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Planning a staycation



an image of colourful seafront houses

Sometimes, your next best adventure is on your doorstep. The UK is full of beautiful places to explore, from coastal villages to quiet woodlands to mountain tops. Below are a few ideas for staycation destinations, plus some tips on how to save money.

Home from home

A big benefit of booking a staycation is that you don’t have airline luggage weight restrictions. This means you can save money by bringing some things from home, such as a football or hiking boots, or board games for rainy days.

If you’re staying in a self-catering holiday cottage, you could also bring things to cook and eat: pasta, a few herbs, or perhaps some tasty tins of baked beans and crunchy snacks.

Camping or glamping?

Planning a UK staycation can give you the chance to stay somewhere a bit unusual. If you’re up for the adventure of camping, why not explore the magic of a forest? And at a very reasonable price too. Forestry England offers many beautiful woodland sites. If you’re looking for a dog friendly holiday, we’re told that you can bring the dog along for free at National Trust campsites.

For staycation glamping inspiration, have a look at Canopy & Stars, a search website that showcases unique, creative places that can give you an experience of a life more wild. One of the properties listed on the site is the Cumfrey Yurt in Fairy Bell Wood in the Lake District, set in four acres of private land, a short drive from Hawkshead Brewery.

A yurt used for glamping in style in a forest
Glamping in style in a forest

Head to the seaside

Up and down the British coast, you’ll find town after town to enjoy, full of wonderful places to stay. Close to Edinburgh is the pretty seaside town of Ellie, with beaches and all kinds of coastal walks. Wales is a great place to find a seaside staycation too and the Visit Wales website has some nice ideas of places to go. Cardigan Bay has all kinds of beautiful beaches, many of which are popular with surfers.

Mwnt beach, near Cardigan, Wales
Mwnt beach, near Cardigan, Wales

Much further down South, on the UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic Coast, you could stay at the historic towns of Weymouth or Lyme Regis. Explore the beach for fossils during the day and sit down to a fish and chip supper in the evening. The pioneering fossil hunter Mary Anning lived in Lyme Regis and made history uncovering many prehistoric wonders here.

Ways to save on public transport

If you’re going to travel by train, aim to buy your tickets a few weeks before you travel, to get a better deal with an advance ticket price.

You might also want to look into getting a railcard - they’re not only for people under 25 and over 60, they’re also for people who frequently travel together, as friends, a couple or as a family.

Explore with the National Trust

National Trust places are always worth a look, especially if you have children. During July and August, lots of properties are running Summer of Play activities for families, from art workshops at Erddig in Wales to historic Tudor sports at Buckland Abbey in Devon.

The activities are usually included in the price of your day pass, which you and three friends could get for free if you successfully refer one of them to Starling. The refer a friend scheme is open to all Starling customers.

Starling also has an additional offer for customers that have set up a Kite debit card for their child. If you’re a Kite customer, your child could enjoy a free meal at a National Trust café until the end of 2023.

Buckland Abbey, Devon
Buckland Abbey, Devon

Look up petrol and charging stations before you set off

My final staycation tip is for anyone travelling around by car to a remote part of the UK, for example if you’re doing the North Coast 500 route in Scotland. Make a point of planning fuel or charging station stops before you get deep into the countryside, where petrol stations or charging points may be quite rare. You could save yourself a lot of potential stress and money.

Article updated: 4 September 2023