Each year, more and more Brits plan breaks within the UK. In 2017 alone, over seven million holidaymakers decided to say goodbye to airport ques, luggage fees and schedule a break close to home. And we can certainly see why. The UK is bursting with gems, all without the costly price tag. So if you’re ready to save money while still having the trip of a lifetime, check out these great staycation ideas that won’t break the bank.
1. St Ives
The perfect place for: Anyone craving a tropical getaway
Average cost of a three night stay: £596
As well as boasting trendy shopping spots and one of the best art scenes in the UK, St Ives is famous for being home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Known as Britain’s tropical paradise, St Ives pairs its stunning stretches of sand with above-average sunshine and below-average rainfall.
What to do: Excluding London, St Ives is the artistic capital of England, and Tate St Ives is the town’s cultural heart. Located on the coast and captivating enough to rival the art inside, the world-famous gallery has a rotating display of the best modern art the UK has to offer.
Where to stay: For a seaside getaway, 1 Sandy Lane is the perfect place. Folding doors open this gorgeous cottage up almost directly onto the beach. With a 5-star gold award from Visit England, and the sand just 600 yards away, what more could you ask for?
Where to eat: Every community has a heart, and for St Ives’ village of Zenor, it’s The Tinners Arms. Built in 1271, it’s been the centre of village life for over 700 years. Enjoy fresh seafood from the nearby port, alongside a wide selection of ales.
The perfect place for: Water-sports enthusiasts
Average cost of a three night stay: £494
Newquay is the undisputed surf capital of the UK. In fact, year-round, its sandy beaches receive watersports enthusiasts from around the world. It’s comparatively clear skies and warm waters pair perfectly with its adrenaline-pumping waves. If you’re after a quiet getaway, Newquay’s sandy beaches and traditional harbours also make for the most romantic walks.
What to do: Crantock Beach is known worldwide as one of the best surfing spots. Best of all, however, despite being voted one of the country’s best beaches in 2013, this sandy spot is still a bit of a hidden gem. Even in high season, you’re likely to have the beautiful South West coast to yourself.
Where to eat: No trip to the beach is complete without a helping of fish and chips. Lying just off the sand, Flounders is the perfect spot to pick up a serving before plunging back into the Newquay surf.
The perfect place for: A nostalgically English seaside holiday
Average cost of a three night stay: £341
Skegness is the definition of a picturesque seaside town and is home to hundreds of local attractions. From donkey rides to crazy golf and award-winning fish and chips, whatever memories you have of childhood trips to English shores, Skegness is the place to relive them.
What to do: Natureland Seal Sanctuary has to be one of the most wholesome and heart-warming attractions in the UK. Known for rescuing orphaned and injured seals, you can marvel these sea creatures at every stage of their rehabilitation.
Where to stay: Perfect for families or large groups of friends, Sunrise Barn serves up the two best things about Skegness: it’s rural countryside and utterly English beaches. Set away from the city, this peaceful cottage is less than a mile from the coast. What’s more, there’s a hot tub to make your relaxing getaway complete.
Where to eat: Perfect for families, Mario’s is a traditional Italian restaurant serving food to please even the fussiest palettes. But don’t let its simplicity fool you, this food is made to the highest standard, using traditional ingredients from across Italy.
4. Isle of Wight
The perfect place for: Children of all ages
Average cost of a three night stay: £470
Sat just south of the English mainland, the Isle of Wight is more than a collection of golden beaches and lush countryside – it’s the UK’s largest holiday park. From the coloured sands of Alum Bay to the self-proclaimed ‘land of imagination’, Blackgang Chine, the Isle of Wight is one of our favourite family-friendly holiday destinations.
What to do: Officially the oldest amusement park in the UK, Blackgang Chine is home to state-of-the-art attractions, rides and slides, and its own array of characters, from the bumbling law-man Sheriff T.W.I.T. to the mystical Blackgang Fairies.
Where to stay: A family-friendly apartment a short way from the beach, Copperfield Lodge puts almost all of the Isle of Wight’s wholesome attractions right at your fingertips. You’ll be within walking distance of Dinosaur Isle, Sandham Gardens, Isle of Wight Zoo and more.
Where to eat: Located in the beautiful town of Shanklin, The Cottage is a chance to taste ingredients plucked from across the Isle of Wight, prepared to the highest possible standard. If you’re dining at dinner time, we recommend the Forest Mushroom and black truffle risotto.
The perfect place for: Explorers of the great outdoor
Average cost of a three night stay: £480
Known as the ‘Original City of Adventure’, York boasts more festivals than probably anywhere else in the UK, having at least one city-wide celebration a month. As well as finding any excuse for a party, York is ideal for exploring the great outdoors, with the award-winning North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales right on its doorstep.
What to do: Surrounded by two award-winning Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, York is the perfect place to go walking, and Yorkshire Three Peaks is the best route to try. While one for seasoned hikers, this path is exceptionally rewarding, serving up not only picturesque views but the bragging rights that come with conquering three mountains in one.
Where to stay: Sat directly across from one of York’s country pubs, Thomsons Arms is a traditional holiday cottage from top to bottom. Home to wooden furnishings and exposed brick walls, this holiday home is incredibly cosy and perfect for a family movie night in.
Where to eat: The Star Inn The City is an award-winning eatery on the banks of the River Ouse. A bustling and family-friendly dining space, it’s also a great place to go for breakfast, if you’re looking to start the day in style.
