As more people in the UK plan on taking a staycation than ever before, the consumer spending experts at Money.co.uk have created the 2020 Safecation Report. Among the best locations in the UK for a socially distanced holiday, Gower, West Glamorgan, Wales tops the list. And with the lowest crime rates, Scotland is the UK’s safest region for a getaway.
Open spaces are such a priority at the moment, so the report takes a list of the UK locations that are home to the largest public parks and compares them against the UK’s most-visited staycations destinations.
The safest staycations in the whole country were revealed based on the following criteria: Space (km2), Contactless payment availability, Free activities, Dog friendliness, Number of beaches within a 50km radius, Number of caravan parks/camping sites within a 50km radius, Crime rates for April 2020, Visitors per year to the county, Park entry fee and Car parking charges.
Here’s how the 10 best UK destinations for social distancing stacked up
1. Gower, Wales – 76/100
2. Keswick, England – 73/100
3. Kilwinning, Scotland – 71/100
4. Armagh, Northern Ireland – 70/100
5. Northwich, England – 68/100
6. Motherwell, Scotland – 68/100
7. Windsor, England – 67/100 (featured image)
8. Isle of Harris, Scotland – 67/100
9. Leigh, England – 65/100
10. Milford, England – 64/100
Gower, West Glamorgan in Wales has topped the list for the best new destination for a socially distanced staycation in the UK. With only 149,089 visitors per year to the county, the remote location offers plenty for those looking for a crowd-free option.
The study revealed that the Rhosili and South Gower Coast could accommodate up to 2,230,410 visitors whilst maintaining a one-metre distance.
Devon took the top spot for the most popular traditional UK staycation destination. Still, with over 2,510,000 visitors to the county each year, it is a hotspot for overcrowding – 10 times as many visitors per year when compared to Gower.
Bowness-on-Windermere is another tourist honeypot with 1,510,000 visitors to the county each year. Outdoor attraction Brockhole on Windermere could only occupy up to 34,491 visitors with everyone maintaining a one-metre distance.
Windsor Great Park scored highest for social distancing. The park has 28.53Km² of space for 8,200,207 visitors to explore when maintaining a one-metre distance.
In comparison, The Japanese Garden in Newquay could only host 1,150 visitors in its 0.004Km² grounds – that is just 0.04% of Cornwall’s annual visitors.
There has been an increased focus on using contactless payments since the beginning of the pandemic. So, for a safe UK staycation this summer, the destinations helping us pay safely and those that haven’t quite made the mark.
When it comes to budgeting, Armagh in Northern Ireland came out on top for the new cheapest staycation destination. Slieve Gullion Forest Park is offering walking trails, a scenic drive, an Adventure Playpark, Giant’s Lair children’s story trail and courtyard with a coffee shop. Plus, with no admission fee or car park charges the attraction is the perfect spot for an open space day out.
Avoid overcrowding by considering new destinations
The government urged us to take our 2020 summer holiday here in the UK, and excited Brits have been rushing to book their getaways. But, as Money.co.uk consumer spending expert Salman Haqqi explains, this could lead to overcrowding and difficulty adhering to social distancing rules.
“Our report shows that a destination like Glasgow can only host around 8% of the usual annual visitors to the area taking one-metre social distancing into account, whereas there is plenty of space for everyone in Gower.”
“It’s not just wide-open spaces that need to be considered when booking. The report found that 52% of the new destinations had contactless payment options available for parking, food and drinks, shopping and leisure activities.”
All data correct as of 8th July 2020.
Credit: Money.co.uk ; Photo credentials: Shutterstock.