Top 15 places to go on staycation this year

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Staycations are definitely the new holidays and something a lot of us are learning to appreciate more; the beauty on our doorstep. It's definitely something I've learned to love this past year and it has got me excited to see more of what's around me locally. As travelling around the UK is not my expertise, I'm more of a worldwide kind of traveller, I've asked many of my blogging friends for recommendations.

Whether you're looking for a city break, to beach it up for the week, or explore somewhere close to your front door, here are the top 15 places to go on staycation this year.

Swanage Dorset

Swanage, Dorset 

"Before 2020, I was of the mindset that a holiday could only mean getting on a plane and going overseas but after searching for a UK holiday with a friend last year, I was gladly proven wrong. My new favourite staycation spot is Swanage, a coastal town in Dorset. I and a friend stayed in the Swanage Bay Holiday resort park, renting a static caravan for a long weekend. The view of the coast from the caravan terrace was breath-taking, as good as anything I’d ever seen abroad and I couldn’t believe we were just 40 miles from home. With nearby viewpoints such as Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove, and Corfe Castle you have more than enough to see and do for a week away. 

Swanage Beach itself is lovely, one morning we woke up at 5am so that we could walk down to the beach and get some pictures of the sunrise, which was beautiful and I highly recommend it. I’ve been back a few times since and we’re due to go again in July and I'm really looking forward to it. Last year came with few positives but realising the beautiful towns, cities, and villages that are just a stone’s throw away from me was definitely one of mine." - Stacey from StaceyLBlogs.

Retreat East Suffolk

Retreat East, Suffolk

"I’ve just returned from a few days at Retreat East in the heart of Suffolk which felt like the ultimate staycation. We stayed in The Farmhouse which felt like a home from home meaning we could completely relax and unwind – just what we needed after the last year! It’s all set in the most beautiful location with rolling fields, morning birdsong, and a really sophisticated country aesthetic (perfect for the gram).

One of the reasons I loved it so much was that there was a tonne of things you could get up to but if you fancied it, you could put your feet up with a good book as well and you’d be just as happy! We went on lots of walks and even stumbled across some geocaches, visited nearby towns like Aldeburgh, Lavenham, and Woodbridge to mooch around the shops, and spent the rest of the time playing board games or taking advantage of the spa. Oh, and I can’t forget taking a trip to Southwold for some of the best fish and chips I’ve ever eaten (10/10 to The Little Fish and Chip Shop). Suffolk and more specifically, Retreat East, really is the perfect place for a social media detox or to spend some quality time with your family and friends!" - Katy from Katy Stephenson.

Portsmouth

Portsmouth

"One of my favourite places is Portsmouth. I actually studied for my degree there for three years and it was one of the best places I have lived. It is not only by the beach but it still has a city vibe (me being from London) so it had a tiny bit of home there. There are countless cute unique cafes, the beach, and arcades, and rides, and my favourite spot “The tenth hole” which is a cute tearoom adjoined to a small golf course- but it does some great cake! Not to mention Gunwharf Quays which is an outlet shopping area with food and drink places and the Spinnaker Tower (an observation tower you can go up). Overall a beautiful place to go!" - Gemma from GemmaJayne.

Oxford

Oxford

"Oxford is a beautiful, historic city where you will discover many hidden gems. This place is special to me because it was where I first learned to travel solo when I took a creative writing course there. Some of my favourite things to do in Oxford are to visit Harry Potter filming locations, watch a Shakespeare open-air play in one of the Colleges, and enjoy the breath-taking view of the Oxford skyline at St. Mary's Church!" - Izzy from Izzy Matias.

Brighton

Brighton

"My favorite place to enjoy a bit of a Staycation is anyplace with a pier - there is something magical about enjoying a bit of the beach - playing in the sand, splashing in the water, then exploring the pier. There are so many fun games, bits of food, and rides for any children that you take. Sitting on the beach at sunset is always a lovely time. My favorite pier to explore is in Brighton, right on the beach! If you are in the area, you can also go to the Artbox Cafe and get some ice cream! There is also the option to see Brighton from above in the sky coaster, go to Sea World to view some fish, and otherwise enjoy the lovely town." - Life with Jupiter and Dann.

