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Top 10 places to spend your UK summer workation

Offering glorious countryside and spectacular views – not to mention reliable internet – these are your top destinations for your summer workation

With most of us having worked from home for almost a year, we’re all in need of a bit of escapism. While recent announcements lead us to hope that we could be ‘back to normal’ by the end of June, there’s still a lot of uncertainty around international travel. 

So, while no one really knows exactly what our travel status will be by summer 2021, this guide will help you to create your own UK workation wishlist – just in case. 

Thanks to their quaint communities and stunning countryside, the UK’s National Parks make ideal playgrounds for those looking to swap the home office for a different set of walls – and, of course, a change of scenery. 

It’s also been proven that switching traffic noise for the tweeting of birds does more than boost your mood – it boosts your long-term productivity, too. Katie White is the owner Re:lax, a London-based beauty business. She comments:

“Going on a workcation to somewhere quiet and peaceful is a great way to buckle down and focus on a big project without the distractions of the day to day running of your business.

For many small businesses, a lot of your time is spent just trying to stay afloat sorting out admin, paying invoices, dealing with customers and suppliers which means you’re often in stasis.

So ironically, going somewhere that allows you to really slow down can actually help you get ahead. A change of scenery, and an escape from the day to day, can give you the mental space you need to finally complete big projects and drive your business forward.”

As the largest business hubs in the UK, we’ve made London and Manchester the representees for the south and the north respectively. We’ve then researched and ranked the places within our National Parks that offer business workers everything they need for a work and play holiday. 

Well-equipped with train stations, road links, internet speeds that surpass 25 Mbps (the minimum for a HD video call), and a decent phone signal, these places are ideal for those who require work amenities while enjoying the very best of what the British countryside has to offer.

Let’s have a look at the top 10 workation spots in the UK.


The best workation spots: Mapped


A look at the best places for your summer workation

1. Winchester

Winchester workation

Winchester offers workationers some of the speediest internet connectivity on our list – great news if you’re thinking of tackling that large project you’ve been putting off. Being just 50 minutes by train from London Waterloo, and located just off the M3 for those travelling by car, Winchester is ideal for anyone who may need a quick and easy route home. 

Located on the western edge of the South Downs National Park, Winchester was the capital city of England right up until the Norman conquest. Its narrow streets and assorted nooks and crannies are primed for exploring, and thanks to its location on the edge of the Downs, it’s an ideal place from which to explore the Hampshire hills, too.

Average nightly price £146
Monthly stays from £1,370
Internet speed range122.7 Mbps
Phone signalGood 4G inside and out
Journey times from LondonTrain: 0h:50 | Car: 1h:20
Journey times from Manchester Train: 4h:35 | Car: 3h:30

2. Norwich

Norwich Workation

For workationers, Norwich offers one of the cheaper average nightly rates – and with monthly stays starting from less than £1,500 for places with two bedrooms or more, it’s ideal for those looking for an extended change of scenery. Thanks to an average internet speed of 40 Mbps, your calls and hefty file uploads are supported, too.

Similar to Winchester, Norwich is a city situated on the edge of a National Park. With a historical city centre and not one but two cathedrals, there’s tonnes to explore in Norwich itself. But for those who would rather spend their workation trundling up and down the broads, a branch line from Norwich gets you to the waterway villages in 20 minutes.

Average nightly price £136
Monthly stays from £1,151
Internet speed range40 Mbps
Phone signalGood 4G inside and out
Journey times from LondonTrain: 1h:57 | Car: 2h:20
Journey times from Manchester Train: 4h:31 | Car: 4h:00

3. Abergavenny – Brecon Beacons

Abergavenny

Offering some of the cheapest nightly and monthly rental rates, Abergavenny is ideal for workationers looking for a good value getaway. With direct trains from Manchester, and less than a three hour trip from London, it’s one of the most accessible, too. Just double check your 4G reception before you go, as internet speeds can be a little hit and miss. 

Situated on the south eastern tip of the Brecon Beacons, and surrounded by mountains and hills, Abergavenny is the ideal spot for workationers looking for challenging climbs against impressive backdrops. The Brecon Way long distance footpath passes through Abergavenny, making it the ideal point from which to explore the National Park by foot. 

