The Alternative To Going Abroad: The Top 10 Best UK Staycation Ideas

  • 06 Dec, 2022
  • Franki Napolitano

Explore our collection of the best Staycation Ideas for the UK

Staycation has become more and more popular in the past few years and became even more during the pandemic as many people didn’t want to or weren’t allowed to travel abroad. However, even with travel restrictions eased, staycations are still a great idea as they’re cheap, environmentally friendly and much less stressful! So, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best staycation locations in the UK that you’ll very much enjoy exploring! 

What is a staycation?

Simply put, we holiday in the country we live in rather than venture overseas. Over the years we have seen a steady rise in the staycation and if Summer / Autumn 2020 were anything to go by, we’d say this this is still pretty true…until the local lockdowns happened, that is…

That being said, once things return to ‘normal’, some may still feel too nervous to fly overseas and for some, they may have come to discover the beauty that lies on their doorstep. It wouldn’t be a bad choice – The UK is home to hundreds of hidden beauty spots, glittering coastlines and romantic hideouts, suitable for all types of trip.

Let’s take a look at our 10 most favourite UK staycation locations that rival our overseas counterparts…

#10 Staycation Swap: Normandy for Northumberland

The north eastern county is home to more churches and historical sites than the rest of the UK so is the perfect getaway for the history buffs. You can rent one of the 350 properties and cottages available. There are plenty of fun things to do on a staycation in Northumberland including Lindisfarne Castle, Hadrian’s Wall and of course Alnwick Castle. Film and TV fans will recognise the latter as the setting for many Blackadder episodes, as well as featuring in the Harry Potter films!

Staycation ideas for the Historians and Harry Potter fans

#9: Swap Australia for The Isle of Wight

Next on our list of the best staycation ideas, Shipwreck Coast of Victoria boasts the limestone formations known as The Twelve Apostles, but for an equally awesome view, why not visit The Needles off of the most southwesterly point of the UK? Take a boat ride out to view the lighthouse at the peak of the formations and learn all about the intriguing history of how they came to be. Back on dry land, marvel at the coloured sand cliffs of Alum Bay – you can even buy the sand to take home! If you want even more fun things to do on a staycation in the Isle of Wight, trek over the stunning Tennyson downs or if you’re travelling with family, visit Blackgang Chine for a day full of activities!

Who needs the Shipwreck Coast when we have The Needles on our doorstep? The Isle of Wight is the perfect staycation alternative to the Coast of Victoria, Australia.

#8: Swap The Algarve for Yorkshire

The Yorkshire coast is home to some of the most breathtaking views of the North Sea, most notably from the Flamborough and Bempton Cliff tops. Both cliff faces are homes to hundreds of migrating birds each summer, and is quite the sight for any bird enthusiast! Why not check out Robin Hood’s Bay for a raw, unspoilt view of the shoreline? No seaside arcades to drown out the sound of the waves, just you and the elements.
Coastal walks and birdwatching; the perfect staycation activities for all to enjoy

#7: Swap Turkey for Norfolk

Sailing and Boating holidays offer the opportunity to sea your surroundings from another perspective, be it on the open waves of the ocean or the calm waters of canals and lakes. Sailing down the Norfolk Broads is fast becoming a firm favourite, whether it be just for the day or embarking on a week long stint as a Captain. If the open water is a bit daunting, take a smaller boat out to explore the canals, creeks and rivers throughout the north of Norfolk – and always have your favourite first mate to hand!

Navigating the waters of Norfolk is a great staycation activity

#6: Swap Hawaii for Cornwall

Ooh the calling of a picturesque, golden sand beach caressed by turquoise waves…nope, not in Hawaii, but in little old Cornwall. Carbis Bay in St. Ives will give you just that – I have never seen such a beautiful beach! A venture to Land’s End is a must, especially if you’re an avid bird watcher or like a sense of adventure – the trails along the cliff can certainly get your adrenaline going! Round off your trip with a jaunt to Newquay for surfing, seafood and a great night out; talk about the perfect staycation idea for couples!

Cornwall is the ideal location for a couples staycation

#5: Swap Gibraltar for The Highlands or Pembrokeshire

If you fancy a spot of whale or dolphin watching, there’s no need to venture outside of the UK! Bottlenose Dolphins and Whales inhabit the Moray Coast, east of Inverness, and are frequently seen frolicking in the waters. They can be spotted along the whole stretch of coast, but probably most notably at Chanonry Point as this is where they head to find food! Down in Pembrokeshire, take a visit to Cardigan Bay where the Atlantic waters are home to not just a colony of bottlenoses, but to Minke, Sei and Fin Whales, as well as Basking Sharks.

Whalewatching in Pembrokeshire. Need we say anymore as to why it deserves on our list?

#4: Swap Tuscany for The Cotswolds

Oh, this is one of our favourite staycation ideas! The luscious landscapes of Tuscany are perfectly mirrored in the Cotswolds, which make the perfect setting for a romantic getaway. Cosy up in front of a roaring fire in your own cottage or enjoy the comforts of one of the many quintessentially British country house hotels. We recommend hiring a push bike and taking one of the town tours through cobbled streets or rolling footpaths through unrivalled greenery.

Cosying up in The Cotswolds is number 4 in our best staycation ideas list

#3: Swap Argentina for Dorset

Did you know that Dorset is home to the Jurassic Coast, England’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site? No need to travel to hot and humid deserts, you can channel your inner palaeontologist down on the south coast! Join one of the fossil walks and you could be lucky enough to unearth your own piece of history. If you don’t strike it lucky, they have an amazing Dinosaur Museum that’s perfect for all the family to enjoy.

A trip to Dorset is certainly up there as a great staycation location

#2: Swap Belgium for Devon

Forget the waffles and chocolate in Belgium, it’s all about the Cream Tea in Devon! Nothing quite beats a proper Devonshire Cream Tea (except maybe the Cornish) in a quaint little tea shop, nestled between pastel-painted seafront houses. It is so versatile, you’ll be sure to find plenty of fun things to do on a staycation in Devon; walk the incredible food off as you go on a wander through the cobbled streets of Appledore, stop for a photo with the iconic anchor, venture south to explore the craggy landscape of Dartmoor National Park or head into Exeter if you prefer the city vibe. We have to say, Devon is our favourite family staycation location as there’s simply so much to do, whether you’re in the North or South region of the County. Check out our 2020/2021 school calendar and get planning your next family staycation.

Devon just misses out on the number one spot on our list of staycation ideas UK

#1: Swap Costa Rica for Durham

Now this is had to be #1 on our best staycation ideas list because you could really be fooled to think you were in Costa Rica. Kind of. Take a trip to the absolutely breathtaking High Force Waterfall in County Durham and we promise you that you won’t be disappointed. For a small £2 fee, immerse* yourself in over 3 million years worth of history, as this is how far back it is said to have originated. Walk through the beautiful woodland, with gentle slopes and winding paths, until you reach the foot of the spectacular 21ft cascade.

High Force Waterfall, County Durham, number one on our best staycation ideas list

See, you don’t need to head abroad to have an amazing holiday. Our weather may not rival that of America or Asia, but we’re used to a bit of disappointment on that front anyway…!

Where is your favourite UK Staycation place to get away to in the UK? Let us know in the comments below.

About Franki Napolitano

Working in the travel industry has really opened my eyes to the attitudes, issues and obstacles people can face just trying to go on holiday. Whether it's due to their health, family situations or budgets, travel should be accessible for all. I cover everything from travelling with a disability to how to save money while you travel, hoping to make the holiday process easier for everyone.