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Top 10 UK Weekend Breaks
After a hard week of work, we all deserve some rest, relaxation and a little pampering. Yet, most of the time, we'll spend our weekend running errands or sleeping. Before we know it, it's Sunday night. Don't you think you deserve a proper break? Sometimes, a three-week holiday is more than you need. A fun weekend break can leave you re-energised for the week ahead.
We've put together a mix of the best seaside resorts, historic towns and fun cities in the UK.
Llandudno, the largest seaside town in North Wales, was once quietly inhabited by mining villages along the Great Orme Peninsula. Today, it's the Queen of the Welsh Resorts.
The Great Peninsula's two limestone headlands divide Llandudno into the north and west shores, with the River Conwy and the Irish Sea creating a picturesque backdrop to this charismatic seaside town. The North Wales footpath runs along the summit of the Great Orme Peninsula, through a nature reserve full of flora and farmlands.
Famous for having the longest pier in Wales, and the only drawn cable car ride in the UK, Llandudno has plenty of charm. Not to mention, Snowdonia National Park rises over the town and boasts castles, cathedrals, botanical gardens and even a toboggan run.
There are a number of hotels and hostels in Llandudno, especially along the promenade and in the town center, with The Llandudno Hostel offering budget deals all year.
A town formerly known for its fishing and agriculture, Torquay has taken on a distinctive Mediterranean charm over the years. Colourful fishing boats still decorate the busy port, with sailing yachts adding to its appeal.
The nine blue-flagged beaches and the impressive array of watersport activities may just be the deciding factor for anyone contemplating a weekend visit to Torquay. On the other hand, it could be the striking 19th-century architecture and the quieter towns of Brixham and Paignton that interest you. Either way, Torquay is always a popular seaside town and certainly won't disappoint.
If you want to splurge out and pamper yourself, then look no further than the promenade, which is lined with luxurious hotels ready to cater to all your fine-dining and spa-day desires. If the seaside-town bustle isn't what you're looking for, then you can escape to The Orestone Country House and Manor. Located just off the coastal road between Teignmouth and Torquay in South Devon, the award-winning boutique restaurant overlooks Lyme Bay, a perfect view for relaxing in the landscaped garden. For budget accommodation, visit Torquay Backpackers. With its Victorian terraced building, this hostel mirrors the overall image of the popular beach town- welcoming and homely with a dash of classic English culture.
3. Isle of Man
Nestled in the northern Irish Sea, this island may be better known for its lingering coastline, colourful landscapes and dazzling beaches, but it also has a lot of history, as it's been inhabited for more than 6,500 years. As one of the six Celtic nations, the people of the Isle of Man can proudly say that thousands of years of language, arts, culture and literature has survived on their land.
The Isle of Man is also a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Wander through moorlands and meadows, while looking out for sparrow-hawks, buzzards, red-legged partridges and many other species. If you prefer being out at sea, then look out for grey seals, basking sharks, and maybe even dolphins. Naturetrek offers tailor-made holidays for people wanting to explore nature or marine life.
If you're after luxury, convenience and tranquility, The Sefton hotel is a great choice for accommodation. For a more budget-friendly option, the Edelweiss bed and breakfast is nestled away from the hustle and bustle of the town and is located along the Queens Promenade in Douglas.
If regular performances from some of the UK's top artists and an attraction named "Pleasure Beach" isn't enough to lure you over to Blackpool, then maybe lighting shows and an impressive new seafront will do the trick. Whatever your cup of tea, a weekend in Blackpool will be packed with activities.
The best part is The Blackpool Tower, which has been a tourist attraction since it was first built in 14 May 1894. With five main attractions, including a circus, the dungeons and a skywalk, the whole family can enjoy this playground.
Even away from the Tower, Blackpool is like a cabaret of fortune tellers, magicians, theatrical performers and entertainers, luring you to visit for a weekend. For a last-minute weekend deal, stay at Adelaide House. The prime position in the town centre, opposite the Winter Gardens and Houndshill Shopping Centre, and only minutes from Blackpool Tower, make it an ideal choice. The Fylde Backpackers is another place ideally located in the city centre. They specialise in group bookings and run deals throughout the summer.
In 2008 Bristol became the UK's first "cycle city". With wide, open spaces and over 450 parks, it's dedicated to environmental sustainability and a greener UK. In recognition of this, it has since been nominated Europe's Greenest City for 2015.