Average nightly price £107
Monthly stays from £1,099
Internet speed range30.1 Mbps
Phone signalGood 4G inside and out
Journey times from LondonTrain: 2h:40 | Car: 2h:50
Journey times from Manchester Train: 2h:31 | Car: 2h:50

4. Hope – The Peak District

Hope valley

Considering Hope is situated in the north of England, the village is still easily accessible from both Manchester and London. The nightly rates for properties in the area are fairly reasonable, and with average internet speeds of 35.66 Mbps, it should service video calls and standard working-from-home activities well. 

Nestled within the Hope Valley, the community of Hope offers workationers a proper rural retreat. Well-connected to the rest of the valley by a train network, there are ample walks that you can access from the valley stations. Serviced by a Spar and a farm shop, you don’t need to travel too far for essentials – and Sheffield is only 30 minutes down the road!

Average nightly price £142
Monthly stays from £3,078
Internet speed range35.66 Mbps
Phone signalGood 4G inside and out
Journey times from LondonTrain: 2h:37 | Car: 3h:10
Journey times from Manchester Train: 0h:50 | Car: 1h:05

5. Balloch – Loch Lomond and The Trossachs

balloch workation

Balloch may not be the easiest place to get to from Manchester or London (it requires catching a connection from Glasgow), but once you’re there, it’s a pretty safe place for workationers. Cheap nightly rates, reliable internet for those large projects, strong 4G signal, and plenty of downtime activities make it a worthwhile trip up to Scotland. 

The Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park is Scotland’s first, and at the southern tip lies the enchanting village of Balloch. It offers workationers hiking trails, watersports, golf courses, and castles. There isn’t much in the way of holiday property in Balloch itself, but there are taxis to take you to accommodation outside of the village if you’re arriving by train.

Average nightly price £97
Monthly stays from £1,787
Internet speed range50 Mbps
Phone signalGood 4G inside and out
Journey times from LondonTrain: 6h:32 | Car: 6h:40
Journey times from Manchester Train: 4h:45 | Car: 3h:40

6. Skipton – Yorkshire Dales

Skipton workation

What it lacks in cheaper monthly rental costs and ultra-reliable internet speeds, Skipton makes up for in charm, as well as good indoor and outdoor 4G coverage. Just over an hour from Manchester by car, it’s a great option for northern workers looking for a change of scenery. Just make sure you check your 4G coverage before you book!

Voted the best place to live in northern England in a 2018 Sunday Times report, we’ve got every reason to think Skipton will suit workationers just as well. The Yorkshire town has a military and industrial past, with its castle and mills among the old buildings still standing strong. It has a strong community vibe too, with local events, fairs, and markets to explore. 

Average nightly price £131
Monthly stays from £1,583
Internet speed range22.24 Mbps
Phone signalGood 4G inside and out
Journey times from LondonTrain: 3h:31 | Car: 4h:10
Journey times from Manchester Train: 1h:54 | Car: 1h:15

7. Ivybridge – Dartmoor

Ivybridge workation

A well-connected town only a few miles from the sought-after holiday destination of Cornwall, Ivybridge isn’t the cheapest place to stay. However, it’s one of the best workation places for internet – if the property you’re staying at has fibre broadband, that is (best to check before you book). While it’s a bit of a trek for northerners, a direct train from London makes it worthy of seventh place.

With its craggy tops, carpets of purple heather bushes, and herds of wild ponies, Dartmoor is a vast expanse of rural parkland. Ivybridge is a colourful town situated on the southernmost tip of the National Park, around 20 minutes from Plymouth. With its local pubs and shops, Ivybridge is the perfect base from which to explore the surrounding moorland.

