Winter staycations have surged in popularity this year as experts claim January to March is the time when Brits need a holiday the most. According to self-catering specialists, the company has seen bookings for winter breaks rise by a third* (27%) compared to bookings made during the same timeframe last year. March UK staycation arrivals are showing the biggest peak and are up by 59%* in bookings.

The beach house Winterton - on- Sea North Norfolk

The beach house Winterton - on- Sea North Norfolk

Tom Bell, Vice President of Portfolio at Awaze – the parent company of – believes that the nation is being drawn to the winter staycation for a number of reasons. He said, “Although we know UK holidays have become a popular choice for Brits in recent times, we think that wellbeing could be a driver for the rise in winter bookings this year. Viruses have come back with a vengeance with nasty strains hitting many this Christmas, we wouldn’t be surprised if people are turning to the winter staycation as a way to claw back their lost Christmases”.

Tom added, “Culturally and socially people are also simply starting to realise that winter is an important time to have time away from the daily grind. Plus, we’ve weathered a lot during the last few years and people want to treat themselves and have something to look forward to in the winter, and rightly so.”

In recent years has also seen an increase in bookings for luxury properties, signalling that people like to pamper themselves. During their UK winter getaways people are booking properties with hot tubs (25%)** and wood fires (50%)**. Many believe that the winter is the best time to go on holiday, Tom said, “Quite frankly a change in scenery can work wonders, which is probably why more people are swapping domestic apathy for an idyllic lodge with a hot tub and a log burner. People are also looking to off-peak – not only is it the time we really need a break but deals can also be had at this time of year.” 

Winter Wellbeing expert Claire Dabreo and founder of The Harmony Principle agrees that booking a staycation during the winter is a wise time to go away on holiday. She said, “By taking this chance to go slow at the quietest, darkest part of the year, we give our nervous systems a chance to really power down.  Taking time to do this now means we boost our immune systems, but also allow our reserves to charge properly before heading properly into 2023.  What ancient medicine tells us is that taking the time to do this now pays huge dividends for our health and wellbeing for the whole year as we give ourselves an opportunity to pause for rest, reflection and renewal.''

Or maybe the Twisted Toad at Guisborough, North Yorkshire
Or maybe the Twisted Toad at Guisborough, North Yorkshire

Interestingly, the travel company is seeing significant growth in winter wellness breaks to Wales with bookings for Gwynedd up by 79%*; Powys up by 45%* and Anglesey up by a staggering 119%*. However, despite the new-found popularity for Welsh breaks, Yorkshire remains the most popular region (#1) for January and February arrivals, with 19%* more bookings for winter breaks compared to 2022.

Two nights away is enough to rest and reset, and perhaps that’s why the travel company is also seeing more people book short breaks with bookings for two nights up 21%**. 

The Highside Bassenthwaite, The Lake District
The Highside Bassenthwaite, The Lake District

In terms of other hot spots this winter, the North is winning the North-South divide with the majority of locations for winter wellness breaks located in the North or East of England. The top 10 ‘hot-spots’ for a winter break*** include:

  1. North Yorkshire
  2. North Norfolk
  3. Northumberland
  4. Northern Cumbria
  5. Central and Southern Cumbria
  6. Derbyshire
  7. South Devon
  8. Dorset
  9. Dumfries and Galloway
  10. North Cornwall

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