Bembridge on the Isle of Wight was crowned as the top summer staycation destination for 2023
As the weather finally starts to perk up, it’s the perfect time to book a summer staycation. According to new data from Tripadvisor, this year’s most popular destination is a gorgeous coastal hotspot, but Britons might be surprised to learn it isn’t in Cornwall or Devon.
The data found that 31 percent of Britons are planning a staycation this year and one of Tripadvisor’s top-rated summer destinations could be the perfect spot.
This year’s list is dominated by beach destinations, demonstrating that Britons just can’t wait for a day at the seaside.
Scroll down to read the full list of top-rated destinations, as well as information on where to stay during your staycation, or click on the links to jump to the relevant section.
1. Bembridge, Isle of Wight
Bembridge is this year’s fastest-growing staycation destination, according to the research, and it’s not hard to see why the stunning Isle of Wight spot is so popular. The pretty hotspot has claimed to be England’s largest village, with a population of 4,000 residents.
Bembridge even took Village of the Year in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards in 2019. The village’s top-rated attraction on Tripadvisor is the Bembridge Lifeboat Station which celebrates the achievements of some of the UK’s most unsung heroes, the RNLI.
One visitor said they would “highly recommend” visiting the station where lucky tourists might even get the chance to see a practice lifeboat launch.
The station has no entry fee, and the guided tour is free, but donations to the RNLI are always welcome.
History buffs can explore the area’s WW1 and WW2 history at Culver Battery. These now-quiet remains were once a major part of the coastal artillery, completed in 1906 and initially put to use when WWI broke out. After the war, they served as a place to test military defences before later springing back into action during WW2.
The batteries now serve as a reminder of their heroic past and offer a gorgeous vantage serving beautiful views over the nearby town of Sandown.
Bembridge is a coastal town with a rich history
Bembridge also offers an array of different accommodation options for those planning a holiday to the seaside town. According to ratings on Booking.com, The Birdham At Bembridge has been voted the area’s top hotel, scoring a customer rating of four stars.
The hotel houses 14 en-suite rooms, complete with a flat-screen TV with Freeview and tea- and coffee-making facilities. There is also an on-site pub restaurant for guests to enjoy.
Alternatively, those who prefer a caravan stay can book a static holiday home at Whitecliff Bay Holiday Park, voted the number one campsite and best value for money in the area by customers on Tripadvisor.
You can search for the best prices and book your stay at Whitecliff Bay Holiday Park with Away Resorts
2. Ventnor, Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight dominated this year’s list with another of the island’s hotspots taking second place in the ranking. Ventnor is home to some of the Isle of Wight’s top attractions.
Perfect for families, children will love the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary which serves as a refuge for rescued animals. Visitors can stroke the donkeys and learn more about how to look after the animals.
Entry to the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary is free, along with parking, but donations are hugely appreciated.
Tourists can also head to Blackgang Chine for an exciting and thrill-filled day at the UK’s oldest theme park. Kids will love the waterslides, realistic-looking dinosaurs and Cowboy Town.
General admission to the park is £23 and includes free return visits for seven days. Children under four can enter for free, and concession tickets are available for £15.
Ventor, also on the Isle of Wight, took second place in the ranking
If you’re looking for an opulent stay, Hotels.com has named four-sta The Royal Hotel as its top luxury hotel in the area based on guest reviews. The hotel is pet-friendly and features a swimming pool, with seven different room types to choose from.
Alternatively, Booking.com users have rated Chale Bay Farm, located just five minutes from Blackgang Chine, as the top accommodation option. Scoring a review rating of 9.4, Chale Bay Farm offers self-catering apartments and rooms, all set to the backdrop of some beautiful coastal views.
3. Llangollen, North Wales
Britons looking for a peaceful escape might want to head to this year’s third-ranked spot, gorgeous Llangollen in North Wales. Situated by the River Dee, Llangollen is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Tripadvisor’s top-rated attraction in Llangollen is Plas Newydd Historic House and Gardens, which was once home to the Ladies of Llangollen. Miss Sarah Ponsonby and Lady Eleanor Butler shocked Regency England when they ran away together to set up a home in pretty Llangollen.
It’s not hard to see why the ladies chose such an idyllic spot and the unique museum explains how the pair turned a simple cottage into a dream home.
The house and gardens also offer spectacular views of Snowdonia. Entry is £11 for adults and £5.50 for children.
Llangollen is also an ideal base for hikers and walkers who will want to head to Horseshoe Falls for stunning views. The distinctively shaped 460 ft long weir helps create a pool of water that can enter the Llangollen Canal.
The masterpiece is the work of Thomas Telford Engineering and marks the beginning of the Pontcysllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage site.
Llangollen in North Wales has some stunning walks along its canal
For those looking to spend a holiday in Llangollen, there are a variety of accommodation types to choose from.
