Great Britain

Up to 90% of UK summer holidays are now sold out following booking boom – here is how to still find a great deal

AS MANY as 90 per cent of summer holidays are sold out as UK tour operators warn that bookings are still soaring.

Brits opting to stay in the UK for a holiday this year are likely to be left disappointed with little left on the market.

The government announced that domestic holidays can start as soon as April 12 as long as cases continue to drop, but this is only for one household, and at self-catered accommodation.

From May 17, group holidays can go ahead while hotels will reopen, and June 21 is the earliest that travel restrictions may be fully eased.

This has led to surging demand for UK holidays especially in popular destinations such as Cornwall, Devon and Dorset.

According to the Telegraph, self-catered accommodation website Unique Homestays has warned that 92 per cent of summer holiday dates are booked up, with Oliver's Travels has just eight per cent of properties still available during the summer season.

Last month, Sun Online Travel revealed that some families were even being put on waiting lists for holidays in Cornwall due to demand.

Tour operators warned families last month that they were selling out already.

Steve Jarvis, co-founder of Independent Cottages said back in January: “Even though we’re still only in the first month of the year some of our more popular areas are already booked up.

"For example, Pembrokeshire in Wales is proving to be the most sought-after area so far with nearly 70 per cent of properties already booked for key weeks this summer."

Where there is still availability is campsites, as many stately homes and farms are opening up their land to guests for the first time due to popularity.

Camping website has added 130 more sites since the start of the year due to demand, with more than 2,500 still available. founder Dan Yates said: "Whilst many cottage companies may have sold out, many people seem to forget that outdoor accommodation accounts for 65 per cent of UK non-serviced bed spaces - of which there are still plenty.

"A quick search on our site shows there are currently 791 locations available in England for the week of July 31 to August 7."

However, Mr Jarvis has also warned that families shouldn't expect to see any discounts on holidays unlike other years: "Typically, some holiday home owners offer ‘early bird’ discounts at the start of the season.

"But, like all hospitality businesses, they have been hit hard during the lockdowns and have remained closed for months. Coupled with the late start of the 2021 season and a higher-than-normal level of demand expected, it is unlikely that holiday makers will see significant discounts for the foreseeable future.

"Our advice is to book sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment."

Our best UK holiday deals of the week

Cheap UK holidays in April & May – now that staycations can start in the spring - click here

Cheap short UK breaks in June from £35, including Devon, Kent & Suffolk - click here

UK holiday parks and cottages in July from £62 per break - click here

August seaside holiday stays in the UK including Kent & Norfolk from £74 - click here

UK holiday parks with the best indoor swimming pools – from £38 a night this summer - click here 

The UK boom has also followed uncertainty regarding holidays abroad, which are yet to be given an official restart date.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van Tam has warned Europe was so far behind in their vaccine rollout that he couldn't say either way whether it would be possible for the nation to take a summer holiday this year or not.

Labour MP Yvette Cooper also warned that people shouldn't be booking summer holidays abroad at all, as borders controls may need to get stricter, not more relaxed.

She told Radio 4's Today Programme: "There is a concern about whether the government is raising expectations about summer holidays that they may not be able to meet."

More fears for Brits' summer holidays abroad as JVT says 'great uncertainty' as EU so far behind vaccine rollout

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