Whether you’re afraid to fly, don’t fancy it, or can’t afford it, there is always the option of a staycation. The UK has plenty going for it, from the white cliffs of Dover to the Highlands up in Scotland, there’s gorgeous greenery and brilliantly blue seas all around our little island. So if you’re looking for the best places to go, here are the cheapest staycation cities in the UK.
All prices are estimated using Booking.com, Trivago and Numbeo. The hotel prices are estimated for 2 adults across a week in the summer, and so the final price given involve splitting the hotel cost between 2 people. These are 20 of the cheapest staycation cities in the UK in comparison to This Is Money’s most expensive staycations, such as the Cotswolds and The Peak District.
Over in Pembrokeshire, Wales, Tenby is a quaint town on the coast. Visitors get to enjoy its yellow sandy beaches, pretty scenery and scenic Tudor architecture. Whilst there, why not take a trip over to St Catherine’s Island or Caldey Island and enjoy the view back on the UK.
If you’re staying in Tenby, the hotel will cost you around £530 for a double room. Add in approximately £12 per meal, and some spending money, and you can have a week away in Tenby for £659.
Weymouth beach is one of the prettiest in the south, with the well-lit promenade making the perfect Instagram picture. On top of the beach, staying in Weymouth will give you the chance to explore the Sea Life centre, Bowleaze Cove, and other Weymouth oddities like Sandworld.
Hotels in Weymouth will cost you approximately £450 for a double room, or you can opt for a caravan or cottage, dependent on what suits you and your friends. Add in the £15 per meal, or £45 for a fancier meal between the 2 of you. For a staycation in Weymouth you’re looking at £655.
Any surfers will be familiar with this destination. With gorgeous sandy coastlines and places like Fistral Beach, you’re destined to have a great, instagrammable holiday. Plus, there’s a zoo and an aquarium, plenty of mini-golf and shopping to do, and great views.
Prices in Newquay vary, but you can get an Air BnB for around £400 for the week’s stay. Adding on to this, you should expect to spend roughly £15 on an inexpensive meal, and £60 if you’re looking for a date night type scenario. This takes the total for a staycation in Newquay to roughly £630 for a week in the summer.
Bristol’s a gorgeous city with plenty to do. There’s independent stores, a market, and lots of bars to check out. It’s also got some of the best views in the South East, and a great zoo. If you’re looking to go to Bristol, here’s what it will cost.
For accommodation, expect to pay around £400 for your 6 nights with breakfast. That will get you a twin or double room, and you’ve got one meal a day sorted already. For other meals, you will, on average, pay £15 for meals at an inexpensive restaurant, or £55 for a mid-range meal for 2 of you. If you add on some cash to splash, then you’re looking at a budget of around £630.
It’s no secret that there’s lots to do in London, it is the capital after all. Whether you want to do all the touristy stuff like the museums (which are free, by the way), Shrek’s Adventure, Sea Life and the London Eye, or you’re more interested in Camden, Spitalfields and Primrose markets, there’s plenty to keep you busy for a week at least, and you can pick and choose between the freebies and the paid days out.
Hotels in London vary a lot in price, but for a cheap double or twin room, you can expect to pay between £220 and £350 for 6 nights. Then if you eat out at an inexpensive restaurant (say, Spoons), you can expect to pay about £15 per person, or £60 for 2 people somewhere more mid-range. On top of that, expect to spend about £50 per day spending money. This takes you to a total of £600.
Fancy a trip to the National Justice Museum? What about some caves? Or a castle? Maybe you fancy some drinks at Hooters. There’s just such a range of things to do in Nottingham, that you’ll never be bored. There’s even a massive watersports centre and a deer park!
Price wise, you can expect to pay around £300 for a double or twin room, including breakfast. Food will cost you an average of £12 per meal. Add in your spending money and you can budget around £594 per week.
Up in Derbyshire, Matlock is an idyllic place for a getaway. With lush green scenery, rolling hills and steep cliffs, it’s a perfect staycation location. Whilst there, take a cable car up to the Heights of Abraham and explore the caverns, visit Gulliver’s Kingdom, visit some Highland Cows at Matlock Farm Park and walk around the town.
Hotels in Matlock cost around £440 for a week, and with it being in Derbyshire, you can expect to not have to fork out hundreds for the food, too. So you could easily spend a week in the city and only need to spend £590.
Leeds has so much going on it’s unreal; from the huge Trinity Shopping Centre to the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds Art Gallery, Diggerland, Kirkgate Market, or an Emmerdale Village Tour if that’s something you’re interested in!
To stay from Monday to Sunday, you can expect to be charged around £400. This includes breakfast, and so you’ll only have to fork out for 12 meals whilst you’re there, at approximately £11 per meal for a cheapish place, or £50 for a mid-range restaurant meal for 2 people. This all adds up to £582 for a staycation. Not too shabby.
For those looking to visit Liverpool, you can explore the Tate, visit the Royal Albert Dock where big films were shot, take a tour of the cathedral and follow the story of The Beatles. Not to mention all the great shopping to be done, and drinks to enjoy. All of that, and the prices are affordable too!
To stay in Liverpool, expect to pay out £370 to £400 for your hotel. Add on to that your food, which will cost you an average of £12 per meal, or a pricier £60 for a mid-range 3-course meal for 2. Then, of course, some spare money to spend, and you’re looking at a staycation in the UK for £579!
With a beautiful coastline, Bournemouth is known as one of the nicer seaside resorts in the country. Off of the coastline you can see Old Harry and his wife, or back on land, you can explore places like the Russell Cotes Art Gallery, the Oceanarium, Adventure Wonderland or the pier.
