The UK's top bucket list destinations

Trends, Destinations

Posted by Hannah on 21st March 2022

Scottish landscape

With the lifting of travel restrictions across the UK coming into full effect, it’s no surprise that the airports are packed with people desperate to have a little holiday abroad! 

But the arrival of the pandemic a couple of years ago also prompted a love for staycationing in the UK. Packing up your bags and jumping in the car or on the train to travel to new parts of the country has become a booming business again, so we wanted to find out just how many people have different UK destinations on their travel bucket lists! 

Compared to the classic travel bucket list destinations, like the Taj Mahal in India, Paris, and New York, how many people are wanting to visit the Yorkshire Dales or the Scottish Highlands? We surveyed over 1,000 Brits, to find out just how many UK destinations are on the nation’s bucket lists, and which ones are the most popular!


Top bucket list destinations in the UK

When it comes to beautiful holiday destinations, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has more than its fair share to offer, from classic seaside destinations to quieter alternative destinations. Our survey revealed over 20 different destinations that people are keen to visit in their lifetime, but we narrowed this down to the top ten to see where the most coveted staycation destinations are right now:

The UK's top bucket list destinations


1.    Scottish Highlands - 30.2%

Scottish Highlands

At the very top of the nation, the Scottish Highlands are renowned for their rugged beauty and are often used in film and photography to highlight the natural beauty of both Scotland and the UK.

Scottish Highlands cottages


2.    Cornwall - 19.3%

St Michaels Mount Cornwall

Our version of a sunny beach holiday, Cornwall is among the hottest regions in our nation and is famed for its quaint fishing villages and coastline. 

Cornwall cottages


3.    Edinburgh - 18.5%

Edinburgh Castle

Set in southern Scotland, Edinburgh is the country's capital and is incredibly historic and packed with winding cobbled streets, centuries-old buildings and of course its famous castle!

Edinburgh cottages


4.    Cumbria/Lake District - 18.0%

Lake District

A favourite with hill walkers, Cumbria and the Lake District is an amazing hilly region with pristine lakes, beautiful scenery, and challenging peaks.

Lake District cottages


5.    The Cotswolds - 17.1%

Pretty village in the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds is known for its picturesque villages set into rolling hills and fields, tucked away in a quiet patch of the UK countryside.

Cotswold cottages


6.    Yorkshire Dales - 16.7%

Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales hosts a similar landscape to the Lake District, with small villages clinging to the sides of mountainous valleys and a stunning railroad that travels right through.

Yorkshire Dales cottages


7.    Snowdonia - 15.1%

Mountain valley in Snowdonia

Tucked into the North of Wales, touching both the north and west coasts, Snowdonia National Park is great for outdoor adventures, as it plays host to numerous mountain bike trails, hiking routes and pretty glamping spots.

Snowdonia cottages


8.    Whitby/Robin Hood's Bay - 12.2%

Whitby

On the east coast of the country in the East Riding of Yorkshire, Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay are neighbours who share a windy but wonderful coastline that strikes just the right balance between quaint seaside town and fun beach getaway. 

Yorkshire Coast cottages


9.    Peak District - 11.9%

Peak District

Slap bang in the middle of the country lies the pretty Peak District, which still has many classical features from centuries gone by, from towering viaducts to crystal-clear reservoirs. 

Peak District cottages


10.    Brecon Beacons - 11.3%

Rural Brecon Beacons

Just over an hour’s drive from Cardiff, Swansea, and Newport, you can experience the delights of the big lights in Wales one night, then a sky full of stars in the Brecon Beacons the next. 

Brecon Beacons cottages


Why do people want to visit these places?

Cotswolds landscape

So why are these UK destinations so popular for us Britons, and what draws us to want to explore them further? 

We posed this question to our survey group, and the most popular answer by far is that 51.5% think that the areas in question have a lot of natural beauty, while the next most popular answer is that they’ve never visited but have wanted to for a while (45.5%). 

Cornish fishing village

Another quarter (25.9%) of our survey takers have been swayed by having seen the destination used in film or television and wanted to see it for themselves, with another 16% saying they wanted to see the destination for themselves after friends or family had visited. 

More than 1 in 5 of our survey respondents (21.6%) were keen to explore more of the UK, in an attempt to say that they have visited every area in their lifetime, while another 15.2% were eager to explore more of the UK after realising they hadn’t seen much of it yet! 


Would we rather visit places in the UK or destinations abroad?

Lake District sunset

A smaller number of our respondents choose to visit UK locations over other countries, whether for the fact that it can be too expensive to holiday abroad (3.9%) or because they no longer feel comfortable travelling abroad (8.6%). 

42.9% of Britons would like to visit more UK locations but still go abroad as well, while 37.8% would like to visit more UK places in their lifetime than go abroad. This stood in stark contrast to those who had little interest in exploring the UK, with only 14% saying they would rather visit places abroad than at home. 


Book a staycation in the UK

Sheep in the Yorkshire Dales

With staycationing in the UK becoming so popular, and so many great destinations to choose from, who wouldn’t want to join in on the fun and book a holiday ASAP? 

If you’re one of those feeling inspired to explore more of the UK, you can easily find places to stay across the nation with holidaycottages.co.uk, whether you’re looking for coastal cottages, glamping holidays or family cottages to take all your loved ones along on the adventure.  

All UK holiday cottages

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.