Great British Sunshine Index
Brits have taken an average of two UK based holidays in the last year1, so it’s clear that many of us are enjoying exploring what’s on our doorstep. With sunnier days on the horizon and the cost-of-living crisis underway, staycations are certainly set to increase in popularity this coming year2.
With this in mind we decided to see where in the country might be best for a sun-filled break based on the highest levels of sunshine, lowest levels of rainfall, and cheapest hotel rates, amongst other factors.
1. Reading, Berkshire
In first place is the London commuter town, Reading, boasting the highest average summer temperatures from the research, at a toasty 24.3 degrees Celsius.
Although not the most obvious summertime destination, with the second lowest average summer rainfall at 13.3mm and just four summer days a month that typically see rain, it could be a good spot for a weekend break. The town has various family friendly destinations including Basildon Park and Beale Wildlife Park.
2. Eastbourne, East Sussex
Situated on the southeast coast, just 25 miles east of Brighton, Eastbourne is a great beach option if you’re looking to book a staycation. It has the joint top average daily hours of sunshine, at 11.7 in summer, which means you can maximise your time at the beach.
It also has an average temperature of 21.3 degrees Celsius – the second highest on our list – so on the warmer days, you might feel like you’ve jetted overseas on a far flung beach vacation.
3. Torquay, Devon
With its sandy beaches earning it the nickname of ‘the English Riviera’, its stylish marina, and variety of water sports options, Torquay’s always been a well-known staycation option for both couples and families.
Placing third on our sunshine index, Torquay has the lowest monthly summer rainfall levels from our research, at just 12.3mm on average, meaning you can enjoy lots of dry days.
4. Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
Great Yarmouth is a classic British summer holiday resort, where you can spend your days strolling down it’s promenade (often referred to as ‘the Golden Mile’), before heading to the fairground rides on the pier, or having a round of crazy golf.
With just eight days of rain a month over the summer, Great Yarmouth is an ideal option for a summer staycation. Plus, the average cost of a night in a hotel stands at £101, making it a relatively cost-effective option, too.
5. Bognor Regis, West Sussex
Bognor Regis boasts long, sunny days, with the sun shining for an average of 7.3 hours a day over summer, and an average of 30.3mm of rain a month, which is the third lowest on our list, behind Torquay and Reading.
With its low tide, and long sandy shores, Bognor Regis has always been popular for family holidays, with East Beach and West Beach two of the favourite options amongst holidaymakers.
6. Hastings, East Sussex
Whilst Hastings has beaches, it offers so much more than that. What you might not know, is its home to an edgy arts scene, with many artists having left London to live by the coast; alongside several historical sights, as it was a well-known area for smugglers, back in the 18th century.
The average temperatures in the summer sit at 16.3 degrees Celsius, which is the joint sixth highest on our index and the sun shines for around eight hours a day in the summer, making it a good spot to soak up some great atmosphere.
7. Broadstairs, Kent
Nestled in between Margate and Ramsgate, Broadstairs is another great option if you want to book a staycation in 2023. And, with it having the joint highest number of hours of summer sun, at 11.7 hours per day, there’s plenty of time to see all the sights you want to.
Viking Bay and Joss Bay are two of the more popular beaches to head to, but if you’re looking for somewhere more remote, then Stone Bay is worth a visit.
8. Weymouth, Dorset
With an average monthly rainfall of 33.3mm spanning 14 days a month over summer, if you want to holiday somewhere that’s relatively dry, Weymouth could be the answer. Hotels are somewhat cheap too, at an average of £111 a night.
Weymouth Beach is extremely pretty, with its colourful huts lining the shores, but there’s plenty to do inland too, including visiting Sandsfoot Castle, and Nothe Fort, which dates back to the Victorian times.
9. Canterbury, Kent
Most well-known for its cathedral, Canterbury has a lot to offer for a staycation, with the riverside Westgate gardens, and the ruins of St. Augustine’s Abbey both high up on the list of things to do.
Canterbury scores low for average monthly summer rainfall, at 37.7mm, as well as boasting an average of eight hours of sunshine a day.
10. Southampton, Hampshire
Rounding off our top 10 is Southampton, which boasts plenty of things to do, including the Southampton City Art Gallery, SeaCity Museum, and Solent Sky, which tells you everything you could possibly need to know about the history of aviation.
If you want to head to the beach, there are several sandy options less than an hour away from the city, including Calshot and Tanners Lane, and if you’re looking for some day trip inspiration, then why not catch the ferry over to the Isle of Wight?
Southampton’s summer temperatures are more pleasant than many other places on our index, at an average of 17 degrees Celsius, with an average of 7.3 hours of sunshine a day.
Whilst all top 10 locations in our sunshine index are in the south of England, if we look at the top 20, other areas start to pop up. Chester, in the county of Cheshire, comes in at 13th place, and is well-known for its iconic Tudor buildings, and sprawling zoo. It also has the lowest average number of rainy days a month in summer, at just three days.
Skegness in the East Midlands places 14th, Coventry in the West Midlands comes in at 15th place, and Scarborough in 19th, showing that no matter where you want to staycation in the UK, there are many options for a dry, sunny break.
From city breaks to beach havens the UK has such a varied landscape to explore which many of us have not fully experienced. Holidaying on home soil can be just as exciting as travelling abroad but regardless of where you’re going, it is always important to check what type of travel insurance you might need to cover you and your valuables.
- https://www.holiday-weather.com/ - Temperature, sunshine, and rainfall data
- https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ - Hotel price data
- https://www.statista.com/statistics/480176/average-number-of-domestic-holidays-per-person-in-the-uk/ - Sep 2021 – Aug 2022 staycation data
- https://www.traveldailymedia.com/top-five-reasons-for-expected-staycation-boom-in-2023/ - staycation data 2023
This dataset ranks 40 holiday locations across the UK, based on how good they are for a sunny staycation. To do this, five different factors were used. Once the data for the factors were collected, the factors were then normalised, to provide each factor with a score of between 0 and 1. The normalised values were then summed, and multiplied by 20, to give each location a total score out of 100. The locations were then ranked from highest to lowest, based on their total scores.
The factors used are as follows:
- Average Summer Temperature - The average summer temperature in degrees Celsius, calculated from the temperatures for June, July, and August.
- Average Daily Summer Sunshine Hours - The average number of sunshine hours per day in summer, calculated from the daily sunshine hours for June, July, and August.
- Average Monthly Summer Rainfall - The average amount of rainfall in mm, per month in summer, calculated from the monthly rainfall for June, July, and August.
- Average Monthly Summer Rainy Days - The average number of rainy days per month in summer, calculated from the monthly rainy days for June, July, and August.
- Average Summer Hotel Price Per Night - The average cost per night of a hotel room for two adults, during the summer months (June-August).
The factors were indexed as follows:
- Average Summer Temperature - High values get a high score. Low values get a low score.
- Average Daily Summer Sunshine Hours - High values get a high score. Low values get a low score.
- Average Monthly Summer Rainfall - Low values get a high score. High values get a low score.
- Average Monthly Summer Rainy Days - Low values get a high score. High values get a low score.
- Average Summer Hotel Price Per Night - Low values get a high score. High values get a low score.
All data is correct as of 20/02/2023.