When flicking through summer holiday brochures and browsing travel websites, sandy beaches and warmer climates are often first to catch our eye. However, with a limited number of school holidays per year and an increase in flight prices during that time, there’s no wonder many families are exploring destinations a little closer to home.
Fancy taking a staycation rather than a vacation?
UK holiday hotspots
Picture-perfect coastlines, stunning countryside, exciting cities and historic towns that are rich in heritage – there are UK holiday destinations to suit all tastes and budgets.
London has been named as the top destination to visit in the UK.
With Buckingham Palace, endless galleries, museums and sites of historic interest, there’s no wonder the English capital was voted first place in the Travellers’ Choice destinations poll on TripAdvisor.
The city was closely followed in second place by Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, while Liverpool, York and Glasgow also featured in the top ten list.
By the beach
Cornwall took first and second place in the Telegraph’s British beach holiday’s guide, with the north and south each ranking as top spots to visit.
Watergate Bay on the north coast near Newquay stretches out over two golden miles, while Porthcurno on the south coast is Cornwall’s most photographed beach. North and south Devon followed in third and fourth place, while Pembrokeshire, Northumberland and Yorkshire also featured in the top ten.
When it comes to countryside, few other places can compare to Britain for rural escapes, with its patchwork hills, dramatic dales, ancient woodlands and winding country roads.
Cheshire and Dorset were just two rural locations featured in the Daily Mail’s Best English holiday hotspots. Ideal for a relaxing retreat, the UK is praised for its countless cosy cottages, welcoming farms, characterful inns and delightful canal boat experiences.
Ways to travel
- If you don’t enjoy driving, take the stress out of the journey and travel. You can sit back, relax and enjoy the drive.
- It can often be a more inexpensive way to travel (considering today’s fuel prices), and coaches are one of the greenest forms of transport so you’re doing your bit for the environment.
- The downside is that you won’t have the independence to explore other destinations once you’re off the coach. You’ll be reliant on public transport, which could be an added expense (though still far lower than the cost of driving).
- Travelling by rail is often much quicker than road – significantly reducing travel time on long distance journeys.
- Statistically, travelling by train is safer than travelling by car.
- Ticket prices aren’t cheap, and travel times don’t always work around your schedule. It’s usually a good idea to book your travel three months in advance to get the best value.
- You’ll have the convenience to go where you want, when you want.
- You can pack as much luggage as you like and store it in the car.
- If you’re travelling as a large family or group, split the fuel bill to save money.
- Travel time can be significantly longer by road and delays can be expected, especially if you’re travelling to a city centre during peak times.
- Unlike flying, there are no lengthy check-in times with ferry travel.
- You have the option and convenience of taking your own car with unlimited baggage.
- It’s an adventure – especially for passengers who want to stretch their legs and explore the boat during the journey.
- Although many modern ferries have improved stabilisation systems, sea-sickness is still a risk.
The best time to book
- Hotel and travel providers will typically charge different prices for the same trip depending on demand for a specific time of the year.
- Before you book your desired date, search for the weeks before and after to check for any dramatic price changes.
- School holidays will inevitably see a price hike, but if you book early, you might grab a discount before demand begins.
- Alternatively, booking last minute can also significantly discount the price as no accommodation provider wants empty rooms.
Costs to consider
- As well as accommodation and travel, budgeting for food and drink is essential. For families and groups, all-inclusive breaks can often be good value – all refreshments are usually included so there’ll be no unexpected bills at the end of the holiday.
- If you choose self-catering or a room-only option, be sure to budget for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus drinks and snacks throughout the day too.
- Depending on the type of holiday you book, you may need to account for travel insurance and other fees.
- How will you spend your days when you arrive? Consider the costs of excursions and activities that you and your family will want to take part in.