It’s often easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you have to head overseas for a special weekend away when, in reality, there are so many incredible places scattered across the UK for you to enjoy. From city break ideas to peaceful weekends surrounded by the British countryside, you can have a fantastic weekend away on home turf, without travelling a million miles.
We have included a round-up of some of our favourite places to hopefully help you with your long weekend travel plans over the next few months. We’ve explored cities and towns all across England, Wales and Scotland to give you six options which include a little something for everyone. Whether you want gastronomic delights, rolling hills, rich history or a coastal retreat, we hope you’ll find some inspiration for the perfect destination to head to for Easter weekend 2016.
Nestled amongst the beautiful countryside of South West England, Bath is considered so special that it is the only city in the UK to be designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you can relax and explore Bath’s spas, which are Britain’s only natural thermal spas. After a sufficient dose of indulgence, you can wander Bath’s streets and potter around its numerous quirky shops and cafes. If horses are your thing, don’t forget to see what’s on at Bath Racecourse, which overlooks the picturesque Roman city. There are also a number of great galleries and museums, should the weather not be on your side.
2) St Ives
St Ives really is a gem in Cornwall. It’s the perfect place to explore in spring before the summer crowds descend upon its narrow streets. Full of independent shops selling unique Cornish crafts, St Ives is the perfect place to while away an afternoon. You can take a wander along the seafront and treat yourself to a delicious seafood lunch or traditional fish and chips. If you are feeling a little more energetic, the coast path heading south out of the town is well paved and makes for a lovely stroll accompanied by beautiful sea views. Just a short drive away are the expansive beaches of Hayle and Gwithian where, if you’re lucky, you might spot some basking seals in the coves below the cliffs. If the sun is on your side, you can treat yourself to a seaside ice cream whilst you look out at the waves, perhaps even topped with a dollop of famous Cornish clotted cream!
Despite being a rather sizeable city, Edinburgh still manages to exude charm. This is a place where history lingers. Take a trip to the famous castle set in the heart of Scotland’s dynamic capital city and explore everything from the crown jewels to Mons Meg, one of the greatest guns in Medieval Europe. From the busy Royal Mile, you can escape to the vast beauty of Holyrood park, home to Arthur’s Seat. When you’ve had your fill of history and green spaces, Edinburgh has a huge variety of cafes, restaurants, coffee shops and bars to relax in, just as you’d expect of a capital city. A weekend in Edinburgh will give you the perfect city break whilst still glimpse Scotland’s natural beauty.
Despite being just 20 miles from Central London, the historic town of Windsor feels a world away from the bustling capital. Perhaps best known for being the site of Windsor Castle and one of the official residences of the Royal Family, Windsor is the place to head for a quintessentially British weekend away. Home to a whole host of stylish shops, the famous Windsor Royal Shopping Centre is situated on the site of a 1850s railway station and you can even see Queen Victoria’s royal waiting room, really adding to the royal feel of your weekend in Windsor. When you’ve finished exploring the city centre, there are plenty of very good cafes and restaurants to choose from for a long lunch or relaxed evening meal. Eton is only a short drive away and houses some of the UK’s best antique shops plus a number of thriving family businesses, such as jewellers and bookshops. For those who are looking to spend time away with their grandchildren, don’t forget that Windsor is also home to Legoland!
Perhaps best known for the outstanding architecture that dominates the city, Cambridge is a feast for the eyes and makes for a fantastic Easter break with an educational twist. The magnificent Cambridge Central Library is a must-visit for any book lovers whilst the University Botanic Garden is a lovely afternoon activity for the green-fingered amongst you. Take a look at the intriguing Corpus Clock, which only chimes accurately every five minutes, or follow in the footsteps of Oliver Cromwell, who famously studied at Sidney Sussex College. There are an array of independent eateries to be found in Cambridge, all of which are frequented by loyal customers and well worth exploring. The pleasantly flat streets make Cambridge a pleasure to wander around for the weekend if you don’t quite feel like hopping on a bicycle as is customary.
6) St David’s
St David’s might be Britain’s smallest city with a population of just 1,600, but that doesn’t mean it should be overlooked when planning your next weekend away. Situated in stunning Pembrokeshire in Wales, it is the perfect blend of town and country and offers a fantastic base if you’re considering exploring the Wales Coast Path. Queen Elizabeth II granted St David’s city status due to the presence of its cathedral which still attracts thousands of visitors each year, and for very good reason. Opposite the cathedral stands the magnificent ruins of the medieval Bishops Palace. You can take boat trips from St David’s to the wild offshore islands of Ramsey, Grassholm, Skomer and Skokholm before heading back to the mainland to sample some delicious local Welsh produce in any one of St David’s cafes or restaurants. St David’s really is perfect proof that good things come in small packages!
Now that you’ve read through our recommended UK hot-spots to visit, which option are you leaning towards for your Easter long weekend getaway? Let us know which your top pick is or even share some snaps with us on our Facebook, Google + or Twitter.