Staycations in England

Staycations in the UK

With lockdown rules easing, it may be tempting to start thinking about a holiday abroad. But with travel restrictions likely to be in place for a while, it may be worth considering a staycation in the UK instead. 

Going abroad may be a staple for most families, but you will find plenty of amazing destinations right here in the UK. We know the weather may not always be consistent, but there’s never been a better time to explore Great Britain. With amazing beaches, world-class cities and beautiful countryside right on your doorstep, a staycation in the UK is the perfect way to spend your summer break.

What is a staycation?

A staycation is simply a stay-at-home-vacation. The term was first penned in the US, when a market crisis led to many households restricting their expenses. With less money to travel abroad, people began to explore their immediate surroundings. 

Today, a staycation isn’t just about being economical; less travel also means less pollution. By staying local, you are reducing your carbon footprint and protecting the environment. With fewer people using planes, cars and boats, harmful emissions will be considerably reduced.

Post-pandemic, the staycation is set to make a triumphant return. With travel restrictions and safety guidelines at the forefront of everyone’s mind, a holiday at home is the perfect alternative to a holiday abroad.

When can we travel again?

If you’re planning a staycation in the UK, restrictions on travel are already beginning to ease. In England, the ‘stay local’ guidelines have been lifted and domestic holidays resumed on April 12. You can now stay in a private holiday home with your household, and day trips outside of your local area are permitted. 

Although some holidays are technically allowed, it is important to maintain social distancing wherever you travel. To avoid overwhelming crowds, many destinations in England are still keen to deter people from visiting. If you do decide to travel, it’s a good idea to avoid any tourist hotspots, such as national parks or popular seaside towns.

As of April, cross-border travel within the UK is still banned. For non-residents, travel to Scotland and Wales is likely to remain illegal until the beginning of May. 

The best UK staycations 2021

The Cotswolds

  • Best for: Picturesque scenery, rural walks 

Situated in the south-west of England, the Cotswolds is one of the most beautiful destinations in the UK. Quintessentially English, the area is famed for its historic villages, vibrant market towns and rolling hills. From the Roman town of Cirencester to the cozy villages of Bourton-on-the-Water and Burford; the Cotswolds are the perfect place to soak up the glorious British countryside.

The Cotswolds covers nearly 800 square miles of countryside, across 5 counties – Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. Officially declared an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this region is one of our top spots for a UK staycation. 

The Cotswolds is our top choice for a staycation in the UK

Connected by winding country lanes, the pretty towns and villages around the Cotswolds are full of chocolate box cottages and incredible countryside views. Head off the beaten track and you will also discover medieval churches, vast manor houses and scenic nature trails. 

The Cotswolds is also a great base if you want to explore more of the South of England during your stay. There are direct train routes to London, and popular cities such as Bristol, Bath and Oxford are just an hour’s drive away.

Where to stay in the Cotswolds

From luxury hotels to boutique B&Bs, the Cotswolds is packed with amazing places to stay. If you’re travelling with a larger group, renting a private home is one of the most convenient and cost-effective accommodation options. 

If you’re looking for holiday lets in the Cotswolds, we offer a range of self-catering options, right in the heart of the countryside. Full of contemporary furnishings and modern amenities, these exclusive holiday homes definitely have the wow-factor. Designed for those seeking solitude, our rentals are all situated within a private estate, surrounded by nothing but nature.

Cotswolds 2

  • 4 bedrooms  | sleeps 15
These self catering homes are perfect for a staycation in the UK

Spread over 3 storeys, this beautiful home offers excellent views across the lake and the meadow beyond. The ideal destination for a relaxing retreat, this secluded villa offers a real sense of space and calm. As well as a superb lakeside terrace, you will also find a solarium balcony on the top floor – the perfect spot for watching the sunset over the water.

Cotswolds 5

  • 5 bedrooms  | sleeps 10
All of our Cotswolds holiday homes are surrounded by beautiful countryside

Situated directly on Bowmoor Lake, this waterfront villa boasts excellent views from almost every room. With a large open-plan living area and a spacious outdoor terrace, this home was designed for socialising with friends and family. On warm sunny days, this south-facing deck is the ideal spot for a BBQ.


  • Best for: Historic architecture, beautiful beaches

Located in the south-east of England, Kent is just an hour from London. Home to miles of beautiful countryside and coastline, this popular county has always been a hotspot for holidaymakers. From the cathedral city of Canterbury, to hipster-magnet Margate, Kent is full of unique villages, towns and cities. 

With their idyllic beaches and endless skies, the coastal towns of Folkestone, Whitstable, and Deal have grown in popularity over the last few years. Due to their close proximity to London, these desirable destinations are perfect for day trips and weekend breaks away from the city. As many people are beginning to relocate from London to the coast permanently, there has been an influx of independent coffee shops, restaurants and boutiques opening in these areas.

