New Which? study reveals the surprising costs of UK holidays, with one static caravan break in Scotland pricier than a week in a four-star hotel in Greece
A week-long caravan holiday in the UK can actually be more expensive than a four-star all-inclusive trip to Greece, according to a study.
Which? Travel investigated the prices of a week’s stay in six different UK holiday hotspots in June 2022, comparing different accommodation types using Airbnb, Booking.com and Pitch Up. It found a static caravan holiday in Scotland costing £1,086, a higher tariff than a deal it discovered for a week in Halkidiki, Greece, for the same dates.
The study also found that staying in a bell tent in Cornwall can be more than £200 more expensive than checking in to a four-star hotel in the same town, while holidaying in a treehouse on the Isle of Wight can be more than double the price of a three-star hotel stay nearby.
A week-long static caravan holiday in the UK can actually be more expensive than a four-star all-inclusive trip to Greece, according to a new Which? Travel study (stock photo)
Which? Travel’s study found a static caravan holiday in Scotland costing £1,086, a higher tariff than a deal it discovered for a week in Halkidiki (pictured), for the same dates
According to Which? Travel, in Newton Abbot, Devon, a week’s stay in a tent in June costs £140, a caravan pitch £210, a static caravan £525, self-catering accommodation is priced at £425, and a yurt is £840. Which? Travel points out that while a yurt is a ‘glorified tent’ and ‘you have to trudge across the field for the loo’, it’s £7 more expensive than a week in a three-star hotel (£833) with a heated indoor pool ‘on the banks of the River Teign estuary’.
It notes that both the yurt and the self-catering accommodation have cooking facilities – which saves on eating out. However, the latter is half the price of the yurt and sleeps four – working out at just £106 per person.
Which? Travel’s Scottish pricing revelation came after analysing accommodation options in Annan in Dumfries and Galloway. As well as discovering that a static caravan can set you back £1,086, the magazine discovered that both a tent and a caravan pitch are priced at £157.50, a three-star hotel £378, self-catering accommodation ‘set in an old sandstone farmhouse’ with a hot tub £505, and a converted barn £1,023.
HOTEL, CARAVAN, SELF-CATERING OR YURT? THE COSTS REVEALED
NEWTON ABBOT, DEVON
Tent £140, caravan pitch £210, static caravan £525, three-star hotel £833, self-catering £425, yurt £840
Tent £122.50, caravan pitch £122.50, static caravan £700, four-star hotel and breakfast £770, self-catering £396, bell tent £980
Tent £159.25, caravan pitch £159.25, static caravan £485, three-star hotel £465, self-catering £485, pod and hot tub £1,436
ANNAN, DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY
Tent £157.50, caravan pitch £157.50, static caravan £1,086, three-star hotel £378, self-catering and hot tub £505, barn £1,023
PICKERING, NORTH YORKSHIRE
Tent £175, caravan pitch £210, static caravan £490, four-star hotel £525, self-catering £446, shepherd’s hut £417
SHANKLIN & SANDOWN, ISLE OF WIGHT
Tent £147, caravan pitch £161, static caravan £490, three-star hotel and breakfast £525, self-catering £509, treehouse £1,093
Source: Which? Travel
According to Which? Travel, a three-star hotel stay in Annan, Scotland, can cost £378 (stock photo), considerably less than the static caravan break it found
While the static caravan has access to a private beach, the lower-priced holiday in Greece includes a superior room in a four-star hotel ‘among the olive groves’, with buffet meals and alcoholic drinks as part of the package.
It adds that instead of a caravan stay, you could ‘slash costs’ by spending a week in the hotel (£378), a seven-minute drive down the road.
Booking site Pitch Up told Which? Travel that static caravans had seen the biggest boom of all holiday park accommodation in recent years, with prices up by a quarter since 2019.
Which? Travel analysed prices in Helston, Cornwall (pictured), and found that both a tent and a caravan pitch cost £122.50, while a bell tent cost £980
Which? Travel also analysed prices in Helston, Cornwall, and found that both a tent and a caravan pitch cost £122.50, a static caravan £700, a four-star hotel and breakfast £770, self-catering accommodation £396, and a bell tent £980.
