Hot tubs, dogs and good Wi-Fi: Cumbria and North Wales take top spots for staycation destinations

For the first time, North Wales and Cumbria have beaten Cornwall and Devon in the staycation rankings

Tourism across Great Britain has soared during 2021 to an all time high - with holiday cottage rentals up by 40% compared to 2019.

Research shows Brits on average will take two holidays this summer – and their main wants and needs are: outside space, good proximity to the beach and decent quality WiFi, according to a poll by Skyes Holiday Cottages with 17,000 rentals.

As jetsetters trade in long-haul trips for staycation car journeys – they have opted to head to picturesque North Wales Cumbria and Cornwall the most, which now rank as the top three holiday destinations in Great Britain.

The Peak District, Somerset and East Anglia are the ‘trending’ destinations for British breaks this summer, according to an analysis of holiday cottage booking data (image: Mark Hall)

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Graham Donoghue, CEO of Sykes Holiday Cottages, said: “More Brits than ever are getting to experience everything the UK has to offer – whether that’s beach breaks along the south coast or exploring the picture-perfect Peak District.

“The pandemic will have a lasting impact on us all, and this is especially true for how people holiday.

The collapse in Britons taking foreign holidays has boosted the demand for staycations to places like the Lake District (AFP via Getty Images)

"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.”

Data from the annual 2021 Staycation Index has revealed that nearly two-thirds of Brits plan to spend their main summer break in the UK in 2021 – up from 50% in 2019.

It comes as the ever-changing international traffic light system was introduced by the government on 17 May, 2021 – and has previously left thousands rushing to scramble back home form Portugal.

The risk-based system with red, amber and green ratings for countries around the world determines the quarantine and Covid testing requirements people face when returning to the UK.

Devon and Dorset have fallen down the UK holiday rankings this year as North Wales and Cumbria climb to the top spots (image: JPIMedia)

The poll also showed that the Peak District, Somerset and East Anglia are the top ‘trending’ destinations, based on bookings growth, with summer holidays to the Peak District up 68% on 2019.

More people than ever people are also choosing to explore the UK with their pets in tow, as bookings for pet-friendly holiday properties have risen 40% this summer, thanks in part to the increase in dog ownership during the pandemic.

Hot tub holidays are also in high demand, as the cottage rental company has seen a 62% increase in bookings to properties that have them versus 2019.

The good news is that the popularity of holidays at home is likely to continue as almost half (46%) of Brits polled say they are now more likely to consider a staycation than prior to the pandemic.

The 10 most popular regions for the summer holidays in 2021:

North Wales




North Yorkshire

Yorkshire Dales

Peak District

South Wales

East Anglia


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

Peak District


East Anglia

Yorkshire Dales

Southern Scotland

Heart of England

Central Scotland