Staycation: UK holiday ideas

Planning a staycation in 2021/2022? Why not check out our guide to holidays in the UK and Ireland with top tips, destination ideas, detailed weather guides and more.

Staycation holidays

Why book a staycation?

Staycations are a popular alternative to holidays abroad for many reasons. Some people prefer not to fly or don't want to travel for long periods of their holiday. Others simply want to explore what their country has to offer.

Days out to Windsor Castle, UK - photo courtesy of VisitBritain
Days out to Windsor Castle, UK - photo courtesy of VisitBritain

If you do choose to take a staycation you can save time and money on flights and potentially reduce the carbon footprint of your holiday.

Staycations in the UK and Ireland are likely to be popular this summer, with current restrictions on international travel and the potential risks of the coronavirus affecting foreign holidays.

What is a staycation?

A staycation is a holiday in your own country rather than abroad. This might be time off from work at home or another location.

If you're considering a staycation in 2021/2022, you have a wide choice available to you from family holidays to a holiday park to a couple break to spa retreat.

  • Beach holidays
  • City breaks
  • Family holidays
  • Golfing breaks
  • Romantic breaks
  • Spa breaks
  • Activity holidays
  • Theatre breaks
  • Theme parks & water parks
  • Walking & rambling
  • History & heritage

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Top UK staycation destinations

Looking for destination ideas for a UK staycation in 2021? We've compiled some top 10s for different types of destination. We'll start with the most popular regions:

  • Cornwall
  • Devon
  • Lake District
  • Norfolk
  • Scottish Highlands
  • Dorset
  • North Yorkshire
  • North Wales
  • Suffolk
  • Cotswolds
  • Peak District

You might like to consider one of the UK's many towns and cities with many top attractions and activities to keep you occupied on your staycation.

  • London
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Bath, Somerset
  • Cambridge, Cambridgeshire
  • Cardiff, Wales
  • York, North Yorkshire
  • Canterbury, Kent
  • Oxford, Oxfordshire
  • Birmingham, West Midlands
  • Winchester, Hampshire
  • Manchester
  • Newcastle, Tyne & Wear

If you want to head to the coastline for the beaches or just some sea air, why not consider one of the following coastal destinations for your staycation in 2021/2022.

  • Brighton, East Sussex
  • Bournemouth, Dorset
  • Newquay, Cornwall
  • Lyme Regis
  • St Ives, Cornwall
  • Scarborough, North Yorkshire
  • Blackpool, Lancashire
  • Cromer, Norfolk
  • Falmouth, Cornwall
  • Plymouth, Devon
  • Southport, Merseyside
  • Tynemouth, Tyne & Wear
  • Isle of Wight
  • Southwold, Suffolk
  • Porthmadog, Gwynedd
  • Whitstable, Kent
  • Orkney Islands
  • Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
  • Tenby, Pembrokeshire
  • Tobermory, Isle of Mull

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You might consider a coastal destination near a beach, somewhere close to natural or historical tourist attractions. Alternatively your destination might be based on the attractions and activities nearby.


The UK offers many different types of holiday accommodation from hotels and cottages to holiday parks and campsites.

Your choice of accommodation will also be determined by the type of staycation you want, who's coming and the destination you pick.

  • Hotels
  • Holiday rentals
  • Cottages
  • Holiday parks
  • B&Bs & guest houses
  • Campsites & caravan parks
  • Log cabins & lodges
  • Hostels
  • Glamping

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Days out & things to do

Natural attractions

The UK has lots to offer those looking for some nature on holiday with National Parks, including the Lake District and Snowdonia and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) such as the Cotswolds.

  • Lake District, Cumbria
  • Peak District, Derbyshire
  • Dartmoor & Exmoor, Somerset & Devon
  • The Cotswolds
  • Snowdonia, Wales
  • North Yorkshire Moors, North Yorkshire
  • Yorkshire Dales, North Yorkshire
  • Brecon Beacons, Wales
  • New Forest, Hampshire
  • Pembrokeshire Coast, Wales
  • Cairngorms, Scotland
  • Loch Lomond & the Trossachs, Scotland
  • The Broads, Norfolk
  • South Downs, Hampshire & East Sussex
  • Northumberland
  • Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland
  • Jurassic Coast, Dorset & Devon

If you're into horticulture, the Royal Horticultural Society* owns four gardens located in Devon, Essex, North Yorkshire and Surrey. They also organise the world famous Chelsea Flower Show along with regional shows and events throughout the year.

