Your ultimate staycation guide from best last-minute deals to destination ideas

Your ultimate staycation guide from best last-minute deals to destination ideas

Staycations are back on the cards in England, as self-contained accommodation can reopen for overnight stays from today (April 12).

That means the likes of campsites, caravan parks and even holiday cottages can once again welcome back holidaymakers.

Oh, and since outdoor attractions such as zoos and theme parks can also reopen, there’s plenty on offer now to make a fun weekend of it.

While we’ll have to wait a little longer for foreign holidays (these aren’t due to resume until May 17 at the earliest), the prospect of being able to head off on a weekend away from home is an exciting one as we’ve all been cooped up for months.

To give you a helping hand, we’ve put together a staycation guide complete with last-minute deals you can book, destination inspiration and even ideas on days out.

Happy holiday planning!

What are the rules in the UK?

A family enjoy a trip to the beach
A family enjoy a trip to the beach

In England, you can go on overnight stays away from home, or in self-contained accommodation provided there are no shared indoor facilities. You can only travel with members of your own household or support bubble. Hotels and other holiday accommodation is set to reopen from May 17 as part of the next phase of the roadmap.

The rules are basically the same in Wales, where self-contained accommodation has been open since March 29. There isn’t yet a confirmed date on when hotels and other accommodation could reopen.

In Northern Ireland and Scotland, overnight stays are still not permitted – although it’s hoped that in Scotland this could change on April 26 when restrictions are due to be eased.

Best last-minute deals

A family enjoy a holiday at Parkdean Resorts
A family enjoy a holiday at Parkdean Resorts

Destination ideas

Fistral Beach in Cornwall
Fistral Beach in Cornwall

The UK is filled with brilliant holiday spots whether you’re after a beach break, countryside retreat or looking to explore a new city.

From April 12, overnight stays in England are allowed with members of your own household, and a number of holiday parks and campsites will be reopening to those who want a minibreak.

However, the sheer amount of choice can be a little overwhelming, so we’re here to try and offer a helping hand whether you’re after a family holiday or a romantic break for two.

Family holidays

We’ve picked out some of the UK’s best holiday parks including the likes of Center Parcs and Butlin’s to get you started if you’re looking for somewhere that will cater to toddlers, teens and adults, with plenty of on-site facilities from pools to kids’ clubs.

It’s worth noting that some parks are keeping sites closed until May 17, however the likes of Away Resorts, Center Parcs, Forest Holidays and Haven have all confirmed an April 12 reopening – we’ve got a wider guide with more information for individual companies.

If you’re tempted to book a holiday cottage getaway with the kids, we’ve searched out some of the best baby-friendly cottages, as well as amazing cottages with games rooms and pools if you’re after something a little extra special.

The Mirror’s travel newsletter brings you the latest news and expert analysis from across the industry, as well as plenty of travel inspiration.

Our travel experts also seek out the best deals whether for UK holidays or abroad.

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Couple’s getaways

In need of some quality time together that doesn’t just involve binge-watching Netflix shows on the sofa? We’ve got you covered with a guide to the UK’s best romantic destinations – and we’ve even searched out some of the best deals on romantic breaks you can bag now and choose when you go later.

For something a little different, why not look at a stay in one of these amazing treehouses?

Looking for more inspiration?

If it’s a beach break that you’re after, we’ve got guides to some amazing Caribbean-worthy beaches, dog-friendly beaches, lesser-known spots and even the 10 most popular seaside towns.

Airbnb recently offered a dose of inspiration when it unveiled which hotspots Brits are looking at for summer.

Ideas for days out

Paultons Park has a new land and rides
Paultons Park has a new land and rides

In England, outdoor attractions can reopen from April 12 including zoos and theme parks.

In fact, theme parks including Thorpe Park, Alton Towers, Legoland and Chessington have reopened their doors – we’ve put together a guide to theme parks’ reopening plans as some of them are wider resorts with other features such as hotels and waterparks. (Meanwhile, thrill-seekers may want to check out our pick of the best new rides and lands for 2021.)

If rollercoasters aren’t quite your thing, there’s plenty more fun to be found – in fact, there are the top 40 UK attractions that have been on Brits’ lists for post-lockdown adventures which you may want to add to the bucket list.

If you’re trying to stick to a budget it’s also worth keeping an eye on discount websites such as Wowcher and Groupon which regularly have deals on fun activities and even some short breaks too.

Looking for more ideas? 2chill.co.uk can be a great source for finding recommendations on everything from local restaurants to the fun days out – from people who have been there.

Where are you planning to go for your first post-lockdown holiday? Let us know in the comments below.

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