25 UK Staycation Ideas for a Fun Holiday at Home

Fancy a holiday at home this year?

If you live in the UK, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to amazing staycation destinations. You can enjoy a beach holiday in the south of England, camp in the Scottish wilderness, or go hiking in Wales – just to name a few UK staycation ideas.

So if you’re looking for the best places to go on holiday in the UK, check out these staycation recommendations by travel bloggers.

A road trip in Northern Ireland | Best UK staycation ideas
Dunluce Castle along the Causeway Coast. Photo by Bradley Williams.

1. Drive along the Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland

“The Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland is without a doubt one of the most beautiful parts of the UK. This rugged piece of coastline is also home to some of the most famous sites in Northern Ireland, including the Giant’s Causeway.

On a road trip along this stretch of coastline you’ll find Dunluce Castle, the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, Old Bushmills Factory, Mussenden Temple and many other interesting sites.

It’s best to hire a car for a day or two to get to see as much as possible. The Causeway Coast starts in Belfast and ends on the western edge of Northern Ireland, in the city of Derry. You can drive the whole thing in as little as 3 or 4 hours, but it’s much better to take your time and drive at a more leisurely speed.”

Bradley from Dream Big, Travel Far

Visit the Cotswolds | Best UK staycation ideas
The Cotswolds. Photo by Roshni Patel.

2. Explore The Cotswolds

“There are several beautiful villages in the Cotswolds that make for the ideal staycation in the UK.

Known throughout England for their honey-coloured buildings, cosy pubs, quaint cottages and traditional tea rooms, the Cotswolds are perfect for a short holiday.

In just three or four days, you can visit most of the area, including the chocolate box village of Castle Combe, the hidden ruins of Minster Lovell, the famous tower in Broadway and the riverside village of Burton-on-the-Water.

The Cotswolds are great for outdoor lovers too, as it’s possible to hike along the Cotswolds Way, a trail that joins a number of the villages together and lets you explore the beautiful countryside along with picture-perfect towns.”

Roshni from The Wanderlust Within

Cycling the Viking Coastal Trail | Best UK staycation ideas
The Viking Coastal Trail. Photo by Eniko Krix.

3. Cycle The Viking Coastal Trail

“The Viking Coastal Trail is a 32 mile (51.4km) circular route on the Isle of Thanet. It is a popular cycling and hiking pathas it goes through some amazing scenery.

Cycling the Viking Coastal Trail makes a great long weekend activity. There is a campsite at Ramsgate that is perfect if you are bike packing.

There are lots of nice attractions along the way. You can visit the Ramsgate Tunnels if you are interested in history. Surf lovers can ride the waves at Viking Bay. Many families enjoy spending time at Botany Bay, as it is a sandy beach with an opportunity for fossil hunting. Meanwhile, Margate has a small theme park called Dreamland, which is a big hit with children and teens.

The Viking Coastal Trail is well-marked and most sections are suitable for children as well.”

Eniko from Travel Hacker Girl

Plymouth | UK Staycation Ideas
Plymouth. Photo by Frederica Diamanta on Unsplash.

4. Spend a few days in Plymouth

“A trip to Britain’s Ocean City, Plymouth, is the perfect city break for a fantastic UK staycation. Whether you’re visiting Plymouth with kids or as a backpacker, you’ll find plenty to do in and around the city.

For some sightseeing, head to Plymouth Hoe – ‘the Jewel in the crown’ of Plymouth with fantastic views of Plymouth Sound and out to sea. You’ll see Smeatons Tower which you can climb for better views.

Walking left from Plymouth Hoe, you’ll reach the Barbican area, home to plenty of fish & chip takeaways, boutique restaurants, upmarket pubs and stunning views. The Barbican is the starting point of many boat trips around Plymouth to Drakes Island, the Royal William Yard, around the coast of Plymouth and Cremyll Beach in Cornwall.

