Yorkshire beats Cornwall and Scottish Highlands to be named most desirable tourist destination

Yorkshire has beaten Cornwall and the Scottish Highlands to be named the most desirable UK tourist destination for 2023.

A poll of 2,000 adults revealed the favourite destinations on people's holiday lists after 50 per cent said they plan a staycation this year rather than jetting abroad due to the cost of living. Yorkshire was named the most popular place this year thanks to its picturesque coastal towns and rolling dales.

Cornwall, the Scottish Highlands, Cumbria and Northumberland followed close behind as sought-after destinations to visit in the UK. It also seems the lesser-known locations are priorities for 47 per cent who plan to visit places outside of tourist hotspots - including Norfolk, Ayrshire, and Kent.

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Reasons for this include lower price points (53 per cent), wanting to be more flexible when booking meals (29 per cent) and avoiding over-crowded areas (65 per cent). When it comes to the style of staycation, a countryside B&B appeals to 30 per cent while 28 per cent are looking to visit lakes and mountains.

Robin Hood's BayRobin Hood's Bay
Robin Hood's Bay

The research, commissioned by Sykes Holiday Cottages following the launch of its annual Staycation Index Report, also found nearby beaches, decent Wi-Fi and plenty of outdoor space are among the top things people look for when renting a holiday home.

Graham Donoghue, chief executive, said: "With holiday season almost upon us, travellers are starting to make plans for the year ahead if they haven't already. It's great to see staycations remain a popular choice for many and with financial pressures significantly impacting holidaymakers' travel choices, it's no surprise that holidaying closer to home can be a more affordable option.

"The UK has so much to offer and there are so many beautiful regions to visit that mean you don't have to compromise on your holiday experience. From award-winning beaches to stunning countryside and city breaks, there are also plenty of hidden gems to be found in our home country."

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The study also found 52 per cent can't see themselves booking a trip abroad this year due to pressures on their budget. As a result, half are more likely to book a staycation instead - with those who plan to go away looking to take an average of three trips in total. And 42 per cent predict they will book a last-minute UK break in hope of getting a good offer thanks to the increased cost of living, while 52 per cent plan on choosing their holiday in advance because of this very reason.

More than a third (37 per cent) will be taking lots of shorter trips this year to balance their travel costs throughout the year. But 51 per cent will likely go on fewer breaks due to financial pressures, with 56 per cent preparing to be more budget conscious while they are away.

According to the OnePoll study, 43 per cent of those who plan to take a holiday will be having their main one on home soil, with the predicted average spend totalling £1,200. When it comes to budgeting, 30 per cent of this amount will go towards accommodation while 16 per cent will be allocated to travel. And 13 per cent will be set aside for eating out, with just nine per cent assigning money to activities.

Exactly a third plan to go back to basics - in the form of camping or glamping - to save money, while 54 per cent will choose self-catering accommodation as a cheaper way of holidaying.

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Graham Donoghue, for Sykes Holiday Cottages, added: "While the cost of living will be having a huge impact on the majority of people's holiday plans this year, our research shows holidaymakers are opting for multiple shorter well-deserved breaks nearer to home without compromising on their holiday experience."


1. Yorkshire

2. Cornwall

3. Scottish Highlands and Islands

4. Cumbria

5. Northumberland

6. Devon

7. Norfolk

8. Berkshire

9. North Wales

10. Isle of Wight

11. Dorset

12. Derbyshire

13. London

14. Scottish Borders

15. Buckinghamshire

16. Suffolk

17. South Wales

18. Cambridgeshire

19. Central Scotland

20. Somerset