Whitby tops charts in staycation index

Whitby Abbey, harbour, river Esk..  Picture Tony Johnson.
Whitby Abbey, harbour, river Esk.. Picture Tony Johnson.

Whitby has been named the UK’s most sought-after staycation destination in the new Sykes Staycation Index.

The Index analyses Sykes Holiday Cottages’ bookings data and consumer research to reveal the most popular places for a UK break, as well as the nation’s views on holidays at home and the current traveller trends shaping staycations.

It found that Whitby, with its heritage coastline, famous fish and chip shops and nearby North York Moors National Park, was top of the list for homegrown holiday makers in 2018.

Graham Donoghue, CEO of Sykes Holiday Cottages, said: “Holidaymakers have been flocking to Whitby for hundreds of years, and it’s easy to see why.

“The area’s spectacular scenery, beautiful beaches, amazing seafood and rich history means visitors to Whitby keep coming back.

“The town is a national institution and tourists know they can expect amazing accommodation and a warm Whitby welcome whenever they come here.

“The growing staycation trend is also good news for the local economy – tourism is a great income boost for those who run holiday homes and other business owners, both in Whitby and throughout the county.”

Scarborough and Filey also placed eighth and ninth in the list of popular staycation locations.

Sykes’ own data shows that bookings to its 800 holiday cottages throughout Yorkshire were up 18 per cent in 2018.

And research reveals that more than half of Yorkshire residents are planning to choose the UK for their main summer holiday this year.

Holidaymakers in Yorkshire say the beautiful destinations that the UK has to offer and the ease of getting to them are the two biggest driving factors for booking a break on home turf.

The 2018 heatwave and Brexit have also influenced Yorkshire residents’ desire to holiday at home – 13 per cent of people admit that they are planning to stay in the UK this summer because of reports of another heatwave, while over a fifth (21 per cent) say that Brexit has encouraged them to staycation.

When choosing a holiday home to visit, people in Yorkshire claim that the top three things they look out for is a property with a garden or outdoor space (38 per cent), the family-friendly things they can do nearby (30 per cent) and how close it is to a pub.

Commercial Director of Welcome to Yorkshire, Peter Dodd, added: “The Scarborough borough, which contains Whitby, Scarborough and Filey is the most visited place in England outside of London, so it’s brilliant to hear all three make the top ten when it comes to staycations.

“From the gothic splendour of Whitby’s historic Abbey and Filey’s award-winning beach to Scarborough’s traditional, family friendly seaside fun and some of the best fish and chips you’ll find anywhere in the world at all three locations there’s so much to see, do and taste.

“With all this, and one of the three stunning National Parks we have in Yorkshire, the North of York Moors, right on the doorstep, the area has so much to offer; it’s the perfect place to holiday at home.”