The best staycations in the North
Whether you’re craving the perfect city break, a beach holiday or detoxing away from daily life in the perfect wilderness retreat, the UK has something for everyone.
You don’t need to go abroad for the perfect holiday break, staycations are bigger and better than ever. In the past year, the term ‘staycation’ has been at an all-time high, and across the UK, there are plenty of options to suit every budget or holidaymaker.
There are plenty of opportunities to see and visit that can offer everything from idyllic coastal views to the perfect city break filled with sights to see and experience. Or, if you need the perfect excuse to get away from the pressures of daily life, then there are also quirky getaways like log-burning cabins and even fairytale treehouses that offer the chance to switch off and unwind. Ah, bliss…
So, where are these perfect staycation options?
When can you book them?
How much do they cost?
We’ve done some research and found some interesting discoveries right here in the North, read on…
The beach holiday: Whitby
If you want to enjoy a beach holiday with coastal views, beautiful idyllic walks and even a bit of seaside nostalgia, then Whitby is the place to be.
The setting for Bram Stoker’s dark novel Dracula, Whitby, has more to offer than just literary history and goth paraphernalia. It’s got the nostalgic seaside attractions to transport us back to childhood memories, as well as rambling walks and trails along the North York Moors to blast away the cobwebs on the North East coast.
Where to stay: Get the ultimate seaside and harbour views across Whitby pier by staying at The Pier Inn. The rooms are comfortable, affordable and allow for easy access to everything that Whitby has to offer.
Where to eat: You can’t visit a seaside town and not take advantage of the fresh catch of the day! Eating out at seafood restaurant Estbek House is a treat with their culinary expertise that has seen the venue earn not one but TWO AA rosettes.
Where to drink: Getting the perfect pint isn’t a problem in Whitby and the seaside town has plenty of cosy pubs to enjoy. For the best in ales and beers, we recommend Whitby Brewery – you can even go on a tour to explore how your favourite drink is made.
Where to visit: Whitby isn’t short of activities, from climbing the 199 steps to exploring Whitby Abbey and the harbour. However, we have a soft spot for some of that true seaside nostalgia – the arcades! Take pennies and see if you can win big, and if you don’t then you can always console yourself with ice cream afterwards…
The city break: Liverpool
City breaks are perfect for that quick weekend getaway, and you can often pack a multitude of events into a Friday to Sunday trip.
Even if you only getaway for one night, that’s still enough time to explore and enjoy new surroundings! Liverpool is the perfect destination for a weekend trip away, with plenty to discover in the Merseyside city.
From a vast musical history to sporting legends (perfect for any football loving partners!), as well as a diverse culinary scene and exciting nightlife – Liverpool is a firm favourite on our list for the perfect city break.
Where to stay: For the perfect night’s sleep in the heart of the action, EPIC hotel and apartments are the ideal base for a city break staycation. Located close to all the bars as well as the main shopping district, you’ll be within walking distance of everything you need.
Where to eat: Tapas, but with a difference at Salt House Bacaro. Small plates were taken from Italian inspiration and the drinks menu will have you wanting to order one of everything.
Where to drink: Cocktails in Liverpool have come a long way in recent years, but one trend the city has truly embraced is the speakeasy. Berry and Rye on Berry Street is a great hideaway in a classic ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ location. With excellent drinks choices but also knowledgeable bar staff that can whip you up a twist on your favourite, once you’re in you won’t want to leave.
Where to visit: Whilst Liverpool is well known for its music and sport, there’s one thing you won’t want to miss; the shopping!
There’s a reason that Liverpool girls are known for their style and glamour, and a lot of that comes from the amazing shopping haunts the city has to offer.
Treat your beauty regime to something new via the Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar or indulge in some retail therapy at one of the many stores in Liverpool One.
https://www.harveynichols.com/store/liverpool/ | https://www.liverpool-one.com/
The camping getaway: Lake Windermere, the Lake District
If the perfect break for you is getting back to nature and escaping from city life, high rises and busy roads then the Lake District will suit your needs.
Lake Windermere in particular is the ideal spot that has plenty of activities but can equally provide that perfect space to rest, relax and unwind…
The Lake District has the perfect picturesque holiday cottages if getting down and dirty with camping isn’t quite what you’re looking for.
However, if you’re happy with pinning down tent pegs and setting up then the Lake District has plenty of camping hotspots to allow you to be at one with nature.
Where to stay: Camping is an obvious choice but if you want to enjoy the outdoors without being… so outside, then a cute cottage with a hot tub is our choice. What can we say, we like our little luxuries!
There’s plenty to choose from but we have a soft spot for Bielby Lodge, which is cosy and sleeps up to four.
Where to eat: Finding a food gem will depend on where exactly you stay but we’re big fans of The Windermere Speakeasy for the perfect filling lunch and treats!
