It’s been a tough 12 months. Lockdown, loneliness and loss has been hard hitting thanks to the pandemic, and most of us are desperate for a holiday.
The politicians’ roadmaps have given us a little light at the end of the tunnel, but foreign escapes still feel out of reach for many, and anxiety inducing to others. So, it’s likely we’ll be holidaying closer to home this summer – which is fine by us, as long as it’s not actually at home. Never has a local escape – ideally with family and friends we haven’t seen or hugged for eons – been more welcome.
But is it worth the stress? If last summer is anything to go by, all the best places were snapped up before we even started Googling, and the ones left seemed bang average (at best) yet absolutely extortionate. So, is there anything left, where do we want to escape to, and when should we book?
UK hot spots
Family holiday experts Vrbo surveyed more than 7,000 parents and discovered – unsurprisingly, we’re all keen to head to the beach this summer.
Cornwall topped the list of UK destinations its customers are interested in this summer, mirroring last year’s popularity of Cornish seaside destinations, such as St Ives. Its neighbouring county of Devon home to The English Riviera, is also proving to be a popular staycation destination, while Norfolk, Dorset and Caithness, a historic county in Scotland, round off the top five.
Karen Mullins, market insights lead for Vrbo, says: “Our latest findings show that despite a year of postponed and cancelled holidays, this year will be the summer for UK staycations. It’s great to see families fall back in love with their home country once again, and support local businesses.”
Still not sure where to book? These top locations are still available to book if you’re quick…
There aren’t many Cornish coastal locations we wouldn’t like to escape to, but St Ives really is a jewel in the crown. With an average nightly fee of £211 and availability in the summer holidays, The Stones Luxury Apartment has uninterrupted sea views across a four-storey former sea Captain’s house. Sleeps four. Minimum three-night stay.
Famous for its stunning landscapes, Devon is a great choice for families wanting to escape to the countryside this year. A break at Old Stable Cottage sleeps up to six people and is all about embracing the fresh country air and spending quality time together – there’s even an outdoor swimming pool. Located in Okehampton and within reach of Dartmoor National Park, this cottage is a great base for anyone wanting to explore Devon. Average nightly fee £287. Minimum two-night stay.
Known for its long, sandy beach, Great Yarmouth is always a hit for families, and this Luxury Family Caravan at Hopton sleeps up to eight people, with three bedrooms and a sofa bed in the lounge. Close to the sea with the Pleasure Beach and Fritton Lake Outdoor Centre and Country Park just 5k away, it’s the perfect escape. Average nightly fee £73. Minimum three-night stay.
Poole is a bustling tourist resort in the east of Dorset, and is well known for Europe’s largest natural harbour and award-winning blue flag beaches, including the world famous Sandbanks Beach. The Grey House is a family-friendly property which sleeps up to six guests and is situated in the heart of Poole, with Westbourne and Bournemouth within walking distance – perfect for a coastal break this summer. Average nightly fee £214. Minimum three-night stay.
Caithness is one of the most northerly areas in Scotland and home to rolling farmland, moorland and scattered settlements. For families wanting to explore Scotland, this apartment located in Keiss, Wick, comfortably accommodates up to six, and includes two double en-suite bedrooms. Keiss is a fishing village on the east coast of Caithness, providing the perfect, tranquil escape. Average nightly fee £149. Minimum three-night stay.
Cumbria is known for the alluring Lake District National Park, home to stunning views and some of England’s biggest lakes. Whether you’re seeking adventure or tranquillity, Combgill Cottage is a recently refurbished, beautiful historic cottage in the heart of the pretty village of Tirril, perfectly located for spending time in the stunning scenery of the Lakes, to disconnect from the stress of the city. Sleeps up to six. Average nightly fee £289. Minimum three-night stay.
If you fancy becoming a treasure seeker, you might want to head to the Pembrokeshire coastline, which is known for its shipwrecks and vast amount of bays and sandy beaches. It’s a nature lover’s haven and this Cosy Log Cabin is just 5k from Tenby beach, and 1.5k from Tenby Dinosaur Park. It sleeps up to four and is also pet friendly, which means no family member has to be left behind. Average nightly fee £221. Minimum three-night stay.
8. North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire is known for being covered in national parks, and if you take a trip to the heritage coast, you’ll be sure to enjoy some of the county’s striking landscapes. If you’re looking for a picturesque place to stay, then nestled within the Yorkshire Dales National Park is this Hide Away Cottage in Grassington village. The property sleeps four people, has two bedrooms and one bathroom. Average nightly fee £125. Minimum three-night stay.
If you’re looking for somewhere in between the coast and countryside, then Belford in Northumberland is the perfect spot. This Converted Bank Property has a rooftop garden for private outdoor dining and is just 7.6k from Bamburgh Beach. Average nightly fee £122. Minimum three-night stay.
10. Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight has been a beloved favourite for holidaymakers and, as it’s also on its own island, you can soak up that holiday feeling, even though it’s still part of the UK. Stay in this Luxury Apartment right on the edge of Crowes, looking out onto The Solent and just 1.9k from Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s former holiday home, Osborne House. Sleeps up to four people. Average nightly fee £159. Minimum three-night stay.
To book any of these properties and to search more, visit vrbo.com.