Wales and Cumbria top UK summer destination list, survey finds

Cornwall and Devon overtaken as 62% of Britons plan to take their main holiday in UK this year

North Wales and Cumbria are the most popular destinations for Britons looking to holiday in the UK this summer, overtaking the coastal and rural charms of Devon and Cornwall for the first time, according to a survey.

Almost two-thirds (62%) of British people intend to spend their main summer break in the UK this year, up from 50% in 2019, according to an annual poll by Sykes Holiday Cottages.

It also found that the average person in the UK will take two domestic holidays in 2021 as uncertainty over coronavirus travel restrictions causes more people to decide to holiday closer to home.

North Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District have also secured their place in the top 10 most popular regions for UK summer holidays, followed by south Wales, East Anglia and Dorset.

Bookings of UK holiday cottages are 40% higher this summer compared with the same period in 2019, according to data from Sykes’s 17,000 cottages, tracked in its annual staycation index.

The Peak District, Somerset and East Anglia are the top trending destinations and have seen the fastest growth in holiday bookings. Bookings of summer trips to the Peak District are 68% higher than in 2019, while reservations of holiday cottages in Somerset and East Anglia have both increased by about 60% compared with two years earlier.

Holidaymakers have been searching for properties with gardens or outside space, while the popularity of less traditional glamping accommodation has also soared, with bookings of shepherd’s huts and yurts soaring by 400% compared with 2019.

The surge in pet ownership during the pandemic has prompted more people to decide to take their canine companion with them on holiday, with a 40% rise in bookings of pet-friendly holiday properties this summer.

Hot tubs have also bubbled their way onto the list of holidaymakers’ requests, and bookings of properties that boast one have risen by 62% compared with two years earlier.

The pandemic is likely to have a lasting impact on Britons’ holiday preferences, according to Graham Donoghue, the chief executive of Sykes Holiday Cottages.

“We expect the shift towards holidays at home to stick and hope to continue to see staycation destinations outside of the usual honeypot locations grow in popularity in the years to come,” Donoghue said.

However, domestic holidays don’t necessarily come cheap, and Sykes found that Britons plan to spend an average of £940 on their main summer holiday, including accommodation, travel, food and drink.

Many people planning a summer break have complained of soaring prices for UK holidays, though huge demand means that even some of the most expensive popular destinations have sold out.

The 10 most popular regions for the summer holidays in 2021

1 North Wales
2 Cumbria
3 Cornwall
4 Devon
5 North Yorkshire
6 Yorkshire Dales
7 Peak District
8 South Wales
9 East Anglia
10 Dorset

The 10 fastest-growing regions for summer 2021 (from 2019)

1 Peak District
2 Somerset
3 East Anglia
4 Yorkshire Dales
5 Southern Scotland
6 Heart of England
7 Central Scotland
8 Devon
9 Northumberland
10 Cornwall

Source: Sykes Holiday Cottages 2021 Staycation Index

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