With summers seemingly getting hotter every year, more and more Britons are opting to staycation in the UK rather than go abroad. In fact, one recent survey of 1,000 UK holidaymakers¹ reveals that 55% would prefer a staycation in the UK over battling queues at the airport for a getaway overseas.
During the pandemic lockdowns, many Britons also fell back in love with all the beautiful destinations that the UK has to offer holidaymakers – and trend that seems to have stuck even as international travel restrictions fell away. So much so that according to the same poll Brits are now, on average, planning to take about two short breaks a year.
Recent studies have shown that ‘good weather’ is consistently one of the most important factors that UK travellers look for when it comes to planning their holidays². Given this, our researchers decided to run a study of official Met Office data to reveal which of the UK’s most visited staycation destinations offer holidaymakers the best weather. To do this, we analysed meteorological data from weather stations across the UK, and looked at measures such as average temperatures, frost days, sunshine hours, and rainfall. Here’s a summary of our findings:
THE BEST PLACES FOR WARM WEATHER & SUNSHINE: DEVON, BRIGHTON & LONDON
If you’re looking for great summer weather, then you may want to consider Devon, Brighton or even a stay in London. Our findings reveal that Brighton, Torbay and Devon are the top staycation destinations in the UK if you’re looking for most hours of sunshine, while London, Torbay and Devon top the polls for the highest temperatures.
THE ‘COOLEST’ STAYCATION DESTINATIONS: THE YORKSHIRE DALES, THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS & SCARBOROUGH
If you’re looking to escape the summer heat, or just prefer cool weather, then you may want to opt for a staycation destination that’s a little more off the beaten track. According to the meteorological data, the Yorkshire Dales is the ‘coolest’ destination, shortly followed by the Scottish Highlands and Scarborough.
THE ‘FROSTIEST’ STAYCATION DESTINATIONS: THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS, THE LAKE DISTRICT & YORK
If you’re looking for more than just cool weather or are in search of a wintry wonderland getaway and a good chance of snow, then you may be interested in these destinations. Our analysis shows that the Scottish Highlands, the Lake District and the city of York are the ‘frostiest’ with the most days of air frost on average.
THE ‘WETTEST’ STAYCATION DESTINATIONS: SNOWDONIA, THE LAKE DISTRICT & THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS
While most Brits may (understandably) be hoping to dodge a chance of showers on their travels, a spot of light rain can be refreshing for holidaymakers looking for active pursuits or wildlife adventures. Whether you’re looking to avoid the rain or not, you may be interested to know that Snowdonia, the Lake District, and the Scottish Highlands are in fact the UK staycation destinations with the highest average volume of rainfall.
THE ‘DRIEST’ STAYCATION DESTINATIONS: LONDON, YORK & NOTTINGHAM
If on the other hand you’re looking to find the staycation destinations in the UK where you are least likely to have to take your umbrella, then you might be interested in a city break. According to the data, London, York and Nottingham are among the driest UK staycation destinations with the lowest average volume of rainfall.
THE BEST DESTINATIONS WITH THE MOST ‘INSTA-WORTHY’ SUNSETS: LONDON, BRIGHTON & DEVON
We know it’s not strictly weather, but according to one poll of 2,000 UK adults³, enjoying a great sunset is one of the most enjoyable activities for Brits when on staycation*. Given this, we decided to analyse Instagram hashtag data to see which UK staycation destinations most inspired people to take out their phone and post a photograph of a beautiful sunset there. We found that the top five most posted about destinations on Instagram for sunsets are London, Brighton, Cornwall, Edinburgh and Devon.
We hope you found our study revealing the UK staycations with the best weather useful for planning your next getaway. If you are looking for a base from which to discover sunny Devon’s best attractions and landscapes, then look no further than Cofton Holidays! Situated near Dawlish, our glorious park offers everything from luxury lodges, cottages and apartments through to first-class facilities to pitch up a tent or a mobile caravan. Not only that, but we also have some amazing dog friendly accommodation, meaning that you can bring your pooch along for the ride too!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT STAYCATIONS & WEATHER
What is a staycation?
The term ‘staycation’ refers to a holiday spent near home. In the context of the UK, a staycation refers to a holiday in a popular British holiday destination, such as Devon, as opposed to a getaway abroad.
Where in the UK has the most sunshine?
According to our study of Met Office data, the staycation destination in the UK with the most sunshine hours is Brighton, closely followed by Torbay, Devon and Bristol. Cornwall, Blackpool, Bath, Liverpool, Scarborough and York are also among the staycation destinations with the highest number of sunshine hours (on average).
