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Don’t let overtourism destroy your staycation: The rental hotspots you want to book NOW

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Warning: Excessive visitor numbers could damage your well-earned summer staycation.

Consumer publication Which? Travel notes that last summer, the population of Cornwall swelled 40 per cent, beachgoers in Bournemouth left behind 33 tonnes of rubbish and there was even congestion at the highest of mount Snowdon.

In light of this, it offers a bunch of top tricks to stop your break in Blighty being blighted by crowds, from amazing (and more tranquil) alternative destinations, including Pembrokeshire and St Andrews, to tips about one of the best times for visiting the highest sights. Should you’re dead set on a vacation in a hotspot, then pay close attention to Which? Travel’s list of the 30 places where holiday rentals refill quickest – and get booking.

Pembrokeshire’s secret coves and wide, sandy beaches are harking back to Cornwall, minus the crowds, says Which? Travel in its guide to guaranteeing a more serene staycation. Above is Pembrokeshire’s Barafundle Bay Beach

On the very top of this rating is the Isle of Anglesey, which has 2,094 listings on Airbnb and Vrbo, with an incredible year-to-year occupancy rate of 73.9 per cent.

In second place within the rating is the county of Gwynedd in Wales, which has 5,152 listings and an occupancy rate of 71.7 per cent.

The remaining of the highest five comprises the Lake District in third (7,900, 71.6 per cent), Scarborough (fourth, 3,662, 71.3 per cent) and Conwy (fifth, 3,562, 69.2 per cent).

TOP 30 PLACES WHERE HOLIDAY RENTALS FILL UP QUICKEST

Location 

Isle of Anglesey 

Gwynedd 

Lake District

Scarborough 

Conwy 

Peak District  

Cornwall 

West Yorkshire 

East Yorkshire 

Mid Wales 

Devon 

Norfolk 

Dorset 

West Wales 

Highland 

North East England

Somerset 

Isle of Wight 

Bristol/Bath 

Argyll and Bute 

Salop/Herefordshire

Salisbury/Winchester 

Southern Scotland

Gloucester/Cheltenham 

Edinburgh 

Perth/Dundee 

Brighton & Hove 

Stirling 

Suffolk 

Cambridge  

Listings

2,094 

5,152 

7,900 

3,662 

3,562 

4,599 

20,181 

7,131 

2,276 

3,306 

16,037 

7,983

10,847

9,761 

11,420

9,040 

5,373 

2,789 

5,220 

3,296 

8,191 

4,214 

4,620 

5,948 

10,005 

2,841 

5,565 

3,981 

4,105 

3,141   

Occupancy rate

73.9% 

71.7% 

71.6% 

71.3% 

69.2% 

68.6% 

68.3% 

66.8% 

66.7% 

66.6% 

66.6% 

65.7% 

64.3% 

64.1% 

63.6% 

63.6% 

63.5% 

63.5% 

63.3% 

63.2% 

62.8% 

61.8% 

61.7% 

61.7% 

61.5% 

61.2% 

61.2% 

60.8% 

60.6% 

60.4%  

Average occupancy and the overall variety of listings visible on booking platforms Airbnb and Vrbo from March 2021 to March 2022. Occupancy rate is the ratio of rented or used space to the overall amount of obtainable space. Source: Which? Travel.

 

The Isle of Anglesey has the highest yearly occupancy rate for holiday rentals in the UK, at 73.9 per cent. Above is the island's village of Moelfre

The Isle of Anglesey has the best yearly occupancy rate for holiday rentals within the UK, at 73.9 per cent. Above is the island’s village of Moelfre

And making up the highest 10 is the Peak District in sixth place (4,599, 68.6 per cent), Cornwall in seventh (20,181, 68.3 per cent), West Yorkshire in eighth (7,131, 66.8 per cent), East Yorkshire in ninth (2,276, 66.7 per cent) and in tenth is Mid Wales, with 3,306 listings and an occupancy rate of 66.6 per cent.

At the underside of the rating – so the least frenetic when it comes to bookings – is Cambridge, with 3,141 listings and an occupancy rate of 60.4 per cent.

Just above is Suffolk (4,105, 60.6 per cent), Stirling (3,981, 60.8 per cent) and Brighton and Hove (5,565, 61.2 per cent).

Surprisingly, says Which? Travel, the quietest time at Cornwall’s Eden Project is on sunny days and at weekends

Surprisingly, says Which? Travel, the quietest time at Cornwall’s Eden Project is on sunny days and at weekends

So, with the hotspot booked, now for an itinerary full of top sights. But when are one of the best times to go to them?

Which? Travel reveals that evenings are quietest on the historic Roman Baths in Bath and notes that there’s late-night opening until 10pm in the college holidays in July and August.

Keen on Stonehenge in Wiltshire? Most coach tours arrive between 9.30am and 4pm in summer, so try to reach before or after these times.

Kew Gardens in London is bloomin’ marvellous, but in addition bloomin’ busy. But if you happen to change into a member, says Which? Travel, you possibly can benefit from the gardens from 8am between May and September, in order that’s two hours to roam in tranquillity before the hoards arrive at 10am.

Surprisingly, says Which? Travel, the quietest time at Cornwall’s Eden Project is on sunny days and at weekends, explaining that ‘as these are changeover days at campsites and holiday parks individuals are coming and going’.

Meanwhile, the British Museum in London, one in every of the country’s hottest visitor attractions, is best entered the hour before closing or early within the morning on weekdays. Which? Travel adds that the museum operates late-night openings most Fridays (last slot 7pm) – ‘ opportunity to flee the masses’ – and offers out-of-hours tours. These cost £33 per person and run before general admission at 10am.

There’s an alternative to busy Windermere in the Lake District – Wastwater (above), ‘a serene expanse of blue overlooked by Scafell Pike’

There’s a substitute for busy Windermere within the Lake District – Wastwater (above), ‘a serene expanse of blue neglected by Scafell Pike’

Which? Travel’s serene-staycation guide continues with the list of less obvious places to calm down in and explore.

Pembrokeshire, it says, is a calmer alternative to Cornwall’s coast.

The patron publication says: ‘Pembrokeshire’s secret coves and wide, sandy beaches are harking back to Cornwall, minus the crowds. Not only will you enjoy a more serene break, our research found you possibly can save £300 on every week’s hotel stick with this switch.’

There’s a swap-option for Edinburgh, says Which? Travel – St Andrews (above)

There’s a swap-option for Edinburgh, says Which? Travel – St Andrews (above)

And need to avoid those queues in Snowdonia? Which? Travel says: ‘The Glyders, which appear like castles formed out of rock, are a brief hop away.

‘[And] the Brecon Beacons attract only half the visitor numbers that flock to Snowdonia every year.’

There’s a substitute for busy Windermere within the Lake District, too – Wastwater, ‘a serene expanse of blue neglected by Scafell Pike’.

And there’s a swap-option for Edinburgh, too, says Which? Travel – St Andrews – while chocka Cambridge could be swerved in favour of Ely.

After all, you possibly can all the time avoid staycationing in the summertime altogether and go away in the course of the shoulder season – May to early June and September to October ‘are the sweet spots that also offer decent weather without the hordes’, says Which? Travel. 

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