Whether you’re celebrating a romantic anniversary or just in need of a refreshing, relaxing weekend away, there are some great destinations within the UK that are perfect for every occasion, even if you are working with a limited budget!
Here are just a few of the best weekend break destinations in the UK:
One of the most popular destinations in the UK (and possibly one best suited to the time frame of the weekend break) is the capital city itself. London is bursting with great hotels, restaurants and some of the most iconic sight-seeing opportunities in Britain.
For many, a weekend break in London is synonymous with the big attractions that the city is famous for, such as the London Eye, the London Aquarium, Big Ben and Madame Tussauds. While these are certainly worth a visit, London is filled with a vibrant frenzy of less well-known attractions that are no less exciting, from the exotic, ethnic communities around Hyde Park to the rich culture of plays, performances and art installations on the South Bank.
London is also great for museums and galleries, such as the Tate Modern Gallery, the Science Museum and the National Museum. Many of these are free to enter (although it is usual to make a donation) and well worth a visit, even if only for a short while.
Although London is one of the most expensive holiday destinations in Britain, there are numerous deals and offers available to help cut down costs, such as the ‘London Pass’, that can include unlimited travel around the capital within a set time frame, entry to over 50 top London attractions and also gives visitors discounts in a variety of shops, restaurants and stores. There are also some cheap hotels in London which mean you won’t have to spend a fortune on accommodation.
Another great option for a weekend break in the UK is to visit one of the famous university cities, such as Oxford or Cambridge, which boast some of the most incredible architecture in Britain. These cities are in some ways more suited to the time frame of the weekend break, as there are fewer attractions than some of the bigger cities but certainly no limit of rich atmosphere and culture.
Both Oxford and Cambridge operate a ‘Park and Ride’ scheme whereby visitors can leave their cars in a secure car park in the outskirts of the city and travel in by bus, although if this is not possible, Oxford is slightly easier to drive to directly.
In either city, a visit to one or two of the university colleges is a must; for literary minds, the Oxford Literary Festival in April is a fantastic opportunity to witness some of the greatest contemporary writers, poets and historians in the world.
Alternatively, another destination perfect for a weekend away is the vibrant, thriving city of Liverpool. Best known as the home of the Beatles, Liverpool is home to a fantastic music scene, perfectly contrasting a variety of Beatles’ monuments, historical sites and tribute nights with a new, fresh music scene.
Liverpool may be cheaper than London, but it is certainly no less diverse! As well as the clear contrasts of its music scene, Liverpool also offers a range of architecture, from the majesty of its cathedrals to the cutting-edge, modern style of its art galleries, theatres and hotels.
In terms of accommodation, food and transport, Liverpool has plenty of options for those with a limited budget. If you do choose to splash out during your stay, a great restaurant option is the Panoramic which is located on the 34th floor of the West Tower and offers incredible 360 degree views across the city.
Of course, while these options are all located in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales are all also great options for a weekend break. If Scotland is more accessible to you, there’s really no excuse not to spend at least a couple of days in Edinburgh. Brimming with cultural delights and fascinating historical sites, the city perfectly combines the old and new.
For a weekend away, it is advisable to leave the car at home and traverse the city by public transport; the city is relatively compact and it is easy to fit a lot of action into a few days. The biggest event in Edinburgh’s calendar is undeniably the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which takes place for three weeks every August.
For those interested in the arts and comedy, it is definitely worth aiming to see at least a couple of shows, otherwise, it is advisable to plan your visit to avoid the time frame of the festival as the city becomes understandably crowded at this time.
For something completely different, Wales’ high proportion of National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Beauty makes it ideally suited to a weekend away in the great outdoors. The three main National Parks are the Brecon Beacons, the Pembrokeshire Coast and Snowdonia, all of which are great for hiking, biking or walking.
Whether it’s a quiet, romantic weekend break you’re after or a refreshing family break, it’s possible to head away for a couple of days without breaking the bank.