Staycation hotels for local holidays in the North

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor

We’re about to enter summer, lockdown is over in June (all going well) and so it’s time to think about UK-based staycation hotels. Vaccine passports and government advice recommending against non-UK trips have caused concern about travelling abroad, and so we need to adjust our plans for the months ahead.

There’s concern about the variety of confusing rules about quarantine when both entering a country and returning to the UK, not to mention the over-exaggerated risk of variants bringing the vaccination drive to a standstill (most expert advice say this won’t happen, despite the tabloids shouting this from the rooftops in a shameful attempt to boost sales). The good news is there’s a way to sidestep all this palaver, and still have a hugely enjoyable holiday away – with the added bonus of boosting the UK’s economy when it needs it most.

Beautiful scenery, with rolling green hills and huge expanses of crystal clear water

Yes, we’re talking about ‘staycations’, or its sister portmanteau ‘holistay’. Silly terms, true, but now’s not the time to be pernickety. The North is particularly blessed in this area; whether you want a trip away in beautiful scenery, with rolling green hills and huge expanses of crystal clear water, a vibrant city break, or the opportunity to visit some of the most significant locations Britain has to offer.

And all this is a short car journey or relaxing train journey away. We’re looking at all corners of the North when it comes to staycation hotels, from Manchester to Liverpool, the Lake District to its scenic rival The Peak District, and of course, York and Leeds. All these hotels have great places to visit close by, whether it’s incredible Michelin-starred restaurants or traditional beauty spots to picnic at.

An opportunity to visit some of the most significant locations Britain has to offer

You’ll undoubtedly enjoy these just as much as any trip abroad, and you’ll even have the feelgood knowledge that you’re doing your bit for concerned locals who rely on tourism in a time of crisis. In fact, if you don’t like your North staycation holiday, I’ll personally give you your money back.*

*Not legally binding.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Titanic Hotel

    Titanic Liverpool

    Titanic Hotel, Stanley Dock, Regent Rd, Liverpool, Merseyside, L3 0AN - Visit now

    Not many places are as exciting to visit as Liverpool, with its rich history as one of the most important port cities in the world, through to the swinging sixties, right up to its modern reputation as the place to go for a wildly fun night out, or a trip to see some of the wonderful architecture and visit its world-class museums and art galleries. And there’s no more awe-inspiring place to stay than The Titanic Hotel, with its rooms decked-out in all manner of paraphernalia related to the titular ship. As for food, we can’t recommend The Art School enough, for those with a taste for fine dining, and Leaf on Bold Street for a daytime snack in one of the North’s most vibrant areas.

  • 2. The Cranleigh Boutique

    Ian Jones

    The Cranleigh Boutique, Kendal Rd, Bowness-on-Windermere, LA23 3EW - Visit now

    You might have stayed in the Lake District, but you’ve never stayed in the Lake District like this. The Cranleigh Boutique boasts the region’s most dazzling rooms, perfect for a romantic trip away and a hop, skip and jump away from Baha with its stunning high-end East Asian cuisine, and all the many bars, pubs and cute daytime tearooms (such as Bryson’s Of Keswick Craft Bakery & Traditional Tea Rooms) that Windermere has to offer.

  • 3. Losehill House Hotel and Spa in Hope Valley

    Losehill House Hotel and Spa in Hope Valley
    Courtesy of Losehill House Hotel

    Losehill House Hotel and Spa in Hope Valley, Losehill Lane, Edale Road, Hope Valley, Derbyshire, S33 6AF - Visit now

    A former ramblers’ hostel and Arts and Crafts gem converted into a luxury boutique hotel and spa in the heart of Hope Valley.

  • 4. Ensana Buxton Crescent Health Spa Hotel

    Ensana Buxton Crescent Health Spa Hotel
    Courtesy of Buxton Crescent Spa

    Ensana Buxton Crescent Health Spa Hotel, The Crescent, SK17 6BH, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6BH - Visit now

    The long-anticipated opening of the Crescent Health Spa Hotel signals a new chapter in Buxton’s history as a leading wellness resort.

