Staycations are fast-becoming a popular choice for travellers – and it's not hard to see why. By staying local, we avoid the hassle of international travel while rediscovering the beauty of the British Isles. Join us as we highlight top staycation spots across the UK and Ireland, catering to all types of travellers. Let's embark on a journey of exploration and appreciation for what's right on our doorstep.

For the solo adventure: The Lake District

If you’re hungry for adventure, the Lake District should be top of your list. As well as being home to England’s highest mountain and its largest and deepest lakes, it’s also known as the country’s adventure playground — its unique landscape making it ideal for activities ranging from hiking and kayaking to paddleboarding and ziplining. The wider area of Cumbria also happens to be the birthplace of modern rock climbing, which is definitely worth a try during your visit.

Where to go and stay

The best place to stay in the Lake District will vary according to what you want out of your stay, but based on our recommendations for activities, we would recommend the towns of Bowness-on-Windermere, Ambleside, and Coniston for the solo traveler. Accommodation in these spots (and the Lake District in general) tends to book up quickly, so to avoid disappointment, be sure to make your reservation way ahead of time.

Save: Daffodil Guest House

Spend: The Hideaway

Splurge: Secluded, idyllic retreat, Ambleside

What to see and do

  • Soar through sky-high fir trees in Grizedale Forest as you make your way across seven ziplines totalling 3km.
  • Seasoned pro or complete beginner, Lake District Paddleboarding offers introductory lessons, lake tours, SUPfari river tours, private family sessions, and group sessions in some of the region’s most scenic areas.
  • At a whopping 803 metres tall, Coniston Old Man is the highest peak in the Furness Fells and a beauty to behold. Here, there are routes to suit every hiker — some busy, others quiet.

Must-have Madlug: Outdoor Backpack

Designed with adventurers in mind, our Outdoor Backpacks are ideal for all types of activities. High-quality water-resistant fabric ensures your belongings are protected when out on the likes of Lake Windemere, while a spacious main compartment and expandable side pockets provide plenty of room for those must-have hiking essentials. For solo travellers with a day’s worth of adventures planned, the bag’s padded back panel has enhanced back support, while adjustable waist and chest straps allow a snug fit.
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For the busy business trip: London

Where you travel for business will obviously depend on the nature of your job, but as the leading commercial centre and business capital of Europe, we’ve decided to hone in on the city of London for this particular blog post. Our selection of sights is tailored to business travellers looking to experience the best of London after a long day of meetings. Thankfully there’s always a new corner of the city to explore, rain or shine.

London Skyline a Night

Where to go and stay

If your accommodation is already booked and paid for by your employer, you can skip this part, but if you’re still on the lookout for a business-ready hotel, we’ve rounded up our top picks — all centrally located with business-ready amenities and spacious rooms. While we encourage you not to spend your entire trip in your hotel room, should you find yourself on a tight deadline, you can be happy in the knowledge that the room service will be up to scratch.

Save: Staybridge Suites London Vauxhall

Spend: Flemings Mayfair Hotel

Splurge: Corinthia London

What to see and do

  • For those nights you finish later than planned, take a trip to Duck & Waffle. As well as offering unrivalled views from the 40th floor of the Heron Tower, it serves top-notch food 24 hours a day.
  • One of London’s highlights is its West End, and thankfully, there are always opportunities to grab last-minute tickets to its theatre shows. Head to the TKTS booth in Leicester Square and see what’s available.
  • Visiting the city on a rainy day? There are plenty of free museums to keep you entertained when you have some free time. We love the Tate and the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

Must-have Madlug: Tech Backpack

With a padded internal laptop compartment, power bank pocket, and handy integrated USB charging port, our Tech Backpack is perfect for business travellers on the move. Those travelling internationally can store their passport in the bag’s hidden internal pocket or discrete zippered back panel pocket, while a zippered front pocket with organiser section provides handy slots for stationery.
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For the family getaway: Cornwall

Cornwall’s mild climate, stunning coastal walks and over 300 beaches make it a favourite UK location for family holidays. While Cornwall tends to be more popular in the summer, there’s plenty of things to keep the kids busy year-round — whether that’s surfing, sailing or swimming in its clear waters, visiting its wildlife sanctuaries, or ducking into the rainforest domes of the Eden Project.

Where to go and stay

You’ll struggle to find an area of Cornwall that isn’t family-friendly, but among our favourites is Penzance. As well as being situated a short drive from the award-winning Porthcurno Beach with a stream that’s great for kids to paddle in, it also has tons of history, and lots of family-friendly restaurants, too.

Save: Trezise Cottage

Spend: Brea Manor House

Splurge: Higher Faugan Parc

What to see and do

  • Book tickets for a show at Minack Theatre, the open-air theatre with a stunning sea backdrop. Most of the shows are suitable for kids, keeping them entertained while giving you the chance to take a breather.
  • During low tide, walk the trail to St. Michael’s Mount and take the ferry back after a day of exploring.
  • At the Lizard and Kynance Cove, take in stunning views from the Lizard Point, Britain's most southerly point. While the cliff walks may be a little steep for very young children, there are plenty of opportunities to collect rocks, make dams and explore beautiful wildflowers in the surrounding area.

