The 35 Best UK Staycations for 2020 and 2021

From weekend breaks to minimoons, these spots for UK staycations won’t disappoint – and there’s something to suit all budgets, too

The Best UK Staycations

We all love planning a far-flung adventure, but with the right research, UK staycations can be just as fun, if not even better. Not only can you leave your passport at home, you can usually drive or get the train to your destination, which means no airport security and no luggage limit – hello, extensive holiday wardrobe.

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But beyond the functional successes of a more local break, UK staycations also offer the opportunity to explore the most beautiful corners of the Great British Isles – even locations that you might not have been to or even heard of before. Not only are we blessed with almost 12,500 miles of stunning coastline, we’ve also got 40,000 lakes, endless acres of beautiful countryside and some of the most exciting cities on the planet ready and waiting for us to get stuck into.

Whether you’re planning your hen do or your honeymoon, on the hunt for a group trip with a difference or an intimate couples getaway, here are the best UK staycations on our radar right now to book as your base. Turns out there really is no place like home…

1. Cliveden House, Berkshire

Well, if it’s good enough for royalty, it’s certainly good enough for us. You’ll recognise Cliveden as the location where Meghan Markle spent her last night as an unmarried woman before the royal wedding in 2018, and for 2020 and beyond, it’s still a fabulous place to stay. From the moment you drive up the winding gravel drive, everything from the décor to the service is impeccable, without feeling too formal and intimidating. Don’t leave without sampling the tasting menu in the opulent dining room, or taking an indoor or outdoor dip at the spa, a restful retreat nestled in the picturesque Walled Garden.

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2. Soho Farmhouse, Oxfordshire

Set in 100 acres of sprawling countryside, Soho Farmhouse, part of the Soho House family, is probably the most famous of UK staycations, especially amongst the Instagram set. Take the term ‘farm’ with a pinch of salt, as this is no wellies and wet weather affair – instead, you can pamper yourself at the Cowshed spa, catch a film at the Electric Barn Cinema, take a cookery class, hit the high-spec gym, or even try your hand at horse riding. It’s members-only, so if you’re not one, you need to enquire through the website for the chance to score a room.

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3. Artist Residence, Brighton

Before it opened, boutique hotel Artist Residence ran an ad offering local artists free board in exchange for their creative output – and as a result, each of the 24 different rooms is alive with artwork that perfectly represents Brighton’s quirky, bohemian spirit. There’s also plenty of luxe features, like Nespresso machines, copper roll-top baths and four-poster beds, as well as the option for a seriously stunning sea view. Love the vibe but not near Brighton? Artist Residence also has similarly chic locations in London, Oxfordshire, Penzance, and an opening in Bristol coming soon.

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4. The Scarlet Hotel, Cornwall

If the look of the seafront hot tubs isn’t enough to seduce you, the eco-friendly credentials and amazing clifftop setting may just seal the deal. The Scarlet Hotel is an adults-only hotel, so is perfect for a properly grown-up, romantic escape on the coast. Think contemporary interiors with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, an abundance of fresh Cornish produce and an Ayuvedic spa to help you both really switch off. Make sure to stash your signature ‘Scarlet slippers’ in your suitcase after your stay – each super-comfy set is made from six recycled plastic bottles and designed for you to take home and enjoy.

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5. The Hoxton, Southwark

Perhaps you’ve already treated yourself to a stay in one of the cool Hoxton hotels abroad, but the brand’s London locations – in Shoreditch, Holborn, and Southwark – are definitely not to be overlooked. This latest branch has all of the key hallmarks of a Hoxton; achingly­ cool industrial interiors, buzzing bars and restaurants (including an unbeatable seafood offering with a view on the 14th floor) and breakfast bags delivered to your door each morning. As a hub to explore the capital, you won’t find much better in this price range – the Tate Modern, Borough Market, St Paul’s and the Southbank are all on your doorstep.

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6. Dormy House, The Cotswolds

Situated in a converted 17th century farmhouse in the quintessentially chocolate-box village of Broadway, Dormy House embodies the very best of rural style. Rustic log fires, flagstone floors and exposed beams sit comfortably alongside more contemporary, Scandi-inspired features, including king-sized beds so snug you’ll have trouble tearing yourself away come morning. For a really special occasion, check out the recently unveiled Studio, the biggest and arguably most beautiful suite in the house.

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7. Eden Locke, Edinburgh

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When Edinburgh feels like home, captured by @sulsworld

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In terms of self-catering UK staycations, there are few destinations quite as dreamy as candy-coloured Eden Locke, which sits within walking distance of all of Edinburgh’s key attractions. Every room in this ‘aparthotel’ is almost double the size of a standard boutique equivalent elsewhere, so you have plenty of space to spread out, and with its friendly staff, light, bright aesthetic and surprisingly reasonable price point, it’s a great pick for a chilled-out weekend city break in the Scottish capital.

