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Co. Armagh comes out as cheapest UK staycation destination

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In terms of budget staycations across the entirety of the UK, you’re not going to get any cheaper than CO. Armagh.

When it comes to budgeting, the Orchard County came out on top for the new cheapest staycation destination, according to a survey conducted by money.co.uk.

They paid particular attention to Slieve Gullion Forest Park offering walking trails, a scenic drive, an Adventure Playpark, Giant’s Lair children’s story trail and courtyard with coffee shop.

Plus with no admission fee or car park charges the attraction is the perfect spot for an open space day out.

Of course, the county offers much more from the north (Lough Neagh and Oxford Island), through the orchards to the ecclesiastical capital of Armagh – cathedrals and history – right down past Gosford Forest Park and the scenic Ring of Gullion.

With the UK government urging us to take our 2020 summer holiday here home but, as money.co.uk’s consumer spending expert Salman Haqqi explains, this could lead to overcrowding and difficulty adhering to social distancing rules.

“Campsites, holiday parks and hotels all over the nation are ready and waiting to welcome guests back, but even with strict social distancing guidelines in place, overcrowding can still be a problem in tourist honeypots,” he said.

“Our report shows that a destination like Glasgow can only host around 8% of the usual annual visitors to the area taking one metre social distancing into account, whereas there is plenty of space for everyone in Gower.

“It’s not just wide open spaces that need to be considered when booking, the report found that 52% of the new destinations had contactless payment options available for parking, food and drinks, shopping and leisure activities.”

The safe staycation criteria included:

– Space (km2)
– Contactless payment availability
– Free activities
– Dog friendliness
– Number of beaches within a 50km radius
– Number of caravan parks/camping sites within a 50km radius
– Crime rate for April 2020
– Visitors per year to the county
– Park entry fee
– Car parking charges

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