The best UK staycations for 2021

Whether you are looking for a city break, beach holiday or countryside getaway, you have come to the right place. 2021 looks set to be the year of UK staycations and with Loganair serving more than 35 destinations across the UK, there is something and somewhere for everyone.

Fancy a swim in the crystal-clear waters surrounding Scotland’s islands? Ever tried a cocktail 800 feet above London? Ready to take the family out on an adventurous day trip packed with fun and excitement? The UK is packed with the best staycation destinations and there is plenty to see and do. Get ready to take the family on a holiday to remember this year and travel to the most exciting cities, quaint villages, dreamy beach breaks and rolling countryside destinations that the UK has to offer. 

"Camping, glamping, beautiful beaches, historic sites... Welcome Back Britain"

 

I do like to be beside the seaside...

< class='generic__title'> The beach staycations you have been dreaming of

While the UK may not be known for its predictable weather, the beaches here are incredible. Award-winning for their crystal-clear waters and white sands, get them on a sunny day and the beaches in the UK are some of the best in the world. If you are dreaming of a relaxing day at the seaside, a leisurely walk along the coast, or maybe you are looking for some adventure and you are ready to hit the water sports – whatever your priority this summer, we’ve got you covered. Here are just some of our top beach spots:

 

Cornwall - Newquay

On Cornwall’s spectacular northern shores, where the Atlantic breakers roar onto glorious beaches, discover fabulous countryside, immense tranquillity and a wealth of things to see and do.

Newquay, with no less than 12 sandy beaches, has earned the title of surfing capital of England, but you don’t have to catch waves to coast through a pleasant day by the seaside. The beaches here are just waiting for the whole family to enjoy, with incredible stretches of sandy beaches for the children to run around while you sit back and take in the picturesque scenery. Bustling Newquay Harbour is a must-see, and you can hook up with many fishing trips and excursions.

The Blue Reef Aquarium on the town seafront boasts sharks and rays, while another creature feature is Newquay Zoo with its lions, sloths, penguins and tropical creepy crawlies. Trenance Gardens is great for a for a relaxing morning with a boating lake, tea rooms and restaurants, but be sure to save your energy to hit the miniature railway, bowling green, tennis centre, crazy golf, pitch and putt, children’s playground and Waterworld swimming pool at the Leisure Park in the afternoon.

If that wasn’t enough, nearby Cornwall has some of the best beaches in the UK so fly to Newquay and you’re getting two staycations for the price of one. Read more on Cornwall here.

Lewis & Harris

When thinking of Scotland, most people wouldn’t immediately picture tranquil turquoise oceans, where white sandy beaches meet luscious rolling hills. However, if you’ve been to the Outer Hebrides, you know that’s exactly what you’ve got in store. Luskentyre, Seilebost, Scarista and Huisinis are among our favourite beaches here and if you have never been, prepare to be blown away by the beauty of these spots.

Fly to Stornoway and escape to the isles of the Outer Hebrides, scattered in a glorious arc down the western edge of Scotland’s Atlantic seaboard. As the main town of the Western Isles chain, Stornoway is a bustling place, clustered around its harbour, with attractions including imposing Lews Castle and the An Lanntair Art Centre. Arrive in Stornoway and you have the ideal jumping-off point for any exploration of the Lewis and Harris, which are not two islands but one. Lewis to the north is mostly flat with scores of lochans, while Harris is more mountainous with an eastern coast so strikingly dramatic it features in the epic sci-fi movie 2001 A Space Odyssey.

Fly the family to this stunning Scottish staycation destination this summer and take in the cliffs, sea stacks, dunes and machair (seashore meadows) by walking, cycling, kayaking, coasteering, surfing or on boat trips. You can even cruise to remote UNESCO Heritage island St Kilda.

Follow the Hebridean Way’s 185-mile route the length of the whole Outer Hebrides and mark your visit with purchases of Harris Tweed and Harris Gin. Local produce is key to life here and one trip will leave you wanting more.

 
 

Jersey

Ok, not quite the UK, but a Crown Dependency within the Common Travel Area means you don’t have to worry about foreign travel advice here. Despite the place names being French, Jersey is very much a part of the British Isles. 

On Jersey you are never more than ten minutes from the sea, yet you could be a million miles away from anywhere, such is the relaxing effect of this enthralling, characterful island. Jersey’s a smallish place, only nine miles by five, but you can readily lose yourself in the abundance of fun there is to be had, such as surfing, sea safaris, treetop adventures, walking, cycling, kayaking and the new sport of coasteering – exploring rugged sections of coast by rock climbing, scrambling, swimming and supervised cliff jumping. Or simply chill by taking a leisurely stroll into the 12th century on the battlements of a castle, delve into the Zoo and the Botanical Gardens, wander along a beach or two, or kick back entirely and let the sunset on St Ouen’s Bay do its spellbinding thing.

Choose from beach cafes, stylish restaurants and bars in the growing capital St Helier. The seafood, as you might imagine, is exceptional, be it oysters, lobsters, crabs and shellfish fresh from local waters, or the famous Jersey Royal potatoes, or cheese made with Jersey cow’s milk, the food experience here is like no other. Treat the kids or release your inner child with scoops of sumptuous Jersey ice cream, or head to Tamba Park’s dinosaur-themed adventure to please the youngsters, while La Mare Wine Estate might be more to grown-up tastes.

