The Pound is struggling against the Euro and the Dollar, inflation is rising and it costs more than ever before to pay for overseas travel. However, most of us still want to get away from it all and enjoy the odd weekend break. So what’s the solution? There’s nothing new about the idea of taking a ‘staycation’ in the UK rather than going overseas. However, you might be surprised to find just how many locations offer an awesome weekend away without a crippling price tag.
East Yorkshire town Hull (full name ‘Kingston upon Hull’) is located on the coast, a port city that sits where the River Hull meets the Humber Estuary. For a city break without the European cost it is the perfect choice, whether you’re looking for history or culture. Visit Wilberforce House, birthplace of William Wilberforce and a museum that documents the abolition of the slave trade, or take a cycle tour through Hull’s perfectly flat streets. Hull was named as the 2017 City of Culture, a title that lasts four years and means there’s a full schedule of exhibitions, art shows, performances and even a drive in cinema for visitors to enjoy. A night in a 3-star hotel will set you back £66.
Newcastle upon Tyne
Another northern citybreak option, Newcastle was named as one of the Rough Guides’ top place to visit for 2018. Famous as a party town, Newcastle also has vibrant food, drink and arts scenes that have begun to put it on the map as something of a hipster hangout. Craft beers, cool independent coffee shops, sourdough pizza and creative restaurants serving irreverent dishes such as deconstructed English breakfasts give Newcastle an edge. The cultural events scene is strong too – visit in May, for example, to experience The Late Nights, a late-night cultural crawl of the city’s art hubs. The average cost of a 3-star Newcastle hotel is £63 a night.
The town of Southport may not instantly make you think of classic English style but it’s an unexpectedly interesting location for a weekend away. This Victorian town in Merseyside is smack bang in the middle of beautiful natural coast that is perfect for wildlife walks and the town has it’s own stretch of beach. Championship golf courses, botanical gardens and activities such as Southport Splash World provide plenty of entertainment. But it’s the quirky attractions many people love the most about Southport, such as the British Lawnmower Museum where you’ll discover a history of antique lawnmowers and garden machinery. The average 3-star hotel in Southport costs around £65 a night.
For countryside that gets the royal stamp of approval, book a weekend away to King’s Lynn. As well as a fascinating maritime history, King’s Lynn is a short bus journey from the Sandringham Estate, the Queen’s favourite retreat, described as “Dear old Sandringham, the place I love better than anywhere in the world” by King George V. West Norfolk is also renowned for its coastline with a large proportion of the 43 mile stretch designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Horse riding, golf, fishing and birdwatching are just a few of the relaxing ways to pass the time. A night at a 3-star hotel in historic King’s Lynn will cost you around £80.
The Lake District
Yes, everyone knows the Lake District is an area of great natural beauty but it’s also a staycation option with landscapes that will feed your soul. Head for the quieter spots – such as Ennerdale – and there are some great deals to be had. This is an area that has inspired some of the greatest British creatives, from William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter to John Ruskin. It is England’s largest National Park and also a World Heritage Site. Boating, cycling, walking and cave diving are all on the agenda for those seeking an action packed weekend away that won’t break the bank. An overnight in Ennerdale will set you back around £45.
One of the UK’s classic Victorian seaside resorts, Eastbourne is much overlooked as a weekend destination. From the vintage architecture to the theatres, galleries and pier, the spirit of the seaside over the centuries is well preserved here. Beachy Head, as well as Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters are key local attractions – and it’s the access to the South Downs (the UK’s newest National Park) that really make Eastbourne something special. These chalk hills stretch for 260 miles, from Eastbourne to the Itchen Valley in the west, and offer up some beautiful coastal walks, wildlife, camping, stately homes and historic sites. A night at a 3-star hotel in Eastbourne averages £54.
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