8 amazing UK holiday destinations for a 2021 staycation

Global cities, world-class beaches and Instagram-ready landscapes await – and they’re all right here on our doorstep.

Here, we run through the country’s favourite staycation locations and highlight some of the reasons to take your next holiday closer to home.

Remember to call ahead and check everything on your itinerary is open for visitors before you hit the road.

There's a busy summer ahead in the UK...

​If you break down, the quickest way to get help is online. Don’t let a breakdown spoil your staycation, stay on the road with these easy car checks.

Snowdonia

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North Wales is home to some of the most breath-taking scenery in the UK and the highest point in Wales: Mount Snowdon. 

Keen hikers have made the rocky ascent for centuries and return to traverse the mountain via its many different routes to the top. 

There are easier routes catering for ramblers of all ability levels and even the Snowdon Mountain Railway if you’d prefer to ride the rails to the summit instead.

Adrenaline junkies can make the most of the natural rapids at The National White Water Centre, open to kayaking for all ages. While outside the park, drivers can take the scenic route by swinging through historic Caernarfon, before heading over the water to explore the beautiful Isle of Anglesey.

If you’re looking to explore the depths of Snowdonia, you can book a cottage in North Wales with Sykes for an unforgettable stay.

Best way to drive to Snowdonia

Holidaymakers visiting from the North of England can take the A55 North Wales Expressway from Chester. Those travelling from Cardiff and the south of England can easily reach the National Park using the A470, which runs from Cardiff to Llandudno.

Cambridge

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The university town of Cambridge is a must for history buffs and architecture appreciators. Driving through its streets can feel like a journey through time as Grade I listed buildings can be found at every turn. 

If the prospect of tours around the world-renowned colleges isn’t enticing enough, the River Cam offers the opportunity to punt past the sights at your leisure – it’s the perfect antidote for a missed trip to Venice. 

Best way to drive to Cambridge

Cambridge is reasonably centrally-placed in England, so it’s easily accessible from most of the UK. The M11 from east London terminates at the north-west of the city where it joins the A14. The A road ends at Felixstowe in the east and Catthorpe, Leicestershire to the west.

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Edinburgh

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Spanning the medieval Old Town and the Georgian New Town, the Scottish capital is amongst the UKs most dramatic cities. 

The skyline is dominated by the centuries-old Edinburgh Castle, perched above cobbled streets, charming alleyways and rows of handsome houses. 

No city in the UK has a higher concentration of listed buildings, 4,500 in total. However, locals aren’t the type to stay stuck in the past and are well known for hosting a hell of a party.

Best way to drive to Edinburgh

The Scottish capital can be reached from the A1 in the south where it joins the Edinburgh City Bypass, circling the south of the city. The M90 connects Edinburgh to the north via the Queensferry Crossing Bridge.

The Lake District

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The North of England’s most famous national park is the ideal destination for active families with an appreciation for the great outdoors. 

This scenic land of extremes is home to England’s highest peak at Scafell Pike and the country’s deepest lake, Wastwater, at 74 metres deep. 

The World Heritage site still has plenty to offer away from rugged trails and dizzying summits; it’s also a must-see for literature fans. 

So-called ‘Wordsworth Country’ covers 900 square miles of landscapes that have inspired writers and poets for centuries, as well as being an influence on Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle-Duck stories.

For many more top attractions and activities that this inspiring region of the UK has to offer, take a look at the Lake District travel guide Sykes Holiday Cottages have put together. There are plenty of things to do to keep the whole family entertained.

Best way to drive to the Lake District

A cruise around Cumbria’s winding roads is one of the best ways to take in its many picture-postcard vistas.

The area is conveniently surrounded by A roads at all compass points, with the A6 to the east and the A595 covering the west, south and north. The A591 passes through the heart of the national park. 

Cornwall

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Far too many motorists consider Land’s End in Cornwall as one end of a cross-country trip to John O’Groats. We prefer to think of it as one of many essential stops on a tour of this beautiful corner of the country. 

The Celtic Sea to the North and English Channel to the south are lined with scenic coastal roads, including the well-travelled Atlantic Highway. 

