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Top Ten Most Affordable UK Winter Mini Breaks

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On the JJ Barnes Blog, with my eyes on the prospects of traveling on a budget, I check out a study into the most affordable UK Winter mini breaks.

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Winter Mini Breaks

The winter blues got you down? The days are short, the nights are long, and the only thing shorter than your patience is your bank account balance. In my home, while we love to travel and are desperate to see the world, financially it’s just not in the budget. But before we resign ourselves to another Netflix marathon in our pyjamas, I think we should take a look at the opportunities of an affordable winter mini break in the UK. Afterall, our own country is full of beauty we’ve not yet seen.

To help me out, online specialist insurance broker InsureMy, sent over their analysis of data from booking sites to identify which towns and cities in the UK would be the most affordable UK Winter mini breaks. It also considered the prices of cokes, water, and other consumables.

JJ Barnes Blog, Lifestyle, Family, Entertainment, Women's Interest, Blogger, Blogging, JJ Barnes Blogs

Top Ten Most Affordable UK Winter Mini Breaks


Blackpool has been identified as the most budget-friendly city in the UK for mini-winter breaks, with an average nightly accommodation cost of £106. For those planning a winter trip to Blackpool, there are many attractions to explore, including Madame Tussauds for an indoor experience to escape the chilly weather and Blackpool’s famous Pleasure Beach.  

  • Escape the crowds: Swap the summer swarms for a serene solitude that lets you truly appreciate Blackpool’s quirky grandeur. Imagine the iconic Tower standing sentinel against a moody sky, the promenade a peaceful stretch of sand and sea, all yours to explore.
  • Embrace the nostalgia: Ride the Big One (for the thrill, of course!), wander the arcade with its old-school charm, and lose yourself in the magic of the Grand, a dazzling Art Deco theatre where every night feels like a glamorous step back in time.
  • Discover hidden gems: From cozy pubs with roaring fires to quirky bars with live music, Blackpool’s winter nights offer a surprising dose of offbeat entertainment. You might even stumble upon a bonfire on the beach, sharing stories with locals under a star-studded sky.
  • Warm your soul with comfort: Blackpool’s winter is all about cozy havens and soul-satisfying treats. Indulge in steaming mugs of tea, tuck into steaming plates of fish and chips, and find warmth in the smiles of friendly locals who know a thing or two about winter cheer.
  • Unleash your inner child: Blackpool is a playground for the young and young-at-heart. Take a spin on the Pleasure Beach, conquer the Blackpool Tower Dungeon (if you dare!), and let your inner child loose in the arcade, where classic games and prizes await.


The study also revealed that the charming historic town of Chester is the second most affordable city to visit in the UK, with many attractions to enjoy, such as the cathedral or Chester Zoo for those who love wildlife. Last year in February, we took a weekend in Chester and had an absolutely wonderful time, so this definitely comes with my own personal recommendation!

  • A city wrapped in warmth: Chester isn’t just beautiful; it’s huggable. Imagine snuggling into a cozy pub by a crackling fire, sipping a pint of local ale and listening to live music as dusk paints the ancient walls in warm hues. Or, wander through the Christmas market, chestnuts roasting and mulled wine warming your hands as twinkling lights cast a festive glow.
  • History with a sprinkle of magic: Walk Chester’s Roman walls, feel the weight of centuries beneath your feet as you gaze at the River Dee. Explore the Tudor Rows, labyrinthine shopping streets where independent shops tempt you with treasures and handmade delights. Discover Chester’s literary legacy, from Alice in Wonderland’s Cheshire Cat to Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol inspiration.
  • Nature’s winter wonderland: Escape the city center and step into a wintery fairytale. Chester Zoo awaits, a global menagerie where snow-dusted tigers stalk through frosted landscapes and penguins waddle with glee. Or, venture farther out and explore the rolling hills of Delamere Forest, snow-kissed paths leading to hidden beauty.
  • A feast for the senses: Chester’s culinary scene is no winter slumber. Sample hearty pub fare with locally-sourced ingredients, indulge in afternoon tea at a charming tearoom, or discover hidden gems like Michelin-starred restaurants where winter menus sing with seasonal flavors.
  • Christmas cheer all year round: Forget January blues. Chester keeps the festive spirit alive, independent shops adorned with fairy lights long after the decorations have packed away.


Inverness, the third most affordable city in the UK, the price of hotels in the city has an average nightly cost of £206. Nonetheless, the city has much to offer in terms of affordability.

