The staycation has been growing in popularity for a few years – but the pandemic has increased the attraction of staying at home even further…

It’s safe to say that even the most homely of us are ready for a change of scene after umpteen weeks in lockdown. But, with the pandemic far from over, it makes sense to holiday at home – especially when we have such fantastic scenery on our doorstep. However the huge choice of accommodation on offer can make the decision of exactly where to stay rather daunting, so we have picked some of our favourites for you!

Beautifully designed and exquisitely styled, Fron Dirion is a stunning semi-detached cottage perched on the Llanbedrog hillside. This lovely cottage has been transformed into a truly stunning holiday home with far reaching sea and countryside views. Available to rent via Abersoch Holiday Homes, Fron Dirion sleeps eight people in four bedrooms, and one four-legged friend is allowed too!

The renowned seaside village of Llanbedrog with it’s long sandy National Trust beach with beach bar and restaurant, gothic art gallery with café, two family friendly pubs, convenience store and further restaurant all lie within a mile, and the coastal path can be easily accessed. A short drive leads to the busy seaside villages of Abersoch and Nefyn and the traditional market town of Pwllheli.

Further south and Apartment 4, The Old Stables, is a contemporary first-floor apartment for four people offering panoramic views over the Dyfi Estuary from both the picture window and the patio. Located just three miles from Aberdyfi, this luxury apartment is ideal for enjoying a range of watersports or just strolling on the long, sandy beach. Aberdyfi also has an historic golf course in the sand dunes. This apartment, which is available from Wales Cottage Holidays, is the perfect place from which to tour the wonderfully varied mountain and coastal scenery of the southern Snowdonia National Park, with its many attractions and facilities.

Both Abersoch Holiday Homes and Wales Cottage Holidays are part of Original Cottages, a company which takes the health and safety of its guests very seriously. All of its properties are always cleaned to an extremely high standard, however, right now any ‘normal’ cleaning procedures will simply not be enough to control the spread of Coronavirus. With that in mind the company has created a dedicated team to review its usual procedures and create guidelines and provide tools for both its homeowners and housekeepers to help reduce the risks at properties wherever possible in order to give holidaymakers peace of mind when you take your well-earned holiday.

Another company that is open and ready to welcome guests is North Wales Holiday Cottages. Properties have had to make some changes so they are ready to open, but risk assessments and checklists have been created to make sure that the houses on the company’s books are ‘Good to Go’ and ready for guests. A basic principle of clean then disinfect has been adopted with an emphasis on high-touch areas such as door handles and light switches. However, due to the enhanced cleaning it will take longer to prepare the properties so North Wales Holiday Cottages is asking guests to arrive after 5pm and to leave by 9am.

“It’s not ideal but we do need this time to make sure the house is ready for the next guests,” said David Griffiths. “In order to protect the cleaners we are also asking guests to strip the beds when they leave and put their sheets and towels in bags so that the cleaners can take them straight to the launderette. In spite of this, the holiday cottage experience should be the same as ever – a home away from home, a great base to explore North Wales and get away from everything!”

And Castle Penthouse in Deganwy is just one of North Wales Holiday Cottages’ properties that is perfect if you want to get away from everything… This one-bedroom apartment is perfect for a couple, and boasts fabulous views of both the sea and mountains. It is located just 200 metres from Deganwy beach and the Welsh Coastal Path, not to mention the local shops, wine bars, restaurants and cafés.

Meanwhile, just over the road, lies the fabulous Quay Hotel and Spa. The Quay is dedicated to providing its guests with a luxurious, comfortable and – above all – safe place to stay in these unprecedented times.

To this end, it has implemented a robust hygiene system, the “Quay Wellbeing” programme, which will make the Quay a safe and hospitable environment for both its guests and its colleagues. First and foremost, it has put in place a rigorous deep cleaning procedure for both the public spaces and the back of house, too. Its bedroom cleaning method has also been enhanced: the hotel has invested in Electrostatic Spraying, and reduced the number of rooms per housekeeper in order to ensure that each room is thoroughly disinfected before any guests arrive.

The Quay has also implemented social-distancing measures in its dining areas – a change made far easier by the modern, airy and spacious design of the Ebb and Flow Restaurant and the Cove Bar. In addition guests have a great number of outdoor spaces at their disposal: from the meticulously maintained Zen Garden, to the terrace overlooking Conwy Castle. 90% of the rooms at The Quay also have their own private balcony or patio, meaning that guests will never be caught without a restful place of their own.

Slightly further down the coast in Llandudno you will find The Shelbourne, a family-run 15-bedroom hotel, just moments from the popular Victorian promenade. Providing unrivalled views of the Great Orme and pier, The Shelbourne provides guests with the perfect location to unwind from the stresses of every day life. Your hosts work to ensure that your stay is the best it can be, with their ethos being “come as a guest, leave as a friend”, while at the same time bringing you a taste of Wales as they serve locally sourced ingredients from the modern bar and dining room.

Delving deeper into Snowdonia you will find Brynteg Coastal & Country Retreat, a holiday park which is ideal for a staycation. Choose from three-, four- and seven-night stays in a range of self-catered, self-contained modern and comfortable accommodation including holiday homes, lodges, and lodges with hot tubs with both pet-friendly and accessible accommodation also available.

Of course, if seven nights doesn’t quite cut the mustard, then it might be worth considering buying your dream holiday home so that you can visit it as often as you like. Luxury lodges are available for sale at both Brynteg and its sister site, Plas Coch on the stunning Isle of Anglesey. Both parks are run by Park Leisure and are ideally placed for you to breathe in the fresh air and explore the local area and all it has to offer, or relax on park with swimming pools, spas and restaurants while the children can enjoy the on park play areas, sports courts, and activities. 

If you are a North Wales native however then you can be forgiven for wanting to spread your wings slightly when it comes to your holidays! Darwin Escapes has 20 unique and beautiful resorts across the UK, from Cornwall to Cumbria, Devon to Dorset – and each of its gorgeous holiday locations offers a little something for everyone!

The company is committed to ensuring that its guests enjoy the best possible getaway, which is why it has introduced new policies across its resorts to keep you safe. Darwin Escapes wants you to know that your health and wellbeing, as well as that of its team, continues to be of the utmost importance. To find out more about its high standards, the Darwin Escapes Charter on its website outlines the extra measures that it’s taking during this time, so you can trust that you’re in safe hands when you stay with them.

Whether you’re after stretches of sandy beaches, deep magical forests; luxury lodges in the rugged mountains of North Wales or static caravans in the deep green valleys of The Peaks – it’s your stay, your way. Make the most of our breathtakingly beautiful country with resorts across the whole of the UK, with a staycation from Darwin Escapes that you’ll talk about for years to come – all without an airport in sight. 


Steve Goodier is a freelance outdoor writer that specialises in North Wales. He is the author of ten outdoor books and his latest ‘Ten Best Pub Walks in Snowdonia’ will be published later this year, followed by ‘Ten Best Waterfall and Lake Walks in Snowdonia’ ( He is married to Paula and has two grown up children.

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