Top 5 coastal spots in the UK this summer - but with a cost of living crisis affecting UK holidaymakers, where can you grab an Airbnb steal?

By Finbri | Tuesday 20th June 2023 | 5 minute read

As recently announced by Travelodge, almost three-quarters (72%) of surveyed Britons will be staycationing with a British summer holiday this year. It’s an unsurprising outcome of the cost of living crisis that’s seriously affecting the population. As people look to rein in costs, holidays abroad are being traded in for UK holidays. 

But with increased demand for accommodation, do you know where you can still get a great deal without compromising on the most popular locations?

This research uncovers exactly how Brits at home could save £££’s.

So where are the go-to summer destinations in the UK? And (pun intended…) where’s hot?

A May 2023 survey by Statistica revealed that the South West was the leading destination for upcoming domestic trips during summer in the United Kingdom. 20% intend to visit the South West followed by 14% that are planning to visit London.

Leading regions for travellers' summer staycation in the United Kingdom as of May 2023

Region % of Travellers Intending to Visit
South West 20%
London 14%
Scotland 12%
Yorkshire & the Humber 11%
North West 10%
East of England 10%
South East 10%
Wales 9%
West Midlands 6%
East Midlands 6%
North East 6%
Northern Ireland 3%


Oh! We do like to be beside the seaside!

Travelodge revealed that 43% of Brits plan on taking their UK holiday this summer at a coastal destination, compared to 25% heading for a rural trip and 20% choosing a city break.

And with such interest in visiting the seaside, their survey of 2,000 British adults has revealed the top coastal holiday destinations that will be visited this summer:

The top 5 coastal destinations in the UK this summer

  1. Cornwall

  2. Devon

  3. Isle of Wight

  4. Whitby, Yorkshire

  5. Blackpool

According to Lonely Planet, these 5 destinations are home to 4 of the 10 best beaches in the UK.

Award-winning and dog-friendly, Woolacombe Beach on the north Devon coast was selected as the best beach for families.

With its close vicinity to the amusements, entertainment and Blackpool Tower, Blackpool Beach was chosen as the best beach for seaside action. 

With turquoise waters and white sand, not to mention caves and islands, Kynance Cove on The Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall, was chosen as the best beach for appreciating the elements. 

But if a summer trip is more your (Yorkshire) cup of tea, the "quintessentially English spot" that is Whitby Beach, known for its ties to Captain Cook and Dracula, was picked as the best beach for book lovers.

What can we learn from holidaying in the UK last summer?

Analysing insights from Airbtics, the Airbnb and property data portal for last August and comparing each of the top 5 coastal spots in the UK this summer, we've discovered the following:

Available listings August 2022

Coastal location Available listings
Cornwall 14,825
Devon 11,356
Isle of Wight 3,053
Whitby, Yorkshire 1,810
Blackpool 1,590

Cornwall is densely populated with holiday accommodation, famously so much to the love of grockles but to the annoyance of locals.

So it's no surprise that last summer, it had the most available listings of places to stay with a whopping 14,825 listings. That's nearly 10 times as many listings as there were in Blackpool. But considering Cornwall is 100 times the size of Blackpool (Cornwall's 3,563 km² vs Blackpool's 34.47 km²), it makes perfect sense that more accommodation options are available in Cornwall.

Last summer, there were the most listings in Cornwall and Devon, followed by the Isle of Wight, Whitby, and Blackpool.

But what was the average daily rate in these coastal locations?

We've reviewed the accommodation options to discover which of these coastal spots has the most affordable places to stay last year.

Average daily rate (taken from last summer, August 2022)

Coastal location Average daily rate (lowest to highest)
Blackpool £155.16
Devon £169.09
Cornwall £176.79
Whitby £182.20
Isle of Wight £189.06

According to last August's daily rate for holiday accommodation, Blackpool was the cheapest at £155.16 per day, followed by Devon (£169.09), Cornwall (£176.79), Whitby (£182.06) and the Isle of Wight (£189.06) being the most costly at £33.90 more expensive than Blackpool.

So where are the most affordable Airbnb spots this summer?

Let's look at what's available right now for this summer. We've found the average price per location for 5 nights, this August 7-12, for 2 adults and 2 children (all prices taken from Airbnb on 20.06.23)

2 adults and 2 children

Average Airbnb prices for 2 adults and 2 children

Average price
5 nights (7-12 Aug, 2023)
2 adults + 2 children
All properties (lowest to highest) Rooms (own room in a home with access to shared space) Homes (a home all to yourself)
Whitby £1,122 £806 £1,134
Cornwall £1,355 £990 £1,379
Blackpool £1,378 £787 £1,444
Devon £1,457 £863 £1,505
Isle of Wight £1,625 £819 £1,662

Looking at the average price for all property types listed on Airbnb matching our search criteria, Whitby comes out with the lowest price at £1,222 for 2 adults and 2 children for 5 nights. Cornwall and Blackpool are just £23 apart at £1,355 and £1,378, respectively, whilst Devon (£1,457) and the Isle of Wight (£1,625) are at the top end of the average prices for all property types.

Whilst more expensive than booking rooms within a home, for 2 adults and 2 children it may be more practical to book a home all to yourself. These are the average prices to book a home per coastal location:

  • Whitby - £1,134.00
  • Cornwall - £1,379.00
  • Blackpool - £1,444.00
  • Devon - £1,505.00
  • Isle of Wight - £1,662.00

Booking a home in Whitby is £528 less than the Isle of Wight. And if your choice between Devon and Cornwall was purely price-driven, it's cheaper by £126 to book a house in Cornwall than in Devon.

Where's best for couples?

But how do prices look for just 2 adults? Let's look at the average price per location for the same 5 nights this August for 2 adults:

Average Airbnb prices for 2 adults only

Average price
5 nights (7-12 Aug, 2023)
2 adults + 2 children
All properties (lowest to highest) Rooms (own room in a home with access to shared space) Homes (a home all to yourself)
Whitby £843 £483 £921
Devon £867 £470 £1,011
Blackpool £996 £469 £1,226
Isle of Wight £1,102 £526 £1,280
Cornwall £1,284 £2,203 £1,012

Once again, Whitby is the most affordable across all property types and when booking a home for yourself. Cornwall is the most expensive when averaging the cost of all properties, but the Isle of Wight is more costly when booking a home.

If you aim to head south and there are just 2 of you, Devon is the better option value-wise when compared to Cornwall and the Isle of Wight.

Whilst there wasn't much to separate the locations when booking rooms (aside from Cornwall's average cost of £2,203 - which may just have been due to availability on the day the prices were reviewed), Whitby again came out the most affordable but just £43 less than the Isle of Wight.

If you're looking for privacy and intend to book a home for your coastal stay, here's how the locations ranked from cheapest to most expensive...

  • Whitby - £921.00
  • Devon - £1,011.00
  • Cornwall - £1,012.00
  • Blackpool - £1,226.00
  • Isle of Wight - £1,280.00

Where will you go?

So there we have it. We've checked out where the most affordable Airbnbs are in the most popular coastal spots this summer. 

Of course, whilst one location may be more affordable than another, travel costs and location affordability must be considered. If you're on the south coast, in Bournemouth for example, it's going to be cheaper to make the 2hr journey to Devon than the nearly 6hr drive to Yorkshire for a trip to Whitby, but at least you now know where you stand as a comparison of accommodation costs.

With the summer holidays fast approaching and places to stay being snapped up by the minute, time is a factor if you're looking to stay at one of these top coastal locations.

Please note: All prices and data complied on 21.06.23 and is subject to change. Airbnb data was compiled via their website search, filter functionality and average data.

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