It says that those staying in the static caravan, despite paying an ‘assault on the wallet’ £100 a night, are still expected to bring their own bed linen, pillows and towels.
Which? Travel notes that the hotel (£770) – which is £200 cheaper than the bell tent that’s ‘down the road’ – has a four-poster bed and includes a full English breakfast every morning. However, it points out that holidaymakers could save 84 per cent in Cornwall if they trade in their hotel room for a regular tent (£122.50).
Pitch Up told Which? Travel that there were tent pitches available for less than £10 per person per night in the UK
Pitch Up told Which? Travel that there were tent pitches available for less than £10 per person per night in the UK – and the study found that ‘surprisingly’, Cornwall turned out to be the cheapest camping location overall in Which? Travel’s research.
The study, meanwhile, revealed that you could save £285 on a hotel stay by ‘going against the crowd’ and holidaying in a less popular location like Pembrokeshire, with its ‘craggy clifftops, secret coves and wide sandy beaches’ that are ‘reminiscent of Cornwall – minus the crowds’.
In this region Which? Travel’s researchers homed in on Haverfordwest, discovering that both a tent and a caravan pitch are £159.25, a static caravan £485, a three-star hotel £465, self-catering accommodation £485, and a pod with a hot-tub £1,436 – surmising that unless you splash out on the ‘luxury twin-pod with a king-size bed and hot tub’, most accommodation in the area is relatively affordable.
Guests at a £417 shepherd’s hut in Pickering, North Yorkshire, can enjoy views of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park (pictured). Or check into a four-star hotel for £525
Which? Travel discovered that a treehouse in Shanklin and Sandown on the Isle of Wight costs £1,093 (stock photo)
WHICH? TRAVEL’S TIPS ON SAVING ON UK HOLIDAYS
Book six months in advance: Which? Travel says that now is the time to book your summer holiday, and advises that you look for places ‘with flexible booking terms or free cancellation’.
Choose a less popular destination: ‘You can save a fortune by going against the crowd,’ Which? Travel says.
Stay three miles down the road: Instead of staying in a ‘honeypot resort’, Which? Travel recommends choosing somewhere cheaper that’s ‘down the road’.
Join a caravan club: Gain access to exclusive holiday parks and nab a discount with a membership scheme, Which? Travel suggests.
Try a shepherd’s hut: A stay in a shepherd hut ‘won’t break the bank’, according to Which? Travel – which lists Inshriach House in the Scottish Highlands as a worthwhile option.
Source: Which? Travel
In Pickering, North Yorkshire, Which? Travel found that a tent costs £175, a caravan pitch £210, a static caravan £490, a four-star hotel is priced at £525, self-catering accommodation at £446, and a shepherd’s hut £417 – concluding that this hotspot is ‘one of the most affordable’.
It notes that the self-catering cottage sleeps three people, working out as £149 per person, and that guests at the shepherd’s hut can enjoy a wood-burning stove and views of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park.
Which? Travel’s final study, looking at Shanklin and Sandown on the Isle of Wight, discovered that a tent is £147, a caravan pitch £161, a static caravan £490, a three-star hotel with breakfast £525, self-catering accommodation is priced at £509, and a treehouse £1,093.
Which? Travel notes that while the treehouse, set in a ‘peaceful woodland 2km (1.2miles) from the beach’, is more than double the price of the hotel (£525) and self-catering accommodation (£509), it offers a ‘unique experience’ and features an outdoor deck, a fire pit and barbecue facilities.
Rory Boland, Which? Travel Editor, said of the study’s findings: ‘Holidaymakers may feel priced out of a break this year with some accommodation providers appearing to cash in on the boom in popularity of UK holidays. It is extraordinary that a sunny all-inclusive holiday overseas in a four-star hotel can be cheaper than renting a static caravan at home.
‘The good news is there are plenty of ways to make significant savings on the cost of a trip in the UK, from booking well in advance, to avoiding popular locations during peak season or staying just a few miles down the road.’
For more information visit which.co.uk/l/travel.
Which? Travel found that a treehouse on the Isle of Wight can be more than double the price of a three-star hotel (stock photo)