The star attraction in Plymouth is the National Marine Aquarium, with over 400 species of marine life and a fabulous cafe overlooking the Barbican area. There’s also plenty of shopping to be done in Plymouth. You can shop till you drop in Drake Circus Shopping Centre. Afterwards, head next-door to the Barcode, where you’ll find a 4D cinema, an indoor crazy golf and a variety of eateries.

Plymouth is an ideal base for day trips to the surrounding areas of Dartmoor National Park and the beautiful Cornish Coast. To experience all that Plymouth has to offer, it’s best to spend three days exploring the city.

If you’re looking for places to stay in Plymouth, The Juries Inn is centrally located and comes highly recommended. The FoxHouse Studios are also a good choice.”

Sylvie from Travels With Eden

Deer at Bushy Park, London. Photo by Sophie Clapton.

5. Explore the non-touristy side of London

“While a city break to London may seem like an overdone choice of staycation in the UK, there are many non-touristy things to do in London to avoid the crowds and explore a completely different side to the capital city.

You could stay a little further outside of the city centre, exploring London’s leafy suburbs, going swimming in Hampstead Ponds or deer spotting in Bushy Park.  Or discover hidden gems tucked away in the city centre, including picturesque gardens, quirky museums, stunning free views of London, secret bars or even kayaking under Tower Bridge. 

There’s so much to see and do in London that you could spend months exploring and never see it all.  However, a long weekend would be a great amount of time to discover some of the secret spots in London (and maybe even a few of the touristy sites, too!).”

Sophie from We Dream of Travel

Throw tomahawks in the Scottish Borders | Best UK staycation ideas
Throwing tomahawks in the Scottish Borders. Photo by Heather Cole.

6. Throw tomahawks in the Scottish Borders

“Learning how to throw axes, or tomahawks as they’re known in the business, is one of the most fun things to do in the Scottish Borders.

This is a half-day activity which takes place in the beautiful grounds of the Roxburghe Shooting School of Excellence near Kelso. There are other outdoor pursuits to try here too, such as clay pigeon shooting and archery.

There are different sizes of weapon to aim at the targets, from big heavy duty axes to lightweight silver axes called ‘angels’. Surprisingly, the latter requires much more strength to throw in a straight line. It does take quite a few attempts to start hitting the target, but once you do, the feeling of achievement is incredible.

This is great as a group activity or as a couple, and needs to be booked in advance.”

Heather from Conversant Traveller

The Brecon Beacons, Wales. Photo by Kathryn Bird.

7. Go on a road trip across Wales

“If you’re considering a fun UK staycation, go on a road trip across Wales.

One of the best Wales road trip ideas are the Brecon Beacons. This area is spectacular to visit – it’s full of waterfalls, great hikes and beautiful views.

You don’t have to go far to feel completely detached from the rest of the world, and you can explore the areas easily over a weekend or a week. Be sure to bring a coat and sturdy hiking boots so you can enjoy the area whatever the weather throws at you!

I highly recommend taking your own motorhome or campervan so you have your accommodation with you – this will allow you to stay in some fabulous places.”

Kat from Wandering Bird

Duddon Valley, Lake District. Photo by Demi Johnson.

8. Go on a walking holiday in the Lake District

“One of the most beautiful corners of the UK, the Lake District offers an amazing staycation.

The Lake District national park is an outdoor lover’s paradise. It boasts quaint towns, incredible views and several walking trails. The area is popular among tourists who come for the scenery and to hike the many mountains in the area. 

You could tackle Scafell, the highest mountain in England. Or, if that is too much of a challenge, base yourself in a cute town and take strolls around the area.

There are many amazing short walks from Ambleside, a picturesque town in the heart of The Lake District. I highly recommend staying in the town and using it as a base to explore the scenic surroundings!”

Demi from Around The World With Her

Planning a hiking trip? Make sure to pack these hiking essentials.

The Royal Princess cruise ship in Liverpool. Photo by Jenni Fielding.

9. Cruise around the British Isles

“A cruise around the British Isles is the best way to explore lots of different places in the UK within a short period of time.