Average nightly price £175
Monthly stays from £2,249
Internet speed range128 Mbps
Phone signalGood 4G inside and out
Journey times from LondonTrain: 3h:02 | Car: 3h:40
Journey times from Manchester Train: 5h:30 | Car: 5h:10

8. Betws-Y-Coed – Snowdonia

Betws-y-coed workation

Offering workationers solid internet speeds and great 4G coverage, Betws-Y-Coed is a good choice for those who are working on bigger projects. However, with an average nightly Airbnb price of £200, it’s one of the most expensive areas on our list. It’s also a mission to get to by road, with the quickest route being a three hour train journey from Manchester. 

Betws-Y-Coed, which charmingly translates to ‘Prayer House in the Woods', is a small village on the eastern edge of Snowdonia. Although around a 30 minute drive from Mount Snowdon, there are river walks to roam, and waterfalls and gorges to explore from your doorstep. There’s even an outdoor activity centre for those feeling particularly adventurous!

Average nightly price £200
Monthly stays from £2,300
Internet speed range49 Mbps
Phone signalGood 4G inside and out
Journey times from LondonTrain: 4h:54 | Car: 4h:10
Journey times from Manchester Train: 2h:50 | Car: 2h:56

9. Haltwhistle – Northumberland

Haltwhistle workation

This Northumberland town isn’t the easiest place to get to – unless you’re catching the train from Manchester – and its nightly and monthly property prices are a tad more expensive than other locations on our list, too. That said, with decent 4G reception making up for slightly sketchy internet, it’s still a great option if you’re looking to do some light work from home.

Haltwhistle claims to be the geographic centre of Britain. While this claim is yet to be verified, we can confirm that the market town is just two miles from Northumberland National Park, and the most intact part of Hadrian's Wall. Haltwhistle is also home to quirky shops, restaurants, and even an outdoor swimming pool if you fancy somewhere to take a refreshing dip!

Average nightly price £154
Monthly stays from £1,715
Internet speed range35 Mbps
Phone signalGood 4G inside and out
Journey times from LondonTrain: 4h:24 | Car: 5h:20
Journey times from Manchester Train: 3h:07 | Car: 2h:20

10. Weymouth – The Jurassic Coast

Weymouth workation

Weymouth offers a strong 4G connection and easy travel links from London. With an average internet speed of 28.65 Mbps, you may find that you struggle with HD Zoom calls, but you could always switch over to 4G if you need to. While it’s a trek for northern dwellers, the promise of a rugged coastline and hidden fossils should make the journey worthwhile!

The Jurassic Coast isn’t a National Park, but it is a World Heritage Site. With a big sandy beach and buzzing nightlife, Weymouth is a typical seaside town that sits on the Jurassic Coastline. It’s the starting point for hikes to famous landmarks like Durdle Door, plus there are bus connections to other towns on the Jurassic Coast, including Bridport and Lyme Regis.

Average nightly price £162
Monthly stays from £1,545
Internet speed range28.65 Mbps
Phone signalGood 4G inside and out
Journey times from LondonTrain: 3h:12 | Car: 2h:50
Journey times from Manchester Train: 5h:33 | Car: 4h:00

Methodology

We’ve ranked the top 10 places to stay for an extended summer workation on the following factors:

  1. Average nightly price
  2. Lowest monthly price
  3. Average internet speed
  4. Phone signal
  5. Accessibility from London
  6. Accessibility from Manchester

A good workation location should have internet speeds of at least 25 Mbps to support HD video calls and large file uploads. To give you some perspective, the City of London has an average internet speed of just 24.5 Mbps.

4G signal should be guaranteed indoors and outdoors to support blips in internet speed, and to ensure workationers can take calls out and about.

Locations that offer value for money and accessibility for those who don’t have their own transport score points, too. And the more of these attributes a place can cross off, the higher they feature on the list. 

The National Parks that don’t offer a location with a train station, or reliable indoor and outdoor 4G coverage from all four major UK providers, have been missed off the list. 

Our data is accurate as of 15 February 2021, but please check internet speed and your network 4G coverage status before you book your workation property. 

Aimee Bradshaw
Aimee Bradshaw

Senior Writer and Researcher

Aimee is Startups' resident expert in business tech, products, and services. She loves a great story and enjoys chatting to the startups and small business community. Starting her own egg delivery business from the age of 12, she has a healthy respect for self-starters and local services.