The most affordable city breaks and villages in the UK
The UK is home to a surprising number of idyllic yet affordable cities, towns and villages, which are perfect for a budget staycation
September is the perfect time to take a short getaway. With the summer crowds dispersed, you can enjoy the last moments of warm weather without the seasonal tourist costs. If you’re not quite ready for the dog days to be over, you’ll find the perfect escapes in some of the UK’s cities, towns and villages.
Discount code site Savoo researched the best UK towns and cities to spend a budget holiday in, the most affordable picturesque towns and villages to visit, the cities with the most costless attractions and the towns and cities with the most affordable accommodation.
The top 5 most affordable UK cities to visit this summer
Liverpool, host of the 2023 Eurovision song contest, is revealed as the most affordable UK city to visit.
With the Irish Sea and River Mersey on your doorstep, the maritime city grants you stunning views of the listed buildings along the waterfront. You'll find a total of 100 attractions that won't cost you a penny, and can also enjoy all the art and culture the city has to offer.
As the World Capital of Pop, you’ll dive into the city’s musical heritage and explore the hometown of the world’s most influential band.
While the capital may not be the first place that comes to mind when planning an affordable trip, the city actually offers 186 costless attractions for visitors to seek out.
Boasting the highest number of Instagram hashtags (158,467,876) and a total of seven National Trust sites, you’ll have more than enough parks, historical landmarks and iconic skyline views to fill your affordable trip with adventure.
The third most affordable city is found in Northern Ireland, where the welcoming locals will ensure you have a wonderful time.
You’ll be glad to discover the cheapest price for a cup of coffee (£2.32), where Derry will spoil you with breathtaking views along the Causeway Coastal Route. It’s a two day walk, however Derry also offers free parking, so that you can save time and money by taking your car.
There are only 11 free attractions in the city but with the breathtaking coastal landscape, you'll still struggle to explore them all.
The Somerset city of Wells follows in fourth, and with 47 free attractions, there’s no way you’ll run out of affordable things to do.
You’ll certainly need to replenish your energy while you discover the grandeur of Wells Cathedral, the architectural marvel of Vicar’s Close and even the natural wonder of Ebbor Gorge.
Luckily, you won’t have to dig too deeply into your pockets, with a restaurant meal costing £10 on average, half the average cost of London’s (£20).
Rounding off the top five is the city of Nottingham, with diners enjoying meals out at an average cost of £12. This leaves you with little excuse to visit England’s oldest inn, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, said to be 800 years old.
With 95 free attractions to choose from, you’ll waste no time walking through the Sherwood Forest, home of the legendary Robin Hood. Part of a National Nature Reserve, you’ll have 420 hectares of forest landscape to roam through.
For a change of scenery, awaken the adventurer in you by navigating the city’s subterranean cave network.
The most affordable picturesque towns and villages to visit
Also known as the "jewel in Nottinghamshire’s crown", the market town is home to architecture brimming with history and a landscape filled with splendour.
Southwell is also the most affordable place to visit in the UK, with a total of 71 accommodation options under £100 and car parking costing a daily rate of £3.60.
Bringing your car along won’t be a bad idea, considering the 64 free attractions the town has available. With Southwell Minster and a swan sanctuary, you couldn’t ask for a more idyllic city break.
Richmond, North Yorkshire
Bordering the Yorkshire Dales National Park, you’ll find Richmond to be one of the most stunning towns in the country. The market town is covered in Georgian buildings with Richmond Castle standing steadfast in the background.
Receiving the highest number of Instagram hashtags (4,607,912), the cobbled landscape truly is a sight to behold.
If you’d like to venture out and explore the region, you’ll be happy to know that visitors can park their car at an affordable daily rate of £3.60.
Knaresborough, North Yorkshire & Glastonbury, Somerset
North Yorkshire seems like the best destination to head for, with another one of its towns ranking as the most affordable and picturesque. Tied in third with Glastonbury, the quaint town of Knaresborough features one of the lowest daily rates for parking, standing at only £0.68.
Don’t hesitate to park your car near the Knaresborough Viaduct to catch the beautiful views from the River Nidd.
Over in Somerset, home to the internationally-renowned music festival, Glastonbury offers a decent number of accommodation options under £100. You’ll be sure to get a good night’s rest after visiting the town's beautiful landmarks, including the Glastonbury Abbey or the Glastonbury Tor.
Conwy is the fourth most affordable and picturesque town in the UK. The Welsh market town has the highest number of National Trust sites in the country, including Conwy’s elegant Suspension Bridge and Bodnant Garden.
One of the town's most unique traits are the mediaeval walls that surround it. The Conwy Castle and Walls are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Henley-on-Thames rounds out the top five, offering visitors the chance to visit two National Trust sites.
The Oxfordshire town is home to Greys Court, a 16th-century mansion with peaceful gardens, where you’ll discover the moon bridge, maze and octagonal fountain.
Near Knaresborough Castle, you can also venture through Bebra Gardens or even Mother Shipton’s Cave, England’s oldest tourist attraction.
The city with the most free attractions
London boasts a total of 186 free attractions, the highest number among cities in the UK. In fact, most museums and galleries have provided the public with free admission since 2001, allowing visitors to pick and choose their favourite area of culture to explore.
Top 5 cities with the most affordable accommodation
London is the best city to find affordable accommodation, with visitors having the choice between 102 lodgings under £100. Liverpool follows behind with the second-highest number of affordable options (97), while Manchester comes in third with 70.
York, the walled city in North Yorkshire, is revealed to have the fourth highest number of affordable accommodation options (55), while home of the prestigious University of Cambridge rounds out the top five with 47.
Top 5 towns with the most affordable accommodation
Among UK towns, Cartmel is the most affordable for accommodation. The village located in Cumbria has a total number of 85 options under £100, while Nottinghamshire’s Southwell offers the second highest number of options.
Devon’s coastal town of Brixham follows in third with 67 affordable places to rest your head. You’ll certainly need it after hours spent taking in the sights of the English Riviera.
Castle Combe comes in fourth, and with 56 affordable accommodation choices and a £1.80 daily parking cost, the tranquil Wiltshire village makes it almost too easy to stay within budget.
The towns of Knaresborough and Kirkby Lonsdale tie, rounding out the top five affordable towns and villages for accommodation, each providing 54 options under £100.
Ed Fleming, Managing Director at Savoo comments on the study:
“As the cost of living crisis continues to bite, getting a good deal is more important than ever in all areas of our lives. But with increasingly tight budgets, being able to holiday at all is in the balance.
“At Savoo, we’re all about helping you save money while also contributing to good causes. So we’ve looked into the best value staycations to help you get away this summer. Hopefully a well-earned getaway that doesn’t break the bank will help lighten the load of stress until times get easier.
“We wish all our customers planning a trip a very happy and budget-friendly holiday. And don’t forget to browse through Savoo’s codes to discover other ways you can save.”
Find the full list of the most affordable UK holiday destinations on Savoo's website.
With all these fabulous affordable staycation options, all that remains is to search Savoo’s best deals and vouchers for your holiday and get going!
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