Staycations have been experiencing a renaissance this year, with ongoing travel restrictions and pricey pre- and post-travel PCR tests seeing many families and individuals head to the coast over the summer to enjoy sun, sea, sand and a good old dose of British sunshine.
But it’s the luxury staycation that is enjoying a particular surge in popularity, with those who would usually jet off for a five-star break in the tropics, complete with private butler, looking for a similar experience here on home shores.
Luxury holiday lettings company Luxury Coastal, which offers memorable stays at a number of opulent holiday properties across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, reported a dramatic increase in booking over the past three months, with many properties selling out well in advance – and early forecasts indicate that the trend for lavish breaks here in the UK is set to continue well into 2022.
With the nation’s vaccine rollout and autumn boosters forging ahead over the coming months, holidaymakers are moving ever closer to reclaiming their freedom – but with quarantine hotel stays still mandatory for red list travellers – most of which are far from luxurious, it seems we’re still opting to hold fire before jetting off to some of our favourite destinations, preferring instead to wait until the rules and restrictions have eased even further.
Despite the added cost of pre- and post-travel tests now being required for anyone wishing to visit green and amber list countries, this isn’t a deal breaker for the wealthy and high-net-worth travellers for whom money is no object. But the extra stress and worry of travelling in close quarters with other passengers, it seems, is.
And, now that we’ve had an extra excuse to fall back in love with the British coastline, as well as opulent in-land areas like the Cotswolds, it seems that we now have a new-found appreciation for the scenic landscapes and breath-taking vistas available right here on home soil.
This summer, demand was fuelled by those transferring their holidays from 2020 to 2021, and occupancy rates remain higher than ever as we head into the autumn. In fact, many of the leading luxury lettings companies have said that they remain virtually fully booked right up until Christmas, with more people than usual choosing to forego festive getaways and choosing instead to stay with family at sophisticated villas, penthouses and cottages offering extras ranging from hot tubs and saunas to cinema rooms.
Here, we take a look at three of the most popular UK destinations for a glamorous autumn getaway, and with awe-inspiring coastal views and scenic walking trails, as well as a plethora of high-end fine dining eateries and shops, there’s something to suit all luxurious tastes.
Famed for its Royal Naval Academy, which was once attended by Prince Phillip, as well as its striking castle, the seaside town of Dartmouth makes for a picturesque coastal hideaway that is perfect for luxury lovers. With quaint, cobbled streets lined with boutique-style shops, it’s a foodie’s paradise, and with its riverside location making the surrounding areas of Kingswear and Torbay easily accessible by boat and plethora of scenic walking trails to enjoy nearby, it has plenty to offer at every time of the year.
A picturesque harbour enjoying breath-taking estuary views, this traditional Cornish town exudes all the charm and sophistication you’d expect from a luxury staycation destination in southern Cornwall.
Nestled on the banks of the Fowey Estuary, its lively harbour is much quieter during the off-season, making it the perfect place to escape to some rest, relaxation and privacy after a busy summer. A meander through the town, which comprises a maze of narrow, winding streets, is always a pleasurable way to spend an afternoon, and with a variety of fine dining eateries to choose from in the vicinity, your dining options are covered, too.
The quaint town of Wells is the perfect hideaway for those in search of an escape to the country, and is home to the oldest residential street in Europe – which is steeped in rich history and a must see while visiting. Juxtaposing old and new, this appealing town is famed for its Artisan Corner, and with numerous boutique shops and art galleries to amuse the discerning traveller even in the autumn months, as well as a calendar packed with local festivals and events, there’s a lot to love about this cultural bolthole.
Once you’ve seen the local sights, head to the nearby Wookey Hole caves for a dramatic illuminated experience that will brighten up even the dullest of rainy days. The mystic fairy garden is not to be missed, and is certain to be a highlight.