The UK’s Top Cheapest Cities for a Weekend Away

If you’re trying to save some pennies, or only have a short amount of time to take off, the UK boasts many of its own escapes, whether you’re a group, family, couple or solo traveller, there’s something to suit all holidaymakers.

If you’re trying to save some pennies, or only have a short amount of time to take off, the UK boasts many of its own escapes, whether you’re a group, family, couple or solo traveller, there’s something to suit all holidaymakers.

There’s also plenty of perks to holidaying at home, such as it being easier to get there, you can speak the language, you already have the right currency and your phone will work without any additional charges.

To help those looking for inspiration on where to stay in the UK, we analysed how affordable the UK’s 20 largest cities by population are to determine which cities are the cheapest locations for people looking to travel on a budget.

Our analysis used criteria points which were split into three categories and weighted depending on their relative importance - 50% for hotel stay costs, 30% for food and drink costs, and 20% for free attractions. These scores were then used to work out the overall rank for each city.

Our research reveals that Sheffield performed well across all categories, laying claim to the top spot in the UK overall. Bradford and Stoke-on-Trent made up the rest of the top three staycation major cities in the UK, coming in second and third place respectively in the overall index ranking.

Ranked: The UK’s 20 major cities for an affordable weekend away

City

Overall Index Rank

Sheffield

1

Bradford

2

Stoke-on-Trent

3

Sunderland

4

Kingston upon Hull

5

Leeds

6

Leicester

7

Liverpool

8

Cardiff

9

Coventry

10

Swansea

11

Preston

12

Bristol

13

Manchester

14

Nottingham

15

Glasgow

16

Edinburgh

17

London

18

Birmingham

19

Newport

20

Winners per category

Top 3 cities for most affordable average cost of a meal

  1. Sheffield
  2. Birmingham
  3. Nottingham

Top 3 cities for most affordable average price of a weekend hotel stay

  1. Leicester
  2. Stoke-on-Trent
  3. Sheffield

Top 3 cities for most affordable average cost of a pint of beer

  1. Bradford
  2. Preston
  3. Sunderland

Top 3 cities for number of free attractions

  1. Glasgow
  2. Manchester
  3. Liverpool

It was Newport in Wales that came in as the most expensive UK city for a weekend away, performing poorly across all criteria points. The cities position in the ranking is largely due to its limited number of free attractions at only 23.

London has the most expensive weekend hotel costs, travellers to the UK’s capital can expect to pay an average of £366. While in comparison, the city ranked seventh for the average price of a meal due to the high volume of restaurants in the city at a variety of price ranges.

Adam Summersby from insurance4carhire adds: “When it comes to looking for an affordable weekend away in the UK, our research found that Sheffield was the cheapest UK major city for a staycation weekend.

“With the most affordable average cost of a meal, and one of the best average hotel star rating, the Yorkshire city pips the other major cities to the post”.

Car hire and excess insurance

While the UK’s vast train network is one of the most thorough in Europe, most train lines will require a booking to be made months in advance and can cost a small fortune. Instead, hiring a car would allow you to experience the small towns and natural wonders as you travel from city to city.

insurance4carhire provides a range of car hire excess insurance policies, including for UK car hire Excess Insurance.

Methodology

Our methodology involved analysing existing data and reputable sources. The UK’s 20 major cities by population figures were analysed on the below 4 criteria points, across 3 key categories:

  • Hotel stay metrics
    • Average price of a weekend hotel stay
  • Food and drink metrics
    • Average cost of a meal
    • Average cost of a pint of beer
  • Attraction metrics
    • Number of free attractions

Each of the cities were then ranked for each of the above criteria points, before a weighted average rank across all aspects gave the final ranking number known as the ‘overall index number’.

The weighting was constructed as 50% for hotel stay metrics, 30% for food and drink metrics, and 20% for attraction metrics.

Desk research sources for each criterion is available on request.

Sources for the desk research are as follows:

  • worldcitiescultureforum.com
  • budgetyourtrip.com
  • finder.com
  • theworldwasherefirst.com
  • pintprice.com
  • secretldn.com
  • visitbirmingham.com
  • tripadvisor.com
  • numbeo.com
  • hotels.com
  • kayak.co.uk
  • visit-nottinghamshire.co.uk
  • visitscotland.com
  • expatistan.com

About the author

Adam Summersby - blog author, car hire excess insurance business unit directorThis is a marketing article from insurance4carhire by our car hire excess insurance business unit director, Adam Summersby. Adam is a respected leader with 11 years’ varied experience in niche personal and commercial lines insurance, including caravan, site operators and excess reimbursement, with proficiency in leadership, sales and account management.

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