Front of a white Ford Focus covered with green hearts
Green hills and car lights on a winding road at night

Family staycations in the UK this Autumn and Winter

The top 10 road trip destinations for autumn and winter 2018

There are many miles of road ready to explore in the UK and a road trip this autumn or winter is a great way to discover the most stunning countryside you’ll ever see. Whether it’s a family trip to the beach (yes, even in winter) or a staycation in the country with friends, our list of British destinations is sure to inspire your next short break.

We compiled the top locations consistently searched for[1] and focussed on what people want when looking for autumn and winter breaks.  From duration, to accommodation, to Instagrammability – you can find it all here.

That’s right – from the buzz of London to the scenic backdrop of Windermere, it seems Britain truly has got something for everyone, even in the colder months. So, what have we learnt about staycationing at this time of year?

We’re staying local more than ever before....

According to VisitEngland research a whopping 47.2 million holiday trips were taken in England in 2017. That’s a whole 6% higher than in 2016, and a huge 13.5% higher than 10 years ago. Especially with our top 10 destinations being easily reachable by car, what’s not to love?!

Life’s a beach

Out of seaside stays, city breaks, trips to a small town or a countryside getaway, VisitEngland research shows that 35% of us do like to be beside the seaside even in winter, making this type of staycation our most popular. City breaks were a close runner up at 29%, and countryside or village breaks roll into 3rd place, with 20% of staycationers opting for the relaxing option[1]

Apprehensive about taking a beach trip in the winter? With Brighton’s famous pier open 364 days a year, it's only right that it features in the top 10 for autumn and winter as well as summer – most attractions like this are closed for the colder months.

Road-tripping further north? Blackpool’s iconic Pleasure Beach might close in November for the winter, but with the historic entertainment venue Blackpool Winter Gardens open we predict it'll still be a top destination for entertainment this winter.

 

Brits love a weekend break
VisitEngland research It turns out that, at 31.4 million, short breaks of 1-3 nights account for two-thirds of English holidays by volume. After that, 15.8 million 4+ night holidays were taken [1]

If you’re wanting a half term or Christmas getaway, why not spend a whole week in one of our most popular outdoorsy spots? From hiking to your heart’s content in Windermere to ambling around Chester’s historic city walls and cathedrals, there are plenty of options for a fresh air filled foray – so take your time.

For a luxury break, head up North

For those wanting to splash out and treat themselves or a loved one, York topped the charts for searches for 'luxury' places to stay, as well as 'romantic' spots. Looking for a relaxing spa weekend? Nottingham was the easy winner on this one with 24,000 searches related to spas in the past two months. We predict these two cities will be top spots for the couples looking for a fancy weekend away.

Alternatively, Newquay has the most searches for cottages and self-catering when it comes to places to stay. So, if you fancy a scenic drive and a quiet, relaxed weekend away on the coast filled with walks, stunning sights and home cooked comfort meals, this is the one for you this autumn or winter.

 

Ones to watch for this autumn/winter…
Of all our top 10 destinations, there are two places that may particularly stand out this autumn and winter. If you’re fancying a city break, this year, Liverpool is celebrating 10 years since it was crowned European Capital of Culture with a programme of events throughout the year. Wanting to go a bit more rural? With the Lake District recently announced as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, areas such as Lake Windermere are expected to continue to see a rise in popularity for weekend breaks.

 

Get it on the ‘Gram
In terms of the most Instagrammable holiday, it may come as no surprise that London has more Instagram posts for weekends away than all the other locations added together. Yep, with a total of 19,000 tagged posts in the last month for short breaks/holidays, London is the staycation where you can up your Instagram game whilst having a blast. Interestingly, although Liverpool came fourth overall, it had 24% more tweets and Instagram mentions, related to staycations, in the past month than Brighton which came second – suggesting the home to several World Heritage Sites is another one for social media fanatics.

Take a road trip

Speaking of Instagrammable, there has been over 23,000 Instagram posts[3] in the last month on road trips. Why not cut costs as well as make the journey more enjoyable by embarking on your own? Pack a picnic, compile a playlist and you’re good to go.
Plus, for more rural hotspots such as Newquay or Windermere, the flexibility of a car will allow you to reach all of those off-the-beaten-track hidden gems that public transport just won’t get you to.

So, there you have it; our findings from deep diving into the search landscape of UK staycations. We hope we’ve inspired you to consider staying closer to home next time you’re going on holiday, and exploring the rich, vibrant culture of our beautiful country. With LV= car insurance, you can ensure you’re prepared for the worst of holiday nightmares – from theft to write-offs and even lost keys, you'll be covered with us. Find out more about LV= car insurance.

 

Sources
1.Google trends data analysis
2. Independent keyword search analysis via Google keyword planner
3. Social listening analysis via Sysomos