Planning a UK staycation with your friends

Ellie Green
Authored by Ellie Green
Posted: Thursday, February 15, 2024 - 20:55

What is a staycation?

A staycation is a holiday spent in your home country rather than abroad. So, DO forget your passport! And they are becoming ever more popular. In the UK, as elsewhere, holiday plans were devastated by the pandemic in 2020. Without warning, holidays abroad became impossible or, at best, problematic. Since the pandemic, staycations, which were already on the rise in the UK, have become even more popular as the cost of living crisis affects how people spend their holidays.

Top destinations for a UK staycation

So, where are holidaying-at-home Brits choosing to travel? The Scottish Highlands are popular. The remoteness to the rest of the UK gives this scenic wilderness an almost exotic appeal. Mountains, lochs and wild beaches serve up a stunning backdrop to any holiday. The Highlands is home to Britain's largest national park, the Cairngorms, the mythologised Loch Ness, and Britain’s highest peak, Ben Nevis. And yes, Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express really does exist in the Highlands!

Further south is the picturesque Lake District. It’s a struggle nowadays to wander lonely as a cloud as poet William Wordsworth once did, what with crowds of tourists flocking to Beatrix Potter locations, but the natural beauty of the Lakes is eternal. Windermere, Coniston, Ullswater and other lakes attract people who like messing about on the water. England’s highest peak – Scafell Pike – attracts climbers and hikers while nearby Helvellyn is Britain’s favourite walk.

Down in the southwest of England, the chocolate box villages and gentle hills of the Cotswolds are popular. The cottages synonymous with the Cotswolds are man-made but the honey-coloured local stone used to build them has a natural beauty of its own. Stately homes, grand gardens and idyllic villages are dotted around the six counties of the Cotswolds, and there’s always a charming pub to pop into for a refreshing drink.

More remote, taking you right down to Land’s End, is Cornwall. Surrounded on three sides by sea, Cornwall is a stunning, unique county, rightly lauded for its seafood, beaches and amazing natural light.

Activity ideas for your staycation

Admiring beautiful scenery is one thing but there are plenty of staycation activities to enjoy. The UK’s natural landscape provides countless hiking opportunities often through protected National Trust land. Water sports are plentiful, whether wild swimming off Britain’s thousands of miles of coastline, or sailing, surfing or canoeing.

A relaxing stay at a spa isn’t hard to find. There are few parts of the UK untouched by our desire to receive a little pampering R&R at an often grand setting in the countryside. And an evening with family or friends playing board games in a holiday cottage, enjoying a glass or two of wine, is rarely wasted. Or if you are a fan of technology, why not play the traditional game of bingo online?

Whether staying in or going out, staycations are here to stay.

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