The Isle of Mull has been named the closest staycation replacement for Portugal holidays after it was placed on the UK travel amber list, a new study has revealed.

The island of Madeira was set to be a popular tourist hotspot this summer as one of the few places available to travel without a period of isolation, but that changed on Thursday in line with Covid restrictions. This has left some holidaymakers frustrated at the last-minute change of plans.

But for those people still hoping to get away this summer, the Isle of Mull has been named by Dorset Coastal Cottages’ Duplicate Destinations study as the closest UK equivalent to the Portguese island.

The study compiled a list of the top 10 most popular European destinations – based on UK search volume – and found alternative staycations for each, based on climate data, cost to visit and entertainment provisions.

With millions of Brits unable to travel abroad due to current restrictions, staycations are yet again set to prove popular this year, with more people looking to escape to the sun.

In fact, recent studies have shown that 83% of Brits would now prefer a UK staycation than choose to travel abroad this year, due to cost concerns, self-isolation requirements and quarantine measures leading to uncertainty among holidaymakers.

However with Portugal one of the few countries which still allowed travel without restrictions, it looked set to be the place of choice this summer with Madeira – a place that averages more sun hours than the top 10 European holiday destinations – the main attraction.

With people still determined to make the most of their summers, the Isle of Mull has been revealed as the place with the nearest average climate score based on sun hours, average temperature and average rainfall per year.

Similarly a trip to Tenerife could be replaced by a holiday on the south coast in Dorset, while the Isle of Barra is revealed as the ideal substitution for the picturesque location of Santorini.

Edinburgh, Dover, Cornwall and Richmond are some of the other UK locations that should prove popular among staycationing Brits this year according to the Duplicate Destinations study.

For Brits unable to make their annual summer trip to Prague, they could instead travel to Edinburgh after it was revealed to be the UK location with the closest average climate score to the Czech capital – not to mention the tourist attractions.

With 1,605 hours of sun on average per year, annual temperatures of 9.46C and 624.14 inches of rainfall, Dorset has a similar average across the three to Tenerife – where there are 2438 hours of sun, temperatures of 21.5C and average rainfall of 895 inches.

Shannon Keary, Digital PR Manager at Dorset Coastal Cottages, commented on the study, which aims to reassure Brits that there are holiday-worthy destinations for those who need to stay in the UK – even if the climate isn’t quite the same.

“It’s no surprise that holidaymakers’ first concern when deciding where to visit abroad is the sun – especially after the last year,” she said.

“However, there are many beautiful and enriching cities in the UK that are worth visiting that can provide a similar holiday experience – especially for those who are looking for exciting local culture, recognisable tourist attractions and a change from the same four walls we see at home.

“Despite the European destinations typically getting to enjoy more frequent sunshine hours than we do here in the UK, there are still so many amazing destinations right here on our doorstep that are really worth exploring, with many other comparable features to typical holiday hotspots!”

Nottingham and Stoke-on-Trent are the surprise choices for a replacement trip to the most romantic city on the continent in Paris, while the Scottish Isles of North Uist and Barra are suitable replacements if you can’t travel to Barcelona or Santorini respectively.


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