Must-have Madlug: Junior Backpack

Get kids excited for a day of adventure with their pick of colourful options from our Junior Backpack range. These bags are durable and easy to clean — perfect for sandy beaches and muddy walks. Travelling with very little ones? Choose from our range of Madlug Minis instead.
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For the weekend away: Dublin

As a city small enough to navigate easily with lots going on, Dublin is the perfect destination for a long weekend away. But what makes the city so special in our opinion is its lively atmosphere. Whether you’re looking to experience the city’s ever-evolving art scene, indulge in its fantastic food culture, or witness some of the best live music around, Dublin is never short of entertainment.

Where to go and stay

If you want to be in the centre of the action, you can’t beat a stay in Temple Bar. Keep in mind that it’s not the quietest spot — but the same goes for most of the city. For those who want something a little less congested and hustle-free, Dun Laoghaire is a popular suburb just outside of town with lots of good local restaurants and lovely coastal walks.

Save: Fantastic, modern apartment in Dublin City Centre

Spend: Royal Marine Hotel

Splurge: Duplex Penthouse

What to see and do

  • The city’s most famous tourist attraction is well worth the hype. The Guinness Storehouse immerses you in the history, heart, and soul of Ireland's most iconic beer before tempting you with a perfect pint at its rooftop bar.
  • Take a guided or self-guided tour of Dublin Castle — one of the most important buildings in Irish history.
  • While it may not sound like a place you want to visit, former prison, Kilmainham Gaol is now a fascinating museum sharing the stories of those who were imprisoned and executed here.

Must-have Madlug: Duffel Bag

If you’re only going away for a weekend, paying for checked luggage can be an extra expense you could do without. With a 25 litre capacity, our Duffel Bag is a spacious alternative to a suitcase and fits everything you need for a relaxing few days away. A detachable shoulder strap ensures comfortable carrying, with a zippered external pouch providing easy access to all your travel essentials.
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For the writer’s retreat: The Cotswolds

Looking for a quintessential staycation? If walking over rolling hills and exploring endless quaint villages sounds like your cup of tea, the Cotswolds is a great choice. As well as being England’s largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Cotswolds is a favourite destination among modern-day storytellers, having inspired literary luminaries dating back to Shakespeare.

Where to go and stay

From scenic glamping sites to expansive private grounds, the Cotswolds offers a true taste of rural luxury. Due to the region's compelling literary connections, certain locations also offer writing courses led by experienced tutors. Among the best are ‘Finding Your Voice’ and ‘Novel Outline in a Weekend’ — both taught at Farncombe Estate, listed in our recommendations below.

Save: Writers' retreat in the Cotswolds

Spend: Soho Farmhouse

Splurge: Farncombe Estate

What to see and do

  • Jane Austen fans should pay a visit to the idyllic village of Adlestrop, one of the ancestral homes of the author’s cousins where she stayed many times. Adlestrop Park and the Parsonage House are also thought to have influenced many of the locations in her books.
  • As well as being surrounded by a terraced hillside garden, Snowshill Manor is packed full of thousands of unusual objects sure to spark inspiration — from musical instruments and clocks to Samurai armour and toys.
  • Bourton-on-the-water is a lovely place for a day trip, full of quaint tea shops, pubs and shops.

Must-have Madlug: Laptop Case

If you’re taking a break from technology on your writer’s retreat, we commend you — but if you do have your laptop in tow, the Madlug Laptop Case will ensure it’s protected on the move. Soft-touch lining prevents any damage, with a handy front slip pocket leaving room for a notebook and pen should an idea come to mind on your travels.

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For the city break: Edinburgh

Thanks to its abundance of history, impressive architecture and top quality attractions, Scotland’s breezy capital makes a great choice for a city break. While it’s perhaps most popular during summer when it hosts the famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival, it’s beautiful all year round. For those who do plan to visit during summer, make sure you book way in advance.

Where to go and stay

Since most of Edinburgh’s main attractions are within walking distance of each other, you can take your pick of the city’s many neighbourhoods without missing out on the sights. To be in the heart of the action though, we recommend staying downtown in the Medieval Old Town or the elegant Georgian New Town, which sit side by side.

Save: Bijou Flat in South City Centre

Spend: York Place

Splurge: The Balmoral Hotel

What to see and do

  • For some of the best views over Edinburgh, take on the 30-minute hike up to Arthur’s Seat — an ancient volcano sitting 251m above sea level.
  • See the famous Scottish Ballet at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre, located right in the heart of the city.
  • Spot some of the city’s oldest buildings along the Royal Mile, stretching all the way from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace.

Must-have Madlug: Cabin Suitcase

If you’ve ever heard anyone say Scotland experiences 'four seasons in one day’, they’re not wrong. With a 40 litre capacity, our Cabin Suitcase has plenty of room to ensure you’re prepared for all weathers, durable skate wheels and a retractable tow handle allowing you to transport your luggage across Edinburgh’s cobbled streets.

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Keep kids entertained on the drive to your next staycation with a free download of our Madlug Activity Book!

April 05, 2021 — Emma Gibbins

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