On a British Isles cruise, your ship will call at a new destination each day, so that you can disembark after breakfast and spend the whole day sightseeing. Popular UK ports include Southampton, Liverpool, Newcastle, Bristol, Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin and Holyhead.

British Isles cruises are available with various cruise lines such as Princess Cruises, Viking Cruises and Cruise and Maritime Voyages. Cruising duration ranges from a few days with just a couple of ports of call to a full circumnavigation of the UK and Channel Islands lasting two weeks or more.”

Jenni from Cruise Mummy

Snowdonia National Park, Wales. Photo by Pauline Vergnet.

10. Hike across Snowdonia National Park

“If you are looking for amazing outdoor activities in the UK, Snowdonia National Park will be perfect for you!

When it comes to beautiful landscapes, Wales has a lot to offer to visitors.
Snowdonia is one of the 3 welsh national parks. Located in the north of the country, it’s home to a beautiful range of mountains and the highest peak in Wales.

The most popular hike is Mount Snowdon. There are many paths that will take you up to the summit. Some are more challenging than others so it’s really up to you! It takes between 6 and 8 hours on average to hike Mount Snowdon. Once you get to the top, you will be rewarded with beautiful views over the national park.

If you’d rather get away from the crowds, you should head to Penygader. Less touristy compared to Snowdon, it’s a great place to hike and enjoy nature. From there, you can grab lunch in Machynlleth. This small town used to be the capital of Wales!

If you’re still up for more fun after your hike, head to Zip World Velocity 2. This is the fastest zipline in the world! You will be flying above a lake, looking at the mountains and the coast!

Ideally, you will want to stay at least a couple of days in Snowdonia.”

Pauline from BeeLoved City

Climbing your first mountain? Check out my top tips for first-time mountain climbers.

Cressbrook tunnel. Photo by Jenny Lynn.

11. Take a cycling trip in the Peak District

“Cycling in the Peak District makes for a wonderful weekend staycation. Miles upon miles of old railway tracks criss-cross the Peak District and have been transformed into gravel paths by the National Park Authority to provide some fantastic cycle paths.

The Monsal Trail, Tissington Trail, and High Peak Trail (to name just a few Peak District cycle routes) are all traffic-free and relatively flat, making for a lovely leisurely ride through some of the UK’s most breathtaking scenery. Many of these trails pass through long tunnels, carved through the hills, which are all lit during daylight hours.

Alternatively, if mountain biking is more your thing, perhaps take on the Curbar Edge and White Edge loop, or follow the route from Mam Tor to Hollins Cross and down to Edale. Getting some elevation on these routes means you are rewarded with incredible views.”

Jenny from Peak District Kids

Loch Coruisk, the Isle of Skye. Photo by Joella Doobrow.

12. Sail to Loch Coruisk on the Isle of Skye 

“The Isle of Skye has some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes in Scotland, which is why it is a sought-after getaway by tourists and locals alike.

While Skye can be busy, Loch Coruisk is more secluded and therefore blissfully peaceful. Sailing to Loch Coruisk is a marvelous activity which you can do on your getaway to Skye. You can spend anywhere from 3 hours to a full day there.

The adventure begins with the drive to Elgol where you are likely to encounter Highland coos on the narrow winding roads. Then you board a boat for a relaxing sail to Loch Coruisk admiring the wildlife along the way.

Depending on how long you stay and your fitness level, you can choose a scenic walk around the loch or hike to Sgurr na Stri for one of the most breathtaking views in all of Scotland.” 

Joella from RovingJo

Great Bay, Isles of Scilly. Photo by Annabel Jones.

13. Enjoy a quiet beach holiday on the Isles of Scilly

“If you’re after miles of empty beaches even in the height of the UK summer holidays, the Isles of Scilly are the perfect destination.

Located off the south west coast of Cornwall, the Scilly archipelago is made up of five inhabited and hundreds of uninhabited islands.

