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Unusual Staycation Ideas for a Unique UK Holiday

Unusual staycation ideas are something we think our free spirits might be looking for after the UK’s Environment Secretary recently advised us to holiday at home this year.

A staycation is a holiday that’s spent closer to home. The benefits are that they’re less stressful to plan and travel to. For example, it’s easy to plan if you’d like to avoid flying. However, a staycation holiday can be a bit more exciting than just driving an hour down the road to a distant town! Here are some unusual staycation ideas, accommodation, and inspiration, for a unique UK holiday. Many long or short breaks in the UK can be enjoyed at any time of the year!

Glamping Holidays in Glossop, Derbyshire, and the Peak District

Derbyshire sits in the heart of the Peak District National Park and welcomes ramblers and nature lovers alike. In spring, walk among beautiful flora and follow the many walking trails to see newborn lambs, before experiencing the buzz at a cattle market.  It’s a highly accessible location, just 15 miles east of Manchester and 24 miles west of Sheffield. One highlight is a visit to the market town of Glossop, which used to process wool in the 18th century. You can visit Glossop by train and go glamping in its surrounding beauty spots.

What is Glamping?

Glamping or “Glam Camping” gives you the opportunity to appreciate being close to nature, while enjoying luxury accommodation, unlike traditional camping. For more, unusual holiday accommodation ideas, stay in a glamping pod, bell tent, vintage gypsy caravan, luxury yurt, or even a treehouse! Whatever accommodation you choose, it will come with a range of facilities you wouldn’t normally expect while camping, such as WIFI, television, your own shower, a fitted kitchen, and even your own butler!

Where else can I go Glamping in the UK?

Unusual staycation ideas in the uk

  • The Lake District. Home to Beatrix Potter, The Lake District boasts a mountainous landscape and 16 lakes.
  • The Cotswolds is known as the largest area of natural beauty in England and Wales. With almost 800 square miles of rolling hills, it’s the perfect location for a walking or cycling holiday. 
  • The Yorkshire Dales is full of friendly locals, pubs and famous for the three peaks: Whernside, Ingleborough, and Penyghent. It’s also a nice place for climbers and walkers.

For a little more luxury (but still keeping with the unusual staycation idea) you could visit Wales, where you can find and rent quirky cottages with hot tubs…

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Hot Tub Holidays in Wales

Planning a staycation for a long weekend could be a relaxing and romantic way for you and your partner to spend some quality time together. Take your pick of hot tub holidays across north, south, and west Wales and stay in a wood cabin or coastal cottage by the sea.

Wales has a Celtic culture to discover and its rugged coastal path offers a 186-mile trail to ramble around. A typical day might see you photograph volcanic beaches while you enjoy the sea air from rugged cliff tops. After that, what better way to soothe your muscles than a dip in your own private hot tub?

Fishing Holidays

If you’re a fishing fan, head to the River Wye, which flows from central Wales and is said to be one of the UK’S best fishing locations.

Fishing on the River Wye is best from early March to August. Look out for trout or catch salmon in the upper river.

Where else is good for a UK fishing holiday?

  • In a fishing lodge with a hot tub in Lincolnshire, tuck into famous Lincoln sausages and mash, steeped in hot gravy.
  • One of many fishing cottages dotted along the river Severn. Running from the Cambrian Mountains in mid-Wales to Bristol, the Severn is the longest river in Great Britain.
  • If you like carp fishing go to Totnes in sunny south Devon, which is best visited in the summer months.

Also in Devon (or, more specifically, the Bristol Channel), you’ll find Lundy Island…

Unusual Staycation Ideas on Lundy Island

A holiday for history lovers, Lundy Island is a show-stopping British staycation option. With stories of religious piety to piracy, explore 3000 years of history, from the Marauding Vikings who named it Lund –ey (meaning Puffin Island), to the present day. Now owned by the National Trust and managed by the Landmark Trust, you can discover this historical holiday destination by sailing on the Oldenburg ferry, from Bideford or Ilfracombe.  In winter, hop on a helicopter and fly between Lundy and Hartland Point. Remember to take out a Super Duper policy to be covered if your journey is delayed or disrupted.