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8. The Reading Rooms, Margate

Nestled in a Grade II listed Georgian townhouse just a short walk from Margate’s seafront, you’ll find The Reading Rooms, a B&B that’s bursting with character. The blue plaster walls prove divisive, but no one can question the shabby-chic beauty of the enormous hand-carved beds, antique chandeliers and swanky en-suite bathrooms, which come fully stocked with toiletries from Ren. The breakfast menu is delivered to your room, so there’s no need to shed your robe to face the buffet. The only downside? There are only three of said rooms (each one takes up an entire floor), so it can get competitive – we’d advise you book well in advance.

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9. Heckfield Place, Hampshire

Heckfield Place is steeped in history, dating all the way back to 1790, but it’s now had a sustainable makeover with extensive facilities including a cinema, gym, and a small yet perfectly formed spa. There are two restaurants serving up seasonally and locally influenced dishes, plus the option for classic afternoon tea in the glass-fronted Sun House, so you certainly won’t be short of snacks. Wander around the grounds and you’ll stumble upon the farm, where everything from planting to harvesting is done by hand, and get to meet the livestock, too.

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10. Mollie’s Motel & Diner, Oxfordshire

A taste of 1950s Americana on the outskirts of Oxfordshire? It is possible, thanks to Mollie’s, a Soho House outpost. Forget everything you’ve seen of dingy motels in the movies, because this is an ultra-modern, polished offering, with each of the 79 rooms boasting Egyptian cotton sheets and rainforest showers – there’s even a carefully curated general store where you can purchase any forgotten essentials. Oh, and as the retro diner is part of the property, it’d be rude not to order a dirty burger or a hand-spun milkshake while you’re there.

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11. Port Lympne, Kent

For those who fantasise about going on a safari, but whose budget doesn’t quite stretch to Africa, Port Lympne is the UK staycation of dreams: it’s a 600-acre wildlife reserve which lets you sleep in pods among its 90+ species of creatures. Accommodation ranges from the Lion Lodge to Giraffe Cottage, but we’ve fallen in love with the Bubble, which gives you panoramic views of the park (read: peak stargazing potential). Before you head off to your accommodation, why not have an al fresco drink in their Moroccan courtyard?

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12. The Swan, Southwold

If you’re bored of tasteful neutrals and prefer your palette vivid, you’ll love the colourful rooms at The Swan in Southwold – even the tips of the four-poster beds are neon pink! The hotel, located on the high street in this seaside town on the Suffolk coast, is connected to the Adnams brewery and distillery, so you can ask your butler (yes, your own personal butler) to book you onto a gin-making course or organise a tour of the beer-making facilities.

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13. Babington House, Somerset

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The country life set up. ???? #BabingtonHouse

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Another influencer favourite proudly flying the Soho House flag, Babington House is a glorious riot of antique furniture, hip velvet sofas, freestanding baths and roaring open fireplaces – we defy you not to unwind from the moment you arrive. However, if you do want to fill your time, you’re spoiled for choice: play tennis, football, cricket or croquet, attend a screening in the on-site cinema, tuck into complimentary afternoon tea (served every day at 4pm) or­ borrow bikes and adventure your way through the 18-acre grounds.

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14. North Star Club, Yorkshire

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Looking cosy from the outside..

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If it’s a real back to nature experience you’re after, look no further than the North Star Club in Yorkshire, where ‘glamping meets new heights’. There are eight suites, all of which are well-spaced to ensure privacy, and kitted out with on-brand touches like faux-fur blankets and ornamental stag heads on the walls (plus a gas BBQ on the veranda). You can also join the fun in the communal Woodshed areas, with an outdoor fire pit and all of the tea and homemade cake you can scoff.

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15. Chewton Glen, New Forest

For a 5-star country house hotel that will really impress, Chewton Glen is a surefire winner. Whether you opt for a traditional room, suite or splash out on one of the treehouse villas, which are tucked away high in a tree canopy just minutes from the main building, it’s a flawless blend of old and new world charm. The award-winning spa, complete with 17-metre swimming pool, hydrotherapy spa pool, aromatherapy saunas and crystal steam rooms, will soothe even the most stressed out of minds.

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16. Hope Street Hotel, Liverpool

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Room with a view. Swipe across and enjoy…

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Hope Street Hotel prides itself on being Liverpool’s first boutique hotel, and as such has all of the shiny fixtures you could imagine. The clean, unfussy styling centres on exposed brick walls and glossy wooden floors, with open plan bathrooms and high-spec tech like Bang & Olufsen TVs – essentially, it’s minimalism at its trendiest. As part of the cultural quarter, many of Liverpool’s best restaurants are in close proximity, but the adjoining 2 AA rosette restaurant, The London Carriage Works, is definitely worthy of at least one of your meals in the area.