There are so many beaches on the Isles of Scilly and so few tourists that it is easy to have a beach all to yourself. Cars cannot be brought to the islands so all beaches are accessible by boat, bike or on foot. Some of the beaches are close to a town or a café whereas others such as the Caribbean-esque Great Bay on the island of St Martin, are relatively inaccessible and require a hike across empty countryside to reach them.

As the Isles of Scilly take a bit of time to reach (it’s a ferry ride of around 3 hours from Penzance or a flight from a regional airport), it’s best to stay for a minimum of a week to fully enjoy a holiday exploring these beautiful isles.”

Annabel from Smudged Postcard

A weekend in Cambridge | Best UK staycation ideas
Trinity College, Cambridge. Photo by Loredana G.

14. Spend a weekend in Cambridge

“Cambridge is not only great for a day trip from London as it is easily accessible by frequent trains departing from central London, but it is also suitable for weekend trips as it has a lot to explore.

Once you arrive in Cambridge, you’ll notice that you can walk from one attraction to the next as it is a smaller city. Cambridge is not just another university town. It is beautiful in its own right and has a lot to offer in the form of lovely scenic walks, fascinating museums, restaurants offering delicious food, and more.

Some museums to keep in mind and consider visiting include the Fitzwilliam Museum (the biggest museum in Cambridge) and the Sedgwick Museum of Geology – both a great activity to do on a rainy day or for those who are on a budget as they are free to visit!

Finally, don’t forget to go on a punting tour while in Cambridge – it is THE thing to do after all, so you might as well take part in the fun!”

Loredana from Destguides

Hike Hadrian's Wall | Best UK staycation ideas
Hadrian’s Wall. Photo by Monique Skidmore.

15. Hike Hadrian’s Wall

Hiking the Hadrian’s Wall National Trail is becoming one of the most popular outdoor activities in Europe.

Constructed in 122 AD to guard the northernmost limits of Britannia, the Roman Empire ended here in beautiful, remote borderlands countryside.

Hadrian’s Wall stretches across northern England from Bowness on Solway in the West to Wallsend in the East. Along this 73-mile wall are dozens of towers, gates and forts, as well as wonderful stone ruins.

It can take five days to hike the whole trail. For a short staycation, one of the best places to begin is Housesteads Roman Fort with its car parking, café, and interactive museum.

Most travelers hike the Hadrian’s Wall National Trail between May and October, but April is also a wonderful time to visit Northumberland because it is lambing season and you will see hundreds of them while hiking.”

Monique from TripAnthropologist

Swimming in Derbyshire | Best UK staycation ideas
Calver River, Derbyshire. Photo by Charlotte Blackburn.

16. Go wild swimming in Derbyshire

“Derbyshire has lots of rivers, ponds and streams to go wild swimming in. As long as it’s not a designated area for fishing you’ll be absolutely fine.

My two favourite spots are:

The river at Chatsworth House: This is huge and has some nice deep spots as well as some tree swings to add a bit of excitement. 

Calver Bridge: There is a river under the bridge so you can set up camp by the river, have a nice swim andgo for a walk. Or if you want to be a little more daring, jump of the bridge – the water is deep enough!

You can spend anything from a couple of hours to an entire day in each spot. There are also several nice spots where you can enjoy a picnic after your swim.”

Charlotte from Bursting My Bubbles

Bath | UK Staycation Ideas
Bath. Photo by Kirsten Drew on Unsplash.

17. Go on a treasure hunt in Bath

“One of the UK’s prettiest cities is the UNESCO listed city of Bath. It has famously appeared in several films and is always a top destination for tourists.

Of course, the iconic landmarks are the stunning Bath Cathedral and the famous Roman Baths, but there are also loads of hidden gems that often get overlooked.

One of the best ways to find out more about the lesser-known areas of the city is to do a treasure hunt. I live near Bath and have visited the city so many times, but there were so many places in the city that I didn’t even know existed.

