Warning: Excessive visitor numbers could harm your well-deserved summer vacation.
consumer publication The? Travel notes that Cornwall’s population grew by 40 per cent last summer, beachgoers left 33 tonnes of rubbish behind in Bournemouth and there was even traffic jams at the top of Mount Snowdon.
With that in mind, it offers a variety of top tips for ensuring your break in Blighty isn’t spoiled by crowds, from amazing (and quieter) alternative destinations including Pembrokeshire and St Andrews to tips on the best times to visit of the main sights. When vacationing in a hotspot, pay close attention to which? Travel’s list of the 30 places where vacation rentals fill up — and get bookings — the fastest.
Pembrokeshire’s secret coves and wide sandy beaches are reminiscent of Cornwall, except for the crowds, says which? Travel in his guide to guarantee a quieter stay. Above is Barafundle Bay Beach in Pembrokeshire
At the top of this ranking is the Isle of Anglesey with 2,094 listings on Airbnb and Vrbo, with an incredible annual occupancy rate of 73.9 percent.
Second in the ranking is the county of Gwynedd in Wales with 5,152 offers and an occupancy rate of 71.7 per cent.
The remainder of the top five includes the Lake District in third place (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 HOMES ARE FILLING UP THE FASTEST
Isle of Anglesey
North East England
Isle of Wight
Argyll and Bute
Brighton & Hove
Average occupancy and the total number of listings visible on the Airbnb and Vrbo booking platforms from March 2021 to March 2022. Occupancy is the ratio of rented or occupied space to the total amount of available space. Source: Which? Travel.
The Isle of Anglesey has the highest annual occupancy rate for holiday rentals in the UK at 73.9 per cent. Above is the island village of Moelfre
And the top 10 make up 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 percent) and in 10th place is Mid Wales with 3,306 entries and an occupancy rate of 66.6 percent.
At the end of the ranking – ie the least booked – is Cambridge with 3,141 offers and an occupancy rate of 60.4 percent.
Just above are Suffolk (4,105, 60.6 percent), Stirling (3,981, 60.8 percent) and Brighton and Hove (5,565, 61.2 percent).
Surprisingly, says which? Travel The quietest time at the Eden Project in Cornwall is on sunny days and weekends
So, with a booked hotspot, now to an itinerary full of top sights. But when are the best times to visit them?
The? Travel reveals that evenings are the quietest at the historic Roman Baths in Bath, noting that they stay open late until 10pm during the July and August school holidays.
Fancy Stonehenge in Wiltshire? Most bus tours arrive between 9:30am and 4:00pm during the summer, so aim to arrive before or after these times.
Kew Gardens in London is blooming beautifully, but it’s also busy blooming. But when you become a member, which? When traveling, you can enjoy the gardens from 8am between May and September, giving you two hours of leisurely roaming before the hordes arrive at 10am.
Surprisingly, says which? Travelling, the quietest time at the Eden Project in Cornwall is on sunny days and weekends, which explains that ‘people come and go as these are changeover days at campsites and holiday parks’.
Meanwhile, the British Museum in London, one of the country’s most popular visitor attractions, is best entered an hour before closing, or early in the morning on weekdays. The? Travel adds that the museum is open late most Fridays (last appointment 7pm) – “a good way to escape the crowds” – and offers tours after hours. These cost £33 per person and take place before general admission at 10am.
There’s an alternative to busy Windermere in the Lake District – Wastwater (above), “a tranquil expanse of blue overlooked by Scafell Pike”
The? Travel’s guide to quiet stays continues with the list of less obvious places to relax and explore.
Pembrokeshire is said to be a quieter alternative to the Cornish coast.
Consumer magazine says: “Pembrokeshire’s secret coves and wide sandy beaches are reminiscent of Cornwall, save for the crowds. Not only will you enjoy a quieter holiday, our research shows that this switch can save you £300 on a week’s hotel stay.’
There is a swap option for Edinburgh says which? Travel – St Andrews (above)
And want to avoid those queues in Snowdonia? The? Travel says, “The Glyders, which look like castles carved out of rock, are just a stone’s throw away.
‘[And] the Brecon Beacons attract only half the number of visitors who flock to Snowdonia each year.’
There’s also an alternative to bustling Windermere in the Lake District – Wastwater, ‘a tranquil blue expanse overlooked by Scafell Pike’.
And there is also a swap option for Edinburgh says which? Journey – St Andrews – while Chocka Cambridge can be diverted in favor of Ely.
Of course, you could always avoid staying in the summer and going away during the shoulder seasons — May through early June and September through October “are the sweet spots that still offer decent weather without the hordes,” says which? Travel.