Tourists travel from all over the world to visit the UK, so before you start berating your misfortune at having to holiday at home, open your eyes to what’s on your doorstep first- and we don’t just mean the famous capital!
Hiking in the Lake Districts
The Lake District has enough natural lakes, humpbacked mountains and incredible scenery to rival anywhere in the Alps, and all this is practically on our doorstep with absolutely no flight costs. Endless walking, fishing, climbing and bird watching makes the Lakes a veritable paradise for the active… or simply sit back and relax in a log cabin with its very own hot tub. Lake Cottage Holidays has nearly 400 self-catering Lake District cottages on offer, ranging from the most basic to the luxurious; book with them now and get £25 off your stay.
Are you feeling in need of a little TLC? Scrap the idea of a trip abroad and head straight to a luxury UK spa hotel for a weekend of absolute pampering; soak in a Japanese-inspired hot tub, followed by a casual stint in a herbal steam room and a toxin-reducing sauna. If your budget is a little stretched, see if the hotel offers a one day pass to the facilities so you can relax without breaking the bank. Apex Dundee City Quay Hotel and Spa offers the full works for just £25 per person, or you could save 25% on a three night break.
One of the advantages of remaining in the UK is that you can afford to splash out on more luxurious accommodation (rather than long haul flights and airport transfers). Spend a few nights in a local 4 or 5* hotel and enjoy room service, bubble baths in your ensuite bathroom and an indoor swimming pool… which let’s face are the best parts of a holiday anyway! If you really want to feel like a VIP, ask the concierge service to book you seats at an exclusive restaurant or tickets to a show. Lastminute.com is currently offering 10% off hotel bookings when you sign up to their email newsletter.
Go to a festival
Festivals are pretty much a holiday in themselves: they take place over three of four days, you end up spending money on overpriced souvenirs and often come away hungover, sunburnt and more tired than when you left the house! Take a look at our UK Festival Guide to find one that appeals to your musical tastes ad budget.
Our canals and rivers are home to an impressive 35,000 boats, many of which can be hired out for your very own tour of the countryside. Take to the UK’s waterways in your very own narrow boat and experience life at a much slower pace: think beers in the sunshine, sunbathing and waving at passing walkers as you glide by at 4mph. Lovely.
Camping on the coast
For a family friendly staycation on a budget you simply can’t beat camping on the British coast. Campsites are not only kind on the wallet, but they also come equipped with all the amenities you could need for a comfortable getaway including showers, hot water and electricity points. Park Resorts have 24 camping pitches situated across the UK, including scenic destinations like the Isle of Wight and the Scottish coast. Best of all, you can use the Park facilities like indoor swimming pools, playgrounds and evening entertainment, all from just £19. Right now you can get £5 off Park Resorts bookings thanks to Savoo’s exclusive code.
Sleeping in a tent might be your idea of personal hell (burnt sausages, damp sleeping bags and insects not appealing to everyone), but don’t rule out the idea of camping just yet. Glamping (Glamorous Camping) is more luxurious than traditional camping, with accommodation options including yurts, cabins, shepherds huts, tree houses and safari tents. And the beauty of glamping is that you can still feel smug about getting back to nature and immersing yourself in the countryside, without the stress of putting up a tent or finding the toilet block at 3am. Glampsites are located all over the UK- look on goglamping.net to find one near you.
Cycle the Taff Trail
Snaking for 55 miles between Cardiff Bay waterfront and the Brecon Beacons, the Taff Trail is a cycle route that can easily be completed over a weekend. Although it passes through urban and suburban landscapes the trail is mostly traffic free, and takes in some breath-taking scenery like Pontsticill reservoir and open moorland. Cyclists end up in the small town of Brecon, where you can spend a happy few days either basking in the view or hiking in the mountains; great for couples, families or groups of energetic adults.
A staycation doesn’t have to mean the UK with the Emerald Isle only a short ferry ride away. Rather than staying in Dublin where accommodation costs can be steep, head south of the capital to County Wicklow where you will find a number of reasonably priced B&B’s and a veritable playground of mountains, coastline and woodland. From here you can easily make a day trip to Dublin and experience the vibrant city without the expensive price tag. Lowcostholidays.com is currently offering £20 off holidays, so check out their great range of hotels to grab a bargain.
If you are really stuck for cash then make a list of local attractions that you have never got round to seeing and bring with it the same enthusiasm that you would take abroad. If you are stuck for inspiration, browse Red Letter Days for an experience to remember; champagne hot air ballooning, supercar blasts and segway rallies are just a few things you could do with your time off.
Where would you recommend for a 2014 staycation?