30 degrees in London today.
Can you believe that?
And apparently it’s going to be like this all summer.
Hmmm … we’ll see.
But it does make a staycation suddenly very attractive doesn’t it?
Lovely sunshine without the horrid hassle of airports and planes.
So where’s the best place to go for a last minute staycation?
Well obviously there’s Devon and Cornwall.
But they book up early, so not so great for last minute staycations.
And actually we’ve discovered some amazing places for a family staycation that more than give Devon and Cornwall a run for their money 🙂
These are our absolute faves.
Last Minute Staycations in the UK
Enormous sandy beaches.
Puffins, seals and more.
The most romantic – and haunted! – castles.
Hadrian’s Wall and Roman history.
Harry Potter locations.
Mysterious islands reached by a causeway.
And only 3 and a half hours on the train from King’s Cross to picture postcard Alnmouth.
Northumbria has the lot!
What’s not to like for a last minute staycation?
But luckily the Northumbrians have kept it quiet, so it’s not busy.
I reckon Beadnell Bay is the loveliest of the sandy beaches.
Particularly the southern Newton end.
Or for an atmospheric cove with rock pools and a ruined castle, try the old fishing village of Craster.
We stayed last year and fell in love.
Obviously it’s not typically as warm as Cornwall –
though last year it was scorching –
but it’s often much, much drier!
So you’re guaranteed more days on the beach.
2. The Gower
Another fave UK staycation spot is the Gower in south Wales.
I went here year after year as a kid.
And it didn’t disappoint when I went back.
It’s got loads of stunningly, unspoilt sandy beaches.
Backed by the most enormous dunes.
Rhossili and Oxwich are the most glorious –
perfect spots for learning to surf –
– but the little coves between Oxwich and Port Eynon are also lovely.
The nearest station to the Gower is Swansea 30 minutes away.
3. South Snowdonia
This year we’re off to southern Snowdonia for our staycation.
Which I think has to be the most stunningly beautiful place in Britain.
The view up the Mawdach estuary of the great slopes of Cader Idris is to die for!
But it’s not just stunning mountain views.
There’s lovely family seaside towns like Aberdovey.
Majestic castles like Harlech.
AND the steam railway upon which Thomas the Tank Engine’s friends Peter Sam, Sir Handel and Duncan actually ran.
If all goes to plan, we’re actually going to arrive in the village we’re staying in via steam train.
One small child is beyond excitement!
4. Yorkshire Coast
If you have got a little railway buff – or a Harry Potter fan! – in your family, the Yorkshire coast is another great bet for a last minute staycation.
There are miles and miles of rugged cliffs and coves.
And historic resorts like Whitby – of Dracula fame! –
– from where you can join the North York Moors steam railway.
AND ride on the Hogwarts express!
In addition to Whitby there’s a host of places to stay from well known Scarborough, Bridlington and Robin Hood Bay to tiny villages like Staithes.
5. North Norfolk
For a last minute staycation closer to London, we love north Norfolk.
Stretching from Hunstanton to Sherringham, it’s also got a string of gigantic sandy beaches.
Holkham is our favourite.
PLUS secret islands, an enormous seal colony and another steam railway.
There are loads of villages to stay in.
And a good campsite at Burnham Deepdale.
You can get the train to King’s Lynn or Sheringham.
And there is a good bus service going up and down the coast between the two.
So you really can do it without car.
And make the most of Norfolk’s fine village pubs!
6. Southwold & Walberswick
Another fab staycation option closer to London is Suffolk.
And particularly Southwold and Walberswick.
They’re right next door to each other either side of the River Blyth.
And there’s a tiny ferry between the two.
Southwold is a good old fashioned seaside resort.
With a sandy beach, pier and lighthouse.
Plus Adnams lovely brewery!
(You can read more about Southwold staycations from another London mum here).
Over the river Walberswick is a tiny village with a big National Trust wildlife beach.
And the LOST town of Dunwich.
One of Anglo-Saxon England’s most important towns it vanished into the sea.
And a short drive down the coast there’s more amazing Anglo Saxon history at Sutton Hoo.
Plus Orford Castle, mysterious – and spooky! – Shingle Street and the festival town of Aldburgh.
So there you go.
Six very cool last minute staycations in Britain.
That AREN’T Devon and Cornwall!
And take you to some of the most beautiful parts of the country.
I do hope they’re useful. Let me know.
And if you’re a Londoner – like me – do follow my Family Fun London page on FB for more ideas.