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28 Aug 2020

How to save on a UK holiday? Stay three miles down the road

The UK destination swaps that can save you hundreds of pounds

Holidaymakers can save more than £400 on a UK holiday just by swapping their location for a similar destination a few miles away.

Which? Travel compared average hotel room rates at 10 popular towns, cities and seaside resorts with accommodation costs at similar destinations nearby and found that holidaymakers could save between £24 and £59 per room, per night.

The biggest saving was on the south Devon coast. There's just 20 miles between the two scenic estuary towns of Salcombe and Dartmouth. The average cost of a hotel room in Salcombe is £209 a night. However, further up the coast in Dartmouth, holidaymakers could slash hotel costs by nearly 30%, with a hotel room costing on average £150 a night. Over the course of a week, this works out as a £413 saving.

And the results show you don't have to compromise on quality to save money. In our survey of UK seaside resorts and towns, good-value Dartmouth had the second-highest customer score in our results table of more than 100 destinations. Pricier Salcombe was in 46th place.

Find the average hotel prices in more than 100 of the UK's best seaside towns

Top 10 location savings

LocationWhere to stayAverage saving
per night
1Waterfront destination in DevonDartmouth £150 vs Salcombe £209£59
(20 miles apart)
2Coastal city in
East Scotland
Dundee £71 vs
St Andrews £128
(14 miles apart)
3Beach break in
East Sussex
Eastbourne £66 vs Brighton £122£56
(22 miles apart)
4Sightseeing in SomersetWells £75 vs Bath £129£53
(21 miles apart)
5The CotswoldsGloucester £79 vs Cheltenham £125£46
(9 miles apart)
6Harbour town in CornwallFalmouth £125 vs
Fowey £168
(34 miles apart)

Short distances can mean big savings

The average distance between the destinations we looked at was 19 miles, around a 20-minute drive away.

However, if choosing a holiday on the Pembrokeshire coast in Wales, you only need to travel three miles down the road from Saundersfoot and book a hotel in Tenby to save yourself £43 a night, or £301 over a week.

Tenby, with a customer score of 79%, was also rated as a better holiday location than nearby Saundersfoot, which scored 71%.

Save on city breaks

We didn't just find seaside savings. There are significant savings to be made on city breaks too.

We found that swapping Edinburgh for Glasgow will save you £25 a night, while choosing Gloucester over Cheltenham, nine miles away, offers a £46 saving.

But the biggest city saving was in east Scotland. By staying in Dundee rather than St Andrews, you'll make an average saving of £57 a night. Over the course of a week the accommodation savings would add up to £399.

See the full results of our survey: Best city breaks in the UK