With family budgets being squeezed tighter than ever this summer, that beach holiday abroad might not be an option for us all. But don’t despair, we’ve put together ten cheap and chic staycations that you can find right here in the U.K!
If you’re a little scared to embrace the muddy reality of camping – opt for the more glamorous yurt or bell tent. Combining the best parts of tent life – being outdoors, cosy campfires and a fantastic atmosphere, whilst avoiding the worst bits – no running water, toilets and uncomfortable living quarters, glamping is the best way to staycate.
Apple wood glamping provide yurts and bell tents nestled on a beautiful farm in rural Worcester. With flushing toilets, hot showers and full cooking facilities – you’ll be perfectly comfortable and enjoy beautiful countryside right outside your door. A wood burning stove, shabby-chic rugs and plenty of blankets keep your living quarters warm and proper beds mean you’re guaranteed a good night’s sleep!
3 nights (Fri – Mon) in a Bell Tent: £265.00 for up to 6 people
Visit www.applewoodglamping.co.uk to book.
Embrace the Open Road
Go retro for the weekend and rent a VW camper. Not only are they massively cool, they also have the added benefit of being totally portable – so you have the freedom of the open road and don’t have to shell out for accommodation costs. Why not head in the direction of Kent and take in Canterbury and the coastal town of Whitstable.
'Once you add flights, transfers and that new bikini onto the bill- holidays abroad can just become unfeasibly expensive'
Stay in a Home away from Home
Once you add flights, transfers and that new bikini onto the bill – holidays abroad can just become unfeasibly expensive. So why not hop in the car, fork out for a tank of petrol and pick from the thousands of cottages, chalets and unusual retreats available online.
With holidaylettings advertising accommodation from £14 per night, some of these properties will work out even cheaper than camping! So if you’ve always wanted to explore the peak district, or fancy a little jaunt down by the sea – book a weekend away for less than the weekly shop.
Prices start at £28 for two nights for the whole family
If you’ve always dreamt of being the captain of your own ship, then look no further. Renting a canal boat is a great alternative to staying on dry land and means you are almost guaranteed peace and quiet.
With short breaks available across the country, you could explore anything from the Norfolk broads to the Oxfordshire countryside.
Summer deals are now on, meaning you can enjoy a three-day break exploring Britain’s winding network of canals by logging onto www.ukcanalboating.com.
Prices for a 3 night stay on a canal boat start at £429 for the whole family
Enjoy the Capital
We know what you’re thinking: days out in London are expensive, stressful and crowded. But actually, if you plan your day right, you can enjoy the best parts of the capital minus the hassle.
Firstly, take advantage of the Group Save option on train tickets, and then head to the free museums and galleries available. If you’re travelling with kids they’ll absolutely love the National History Museum, Science Museum and Imperial War Museum - which are all free and can wile away the hours in no time. For the artsy among you – the National Portrait, Tate Britain and Serpentine are also worth a visit.
Group save advance return tickets: From £12 www.nationalrail.co.uk
'If you're man enough to brave the English weather, pack the car with supplies and head for the nearest campsite'
Join the festival circuit
Here in the U.K. we’re absolutely spoilt for choice with festivals, so why not take advantage and head to one this summer? If the idea of drunken teenagers, rowdy crowds and packed campsitesdoesn’t take your fancy – pick one of the more family friendly options like Camp Bestival.
This quirky event has 100s of shows to entertain the kids, including theatre, face painting, bouncy castles and more.
The price for a family with two adults and two under tens: £250 for the weekend. www.campbestival.net
Embrace the Outdoors
If you’re man enough to brave the English weather, pack the car with supplies and head for the nearest campsite. And with many places now offering hot showers, toilets and on site minimarts, you won’t really have to rough it.
For the full blown camping experience, head to Cloud Farm on Exmoor, where -like it’s name suggests, you can experience some serious peace and quiet. Right next to the epic Doone Valley and flanked on one side by Badgworthy Water, you won’t find a more picturesque location to pitch up. Pony treks leave from the campsite at £20 an hour, and there’s an onsite shop for all your camping and cooking needs. Local towns Minehead and Woolacombe are also worth a visit, plus Exmoor Zoo and local wildlife parksaren’t far.
2 nights camping for 2 adults, 2 children: £52
Go Island Hopping
OK, so it’s not exactly the Seychelles, but making a sea crossing will make you feel like you’re getting away even if you aren’t travelling far. So whether you’re closer to the Orkneys or the Isle of White, visit your nearest island for a budget break with stunning scenery.
The Orkneys are famed for their wild, rugged beauty, whilst the Isle of White has plenty of activities to offer and towns to explore.
A supersaver car ferry ticket from Portsmouth to Fishbourne (IOW): From £45
2 nights stay for a family of 4: From £85
Turn your Garden into a Resort
If the English weather even decides to subside and give us the long awaited sunshine we deserve – get out in the back garden and turn your space into the ultimate retreat.
Blow up paddling pools, bat and balls and other simple garden games will occupy the kids for hours, whilst you mix some exotic looking cocktails and lounge in your deckchair.
Tesco paddling pool and play set: £8
Set of 4 Cocktail glasses + 2 deckchairs: £44
Host a bring your own tapas party
Invite your friends round for a full night of entertainment – and keep costs down by arranging that everyone brings a tapas dish to the table. With tapas being such a relaxed meal– people can put as much or as little effort in as they like. So the culinary shy can stick to simple dishes like cold cuts of meat and cheese, and leave the aficionados to the tricky ones.
Ingredients for two tapas dishes + two bottles of wine = From £30