A review of Staycations in the Lake District and Cumbria


Cumbria is a mainly rural county in the North of England, bordering Scotland with remnants of the iconic Hadrian’s Wall between the two.  

Within Cumbria is contained the Lake District National Park, which was granted UNESCO World Heritage Status on 9 July 2017. It is widely thought to be one of England’s finest areas of natural beauty and has been considered so for years, at least since William Wordsworth wrote his exemplary ‘daffodils’ poem in 1802.  

Walking up Scafell

Cumbria contains England’s highest point, with Scafell Pike at 978m above sea level. In fact, it contains all of England’s peaks that are above 910m (3,000ft): Scafell Pike, Scafell, Helvellyn and Skiddaw. There are 19 lakes and reservoirs within the Lake District National Park.  

To the west is a substantial coastline, with large parts of the coast being given over to Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest. To the east are the North Pennines, also an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. To the southeast, a large portion of Cumbria is within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, making the county the only one in England to have two national parks within it.  

Where do people come from when staying in a Lake District Cottage? 

98% of visitors staying in one of our self-catering cottages come from the UK. The remaining 2% who visit from overseas come from a range of places ranging from Europe to South Africa, the UAE to Brazil, New Zealand to Malaysia, and from the USA.  

Interestingly, 2% of visitors staying with Sally’s Cottages came from within Cumbria itself.  

Which are more popular, small or large cottages? 

Middle Row Cottage

3% of people staying in a Sally’s Cottage were sole travellers.  
33% were couples or two people sharing a holiday break.  
54% bookings were for 3-8 people – generally families but sometimes groups of friends.  
9% of bookings were for groups of nine or more. Quite often this type of booking includes extended families getting together for anniversaries or groups of friends spending time together.  

Which are more popular, short breaks or full weeks? 

Roughly a third of bookings at Sally’s Cottages are for short breaks, while a full two thirds book for seven days or longer.  

How many people bring their dog with them when coming on a self-catering break in the Lake District? 

Dog Friendly Cottages

One of the joys of a staycation holiday is that you can bring your dog with you, and this is especially enjoyable when visiting the Lake District National Park with its myriad of walks and dog-friendly towns. Even though most cottages will charge a small additional fee for bringing a pet, this is considerably cheaper than using kennels.

The percentage of people bringing their dog with them to a holiday cottage has stayed the same for the past 3 years, with 37% of people staying with Sally’s Cottages bringing at least one dog. Of these guests, 69% bring one dog, 26% bring two dogs, and 5% bring three or more dogs.

Online vs Telephone Bookings

Telephone vs Online bookings

As you’d expect, there have been big changes here over the past ten years. In 2009, 83% of bookings were made over the telephone and only 17% booked online. Within five years this figure had become roughly 50:50 with 52% people booking via the phone and 48% booking online. In 2019 only 34% of bookings were taken over the phone and 66% booked online.  

What is the average turnover of a Sally’s Cottage? 

The average turnover of a Sally’s Cottage in 2019 was £24,952 

Visitors tend to choose which cottage to stay at based on: 

-    Location
-    Pet friendly
-    Decor
-    Open fire/woodburner
-    Garden
-    Parking