Going abroad is a little trickier this year, but that doesn’t mean your holiday has to be cancelled. With unspoilt stretches of coast, idyllic towns that belong in the tales of period novels and interesting cities dotted across the UK, a dreamy escape can happen with just a few days away from home. Need some inspiration? Read on to find our favourite spots for a quick UK break.
Weekend Breaks in Scotland
From rolling countryside to bustling inner cities within an hour’s drive, Scotland has something for everyone.
If you’re interested in delicious food, fascinating museums, and local history, head to Edinburgh and sample some of the delights of the city. Edinburgh is not only the home of the famous comedy festival (which is well worth a visit), it’s also a culinary mecca, with some of the top restauranteurs of the country opening up in the capital and serving amazing food.
If you’re really interested in getting to see the more rugged side of Scotland, head to Inverness. Nestled in the midst of the Scottish highlands with mountains to one side and untamed ocean to the other, you can’t get more wild and free than this beautiful city. Explore by train, on foot, by car or by bicycle and you’re sure to get a view that will leave you speechless.
Weekend Breaks in Wales
With its gorgeous green landscapes, Wales definitely makes for a gorgeous weekend break.
With a mix of incredible beaches, historic abbeys and unmissable attractions – you might find yourself longing to stay a while longer after a weekend in South Wales.
Widely considered one of the most beautiful parts of Wales and less than an hour’s drive from Cardiff, you’ll find the stunning landscape of the Brecon Beacons. There are a number of walks varying in difficulty for you to choose from or if you want a bit more variety, book one of the watersports activities on offer, go horse riding, or partake in a guided walk or tour.
Need a beach trip? Then why not explore the secluded cliffs and breathtaking views of the Glamorgan Heritage Coast.
If you’re longing for something a little more adventurous, why not go on a Welsh safari? Take on a private glamping experience, set in an idyllic spot in the middle of a natural conversation area. You never know what wildlife you might see, and you can truly get time to relax, sleeping under the stars.
If you love hiking then you’ll know all about the outdoor adventure capital of North Wales, Snowdonia. There are several routes in Snowdonia National Park which are manageable for all the family if you’re booking a getaway during the school holidays. Once you’ve finished your mountainous climb or cycle (or even train journey!), there is nothing better than finishing the day with well earned cream tea from a local cafe.
Planning a trip in early September and love a getaway full of music and culture? You won’t want to miss Festival No.6 at Portmeirion. This festival is unlike any other with an eclectic mix of artists taking to the stage surrounded by woodlands and surreal venues.
Weekend Breaks in Northern Ireland
We couldn’t talk about the North of the UK without talking about Northern Ireland. Another area with something for everyone, the country has the most interesting and varied heritage (including its very own UNESCO World Heritage Site, Giant’s Causeway), one of the most amazing coastal road trips in the world, and thousands of other hidden treasures to be discovered.
Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash
If you really want to get a true Northern Irish experience, you can’t go wrong with a visit to the nation’s capital. After recently undergoing a revival, it’s now one of the most amazing cities for culture, food, music, markets, drinks and so much more. One particular highlight has to be the amazing Titanic museum!
Londonderry/ Derry is the hidden jewel of Northern Ireland. Setting for the popular television show ‘Derry Girls’, which gives an overview of the ins and outs of being a teenager in 1990s Derry, the city has a history that is incredibly rich and will definitely help you to learn the nuances of Irish culture. Visit the craft village for your souvenirs – items that you’d struggle to find anywhere else.
About an hour’s drive from Derry, you’ll find the most incredible accommodation at Finnlough. This forest hideaway will have you sleeping under the stars in one of their forest domes and spending a day at the spa for a mini retreat. We’re feeling relaxed just thinking about it!
Weekend Breaks in Yorkshire
If you’re a keen hiker and explorer then look no further than the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. The Yorkshire moors have everything you could wish for, from towering peaks, to lush green moorlands and even limestone pavements. Not forgetting the iconic North Yorkshire Moors Railway, which runs through the moors from Pickering to Whitby through the moors themselves (you might recognise Goathland station as it was used as Hogsmeade in the first Harry Potter film!). You could go out every day for a year and discover something new whilst exploring the beauty of Yorkshire. There are also amazing castles and abbeys to visit and admire across this county. If you’re more city than country then check out York, home to vikings, dungeons, a chocolate museum, this centuries-old city is steeped in history – sit back to take it all in with a traditional afternoon tea at Bettys.