Where is the warmest and driest place in the UK?
Our study of Met Office data shows that London is the UK staycation destination with the warmest weather. Torbay, Devon, Dorset, Bath, Bristol, Brighton, The Cotswolds, Birmingham, and Nottingham also had high average maximum temperatures, making them the among the warmest staycation destinations for holidaymakers.
Where are the best places to go on a staycation?
According to our study, the best places to go on staycation in the UK if you are after warm weather and sunshine are Devon, Torbay, London, Brighton, Bristol, Cornwall, Dorset, The Cotswolds, and Bath.
What to do if it rains on your holiday?
Few people enjoy spending time out in the rain, particularly if they are looking to soak up the summer sun on their holiday. However, if it does rain on your holiday there are plenty of things that you can do to ensure that you and your party still have a great time. Here are some of our top tips on what to do if it rains while you are on holiday:
- Visit a museum or indoor attraction. One of the best ways to experience a destination and its culture is to explore its museum and indoor attractions. In South Devon, you’ll find many museums and galleries that explore the local history of our region and specialist areas of interest. Highlights include the Moretonhampstead Motor Museum, Dartmouth Museum, the Dartmoor Prison Museum and the Timehouse art galleries.
- Go to a local show, concert or performance. There are usually still lots of great options for entertainment when the rain comes out, from catching a movie to enjoying a performance at a local theatre. South Devon has a rich history of great cultural events and entertainment, from ad hoc events and exhibitions throughout the year to a handful of independent cinemas and annual events such as the Sidmouth Jazz & Blues Festival and the Exmouth Festival.
- Enjoy movies, board games and your accommodation. If it’s raining and you don’t fancy much like going outside, then it’s time to make the most of your accommodation and spend some quality time with your travelling companions. Activities could include board games, a great movie, or even just enjoying your accommodation or local area. At Cofton, many of our accommodation options come with hot tubs (which can be great to enjoy in the rain!) and our park offers a number of leisure facilities including Amelia’s Cafe, and regular onsite entertainment.
- Go shopping. One great way to pass the time when the rain comes down is to go shopping and indulge in a little retail therapy. South Devon has an eclectic range of shops on offer, including two large city centre shopping areas with the Princesshay Quarter in Exeter and the Drake Circus Shopping Centre in Plymouth.
- Take a bus tour. If you still want to enjoy the sites but want to keep dry, then why not consider a bus tour? Not only can you stay dry, but they are often great value for money and allow you to see all the sites with ease. In South Devon, both Plymouth and Exeter run sightseeing buses at different times of the year.
Enjoy the local landscapes. While we all enjoy the sunshine, sometimes the best way to see the local landscapes and beaches is with the drama of a rainy day. Whether you venture out in the car or decide to go out on foot, exploring the great outdoors in the rain can be refreshing and a stormy day can even provide an atmospheric backdrop that’s perfect for doing a spot of photography.
We first identified the top staycation destinations in the UK; this included the most visited cities by GB residents (https://www.statista.com/statistics/582321/most-visited-english-cities-domestic-tourism-great-britain-number-trips/) and the UK staycation destinations that Britons most plan to visit according to a recent poll (https://www.redonline.co.uk/travel/travel-guides/a35777779/top-uk-staycation-destinations-2021/). The destinations included in the study were therefore the Yorkshire Dales, Snowdonia, Liverpool, Scarborough, Blackpool, Cornwall, the Peak District, Brighton, York, Bath, The Cotswolds, Bristol, Leeds, Torbay, Edinburgh, the Lake District, Dorset, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Devon, Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield, the Scottish Highlands, Birmingham, and London. To reveal the sunniest, warmest, wettest, driest, coolest, and frostiest staycation destinations we then analysed meteorological data from the Met Office (https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/climate/maps-and-data/uk-climate-averages/) for each of these destinations. This data was used to rank the destinations according to the below measures. The data points we analysed include average measures over the last nine years for the following; Maximum temperature (°C), Minimum temperature (°C), Days of air frost (days), Sunshine (hours), Rainfall (mm) and Days of rainfall ≥1 mm (days). Meteorological data comes from the nearest weather stations to the locations in this study. Where data on a specific measure was unavailable from one weather station, we looked at data for that location from the next nearest weather station.
To reveal the staycation destinations with the most ‘Insta-worthy’ sunsets we analysed hashtag data from Instagram related to sunsets in each of the above destinations. The destinations were then ranked by how many posts each destination had on Instagram with hashtags related to sunsets in that destination.