Hotels in Bournemouth, at off-peak times, can be as cheap as £395 for 6 nights. On top of that, you’ll need £10.50 per meal in an inexpensive restaurant or £45 in a mid-range restaurant for 2. Include approximately £50 a day spending money, and you get a staycation for only £573.
Whilst not usually considered cheap, Brighton has a lot you can do for free. From the beaches to the 98 parks and gardens, you could spend your whole week outside if you so wished. But then you’d miss out on the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, the i360 and Sea Life Centre.
Hotels by the sea work out quite pricey, with Booking.com’s cheapest option being around £500. However, if you check out Air Bnb, you can easily find some cheap deals. There are plenty of double bedrooms and twin rooms with shared or en-suite bathrooms for £50 to £70 a night. Food, on average, will cost you around £15 per person. Including spending money, this takes your total to £570 for the week.
Manchester has everything, from the creative Northern Quarter that is made up of backstreets packed with galleries, bars and shops. There you’ll find a mix of weird architectural styles alongside beer gardens, DJs and pubs. In said pubs, you can find some of the city’s finest craft beer, or take a trip to the food markets and try local street food.
Whatever you fill your time with, know you can head back to your hotel to relax, and it’ll only cost you between £270 and £300, including breakfast. Add in the average price of a meal at £15 per person and some spending money, you can expect to spend around £565 for the week.
Take in some Irish hospitality and take a trip over to Belfast. Whilst this city would involve sailing or flying overseas for anyone living on the UK mainland, for those already in Ireland it’s definitely a cheap option for a staycation. Visit Belfast castle, St George’s Market, the gorgeous botanic gardens and all the shops and bars Belfast has to offer!
Prices for hotels in Belfast come in at around £400 for a double or twin room, with breakfast. All you’ve got to do then is add in your food prices, which are between £11 and £50 dependent on the restaurant. Then add in your spending money (take into consideration the conversion rate to euros, of course), and your total is approximately £560.
7. Great Yarmouth
From Pleasure Beach to Sea Life, Great Yarmouth screams traditional British seaside. Visit the rollercoasters at Pleasure Beach, the town centre, or even the famous Hippodrome Circus, and you’re guaranteed to have a whale of a time.
Price wise, you can expect to pay £300 to £400 if you book in advance. This will get you a double or twin room, with breakfast included. You’ll then need to just feed yourself and save up for some cash to splash. This takes your budget to a total of £558 for the week.
If you’re visiting Cardiff, you can always check out Cardiff International White Water, Cardiff Castle, or you can get on a boat tour and explore the docks. Not to mention there’s all the Doctor Who filming sites for anyone that way inclined.
Hotels in Cardiff are generally around £350 for a double or twin room, with breakfast and a private bathroom. Add on your £11 meals – or £40 mid-range meals for 2 – and some spare money to buy any trinkets in museum gift shops, or cocktails in the bar, and you’ve got a staycation for the price of £557.
Bath is dripping in British culture. If you want a truly English staycation, then take a trip here. The city has a multitude of theatres and museums, plus plenty of gorgeous buildings and boutique shops.
Price wise, you can stay at the university during the holidays for £30 per person, or look at a farmhouse bed and breakfast for costs of £60 or up for 2 people per night. Food in Bath can be as cheap as £2.50 for a gourmet sandwich, so allow approximately £10 for normal meals. This sets your budget at £550.
Birmingham is next on the list, as it’s got plenty to do and plenty to see, but despite being above London, it’s not that cheap. When staying there, you can visit the inspiration for The Lord of the Rings, explore the Canal Quarter, or take a trip to Cadbury World or see brilliant theatre at the Hippodrome.
When you’re budgeting for the trip, you can expect to spend about £300 a week for your hotel (based on Ibis prices), including breakfast. In addition to that, you can expect to spend about £10 a meal at an inexpensive restaurant per person, or £48 for 2 at a mid-range restaurant. With about £50 a day spending money, you can expect to spend approximately £540 a week.
Sheffield is full of students, which means you can rely on cheap bars and cheap food. Plus, plenty of free things to do like the Millennium Gallery. Then there are places like Peveril Castle, the Magna Science Adventure Centre and the botanical gardens. Check out some of the best bars in Sheffield if you’re looking for some good drinks deals!
Price wise, £330 will get you a place to stay, breakfast included, for 6 nights. Then you can get drinks and food for around £10 a meal at an inexpensive restaurant, or £40 for 2 somewhere more mid-range. Add it all up and include your spending money, your staycation will cost only £530.
A gorgeous gated city, with beautiful rivers and a huge amount of history, York has been the backdrop to key moments in English history. You can walk along the city walls, take a look at the Viking museum, the dungeon, or the castle. It’s definitely a place to visit for history fans. Then there’s the Shambles and the market, perfect for any shopaholics.
When looking at cost, maybe consider staying somewhere like the B&B at James College for £30 per night, and enjoy the glamorous college greens and rivers. Alternatively, expect to pay around £300 for 6 nights stay with breakfast. Then add on food at approximately £10 a meal, and spending money, of course, and your budget totals at approximately £520 for the
Newport doesn’t have a lot of free attractions, and so the costs for your staycation will rise slightly there. However, whilst there you can go and visit Tiny Rebel Brewing Co and have a tour around their brewery, and you can take a look around Diverse Vinyl for your next favourite record.
In terms of cost, you can expect to spend about £300 to £350 for a week (at hotels like Holiday Inn, for example), including breakfast. On top of that, you can expect to spend about £8 a meal at an inexpensive restaurant per person, or £45 for 2 at a mid-range restaurant. With about £50 per day spending money, this amounts to a total cost of just under £500 for the week. If you want to add pricier meals to the mix, then this goes up.