Last Updated on February 1, 2023
Looking for some UK staycation ideas?! I share 7 ideas for UK getaways, including some my favourite places around the countries and places that are on my radar! I grew up touring all over the UK with our caravan, which ultimately gave me the travel bug!
Disclosure: AD | In collaboration with Hotels.com, but all views are my own.
Staycation Ideas for a UK Getaway
Edinburgh and the North Coast 500
Scotland has come up in discussion several times for a potential UK staycation. We’re a family that are big on road trips. I’ve been on 2 road trips in Australia, we’ve done several in the USA but our last Scottish road trip was back in 2002!
I went to Edinburgh & Glasgow in 2009 for a weekend, but with so many things to do in Edinburgh, I’d like to go back and explore more! I really enjoyed Camera Obscura and Word of Illusions, but I’d also like to do to the hike to Arthur’s Seat and visit The Elephant House, which is where J.K. Rowling wrote some of the Harry Potter books.
We spoke about potentially doing the ‘North Coast 500’, a 500+ mile road trip around, you guessed it, the North Coast of Scotland. A good place to start and finish is from Inverness, but from where we live in the East of England, it would be a 9 hour drive just to get to the start of the NC500 (with another 9 hour drive at the end).
Another option would be flying into somewhere like Edinburgh and hiring a car, which would cut 6 hours off the drive time (Edinburgh – Inverness is approximately a 3 hour drive).
With having to consider things like social distancing, we were thinking the NC500 could be a good option. It would be a trip focusing on experiencing the outdoors, rather than relying on attractions being open and having to prebook entrance times etc.
My last big UK Staycation was in 2019 when we went to North Wales. I thought it was brilliant, there were so many adventurous things to do! The Zipworld locations are just awesome, we went up Mount Snowdon on the Llanberis Railway…and then walked back down, visited Portmeirion which looks like a little village plucked out of Italy and had photos with the Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch train station sign.
I’ve now got my sights on Pembrokeshire in the south of Wales, another place that I visited back in the mid 2000’s. I’d like to visit Freshwater West Beach. It is another Harry Potter location and is where *SPOILER ALERT* Dobby’s grave is. People go and leave painted rocks and socks as a little memorial for him. Yes, he is a fictional character but that death destroyed me!
There’s also a glamping site not far away, where you can spend the night in a room that’s in a converted ex Ethiad airplane (called the ‘Arabian Nights Airbus’). One of the toilets has been converted into a shower room, the other is still a toilet, the galley is a kitchen, all the windows have the original ‘pull down’ blinds and the overhead lockers are still there for storage! They also have a ‘private jet’ room too along with some other unique accommodation options. But when I haven’t flown for so long, a grounded, chopped in half plane seems the next best option!
The only ‘trip’ I took after March 2020 (other than my flight home in June) was a weekend break glamping in Essex. I live in Essex so it really was a staycation. Me and my sister went to Osea Leisure Park, literally just down the road. Thankfully it was the hottest weekend of the year and we really appreciated being able to have a break. Even though we were so close to home, it really felt like we were a lot further away! They had lots of additional procedures in place to keep guests safe too.
Now I have a second website, dedicated to all things Essex, there’ll most likely be some more Essex mini breaks. I’d like to visit a couple more of the glamping locations, they do book up quite far in advance though! Essex also has one of the longest coast lines in England, so I’m thinking about having a night away somewhere like Southend-On-Sea, just to get some fresh sea air in my lungs!
One of my favourite areas of England is the South West. I love Devon and Cornwall and would never turn down a trip there! Attempting to surf and the ‘surf like’ atmosphere around the beach towns is something I love. I am quite happy wandering in and out of surf shops, I have surfboard and VW camper van stickers stuck over my laptop. I’m not a huge ‘brand’ person but I do love Animal, Billabong, Roxy and Vans clothes (and BACKPACKS), they are just always such nice colours!
Even on a normal year when staycations haven’t been so popular, Devon and Cornwall can get VERY busy. Due to the geography of the land, traffic does tend to bottle neck, especially on Saturdays. It’s best to either travel so you arrive very early in the morning to beat the traffic, or head down on a week day. Some of the local roads are very narrow too and car parks aren’t always the biggest, so if you can stay somewhere with access to a beach or a nearby town within walking distance, that would be beneficial!
I live 1 hour away from London on the train, I’m so close, yet so far! Whether staying overnight or just a day trip, there is always so much to do! Doing my online English teaching I have a lot of Asian students, which has inspired me to explore more of Asia. With East Asia being so far away (and flights pretty expensive!), visiting China Town seems like a nice way to ‘scratch that itch’ until I can go properly!
You can literally travel the whole world in London alone, you can find restaurants offering all different cuisines. Ellie Quinn over at The Wandering Quinn wrote this great post: Arab Areas in London For an Alternative Look at London, if you are after something different.
Bristol and Bath
Now thinking of somewhere completely new to me, I still really want to visit Bristol and Bath at some point! They look like nice cities to photograph, so that would be my main reason for visiting!
Visiting Friends and Family
After spending 4 years living in the USA it’s great being able to spend time with family again. I have cousins further ‘up north’ in Nottingham, Sheffield and on the outskirts of Manchester and a friend on the south coast, that I’d love to go and see for a weekend.
When you visit friends and family, they are ‘experts’ in the area where they live, so they often know of the good local places to visit! So fingers crossed these types of meet ups will be able to happen soon!
I was also looking at buying a Network Rail card which covers some of the South of England. For £30 the card lasts for 1 year and gives you discount on train tickets. I used to have the 18-25 railcard and then the 26-30 but now…I’m too old. For me in Essex, I only need to make 3 trips to London within the year and you make back the £30 in savings, so it’s quite good!
Are you planning any UK 2023 Staycations?
4 thoughts on “Fun UK Staycation Ideas For 2023”
Looks like you have some wonderful options here even if international travel remains a bit iffy! Devon and Cornwall have such gorgeous areas and Bath is another place that I think you can go to again and again and never tire of it. I would love to return and explore Wales! Stay safe 🙂
Yes! I definitely need to visit Bath! Thank you, you too!
SO many places to visit in the UK and you do need to get over to Bath, it’s well worth a trip. London just can’t be visited too often as it has so much. Not a fan of the staycation word though but will let you off this once!
Haha thank you 😉 It was part of the collaboration, they wanted a staycation post! I grew up going on caravan holidays but we mainly only went to coast towns that had attractions to keep us entertained as kids. But I’m lacking the internal locations 😂. I love London, you could go every day for a year and not see everything!