UK Staycation Ideas: Where to Staycation in the UK and Why

uk staycation ideas

Although my initial prediction was that camping would trend after the pandemic, I failed to take into account two things: 1) there were going to be some travel trends trending even before covid ended and 2) some people can't or simple don't want to camp. Enter staycations. Now, we've all learnt a lot of new words this year: zoom, Lukashenko... and now staycations - but what are staycations, why are people staycationing, why is it trending in the UK in particular, and what do we here at Travelling Weasels think of staycations (assuming you're interested in our opinion, put near the end in case you're not!)

1. What Is a Staycation?

A staycation is a fancy way of saying that you're having a holiday (or vacation) in your own home country. You're staying at home to vacation. stay + cation = staycation. You know, that thing our grandparents did before Ryanair came in with its cheap, dirty flights (note: flying is eco-dirty in general, not just Ryanair). Instead of hopping over to another country to enjoy that well, well deserved (and perceived but not real) break from capitalism, people are discovering their own home countries. Staycationing could of course be easily paired up with camping, but for most a staycation involves a hotel: a comfy bed, clean sheets, someone else to tidy up messes (aka wage labour), breakfast (and perhaps even dinner) served, room service, etc. etc. (all of which also come from wage labour, like most products and services in this wonderful economic system, yumm!)

staycation ideas uk

2. UK Staycation Ideas

Here are some of my staycation ideas for the UK for 2021:
  • London: there's this saying in the UK: 'London is a separate country' - perhaps due to the unreasonable price gap between London and the rest of the UK, perhaps because many Londoners will say that there's nothing worth seeing outside of London and us non-Londoners are a wee bit miffed about that.. Whatever, even my non-Londoner-ass cannot not admit that London has SO MUCH to offer -  authentic food from every edge of the planet, museums filled with stolen treasures (sorry :( ), soothing parks and buildings that are old af. London is made up of individual little districts and their truly truly is something for everyone there, even me :D
  • Stonehenge: I make it no secret that I'm not the biggest fan of England. The arrogance, the entitlement and the weather are three big turn-offs for me (+maybe colonising half of the world, pillaging, exploiting and slavery could be number four, five and six)... hence why I haven't lived there since I was 21. But, I do reserve a place in my heart (somewhere around the spot where my British family lives) for Stonehenge. It's old, it's impressive, it's mysterious. It's our version of George Clooney. FYI in the most humblest of ways, I consider myself to be somewhat of an expert on visiting Stonehenge. Not because I have any credentials in that area or anything but simply because I've visited so many times (perks of being a Brit). I wrote about it here.
  • Salisbury: Salisbury is a medieval city 10 miles from Stonehenge. Salisbury Cathedral holds an original copy of the Magna Carta. Also, a really old clock that still works. There's a cute market, Mompesson House (an 18th Century house with period furniture and a lovely garden) and my Grandma and Godmother live there. Yey. If you're staying in Salisbury, you could even take a Salisbury Stonehenge Tour.
  • Forest of Dean: yeah, the Forest of Dean, probs one of the best ancient places in the UK to do witchy stuff. We even shot a video of it.
  • Manchester: rife with history, culture, music, museums, and um, bees? (the bee symbol is the unofficial symbol of Manchester, nature-wise it has the usual amount you'd except from a polluted city...) I fell in love with Manchester when two of my besties went up there for uni and invited me to visit :) But it isn't the fond memories, the free museums or the diverse vegan cuisine that's pulling me back there, no, there's another reason. And it's kind of embarrassing to admit, but I have been really really missing the UK, and to combat that, ha, I've been watching Shameless - a 2004 drama set in a fictional housing estate in Manchester. Now I can't get enough of the Manchester accent :D Okay, let's move on.
  • Liverpool: Manchester's rival, since like forever, is Liverpool - I'm assuming it's cause of the football? Whatever. I like to combat this silly, pointless rivalry by loving both :D Liverpool might well be famous for being the birthplace of the Beatles (okay it's not a might it's a truth) but I have almost as little interest towards those four cis white males as I do towards Liverpool football (with the possible exception of John Lennon who was a comrade of sorts at least and George oc). So if you're not into football and you're not into the Beatles, what's great about Liverpool? It's simple for me really: Scousers and architecture. I have always had the best time in Liverpool getting drunk with the locals and marvelling at the unique architecture - for me it's more than enough :D
  • Brighton and Hove: in my opinion, the best coastal walks in the UK are any of the ones you can do in Brighton and Hove, unofficially the gay capital of the UK with one of the largest LGBT communities. After a nice afternoon evening out in the sea air, I highly recommend checking out Loving Hut for tofu and chips and then grabbing a drink (or three) at Velvet Jacks :D

