2021 – Top 10 staycation counties and regions in the UK

Written by Nick Grant


Published on 10th November 2021


Last Updated on 23rd February 2024


Read time: 4 minutes

brighton beach

2021 has been an abnormal year in general and in particular for the travel industry. The resurgence of ‘staycations’ has meant that UK holiday providers have experienced one of their busiest years ever, with statistics from the Government’s roadmap back in April suggesting that there had already been a 300% rise in stay-at-home bookings. The main reason was the unpredictability of international travel, so people naturally decided to holiday closer to home.

Early estimates suggesting that around 84% of Brits were planning to stay ‘local’ were certainly borne out by the huge influx of visitors to some of the UK’s most popular destinations. So which counties and regions made the top ten?

1. Cornwall – It’s no surprise that Cornwall topped almost every single survey list, with around 48% of those asked putting it as their favourite UK destination. Beaches that are potentially not only the best in the UK but maybe the best in Europe, attractions such as the Eden Project, and that amazing clotted cream ice-cream kept visitors coming back time and time again.

2. Devon – Cornwall’s neighbour is the pick for 43% of staycationers, with nearly half of those asked saying that they would add it to their list of places to see this year. One of the largest counties in the UK, its rolling green countryside and two national parks (Dartmoor and Exmoor) make it a perfect location for outdoor-loving visitors.

3. The Scottish Highlands – Polling in joint second place with Devon, the Highlands have been rediscovered this year by millions of visitors drawn by its dramatic landscape, the evocative lochs, and in no small measure, the lure of 134 Scotch whisky distilleries.

4. Cumbria and the Lake District – One of the jewels in the British countryside crown, Cumbria and the Lake District is the perfect destination for anyone who wants to discover some of the most genuinely stunning regions in the UK. While Windermere is the best known of the tourist attractions, our top tip is to try visiting the smaller lakes such as the gorgeous Coniston Water or the remote beauty of Bassenthwaite Lake (the only actual ‘lake’ in the whole of the Lake District!).

5. The Peak District – The UK’s oldest National Park is eclectic, entertaining, and breathtakingly beautiful. From the delicious temptations of authentic Bakewell puddings to long hikes up the Tissington Trail, the Peak District is a family-friendly destination. It’s also easy to reach from almost anywhere in the UK.

6. Dorset and the Jurassic Coast – With its distinctive coastline and the chance to find fossils on the beaches, the Jurassic Coast is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s also stunning, with the Jurassic Coastal path taking you the length of this unique coastline. Inland, you’ll find Thomas Hardy’s rolling English countryside, populated with charming villages and beautiful towns.

7. Yorkshire – ‘God’s Own Country’ is undergoing a revival of epic proportions, as staycationers discover the wonders of the Dales, the magnificent Yorkshire coastline, and the thriving cities filled with culture, top-quality shopping, and award-winning restaurants.

8. The Cotswolds – Massively popular with international visitors, the Cotswolds is also undergoing a ‘rediscovery’ by UK travellers too, who are charmed by its picturesque villages and gently rolling countryside. It’s close to London and the south east too, making it the perfect weekend getaway location.

9. Wales – Both north and south Wales have their own unique charms. The ruggedness and remote, wild beauty of north Wales is balanced by the green valleys and spectacular Monmouthshire coastline of the south. Whether you love visiting Norman castles or prefer discovering remote waterfalls and mountainous hiking, Wales has it all.

10. Northumberland – Wild, rugged, and utterly beautiful, Northumberland is the place to go if you love Roman villas, fishing, and skies so dark that you can see the Milky Way in all its glory at night. Northumberland is a unique location that’s often overlooked but is becoming increasingly popular with outdoor adventurers and staycationers.

A boom time for holiday home owners in the UK

Predictions are that the staycation boom of 2021 will continue for years to come as UK tourists rediscover the huge range of destinations in their own ‘back yard’. For holiday home owners that could mean a big upturn in revenue, and bookings that could stretch through the peak seasons and into the quieter winter months as well.

As more people invest in holiday homes, and property owners discover a second revenue stream as a result of the demand for staycation properties to rent, we’re here to help to try to ensure that your insurance needs are met with flexible and affordable holiday home insurance policies.

Whether you own a holiday home in Cornwall, a chalet in Devon, a static caravan in the Lake District or a cottage in the Cotswolds. Contact us today or use our online form to get a holiday home insurance quote.


*The opinions and views expressed in the above articles are those of the author only and are for guidance purposes only. The authors disclaim any liability for reliance upon those opinions and would encourage readers to rely upon more than one source before making a decision based on the information.

Ref: FP1415-2021


Nick Grant is a Business Development Manager at Intasure with 10 years of insurance experience.