While there, enjoy the absence of roads, cars, and pollution by climbing rugged cliffs and walking along gentle grassy slopes to view the range of wildflowers and – of course – puffins. Spring and autumn are the best time to watch them. Diving and scuba diving trips are also an option. Plunge into the waters of one of the best diving sites in the British Isles, where over 200 ships lay bare and 2,500 creatures can be found per square meter on the seabed. If you go scuba diving, follow the safety rules and guidelines up to 30 meters and you will be covered under the sports and activities section in our policy.

Unusual staycation ideas on lundy island

To top it all off, you can stay in one of 23 historical cottages, which include castle keeps, a lighthouse, or a radio room. Lundy Island is a historical holiday in England.

If you’re a big fan of history there are many options. One is to head north. You could experience a stay in Rosslyn Castle, near Edinburgh, or try an Iron Age Dwelling like an old Broch in Coigach, Scotland. As you can imagine, Scotland is a unique UK holiday location, with its own quirky accommodation to choose from. Pick from one of many fairy tale locations…


The Scottish Highlands – perfect for quirky staycation ideas

For an enchanted staycation, spend some time in the lively fishing port of Mallaig. To get there, take a once-in-a-lifetime ferry ride from Inverie (near Loch Nevis). Look out for humpback whales, and even dolphins which regularly grace the cool waters and turn your stay into a wildlife watching holiday! Or, jump on the Jacobite Steam Train from Fort William, dubbed the most beautiful railway in the world to take in the spectacular views. These include the Glenfinnan Viaduct (AKA the ‘Harry Potter Bridge’).

Unusual staycation ideas in scotland

What unusual accommodation could I stay in?

  • Great Glen yurts, near Fort William, where you can start your walk to the top of Ben Nevis.
  • The Isle of Skye. Spend a week going on boat trips! Look out for the local birdlife, while camping or stay in a luxury Shepherd’s hut.
  • Go Native Indian – try out a stay in a wigwam on the West Highland Way.
  • Or go east and stay in an Eco Retreat Treehouse at Brockloch. A unique staycation option if you’re looking for a cosy staycation away from WIFI but without sacrificing mod cons such as hot running water.

Thinking of an unusual staycation idea for all the family and your four-legged friend? Find a dog-friendly holiday by a loch, lake or stay in a charming cottage by the sea…

Dog-Friendly Staycations in Cornwall

Cornwall has many things that make it a great summer staycation. Sit back on the sand, with a pasty in hand. Breathe in the fresh sea air, while you and your dog gaze across the blue, green aquamarine coastline. Or maybe your dog will be more interested in the pasty?

Either way, with many quaint fishing villages to explore, finding dog-friendly places to stay and visit should not be a problem. All you need to do is find a self-catering holiday cottage, which is dog-friendly. An obvious location is Padstow and Newquay. Known for their ports, some of the best waves in the UK for surfing, fabulous fish restaurants, and glorious beaches. However, if you’re looking for somewhere a little quieter we suggest the following…

Unusual staycation ideas for a dog friendly holiday

Dog-friendly locations in Cornwall:

  • The small port of Fowey; where you can enjoy walking, cycling, and water-based activities such as kayaking. This might even be the perfect location for an activity holiday if you’re holidaying with a young, adventurous family.
  • The Lizard; the most south-westerly point of the British Isles, which is full of picturesque coves and beaches to explore.
  • Polperro, an unspoiled 13th-century fishing village. Follow one of the many coastal paths and enjoy lunch at a neighbouring fishing town.


What makes staycations appealing is you can book one last minute without having to check that your passports in date and any FCDO travel rules before leaving home. There’s less to organise beforehand.

However, whichever unusual staycation idea you choose, if you hold a Free Spirit Annual Multi-Trip policy remember that you’re covered for UK travel. Plus, our UK holiday insurance is available for specific dates, by taking out a single trip policy too.

Find all the details about how Free Spirit UK Travel Insurance can let you travel with peace of mind – before you book here.

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