It’s a worryingly familiar trap that we all fall into at one point or another; the big summer vacation trap. With the stresses of work and family, we convince ourselves that we only deserve one big holiday a year and that big holiday usually ends up being so stressful to organise, that by the time you’re ready to go, you’re too stressed about it to actually relax and enjoy the experience. That’s why we suggest supplementing your big summer holidays with little weekend breaks every now and again to take yourself out of the everyday routine and really allow yourself and your family or partner a chance to de-stress, reconnect and chill out.
But what are the best places to visit for just a weekend? Straying too far might not seem worth it, as by the time you’ve reached your destination it might feel like it’s almost time to return. As such, here we’ve tried to stick to locations that are close enough so that no matter where you are in the UK, in a few of hours (by plane), you could be there, soaking up the luxury and letting your hair down.
The capital city of the Czech Republic and a city as famous for hosting stag parties as it is for its history, Prague is a wonderful city to visit whether you’re a couple looking for a romantic getaway, a party of mates looking to let off some steam, or a family looking to take in the sights. Sights include the famous astronomical clock, the giant and beautiful Charles Bridge and the vast Wenceslas Square, where you’ll find all manner of nightlife waiting and some of the best bars and restaurants in the world! Prague is an incredibly affordable city, with food and drink prices so low you’ll probably think you’re being taken for a ride at first. Flights are also quite common and cheap from London.
Like Prague, Holland’s capital city is notorious as a party city, but that doesn’t mean you should steer clear of it if you’re the kind of vacationer who prefers to be in bed by midnight. The museum district includes the world famous Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the surprisingly educational Heineken Experience and the tram system is an incredibly convenient and elegant way to get around the relatively compact city centre. It’s also wonderful for cyclists, as you’ll find more bikes on the roads than cars! If you are looking for a lad’s weekend, there is also of course the infamous Red Light District, which is nowhere near as intimidating as you’d expect.
We’re not joking. Whilst Cheshire is not the first UK location many might consider when planning a weekend away, it’s perfectly placed for exploration. Just south of Liverpool and a stone’s throw from Wales, it’s also within short driving distance of the Lake District. That’s not to say there isn’t a lot to see and do in the county itself either, as the major city of Chester is famous for its Roman architecture and world-leading zoo. Hotels in Chester and Cheshire are also incredibly affordable and quite beautiful, with many hotels offering world class spa and golf experiences. The accommodation in Cheshire is not the only reason you should pay it a visit of course, but you’ll certainly get more bang for your buck than you will in London!
The classic weekend break city. Whether you’re a couple longing for romance or a family looking for a weekend of excitement at Disneyland, Paris has you covered. It’s an incredibly vast city and is quite expensive, so be sure to bring a fair amount of spending money. It’s more than worth it though, especially if you enjoy beautiful architecture. Indeed, Paris is so beautiful, it’s one of the only cities Hitler expressly forbid the Nazis to bomb during the Second World War! As well as boasting world famous attractions such as the Louvre art gallery and museum, and the Notre Dame cathedral, Paris is also home to some of the world’s top restaurants and of course, Disneyland Paris; Europe’s top tourist attraction. The Eiffel Tower is also pretty spectacular, both up close and from the top (though we wouldn’t recommend the ascent if you’re afraid of heights!).
The jewel in Scotland’s crown, Edinburgh is a marvellous city to visit whether the Fringe Festival is on or not. The city’s history is written in every nook and cranny of the cobbled streets and the pubs are out of this world. Indeed, if you’re into the odd tipple, Edinburgh might be the best place in the world for a pub crawl! Besides the castle and the famous royal mile, Edinburgh is also famous for its annual Fringe Festival, which sees the comedy world descend on the city for the entirety of August. The city is incredibly busy during that month though, so be sure to book in advance.