Occupied during WW2; explore the old gun emplacements and the German military hospital at St Lawrence. Also visit the historic Martello Towers built during the Napoleonic Wars, reminders of an earlier threat.

If you’re looking for a family break filled with adventure, stunning scenery and an array of culinary sensations, you really need look no further than Jersey for your next UK staycation. 

 

Looking for more beach inspiration?

There is plenty more where that came from. Check out some more of our favourite beach staycations and hit the coast this year.

 

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The UK’s best city staycations

Missing the thrill of exploring a new city? Across the UK there are plenty of cities steeped in history, lined with exciting shops, bars and restaurants, and packed with tourist attractions, ensuring there is more than enough to fill an itinerary for a long weekend or an extended staycation, with plenty of variety for the entire family to enjoy.

Here are just some of our favourite city staycation destinations across the UK:

 

Edinburgh

Scotland’s capital city is filled with winding cobbled streets, hilly landscapes, boutique shops, independent bars and restaurants, a world-famous art scene – and don’t forget the medieval castle.

During a weekend in Edinburgh, you will almost have too much to see and do. Just walking the streets of this exquisite city alone is exciting and being fairly compact in size, you can explore its wonders on foot. Looking around it is not hard to believe that this city inspired the Harry Potter universe, with a certain magic to the historic buildings which date back as far as the 1000s. The architecture in Edinburgh is renowned and a trip to its castle is a must on your city staycation here.

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is one of the best in the world and is home to a massive collection of more than 100,000 plants from across the globe, spread across 70 acres just one mile north of the city centre. Go a little further, and you can climb extinct volcano Arthur’s Seat which boasts spectacular views to get a true sense of this Scottish City.

On return to the Royal Mile, you won’t be short of bars, coffee shops or restaurants to try out. These independent gems pride themselves in local produce and the assortment of cocktail bars offers some of the best in Europe. There are also plenty of boutique hotels and unique accommodation options available here, making your stay extra special.

London

Little need be said about London. As the UK’s most popular destination, it is time to bring back the excitement of travel with some of the world’s most famous tourist attractions. Filled with history, art, music, theatre, architecture, monuments, fashion, shopping, cuisine – you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for in London, and the quality is as fabulous as the setting.

It goes without saying that London is a big city filled with many sights, so you won’t be short of things to fill your time. Pubs, cafes and restaurants are dotted around this city, with great rooftop bars on offer if you are lucky enough to get a weekend in the sun. One establishment with a difference is the restaurant 800 feet up at the top of The Shard’s gleaming pinnacle – a special treat while enjoying the city’s unbeatable skyline.

World class theatres, concert halls, museums and galleries will allow you to take in a spot of culture, while London’s famous shopping hub is stacked with the latest trends, set for fashion lovers looking to head to the high street or for those keen on one of the city’s many famous markets.

Tourist attractions will fill your trip with great memories, from the modern Coca-Cola London Eye’s immense wheel (sunset is a favourite time for views), to the Tower of London’s historic tales and Westminster Abbey. An open-top tour bus will let you tick these famous sights off your bucket list - as you head around the city be sure to take in the great architecture lining London’s streets, and don’t forget about a stroll in one of London’s parks such as St James’s, close to Buckingham Palace.

 
 

Newcastle

The iconic Angel of the North (a contemporary 20m high sculpture of an angel with a 54m wingspan) welcomes you to this sprightly city known for its nightlife, architecture, culture and friendly atmosphere. A small city situated on the River Tyne, you can easily tour this staycation destination on foot and a stroll along the Quayside offers you many coffee shops, bars and restaurants to stop off at along the way in this vibrant hot spot.

The iconic Tyne Bridge, St James’ Park stadium - home of Newcastle United FC - and the 12th-century Newcastle Castle are among landmarks to see here. There is also St Nicholas’ Cathedral, built in the 14th and 15th centuries, and the 135-foot-high Grey’s Monument – a popular meeting spot at the end of Grey Street. You will also find plenty of art galleries if it’s culture you are looking for. Gateshead's Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, housed in an old flour mill, sits on the banks of the River Tyne and is one of the biggest contemporary arts venues in the world, with an ever-changing calendar of contemporary art exhibitions found here.

If you are in the mood for a spot of shopping, you have come to the right place. There are two large shopping centres: intu Eldon Square, filled with High Street retailers, and intu Metrocentre – Europe’s largest covered shopping and leisure complex. Looking for something different? Jesmond has a range of excellent fashion boutiques and Fern Avenue Antiques Centre with an array of exclusive products, while you won’t be short of souvenirs from Central Arcade on Grainger Street.

Jesmond Dene is a must if you need some fresh air after all that shopping. In the northeast of Newcastle, the park is free to explore and is filled with beautiful plants and a calming atmosphere. Pick up a bite to eat from one of the many cafés or coffee shops in Jesmond and a enjoy a picnic in the park here.

