5 Most popular UK destinations for a staycation
14th Nov 2023 Places To Visit
5 min read
Looking for a cheap staycation to brighten up your winter? These are the most popular destinations in the UK, complete with walks, views and festive days out
Looking for a holiday close to home? New research from Aqua reveals the UK’s most popular destinations for a staycation, along with the destinations with the most affordable accommodation options.
With Christmas fast approaching, opting for a staycation offers holiday-makers a refreshing change in scenery without the hassle of long-distance travel. With so many interesting UK locations, which destinations do Brits have the most interest in and, most importantly, which offer the most affordable places to stay?
To find the most popular UK destinations, credit card brand Aqua looked at the number of people searching Google for hotels in 50 towns every month, while also looking at the number of hashtag views each destination received on TikTok.
The average price of a one-night stay was also taken into account, while Sharvan Selvam, Commercial Director at Aqua, has provided tips on keeping the costs of a staycation down.
The most popular staycation destinations in the UK
Blackpool is declared the most popular UK destination for a staycation, with 135,000 monthly searches for hotels in the area.
Whether you’re seeking the thrills of Blackpool Pleasure Beach or are keen to catch a glimpse of Blackpool Tower, the city’s most iconic landmark, the seaside town offers a number of stunning views. It’s no wonder the town has gained 980.8 million hashtag views on TikTok.
With accommodation prices averaging £72.68, you’ll have a golden opportunity to gaze upon Blackpool’s Illuminations display, without worrying about your budget or a late-night drive home.
If anyone wishes to get ahead of the Christmas shopping, the town’s Christmas by the Sea is open from the November 17.
Bournemouth follows in second, with around 90,500 people searching the location monthly. It’s not called Sunny Bournemouth for nothing, as holiday-makers will be sure to enjoy a wonderfully mild climate in the lead-up to winter.
It’s the perfect chance to explore an illuminated trail and ice skating rink at the town’s Christmas Tree Wonderland from the November 18.
"Holiday-makers can enjoy breathtaking views as they hike along the Jurassic Coast"
With a World Heritage Site within its borders, it’s no surprise to see this town with the second-highest number of hashtag views on TikTok (868.3 million). Holiday-makers can enjoy breathtaking views as they hike along the Jurassic Coast.
A one-night stay will also cost you an average of £87.52, giving you the perfect opportunity to rest your legs at the end of the day.
North Yorkshire’s Scarborough comes in third place, with 49,500 monthly searches and 686.4 million views on TikTok.
Just an hour’s drive from York, this resort town is a treasure trove of fun activities. Opening on the November 16, one of those activities is the Scarborough and York annual St Nicholas Fair.
With opportunities to walk along the North and South Bay beaches and fill your day with culture at Scarborough’s 12th-century castle ruins, you might need to make a pit stop in one of the town’s cosy local pubs for a hearty meal.
Whitby comes in fourth, with the seaside town seeing an average of 49,500 monthly searches and 587.7 million hashtag views on TikTok. Fans of everything dark and haunting will have a blast in this Yorkshire seaside town.
Having inspired the Victorian novel, Dracula, the gothic Whitby Abbey is a great place to dive into iconic fictional history.
"Fans of everything dark and haunting will have a blast in this Yorkshire seaside town"
While a one-night stay in Whitby averages £110.36, the town offers holiday-makers a range of accommodation options, including cottages, apartments, bed and breakfasts, inns and hotels.
Having somewhere to stay will give you plenty of time to explore the Whitby harbour during the day and experience the Illuminated Whitby Abbey in the evening.
Rounding off the top five best UK staycation destinations is Swansea. The Welsh town sees 27,100 monthly searches and has 622.4 million hashtag views on TikTok.
Swansea’s Waterfront Wonderland is returning on the November 15, bringing with it the Alpine Village food and drink area, the ice rink and lots of fun fair attractions.
Hotels in Swansea cost just 60p more than in Whitby on average, at £110.96 per night.
The Cardiff Devils are getting ready for a new season, and with Cardiff only being an hour’s drive from Swansea, you have the perfect opportunity to catch a game of ice hockey in the UK.
The UK destinations with the most affordable accommodation
Paignton, Devon has the most affordable accommodation, with a one-night stay costing only an average of £72.16.
Whether you’d like to wander through the Paignton Pier, or even take a stroll down the dog-friendly Goodrington Sands, you’ll find plenty of cheap and cheerful activities during your visit.
Blackpool follows in second, with hotels costing an average of around £72.68.
To make the most of your staycation and experience multiple attractions at one price, take a look at The Blackpool Big Ticket offers.
Additionally, if you’re visiting with the family, all you need is a bag full of pennies for hours of fun in the town’s arcades.
Hartlepool in County Durham rounds out the top three, with hotels costing an average of £78.12 per night in the seaside town.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly trip, Hartlepool offers plenty of opportunities for hikes along the Durham Coast. Or if you’re more in touch with the green side of nature, take a trip to Wynyard Woodland Park, just a 20-minute drive from the town.
"Hartlepool offers plenty of opportunities for hikes along the Durham Coast"
Sharvan Selvam, Commercial Director at Aqua comments on the study:
“Whether you’re heading off on an autumn getaway, or planning ahead for half-term or Christmas, staycations can be a great way to get some rest and relaxation. From skipping the airport chaos to cutting down travel times, holidaying close to home offers plenty of benefits, and might also save you money on things like flight costs and airport parking.
“There are simple steps holiday-makers can take to keep costs down when they’re on their staycation too. While it’s nice to treat yourself to a few meals out when on holiday, choosing self-catered accommodation, and bringing some of your own food, could save you a lot of money.
"When it comes to activities, do your research ahead of time to see if any attractions have discounted entry, and some places, such as museums and art galleries, are often free.
"Getting outside in nature is almost always free too, so if you’re by the sea or near national parks, be sure to spend some time exploring some of the unique scenery we have on our doorstep.”
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