As lockdown measures subside and we take one step closer to normality, many Brits are itching to get out and explore somewhere new in the UK this summer. According to Google Trends, searches for “UK staycations” have skyrocketed, with Brits looking to discover the hidden beauty spots of the UK instead of heading abroad. This led energy comparison site SaveOnEnergy to find out which staycation locations are the most eco-friendly, and which are worth booking for a summer getaway. From self-sustainable city hotels to hidden nature spots, we can reveal the best staycations in the UK for 2021. The UK's most Instagrammed eco-friendly staycations.
We analysed Instagram hashtags for 100 different popular staycation getaways across the UK to see which have garnered the most online attention.
Staycation #1: Soho Farmhouse, Oxfordshire
With A-list guests including Eddie Redmayne, Cara Delevingne and even Harry and Meghan, Soho Farmhouse claims first place for the most Instagrammed staycation in the UK, with more than 52,000 hashtags. Boasting a beautiful mix of nature and luxury, guests can expect pampering spas, pools, bars and more. Be prepared to spend a pretty penny for membership plus accommodation, but it’s worth it if you’re in need of a luxurious post-lockdown treat.
Staycation #2: The Hoxton, London
The Hoxton in London comes in second place, clocking up more than 35,000 hashtags on Instagram. While being smack bang in the middle of London doesn’t seem eco-friendly, these cosy hotel rooms aim to provide everything you need – and nothing you don’t – with minimalist décor that cuts unnecessary energy usage and waste.
Staycation #3: Port Lympne, Kent
The beauty of Port Lympne is that it’s a wildlife park and hotel all in one. Experience nature in their treetop hotel or spend the night *with* animals in their immersive lodges, which place you right in the centre of the animals’ habitats. Racking up just over 28,000 hashtags, this is a staycation you won’t want to miss out on this summer.
In fourth, fifth and sixth place are Babington House in Somerset (18,875 hashtags), The Pig Hotels, found in several locations across the UK (15,379 hashtags), and Chewton Glen in the New Forest National Park (13,768 hashtags). These destinations define green and sustainable in their own unique ways, amassing interest from eco-conscious millennials in the UK.
The majority of the top 10 reside in the South of England, so it’s important to give a special mention to Jesmond Dene House, a luxury and eco-conscious hotel in Newcastle, which takes ninth place. Surrounded by extravagant gardens, and with an extensive environmental policy, this hotel is a great staycation to discover this summer, gathering a total of 6,364 hashtags on Instagram.
As well as social media interest, we sought to identify how many of us intend to book a ‘green’ UK staycation in 2021. Using data from SEMrush, and analysing the number of searches made each month for each getaway location, we can reveal the top 20 retreats Brits want to visit the most.
Our research can reveal that Port Lympne in Kent is the most searched UK staycation destination for 2021, racking up 60,500 searches per month, on average. By comparison, that’s a staggering 11,000 more searches than Oxfordshire’s Soho Farmhouse in second place (59,500 searches).
In third place is Chewton Glen, which was the sixth most popular staycation on Instagram according to our research. Eco-credentials like rainwater harvesting, air-source heat pumps, solar panels and low-energy lighting are selling points for Brits, with 40,500 searches made on Google for this luxury resort situated on the edge of the New Forest each month.
Following behind in fourth is The Pig Hotel - a selection of hotels situated in Hampshire, Somerset, Dorset, Devon, Kent, and Cornwall. The hotels are known for their commitment to sustainability, with each hotel committed to home-grown and local produce, as well as looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. With this ethos, it’s bound to be a hit with eco-friendly Brits, so it’s no wonder the hotel garners just over 27,000 Google searches each month.
Rounding off the top five is The Grove, located in the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside. The hotel, set amongst 300 acres of land, is the ultimate five-star retreat, offering something for everyone, including an on-site golf course, award-winning spa, and activities like archery. With these at your disposal, it’s unsurprising the hotel amasses around 22,000 searches per month.
If you're planning on staying home this year, make sure your own energy is renewable by switching to a green tariff.
Staycations were chosen based on trending news, articles and thorough research. Once the 100 locations were finalised, Instagram hashtags and average monthly search volumes (using SEMRush) were obtained.
‘Eco-friendly staycations’ are defined in this case as any retreat that utilises green measures to reduce their impact on the environment and/or embraces nature and the outdoors as part of its experience.