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The Cheapest UK Cities for a Weekend Getaway

New research has named the cheapest cities in the UK for a weekend getaway this spring – with Leicester crowned the best value holiday hotspot.

The findings, pulled together by travel experts Jersey island Holidays, compared Airbnb prices, hotel rates, meal and drinks costs, local transport prices, taxi fares and leisure activity expenses, to identify where Brits are best planning their next weekend trip.

Shockingly – despite saving money on monthly public transport passes and opting for cheaper lunch options – Brits still can’t go on a weekend staycation for less than £500.

Leicester came out as the cheapest city to visit at a total cost of £573, which covers two nights of accommodation, various taxi and public transport trips, restaurant meals, pub lunches, and a few alcoholic beverages – as well as a cinema and theatre excursion.

The same weekend break will set you back £696 in Glasgow, £792 in Southampton, and a staggering £1,230 in central London – with accommodation costs driving up the price.

Brits may also be surprised to see that Hull came out as one of the top ten most expensive cities to visit (£785), whilst Cambridge was amongst the cheapest at £646 per weekend.

Also amongst the cheapest destinations were Cardiff (£588), as well as Northampton (£592) and Stoke-on-Trent (£611) – making a good case for a trip to the Midlands.

These figures may scupper some Brits’ spring holiday plans, as – despite anticipating a surge in staycation bookings from those looking to save money – it turns out a trip across the channel could be cheaper than staying in the UK.

People can lower the cost of a weekend away by forgoing leisure activities like the cinema, theatre or theme park, but the price doesn’t take into account things like travel to/from each city, additional beverages or snacks, or pricier and more frequent taxi trips.

Top 10 cheapest cities for a weekend getaway:

  1. Leicester
  2. Coventry
  3. Cardiff
  4. Northampton
  5. Stoke-on-Trent
  6. Leeds
  7. Birmingham
  8. Cambridge
  9. Belfast
  10. Portsmouth

One of the biggest costs associated with a weekend away at the minute is accommodation, with the average hotel priced at £75 per night across the UK, and the typical Airbnb priced at £117 per night. Unsurprisingly, both accommodations are the priciest in London.


Other areas that carry particularly high accommodation costs came out as Brighton, with the average stay costing £115 a night, followed by Edinburgh and York (£109 a night). 


The cheapest accommodation is available in Northampton at £63 per night, and Leicester, at a slightly higher £76 per night. Airbnbs were consistently pricier than a hotel stay.


Speaking on the findings, a Jersey island Holidays spokesperson said: “Many of us are looking forward to getting out and about as the weather gets better, particularly after an expensive and cold winter. However, many Brits might be surprised to see how much more expensive a weekend away is at the moment – particularly in destinations like Hull.


“It’s important to check for deals as far in advance as you can if you’re planning to get away, in order to avoid surge prices and last-minute price increases as holiday season inches closer. Flexibility can help save money too, as opting for a Thursday-Saturday stay rather than Friday-Sunday can see you benefit from cheaper accommodation costs.”