Ready, steady, BOOK! Don’t fancy flying, but worried the UK’s already full up? Don’t despair… here’s our guide to the best summer breaks just waiting for your call
- Butlin’s has good availability across all three resorts, plus some discounts
- Check out The Idle Rocks and its nearby sister hotel St Mawes Hotel in Cornwall
- Stay in a shepherd’s hut in the Mount Edgcumbe Country Park, Lynher and Tamar
Reports of record bookings (with some properties taking reservations as far ahead as 2024) have led many to believe there’s little hope of a staycation this summer.
But all is not lost. Despite all the rumours, there are still plenty of delightful hotels, glamping sites, B&Bs and cottages with availability — even in Devon and Cornwall.
Here’s where to book now for summer…
PARKS FOR FAMILY FUN
The Bay Filey, Yorkshire
Pictured is one of the New England styled beaches houses at The Bay Filey, Yorkshire
This holiday village in a quiet corner of the Yorkshire countryside is perfect for families. There is a swimming pool, pub, and plenty of activities on offer including tennis. The beach is a 15-minute walk away.
AVAILABILITY: Plenty in June, July and August. Prices from £611 for three nights (ariaresorts.co.uk).
Surprisingly, Butlin’s has good availability across all three resorts, and you can even pick up some discounts. Skegness in Lincolnshire is the original site and has a traditional fairground; Minehead in Somerset is the largest; and the Bognor Regis Butlin’s in West Sussex has a large family pool.
AVAILABILITY: Plenty in June, July and August. Weekend breaks cost from £315 for a family of four (butlins.com).
Eyemouth holiday park, Berwickshire
Close to the cliffs of St Abb’s Head and a 200-acre nature reserve, this holiday park has a number of two or three-bedroom caravans. There’s a sandy beach nearby, too.
AVAILABILITY: June, July and August, but Parkdean Resorts expects its parks to be fully booked this summer. Three nights priced from £339 (parkdeanresorts.co.uk).
Greenacres, North Wales
Family fun: Greenacres is located near the beautiful Snowdonia National Park
Overlooking a Blue Flag beach, this site near the Snowdonia National Park has an indoor pool, bowling alley and coastal trails.
AVAILABILITY: Good throughout June, July and August. A caravan sleeping four costs from £349 for three nights (haven.com).
Henmore Lodge, Derbyshire
This self-catering cottage for four in the pretty Peak District village of Clifton has a hot tub and an outdoor dining area. Nearby is Chatsworth House, home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, as well as the awe-inspiring landscape of the Derwent Valley and the heart-stopping rides of Alton Towers.
AVAILABILITY: Some in June and July, and plenty in August. Three nights from £707 (peakcottages.com).
Lime Tree Cottage, Fife
This pet-friendly cottage with three bedrooms is hidden in the forest in the village of Oakley — not far from the 17th-century town of Culross.
AVAILABILITY: Some in June and August, and plenty in July. Seven nights cost from £1,109 (lastminute-cottages.co.uk).
The Thatch, Gloucestershire
This romantic Chipping Campden retreat has plenty of character, from its log burner to the thatched roof. It’s cosy, with just one bedroom.
AVAILABILITY: Some in June, July and August. Three nights cost from £695 (independentcottages.co.uk).
Honey Pin at Orchard Farm, Somerset
Apple trees leading down to a stream surround this one-bedroom apartment in a farm outbuilding near Wedmore, in the Somerset Levels.
AVAILABILITY: Plenty of dates free in July and August. Three nights cost from £643 (holidaycottages.co.uk).
Lynher & Tamar, Cornwall
Chic: Mount Edgcumbe’s shepherd’s hut is small but perfectly formed
Set on a hillside in the Mount Edgcumbe Country Park, Lynher and Tamar are a pair of handsomely hand-crafted shepherd’s huts furnished with a fold-out bed, two single bunks and a wood-burning stove.
AVAILABILITY: August is busy but there are many dates free throughout June, July and September. Seven-night stays cost from £714 per hut (qualityunearthed.co.uk).
Brechfa Glamping, Carmarthenshire
Stay in the Welsh countryside in a Mongolian yurt that sleeps four, featuring cosy beds, a wood burner and a fire pit.
AVAILABILITY: Some in August, and plenty in June, July and September. Seven-night stays cost from £907 (qualityunearthed.co.uk).
