The Great British Staycation | Top 7 Staycation Destinations

The Great British Staycation | Top 7 Staycation Destinations

With travel restrictions and quarantine measures still in place for many of our typical summer holiday destinations overseas, the appetite for a UK staycation by holidaymakers has never been greater. With various holiday hotspots having recently been allowed to re-open their doors to the public, summer 2020 is the perfect time to explore the many beautiful and diverse UK holiday destinations right on our doorstep.

If you haven’t considered a staycation trip around the UK before, there are endless opportunities to explore, including dramatic rugged coastlines, traditional seaside towns, historic cities and spectacular areas of natural beauty in the British countryside. Whether you prefer to be beside the seaside or explore off the beaten track in the countryside, make the most of holidays at home this summer with our guide to the top Great British staycation destinations to visit in 2020.


1. Lake District National Park, Cumbria

Lake District National Park - Top Staycation Destinations 2020

Long famed for its dramatic landscapes and the UK’s most beautiful lakes, it is not surprising that the Lake District National Park, located in North West England, remains one of the top staycation destinations for many British holidaymakers and outdoor enthusiasts. As an accredited UNESCO World Heritage site and England’s largest National Park, the Lake District also boasts the country’s tallest mountain, Scafell Pike, as well as both its’ deepest and largest lakes, lake Wastwater and lake Windermere respectfully.

There is an abundance of must-visit regions within the Lake District to explore on your staycation, including the bustling towns of Ambleside and Keswick as well as the charming areas of Buttermere and Ullswater. With plenty of luxury country house hotels, cosy little cottages, log cabins and glamping yurts, the Lake District is the perfect location for a long weekend away in the countryside.

With over 3,000km of rights of way in the Lake District National Park, there are many spectacular walks to undertake – with routes to suit all abilities from casual strollers to seasoned fell-walkers. As to be expected, there are plenty of scenic waterside routes and circular walks that are perfect for an afternoon’s stroll, with Windermere and Loweswater proving popular choices with beginners. For advanced hikers, Helvellyn and the Fairfield Horseshoe will provide an intense day on the fells with some spectacular panoramic views of the Lake District as your reward.

For those looking to spend some time on the lakes, Derwent Water provides a variety of water sports down by the marina, including windsurfing, sailing and kayaking – for something a little more laidback, you can also take a cruise on the lake or be the captain of your own rowing boat. With many secluded valleys, the Lake District is one of the best places in the country for stargazing – head over to Ennerdale or Grizedale Forest for the perfect spot for a night under the stars.

2. Whitby Bay, Yorkshire

Whitby Bay - Top Staycation Destinations 2020

Known as the ‘Jewel in the crown’ of the North Yorkshire coast, Whitby is one of the UK’s most popular destinations for a coastal staycation. A quintessential seaside resort brimming full of history, Whitby bay has a strong seafaring heritage. Traditionally a fishing and whaling port, Whitby Bay also had an enviable reputation for shipbuilding – in fact, one of the most famous ships of all time, HMS Endeavour was built in Whitby and Captained by British explorer James Cook. With strong links to the fishing industry, of course you need to try Whitby’s famous fish and chips, the town boasts some of the best fish and chips in the UK, with many of the local chippys picking up prestigious awards such as Quayside, Trenchers of Whitby and The Magpie Café.

With postcard-worthy landscapes and pristine Blue Flag beaches, Whitby is the ideal location for a seaside staycation with the family; you may even be surprised to know that Runswick Bay, just outside of Whitby, has been recently awarded the title of Britain’s Best Beach 2020 thanks to its beautiful stretches of sandy bays, abundant rock pools and crystal clear waters.

One of Whitby’s most prominent landmarks has to be monastic ruins of Whitby Abbey, which dominate the clifftop and provide spectacular panoramic views of the town. The Gothic and atmospheric splendour of Whitby Abbey also inspired author Bram Stoker when he visited back in 1890 and assisted him in creating his world-famous novel, Dracula.

3. Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight - Top Staycation Destinations 2020

With picturesque harbour towns and dramatic coastal views, the Isle of Wight provides the perfect setting for a summer staycation. As one of the sunniest places in the UK, the Isle of Wight is a little slice of paradise for those looking to escape the drizzly and unpredictable weather that the mainland often provides. Not only that, the island has been recently accredited as an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, with over 50% of the island classed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

With miles of unspoilt countryside, you are free to enjoy the thriving natural wildlife and stunning views as you explore this incredible island. There are plenty of unique and quirky places to stay on the Isle of Wight, with vintage caravans, eco pods, glamping yurts and traditional cottages all popular choices with both couples and families.

The Isle of Wight has a varied coastline of sandy beaches, cliffs and secret coves, with something to suit everyone and perfect for soaking up some vitamin sea. Compton Bay and Freshwater Bay are great for surfing and other water sports, whilst Sandown Bay is a traditional bucket and spade beach with miles of pristine golden sands and a quintessential seaside pier full of family activities. The Isle of Wight is also regarded as one of the richest areas for Dinosaur discovery in Europe, with the coastline between Compton and Sandown a particular treasure trove for dinosaur bones and fossils. Over 25 species of dinosaurs have been discovered on the island, and you can partake in regular fossil walks and dinosaur footprint tours.

