Lake District

What are Britons looking for in a 2021 staycation?

Over half of Britons plan to take a staycation in 2021. Find out where the UK is planning to stay and what they want from a getaway here.

  • Dawn Whittle
  • Published on June 21, 2021

With uncertainty still lingering over the prospect of foreign travel this summer, or rather, travel without a plethora of quarantine and testing steps, Britons are turning to home soil to get away from it all. With 55% of people planning on holidaying in the UK this summer, has the nation changed the way it holidays for good?

With UK travel booming, we wanted to know which destinations are most in-demand this summer, and what travellers want from a holiday. So, we asked 2,000+ people the question.

We’re hoping their responses provide hoteliers and hospitality businesses with the insights they need to help make informed, future-proof decisions for this year and beyond!

Where do people want to go this summer?

Following many months of heartache for hoteliers, with COVID-19 and subsequent restrictions placing many in a difficult place, there’s no doubt that things are starting to look up for the UK’s tourism industry.

After surveying the public, we found that Cornwall, the Shangri La for pristine beaches, fishing villages and of course, pasties, was the preferred spot for 26% of people. In a very close second place, 25% opted for the mountainous Lake District and its stunning views. This was followed by the equally stunning Scottish Highlands.

The top six most in-demand UK Staycation locations for 2021:

• Cornwall (26%)
• Lake District (25%)
• Scottish Highlands (17%)
• London (14%)
• Yorkshire Dales (13%)
• Jurassic Coast (12%)


What do people want from a holiday?

Whilst many of the desired locations named in our research have been tourist hot spots for years, the reasons cited why people are choosing to staycation offer an insight into how the past year of daily walks and working from home may have altered what we want from a holiday.

When asked what they look for most in a UK holiday, 34% of people cited a good food and restaurant scene as the main pull, followed by good beaches (32%) and interesting history (22%). A combined 38% of people also quoted access to National Trust properties and hiking as key priorities when selecting a UK destination, demonstrating that a newfound love for the outdoors has swept the nation.

Our survey findings also revealed that Britons are prioritising quality time with loved ones and mindfulness over sunshine and hedonism on their holidays. When asked about why they wanted to take a UK Staycation, over half of Britons were planning a trip away to spend more time with friends and family, while one in five desired a break in order to get a sense of purpose back and 19% to switch off from work. Are these views here to stay or will the desire for more time with family lessen following a week of camping in a rainy field with the in-laws? Only time will tell.

Commenting on the survey, our COO and hotelier Richard Drummond said: “After enduring multiple lockdowns this past year, and with overseas travel restrictions continuing, Britons are keen to holiday in the UK, which is fantastic news for hoteliers, hospitality business, and local economies alike. Indeed, almost a quarter of people we surveyed said one of the most positive aspects of taking a UK holiday was being able to put money back into the country’s economy.”

“It’s also interesting to see what Britons are looking for in a holiday, with many prioritising quality time with loved ones and time in nature to switch off, rather than blowouts in the sunshine. It’ll be interesting to see if this trend continues once overseas travel restrictions ease – but whatever happens, 2021 is on track to be a bumper year for UK holidays”

So instead of a city break in Berlin, why not Bristol instead? A family getaway to the Canaries, look no further than Cornwall. Enjoy the clean, crisp air of the Alps? Maybe the Highlands in winter?

Find out more and download our full Staycation report here.