Holiday Accommodation Options in the UK

Going on vacation in the UK? Information on finding the right place to stay: self-catering, bed and breakfast, hotel or youth hostel, find out more...

A wide variety of vacation accommodation is available in the UK. There are hotels, holiday villages, Bed & Breakfast accommodation, youth hostels, as well as campus accommodation out of term time at some of the UK's most renowned universities.


There are thousands of hotels to choose from in the UK (with over 100,000 hotel rooms in the Greater London area alone), catering to all tastes and budgets. They range in style, d├ęcor and cuisine from luxury hotels with international reputations to hotels operating as part of a regional, national or international chain, to small independent boutique hotels situated in famous locations.

Hotels in England are classified using the star rating system, ranging from one to five stars. One star hotels provide basic facilities and five star hotels have the highest standards of appearance, service and facilities.

Bed and Breakfast

Guest accommodation in family-run bed and breakfasts (B&B) is available throughout the UK, in country houses or converted farms in rural settings, and in Victorian or town houses in cities. The quality differs from one B&B to another, as do the number of rooms. However, in general, these have a more homely feel and many serve home-cooked meals in the evening.

Youth Hostels

Youth hostels are ideal for youngsters who want simple, budget accommodation. They usually provide private and shared rooms for individuals, couples and groups travelling together or visiting London for a short period.

The Youth Hostel Association (YHA) has a network of over 200 facilities in England and Wales. It provides different types of accommodation including camping pods, bunkhouses in rural locations, and campus accommodation as well as hostels. It also has accommodation suitable for families, groups, people with disabilities and hostels with on-site training centres.

An International Hostelling card or membership of the Youth Hostel Association, or the Scottish Youth Hostel Association is required to stay in a YHA hostel.

  • Youth Hostel Association
    : Trevelyan House, Dimple Road, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 3YH
    Tel: 0800 019 1700 / 01629 592 700
    Fax: 01629 592 701

Campus Accommodation

Many of the universities in the UK open their student accommodation to visitors during holiday periods. These universities offer reasonably priced rooms in centrally located places such as the centre of London, Oxford, Cambridge and many other towns. Many colleges and universities are situated close to town centres with cathedrals, libraries, museums and art galleries all within easy access of the campus.

Facilities such as shops, banks, laundries, bars and sports complexes are often available on campus.

  • For information, and to search for campus accommodation: Click here

Holiday Villages

Holiday villages have been one of the most popular family holiday destinations in the UK over the past 40 years. The accommodation usually provides a good value alternative to hotels.

These villages range from old fashioned holiday camp style facilities to accommodation in eco spheres which control the climate in an ultra modern environment. Holiday villages usually provide a complete range of on-site leisure and entertainment suitable for families, often including swimming pools, sports centres, horse riding, kids' clubs, and evening entertainment.

  • For further information on holiday villages: Click here

Camping and Campsites

There is a wide variety of campsites in the UK in purpose built parks, near the coast or the countryside and other secluded locations. Many touring and camping parks are ideal for families and provide budget accommodation in friendly environments. Holiday makers can choose to either pitch their own tent, or hire a caravan or chalet, which might accommodate between two to eight guests.

Prices vary and depend on the campsite's location and facilities; most sites provide connections to electricity and water and some have a connection to a TV aerial.

Self-Catering Accommodation

Self-catering rentals provide furnished accommodation in a house, cottage or apartment, available on a daily or weekly basis or longer.

There are two types of self-catering accommodation:

  1. Fully equipped, with all household items, although there may be an extra charge for linen.
  2. Serviced apartments.

Serviced apartments provide the same elements as a self-catering rental but with added hotel-type services such as cleaning, room service and reception. Most serviced apartments tend to be in large cities, close to restaurant, shopping areas and tourist attractions.

Accessible Accommodation

The National Accessible Scheme (NAS) provides ratings for accessible holiday accommodation suitable for people with disabilities. There are three different ratings for:

  1. Disabled people and people with reduced mobility.
  2. The blind and visually impaired.
  3. The deaf and hearing impaired.

Accommodation that is part of the NAS scheme has an NAS symbol. Each location is assessed following strict criteria to ensure that it corresponds to individual requirements depending on the type of disability.

  • For further information on the scheme: Click here
  • For a description of each of the NAS symbols: Click here

The Disabled Holiday Directory website lists accommodation throughout the UK.

Further Information

  • Visit Britain: Information on hotel accommodation in Great Britain