As the winter season approaches many people will be looking for a quick getaway before Christmas. But there is no reason that a weekend break has to be a seasonal thing.
Here we run down some of the best short break destinations as well as a few less well-known options.
With its famous Roman Baths and a town steeped in history, Bath makes the perfect location for a highly cultured weekend break. The city is home to five theatres, each attracting some of the best shows and talent in the country. The River Avon runs through the city adding to the already idyllic Somerset setting and the numerous bakeries and independently owned shops in the city-centre make Bath a great option for a cultured break.
Well known for its music festival, the town of Glastonbury is perhaps less well-known for its historical attractions. A centre for myth and legend (it is said that Joseph of Arimathea travelled to Glastonbury and planted his staff in the earth which eventually became the Glastonbury Thorn tree) the town is notable for its New Age spiritualism and historical sites. Some of these worth visiting include the Glastonbury Tor, a large hill overlooking the town which is said to be one of the possible sites where the Holy Grail could be buried, and the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey. The Abbey, surrounded by acres of natural landscape and dating back to the 7th century, is representative of a less well known but more relaxed and cultural side of Glastonbury. If you want a brief excursion to escape the busy city life or just like the idea of delving into some myth and legend for a weekend then give Glastonbury a try.
3. Lake District
From the quaint village of Ambleside to the relatively bustling town of Kendal, the Lake District, with its various peaks and fells, makes for a fantastic weekend getaway for the more intrepid travellers. The largest mountain in England, Scafell Pike (shown above), stands in the Eskdale Parish in the west of Cumbria and provides a challenge for anyone bold enough to take it on. The Lake District is worth visiting even if mountain climbing isn’t your thing. The villages and towns throughout the region are full of character and the numerous cottages for rent make for a great weekend getaway with either friends or a partner.
Offering a wide range of activities, mostly for younger holiday makers, Brighton is a musical and cultural centre on the south coast. The city is home to numerous venues which host live music throughout the year meaning there is always a gig to catch whilst in the city. Churchill Square, the shopping centre in the heart of the town, offers an array of high street shops while the North Laine section of town is home to numerous independently owned shops and cafes.
5. New Forest
One of the few remaining wild areas in the country that has not been adulterated and where wild ponies still live, The New Forest is worth visiting for its enchanting scenery. The area caters for campers as well as those looking to stay in more robust accommodation. There are several campsites including Hollands Wood which is set in 22 hectares of woodland as well as cabins and cottages to rent. The New Forest is also home to a wide range of horse riding stables where anyone, from beginners to experts, can enjoy a day out in the forest on horse-back.
6. The Cotswolds
The well maintained villages of the Cotswolds provide the perfect locations for a relaxing weekend away from the city. The entire area epitomises English country living and its honey colour limestone villages give the area a distinct look that adds to the charm. This year the area is celebrating what it calls the Great Cotswold Outdoors by promoting new cycling and walking trails. Country pubs, quaint villages, and scenic walking trails mean anyone interested in immersing themselves in quintessentially English culture and surroundings should give the Cotswolds a try.
Newquay is where people usually think of when they think Cornwall and surfing. But Bude, also on the North Coast of the county, is a little-known town offering fantastic surfing opportunities as well as a town full of character. The town has retained a traditional feel and has remained relatively untouched by modern developments. There are several surf schools nearby as well as an outdoor swimming pool built into the existing rocks at Summerleaze beach where the sea tops up the water level at high tide. Anyone thinking of giving Cornwall a try should most certainly consider Bude as an option.