The Bath Treasure hunt leads you on a trail all around the city. The question sheet is filled with cryptic puzzles. Sometimes you have to find something which will give you the answer and other times it’s based on a grid reference that you need to work out by drawing a cross between the different clues you have found. It’s such a fun and informative way to explore the city.”

Becki from Meet Me In Departures

Norfolk Broads | UK Staycation Ideas
Norfolk Broads. Photo by Percy Hunter from Pixabay.

18. Hire a boat in the Norfolk Broads

“If you are looking for a relaxing staycation where you can be one with nature, the Norfolk Broads is for you.

This national park is only a 30-minute drive from the city of Norwich but it is so peaceful.  You don’t need to have previous boating experience to navigate around.  The rivers are wide and the speed limits are low to protect the reeds.

You could just hire a boat on the Broads for the day, but you need at least a weekend to be able to see more. It’s the perfect place to have a boating holiday because there are many different areas to explore.

You can go for a nature walk in How Hill, visit the historic St. Benet’s Abbey, climb the tower of St. Mary’s Church in Ranworth, and more. Then, when you want to relax, just pop into one of the charming local pubs for a pint.”

Anisa from Two Traveling Texans

Durdle Door, Jurassic Coast. Photo by Jack Anstey on Unsplash.

19. Hike Durdle Door on the Jurassic Coast

“My husband and I drove a southern UK road trip earlier this year, and one of our favorite stops of the whole trip was Durdle Door on the Jurassic Coast.

There are two ways to reach Durdle Door—by parking just above and walking down, or by parking in West Lulworth’s central car park and hiking over. The latter is a moderately difficult hike, about a mile and a half one way, and you’ll want to wear sensible walking shoes.

Portions of the hike are particularly steep and the walk starts out with a long upward stretch. Once you reach the top, however, you’ll be rewarded with excellent sea views.

From Durdle Door, you can take the stairs down to the beach or even hike the door itself.

While the hike there and back can be done in a single day, I recommend spending at least a weekend in the area. You can hike east from West Lulworth to Lulworth Cove as well for more spectacular beauty.”

Jordan from Global Debauchery

Whisk Tasting on Islay, Scotland | Best UK staycation ideas
Ardnahoe Distilleri on the Isle of Islay, Scotland. Photo by Kathi Kamleitner.

20. Go on a whisky tour on Islay, Scotland

“Islay is a whisky lover’s paradise. Considered one of Scotland’s most productive whisky regions, there are currently 9 whisky distilleries on the Isle of Islay. At least 2 more are in development.

The best (and safest) way to enjoy the full range of distilleries on the island is to join an organised whisky tour to Islay and let someone else do the driving.

All of the whisky distilleries on Islay are open for tours and tastings, which means there is a whole lot to explore, taste and learn. Spend at least 2-3 full days on Islay to visit them all.

When you need a break from single malt, Islay also doesn’t disappoint. From fascinating historic sites, breathtaking beaches, gentle coastal walks and plenty of other outdoor activities – there is a lot to do to fill your time between distillery tours.”

Kathi from Watch Me See

Lindisfarne Castle. Photo by David Mark from Pixabay.

21. Explore the Holy Island of Lindisfarne

“Located off the coast of Northumberland in the north east of England is the tidal island of Lindisfarne. This is the perfect destination for those looking for a peaceful spot to base themselves to explore the island and neighbouring sites. 

On the island itself you will find the ruins of the ancient priory of Lindisfarne. It was here that the Lindisfarne Gospels were written between 715 and 720 AD. After numerous invasions by Viking warriors the priory was abandoned and now lies in ruins.

Lindisfarne Castle and gardens are also worth a visit. Enjoy views of Bamburgh Castle and the seaside town of Seahouses, which are located a short distance along the coast. 

When planning a visit to Lindisfarne make sure you check the tides first. Due to the tides the island can be cut off from the mainland for hours at a time. Many visitors have had to be rescued whilst crossing the causeway at the wrong time.”

