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January 11, 2018
By Joey Tyson
An increasing number of Brits are choosing to holiday at home in a bid to save money and explore what’s on their doorstep. According to figures from Visit Britain, there were 47 million domestic holidays in Britain last year, a 5% increase compared to the same period in 2016*.
The weak pound, a packed cultural calendar and an increase in short and last-minute breaks are driving interest in staycations, with 2018 set to pick up where last year left off.
VisitEngland Director, Patricia Yates, said: “More and more Brits are getting out and exploring all that the UK has to offer, and driving the value and importance of tourism throughout the nations and regions.
“The huge range of quality destinations and tourism products on offer across the country, and the ease, convenience and certainty of budgeting for a domestic trip, are all contributing to people choosing to take more holidays at home.”
As well as an overall increase in staycations, the number of short breaks (holidays between one and three nights) in England, particularly, has risen dramatically. In fact, Brits are taking nearly four million more short breaks in England than they did 10 years ago.
And, convenience seems to be another key driver in the staycation surge. Compared to going abroad, domestic trips need less planning while travel time is cut drastically.
It’s no surprise then to see late bookings of staycations are on the up, with 78% of trips booked within three months of being taken.
After the 2016 referendum, the pound’s value dropped off a cliff. As major political changes often send shockwaves through currency, many had expected this to happen.
However, in the months that followed, sterling never really recovered. A turbulent year for British politics in 2017 and uncertainty around Brexit negotiations both contributed to keeping the pound at record low levels.
With Brexit talks ongoing and the outlook for Britain’s economy looking rather gloomy, it looks unlikely that the pound will bounce back to anything like it was pre-June 2016 anytime soon.
In fact, most investors and economists seem to agree that the pound’s value will stay low for the next couple of years at least.
With the pound now worth less abroad (especially compared to the euro and dollar), it seems more Britons are happy to holiday at home. In fact, data from the Office for National Statistics revealed that during peak travel periods last year, there was a drop off in the number of Brits heading abroad – a 2% decrease in July and a 3% decrease in August compared with the previous year).
If you’re thinking of embracing the staycation trend, there’s a huge range of new and exciting activities, exhibitions and events planned all across Britain this year to inspire your trip. Here are a few of the best, as suggested by Visit Britain.
· The Great Exhibition of the North in Newcastle Gateshead, an interactive exhibition about the North of England (June 22 – September)
· Bristol’s new Being Brunel Museum, dedicated to the legendary engineer
· the Women’s Hockey World Cup in London (July 21 - August 5)
· the England vs India cricket test series (First test July 3)
· the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force with events at Royal Albert Hall in London
· the 50th anniversary of Norfolk Coast being an Area of Outstanding Beauty
· Wales’ Year of the Sea – Walk a part of the 870-mile Wales Coast Path
· the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People (May 26 - June 3)
Still after some inspiration? Check out these exciting destinations for a UK staycation in 2018.
Often overlooked in favour of other, more popular British national parks, the Peak District is having a bit of a moment thanks to The Times travel team tipping it as one to watch this year. Home to sweeping fells, traditional market towns and moody mountain trails, the Peaks is an ideal place for a long weekend out in the great British countryside.
2018 is set to be a bumper year for culture on Merseyside, with a battalion of China’s Terracotta Warriors set to invade town. It’s the first time they have been to a UK city outside London for 30 years, so the exhibition in World Museum is quite a big deal. The Liverpool Tate, meanwhile, will be celebrating its 30th year with a raft of exciting new exhibitions to mark the occasion.
The mighty Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands is the kind of place that has to be seen to be believed. One of the best ways to take in the jaw-dropping views is the Snow Roads Scenic Route, which has three new stunning Scenic Route Installations set up to make this drive even more remarkable.
Tipped as the place to visit in 2018 by Rough Guides in its annual round-up, Newcastle beat tough competition in Cuba and Chile to claim the top spot. Best known for its Geordie geniality and lively nightlife, the Toon will host the Great Exhibition of the North this year, as mentioned above.
The entire nation of Wales also made it on to Rough Guides’ hot list for 2018 – and we can see why. It has Europe’s longest zip line, some of the UK’s best and most beautiful coastline, Snowdonia National Park, vibrant Cardiff… and that’s just for starters.
Hoseasons: Up to £200 off summer deals; plus £30 low deposit
Haven: Up to 25% off 2018 holidays and up to 50% off midsummer midweek breaks
Snaptrip: Save up to 60% on last-minute holidays in the UK
Cottages.com: Breaks from £209; £30 low deposit
Holidaycottages.co.uk: Deals from £239
*Statistics are from January to September 2017.
Please note: All deals and facts were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.
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