The UK destinations to book now for your summer holiday

Laura Hampson
·5-min read
Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland (Getty)
Portree in the Isle of Skye is expected to be a popular holiday spot for 2021 (Getty)

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While we may still be in the depths of winter, it’s never too early to start thinking about your summer holiday - especially this year, after months in lockdown.

It’s still touch and go whether or not we’ll be able to travel overseas, so a British staycation looks the most likely option for a holiday in 2021.

Even Health Secretary Matt Hancock has booked a holiday for later in summer, as he said in January: “I’m going to Cornwall. And I have said before I think we’re going to have a great British summer.”

Watch: Should I book a holiday in 2021?

Read more: Should I book a holiday? Experts weigh in

Data from Booking.com shows that local travel has risen to the fore as its “easier, safer and more sustainable”.

“Looking ahead, we can reveal that staying closer to home and becoming familiarists rather than tourists will continue to be at the forefront of travel agendas,” a Booking.com spokesperson tells Yahoo UK.

“Nearly half (47%) of people still plan to travel within their own country in the medium term (seven to 12 months’ time), with 38% planning to do so in the longer term (in over a year’s time).”

Read more: The eco-friendly destinations to visit in 2021

Booking.com predicts that beach destinations will be top of our lists and we can expect to see a surge of visitors to these destinations in the warmer months.

So, where to go? With the help of data from Tripadvisor and Booking.com, we chart the stand-out stars for a British summer holiday in 2021.

Ilfracombe, Devon

Ilfracombe, Devon (Getty)
Ilfracombe, Devon (Getty)

A pretty seaside village on the North Devon coast, Ilfracombe offers a slew of culinary and cultural delights. The eight-mile Ilfracombe and Woolacombe coastal walk is well worth doing (even part of it) for cliff-side vistas and beautiful beaches.

Where to stay: The two-bedroom Oceanside Penthouse for beautiful sea views.

Newquay, Cornwall

Watergate Bay in Newquay, Cornwall (Getty)
Watergate Bay in Newquay, Cornwall (Getty)

A staple on the British summer holiday circuit, Newquay is known for its surf beaches and laid-back vibe. It’s also the gateway to other Cornish locales like St Ives (named as one of Tripadvisor’s top emerging destinations for 2021) and Padstow.

Where to stay: Deep soak in-room tubs overlook one of Cornwall’s best surfing beaches at Watergate Bay.

Portree, Highlands

Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland (Getty)
Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland (Getty)

The Isle of Skye has seen a spike in popularity in recent years, so make 2021 the year you see its beauty for yourself. When you’re not dining on fresh mussels and lobster at the Oyster Shed or marvelling at the whimsical waters of the Fairy Pools, it’s best to wander around the pretty town of Portree.

Where to stay: Book in for a night or two at the Three Chimneys - it’s one of Scotland’s best restaurants with rooms.

Torquay, Devon

Torquay, Devon (Getty)
Torquay, Devon (Getty)

Sitting pretty on the English Riviera, Torquay boasts teal-hued waters, palm-lined lanes and plenty of boutiques to get your shopping fix.

Where to stay: You can’t go past The 25 Boutique B&B - it’s been named the best B&B in the world by Tripadvisor for two years running.

Stackpole, Pembrokeshire

Barafundle Bay, Wales (Getty)
Barafundle Bay, Wales (Getty)

A small village on the Pembrokeshire coast, the main draw of Stackpole is its vicinity to the golden sand, teal-hued Barafundle Bay - regularly voted one of the best beaches in the UK.

Where to stay: A posh pub with chic rooms, it’s got to be The Stackpole Inn.

York, Yorkshire

York, Yorkshire (Getty)
York, Yorkshire (Getty)

One of the world’s top trending destinations for 2021 (it placed 22nd in recent Tripadvisor rankings), York is set to have an influx of visitors this summer. Tripadvisor also named the Yorkshire Dales as Europe’s best national park - so there’s been no better time to visit.

Where to stay: The Bolton Percy Gatehouse with its beamed ceiling, modern kitchen and four-poster bed is ideal for a romantic getaway.

Skegness, Lincolnshire

Skegness, Lincolnshire (Getty)
Skegness, Lincolnshire (Getty)

A charming seaside town in Lincolnshire, Skegness’ golden sand beach, vintage promenade, pier and seasonal fairground make it an off-beat summer escape.

Where to stay: Just down the road in Burgh le Marsh, this 200-year-old farmhouse is a great option for larger parties.

Eastbourne, East Sussex

Eastbourne, East Sussex (Getty)
Eastbourne, East Sussex (Getty)

With its iconic chalk cliffs, lovely beaches and Victorian-fronted promenade, Eastbourne is a great option for a proper English seaside break. It’s equidistant from Rye and Brighton, too, which both make great day trips.

Where to stay: the Three Little Ducks cottage has direct access to Pevensey Bay Beach and is ideal for small families.

Bristol

Bristol (Getty)
Bristol (Getty)

With elegant terraces, a vibrant foodie scene and plenty of cultural offerings (Banksy calls the city home), Bristol remains one of the best UK destinations for a city break this summer.

Where to stay: Beech House in beautiful Clifton offers the comforts of a hotel with the privacy of an apartment.

Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Sheffield, South Yorkshire (Getty)
Sheffield, South Yorkshire (Getty)

As well as being a buzzing university city - with plenty of pubs, bars and restaurants to discover - Sheffield is also fringed by the Peak District National Park, best explored in the summer months.

Where to stay: A 15-minute drive from Sheffield centre, Penny Pot cottage makes for a perfect Peak District base.

4 of the best websites for booking a UK staycation

1. Booking.com

2. Lastminute.com

3. Holidaycottages.com

4. Skye Holiday Cottages

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