The four-star rated Wild Pheasant Hotel and Spa has been rated among the top 10 hotels in the area by guest reviews on Booking.com. This luxurious treat is surrounded by nature and features a spa complete with a sauna, steam room, and hydrotherapy pool.
If you’re after a hotel with breakfast included, Hotels.com has ranked The Hand at Llanarmon in Llangollen among its top rated. This four-star inn features a restaurant and a bar/lounge.
4. Balmaha, Stirling
Scotland’s top-rated destination took fourth place in the rankings. Beautiful Balmaha on Loch Lomond is home to some of Scotland’s most spectacular nature.
The small village sits on the shores of Loch Lomond and is an ideal summer destination for hikers. Tourists who stay in Balmaha will be perfectly placed to explore Conic Hill which offers spectacular views of the Loch and its islands.
This short, sharp summit isn’t too difficult of a climb but is well worth it for the vistas at the top and makes for a great photo opportunity.
Visitors can also head out to Inchcailloch Island, a quiet and peaceful nature reserve. Tourists should keep an eye out for badgers, deer and pine martens which are just a few of the Loch’s local residents.
The island can be accessed by ferry, which runs from Balmaha Boatyard to the North Pier on Inchcailleach Island every day during summer months from 9.25am until 5pm.
Find out more, read reviews and plan your visit to Inchcailleach Island on Tripadvisor
There is plenty of nature to soak up in the stunning Scottish Highlands
Budget stays near to Balmaha are available, with a Premier Inn location just a 30-minute drive away. Guests can book a night at Inn’s Dumbarton/Loch Lomond location from as little as £35 a night.
For a more luxurious stay, guests on Booking.com have ranked Loch Lomond Waterfront Luxury Lodges as one of the top accommodations in the nearby area – achieving a five-star rating. Visitors can enjoy their own self-catering cottage on-site surrounded by stunning views.
Read reviews, compare prices and book a stay at Loch Lomond Waterfront Luxury Lodges on Booking.com
5. Salcombe, Devon
Devon is one of the UK’s most popular staycation destinations and this year Salcombe was the region’s top-rated spot.
The seaside resort has some of Britain’s most spectacular beaches which are best viewed on the Salcombe to Bolt Head walk or at Overbecks Garden.
The Salcombe to Bolt Head walk is considered « moderate » and spans three miles, with incredible views of the blue water below.
You can read about other people’s experiences and plan your own Salcombe to Bolt Head walk on Tripadvisor
A National Trust site, Overbecks Garden houses subtropical plants and offers visitors incredible views of the Salcombe Estuary. An adult ticket is £8.50 while children can enter for £4.25.
It wouldn’t be a trip to the seaside without a fish and chip supper and luckily Salcombe has plenty of cafes to satisfy that urge.
Among them is the Crab Shed, a seafood restaurant which won a 2022 Tripadvisor award and has been ranked as one of the best by previous guests.
Salcombe has plenty of beautiful seaside views to enjoy
If a cosy seaside cottage is what you are lusting after, holidaymakers can enjoy a modern take on a traditional cottage at 5 Harbour Yard. This four-star rated accommodation, available from Sykes Holiday Cottages, sleeps six guests and is within walking distance of local pubs and shops.
Or, if you want to check into a hotel, Harbour Hotel has been described as « superb » by Booking.com customers who have ranked it among the best in the region.
On the waterfront, Harbour Hotel Salcombe offers a luxurious Spa with five treatment rooms, indoor pool, hot tub, sauna and fitness area and features free Wi-Fi and free parking.
6. Hayling Island, Hampshire
Just a short trip from Portsmouth, Hayling Island offers tourists miles of unspoilt countryside and coastline. The pretty island is actually where windsurfing was first invented and it still has an incredible reputation for watersports.
The island’s waters are ideal for sailing and swimming while the beaches are the perfect spot for a game of volleyball or a picnic.
Sandy Point Watersports is among the top 10 outdoor activities in Hayling Island, allowing people to rent Stand Up Paddleboards, as well as learn from trained instructors.
History fans might want to check out some of the island’s military history, including a World War II Heritage Trail which takes in many of the area’s significant landmarks.
Hayling Island is a hub for watersports lovers
Though options may be limited on the quaint Hayling Island, there are plenty of accommodation offerings and hotels in the nearby Hampshire area.
If you’re after a caravan or lodge holiday, Away Resorts has its own Hayling Island location which also features a swimming pool. Mill Rythe Holiday Park is close to the beach, has plenty of outdoor activities and a bar on site. Holidays are on offer from £224.
7. Banavie, Scottish Highlands
The Scottish Highlands are firmly on many Britons’ bucket lists this year and according to Tripadvisor, this summer’s place to be is Banavie.
A small village near Fort William, Banavie is ideally located for Ben Nevis. Even tourists who don’t want to attempt the climb will be able to enjoy stunning views of the peak from the village.