Cornwall enjoys some of the sunniest weather in the UK, which is great news for the huge diversity of plant life at the Eden Project near St Austell.

If travel restrictions prevented a culinary escape abroad, Cornish cuisine won’t disappoint as a homegrown alternative. Sample fresh seafood at bays overlooking golden beaches, or tuck into a traditional British menu at Rick Stein’s popular pub, The Cornish Arms. Don’t leave without nabbing a real Cornish pasty too!

Best way to drive to Cornwall

Major roads to the rest of England include the A38 which crosses the Tamar at Plymouth, and the A39, or Atlantic Highway, ending in Fraddon. The A30 connects London to Cornwall’s only city, Truro and continues on to Penzance.

Southwest England is also a caravan or motorhome owner's dream. There are gorgeous coastal parks full of pitches all over the county, so if you've got one, a caravan trip to Cornwall and Devon is a fantastic alternative to touring through Europe this year.

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London

A global city on your doorstep isn’t a bad substitute for a holiday abroad. If you planned on travelling for the arts, the West End is filled with a staggering number of galleries and theatres that host an equally impressive and ever changing programme of events. 

Meanwhile eight Royal Parks, a nearby forest at Epping and various heathlands should give you a breather if the hustle and bustle of city life gets a little too much.

There are also, of course, plenty of big names and hidden gems for anyone planning a culinary escape or their next big shopping trip. Trying to narrow down the staggering extent of the capital’s restaurants and retail options would be a fool’s errand, so we’ll just plump for 2 highlights: Borough Market is foodie heaven, and don’t miss Harrods for a unique department store experience.

Best way to drive to London

London is as well connected as you might imagine. It’s easily accessed by the M1 from the north and M4 from the west, plus a number of A roads feed into the M25 outer ring road. 

Drivers should check if their vehicle meets the Ultra Low Emission Zone standards and be mindful of the Congestion Charge’s hours of operation.

Devon

If your plans to visit the Côte d'Azur have been canned thanks to travel restrictions, you could always make your next trip to the English Riviera instead. 

Torquay, Paignton and Brixham on the south coast of Devon are home to award-winning beaches framed by palm trees befitting the Mediterranean coastline. 

The county boasts all the features of a traditional seaside escape and offers visitors the chance to enjoy a more unconventional holiday. 

North Devon’s ‘Adventure Coast’ invites you to canoe through caves or tackle rugged cycling and hiking trails. Those travelling with caravans will find plenty of campsites to set up a temporary home for their visit.

Best way to drive to Devon

Devon is easily accessed via the same roads as its neighbour Cornwall. The A38 connects the region all the way to Birmingham and the A30 takes motorists from Heathrow Airport to Penzance via Exeter. 

The A39, or Atlantic Highway, is arguably the most scenic route, and cuts through the north of the county.

As with Cornwall, Devon is a great region for caravanning. If you've got one, make sure you pick up our specialist caravan and motorhome breakdown cover for your British tour this year.

York

The cathedral city of York was founded by the Romans in the 1st Century AD and is filled with reminders of a rich history within its ancient walls. 

Fans of the grand and gothic can head to York Minster, while those who prefer something a little more rustic can meander through the crooked timber-framed buildings of the Shambles.

No visit to York is complete without a trip to the city’s traditional tea rooms. Betty’s Café and Molly’s Tearooms are just two of the many establishments where weary drivers can enjoy a refined Yorkshire brew.

Best way to drive to York

York is situated midway between London and Edinburgh, making it a convenient city escape for much of the nation. 

It’s just 20 minutes from the M1/M62 network and easily navigated using the York Outer Ring Road. 

 

Have your holiday plans been impacted by Covid travel restrictions? Perhaps you've got another UK destination in mind instead? Let us know in the comments below.

If you want peace of mind while you're exploring the UK, don’t forget to take our breakdown cover with you!

To secure your staycation, check out Sykes Holiday Cottages last minute holiday break deals.

 

Need car insurance for your staycation? Our short-term car insurance product is ideal if you're looking for flexible cover for your vehicle.

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