  • Cozy Charm: Inverness isn’t about glitz; it’s about warmth and welcoming smiles. Snuggle into a local pub, the fire crackling merrily as you savor a pint of local ale and swap stories with friendly locals. Explore independent shops tucked away in charming alleyways, their windows adorned with festive cheer.
  • Nature’s Grandeur: Breathe in the crisp winter air and embark on an adventure! Hike through snow-dusted forests, the silence broken only by the crunch of your boots and the occasional cry of a lone bird. Visit Loch Ness, its surface shrouded in mist, and let your imagination conjure tales of the legendary monster. Or, for a unique thrill, try dog sledding across frozen landscapes, feeling the exhilaration as the huskies pull you through the wonderland.
  • History Come Alive: Immerse yourself in Inverness’s rich tapestry. Climb the ramparts of Inverness Castle, its stone walls whispering stories of battles and sieges. Explore the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, where exhibits bring the city’s past to life. Or, delve into the world of Outlander at Culloden Moor, where history and fiction intertwine on the windswept battlefield.
  • Festive Flair: Inverness embraces the winter spirit with open arms. Stroll through the Christmas market, adorned with twinkling lights and bustling with stalls offering local crafts and handmade treasures. Enjoy carol concerts in the ancient St Andrews Cathedral, the music echoing through the vaulted ceilings. Or, join a guided ghost tour at night, when the city’s shadows seem to hold whispered secrets of the past.
  • Culinary Delights: Warm your soul with hearty Highland fare. Sample a steaming bowl of Cullen Skink, a creamy fish soup that will banish any winter chill. Indulge in a traditional Haggis, Neeps and Tatties – a unique and flavorful experience. And for a sweet treat, savor a slice of Clootie Dumpling, a rich and sticky fruitcake that’s the perfect accompaniment to a steaming cup of tea.

The top 10 most affordable cities for winter breaks

  1. Blackpool  
  2. Chester 
  3. Inverness 
  4. York 
  5. Plymouth 
  6. Preston 
  7. Kingston Upon Hull 
  8. Mansfield 
  9. Burnley 
  10. Wigan 

Top Ten Least Affordable UK Winter Mini Breaks


London has been named the least affordable city for mini winter breaks, with the average cost of one night in London being £358; it’s a city that, for many during a cost-of-living crisis, is too expensive to consider for a mini holiday.

However, although London is very expensive, it has tourist attractions such as the West End and the National History Museum – often, these alone are enough to pull tourists into the city despite the high costs.   



Croydon is the second most expensive city in the UK for mini breaks. This is partly due to the high cost of taxis and meals. Croydon has the fourth most expensive taxi service, but it also has the most expensive cheap meals on average. 


Winchester was the third most unaffordable city for small breaks with one night costing an average of £220.  

Top 10 most unaffordable cities for winter breaks 

  1. London 
  2. Croydon 
  3. Winchester 
  4. Crawley 
  5. St Albans 
  6. Walsall 
  7. Chelmsford 
  8. Brimingham 
  9. Lancaster 
  10. Manchester 

Mini Breaks

It is crucial to take a break from work, but due to financial constraints faced by many, planning an affordable break has become more challenging. When planning for your holiday, the first step is to decide on a reasonable budget. When choosing a budget, consider your savings, income, and financial obligations. 

Research hotels and transportation, and plan meals before leaving. The more you plan, the more control you will have over your expenses while on your mini-break. However, be sure not to allocate all of your budget before you leave, as you will need some for miscellaneous expenses and any emergencies that may arise. 

While on your holiday, keep track of your budget to ensure that you don’t overspend. If necessary, review and adjust your budget as you go. Having a realistic and practical budget will enable you to make the most of your mini-break without any financial stress.

-expert from InsureMy


The information about hotel prices and their location was collected from booking.com. The number of cafes and restaurants in a particular area was determined using tripadvisor.co.uk. In addition, the average cost of drinks and transportation was obtained from numbeo.com/cost-of-living.  

Afterward, the Yeo-Johnson transformation was applied to the data and then scaled into a range of 0 to 10 for weighting purposes. This enabled a clear and precise way of identifying the most affordable Cities for breaks.

JJ Barnes Blog, Lifestyle, Family, Entertainment, Women's Interest, Blogger, Blogging, JJ Barnes Blogs


I hope these top ten picks for the most affordable UK winter mini breaks will fuel your wanderlust and awaken your inner explorer. From the windswept shores of Blackpool to the snow-dusted mountains of Inverness, each destination promises an escape from the ordinary, a chance to reconnect with nature, history, and maybe even a touch of festive magic.

But remember, the real beauty of a mini break lies not just in the destination, but in the journey. It’s about throwing open the windows of your routine, letting in the crisp winter air, and embracing the unexpected. So pack your bags, grab your loved ones (or fly solo!), and get ready to discover that even the most budget-friendly escape can be an adventure worth cherishing.

So, which one are you choosing? Will you conquer the Big One in Blackpool, sip mulled wine in Chester’s Christmas market, or hunt for the elusive Nessie on Loch Ness? The choice is yours, but one thing’s for sure: with a little planning and a lot of wanderlust, your next winter mini break can be the perfect antidote to the winter blues, leaving you with memories that will warm you long after the frost melts away.

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