Weekend Breaks in The West Country
Longing for sandy beaches and sunshine? Craving a city with historical or cultural significance? Do you live for a cream tea? Then you’ll want to head to the South West.
Starting at the very bottom of the country, Cornwall is a stunning location and a surfers’ paradise. Perfect for romantic weekends away where you can see some of the most amazing and beautiful sights the country has to offer, spot palm trees, and almost Mediterranean-like coast lines where you can spot seals and dolphins swimming if you’re lucky, and enjoy sunsets you can’t see anywhere else in the country. Take in the legend of King Arthur as you stroll around Tintagel Castle, watch a live performance at the Minack Theatre, or take off your shoes and walk barefoot in the sand at Padstow. This beautiful converted stable could be the perfect place for you to stay.
From Exeter down to Torquay, there are so many hidden troves to discover in beautiful Devon. Take in the gothic cathedral in the city of Exeter, or if you prefer walks with a view, Dartmoor National Park is home to some of the best in the South West – look out for the Dartmoor ponies! Take a stroll along a part of the Jurassic coast and you could be in with a chance of discovering a fossil to take home. With two coastlines, and two national parks, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Somerset has a huge variety of beautiful places to visit and explore. Take a look at the abbey town of Glastonbury, famous for the festival which is actually held just outside. The home of Cheddar cheese and the historic Cheddar Gorge, there are mountains of history to be discovered, as well as strange and wonderful shopping to be done.
If you’re after something a little more relaxing, think about visiting Secret Valley, just outside Bridgwater. This glamping site and vineyard have wonderful options for you to stay in, from bell tents to shepherds’ huts and all of them come with a bottle of homegrown wine!
Forest of Dean
With magical woodland, fascinating attractions and a whole host of foodie highlights, the Forest of Dean is brimming with amazing places that are a definite must-visit.
Be immersed in the tropical biome at Wye Valley Butterfly Zoo, kayak down the River Wye from Symonds Yat or explore some of the UK’s oldest underground mines. Another great attraction for kids is Puzzlewood. Walk through the whimsical wood, which has also been the setting in a recent Star Wars film.
If you’re looking for a place to stay that’s off the beaten track, where you can unplug and unwind, we’ve got an amazing recommendation for you. Just a stone’s throw from the border of Wales, located between the Wye Valley and the Forest of Dean, this beautiful cottage is the perfect home away from home.
Or if you’re after some luxury glamping, take a look a Squirrels Nest Treehouse. Just sit back and relax and soak in the beautiful landscape of the Forest of Dean.
Weekend Breaks in East & South East of England
No matter how much time you have for a London trip, it will never be enough. There are so many sites to see and things to do, even on a limited budget. You will never be bored in the English capital!
If it’s your first time visiting, head for the icons. The Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square to name but a few. These will all give you photos and memories to last for years to come. If you’ve been to all those places before, why not head off the beaten track? Take an uber boat to Greenwich, and see where Greenwich meantime was first recorded – admire the views from the top of this lush green landscape then stroll down to the iconic Greenwich Market to take in some delicious street food. Explore nearby Cutty Sark, originally built in 1869! Or take a seat and enjoy the views from the top of the London Eye, snap a selfie with celebs in Madame Tussauds, or enjoy a live show in the iconic West End.
Stay somewhere you never knew you wanted to stay – a lighthouse! The beautiful Coastguard Lookout on the Kent Coast is absolutely stunning and has views out to sea for miles. No matter the weather, you’ll have an amazing display right outside your bedroom window staying in this unusual and exciting Airbnb.
Another stunning spot on the East coast, Brighton is a beautiful combination of trendy, fashionable people and places and ancient history dating back thousands of years. When you first lay eyes on the Brighton pavilion, you’ll be forgiven for thinking you accidentally ended up at the Taj Mahal, but the history is just as interesting. Once you’ve been there, you can head to the Lanes for the best shopping (and cake!) England has to offer. Don’t forget to check out the amazing graffiti as you head round as well.
Our last recommendation is the stunning city of Cambridge. The city is full of character, charm, history and heritage. The architecture will blow you away and the green spaces give ample opportunity for picnics and days in the sun. If picnics aren’t really your scene, then there are more museums, galleries and other sites of learning than you can shake a stick at, including, of course, the famous Cambridge University.
There are so many fascinating, beautiful, places across the United Kingdom. We could never have included them all in one blog post. However, we would absolutely love you to tell us what your top destinations in the UK are. Head over to Instagram and share your favourite places with us and maybe you could inspire our next staycation wishlist!