North Wales

North Wales 

"I and my partner always have the travel bug. If in doubt or we are short on cash, a staycation is always the answer. The UK has so many hidden gems, and hands down, North Wales has got to be our favourite place. We visited in May 2019, and what really made it for us was the accommodation that we stayed in. It was the perfect location for us, two explorers, in an Airbnb with the loveliest most welcoming welsh couple - Paddy and Sue. They gave us the best welcome (free eggs from their chickens and some homemade scones too!) and helped us with some ideas for sightseeing.


We couldn’t visit without making our way up Snowdon, could we? Honestly, the weather couldn’t have been more on our side. They say the chances of you being able to view much at the peak is fairly small, yet for us, the sky was crisp, clear and we could see for miles! Portmeirion was another favourite. It’s the ideal place to capture colourful, vibrant pictures full of life blooming at the seams. The plants and flowers that grew and bloomed all year round were breathtaking. It’s definitely a place I’d like to visit again in the height of summer." - Mary-Ann from The Lazy Chain.

Beaumaris on Anglesey

Beaumaris on Anglesey (North Wales)

"A staycation favourite of mine is Beaumaris on Anglesey (North Wales). Granted I am being a little biased here as I’m originally from a village 3 miles just outside, but every time I visit home the small little town gets even more beautiful. Being right by the sea you have an amazing stretch of beach combined with small little gift shops, coffee shops and so much more. The seaside town also recently gained ‘plastic-free status’ with a community campaign set which encouraged the town's residents and businesses to cut down on single-use plastic! Anglesey can sometimes be a little forgotten when it comes to staycations but it’s an incredibly beautiful part of the country, definitely worth a visit!" - Lisa from Low Waste Weekly.

Lock Tavern Camden

London

"The city that never sleeps, filled with hidden gems and great for any budget - yes you can be boujee on a budget. A unique experience could include a floating hot tub boat, The Alchemist creative cocktail bar, or the Junkyard for a fun photoshoot. There's plenty of rooftop bars, restaurants, and cinemas if the weather allows it. London is such a lively place all year round, but especially in summer. There are festivals, street parties, and picnics to attend. Anything you can think of, London most likely has it." - Tajinder from TajinderKaur.

Manchester

"There are a lot of awesome UK city breaks to choose from when looking for a lovely staycation, but Manchester should definitely be considered. While there’s quite a lot of things to do, it makes for the perfect weekend away. Manchester has a very strong contrast between the old and the new. Tall fancy skyscrapers stand right next to old factory buildings. It makes wandering around the city a real treat. If you’re visiting Manchester, make sure to stop by the Northern Quarter. This creative part of the city is filled with independent shops, cafes, and bars. Ezra & Gil and Foundation Coffee are two of my favourite cafes for a quick coffee or a snack.

In the Northern Quarter, you can also find Afflecks Palace. This three-storied building is filled with independent vendors - each room is a different shop. It’s a lot of fun to browse through all the crazy things they sell here. From the NQ, walk over to Deansgate. You can stop by Manchester’s cathedral and John Ryland’s library. Both of these are stunning pieces of architecture, and really show that contrast between the old and the new.

Manchester

Castlefield is another area that should be on your itinerary. You can find the canals, old mills, and the ancient Roman fort here. Apart from that, there are some great restaurants near the canals, which are perfect for dinner. After dinner, walk over to the Hilton Hotel on Deansgate. It’s only a few minutes from Castlefield. On the 23rd floor, you’ll find Cloud23. This sky bar gives you one of the best views of the city, and they also serve some fantastic cocktails - the perfect way to end your trip to Manchester." - Nele from the Navigatio.