Seaview Tipis, Cornwall
Adults-only Seaview Tipis is positioned a few hundred yards back from the cliff edge with spectacular views of the ocean. The Native American Sioux-style tents have double beds and fire pits.
AVAILABILITY: Plenty throughout July and August. Three nights cost from £360 (coolcamping.com).
Resilient Woodlands Retreat, Forest of Dean
With views over the Severn Estuary, these eco cabins are equipped with king-size beds and kitchens. Luggage arrives in wheelbarrows down the woodland path, while guests are greeted with hampers.
AVAILABILITY: Mid-week dates in June and July. From £145 per night (resilientwoodlands.co.uk).
The Grove of Narberth, Pembrokeshire
Frequently awarded Welsh Hotel of the Year, this has 14 exquisitely decorated bedrooms, as well as a number of suites in period cottages with private gardens.
AVAILABILITY: Plenty in August and September, but July weekends are almost full. Rooms from £260 per night (thegrove-narberth.co.uk).
St Mawes Hotel & the Idle Rocks, Cornwall
The Idle Rocks in St Mawes, above, has a sun terrace with spectacular sea views
Set on the waterfront of the fishing village of St Mawes, The Idle Rocks and its nearby sister hotel St Mawes Hotel offer chic rooms and restaurants serving freshly caught fish.
AVAILABILITY: Some in July, and plenty mid-week in August and September. Rooms at St Mawes from £265 per night (stmaweshotel.com). Rooms at The Idle Rocks from £220 per night (idlerocks.com).
Storrs Hall, Lake District
William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter came to this Georgian mansion house on social occasions. Set in 17 acres on the shores of Windermere, it has 30 bedrooms and six Lakeside Suites.
AVAILABILITY: Plenty in June, July, August and September. Rooms from £160 per night (storrshall.com).
The Reef Inn, Isle of Tiree
Dubbed ‘Scotland’s sunshine island’, the Inner Hebridean island of Tiree gets more sun than almost any other UK location. The luxe hotel has eight rooms, a bar and a restaurant.
AVAILABILITY: Some in July. Plenty in late August and September. Rooms from £130 per night (reef-tiree.com).
BET ON B&Bs
Duncombe Arms, Staffordshire
Charming: Duncombe Arms in Staffordshire is set in the remote Dove Valley
This charming pub with rooms is set in the remote Dove Valley. Walnut House, adjacent to the exceptional gastropub, houses ten bedrooms, while two nearby cottages offer self-catering accommodation.
AVAILABILITY: Weekdays throughout June, July and August, and select weekends. Rooms from £195 per night (duncombearms.co.uk).
Gotten Manor, Isle of Wight
Winner of Breakfast of the Year at the AA B&B Awards, this 14th-century house near the beach has two rooms featuring lime-washed walls, cast-iron baths and Persian rugs.
AVAILABILITY: Many weekends free in June, July and August. Rooms from £60 (gottenmanor.co.uk).
Housed in a former piggery, which overlooks a natural swimming pond, the five adults-only bedrooms have king-size beds and fluffy bathrobes.
AVAILABILITY: Plenty throughout summer. Rooms from £140 per night (piglets.co.uk).
IDEAL FOR GROUPS
The Beach House, Dorset
The Beach House in Dorset sleeps 20 people and situated right on the beach
This vast coastal property in Bridport, which sleeps 20, is close to West Dorset attractions such as the Jurassic Coast and Chesil Beach.
AVAILABILITY: Throughout June, July and August. Four nights from £1,260 (big-cottages.com)
Eaton Manor, Shropshire
This manor house, surrounded by acres of garden, dates from the 17th century. There are seven en-suite bedrooms, a conservatory and patio. Ludlow, Shrewsbury and the Welsh borders are all nearby.
AVAILABILITY: Plenty in June and July, and some in August. A week from £1,950 (premiercottages.co.uk).
Steward’s Cottage, Herefordshire
Near Leominster, this property sleeps eight and is set within a country estate offering woodland and lakeside walks. The cottage has plenty of outdoor space, a sauna, a hot tub and a spacious dining area.
AVAILABILITY: Some throughout summer. Three-night stays from £1,920 (luxurycottages.com).
BEXHILL COUNTRY MANOR, EAST SUSSEX
This manor house is on the outskirts of Bexhill-on-Sea, near Eastbourne and Hastings. It sleeps 14 and has a large lawn that’s perfect for games.
AVAILABILITY: Plenty in June and July, but August is busy. Three nights from £2,902 (oliverstravels.com).
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