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21 Of The Most Beautiful Staycation Spots In The UK

By Jack Saddler July 27, 2020

We’ve rounded up some of the very best places for a UK staycation.

2020 is the year of the staycation—and the United Kingdom is full of beautiful spots to explore. From dramatic coastlines to chocolate box villages, you don’t need a plane to discover some of the most gorgeous scenery in the world. Get some serious travel inspo for your summer destination thanks to our guide to the best staycations in the UK.

1. Tenby, Wales

🤷‍♀️  What to do: Walk along the 13th-century town’s historic harbour or visit its numerous galleries and exhibitions. The Tenby Museum & Art Gallery and the Tudor Merchant’s House are popular spots.

🍴 Where to eat: Blueball Restaurant for the freshest seafood, or The Buccaneer Inn for a pint and some pub grub.

🚗  Distance from Manchester: 4.5-5 hours by car.

2. Cornwall

🤷‍♀️  What to do: Check out some of the UK’s best surfing beaches, such as Porthleven or Sennen Cove, before pottering around lovely seaside towns and scoffing on tremendous seafood.

🍴 Where to eat: Mackerel Sky Seafood Bar in Penzance or The Halsetown Inn in St Ives for a great pub lunch.

🚗  Distance from Manchester: 6 hours by car.

3. Durdle Door, Jurassic Coast

🤷‍♀️  What to do: Take a paddleboat out around Lulworth Cove and gawk at the iconic stone arch, or go on a sunny coastal walk nearby.

🍴 Where to eat: Lulworth Lodge is the perfect spot to satisfy your hunger after a morning of activities around the sea. Specialises in seafood and burgers.

🚗  Distance from Manchester: 5 hours by car.

4. Canterbury, Kent

🤷‍♀️  What to do: Visit the historic Canterbury Cathedral, take a stroll in the Blean Woods nature reserve, or visit the nearby Herne Bay or Whitstable beaches.

🍴 Where to eat: Tuck into all kinds of pork—smoked, cured, pulled, you name it—over at Pork And CoCite Crepes is also a tasty dessert spot for sweet-toothed staycationers.

🚗  Distance from Manchester: 4.5-5 hours by car.

5. Isle Of Skye, Scotland

🤷‍♀️  What to do: Take in the beautiful Scottish Highland surroundings, and visit landmarks such as the Storr, Quiraing and Dunvegan Castle. You’ll unsurprisingly encounter some gorgeous lochs on the island, too.

🍴 Where to eat: Red Roof Café is a cosy spot serving locally produced veggie and vegan grub. Alternatively, get yourself over to Old School for some typically excellent Scottish seafood.

🚗  Distance from Manchester: This is a long one, folks. 7.5-8 hours by car.

6. Dancing Ledge, Dorset

🤷‍♀️ What to do: Sit out on the Dancing Ledge itself (a flat ledge of rock beneath some pretty impressive cliffs) when the tide’s out, to take in the rays and have a dip in the ocean.

🍴 Where to eat: Grab a hearty outdoor pub lunch in the beer garden of The Square and Compass.

🚗 Distance from Manchester: 5 hours by car.

7. Lake District, Cumbria

🤷‍♀️  What to do: Walk among swathes of greenery, boat on the lakes and visit local art galleries.

🍴 Where to eat: San Pietro’s in Windermere serves some mean Italian delights to wrap up a day by the lakes.

🚗  Distance from Manchester: 1.5 hours by car.

8. London

🤷‍♀️  What to do: Where to even begin? Here’s a small list of 500 things to do courtesy of our pals at Secret London, just to get you started. As well as 200 free things to do, if you’re travelling on a budget.

🍴 Where to eat: And again, check out their guide to London’s best restaurants.

🚗  Distance from Manchester: 4 hours by car.

9. Brighton, East Sussex

🤷‍♀️  What to do: Stroll along the pier and eat ice cream on the beach, or wander The Lanes in search of a quaint tearoom or traditional English pub.

🍴 Where to eat: The Salt Room for award-winning seafood on the seafront, or Terre à Terre for world-inspired vegetarian dishes.

🚗  Distance from Manchester: 4.5-5 hours by car.

10. The Cotswolds

🤷‍♀️ What to do: Discover some of the North’s prettiest villages or walk along some stunning, historic trails.

🍴 Where to eat: The Kingham Plough is a beautiful pub with a Mediterranean-inspired menu to transport you all the way to Greece while on your staycation.

🚗 Distance from Manchester: 3 hours by car.

