UK-wide Escape the Everyday campaign launches to boost domestic breaks through autumn and winter

16 September 2020

VisitEngland in partnership with the tourism organisations of London, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales has launched a UK-wide campaign to encourage people to take a domestic break during autumn and winter.

The £5 million ‘Escape the Everyday’ campaign highlights the quality destinations, visitor attractions and experiences on offer across the UK’s cities, countryside and coast to boost tourism across the shoulder season and beyond. The campaign kicks off today with a short video and branded content across social media, digital display and ‘on demand’ television advertising. The content also drives online ‘traffic’ to with ideas and links to information on autumn and winter activities and experiences across the nations and regions. 

The campaign is also calling for tourism businesses, visitor attractions and destinations across the UK to get involved. 

VisitBritain’s latest domestic consumer sentiment research shows that only 19% of Brits surveyed anticipate taking an overnight domestic trip in the UK during September and October, and 21% between November and March. 

Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston said:

"Summer may be coming to an end but the UK-wide Escape the Everyday campaign will help get great British breaks booked through the autumn and beyond. 

"There is so much to enjoy right across the UK and the changing of the seasons is the perfect time for a change of scene. We have been helping the industry get back up and running safely throughout the summer but it is important that we continue to support the sector and do our bit where we can to boost local economies by experiencing the best of the UK."

VisitEngland Director of Marketing Clare Mullin said: 

“Tourism needs all of us to make sure it gets back on its feet to once again be one of the most successful sectors of the UK economy. Businesses lost months of trading this year. Extending the season through the lean shoulder months and building confidence in taking a domestic trip is critical for the millions of jobs and local economies that rely on tourism right across the country. 

“We have an outstanding year-round tourism offer, from cosy coastal retreats to waterway adventures, from our vibrant food scene to our world-renowned cultural and heritage attractions. Working with destinations and tourism businesses we can inspire people to explore and rediscover what’s here on our doorstep, following official guidance, and also help build the habit of a lifetime, boosting the economy now and driving growth from tourism in the future.

“Businesses and visitor attractions right across the country have also been working flat-out to welcome visitors back safely, adapting and innovating to meet new ways of working and still providing a great experience. They will be very pleased to see you.” 

VisitEngland in collaboration with London & Partners, Tourism Northern Ireland, VisitScotland and Visit Wales has also created a free Escape the Everyday campaign toolkit with marketing materials that destinations and tourism businesses across the UK can download, adapt and use to promote their local offer to boost tourism across the shoulder season and beyond on the themes of ‘discovery’, ‘freedom to explore’ and ‘treat yourself.’ The toolkit includes information about the campaign with details of partnership opportunities. 

The ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard and consumer mark launched by VisitEngland in partnership with Tourism Northern Ireland, VisitScotland and Visit Wales, is also supporting visitors to book a break with confidence, reassuring travellers that tourism businesses are following official guidelines in their respective nations to welcome them back safely. More than 36,000 businesses across the UK have signed up to ‘We’re Good To Go’ since its launch, giving customers, staff and local residents confidence and reassurance that the correct procedures are in place.

As part of the Escape the Everyday campaign the tourism organisations are also partnering on an upcoming ‘national weekend swap.’ Social media ‘influencers’ from across the UK are set to ‘swap’ their own respective nation or region for another across two weekends in September, 18 to 20 and 25 to 27, to responsibly explore and promote the local destinations, activities and experiences on offer in line with government guidance. The content generated during the trips will be shared across the influencers’ social media channels as well as by the tourism organisations to tempt younger audiences to take a short-break in the UK. 

VisitBritain has forecast a 49% decline in domestic tourism spending in Britain this year equalling a £44.9 billion loss to the economy. Inbound tourism spending is forecast to drop 79% equalling a £24.0 billion loss.

The Escape the Everyday campaign, part of the UK Government’s GREAT Britain and Northern Ireland campaign, is expected to generate more than 200,000 additional domestic overnight holiday trips in the UK. 

