Make the most of Summer ǀ A guide to weekend breaks

With summer upon us, our weekends become even more precious to us. There are endless amounts of festivals, BBQs and events to go to, but why not take a weekend out to get away from it all and make the most of the sunshine?

Short breaks or a long weekend are great for a number of reasons. You can fit more of them in for a start, meaning you can see and explore more new places. They also provide the perfect solution for those who just can’t afford (either financially, emotionally or physically) to go away for two weeks at a time. And as you are only away for a few days, there is less chance of having to save a fortune in spending money.

Weekend breaks don’t have to be restricted to the UK, although Britain does have some great places on offer. We’ve picked out our favourite weekend destinations to suit all walks of life and budgets!

London

London has much more to offer than just the usual touristy things – so don’t be put off if you’ve been there and done that a thousand times.

The city offers a mixture of buzzing activity against an impressive array of modern skyscrapers and old architecture. For those wanting a touch of nature, London’s Royal Parks are the perfect place to have a summer day’s picnic and a spot of sunbathing.

If shopping is more of your idea of relaxing, then London offers designer boutiques, to Oxford Street’s high street stores, to the cheap, cheerful and vintage Camden market.

Why not spend the evening relaxing on a boat cruise down the River Thames, or dine out in the many eateries and bars of Convent Garden?

London River Thames weekend breaks

Bath

Bath is perfect for those looking to get away from it all, but not wanting worry about passports, check-ins and flight delays.

Bath is wonderfully small, but it does not compromise on attractions. A must is a visit to the Roman Baths or the Thermae Bath Spa – relax in the natural hot springs. Throughout July and August, the Baths are open late (until 10pm), so you can spend a candle-lit evening wandering through the ancient architecture.

The city can be easily enjoyed on foot, taking in the sights of The Circus, The Assembly Rooms, or the Prior Park Landscape Gardens as you go. The city also has an array of restaurants and bars, with cuisines to suit all tastes. Cafes and tearooms offer lunchtime solutions.

Edinburgh

If you want a bustling city break crossed with scenic surroundings, then Edinburgh may be more up your street. Edinburgh is overlooked by the castle that once protected the city, but now stands as a great attraction for visitors.

Edinburgh offers something for everyone, from its picturesque landscapes of Princes Street Gardens, to the retail therapy of the Royal Mile. For the sporty amongst us, there is plenty on offer from diving, golfing and even Urban Paintball.

Edinburgh is known for its festivals, and has already kicked off its summer line-up with the International Film Festival. Why not coincide your visit with the city’s most famous festival – Edinburgh Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world, running from 7th to 31st August.

Seeking a quieter retreat? Why not visit Leith, just a 10 minute car journey outside of Edinburgh? Leith serves as the port for the city, and offers the tranquil surroundings of the Firth of Forth, together with chic boutiques and fine dining experiences.

Barcelona

For those wanting to escape the UK but not wanting to compromise on style – Barcelona is the perfect option. Offering the weather and beach, alongside a city break, Barcelona is truly flexible. Flights from the UK take as little as 90 minutes, meaning you could be on the Spanish coast this afternoon.

The city offers stylish hotels and eateries, against a backdrop of unique architecture and cultures. Famous attractions worth visiting include La Sagrada Familia and Casa Batlló finished with a stroll down Las Ramblas.

Budapest

Budapest is quickly becoming the go-to European city, with many people falling for its rustic charm. Hungary’s capital sits on the River Danube, and until 1872 it was seperated into two cities, Buda and Pest. It is a city rich in history and the combination of old and new only adds to its appeal.

Budapest is known as the city of spas, as it sits on 118 springs and boreholes. So it only makes sense to incorporate a day of relaxation into your itinerary! Visit the Széchenyi Thermal Bath, the first thermal bath in Pest which boast 18 pools and you can even play a game of water chess!

The city is also great for your purse strings, with an array of low-cost hostels and restaurants on offer. Try Hotel Medosz, located right in the heart, offering chic and modern rooms on a budget.

There are also lots of activities that you can do for free, such as walking across the Chain Bridge, tour the Parliment Building or watch the fireworks from the riverbank in celebration of St Stephen’s Day (20th August).

About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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