Kent is one of the most popular destinations for a staycation in the UK

Hoping to avoid crowded beaches? There are over 350 miles of coastline to explore in Kent. If you’re willing to travel out a little further, you will find a number of unspoiled hidden gems. Although these can be tricky to find, it is worth venturing out to these secluded spots.

Away from the coast, there is even more to explore. As Kent is England’s oldest county, it contains more castles and historic houses than any other region. Whether you’d prefer to conquer Leeds Castle, or uncover secrets in Dover’s wartime tunnels, Kent is packed with family friendly things to do. 

Where to stay in Kent

No matter where you stay in Kent you will be within easy access to all of the local attractions. From coastline to countryside, everything is just a short drive away. The public transport links here are great, so even if you don’t have a car, everything is easily accessible. 

From beachfront apartments to characterful cottages, our Kent-based holiday homes are situated in some of the most beautiful locations in the county. When it comes to choosing the perfect holiday let, our rentals have everything you need for a memorable stay. 

Bethersden 2

  • 1 bedroom  | sleeps 2
Kent staycation with a hot tub

This converted Oast House is located on the outskirts of the charming village of Bethersden in Kent. With 2 fantastic country pubs, a historic church and plenty of walking trails in the area, you will find loads to do during your stay. After a busy day exploring, you can relax under the stars in your own private hot tub.

Sandhurst 1

  • 2 bedrooms  | sleeps 4
If you're looking for staycations near London, Kent is a great option

This former carriage house is located on the outskirts of the pretty village of Sandhurst. Surrounded by rolling farmland, this holiday home in Kent is the ultimate rural retreat. As Sandhurst is close to the border of Kent and East Sussex, you will be within close proximity to the fantastic attractions in both counties.

East Sussex

  • Best for: Rolling countryside, scenic coastline

Just a short train ride from London, East Sussex is a great choice for a staycation in the UK. Situated on the English Channel, the county is best known for its warm climate and spectacular landscape. Home to vast open countryside, medieval villages and stunning beaches, this historic destination is well worth exploring. 

There are a number of famous beaches in East Sussex, most notably Brighton, Eastbourne and Camber Sands. Packed with family-friendly fun, these super-cool coastal towns are some of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations. Unsurprisingly, these well-known areas can get extremely busy during the summer months. If you’d prefer to escape the crowds, there are plenty of lesser known spots just a short drive away.

As the South East coast was often subject to attacks and invasions in the past, East Sussex boasts a wealth of architectural remains and historic landmarks. You will find a number of medieval castles on the coast, as well as ancient defence works and battlefield sites. Towns such as Hastings, Battle and Rye, in particular, are full of historical highlights and interesting facts.

To experience a real taste of ancient history, it is worth walking along the South Downs Way. A National Trust trail, the South Downs Way stretches from Winchester in Hampshire, to Eastbourne in East Sussex. At 100 miles long, this scenic route features some of England’s most impressive coastal scenery along the way. People have been following this path for over 8000 years, and the journey is filled with remains of hillforts, mines and Roman roads. 

Where to stay in East Sussex

Whether you’re planning a romantic retreat, or a family getaway, you’ll find plenty of self-catering accommodation in East Sussex. From modern apartments to country piles, our holiday homes are all situated near the charming town of Eastbourne.

The ideal base for a self-catering break, Eastbourne is situated at the foot of the South Downs. Due to its unique location. this seaside resort is not only surrounded by beautiful scenery — it also enjoys its own microclimate!

Eastbourne 1

  • 4 bedrooms  | sleeps 6

This impressive holiday let is situated on the outskirts of Eastbourne’s historic Old Town. With an abundance of living space both inside and out, this home is perfect for family staycations. Overlooking the local golf course and the South Downs, the huge terrace outside is the ultimate suntrap . If you need to cool down, don’t worry — there’s also a swimming pool!

Sovereign Harbour 1

  • 6 bedrooms  | sleeps 12

This exceptional waterfront home is situated in Sovereign Harbour, just 10 minutes from Eastbourne beach. As well as offering a wealth of space inside, the extensive garden is the perfect spot for soaking up the summer sunshine. As this south-facing garden overlooks the marina, you can enjoy spectacular views across the water..

Book a staycation in England

If you’re looking to book a staycation in England, Top Villas offer a fantastic range of beautiful accommodation in the UK. All situated in prime locations, our holiday homes offer luxury living space, incredible views and an abundance of 5-star amenities.

Arranging a stay couldn’t be easier with Top Villas. Just follow our simple online booking process and you can secure your dream vacation home instantly without any phone calls or fuss. Our website makes it easy to check availability, get a quote and book instantly online. Alternatively, you can submit an enquiry and we’ll get straight back to you.

You can view all of our self-catering holiday homes in the UK here.