uk staycation

The UK Staycation – Affordable Flight Free Destinations

Friday 17th Jun 2022 |

With flight cancellations, travel chaos, and the rising cost of living continuing to threaten holidays abroad this summer, the demand for a UK staycation is continuing to rise as many opt to avoid the possible airport and flight disruption.

With that being said, the experts at Nerdwallet have compiled a list of the top-rated free things to do on TripAdvisor in the UK’s most popular staycation destinations, to help you enjoy a budget-friendly and stress-free trip:

  1. UK staycation – Scottish Highlands

The Scottish Highlands stretch over 30,000 km² and with plenty of stunning scenery to see, they’re definitely worth a visit for anyone on a budget.

Ben Nevis

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Ranked the best free thing to do in The Scottish Highlands on TripAdvisor is Ben Nevis. Towering 4,406 feet above the town of Fort William, Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in Scotland. Known fondly as ‘Ben’ by locals, the mountain is free to climb however there is a £4 car parking fee.

Glenfinnan Viaduct

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Visiting the viaduct in Glenfinnan is a must for any Harry Potter fan. The viaduct is an official filming location that features the Jacobite steam train, better known as “the Hogwarts Express”. You can catch a glimpse of the train during its morning or afternoon service from the free vantage point.

Loch Ness

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TripAdvisor’s 11th most recommended free thing to do in The Scottish Highlands is Loch Ness. The Loch stretches 23 miles long and 1 mile wide and is the largest body of fresh water in Great Britain. It doesn’t cost anything to visit and take in the breathtaking views of Loch Ness, with lots of great walks or hikes to enjoy.

  1. UK staycation – The Lake District

The Lake District is one of England’s most popular holiday destinations. Boasting 16 lakes and plenty of breathtaking views, there are many ways to explore the National Park on a budget.

Helvellyn

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Listed as the number one free thing to do in the Lake District on TripAdvisor is Helvellyn. At 3,118 feet, Helvellyn is the 3rd highest peak in the Lake District and England. The stunning view from the top is definitely worth the roughly 6-hour hike – which won’t cost you a penny!

Lake Windermere

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TripAdvisor’s third best-rated free thing to do in the Lakes is Windermere, the largest natural lake in the Lake District. The lake is surrounded by mountains, peaks, and the town of Bowness-on-Windermere which is a great spot to stroll around.

The Dock Museum

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The Dock Museum tells the history of Barrow-in-Furness where the museum is situated. It’s located within a Victorian Graving Dock in a stunning coastal setting. Entry to the museum is free plus free parking and a free guided tour, making it a great day out for all the family.

  1. UK staycation – Cornwall

Cornwall is a county in the South West of England consisting of hundreds of sandy beaches, picturesque harbour villages, towering cliffs, and seaside resorts, making it a great option to visit on a budget.

South West Coastal Path

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Rated the best free thing to do in Cornwall on TripAdvisor is The South West Coastal Path.  A great way to take in the beautiful sights of the Cornish coast, totally free of charge. The path stretches for 630 miles but is split into sections with some being easier than others. The walk from Padstow to Newquay is great for those who like a challenge!

Truro Cathedral

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Truro is Cornwall’s only city, where the skyline is dominated by the three spires of its cathedral. Rating firmly in the top 10 best free things to do, the cathedral boasts stunning architecture and can be spotted from anywhere in the city. With free admission, it’s an attraction that is not to be missed.

Beaches

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Cornwall is home to a plethora of stunning beaches. Spending the day at the beach is one of the best and cheapest ways to kick back and relax with friends, family, or yourself. Some of the most popular beaches in Cornwall include Kynance Cove (pictured), Fistral Beach, and Porthminster Beach.

  1. UK staycation – Snowdonia National Park

Snowdonia is situated in northwest Wales and covers a total of 823 square miles, making it the largest National Park in Wales. It’s a great place to visit on a budget with plenty of magnificent scenery to enjoy.

Mount Snowdon

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Mount Snowdon is the number one free thing to do in Snowdonia, according to TripAdvisor. It’s made up of jagged peaks which offer breathtaking views of Snowdonia, Anglesey, Pembrokeshire, and Ireland. There are six main paths to the summit which start at different sides of the mountain.

National Slate Museum

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The second most popular free attraction in Snowdonia is the National Slate Museum. Located in Llanberis, it’s free to visit and is built in the shadow of Elidir mountain. The workshops and array of talks and demonstrations take you through the history and the way of life as a quarryman.

Dolbadarn Castle

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Dolbadarn Castle is a fortification built by Llywelyn the Great in the 13th century. It sits at the base of the Llanberis Pass and is made up of a small tower and ruins that overlook the lakes and surrounding countryside.

  1. UK staycation – Belfast

Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland. It’s a compact city with lots to explore and is great for those wanting to explore the city on a budget.

Peace Wall

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TripAdvisor’s number one free thing to do in Belfast is to take a stroll along the Peace Wall. The wall is full of murals and separates the nationalist Falls Road and unionist Shankhill Road. Tours of the Peace Wall are available to help learn about the history in more depth, although most of these come at a cost.

Glass of Thrones Trail

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Whether you’re a Game of Thrones fan or not, the Glass of Thrones trail is definitely a must-see attraction in Belfast, and it’s completely free! The 3 km trail consists of six stained-glass windows that depict some of the most memorable scenes from the series.

The Botanic Gardens

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The Botanic Gardens are a beautiful green space to explore and escape the bustle of the city. Home to the Palm House and the Tropical Ravine House, the botanical gardens are free to enter, making it a great spot to visit on a budget!

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