Staycation destinations for this summer

If you have a touring caravan, it might seem that summer lasts longer and longer each year. With summers stretching further and further into the year, therefore, practically any time represents a golden opportunity to reacquaint yourself with just some of the riches you may find in just about any corner of the British Isles.


Post-pandemic, you can again be reasonably comfortable about keeping you and yours as safe on holiday as you are at home. Once more, you are free to open and explore the veritable treasure trove of potential destinations for your staycation treat.

It’s not as though you’ll ever be stuck for choice. Just about every region, county, landmark, and town across Great Britain has its own particular draw and appeal. So, let’s take a virtual tour around the country and identify some of your jumping-off points.

The Southeast of England

The Southeast of England is the closest these islands come to our neighbours on the continent, so it is little wonder that this is where you may find some of the oldest remaining evidence of invasions from the likes of the Vikings, the Romans, and the Normans.

A relatively unexplored historical gem from that part of the world is the Isle of Thanet, where there is still plenty of evidence from both the Viking and Roman invasions.

The Viking Coastal Trail, for example, takes you the entire length of Thanet’s coastline from Margate in the north, down to Ramsgate, via Broadstairs,  and then inland through many a picturesque village.

You might be glad of the bike rack you mounted on your caravan since the trail is some 32 miles long – a good cycling distance but one you might want to break into several sections if you are on foot.

The Southwest of England

If it’s a staycation, in summer, with a caravan, you are almost certain to be drawn to the Southwest of England – along with what might feel like the whole of the rest of the country!

It’s certainly not difficult to understand the immense popularity of the Southwest’s beaches, shimmering sands, and glistening waters on a sunny summer’s day. With your caravan in tow, though, you can kiss goodbye to the crowds, head inland, and discover a different kind of Devon or Cornwall.

For somewhere different this year, therefore, why not explore the less well-known Goss Moor National Nature Reserve – right in the middle of Cornwall? Whether you are coming in from Exeter or St Austell, the world-renowned Eden Project is only a short drive away and offers something pleasantly different from the buckets and spades of the innumerable beaches.


Is it the Eyri National Park (previously Snowdonia National Park of North Wales); the Gower Peninsula; or the Pembrokeshire coast of South Wales that’s likely to host the better staycation?

This year, both North Wales and South Wales have seen more than their fair share of visitors, day-trippers, and holiday home renters. Delightful as Snowdonia, the Gower and the Pembrokeshire coast might be, therefore, perhaps now is the time to discover the hinterland of mid-Wales – the very heart of the Principality.

Here, you’ll find one of the great unspoilt natural landscapes of the UK, where the Cambrian Mountains give rise to two major rivers – the Severn and the Wye.

The mid-Wales Marches are a magical land of small market towns, country houses, gardens, and mile upon mile of walking and cycling trails. Why not make your base at the market town of Machynlleth and explore the surrounding countryside from there?

The Midlands

The Midlands are not just for travelling through en route to elsewhere – the heart of England has surprisingly open and attractive countryside of rolling hills and fertile farms – and with caravan sites aplenty while you rest up for the night or establish your base for exploring the delights of this central region.

The indisputable draw and attraction, of course, is likely to the birthplace of the bard William Shakespeare, whose Stratford-upon-Avon continues to evoke the times he lived in the sixteenth century.

The North of England

Just as the family has finished arguing over North or South Wales, and you’ve already driven through the Midlands, so you might introduce another bone of contention – the Northwest of England’s Lake District or the Northeast counties of Northumberland and Durham.

Once again, there’s so much to be said for both the Northwest and the Northeast that you might want to follow the road less travelled and opt to explore the northern tip of the Pennine Range.

It’s one of the most remote parts of England, with Kielder Water being the largest man-made lake in Northern Europe, surrounded by England’s largest forest – it’s truly a natural paradise for exploring on foot or by bike or challenging yourself in one of the many available water sports.

After a strenuous day of outdoor activity, in the quiet of the evening, you might spark another family debate about whether the nearby border towns of Hawick and Jedburgh are in England or Scotland – in fact, they’re both in Scotland.


And, so, across the border we go into Scotland – a staycation that makes you feel that you’ve practically come abroad.

You asked us for inspiration in our suggested destinations, but Scotland is a nation unto itself – with more history, landmarks, geography, forests, mountains, and lochs than you could shake the proverbial stick at. So, we’ll dodge any attempt to highlight the best of an already stunning bunch by suggesting just some of those likely to sound most familiar:

  • Glasgow – not just historic, but now a major European capital of culture in its own right;
  • The Highlands – rugged, bleak, romantic, and with a brooding air of mystery;
  • Loch Ness – you know that “Nessie” is there, and maybe you’ll be the one to finally capture him (or her!) on film;

Northern Ireland

It’s part of the UK – so, yes, your holiday in Northern Ireland counts as a staycation.

For many of the UK’s caravan owners, however, the trip to the province certainly counts as a route less travelled – and all the more eye-opening and exciting for that. You’ll probably need to do a little homework getting to know just something that the six counties (Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone) all have to offer – and a good place to start is the official Discover Northern Ireland website.

It’s a compact Province – taking only around two hours to drive from one end of it to the other. If you want to tack on some international travel, of course, then it’s easy enough to hop across the border into the Republic of Ireland.

There’s natural beauty galore – not to mention the castles that survive its turbulent and troubled history. The City of Derry is one of the most complete examples of any European walled city.

The museum that goes by the name of Titanic Belfast is a World’s Leading Tourist Attraction.

“Life is like a box of chocolates”

To borrow a quote from film’s Forrest Gump, your staycation choices in the UK can be many and varied. Surprise yourself and discover some of the less visited corners of the country. Wherever you go, you’ll realise that “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get”.