Yorkshire coast

Yorkshire Coast

"My favourite staycation place has to be the Yorkshire Coast. I know this isn’t just one place, but the Yorkshire coast really does have so many amazing places to visit that it is hard to choose just one! From higher up on the coastline to Whitby to right down to Bridlington, there is just seaside town after seaside town. Who doesn’t love a walk along a promenade, visiting the amusements, and eating your body weight in fresh fish and chips? Well, you get it all on the Yorkshire coast. When you want a more chilled, less touristy place, there are a few coastal towns in between to visit, like Staithes. The view from the top of the hill is just amazing, and the town really does have that remote close-knit town vibe to it. Then there is Sandsend with a beautiful long beach, perfect for spending a day building sandcastles, paddling, and having a cheeky seaside ice cream.

If history is your bag, then the Yorkshire coast has an abundance of old castles and Abbeys to explore, as well as vintage/antique shops. I just love exploring places like this! The best bit is, the Yorkshire Coast is only a short drive away from my hometown of Leeds, which means the places are so easy to get to. You can base yourself in one seaside town and go explore the nearby ones so easily. The weather may not always be warm along the coast, but the welcome from the locals always are!" - Aimsy from Aimsy's Antics.

Whitby

"Whitby is one of our favourite seaside holiday destinations in the UK! There are lots of things to see while you’re there and unique souvenirs to purchase too. The Whitby Abbey, which stands on the cliffs above the town, is definitely one to visit if you love historic ruins. While in Whitby, be sure to climb the iconic 199 steps and take a walk down donkey road which runs parallel to the 199 steps. The Whalebone Arch, located on Whitby’s West Cliff, is another landmark you should see while in Whitby. As well as providing great photo opportunities, the arch represents Whitby’s history (the town used to be a whaling port). If the weather is on your side, a visit to the beach and harbour is a great way to spend the day. Take a walk along the piers in the evening to take in the views. 

If you're looking for some souvenirs to remember your trip, you can pick up a lucky duck from The Whitby Glass Shop. These lucky ducks are made from the colours of the gemstones for each birth month. Another great souvenir is Whitby Jet (a fossilised wood usually incorporated into jewelry), which can be purchased from various shops. Finally, no UK staycation is complete without eating some fish and chips!" - Lottie and Lauren from Twins Gone Roaming.

Whitby

"Located on the East coast of the stunning North Yorkshire, there’s plenty on offer for a staycation in Whitby. I have been visiting the town every year as a family tradition for as long as I can remember, and it has everything you would want for a quintessentially British break: fresh fish and chips, real ice cream, and beautiful stretches of perfect beaches. Get your walking shoes on and amble down to the end of the windy West Pier, before exploring the traditional fish market, where you’ll catch fishing boats bringing their catch in; the famous 199 steps leading to the Grade I listed Whitby Abbey; and Tate Hill Sands, the beach where Bram Stoker’s Dracula famously landed. A drink in one of the town’s great pubs will be needed after a day of walking, and our favourites have to be The Black Horse along the cobbled Church Street, or the Abbey Wharf on Marketplace. And for us, the fish and chips have to be from Silver Street Fisheries or Trencher’s, and make sure to pick up some freshly-smoked kippers from Fortune’s to take home with you!" - Ryan from A Single Step.

Ireland staycation

County Roscommon Ireland

"As lockdown 1 came and went, we thought it was the end of the world, how will we travel? Where will we go? We decided to research and see what's on our doorstep. and a staycation became a possibility.

We stayed local in County Roscommon in the midwest of Ireland, a county rich in history with castle ruins, archaeological sites at Rathcroghan, see the mines of Arigna, wander the Mote Park bluebell forests, and finally to add a bit of fun Lough Key Forest Park where adventure is the number one priority. We love the county and its rich history can't wait to explore more. Stay local, you never know what you may find." - Richard and Michelle from Chalk and Cheese Travels.

