We’re returning to the scene of our childhoods

A  mother with her daughter on a beach in Cornwall
A mother with her daughter on a beach in Cornwall
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Considering a ‘staycation’ this year? The trend for last-minute bookings has led to a barrage of bargains, says Jeremy Gates

The trend for ‘staycation’ 
holidays continues to grow, with families looking to keep a rein on costs.

Indeed, there are numerous benefits to choosing a holiday in the UK, as Wallace & Gromit are keen to remind us in VisitEngland’s latest Holidays at Home are GREAT campaign.

The animated duo’s ‘Great Adventure’ appears in ads, running for six to eight weeks from May 12.

“It’s difficult to predict how the summer will be, largely because the trend to book last minute has become more and more prevalent as people (and businesses) become more internet-savvy,” says Emma White at VisitEngland.

However, a large number of operators have slashed prices in a bid to secure bookings, making it a good time to look.

There are many offers available – with big discounts – for holidays over Whitsun and well into June, and high season bargains for those who book before May 31.

Tracy Kirton, marketing manager at Breaks in Cornwall, says: “It’s a very late market this year, particularly for peak season. Clients are looking for late deals and booking at short notice.

“It’s a buyer’s market at present and there are good offers to be had! We’re also seeing a continuation of the trend that began a couple of years ago, with self-catering guests catering for themselves much more – as opposed to eating out. The feedback is that this is in response to tighter finances, but reflects a determination to carry on having a holiday, no matter what”.

Offers at Breaks in Cornwall include £100 off short breaks and £200 off seven-night stays at self-catering properties for stays until July 25, if booked by May 30.

At Sykes Cottages, the weekly rental of a four-star townhouse sleeping eight in Beaumaris on Anglesey, North Wales, is down £190 to £796, and in the Cotswolds, seven nights at oak-beamed The Bottle House in Kingswood village, sleeping four, is down to £444, another hefty £175 discount, for stays from May 24.

Blue Chip Holidays has savings of up to 20% on holidays from June until August 31 at hundreds of four- and five-star properties across Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset and the Isle of Wight.

“As we get closer to the summer months we see booking trends increasingly influenced by the weather.

“The recent warm spell saw a rise in bookings for May and June, while colder wetter periods trigger dips in bookings,” says Blue Chip Holidays’ Ewan Davy. To iron out these peaks and troughs, we’re giving customers a great reason to book now with the launch of our summer sale.”

Nick Rudge, managing director at Cottages4you, says the industry’s seeing a trend for people returning to unspoiled corners of Britain - possibly to places they first discovered during childhood.

“Most early bookings are from repeat visitors - and you can’t get a better recommendation than that,” says Rudge.