  • 5. Chester Townhouse

    Chester Townhouse hotel
    Chester Townhouse

    Chester Townhouse, 49-51 Lower Bridge Street, Chester, CH 1 1RS - Visit now

    Chester is one of the UK’s most idyllic cities, steeped in history and beautiful places to visit. This walled city was founded way, way back in 1 AD, as a Roman fortress and there are fascinating nooks and crannies and weaving paths wherever you look. Book in at the wonderful Chester Townhouse, an independent boutique hotel with peaceful, spacious rooms, then grab a drink or afternoon at the accompanying lounge bar, before seeing the sights. Don’t forget to pop by the much-loved Chester Zoo one day, obviously.

  • 6. The Lowry Hotel

    The Lowry Hotel Chapel Wharf, Manchester.
    Image courtesy of Visit Britain

    The Lowry Hotel, 50 Dearmans Place, Chapel Wharf, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M3 5LH - Visit now

    The Lowry Hotel is one of Manchester’s leading hotels, although it actually lies across the border in Salford (not to be confused with The Lowry arts venue a couple of miles away in Salford Quays, as many have found to their peril). Home to many visiting famous names, including an extended period for Jose Mourinho’s ill-fated stint as manager of Manchester United, The Lowry Hotel has become a byword for luxury, bolstered in no small part by the excellent River Restaurant. From here, you can enjoy the peaceful environment of the hotel itself, set back from the hustle and bustle of the city, or take a short walk to enjoy all of Manchester’s many many museums, art galleries, restaurants, bars and everything else you could possibly want from a thriving modern city.

  • 7. Forest Side Hotel

    Forest Side Hotel
    Ian Jones

    Forest Side Hotel, Keswick Road, Grasmere, Ambleside, LA22 9RN - Visit now

    Right in the heart of Grasmere, The Forest Side hotel and restaurant are all you could ever dream of when it comes to seeing and experience the most beautiful sights and cuisine the Lake District has to offer. There’s a reason William Wordsworth described Grasmere as “the loveliest spot that man hath ever found”, and The Forest Side upholds this tradition 200 years later.

  • 8. Stock Exchange Hotel

    Stock Exchange

    Stock Exchange Hotel, 6 Norfolk Street, Manchester, M2 1EW - Visit now

    The Stock Exchange Hotel revived one of Manchester’s most stunning and long-overlooked spaces, and turned it into a fantastic modern hotel, with an equally awe-inspiring restaurant, The Bull & Bear, headed up by no less than Tom Kerridge. It doesn’t get more central than this, meaning you’re within the beating heart of the city centre the moment you step outside.

  • 9. Kenwood Hall Hotel

    Kenwood Hall Hotel

    Kenwood Hall Hotel, Kenwood Road, Sheffield, S7 1NQ - Visit now

    The four-star Kenwood Hall Hotel lies just a mile outside Sheffield city centre, putting it within easy travelling distance of both the beautiful Peak District and Sheffield’s fast-growing and exciting city centre. Be sure to visit Rafters for a fine dining experience like no other, as well as the Millenium Gallery, the Winter Garden, the Botanical Gardens and all manner of other cultural activities.

  • 10. Quebecs Hotel

    quebecs hotel leeds
    Image Courtesy of Quebecs Hotel

    Quebecs Hotel, 9 Quebec St, Leeds, LS1 2HA - Visit now

    The Grade II listed four-star Quebecs Hotel offers luxury rooms in the heart of Leeds. Use this as your base to explore the surrounding countryside and the many fantastic restaurants Leeds has to offer.

  • 11. Moor Hall

    Ian Jones

    Moor Hall, Prescot Rd, Ormskirk, L39 6RT - Visit now

    Moor Hall is the jewel in the crown of the northern food scene, with two Michelin stars under their belt. This nationally-acclaimed restaurant has a small number of rooms for guests to stay at, making it ideal for a short holiday away with one of the UK’s best tasting menus at the heart of it. From here, explore the West Lancashire scenery and if you have enough of rambling, there are many major cities just minutes away by car.