Liverpool cathedral

Liverpool

"In my opinion, Liverpool is one of the greatest cities in the world. I may be biased because I live here, however working in a city centre University has proved just how wonderful the City of Liverpool really is. Every Liverpool newcomer makes a comment on how friendly and approachable the people are. Not only are the people incredible, but the city has a plethora of delicious independent cafes and restaurants. Liverpool also has many astounding musicians and music venues. Liverpool has some very iconic and historic architecture, including The Liver Buildings, The Albert Dock, and St George’s Hall, just to name a few. The city is filled with rich history and has its very own Museum of Liverpool dedicated to the city’s culture. You will never be bored in Liverpool, there is always something to see and do. If you are looking for a vibrant city to visit on your next UK break, Liverpool is the place to go." - Kelly from Until Another Day.

Swansea Bay

"If you are looking for a scenic staycation destination within the UK, then Swansea Bay should be on the top of your list. Whether you enjoy long walks, love relaxing by the sea, are into adrenaline-fuelled activities, or want to immerse yourself in culture/heritage, Swansea Bay has plenty to offer. We visited Swansea Bay recently and loved how scenic it was. It has miles of stunning coastline, varied landscapes, endless water sport activities, loads of walking/biking trails, and is a real paradise especially for those who love nature.

Swansea Bay offers excellent opportunities to try out water sport adventures like surfing, windsurfing, coasteering, stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), canoeing, kayaking, kitesurfing, and more. For those who love art and culture, there is much that Swansea Bay offers in this aspect too. Swansea is the birthplace of Dylan Thomas (famous poet and writer) and you could follow the Dylan Thomas Trails that will take you around familiar Dylan Thomas landmarks around Swansea, Gower, and South Wales. Swansea Bay also has a number of castles, museums, and galleries for the art/culture lover.

Swansea Bay

As for places to eat, Swansea Bay has a large number of restaurants, bars, cafes, and bistros. You can enjoy traditional British food or choose from various international cuisines or go for local seafood. It is a great place for a staycation within the UK. Plan your visit with our guide on how to spend two days in Swansea Bay." - Deeptha from The Globe Trotter.

Lincoln

"With 1000 years of history, Lincoln is a city with so much to explore. Situated in the East Midlands (140 miles north of London), Lincoln is a hidden gem in the centre of England. Did you know that Lincoln Cathedral was considered the world’s highest building for nearly 240 years, following the Pyramids of Giza? It also holds a copy of the Magna Carta – created to ensure the rights of the people 800 years ago.

Lincoln

This is the perfect city for escaping the busy life of major cities and exploring the cobbled streets of old England, then Lincoln is the one for you. You will never be short of tea rooms and boutique stores to keep you intrigued!" - Sophia from Sophia Patel.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Where are you planning a staycation this year?

Thank you for reading <3

62 comments

  1. Thanks so much for letting me take part in this post! I've got some great ideas for my next staycation now :)

    Katy | www.katystephenson.com | www.thegrownupsclub.com

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  2. Oh wow! I would love to take a little break in North Wales this year. Sounds lovely.

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  3. I love these ideas! I'd really like to go to Oxford one day, and North Wales looks beautiful. I really believe people should stick to holidays in the UK this summer just while our covid numbers fluctuate. Thank you for sharing x

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  4. Thank you for accepting my recommendation, great to be a part of a wonderful selection of plays around the UK! I have visited some but also have a lot of these places already on my bucketlist, there are so many beautiful gems in the UK! Xx

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  5. Such pretty pics! I’ve never been to the UK so would love to visit all of these!

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  6. I was in Portsmouth a few weekends ago for the first time and I absolutely loved it! It was super sunny and even with COVID restrictions, it had such a lovely vibe and loads to do. I'll defo go back!
    Rosie

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  7. It's a great way to have a vacation while we can't travel abroad. I remembered, once staying at Airbnb, the couple was so kind to leave us some groceries as well.

    Thanks to everyone for sharing their memories. xx

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  8. I do love a staycation! I'd love to go to the Cotswolds because I've never been and I've heard amazing things. I'd also like to go back to Snowdonia because that was one of the most beautiful trips I've ever taken! x

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    1. Same here!! I'd love to visit the Cotswolds xx

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  9. With safety restrictions being held, a staycation is looking more and more attractive. Even one in London!