Banavie’s top-rated attraction on Tripadvisor is Neptune’s Staircase, the longest staircase lock in Scotland and a masterpiece of engineering. It takes around 90 minutes to travel the locks by boat.
Banavie locks are home to Neptune’s staircase
There is a selection of B&B or rental accommodations in Banavie and the surrounding area.
For a self-catering stay, Taorbeag at Taormina is a two-bedroom cottage which sleeps four guests. Located in the village, the cottage offers some impressive views of the surrounding mountains.
A little further from the village, overlooked by the peaks of Ben Nevis, is Cruachan Hotel, given a three-star rating by Booking.com reviewers. The hotel offers bed and breakfast accommodation 5 minutes walk from the centre of Fort William.
8. Seahouses, Northumberland
Northumberland is already home to this year’s best-ranked seaside resort. However, another coastal village is well worth a visit. Seahouses sit within an Outstanding Area of Natural Beauty on the North East coastline.
The historic fishing village is home to some of the region’s best fish and chips and is the ideal base to explore the wider area. Bamburgh Castle, Holy Island and Lindisfarne Castle are all just a short trip away.
Bamburgh Castle overlooks the beach and has a history dating back to Anglo-Saxon times. Adults can visit Bamburgh Castle for £15.50 a ticket, children aged five to 16 for £7.65 and under fours get free entry. Read reviews, plan your visit and book tickets to Bamburgh castle here.
Tourists should make sure to take a boat trip to The Farne Islands, where it’s possible to see puffins in spring and summer. The pretty village is also famous as the centre of the Grace Darling story. The heroine saved scores of people from drowning after the Forfarshire fishing boat crash.
You can catch a boat over to The Farne Islands from Seahouses harbour. It’s recommended you book your boat trip around the islands in advance. Plan your visit and book tickets with National Trust.
Seahouses is a beautiful coastal town in Northumberland
According to Booking.com guest reviews, The Olde Ship Inn pub and hotel has been described as « fabulous » and has a customer score of 8.6. The rustic hotel offers a continental or a la carte breakfast and also has a restaurant, bar and shared lounge.
If you prefer a fully self-catering stay, there are plenty of holiday cottages and rentals in Seahouses and the surrounding area.
Just a short drive from Seahouses is 3 The Paddock in Benthall near Beadnell. The cottage has a five-star rating and can be booked for £439 for seven nights.
9. Hayle, Cornwall
Although Cornwall didn’t top this year’s list, two stunning destinations in the region still made the top 10.
A port town in West Cornwall, Hayle is a gorgeous base for a seaside staycation. The town is extremely close to some of the region’s most beautiful sandy beaches.
Hayle also has a reputation as one of Cornwall’s best places to enjoy an iconic pasty while tourists can also check out one of the town’s waterside ice-cream parlours.
According to former customers, « the best pasties in Hayle » can be found at Hampson of Hayle, which serves up a selection of baked goods.
Hayle is home to some incredible sandy stretches
If you’re planning a holiday to Hayle, there is a selection of accommodation types to choose from as well as spots to camp.
For those looking for a caravan holiday with plenty of activities on-site, Haven’s Riviere Sands Holiday Park might be the option for you. This family-friendly park offers a selection of different accommodation types as well as space for touring caravans. There is also an array of on-site entertainment including a swimming pool, live performances, a play park and dining options.
If you’re after a hotel stay, Booking.com customers have rated The Old Quay House among the best. The hotel offers panoramic views across the Hayle Tidal Estuary Nature Reserve and has a restaurant on-site.
10. Looe, Cornwall
Looe, one of Cornwall’s prettiest coastal towns took 10th place in the Tripadvisor summer staycation ranking. The town was once a holy pilgrimage site and is now one of Cornwall’s most popular holiday destinations.
The seaside town has a safe sandy beach perfect for children while there are also plenty of rockpools to explore. Looe Marine Conservation Group often run rockpool rambles for kids which shouldn’t be missed.
- According to visitors to Looe, Talland Bay is one of the best beaches for exploring rockpools.
Tourists can watch the fishing boats return each evening before heading to one of the local seafood restaurants to enjoy the day’s catch. Visitors can also catch a boat to Looe Island during summer to see some of the island’s population of nesting birds.
Looe is one of Cornwall’s most popular destinations for holidaymakers
If you’re planning to visit Looe, there is an array of accommodation types to choose from, including caravan parks, B&Bs, holiday rentals and hotels.
For those planning a luxury break in Looe, Talland Bay Hotel is ranked as the best in the area according to Tripadvisor reviews. Set in 2 acres of gardens, Talland Bay Hotel, Looe has a two AA Rosette-awarded restaurant, by the sea in Cornwall. The coastal path is also just minutes away for those who fancy a coastal stroll.