Here you can uncover the world of street art, in the home of Banksy. To see it all for yourself, go on a walking tour - Where The Wall will be more than happy to take you. Another attraction you should make time for is the SS Great Britain, a former passenger ship that transported people from Bristol to New York. After being stranded due to a navigational error and then used as a warehouse in The Falklands, she was returned to Bristol and transformed into a museum.
The nightlife in Bristol is bound to leave good memories. The Rock and Bowl Hostel in central Nelson Street caters for party-goers coming to Bristol, either for festivals or organised group bookings. The hostel has been decorated by artists who have stayed with them - all part of the down-to-earth ambience. They pride themselves on delivering a party atmosphere, offering packages that include a bed in a dorm room, breakfast, ten-pin bowling, karaoke and pizza.
For more information about this popular city, check out our 24 Hour Guide to Bristol.
6. Edinburgh - Scotland
Scotland's capital is home to playwrights, novelists, artists and creative enthusiasts who have delivered some of the most influential artworks in modern times. JK Rowling, inspired by Edinburgh's Gothic architecture, spent months developing the ideas for her Harry Potter series in the Elephant House, one of the many city's many cafes.
In August, Edinburgh hosts the Fringe Festival, the largest arts event in the world. For 25 days, dancers, performers, exhibitions and eccentrics transform the city into an art haven. Along the Royal Mile, in the old town, is where the street action takes place, with busy restaurants and bars serving up a feast. The Inn On The Mile is an ideal location for your weekend escape. This urban, chic hotel serves tasty Sunday roasts and is located right in the city centre. If it's more of a budget weekend away you're after, you can stay at The Hostel, a modern hostel with comfortable dorm beds at affordable prices. It's directly opposite Haymarket train station and only a 5 to 10-minute walk from Princes Street, one of the main shopping districts in the city.
7. St Ives - Cornwall
St Ives is famous for its artistic community and sub-tropical lifestyle. The town is nestled around a historic harbour with colourful fishing boats. Along the narrow cobbled streets are the homes of various artists and dozens of galleries, displaying centuries of artistic talent produced in the area. You can surf uncrowded waves during the day and soak up the thriving nightlife at dusk, with an array of pubs and bars playing host to local musical talent. Take a scenic boat ride, visit the Tate Gallery or enjoy the global garden of the Eden Project - the list of activities in St Ives is endless.
Set on the Cornish coastline in St Ives is the Boskerris hotel, providing panoramic sea views from the bedrooms. Built in 1931, it has since been transformed into a cool, modern hotel, giving you that feeling of peace and comfort that you seldom find in city hotels. For a more budget-friendly option, St Ives International Backpackers offers dorms and private rooms at affordable rates.
Liverpool has all the perks for a memorable weekend away - from the opportunity to revel in pop-culture history to watching world-class soccer.
Liverpool's status as the culture headquarters of north-west England is a result of its diverse art, religion and music from all corners of the world.
It's also known to have one of the best public transport systems in the world, although it's not surprising considering that steamships, municipal trams, railways and helicopters were all innovations pioneered in Liverpool.
Still, a weekend break wouldn't be the same without the comforts of good accommodation. The Hatters hostel is ideal for long or short stays and is situated right in the city center.
Oxford is known for its university, which spans throughout the city. Even outside the walls of the premier educational establishment, you'll find a distinct atmosphere of academic exuberance.
One of the best suburbs to stay in is Jericho, a trendy side of town that represents the Georgian and Victorian atmosphere for which Oxford is so popular. When it comes to nightlife, the entertainment selection is wide enough to suit everyone's tastes. For your weekend lodgings, stay in The Tower House, a 17th-century guesthouse right in the heart of the city.
The pilgrimage walk, which starts in Stratford Upon Avon and makes its way along the river through the countryside of Somerset, is an interesting way to reach Bath for those who like the outdoors. Bath is a historic Roman and Georgian city, boasting beautiful countryside landscapes and crescent architecture.
For a luxurious accommodation option, try Homewood Park Hotel and Spa, a top-end hotel set in 10 acres of mature parklands.
By Josh DownesTop
"On that trip I learnt something very important. Escape through travel works. Almost from the moment I boarded my flight, life in England became meaningless. Seat-belt signs lit up, problems switched off. Broken armrests took precedence over broken hearts. By the time the plane was airborne I’d forgotten England even existed."Alex Garland, The Beach