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  10. Brighton is a fab place, mainly just for the beach and the pier! You can't beat a staycation can you?! x

    Lucy | www.lucymary.co.uk

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  11. This is such a great guide. Lewis and I were looking to go away for a few nights at the end of the month but couldn't decide where to go so this guide has come at the perfect time!

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  12. Great post! Oxford looks beautiful, and I definitely want to visit it (as well as London) some day. Thanks for sharing!

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  13. Lovely places! I'm going to Whitby in few weeks!

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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  14. I'm originally from Scotland and I haven't been to most of these places!! Adding them to my list once the travel ban is lifted. Thank you for sharing!

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  15. Lovely places! I would love to go to North Wales one day. Thank you for sharing, Della xx

    lenne | lennezulkiflly.com

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  16. Awesome places, definitely on the list to go and explore. Lincoln is new to me but will check more pictures of it. Thank you for sharing them!

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  17. Great selection of staycations would love to try them all and get out and about

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  18. We all have wonderful places around us, and the pandemic has been a perfect excuse to explore our areas better,
    thanks for sharing this!
    Have a great weekend,
    S

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  19. This is such a great selection, I've been to most of these places but there's still some I need to check out. I'd love to visit Wales one day x

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  20. Great ideas! I'm actually going to Swanage in 3 weeks - I went there on a fieldtrip a few weeks ago and wanted to go back with my parents to spend a bit more time there ��

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  21. I'm saving this post and sharing it with the girls because we really want to go for a little staycation somewhere! I love the idea of Dorset or Whitby, so hopefully we'll get to visit Whitby soon xx

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  22. We love trying to see a bit more of the country that we live in. My husband is from Brighton and I adore the city. Walking along the beach, the cute shops, the thrift shops and boutique coffee shops in the Lanes. Such a love place to visit. I also really enjoy staying in Oxford. I love the sense of history you find there. My friend went there for university and we definitely had some laughs there so there are great memories too!

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  23. I was bummed to have to do a staycation ONLY this year, with Covid, but the Pacific Northwest where I live has soooo many hidden gems, it hasn't been too terrible! (okay, so it's been awesome!) lol... great post! Wish I could visit the items on your list!
    http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

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  24. Oh if we only had the money to visit at least one of those places haha. My fave would probably be North Wales. Plus What a beautiful sky in Portsmouth! Thanks for sharing these breathtaking places.


    www.lifebeginsattwenty.com

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  25. oh wow, all of these places are beautiful! Bookmarking this for when I eventually get back to the UK! x

    mia // https://beautiful-inspiring-creative-life.com/

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  26. Thanks for sharing, some of these staycations look lovely, I do hope to travel a bit more in the UK this year, once things are a bit normal. I'm off this week to explore more of Dorset :)

    Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes

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  27. There are so many places I want to visit especially Oxford! One day for sure :D Thanks for sharing x

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  28. Such a treasure trove of staycation ideas! Nice work bringing everyone's fav local holiday experiences to us, Della. Currently planning a roadtrip and after this I'm trying to rework N.Wales into the plan, haha

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  29. So many amazing places!! Enjoy your time in the UK :)
    have a great day,
    Tiziana
    www.tizianaolbrich.de

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  30. This comes at the right time! We are trying to organise some day trip while we have time. All of these look amazing and can't wait to visit Oxford, Brighton and Wales x

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  31. We are actually heading to Oxford this Wednesday for a day out and I am oh so excited about this! Thank you Della & Izzy for the tips, will add them to our list! x

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  32. These are all such lovely places! Swansea Bay is a place that I'd choose! Thanks so much for sharing and showcasing all these bloggers! x

    Lynn | https://www.lynnmumbingmejia.com

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  33. Such stunning places! This year we are going further up north for a Staycation near Aviemore. I'd love to go over to Ireland for a bit of a break.

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