’s more, it only takes 25 minutes to get there from the mainland.
Don’t miss Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s favourite home, or Carisbrook Castle. If you are fortunate with the weather, it’s an ideal place for a beachy staycation – with 67 miles of coast to choose from. Shanklin, Sandown and Ventnor boast some of UK’s finest beaches.
Where should I stay in the Isle of Wight?
The towns of Cowes, Ryde and Yarmouth are popular options for sailing enthusiasts, while Ventnor and Sandown are popular for beach lovers and families.
Having experienced recurring lockdowns for almost a year, many of us will be craving the excitement of a big city. Nowhere does big city and bright lights in the UK quite as well as London. It’s an expensive destination for accommodation, but once there, there’s a huge choice of free activities, from museums and art-galleries, to walking along South Bank and watching street performers in Covent Garden.
Where should I stay in London?
Check out deals on Hotels.com and Booking.com for hotels and hostels offering reservations with full refund policies. Premier Inn rooms aren’t available on comparison sites, so go straight to their website for reliable budget and medium-level accommodation.
Finally, for the splurge. Although temporarily closed due to lockdown, Belmond have just put the finishing touches to their new London hotel, The Cadogan, located in the heart of Chelsea. The hotel boasts a restaurant, bar and lounge, under the control of celebrated chef Adam Handling.
Accommodation is “a blend classic British charm with modern style and elegance, every detail honouring the hotel’s rich heritage. Flashes of bold colour, vibrant flowers and captivating works of art offset luxurious neutral fabrics.” When you are not out shopping in Sloane Square, or taking in London’s art galleries, there’s a fitness suite, spa and garden.
The upside of a staycation
While we might be disappointed that overseas travel isn’t an easy option this year, the situation presents us with an opportunity to discover and appreciate places in the UK that we may never have visited. ‘Staycationers’ will bring much-needed income to local economies and these holidays are at less risk of cancellation due to last-minute changes in national or international pandemic regulations. It’s a win-win for the UK.