Berlin, Paris, Rome… Europe is home to a number of fantastic weekend break destinations, but some of the best are much closer than you think. Forget wasting half of your break at airports and take advantage of some of the most vibrant cities the UK has to offer. Whether you want to soak up the culture at art galleries and museums, shop until you drop or simply relax and unwind, here’s our pick of the best.
It wouldn’t be a round-up of the UK’s best city breaks without mentioning our vibrant capital. From an exciting culinary food scene to some of the world’s best shops, museums to theatres and West End Musicals, there’s something on offer here for the whole family. If museums and culture are your thing, don’t miss out on The Tower of London, The Natural History Museum and the renowned V&A Museum.
If you’re a little short on time, see the entire city in one go by climbing to the top of The Shard. It’s the tallest building in Europe and offers unparalleled views of the city.
Scotland’s historic capital is a fantastic destination all year round, and there are a number of top attractions located here including Edinburgh Castle, the National Museum of Scotland and Arthur’s Seat. After climbing to the top and enjoying fantastic views of the city, take advantage of some of the many cafes and restaurants at your disposal, or shop until you drop in some of the city’s top boutiques, High Street chains and quirky souvenir shops.
The famous spa town of Bath has a lot to offer tourists, and possibly its most famous attraction is the Thermae Bath Spa which houses the country’s only natural hot spring spa. If you get bored of relaxing and unwinding, take a walk through the city’s pretty streets, enjoy the excellent shopping facilities on offer, or visit the Jane Austen Centre, which celebrates one of the UK’s most beloved literary figures. For more information on luxury accommodation, visit secretescapes.com.
Belfast might be the more popular destination for city breaks in Northern Ireland, but since it was awarded UK City of Culture for 2013, Derry has seen a huge amount of time and money injected into it. It might be an ancient city with a fascinating past, but it’s also very contemporary too, offering attractions for families, culture vultures and those in search of a romantic getaway. Some of the city’s top attractions include the city walls, Tower Museum and Riverwatch Aquarium. County Londonderry is also home to the Giant’s Causeway, the Sperrins and the largest lake in the British Isles, Lough Neagh, should you ever want to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Recently revealed to be the best value city break in the UK, Nottingham is the place to go if you’re looking to get the most from your money. As well as offering fascinating caverns and sandstone caves to explore, the city is also home to some of England’s oldest pubs, and Sherwood Forest, the home to legendary folk hero, Robin Hood.