Staycation nation: Wales and South Coast pip Scotland to top place in post-pandemic destination plans

Chris Lowe, director ar Kimberley Caravans

WITH the nation set to embrace staycations, Wales has been named the most popular UK destination to visit post-lockdown – closely followed by the south coast of England, leaving Scotland in third place.

The ranking of top destinations was formed following a survey by leading caravan and motorhome home supplier Kimberley – The Caravan & Motorhome People.

With 20% of the vote, Wales – famous for its rugged coastline and mountainous national parks – topped the list of the UK places where caravan and motorhome owners plan on visiting once coronavirus restrictions are fully lifted on Monday, 19 July. Scotland took 17% of the vote, just 2% behind the south coast of England.

More than 1,900 adults aged 35 and over were surveyed by YouGov as part of the research, which was commissioned by Kimberley and carried out in late June. It comes after a record number of leisure vehicles were sold across Europe in 2020 – rising 12% to around 235,000 units, according to the European Caravan Federation

Chris Lowe, director at Kimberley, said: “When restrictions relaxed last summer, there was a huge rise in demand for passport-free holidays and once all lockdown measured are fully removed, it’s expected that British people will once again opt to remain on home turf.

“From the iconic Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands to the White Cliffs of Dover and Lake Windermere in the Lake District to the Welsh views of Snowdonia, it’s no secret that people have been enjoying so many of Britain’s beauty spots and discovering a new-found appreciation for what is on our shores.

“I’m quite surprised Scotland has come third in the poll. As a country with outstanding natural beauty, we know it’s a firm favourite with motorhome and caravanning fans due to the ability to enjoy everything from coastal views to mountainscapes.”

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, added: “Scotland’s incredible scenery provides stunning surroundings no matter the mode of transport. With our dynamic driving routes criss-crossing the country, it is no surprise Scotland has ranked so highly as a must-visit destination for caravan and motorhome owners.

“New driving routes – like The Coig covering Ayrshire and some Scottish islands, and South West Coastal 300 – have been a huge success for Scotland’s visitor economy, while showing off the incredible landscapes and attractions to be found across the country throughout the year.

“It is extremely important that we all do our upmost to preserve these special places and enjoy them responsibly. We would urge visitors to ‘know before they go’, checking online whether attractions and businesses are open, welcoming visitors and offering pre-booking – with this being especially important for caravan and motorhome owners. To ensure that visitors and the communities they visit enjoy the best experience possible, we urge all visitors to leave no trace and to dispose of waste and litter responsibly.

“We know that tourism is a force for good – creating economic and social value in every corner of Scotland and enhancing the well-being of everyone who experiences it. We all deserve a holiday, and Scotland, with all it offers, will be the perfect antidote after a series of restrictions and lockdowns.”

The south coast – including Brighton, Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall – came second in the list, with 19% of caravan and motorhome owners pining to visit once restrictions are eased. The east coast, including Norfolk and Suffolk, came in fourth place (10%) and the north west placed fifth (7%). Of those surveyed, 8% of people said they had no plans to travel, with 4% being unsure about where to visit.

Chris said: “Sales of caravans and motorhomes have also surged due to this increase in staycations, with holidaymakers relishing the flexibility that leisure vehicles have to offer. With lockdown restrictions easing but foreign travel uncertain, more people are looking at the domestic holiday market and leisure vehicles allow them to conveniently take a break.”

Kimberley – which was set up in 1981 – has branches in Kimberley, Nottinghamshire; Darlington, County Durham; and is preparing to open its third site in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, in late summer 2021.

As well as supplying new and pre-used leisure vehicles, Kimberley offers a variety of exclusive caravans and motorhomes that leading manufacturers Compass, Coachman and Swift have tailored to its own specification – including the addition of multiple unique features and upgrades.

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