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17. The Newt, Somerset

The Newt opened in summer 2019 after a six-year refurbishment, and the limestone walls of its country estate now hold dozens of treasures, including 23 artfully decorated bedrooms, an elegant library, a garden-scented spa, and an onsite farm shop that you won’t be able to leave empty-handed. The outside is just as good as the inside, with a manicured croquet lawn and rambling gardens just begging for you to get lost in them on a sunny afternoon. Oh, and a cyder tour is included as standard in your booking (well, it is Somerset, after all).

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18. Retreat East, Suffolk

You may already be aware of private members club Retreat East, especially if you follow the whereabouts of certain Made In Chelsea celebs. Hugo Taylor and Binky Felstead have frequented its barns, while Millie Mackintosh threw her 30th birthday bash here. The picturesque setting (a remote 16th century farm surrounded by fields), homey interiors and relaxed, hands-off service allow you to enjoy a peaceful staycation at your own pace – fill your days with clay pigeon shooting, yoga and pony trekking, or escape to the spa (complete with blissful outdoor jacuzzis) and soak your cares away.

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19. Cley Windmill, Norfolk

UK staycations don’t come much more unique that this characterful 19th-century Norfolk windmill turned guesthouse. Romance levels are high, especially if you book the Wheel Room, which is accessible only via ladder and has amazing views of the surrounding saltmarshes. However, if it’s a group getaway you’re after, you can club together and book the entire thing (12 guests in six rooms, although there’s extra space in the separate Boat House and Long House if needed). For occasions like big birthdays, New Year, or even weddings, it can host one heck of a party.

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20. Brimstone Hotel, Cumbria

Brimstone is a set of sixteen luxury suites in the very heart of the Lake District in the Langdale valley, where exceptionally welcoming staff are waiting to tend to your every need. The split-level rooms are fashionable and well-appointed, with feature bathtubs, super-king size double beds and wood burning stoves, but if you can bear to venture out of them, it’s well worth a visit to the communal Reading Room, where drinks (including alcohol) and snacks are provided free of charge. It goes without saying, but the scenery in the surrounding area is drop dead gorgeous.

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21. The Pig On The Beach, Dorset

Any of the Pig hotels (‘restaurants with rooms’ scattered in areas such as the New Forest, Hampshire, Somerset, Kent and Cornwall) make great UK staycations, and have won countless industry awards, so you really can’t go wrong. However, if pressed to whittle it down, we’d opt for The Pig On The Beach, a revived 16th-century manor where you can draw lungfuls of wonderfully fresh sea air while enjoying contemporary-country decoration, ridiculously big beds and baths, and calming treatments in the adjacent spa cabins. The ever-rotating food menu is highly rated and comes almost exclusively from local suppliers.

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22. The Lygon Arms, The Cotswolds

The draw of The Lygon Arms, for many, is its history – the structure dates back to the 14th century and many of the 90 rooms have exciting back stories, with former guests including Charles I and Oliver Cromwell. There are still period features throughout, but these are now balanced with modern touches like an in-house wine bar and a tranquil oasis of a spa, starring a heated indoor pool with a retractable roof that comes off in the summer. It’s also extremely dog friendly, to the point where your pooch can indulge in a ‘nails and tails’ beauty treatment during your stay.

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23. Belmond Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Oxfordshire

Raymond Blanc’s Belmond Manoir aux Quat’Saisons is the ideal place to indulge your senses – in every sense of the word. It’s the only country house hotel in Britain to have held two Michelin stars for more than 30 years, making it a bucket list destination for any foodie worth their salt, and you can capitalise on the expertise of the staff by undertaking cookery or gardening courses during your visit. When you’re finally full to bursting, retreat to one of the 32 individually-designed rooms, each of which is inspired by Raymond’s travels, or take a digestion-aiding stroll around the orchards.

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24. Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterader

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Ballroom nights ✨#LoveGlen

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It’s on every list of the best hotels in the UK for a reason: the 5-star hotel, spa and golf resort is one of the most prestigious – and glamorous – places to stay in the whole of Scotland. Describing itself as a ‘glorious playground’ of country pursuits, Gleneagles is so big you need a map to navigate the vastness of its 850 acres, and you’ll have the opportunity to go shooting, riding, off-road driving and try your hand at fishing, falconry and archery while you’re there.

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25. The Ned, London

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Spring sunshine giving us life ???? #TheNed

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The Ned’s jewel-toned interiors are undoubtedly Insta-worthy, but have you seen the heated rooftop pool? With eight restaurants to choose between, not to mention 250 bedrooms, spanning everything from cosy comfort to sumptuous suites, there’s truly no escape from the bustle of London life quite like this one. If time allows, a booking at the spa, with a traditional Moroccan hammam, Cowshed treatments and a hair salon, will be the icing on the proverbial cake.