The perfect place for: Couples looking for a scenic setting
Average cost of a three night stay: £592
Keswick sees itself as the unofficial capital of the Lake District. Whether you agree or not, it’s undoubtedly true that the town offers everything that the national park does so well. Home to possibly the most beautiful views in Britain, Keswick is part of the stretch of stunning landscape listed alongside the Great Barrier Reef as a UNESCO World Heritage Site of ‘outstanding international importance’.
What to do: The rich and fertile landscape of the Lake District does three things incredibly well – stunning views, romantic vibes and delicious local produce. The best way to enjoy all three of these together is with a moonlit picnic. We recommend grabbing some local ingredients from Keswick Farmers Market and enjoying a bite to eat on top of CatBells Mountain.
Where to stay: Located in the heart of Keswick, this 19 Packhorse Court is perfect for couples. Right on the doorstep, you’ll find everything from award-winning restaurants, to romantic fell walks, to picturesque picnic spots to make your escape complete.
Where to eat: Sometimes, it can be hard to choose between the decadence of fine-dining or the cosy feel of comfort food. Well at Fellpack, you don’t have to, as you’re treated to gourmet twists on wholesome classics.
The perfect place for: A seaside holiday with a gothic twist
Average cost of a three night stay: £490
Whitby is famed for three things: its rich maritime history, gorgeous gothic abbey and some of the best staycations in the UK. A town built around its coast, a staycation in Whitby will always include a trip to the seaside. Expect brightly coloured beach huts, rows of wooden sailboats and an English magic that’s found on the East Coast.
What to do: Whitby’s gothic connection was cemented in 1897 when Bram Stoker claimed that the town’s creepy architecture was what inspired his world-famous book ‘Dracula’. When in Whitby, it seems only right to pay tribute with The Dracula Experience.
Where to stay: This beautiful two-bedroom apartment captures Whitby’s gothic vibe. Built during the 1700s, Duck’s Cottage is sat in the heart of the town, amongst ancient tearooms and superb shopping spots.
Where to eat: With only 18 tables, Ditto Restaurant is a family-run eatery that offers an intimate dining experience. Plucking ingredients from both the surrounding moors and Whitby’s wild sea, this is eating in the North East of England at its very best.
The perfect place for: Seeing the best bits of Wales
Average cost of a three night stay: £495
Anglesey is a gorgeous island off the North West Welsh coast. As well as boasting some of the country’s best beaches, and Beaumaris, arguably its greatest castle, it’s also home to one of the most highly rated pubs. The Bull mixes modern luxury with old-world charm and has played host to iconic Brits including Charles Dickens and Samuel Johnson.
What to do: Beaumaris Castle was built by Edward I and is considered to be ‘perfect’ in castle terms, with its classic proportions and concentric design. In fact, in architectural terms, it is reputed to be the most technically perfect castle in the whole of the UK and has few rivals in Europe.
Where to stay: An elegant old Georgian house with lounge windows looking out toward the Menai Straits, not only does Tan Y Bryn offer exceptional views of the Anglesey countryside, you’ll also be a short way from the beach and Beaumaris Castle.
Where to eat: Although we’ve already mentioned it, we can’t not again. Dating all the way back to the Early Renaissance, this 16th-century inn combines fascinating history with contemporary comfort.
The perfect place for: Exploring celtic landscape
Average cost of a three night stay: £455
Spread across South West Wales, Dyfed is the country’s largest preserved county. Almost all of Wales’ most famous, most important and most exciting attractions are nestled in Dyfed. For starters, there’s the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, an expanse of rolling green hills and celtic magic. There’s dozens of gorgeous castles and, best of all, some of the finest restaurants in Britain.
What to do: Pembrokeshire Coast is Wales’ safari park. Take the Cemars Head walking route through the national park, and you’ll spot as much wonderful wildlife as you would wandering the Savannah. Keep an eye out for seals, dolphins and whales.
Where to stay: Complete with a log fire, and a balcony looking down from above the North Pembrokeshire cliffs, Tower Hill Cottage is the perfect property for immersing yourself in rural Wales.
Where to eat: Nestled in the picture-perfect village of Abergorlech, The Black Lion is a family-run eatery. Home to low-beamed wooden ceilings and the light crackle of an open fire, eating here feels like having world-class cuisine, in the comfort of your own home.
The perfect place for: Anyone in need of a smile
Average cost of a three night stay: £576
A gorgeous harbour town on Wales’ South West coast, it’s difficult to imagine a more picturesque place than Tenby. Many of its houses are brightly coloured, giving the town a cheerful, welcoming vibe, almost as if it was smiling out across the sea.
What to do: While small, Tenby is home to a huge attraction. Castle Beach, one of the seaside town’s three sandy spots, was named the best beach in Britain in 2019. Secluded, and utterly stunning, Castle Beach is what would happen if a tropical island got a celtic makeover.
Where to stay: Located in the heart of the town, just a few yards from the beach, The Norton is a ground floor apartment in one of the cheerful, coloured buildings that gaze out from the Tenby coast.
Where to eat: If you’re looking for food to soothe your soul, look no further than The Billycan. A wide and varied menu that plucks ingredients from both the nearby coast and the Wales countryside, the restaurant is renowned for its impressive portion sizes. Perfect for after a long day exploring the Welsh coast.