The rise of the staycation
Last summer saw more Britons than ever choosing to stay in this country for their annual holidays – so fuelling the continued rise of the so-called staycation says the Travel Bulletin. Thanks to that rising popularity, hotels in the UK welcomed a 13% increase in bookings compared to the previous year.
As the upward trend looks set to continue in the year ahead, the reasons are perhaps not too difficult to identify:
- there has been a recent string of warm, sunny summers – making the UK every bit as comfortably reliable as many European spots in the sun;
- added to a general unease about the eventual outcome of Brexit is a falling – or at least uncertain – sterling exchange rate;
- the Bank of England’s Economic Outlook published in November forecast a steadily rising rate of inflation for 2020 and again in 2021, perhaps underscoring people’s reluctance to spend more on overseas holidays; and
- if the forthcoming negotiations on the terms of Brexit point towards an ultimate “no deal”, then inflation may be higher still, and the pound weaker than ever, warned Travel Weekly.
More than just “making do”
With some of these negative reasons for the rising tide of staycations, it might seem that taking your holidays at home in the UK is a matter of making the best of a bad job.
Not necessarily - the staycation has come of age!
The holiday industry has responded to rising demand, offering many destinations and packages combining a gloriously British backdrop with a sense of luxury and indulgence. The staycation provides a more than acceptable alternative to jetting off to some faraway corner of the globe.
So, let’s take a brief look at some of the holiday treats that may lie in store if you choose to remain in the UK.
In an article on the 10th of December, Travel Daily Media revealed that among the many regions of the UK enjoying an upsurge in domestic visitors, South Wales topped the list – with a 35% year on year increase recorded last summer.
Also experiencing growth rates of 20% or more were places as diverse as Yorkshire, the Cotswolds, East Anglia and the cities of Manchester and Cambridge.
Where to stay
The coastline of South Wales has long attracted visitors from all over the UK where there is a well-established market in cottage and farmhouse holiday lets. Where the rise in staycations has made a difference, however, is in the quality and sheer luxury of available accommodation.
The green cliffs and coastal tranquillity of Pembrokeshire are the setting for a luxury self-catering home at Seren Mor, near Newport, listed by Unique Home Stays – with a private path to a secluded beach.
It’s likely to make a more than comfortable family retreat and can accommodate up to six guests - but expect to pay around £2,650 a week for the privilege.
Described as a getaway for grown-ups, Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa (pictured above) is a magnificent manor house in the heart of the Cotswolds, near Malmesbury in Wiltshire.
Accommodated in one of its 23 bedrooms (11 of which are suites), you can indulge in the pampered life of its in-house spa, sip your favourite cocktail in the bar, and watch a film on its cinema's big screen. Or, simply lounge away the evening in front of one of its roaring open fires.
Reflecting the standards maintained by this luxury getaway, a room including bed and breakfast might cost you between £260 and £850 a night (with use of the spa included).
Maybe you want to step back in time by visiting a traditional English seaside resort or take some exercise along the Norfolk Coast Path? Rent the large, luxury, 5-star Incleborough House, near Cromer, and you – together with up to 16 guests – can enjoy an East Anglian welcome spread over its seven bedrooms and bathrooms.
Recently converted and refurbished, Incleborough House is a classic country mansion and stands in half-acre gardens, complete with hot-tub and full-size swimming pool. A complimentary glass of champagne awaits you and your guests for the lifestyle to which you might become all too easily accustomed.
The luxury 4-star Hythe Imperial Hotel and Spa is home to the county's only Moët & Chandon Champagne Bar where you can recline in opulence and enjoy breath-taking views of the seafront.
With a range of eateries (including a new in-house Indian fusion restaurant), golf and spa, you don't even need to leave the hotel if you don't want to!
For the height of luxury, you might spend your staycation in a sumptuously decorated and furnished castle.
Voted the Independent Hotel of the Year, Glenapp aims to provide a highly personal level of 5-star service and minute attention to detail. The castle is set in stunning grounds and offers unspoilt vistas across the water to Ailsa Craig, backed by the surrounding Galloway Forest Park.
The data and information cited in this article are accurate at the time of writing.