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26. Limewood, New Forest

And relaaax… Limewood has a reputation as one of the top spa break destinations in the country, and for very good reason. Come for the Herb House spa and its forest-facing hydro pool, outdoor hot pool, workout studio and sizeable treatment list; stay for the Angela Hartnett dining menu, and the genuinely gorgeous rooms. If budget is no object, check out the recently revealed Lake Cabin, which is decked out over the water to create the illusion of effortless floating.

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27. The Boathouse at Knotts End, Lake District

Looking for a beautiful bolthole for just you two? May we suggest the Boathouse, a private waterfront property on the shores of Lake Ullswater. The exterior may be clad in classic Cumbrian stone, but the interior is thoroughly modern and eclectic, peppered with sophisticated soft furnishings and antiques from China & Indonesia. Phone signal is questionable and there’s no TV or WiFi so you’re relatively ‘off grid’. But when you’re somewhere this incredible? Trust us, you won’t care. At all.

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28. King Street Townhouse, Manchester

Manchester’s King Street Townhouse lovingly refers to itself as a ‘baby grand’ hotel, a refreshingly cosmopolitan alternative to the many more extravagant offerings in the area. The rooms are great, boasting all of the crisp linens, fluffy robes and walk-in rain showers you could wish for, but the real joy of the stay lies in the extras; the cellar is now a cinema with 20 plush armchair seats, the quirky afternoon tea lounge offers indulgence aplenty, and there’s an infinity pool on the roof.

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29. The Rectory, Wiltshire

Regardless of how many people you’re holidaying with, The Rectory has an option to suit; there are 15 rooms in the main house, but there’s also a separate three-bedroom cottage, which you can book in its entirety for bigger reunions. Furnishings are simple but charming, with Victorian clawfoot tubs and beds you can sink right into, framed by velvet headboards in shades of rust brown and deep blue. Dining is delicious but fairly casual, both at the Rectory restaurant and sister pub The Potting Shed, which is just across the road.

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30. The Wild Rabbit Inn, Daylesford

Speaking of pubs, The Wild Rabbit Inn is just about the loveliest one you can stay in, from the whimsical linocuts on the walls to the fresh linen sheets and array of Bamford products that await you in every room. It embodies a really graceful, subtle, pared-back simplicity that not many of its rivals manage to achieve, and as you would expect as part of the Daylesford estate, the food is second-to-none.

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31. Grantley Hall, Yorkshire

Grantley Hall has hosted members of parliament, artists and even royalty in the past, and if you choose to join their ranks, you won’t be disappointed. Reopened in 2019 after a four-year makeover, it’s a fab fusion of modern colour palettes and vintage elements, with no detail too small to hone in on (right down to the plump monogrammed pillows that sit atop each bed). There’s an array of dining and wellness options at your fingertips during your stay, but the best hidden gem? The Japanese gardens on the estate, which go all the way back to 1910.

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32. Watergate Bay, Cornwall

If the sea is calling your name and you want to embrace your inner mermaid, Watergate Bay, on the Cornish coast, is a suitably nautical choice. Many of the beachy-keen rooms have sea-front views with roll-top baths in situ – it’s up to you whether you want to watch the surfers do their thing from your tub, or undertake your own tutelage on the waves with a lesson at the in-house Watergate Bay academy.

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33. The Lakes By Yoo, The Cotswolds

When the gang’s all getting together and you need a gorgeous and crucially, big, place to crash, don’t overlook the opulent Lakes By Yoo. It’s a combination of privately-owned homes and rental villas with spectacular lakeside settings, with designer domains that can hold up to 14 guests. A single glance inside any of the homes shows you why they do not come cheap, but if you can split the cost between enough people, your budget might just stretch…

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34. Moor Hall, Lancashire

The focus at Moor Hall is on the food, which is two Michelin starred, but you can also stay over in one of seven luxurious guest rooms in the Grade II listed building, each of which have scenic views overlooking the lakes or gardens. It’s a trip for all seasons, with the opportunity for sun-soaked walks in the warmer period and the option to snuggle up in front of the crackling fires come winter. The prestigious menu changes with the months too.

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35. No. 131, Cheltenham

This stunning Georgian hotel in the heart of Cheltenham boasts 36 beautifully-appointed bedrooms, bursting with bold, statement prints; original artwork for the likes of David Hockney; and period bathrooms with those all-important free-standing, roll-top bathtubs. Hitched were lucky enough to stay here and can highly recommend No.131 for a staycation. Rooms are packed with state-of-the-art touches like Bang & Olufsen TVs and Dyson hairdryers, while the hotel is home to one of Cheltenham’s best cocktail bars and a modern restaurant that specialises in locally-sourced and reared produce. If you can drag yourself away from the extravagantly comfy beds, Cheltenham itself is the perfect place to spend a long weekend and a great base for Cotswolds exploring.

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