11. The New Forest

🤷‍♀️ What to do: Explore the New Forest National Park, check out the National Motor Museum, or admire the beautiful flowers in Exbury Gardens.

🍴 Where to eat: For an excellent beer garden and a cracking Sunday roast, head to The New Forest, Ashurst. It’s the perfect pitstop for New Forest walkers.

🚗 Distance from Manchester: 4 hours by car.

12. Scottish Highlands

🤷‍♀️ What to do: Look out for Nessie in Loch Ness or hire a kayak for a trip on the water at Loch Lomond. The world is your oyster at one of the crowning beauty spots the UK has to offer.

🍴 Where to eat: The Plockton Shores has you covered for some of the best seafood to come from Scottish Highland waters.

🚗 Distance from Manchester: 4 hours by car.

13. Devon

🤷‍♀️ What to do: Like its neighbour Cornwall, you can surf here, enjoy the beautiful beaches and also walk along many a harbour.

🍴 Where to eat: Enjoy some swanky dining at the Michelin-starred restaurant at Gidleigh Park, or a wholesome lunch by the river at the ever-so-quaint River Cottage.

🚗 Distance from Manchester: 4.5 hours by car.

14. Rye, Sussex

🤷‍♀️ What to do: Visit Lamb House—the former home of author Henry James—or take a stroll along Mermaid Street, before frolicking on Camber Sands beach. The Rye Castle Museum is also worth a visit.

🍴 Where to eat: The George Grill will serve you fine cuts of meat, while The Fig will sort you out with some strikingly colourful vegan and vegetarian plates.

🚗 Distance from Manchester: 5 hours by car.

15. Seven Sisters, East Sussex

🤷‍♀️ What to do: Marvel at the sight of the stunning chalk cliffs (of which there are 280 hectares of!) as you meander around the Seven Sisters Country Park and, by extension, the South Downs National Park.

🍴 Where to eat: Have a slap-up Thai feast over at Thai Terre Restaurant in East Dean.

🚗 Distance from Manchester: 5 hours by car.

16. Malvern, Worcestershire

🤷‍♀️ What to do: Explore the grounds of the Little Malvern Court & Gardens, visit the Malvern Museum to discover some local history, or spend the day navigating the breathtaking Malvern Hills.

🍴 Where to eat: Visit the Swan Inn in Newland for cosy pub vibes and traditional fodder, or the Little Malvern Courtyard Tea Room for some truly stunning views.

🚗 Distance from Manchester: 3 hours by car.

17. Isle Of Wight

🤷‍♀️  What to do: Take a dip in the sea, head to Queen Victoria’s beloved Osborne House and Swiss Cottage, or tiptoe around the woodland paths of Shanklin.

🍴 Where to eat: The Bandstand is a must-visit spot in Sandown overlooking the glorious bay.

🚗🚢  Distance from Manchester: 5.5-6 hours by car and ferry.

18. Snowdonia, Wales

🤷‍♀️ What to do: Climb the mighty Mount Snowdon and bask in the beauty of the idyllic national park.

🍴 Where to eat: Head to the no-nonsense Gallt-y-Glyn to devour a hard-earned pint and a pizza after a long-day hiking up to the peak of the mountain.

🚗 Distance from Manchester: 2 hours by car.

19. Edinburgh, Scotland

🤷‍♀️ What to do: Climb up to Arthur’s Seat for stunning views of the city skyline, visit the famous Edinburgh Castle, taste some whisky, or take canalside walks in Leith and beyond.

🍴 Where to eat: Try out one of the three Oink locations for a delicious (and traditional!) hog roast, or visit the fantastic, family-run Timberyard restaurant hidden in a former prop and costume warehouse.

🚗 Distance from Manchester: 4 hours by car.

20. Llandudno, Wales

🤷‍♀️ What to do: You lot love a good coastal walk, don’t you? We don’t blame you. Llandudno Pier and Promenade or Great Orme Country Park are perfect places to start here.

🍴 Where to eat: Get a famous wood-fired pizza over at Johnny Dough’s.

🚗 Distance from London: 1.5-2 hours by car.

21. Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire

🤷‍♀️ What to do: Breathe in the fresh, sea air at this beautiful little fishing village, make a trip to the Robin Hood’s Bay Museum, or spot the seals at Ravenscar.

🍴 Where to eat: One word. Fish. We are in Whitby territory, after all. We recommend taking your pick of local fish ‘n’ chips shops, or just head straight to Fish Box.

🚗 Distance from London: 2.5 hours by car.

More inspo: 10 Pretty Villages And Towns In The UK That You Have To Visit This Summer