Best UK staycation ideas

When it comes to enjoying a break and a bit of a holiday, lots of us think of backing our bags for an international flight, dreaming of baking on the sand somewhere that’s just this side of unbearably hot – but sometimes you don’t want the fuss. If you’d rather skip the struggle of airport security and expensive international hotels, then you’re in luck – you’ve got an entire country full of historical sights, stunning cities and sandy beaches to enjoy right here with a UK staycation. Think of the usual: sun, sea, sand, and a classic 99p flake – bliss. More of a culture vulture? There’s plenty of UK city breaks for you to enjoy too! The only thing that differs is you don’t need to hop on a plane for the privilege. With our list of top UK staycations ideas, you’ll be jumping on the train or driving on the motorway instead.

With so many places and things to see, it can be hard to decide where to go (and what to do when you arrive). Not to worry; we’ve rounded up some of the top spots for you to peruse.

Keep reading to discover our collection of superb staycation ideas and start your adventure.

What is a staycation?

A staycation is exactly what it says on the tin; it’s a trip to a location not too far away from your house, but far enough to enjoy an exquisite escape.

Whether you’re up for a weekend in the countryside or a sizzling hot beach break, it’s all possible with a UK staycation – you just need to know where’s best to head to. Luckily for you, we’re here to tell you all the information you need, as we’ve listed the best UK holiday destinations for you to venture to.

Looking for UK city breaks or staycation ideas this year? We've got just the thing.

UK city breaks

There’s nothing like a staycation in the city – you just need to choose which one’s right for you.

Why are UK city breaks so excellent? Well, because:

  •   You’ll make fantastic new memories, without getting jet lag
  •   You can soak up the hustle and the bustle of the busy streets, filled with character
  •   You’ll get to unwind in chic accommodation, bars and restaurants.

This all sounds pretty great, right?

If you’re unsure where to go, we’ve got you covered. There are many interesting hotspots to explore; ones that will make you think twice about going abroad ever again.

Here are a few of our top choices for quintessentially classic UK city breaks – have you explored all of these cities? If not, now’s the perfect time to get to know your country a little bit better! Here are some of our top staycation ideas for city break lovers – pick a stay in one of these stylish cities to get a taste of classic UK city breaks:

  • Leeds
  • London
  • Manchester
  • Edinburgh
  • Liverpool
  • Bath
  • York

Now, let’s unpack two particularly special cities…

Elegant Edinburgh

Edinburgh provides everything you could want from a UK city break. The heart of Scotland, there’s magnificence around every corner, and the sight of the impressive Edinburgh Castle at the heart of the city. And, of course, there are oodles of things to do, and tons of staycation ideas to enjoy!  From sightseeing at The Royal Botanic Garden to perusing the famous Royal Mile and Grassmarket, you won’t be bored in Edinburgh. 

Princes Street will amaze you, too, with its vast number of high-street favourites, or head over to the Old Town to discover a dazzling range of independent shops. If you fancy a ramble during your stay, hike up to Arthur’s Seat and admire the landscape near and far. Try some haggis, neeps and tatties while you’re there as well, for a truly authentic experience!

Visit beautiful Edinburgh, one of the best UK city breaks

Lively Liverpool

Liverpool is a real gem of a city, with so much to see, explore and do – a perfect spot for UK city breaks. You can walk along Albert Dock to take in the glorious scenery. Then, stumble across some of the most incredible museums and art galleries that are situated here, including the British Music Experience and Tate Liverpool.

It’s also an essential city break for any foodie out there, offering everything from rustic cafes to fine dining – the coastal location means that there’s plenty of fresh fish and seafood to be found. If you can get a reservation, The Art School Restaurant or Panoramic 34 boast some of the finest dining on the west coast of Britain. 

Beach holidays

 You might not think it, but you can find some sublime sandy spots across the UK, here, there and everywhere. This means you can feel the sand between your toes while staying on home turf – perfect.

These are just a few of our favourite staycation ideas – the best places providing salty sea air, serene shores and golden sands:

  • Brighton
  • Cornwall
  • Whitby
  • Bournemouth
  • Blackpool
  • Devon
  • Northumberland
  • Norfolk

You can head to any of these seaside locations for a blissful break. All you need to do is decide which type of accommodation is best for you.

We would recommend staying in a traditional B&B, or a cosy cottage (which offers a great window-view of the waves lapping against the shore). Obviously, it totally depends on your personal preferences.

Lots of British beaches make perfect staycation ideas for the whole family.

Country escapes

If you love rural settings that are brimming with wildlife and challenging terrains, there are countless country escapes dotted across the UK.

You can stay over in a charming countryside cottage in Bakewell (in Derbyshire), or go further afield to The Isle of Arran, located off the west coast of Scotland. The choices really are endless!

 Some popular UK staycation ideas would be heading to the countryside in places like:

  • The Lake District
  • Cheshire
  • Hampshire
  • The Cotswolds
  • Essex
  • Oxfordshire
  • The Yorkshire Dales

All of these UK staycation destinations take you to see fascinating sites, countryside and quaint villages.

Remember, a retreat to the countryside should be as relaxing as possible. Thankfully, most of these spots present cosy, comfortable accommodation with picturesque views and gorgeous green settings. Some even have hot tubs on-site for you to soak in. So, you can toast with a glass of bubbly as you overlook the scenic surroundings.

It’s time to get organised…

Now that you’ve got some staycation ideas, it’s time to start planning a UK holiday of your own.

If you’re staying with any of your friends during your travels, make sure you check out our creative collection of “thank you” cards to gift to them. Or, check out our other handy thortful blog posts for inspiration on a whole load of helpful topics, including one on the most colourful areas in the UK!