3. Why Are People Staycationing?

Some people (for example the middle classes in the USA) have no other option when it comes to vacationing than to stay in their home country, because they're simply not currently allowed in other countries (oh the irony). Other people (for example most of the middle classes in Europe) are simply reluctant to leave their home countries, either because of covid fears, or because of the confusion that is our governments, when it comes to telling us where we're allowed to go (and the swiftness that they seem to be able to change their minds about this). Or both! Even with Travel Medical Insurance and/or International Health Insurance no one wants to get sick or injured abroad. And no one wants to get stuck abroad. Hence staycations.

best staycation destinations uk

4. Why Are Staycations Trending in the UK?

Staycations in the UK in particular are trending because, with the exception of Northern Ireland, the UK is an island (newsflash I know lol), and thus is not just a simple case of being able to walk back across the border if things go t*ts up. And this is pre-brexit mind. It's probably going to be even harder come January. Furthermore, the UK government has done a tremendous job in embarrassing itself pretty much every step of the way when it's come to corona, no wonder people don't feel safe going abroad at the moment - who's to say they won't just close borders randomly overnight?

best staycations uk

Another, perhaps less dramatic reason, that staycations are trending in the UK is purely monetarily: with hotels worried about losing their capital and potentially their business, many are offering discounts and incentives galore from 'stay now, pay later' to dinner bed and breakfast deals and more. Suddenly those that couldn't afford to holiday before are finding that they now can - well the ones that are lucky enough to still have their jobs, and have been saving from not going out and not spending sure can, at least anyway.

5. What Do Travelling Weasels Think of Staycationing?

We are hella fans of staycations (not of wage labour tho...). Environmentally, it's the best way to have a holiday (with the exception of having a holiday in your own house (and not using any wage labour at all, only yer own!). Maybe with the help of psychedelics you can go on an even longer trip without actually moving physically.... think of the planet!)... But back to staycations! Not only are you reducing your carbon footprint as much as physically possible, you are also connecting with the beauty that is on your own doorstep (and maybe take some steps towards finally dehoarding that closet lol). This, in my opinion, is key in connecting people with the planet and waking them up to how much we need to step up and help reverse as much of the devastation our species has caused - especially from the past 250 years.

staycation england

Travelling Weasels further advocates that staycations in the UK in particular trend, because a) it's an island and most people opt for flying out of it and b) the UK has had no small part in said devastation over the past 250 years. Do your part, stay at home. (Travelling Weasels also recognises how hypocritical this all perhaps sounds, coming from someone who is a) English herself and b) has travelled to 50 countries, entering most of them by flight... All I can say is sorry, and I know better now. I haven't flown since I was 28 and I don't intend to ever again. xx)

6. How Else Can We Travel Ethically During These Times (and All Times)?

So staycations are great because we don't have to fly to get there. What else can we do to vacation ethically and mindfully during these weird corona times (and really, at all times in general):
  • Opt for public transport over driving: driving is almost as bad as flying to be honest, go for buses, coaches, trains or, better yet, cycling and walking wherever possible, doable, practicable, feasible. And when it's not... perhaps you could staycation somewhere else? (at home! that is, if you have a home...)
  • Recycle your rubbish: many hotels offer recycling facilities, but some can only recycle certain things and other can't recycle at all - take your stuff with you!
  • Compost: on a similar note, just because you're away doesn't mean you can't compost. For those privileged enough to have their own compost heap at home, take a leaf out of my mum's book and simply take your compost home in an airtight pot. Or do what I do: 'guerilla composting' which, unfortunately, isn't anywhere near as rebellious as it sounds - I simply cut up my compost and chuck it under random plants and trees. 
  • Go vegan or at least try to reduce meat & dairy intake: animal agriculture is actually responsible for contributing to more greenhouse gases globally than all transport industries combined (source) it's never been easier to go vegan (for all ye lefties ready to accuse vegans of classism and/or racism, we recommend reading this), you don't have to do it for the animals, just think about the planet that you live on.

best staycation destinations uk

7. Wrap Up: Staycations Ideas, UK

So there you have it, a quick introduction to staycations in the UK, with an added bonus on how else we can travel ethically. I hope this has cleared up some of your questions and as always if you have anything to add, or any other questions, drop a comment below or find me on social media! Power to the ppl :)

P.S. Another way of travelling whilst remaining in the country is housesitting (yeh, also very middle class but there's less wage labour involved at least!). was kind enough to provide us and our readers with a 10% discount -- click on the link to use it!

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We overland. We eat plants and fungi. We live outside as much as possible. We are all connected. A female travel blogger overlanding and writing about ecotourism, ethical and sustainable travel, socially conscious travel and housesitting. An online travel magazine since 2015.


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