The best cities for a budget-friendly staycation and how it benefits business

by | Mar 31, 2024

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  • A new report from SumUp, the leading global fintech company, has revealed the top cities in the UK for budget-friendly staycations and how this can benefit local businesses.
  • Derry, Kingston upon Hull, and Newport are the top three cities in the UK for a low-cost staycation.
  • The study considered various cost-related metrics such as meal prices and entertainment expenses, as well as cultural and recreational amenities like museums, theatres, and green spaces.

Whilst a far-flung trip might be the ideal holiday for some, the cost of living means that people are considering the price of a holiday more than ever. However, if Brits know where to go, a UK staycation can offer just as much culture, greenery, and adventure for a budget-friendly price.  

Looking into various cost-related metrics such as meal prices and entertainment expenses, as well as cultural and recreational amenities like museums, theatres, and green spaces, SumUp has revealed the best cities in the UK for a budget-friendly staycation and how this can benefit 

Top 10 cities in the UK for a staycation: 

RankCityTotal Score 
2Kingston upon Hull12.615

Derry, Northern Ireland, emerges as the top destination in the UK for a budget-friendly staycation, earning a high score of 17.205. With the cheapest coffee prices in the UK, averaging at £2.53, 32 landmarks to discover, and 11.76 art galleries per 100,000 people. 

Derry promises visitors an affordable yet cultural experience.

With a score of 12.615, Kingston upon Hull lands in second place. The city could be a particularly good spot to choose for its retail scene. Home to 10 vintage shops and a whopping 24 fashion designer stores per 100,000 people. The city’s fashion scene will also provide Brits with some of the best bargains, with the combined price of a pair of Levi 501’s and a summer dress costing £88.


Newport, Wales, claims third spot on the list, with a score of 12.542. Boasting 45% of its land officially defined as green space, Newport offers a blend of nature and affordability, with an average meal cost of £11 and a three-course meal for two priced at £50.

Other cities to highlight include Edinburgh, although in fifth place, boasts 11 art galleries for visitors to roam, as well as being the safest city to visit among the top 10 according to crowd-sourced data.

Unsurprisingly, cities that failed to make the top 10 ranking for a low-budget staycation include Manchester in 20th place with the least amount of culture to explore, home to 0.5 museums per 100,000 people. London placed 21st, with the most expensive prices for coffee (£3.55), Beer (£6.35) and a cinema ticket (£15). 


The benefits of staycations for businesses 

Maybe you’re an eager entrepreneur looking to open your own business? If so, heading to one of these cities may give you the boost you need.

Support for small businesses:

Local businesses are often the backbone of a community, and staycations provide an opportunity for these businesses to thrive. From boutique shops to family-owned restaurants, these establishments rely on local patronage to stay afloat. Staycations encourage residents and tourists alike to explore and support these businesses.

Due to the volume of visitors, and their eagerness to shop, dine, and purchase goods, businesses will benefit from a high footfall and increased revenue. 

Promotion of Local Attractions:

Staycations can highlight lesser-known local attractions and landmarks that might not receive as much attention from tourists. As residents explore their own area, they may discover hidden gems and share their experiences with friends and family, thus promoting these attractions further.

Job Creation and Economic Growth:

An increase in consumers for local businesses during staycation seasons can lead to job creation and economic growth within the community. As businesses experience higher demand for their products and services, they may need to hire additional staff or expand operations, thus contributing to local employment and the local economy.

It’s clear that the staycation trend is here to stay, so, it’s definitely worth adapting your business, or establishing a new one to target this rise in staycations. 

 The UK is filled with bustling cities which will offer holidaymakers a memorable trip. So, whether you’re drawn to the historic winding streets of Edinburgh, or are looking for a taste of charm in Derry, why not opt for a staycation this year? 

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a place to set up your business, you could consider one of these locations. Our guide on starting a business might be helpful if this sounds like something you’re interested in. 

Corin Camenisch, Product Marketing Lead, at SumUp said “With an increased focus on domestic travel, as well as the cost-of-living crisis still being prevalent, we wanted to highlight the most cost-effective cities for a staycation in the UK. Not only does this encourage budget friendly travel, but it also encourages local spending and supports local businesses due to extra traffic and tourism. 

While some of the cities in our report are popular hotspots among tourists, we hope to shed insight on budget-friendly locations that can also provide memorable experiences that are rich in culture without breaking the bank. “

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