Tracy from Tracy’s Travels in Time

New Forest National Park | UK Staycation Ideas
New Forest National Park. Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

22. Visit The New Forest National Park

Looking for UK staycation ideas that combine the beauty of the south of England with amazing beaches and honey pot villages?

At the New Forest National Park you can meet the famous New Forest Ponies while exploring the rolling heather hills and historic villages.

Beaulieu is one of the most beautiful villages in the region. It is home to the biggest car museum in Europe, which is housed in a beautiful castle. Further down the road by Lepe Beach you can enjoy a calm sandy beach with a view on the Isle of Wight. Other villages you should visit are Burley and Lyndhust – the latter has a large number of great antique shops.

As a staycation destination, The New Forest is a perfect fit for both campers, as well as people who are looking to stay in a beautiful holiday cottage. The New Forest is overall very dog-friendly and many pubs and restaurants will welcome your tail-wagging family members. You can even stay at a dog-friendly hotel!”

Lieze from Glitter Rebel

Hiking in Cornwall | Best UK staycation ideas
Kynace Cove as seen from the path coming from the Lizard Point. Photo by Joanna Davis.

23. Go hiking in Cornwall

“Cornwall is one of the most beautiful places to go for a staycation in the United Kingdom. There are so many things to see and do in Cornwall, with plenty of coastal walks and hiking trails along the tall cliffs.

The South West Coast Path actually covers the entire length of Cornwall, stretching on over 630 miles, from Poole Harbour in Dorset to Minehead in Somerset. The beauty of this trail is that you can hike shorter parts of it, enough to enjoy the scenery for as long as your holiday allows.

Some of the most beautiful hikes in Cornwall include Looe and Polperro, Lizard Point to Kynace Cove, and Porthcurno to Land’s End.

The best thing about hiking in Cornwall is that every route is different, yet each one offers gorgeous scenery. Along the way there are many small family-run pubs and restaurants, housed inside traditional wooden buildings and serving the most amazing fish dishes. 

Cornwall gets busy during the summer holidays. For a more authentic experience I recommend visiting outside of the tourist season. Go in late spring or early autumn, when the weather is still sunny and you can enjoy Cornwall without the crowds.”

Joanna from The World In My Pocket

Brighton. Photo by Jiayi Wang.

24. Take a trip to Brighton

“Exploring the coastal town of Brighton is an amazing staycation idea if you enjoy beaches and cobblestone streets.

Just an hour away from London by train, Brighton is a very walkable, relaxing, and fun destination. The Brighton Pier, for example, is bustling with arcades and food stalls, and the atmosphere there is super lively. It also offers a very picturesque view of the beach, making it a great photography spot if you’ve already hit all the best photo spots in London and are looking for a different kind of scenery! 

Spend at least 2 days in Brighton to take it slow and fully soak in its beauty. Watch the waves crash at the beach, and stay at one of the spa hotels across the pier that offer amazing views of the sea.

Most importantly, don’t forget to visit the charming neighborhood of Brighton Lanes, where you’ll find tons of boutiques and amazing restaurants such as Riddle And Finns!”

Jiayi from The Diary of a Nomad

Camping in Sligachan | Best UK staycation ideas
Sligachan, Isle of Skye. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

25. Go camping in Sligachan, Isle of Skye

“If you’re looking for UK staycation ideas in quiet locations, go on a camping trip to Sligachan, a remote settlement on the Isle of Skye.

Sligachan is a great base for exploring the Cuillin Mountains. You can even go on a day hike from Sligachan to the Fairy Pools, one of the most beautiful locations on the Isle of Skye.

There is nice campsite in Sligachan, which sits right on the loch and is surrounded by the stunning Cuillins. If you’re not a fan of camping, you can stay at Sligachan Hotel, which is next to the campsite and has an on-site brewery – plus a pub that serves amazing food!”

Daniela from Grumpy Camel

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Daniela Frendo

Daniela Frendo

Hi! I'm a Maltese blogger based in Scotland. I created Grumpy Camel to help travellers connect with places through culture, history and cuisine.

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