Last updated on November 16th, 2023 at 12:21 pm
• London takes the crown for the finest family staycation destination in the UK.
• Brighton’s popular pier and colourful beach huts secure its position as our top-ranked coastal retreat.
• For family getaways, look no further than London, Edinburgh and the Lake District – our top three for free, family-friendly attractions.
With the school holidays fast approaching, family fun and summer breaks are almost in sight. Searching for something that pleases everyone can be tough, so we thought we’d take the stress out of deciding on a destination by ranking the UK’s finest for you.
We raided the reviews on TripAdvisor, searched for family-friendly attractions and calculated costs for the top-rated hotels to find you the best staycation destinations across the UK.
So, whether you fancy a fun city break or a trip along the coast, these are the top places to go this summer…
Top 20 Staycation Destinations in the UK
The sights and sounds of the capital took top spot according to the stats. Coming in at 92 points out of a possible 120, London has the highest number of family-friendly attractions of any city.
Think national museums and historic monuments, picturesque parks for the kids to explore and markets brimming with fantastic food and drink. With so much to pack in, you’ll likely have to pick out your family’s must-see spots.
Bristol secured second place with warm 20°C summer temperatures and low overnight stay costs. In fact, Bristol’s top hotels only cost an average of £115 per night – ideal for families.
Other city destinations, like Nottingham, Norwich and Birmingham follow suit in the top 10 with their low accommodation costs – between £136 to £185 – and plenty of affordable, family-friendly food options. But it’s the popular Peak District that claims third place, packed with free, family attractions to enjoy.
Throw on your hiking boots to explore the national park and plan an action-packed day at Gulliver’s Kingdom, then treat the kids to a yummy Bakewell Tart from its namesake town.
Best UK Coastal Breaks
Majorca and Tenerife might be off the table, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a relaxing retreat on the coast. Our top five beachfront destinations in the UK perfectly combine seaside activities and city sights for a fun family holiday.
In pole position, Brighton offers a sensational shoreline, complete with the iconic Palace Pier and plenty of amusement arcades. It’s also the only coastal location to make our overall top 10.
It can get quite toasty in this corner of the country, with averages of 20°C and over in August – ideal for sunny strolls down the Lanes. Hotels are on the slightly pricier side at an average of £201/night, but there’s more than 1,000 cheap eats to help balance out the costs.
UK Destinations with the Best Weather
For those wanting to catch some rays on their trip, we’ve dug through the data to find out which UK destinations have the highest temperatures and lowest rainfall in the summer.
Top destinations with the warmest temperatures:
While most UK locations showcase average temperatures below the 20°C mark, our top five are taking it up a notch. Coastal destinations like Southampton and Southend-on-Sea have the temperatures you need for boat rides and sunbathing, while London’s balmy 22°C average is ideal for picnics in Greenwich Park and Kensington Gardens.
Top destinations with the lowest rainfall:
Don’t pack the umbrella just yet. These five UK cities are your best chance for a dry summer staycation. With Harrogate in the north and Bristol in the south, there are plenty of options to stay more local or venture to the opposite end of the country – without running into any rainstorms.
Top Destinations for Attractions
Attractions are at the heart of any family holiday. Not only do they keep the kids occupied for a few hours, but they also encourage little ones to learn, engage and make memories.
Below are the top staycation destinations for family-friendly attractions and free activities:
Most family-friendly attractions
Most free attractions
London, Edinburgh and the Lake District take the top three spots for family-friendly attractions and free things to do. So, depending on whether you fancy a break in one of the capital cities or an action-packed adventure through the North West, there’re plenty of activities to try.
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