Respite aims to alleviate the stress and burden of caring for someone with an intellectual disability and/or autism. Respite can take place in a number of different ways, but most commonly occurs in a residential setting. Based on survey and interview data with carers (CAs), service users and stakeholders (STs) in a northern city in England, this article explores some of the perceived or actual barriers to availing ‘non-residential’ respite. A number of barriers to non-residential respite are identified. Residential respite appears to be the default conceptualisation of ‘respite’ for carers, service users and stakeholders. Persuading carers, service users and stakeholders to give up the familiarity and safety of residential respite in favour of a non-residential alternative will be challenging unless those involved are more informed. Limitations and directions for future research are suggested.