Where to drink: Just because you’re away embracing nature doesn’t mean you can’t also embrace a drink or two! The Fizzy Tarte offers cocktails, champagne as well as pints and beers to keep everyone happy with a cheeky tipple or two…
Where to visit: If walking and soaking up nature becomes a bit tiresome, then embrace a bit of history with the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway steam trains.
Running from April to October, you can ride on a classic steam train to take in some of the breathtaking views the Lake District has to offer.
The girls weekend break: Blackpool
Hen do’s, birthday weekends and glitzy girls weekend away is perfectly suited to Blackpool. Yes, the city has sometimes had a tacky reputation but hear us out;
Blackpool has had a revamp, and it’s better than ever.
What was once deemed to be a little bit cliche is now kitsch and retro, and can offer some hilarious fun for you and your girlfriends to enjoy.
From the rides of Blackpool Pleasure Beach to the cheesy fun at the arcades, as well as a nightlife that can provide hilarious laughs and memories;
Blackpool is still an option for girly weekends away.
Where to stay: Stay central and close to the action but still treat yourself to sea views with the Boulevard Hotel. It has positive reviews and with a tram right outside the front door, you’ll be in the centre of the action in no time!
Where to eat: Girls, bottomless brunch is what we’re talking about. The perfect way to sip drinks and still eat some amazing food! Head to Beach House Bistro for music, tasty dishes and those ever-flowing drinks – Cheers!
Where to drink: It’s not a cop-out but Revolution Bar in Blackpool can offer discounted drinks, cocktails and prosecco deals that you and the girls can make the most of!
Where to visit: It’s silly but still a fun day out at The Blackpool Tower Dungeon – and one that will have you jumping, laughing and screaming at points!
Stories of how Blackpool fought wars, plagues, witches and more can still offer you fun on a girly weekend away (just make sure you’re not the one sitting at the end!)
The romantic weekend: York
If you’re looking for that romantic trip away that will offer cute memories, the perfect backdrops for couple snaps and great dates then York is perfect.
The roman city has outstanding landmarks and history to be explored, but it’s also full of cute hideaways and some of the best date night spots that you’ll remember for years to come.
- Cute gin bars? Check.
- Tapas fine dining? Check.
- Afternoon tea dates? Check.
- History and cultural activities to explore? Check, check, check!
The list is endless in York…
Where to stay: On a romantic weekend away you want luxury and glamour when you lay your head down to sleep, and nothing is finer than The Principal Hotel in York. Ideally located right beside the train station, it’s easy to access York’s city centre and the wealth of things to see and do.
Where to eat: Tapas is always a good idea, and perfect for a romantic date night too. You can share good dishes and some of the best sangria in York’s Sotano restaurant, just off the main strip of bars and shops.
Where to drink: Looking for the perfect drinking spot? Evil Eye is a paradise for gin lovers and with a huge cocktail menu, there’s something to satisfy every set of taste buds!
Where to visit: York is well known for its afternoon teas and also provides an acute stopgap on a romantic weekend as the perfect date venue.
Head to Betty’s in the main city centre, and in their own words: “No visit to York is complete without a trip to our famous Café Tea Rooms!”
The cultural hideaway: Manchester
Music, history, art and science all come together in the Northern city of Manchester; it’s a cultural hubbub that has something to suit every taste and adventure seeker.
Whether you’re intent on following the sounds of Oasis, The Stone Roses, Blossoms and The Smiths on the musical hotspots around the city, or whether you want to explore how an industrial city put down roots and became a powerhouse in the North, this city has it all.
Where to stay: Great John Street Hotel is a firm favourite and perfectly positioned in the city centre. It’s close to Spinningfields with their mix of bars and restaurants, but you can easily reach other areas such as Northern Quarter and Castlefield too.
Where to eat: Manchester’s restaurants have gone from strength to strength in recent years, with Ancoats eatery Mana being awarded a Michelin star. However, if you’re looking to try something different then get yourself up to Mackie Mayor in the city’s Northern Quarter. A huge dining hall that offers multiple options for food and drinks, it’s perfect for differing tastes and you can build your own menu from the various vendors – we recommend Pico’s Tacos!
Where to drink: Manchester’s bar scene is hugely diverse, offering everything from dive bars to speakeasy hideaways to luxurious surroundings to sip a cocktail in.
For the best views of Manchester, you need to be at the top of the city in 20 stories. The sky-high bar offers unparalleled views of the city and the cocktail menu is a work of art.
Where to visit: From history to art to music, there’s an overwhelming amount of things to see and do in Manchester. If you only have time for one activity then we recommend hunting out some rare and eclectic sounds in some of the city’s record shops – an afternoon of exploring that might even see you find a rare treasure!
The Northern Quarter has many to choose from, including Vinyl Exchange, Eastern Bloc and Piccadilly Records.
https://www.vinylexchange.co.uk/ | https://www.easternblocrecords.com/ | https://www.piccadillyrecords.com/
So now we just need to choose where to go on our next staycation…
can’t we go on all of them?!