Notes to editors: 

• Locations featured in the short video are: 
London skyline; Bath Spa, England; Seven Sisters, Sussex; Pembrokeshire Coast, Wales; Cambridge, England; V&A Museum, London; Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, England; God's Own Junkyard, London; Bowie Street Art, London; Sheans Horse Farm, Ballymoney, Northern Ireland; Zipline, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland; Loch Ness, Scotland. 
• More information on how tourism businesses can get involved in the Escape the Everyday campaign is available from VisitBritain’s website here: 
• For more information on the English experiences in the short film see here. 

Escape the Everyday in England - ideas of things to do in autumn:

Discover something new:

English Arboretum trail – from The National Memorial Arboretum to Batsford and Westonbirt, a walk in an English woodland is a must this autumn. Forestry England sites across the country offer a wealth of seasonal trails and events.

Stay at Blenheim Palace campsite– make your visit to Blenheim an overnight stay, camping in the Palace grounds with Caravan Club’s pop up site. Witness sunset over Blenheim as you settle in for the night and awaken as the sun rises on a new day over the magnificent grounds and gardens.

Clambering Caves in Somerset - set in some of the most famous and spectacular caves in the UK, test your adrenaline levels with Wild Wookey caving, VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2020 winner. The experience includes abseiling, traversing over deep water, Via Ferrata climbs, awesome views, a boat river crossing, zip line exit and the chance to see rare geological and archaeological treasures.

Night walks and star gazing, Exmoor National Park – delve into the world of astronomy on a guided walk through Exmoor, an International Dark Sky Reserve and home to some of the darkest skies in the country, with a local astronomer. Witness the sights as you walk under the blanket of stars, with interesting insights and a tasty supper in nearby pub to finish up the evening.

Foraging with Hills Discovery Centre, Shropshire - orchards, apple pressing and jelly making demonstrations and lots of fun activities for all the family. Enjoy homemade cider or apple juice and deliciously prepared apple delights in the café.

Get out and enjoy the freedom to explore:

Pumpkin Grotto at Groombridge Place, Tunbridge Wells – the secret garden with its gentle stream and wooden bridge will be transformed into a magical pumpkin grotto. See if you can spot all the hidden pumpkins and if you come in fancy dress there may be something special waiting for every ghoul, ghost, phantom and skeleton! Afterwards discover Crusoe’s World with its wooden rope bridge, giant wooden ship, rope swings and zip wire or walk along the canal, through the forest and you might catch a glimpse of the resident herd of fallow deer. 
October - 1 November.

Kayaking on the Tyne, Newcastle Gateshead - explore the sights of Newcastle and Gateshead from a whole new perspective with CBK’s Adventure Co.’s kayak tour of the River Tyne. Taking in unrivalled views of the famous seven bridges of the Tyne and Quayside.

Chiltern Trike Tours, Buckinghamshire - take to the open road with a difference on a chauffeured Boom trike experience. Take in the beauty of Chiltern’s ancient woodland, picturesque villages and discover stories, myths and legends of the area or perhaps make a day of it stopping off for local gin or beer or a scrumptious afternoon tea. 

Scent and Sights of Jane Austen’s Life, East Hampshire – step back in time to Jane’s 1816 home and experience aspects of her daily life, including her early morning piano practice. A new multi-sensory experience using scent and sound to bring the house to life, visitors will also see new objects of Jane’s on display.

Discover Dartmoor on horseback – witness autumn colours at their best on horseback through the wilds of open moorland and ancient woodland of Dartmoor, with local guides telling tales of the history, terrain and nature of this beautiful place. Finishing up with a wholesome lunch and a glass or two of wine to complete a truly special experience.

Treat Yourself:

Shepherd’s Hut for two on Grasmere riverbank, Lake District - Victorian House Hotel has opened a new retreat in its expansive garden, offering guests the ideal location to escape from it all in lush gardens, overlooking tranquil waters. The Hut has its own private outdoor seating area, with indoors offering toasty underfloor heating, vintage furniture and original art.

Wine and Vine Tours, Wiston Estate, South Downs - join the Goring family of Wiston Estate for a tour of the vines just before harvest season, find out about the history of the family and the estate and finish up with a sample or two of England’s finest sparkling wines.
October dates: 3, 24, 30 October

For more information please contact Charlotte Sanders at VisitEngland: 

/ 020 7578 1428 or 07500 555 651