When most people think about budget staycations, they envisage caravans and campsites, but with more Brits choosing to stay in the UK for their holiday, there are now far more accommodation options for a cheaper alternative break-away that doesn’t involve pitching a tent.
Read our guide to the best ‘staycation’ locations across the UK that are affordable and offer slightly more than just a relaxing stay. Whether its an action-packed four-day trip or a long leisurely holiday on a budget, there is something for everyone’s taste when it comes to picking the perfect ‘staycation’ with a twist:
Action-packed activity weekends
If you’re seeking an adventurous trip away, there are plenty of activity centres in the UK that offer onsite accommodation as well as hire included in their pricing. Although accommodation can be a bit hit and miss on this type of group activity centre, with communal living or camping being the most on offer. Why not learn to surf in the amongst the Welsh waves, or go coasteering along the dramatic coastline of Cornwall and meet like-minded adventure seekers whilst pushing yourself to the limits. Fully immerse yourself in an action-packed trip whilst learning new skills and making friends along the way. An activity weekend is ideal for couples, friends trips away and even a stag or hen party group- the possibilities are endless and there are a number of good-quality activity centres throughout the UK.
Why not try the TYF no limits centre, in St Davids, West Wales, where you can try coasteering and surfing during the day and experience camp life onsite, for just £15 pp per night. If kayaking and windsurfing are more your thing and you embrace no-thrills accommodation, food and drink as well as kit hire – all inclusive, check out the Outdoor Adventure company, in Bude, Cornwall. They offer a 5 day package, 3 meals a day with kit hire and accommodation all for £495 pp.
Cosy up on an English Canal
The UK once relied on the great waterways to transport goods up and down the country, but nowadays it is used for a more relaxed lifestyle. Canals have a sedate and almost therapeutic influence, making them perfect for a ‘staycation’. With numerous options available, a trip down the canal is an ideal holiday for those who want to take a more gentle approach to vacations. From larger groups hiring out whole canal boats, to more intimate breaks and even floating hotels, the UK’s waterways are teaming with accommodation to suit everyone’s needs. If you are seeking a more laid-back approach to a holiday, a canal trip could be just what you’re looking for! With easy access to pubs and cafes that line the canals of Britain, it’s no surprise this type of ‘staycation’ is becoming more popular among Brits looking to holiday in the UK.
Try a treetop sleepover
Tree Houses are not just for children, as the growing popularity in tree-house stays have now proved an increasingly popular way to ‘get back to nature’. There are a steady number of holiday places around the UK that offer outdoors accommodation including hobbit huts, tree houses and old-fashioned gypsy caravans. With the growing interest in sleeping among nature, these types of alternative accommodation options offer all the charm of being outside, with the comforts of a bed and above all- protection from the Great British weather! An ideal solution to those ‘staycationers’ who are looking to be more adventurous but also want to have some creature comforts when on holiday. Try sites such as Canopy and stars for a great range of alternative and quirky outdoor venues for your next staycation. With locations around the UK, there will be a location and alternative accommodation to suit your needs.
Wild camping in The Lake District
Whilst wild camping may not be for the more amateur camper or even the city dweller, but for the more adventurous camper looking to get back to nature- wild camping is the answer! With no pitching fee, you can safely say wild camping is definitely kind on the wallet. There are many nature reserves and parks across the UK that allow people to pitch up where they please. However, a lack of running water or any kind of facility may not be the most appealing idea to some people. The Lake District is an ideal location for a spot of wild camping, with enough green space to pitch a tent without worrying about nosey neighbours but enough pubs and hostels to ensure you’re not too far from civilisation. There are numerous books and websites that offer advice for first-time wild campers, and even some tips the more experienced campers may find useful, to make wild camping safe and enjoyable.It is always advised to tell someone where you are roughly planning on pitching a tent, even if you are looking to ‘go with the flow’, once at your destination. Wild camping is available across the country, but the Lake District is one of the more popular spots for this more adventurous past time. Why not try the official Lake District tourist website or the National Trust site for the Lake District for professional advice and tips to camping in the wild.
Hop around the UK’s hostels
Hostels are an amazing way for intrepid explorers looking to stay in popular locations and save money, at the same time. With a good range of official hostel companies to choose from, it is safe to assume almost every city, town and remote corners of the UK will have a hostel near by. If a city escape is up your street, why not choose a city location and research the best hostel for your needs. If it’s easy access to the nightlife, consider a hostel that is central, allowing you to save money on taxis and public transport etc.
Don’t forget, hostel life is communal which may not suit everyone’s holiday needs, if a break away from people is what you are looking for. For a more sedate and relaxing stay, consider a more remote hostel location. There are hostels situated by famous British mountains such as Snowdon and Ben Nevis, that would make exploring these mountains and their surroundings far more convenient. Why not book into the YHA hostel at the foot of Snowdon, and beat the daily pedestrian traffic to the top of the peak.With so many different hostel companies around the UK, there will be one that caters to your staycation needs. We recommend trying the YHA website or Hostel bookers and book your next adventure.
Unusual sleeping spaces
Looking for a more quirky venue for your next holiday, to impress a friend or lover, why not consider a transport space-turned accommodation! A great example of an unusual space to rent is a former fire truck, turned living space, located in the Highlands of Scotland which is available for B&B hire. Situated on the Inshriach Estate, the Beermoth truck has been refurbished complete with an iron-frame double bed and dining table as well as two chairs, all inside the tiny truck! The estate owner, Walter, liberated the 1956 Commer Q4 from the Manston Fire Museum in Kent, refurbished it entirely from laying the parquet floor to installing the working rayburn cooker. This is a truly original and alternative place to stay- it would be very hard to find a more unusual accommodation option! From just £60 a night for two people, you could be sleeping in a piece of British history. The Beermoth truck is a real alternative option for a get away in the UK.
If an old-fashioned fire truck isn’t interesting enough, there are plenty more converted transporters such as vintage double-decker buses and even purpose-built caves and pig sties, all converted into comfortable sleeping quarters and quirky enough to make a few nights’ away perhaps the most memorable you’ve had. For more inspiration on alternative transport accommodation, check out sites Quirky Accomm or Host Unusual.
Stay as a guest in someone’s home
Not to everyone’s taste, but ideal for a cheap stay for someone looking to go it alone on holiday in the UK, the perfect solution to cheap accommodation would be to share a home. Whether it’s a convenient location for a trip to visit a popular landmark, or simply just a bed to crash in at the end of a busy day sight-seeing, a privately rented room may be the solution to cheap accommodation. There are a few different websites that offer private rooms within homes across the UK, with some real bargains to be had for the last-minute adventurer. We recommend using Airbnb for reliable and affordable room options when you are looking for a rental space. Make sure to read the reviews too- and always tell someone where you are going if you travel alone.
The UK boasts some of the best beaches and cultural landmarks in the world, proving you don’t need to travel far or spend a fortune to experience some of the more beautiful scenery there is to see. Why not visit a new city or explore the countryside of Britain and save money whilst embarking on a new adventure. There are endless alternative accommodation options for those looking to explore on a budget, that doesn’t involve big budgets or sleeping under canvas!