This year hasn’t all been doom and gloom, with new research1 showing the positive impact of lockdown on the UK travel industry.

The research, conducted by, reveals the top staycation spots of 2020; whether holidaymakers had visited the location prior; if travel restrictions impacted their decision and their staycation bucket list destinations for 2021.

Analysing the research, the top five staycation spots that Brits visited this year, are:

  1. London (11%)
  2. Cornwall (10%)
  3. Devon (10%)
  4. Edinburgh (9%)
  5. Cumbria/Lake District (7%)

It perhaps comes as no surprise that the top place to staycation in 2020 was our capital, with 11% of Brits visiting this year. Popular beach destinations Cornwall and Devon placed in joint second, with 10% of Brits visiting both areas this year.

Another city destination, Edinburgh came in fourth place, with 9% of Brits visiting this year, while ever-popular Cumbria and the Lake District rounds up the top five (7%).

This year disrupted the nation’s travel plans, but our research shows how much more of the UK we were able to explore due to lockdown travel restrictions. In fact, regarding the areas they had visited this year, around one in seven (14%) of Brits hadn’t visited that location before this year, and a further 8% had visited certain areas, but not others before.

What’s more, over half (52%) of Brits in total either only went on a staycation this year because they couldn’t travel abroad (22%), or claimed they have always wanted to visit the area but had never considered it before this year (30%).

The research also investigated the staycation spots that Brits hadn’t visited before this year, with the top five destinations being:

  1. Northumberland (15%)
  2. Cumbria/Lake District (13%)
  3. Snowdonia (12%)
  4. Cotswolds (11%)
  5. York (11%)

Interestingly, only Cumbria and the Lake District were featured in both the most visited staycation spots and this list of places people hadn’t visited before this year, showing that Brits were generally holidaying in staycation spots they had already visited before.

There are notable age differences too, with younger people more inclined to visit cities and older people swarming to more rural locations. London was the most popular staycation spot for 18-24-year-olds (12%) and 25-34-year-olds (16%). For older respondents aged 55-64, East Anglia was the most visited staycation spot (9%), with 11% of those aged 65+ visiting Cornwall.

Furthermore, 18-24-year-olds were the age group most likely to say they would have never considered a staycation trip were it not for lockdown restrictions (42%), with more than a quarter (27%) claiming they only went because they couldn’t travel abroad. This data suggests that younger people have seen much more of Britain than they ever would have were it not for lockdown.

And with 84% of Brits saying they’d consider a staycation in the future, the research can also reveal the top 10 bucket list destinations for 2021, are:

  1. Cornwall (48%)
  2. Scottish Highlands (43%)
  3. Devon (43%)
  4. Cumbria/Lake District (41%)
  5. Yorkshire Dales (35%)
  6. Edinburgh (34%)
  7. Peak District (32%)
  8. Snowdonia (32%)
  9. The Cotswolds (31%)
  10. Dorset (30%)

Interestingly, London and Edinburgh were among the most visited staycation spots this year but appear on no bucket lists for staycation travel in 2021, suggesting that more Brits will be heading to rural, picturesque areas for a staycation, rather than heading to the hustle and bustle of the cities. 

Commenting on the research, Shannon Keary, Digital PR Manager at, says: “This year has more or less cancelled all our travel plans, with Brits not being able to go abroad on holiday for the most part of the year. However, our research shows the positive impact travel restrictions have had on the UK travel sector, with more Brits exploring the beauty of their country than ever before.

“It’s interesting to see that London was the most visited staycation spot, with younger people flocking to the capital for a break while they could this year. It’s also great to see the places that Brits have discovered for the first time this year as well as their bucket list destinations. With 84% considering a staycation in the future, it can be said that this year was the year of rediscovering Britain and all our island has to offer.”

To find out more findings from the research, please visit:


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