 

The Great Outdoors...

Devon

While Devon is also a favourite beach spot, the countryside tranquillity on offer here is like no other. While exploring South Devon’s landscape you’ll find yourself surrounded by lush rolling fields of green and wooded valleys, with enchanting villages and towns to spot along the way.

Get the whole family outside for some much-needed fresh air and go wildlife spotting along this incredible coastline, with its many nature reserves, national parks and varied landscapes which are rich in plant life and animals. There are plenty of walking and cycling routes to guide you through South Devon’s three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks where steeps valleys, forests, farmland, coastline, estuaries and countryside surround the River Dart and River Avon. Head to Dartmoor National Park where you can enjoy a range of activities and sports, from climbing, kayaking, walking to horse riding and letterboxing in the wide-open expanses and river valleys.

Get the family excited with some wildlife spotting while canoeing through the Dart Estuary, look out for basking sharks and dolphins from the cliffside Berry Head National Nature Reserve, explore the enchanting Holyford Woods Local Nature Reserve where bats, wood mice and weasels roam, or head to the Otter Estuary Nature Reserve - but remember to be quiet so you don’t scare off these timid creatures.

Whether it's exploring through wild landscapes or a lazy day at the beach, Devon is a hub for thriving natural beauty and it is ready to welcome the whole family for a staycation to remember. Fly to Exeter and find out more about Devon here.

 
 

Inverness & The Highlands

This rural city is straight out of a postcard. Set on the leafy banks of the fast-flowing River Ness and close by the shores of the Moray Firth, Inverness commands routes in all directions – perfect for Highland sightseeing.

You don’t have to go far to thoroughly enjoy yourself; Inverness has a choice of quality restaurants, cafes and bars, a fine theatre at Eden Court, relaxing walks that lead you through the little chain of islands on the river, or easy strolls on the towpaths of the remarkable feat of engineering that is the Caledonian Canal. Nearby is the atmospheric moorland battlefield of Culloden, where Bonnie Prince Charlie’s clansmen met disaster in 1746 - the fascinating Visitor Centre tells all.

Head to the wide-open spaces north beyond the elegant Kessock Bridge, towards Black Isle; or south to the Cairngorm National Park’s majestic mountains, wildlife and outdoor activities galore. Head east and you’ll soon come to Nairn, perhaps the ultimate Highland seaside town, popular since Victorian days, complete with beautiful beach and two championship 18-hole golf courses. Journey west and you may see the world’s most famous, most elusive monster. On the banks of Loch Ness, maybe at ruined Castle Urquhart Castle, devote a moment or more to trying to spot Nessie … you never know. The Loch Ness 360o Trail can take you along 80 miles of bewitching lochside scenery.

Travel any time of year and take in the wonders of the Scottish Highlands. In autumn, blazing colours set the Highlands aglow, while winter’s snows give the mountains stunning fresh perspectives. Head in spring or summer and you might just be lucky enough to experience this picturesque landscape in the sun.

Norwich & The Broads

A hugely vibrant place of immense character, the walled city of Norwich has many fascinating exhibits to explore with the best-preserved medieval street plan in Europe, 1500 historic buildings and 33 medieval churches. However, step outside of the city and you’ll be met with a tapestry of fields, hedgerows, quaint villages, village greens, winding lanes, woodlands, owls, hares and deer.

Out of Norwich lie the legendary Norfolk Broads, a National Park with over 125 miles of navigable lock-free waterways set in beautiful countryside and studded with charming and picturesque towns and villages. From sailing and canoeing to horse riding and cycling, the family won’t be short of things to do here, and there are plenty of walking routes ready for you to explore.

Marriot’s Way, Peddar’s Way and Boudicca Way are favourite countryside spots offering the ultimate cycling and walking conditions, and after burning off all of that energy, why not stop in at one of the local cafes or pubs found in a nearby historic market town for a bite to eat?

Breckland is made up of vast forests, wide fields and historic heathland, and is one of the most distinctive landscapes in the UK. The nearby ancient town of Thetford is the birthplace of philosopher and revolutionary Thomas Paine and is the perfect base for exploring the area's diversity, outstanding wildlife, rich history and fun outdoor activities.

Planning a relaxing staycation for two? Or maybe the whole family is looking for an action-packed holiday?  Whatever you are looking for, Norfolk is a perfect base to stay in the UK this year.

 
 

Teesside

Cushioned between County Durham and North Yorkshire each corner of the Tees Valley is a unique destination waiting to be discovered. Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and Redcar & Cleveland are all bursting with things to do, places to see and stories to tell.

Stunning countryside and a spectacular coastline sit side by side in the Tees Valley. The many cycling routes and walking trails provide plenty of ways to explore the pretty seaside towns and charming villages across the region. Explore parts of the Cleveland Way – a National Trail which runs 109 miles (175 km) between Helmsley and the Brigg at Filey, skirting the North York Moors National Park.

The region is full of impressive historical venues, and an abundance of adrenaline-fuelled activities and unique experiences make the Tees Valley the ideal location for an unforgettable break in the North East of England. Fly To Teesside International.

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