Ongoing uncertainty around travelling abroad means UK holidays remain in high demand this year, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune.
Some accommodation prices may be higher this year than in previous years, but it’s still possible to have a cost-effective UK holiday, whether you’re planning a trip to the seaside or looking forward to a city break.
To help you book an affordable holiday in the UK this year, we’ve picked out the best-value destinations from our most recent UK city and seaside town surveys. While these aren’t necessarily the cheapest places to visit, they are the highly rated ones where your pounds and pennies will go furthest.
From Beer and Bamburgh to Liverpool and Llandudno, we reveal the eight best-value holiday destinations in the UK.
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Best-value seaside towns
Out of more than 100 seaside towns rated in our survey, just seven earned full marks for value for money. Of those, Bamburgh, Beer, Tynemouth and Llandudno should be at the top of your visit list because, as well as impressing for value for money, they’re among the UK’s best seaside destinations.
Overlooked by the imposing Bamburgh Castle (pictured above), Bamburgh beach in Northumberland is the only coastal town in our survey of more than 4,000 Which? members to earn full marks in every area we review, including attractions, scenery and peace and quiet.
While you’re in the North East, why not visit Tynemouth as well? You’ll be able to take your pick from three lovely beaches, including the glorious, mile-long Long Sands, which has won a Blue Flag award and is popular with surfers.
For a more traditional trip to the British seaside, Llandudno’s timeless pier is perfect for strolling along while eating chips out of a newspaper bag. It also makes a good base for exploring Snowdonia National Park.
The small fishing town of Beer in Devon is the place to go if you want to get away from it all without spending a small fortune. Even though Cornwall and Devon are among the most popular UK holiday destinations, Beer still managed to earn full marks for peace and quiet and value for money.
See our full list of the best seaside towns in the UK.
Best-value UK cities
Crowded city centres and social distancing hardly go hand in hand, and with theatres, museums and galleries all shuttered during lockdown, it’s no wonder city breaks have been off the cards for most of the past year.
But the vaccine rollout and the government’s roadmap out of the pandemic mean that is all set to change on 17 May, putting cultural attractions back on the menu. For an affordable UK city break, head to Liverpool, Glasgow, Newcastle-upon-Tyne or Wells.
To get the most bang for your buck, head to Liverpool. Not only is it one of just seven UK cities to gain five stars for value for money, but it’s also the best city overall, according to our survey of more than 8,000 Which? members.
The likes of the Walker Art Gallery and the World Museum, both of which are free to visit, help the city earn full marks for cultural sights and attractions, and it’s also a high scorer for a lack of crowds, making it the perfect post-lockdown city break.
Glasgow is also a good bet for cost-conscious staycationers. It’s a must-visit for foodies, thanks to the incredible quality and variety of the food and drink it has to offer, and the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is well worth visiting.
As well as enjoying the sights and excellent shopping that the city has to offer, the cheap accommodation in Newcastle make it a great place for exploring nearby Tynemouth and attractions such as Beamish, the Living Museum of the North.
The only other top-scoring city to earn five stars for value for money also happens to be the UK’s smallest city by area. With a historic centre little more than a mile wide, Wells is perfect for exploring on foot, with walkers also likely to enjoy the nearby Mendip Hills.
See our full list of the best UK city breaks.
Cheap UK accommodation
The cost of some UK accommodation may have risen in some areas in recent months, but self-catered holiday cottages are still likely to work out cheaper than staying in a hotel chain when you factor in the cost of eating out each night.
There are plenty of companies offering bargain cottages for less than £40 per person per night, but we’ve found that cheap isn’t always cheerful when it comes to holiday cottage rentals. It pays to do your research before booking to find out which companies offer the best value rather than just the lowest price.