4. Tenby, Pembrokeshire

Tenby - Top Staycation Destinations 2020

One of the most picturesque seaside towns in Wales, Tenby is full of charming pastel coloured houses, beautiful beaches and breathtaking scenic views. The medieval harbour town itself is a maze full of pedestrianised little streets with plenty of bars and restaurants for al fresco dining. The first National Trail in Wales, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path stretches for over 186 miles and offers spectacular views of the local coastal scenery from high sea-sprayed clifftops to wide open beaches that are ideal for exploring with the family and dogs.

There are four beautiful beaches to choose from surrounding Tenby; North, South, Harbour and Castle beach, so you and the family will be spoilt for choice for a day spent beside the sea. If you feel like exploring, you can take a boat across to the holy island of Caldey or even take a seal cruise to explore the hidden bays where you can spot grey seals, puffins and even dolphins if you’re lucky!

5. The Jurassic Coast

Durdle Door Jurassic Coast - Top Staycation Destinations 2020

With sweeping moors, pristine beaches and dramatic coastal cliffs, it is no wonder that British holidaymakers flock to the Jurassic Coast for a summer staycation. Stretching 95 miles from East Devon to Dorset, the Jurassic Coast is a hugely diverse, gorgeous landscape and England’s only natural UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along the stretch of the Jurassic Coast, there are plenty of beautiful coastal towns to choose from for your staycation, so you can be as involved or as remote as you feel comfortable with.

One of the most iconic landmarks of the Jurassic Coast has to be Dorset’s Durdle Door, a natural archway formed from limestone rock thousands of years ago. Set on a stunning section of coastline with crystal clear waters, it’s the perfect spot for a day on the beach. Further along the coastline is Lulworth Cove with some of the world’s most interesting and unique rock formations, it’s also a great spot for watersports, sailing, rock-pooling or relaxing on the beach with an ice cream in hand.

Other popular spots along the coastline include the traditional seaside towns of Sidmouth, Seaton and Weymouth which are excellent bases for a staycation on the south-west coastline. With such varying and diverse landscapes from one end to the other, the Jurassic Coast is an ideal location for a roadtrip so you can experience as much of this unique section of coastline as possible.

6. The Cotswolds, Cheltenham

The Cotswolds - Top Staycation Destinations 2020

With miles of rolling countryside, honey coloured stone cottages and chocolate-box style villages, it is no wonder that the Cotswolds are a favourite for staycations, especially with holidaymakers from London as it’s less than an hour on the train. Designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and covering over 787 square miles, it is the third largest protected area in England, after the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales. Offering quintessential English charm, The Cotswolds are known for their lively market towns, beautiful country estates and historic countryside trails.

With over 300 years of history, the regal Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire is a must-visit attraction thanks to its 18th century baroque architecture, lush landscaped gardens and extensive collection of antiques and portraits. Once you have explored the magnificent Grade I listed building, you can get lost in the Marlborough hedge maze, discover the collection of butterflies in the Butterfly House or enjoy a champagne afternoon tea, al-fresco style in The Orangery.

Across the Cotswolds, there are also an excellent choice of day spas and luxurious spa hotels, providing the perfect rural retreat in an oasis of calm and tranquillity. Enjoy an afternoon beside the heated outdoor pools in the beautiful countryside setting and indulge in some pampering treatments to rejuvenate and unwind. The Cotswolds has also earned its reputation as a foodie destination, with an abundance of country pubs and bistros as well as up-scale Michelin star restaurants to enjoy.

7. Loch Lomond, Alexandria

Loch Lomond National Park - Top Staycation Destinations 2020

A breathtaking rural retreat, Loch Lomond & The Trossach National Park is located in central Scotland and is considered one of the country’s most idyllic and unspoilt areas. Covering over 720 square miles, the park boasts enchanting mountains and lush forests, as well as Loch Lomond – the largest expanse of freshwater in Great Britain. Loch Lomond is a captivating haven for outdoor enthusiasts, from hill walking and hiking to sailing and cruising for a day packed full of adventure. The park extends into the Trossachs, often referred to as “The Highlands in miniature” where you’ll find wild glens and sparkling glens; it’s also the source of inspiration for Sir Walter Scott’s epic poem ‘The Lady of the Lake’.

Away from the Loch, it is also worth paying a trip to the local Auchentoshan Distillery for a guided tour and to sample a dram or two of the distillery’s finest single malt whiskey – crafted through a unique triple distillation process. For your staycation to Loch Lomond, there is an abundance of luxury log cabins and lodges in the surrounding area to relax and unwind, some complete with hot tubs or woodburning stoves for the perfect cosy trip away.

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