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Historical & cultural attractions

The UK has oodles of history and culture to explore dating back through the ages to the Romans. Explore castles, cathedrals, monuments and museums in all corners of the country.

Organisations such as English Heritage*, the National Trust* and the National Trust for Scotland* preserve a large number of the historical and cultural sites while allowing visitors to enjoy them.

  • Roman Baths, Somerset
  • Canterbury Cathedral, Kent
  • Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
  • Stonehenge, Wiltshire
  • York Minster, North Yorkshire
  • Windsor Castle, Berkshire
  • Chatsworth House, Derbyshire
  • Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
  • Eden Project, Cornwall
  • Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
  • Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire
  • Beaulieu, Hampshire
  • Leeds Castle, Kent
  • Durham Cathedral, County Durham
  • Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire

There are also many of the UK's most popular heritage sites, historical buildings and tourist attractions in and around London including the Tower of London, St Paul's Cathedral and the British Museum.

  • Tower of London
  • St Paul's Cathedral
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Palace of Westminster
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Hampton Court Palace
  • Houses of Parliament & Big Ben
  • Shakespear's Globe
  • Lambeth Palace
  • Dr Johnson's House
  • Natural History Museum
  • Kensington Palace
  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Tate Modern
  • Science Museum

Theme parks, zoos & more

One way to keep the kids happy on holiday is to visit one of the popular theme parks, zoos, interactive museums and adventure centres located across the UK.

Save on theme park tickets by booking in advance or consider a theme park package which includes on-site accommodation and lots of extras.

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Getting around the UK

It's generally easy to get around the UK with good road and rail networks plus other public transport options such as buses, coaches and ferries.

Driving from home is a popular option, as it means you've got transport available while you're away - great if you're planning on travelling around the local area.

However you'll need to make sure you have parking available with your accommodation and also plan out parking for day trips and tourist attractions.

You can save on parking across the UK by pre-booking with the likes of JustPark* and Q-Park*.

Car hire

Hiring a car for your staycation is a great way to give extra flexibility and freedom to your trip. Many car hire companies are offering cheap rates on UK rentals and have new safety measures in place.

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Most of the UK is well connected with the rail network making it easy to get away for a staycation by train.

Book early with saver tickets with the likes Trainline* and Rail Europe* to save on train tickets for the UK. Usually the earlier you book the cheaper they get.

Popular destinations accessible by train include:

  • London
  • Manchester
  • Birmingham
  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow
  • Bath
  • Brighton
  • Oxford
  • Leeds
  • Cardiff
  • Newcastle
  • Liverpool

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Find out more about the UK weather and also check out the latest UK travel deals and discounts to save even more on your staycation in 2021/2022.

Northern Ireland holiday rentals

Find holiday rentals in Northern Ireland including holiday homes, self-catering accommodation, B&Bs, shared space, home swaps and short-term lets.

  • Airbnb
  • VRBO

Northern Ireland cottages

Search for holiday cottages in Northern Ireland including contemporary and traditional self-catering accommodation.

  • Stays Cottage Holidays

Northern Ireland hotels

Compare prices for hotels in Northern Ireland by booking directly with hotel chains and independent hotels or via online travel agencies and hotel comparison websites.

  • IHG
  • Priceline

Northern Ireland camping & hostels

Looking for camping holidays in Northern Ireland? Browse hostels and campsites for camping, glamping, yurts, cabins, tree houses, youth hostels and caravan parks.

  • Campsited
  • Hostel World

Northern Ireland car hire

Need to hire a car for Northern Ireland? Check out the car hire companies and brokers offering car rentals for Northern Ireland.

  • Avis
  • Europcar
  • Hertz

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