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Article published 22/11/2019

UK’s first national Staycation Awards

The i Staycation Awards are a nationwide search for the country’s best loved holiday spots, and the winners were announced on 21 November at a glittering awards ceremony in London by The One Show and Countryfile presenter Matt Baker.

Launched by i Newspaper and, the awards have 17 categories, ensuring all types of UK staycation are covered, including city breaks, country escapes, family seaside holidays and dog-friendly getaways.

Dundee won in the UK’s first national Staycation Awards and is now officially the best city in Britain to enjoy a holiday, weekend away or short break without leaving the country. 

We’re thrilled to have won the City Staycation of the Year in the i Staycation Awards. We were up against very stiff competition, with the holiday hotspots of York, Brighton & Hove and Bath also being shortlisted for this award.

In the last few years, Dundee has emerged as one of the most vibrant cities in the country for a staycation. Widely known as Scotland’s coolest – and sunniest – city, Dundee combines the best of contemporary culture, inspiring architecture and a rich historical heritage with fabulous food and drink, good transport links, a great choice of places to stay and a fantastic selection of things to do.

Councillor Mark Flynn, Dundee City Council

We’ve focused on collectively telling the story of our city’s transformation from industrial centre to cultural capital – an approach which appears to be working. Well over one million people visited our city in 2018, with a 19% increase in visitors to Dundee in the first six months of 2019.

Our spectacular waterfront setting is now home to V&A Dundee, Scotland’s first design museum, which has already given our city a £187 million tourism boost, as well as a green public space hosting everything from outdoor music gigs to free exercise classes.

Many exciting new activities have been developed by local businesses and individuals, such as walking tours, wakeboarding in the docks, scenic trips around the area on a vintage bus and dolphin-spotting boat trips on the Tay. These visitor attractions perfectly complement our existing, well-known attractions such as The McManus Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee Rep, Dundee Science Centre, RRS Discover, HMS Unicorn and Verdant Works.

To further enhance Dundee’s reputation as a city staycation destination, a number of new hotels, bars and restaurants have opened, Dundee train station has had a £38 million upgrade and transport links to and from the city have been improved. We're also installing a fleet of electric bikes, so once they get here, visitors can easily explore Dundee and the surrounding area.

Dundee is a dynamic Scottish city which looks to the future, offering a refreshing alternative to the traditional tartan, shortbread and bagpipes image. We believe, as do many of our million-plus visitors that Dundee is the best place in the UK for a city staycation - and its great news for the city that the judges of the i Staycation Awards, agree.

Councillor Flynn, Depute Convener City Development

I would like to offer my congratulations to Dundee for winning City Staycation of the Year, although it comes as no surprise!

The city’s remarkable rise within Scotland’s travel scene continues as its thriving hub for design, innovation and culture is revealed. Visitors know they can thoroughly enjoy a staycation here, with countless great places to eat and drink, shops galore, easy transport access and a plethora of diverse things to see and do.

The growing number of visitors all helps the tourism sector’s contribution to the local economy by creating jobs and sustaining communities. The arrival of the iconic V&A has propelled Dundee into the global spotlight and, together with the McManus Gallery, RRS Discovery and Verdant Works, help shine a light on all this incredible city has to offer. This accolade has cemented Dundee’s reputation as a must-see city and we look forward to this continuing in 2020 and beyond.

Caroline Warburton, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director

Follow all the action from the evening using #StaycationAwards and to find out more about the awards and all the winners visit: