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Top Weekend Breaks in the UK in 2023!
Top Weekend Breaks in the UK in 2023!
Whether you're planning a romantic weekend away staying in a country cottage, or a family break filled with adventure and sightseeing then Holiday Extras has taken the hassle out of staycation travel and created a comprehensive guide of the best weekend breaks in the UK. Whether you're keen to travel with the family, a partner or even your pet, we have selected some of the perfect destinations this amazing country has to offer. The UK has a multitude of splendid sights and attractions just waiting to be explored and enjoyed, whether you're after a luxury spa break or are keen to take the cheaper option of camping outdoors - let us take the hassle out of choosing your next holiday!
Top Weekend Breaks in the UK
Countryside Breaks UK
Pet-Friendly Breaks UK
Luxury Breaks UK
Romantic Breaks UK
Spa Breaks UK
Top Countryside and Cottage Weekend Breaks UK
Cosy up in the Cotswolds or delight in Devon's delicious cream teas
At Holiday Extras we've highlighted some of the best rural areas to choose from, bursting with character cottages and beautiful countryside to explore for that dreamy weekend away. Choose the perfect cottage break in the UK and relax and unwind for 48 blissful hours or an even longer weekend.
What more can be said about the Cotswolds than has already been penned? Famous for its quintessentially English market towns and villages, littered with warm honey-stone buildings and manicured gardens. The Cotswolds has a wealth to offer the weekend breaks explorer, from Award-Winning cottages, hotels and pubs to unique independent retailers, restaurants and farmers markets - all set across 800 square miles of rolling English landscape. The Cotswolds is home to many different people, from Royalty to Rockstars, Baking Queens to Fashion Designers, all have made their homes in the UK's largest area of outstanding natural beauty. The ideal location for a weekend break in the rural heart of England; many have likened the beauty of the Cotswolds to a dream made reality.
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Devon sits jewel-like in the southwest of England and is a much adored destination for the avid staycationer. Be it a short break or an extended stay, Devon is a county like no other. Offering the explorer landscapes to dream in. Long sandy beaches with wide skies, cliffs laden with fossil traces to marvel at. Picture book harbours to sail from and brooding moorlands to cross, all intertwined with picturesque country lanes that meander to sleepy unspoilt villages. Devon has it all. Here at Holiday Extras we have compiled a list of the top most delicious places to visit whilst you're in the home of the Great British Institution that is the Devon Cream Tea!
Top UK Weekend Breaks in Devon
The unique fishing village of Clovelly clings to a 400 foot cliff-face with pathways that cascade down to its pebble beach and 14th century quay. With only donkeys and man-powered sleds for transport Clovelly's atmosphere is quite like nowhere else. Pull on your best hiking boots and explore the ancient cobbled streets, which sport the curious names of Up-A-Long and Down-A-Long! The village was once owned by Elizabeth the 1st, and has been in private hands since that time which has assisted in preserving this most darling of character laden villages.
Clovelly may be diminutive in size but its sheer beauty will have you falling for it time and time again. Boasting two hotels, the 16th century New Inn which is in the centre of the village and the 18th century Red Lion on the quayside cater for all tastes, also for the best weekend break there are multiple character cottages available to stay at. Clovelly also has a rich calendar of activity to experience throughout the year. Annual festivals include the Seaweed festival in June, Maritime festival in July, Lobster and Crab feast in September and a traditional Herring festival in November. Boat trips along the rocky coastlines are also available to release your inner smuggler!
Dartmoor National Park
The wilderness that is Dartmoor National Park is a 368 square mile paradise of exciting untamed countryside to explore. The landscape is like no other, granite tor crowned rises, ancient woodlands, standing stones, wild Dartmoor Ponies, bridged streams, footpaths, tracks, castles and unique wildlife, Dartmoor is a must-visit for any lover of the great outdoors. Designated as a National Park in 1951, this vast area has much to offer, once in the park you can explore it by many different modes of transport, from taking the car to walking, cycling to horse riding you do not need to follow a planned route as Dartmoor has many unexpected delights to discover. Dartmoor's National Park Authority has a full range of talks, guided walks and events organised all year round for a deeper understanding of this ancient park. With almost too many choices of hotels, cottages, and simply wonderful places to stay, Darmoor national park is a must for curious explorers.
East Devon and The Jurassic Coast
Ecologically one of the most fascinating places in England is the Jurassic coastline of East Devon. Designated an area of outstanding natural beauty East Devon is one of the great destinations when planning a visit to the West Country. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Jurassic Coast cliffs hold an abundance of history just waiting to be uncovered. This particular corner of Devon is bursting with incredible hotels, many with spa facilities, treatments and hot tubs available to guests and day visitors. The coastal cottages offer breathtaking sea views, some come with beach access or why not choose a Bed and Breakfast if you're planning a driving tour, the perfect way of exploring this beautiful area.
Lying off the North Devon Coast, Lundy Island is a granite outcrop three miles long and half a mile wide. A haven of peace and tranquillity with nothing between it and the coastline of North America. Inhabited for the last 4000 years Lundy has seen many visitors come and go, from Bronze Age settlements to Roman encampments, Vikings, which gave the island its name, Lund-ey translated from the Norse means Puffin Island, to the Barbary Pirates, Lundy is literally awash with history. You can book a day trip to Lundy on the Islands own ferry the 1958 MS Oldenburg. This classic ship is well equipped with comfortable heated saloons, bars, a buffet, gift shop and information desk. She sails a minimum of three times a week from either Bideford or Ilfracombe with the crossing taking around two hours, this allows the day visitors to spend between 4-6 hours on the island. The magic can start as soon as you board as the ship is often escorted by playful pods of dolphins on her voyages to and from the island.
Lundy island has become a must visit for birdwatchers, divers, climbers, plant enthusiasts, archaeologists, geologists, historians and anyone with a love of natural beauty, in fact because of Lundy's isolated evolutionary development it has been compared to the Galapagos Islands. If you're planning a longer stay on Lundy, the island has 23 very unique self catering properties for short breaks and longer stays to choose from. You could stay at a 13th century castle or a lighthouse or maybe coastguards watch-house or just a simple fisherman's cottage. So when you find yourself exploring Devon, awaken your inner Attenborough and pay Lundy a visit.
At Holiday Extras we believe that no staycation to Devon is complete without a visit to the beach and Devon has some of the best in the country. If you're a sun worshiper, windsurfer or just enjoy the sun, sand and sea, we have compiled a list of the best Devon has to offer, so on your next weekend break you can have less hassle and more holiday!
Top 10 Beaches in Devon for the Perfect UK Weekend Break
- Bantham Beach - Laying at the mouth of the river avon with views across Burgh Island this spectacular beach is a must for lovers of South Devon.
- Beer Beach - Located at the foot of the wonderful village of Beer, this glorious beach forms part of the Jurassic coast.
- Bigbury-on-Sea Beach - A spectacular sandy stretch of beach that's perfect for families, this wonderful South Devon beach has rock pools to explore, and at low-tide the chance to visit Burgh Island via the causeway or the Sea Tractor.
- Blackpool Sands Beach - This crescent shaped darling of a beach has a distinctly Greek feel with wonderful pine trees and countryside that cascades down to the sea.
- Croyde Bay Beach - This rural set beach lays between the beach at Woolacombe and Sauntan sands and is a delight, perfect for that North Devon beach day.
- Exmouth Beach - A wide promenade with restaurants, pubs and retail outlets edges this 2 miles of delightful sand. A must visit for the watersport enthusiast, the beach also boasts traditional donkey rides in the summer months.
- Newberry Beach at Combe Martin - This is one of the tiny beaches that litter the Devon coast, however diminutive it maybe in comparison to its larger neighbours, what it lacks in size it more than makes up for with beautiful pebbled character.
- Saunton Sands - This popular family beach has everything for the model beach day, with nearly four miles of golden sand and amazing dunes to explore.
- Westward Ho! - Located near Bideford, this wonderful long sandy beach has a pebble backed ridge with access to North Burrows Country Park. The beach is popular with surfers, swimmers and families.
- Woolacombe Beach - Located on the North Devon coast this 3 mile stretch of golden sands is Award-Winning and is repeatedly voted one of the best beaches to visit in the UK.
Best Pet-Friendly Weekend Breaks in the UK
Purrfect pet-friendly staycations for you and your pooch
If you're planning a dog-friendly weekend break with your pampered pooch then look no further than a stay at one of the most popular National Parks in the UK, the Lake District. Arguably the most popular pet-friendly location in the UK for a weekend break, and popular with pooch lovers country-wide, the Lake District National Park is an ideal holiday destination. A short break just isn't a holiday without your four-legged friend. This stunning National Park offers a variety of cosy pet-friendly cottages to stay at, or glamping pods and camping is always an option too. Offering comfort, tranquility and stunning views - leave us to take the hassle out of your next holiday and round up these cosy hound hideaways, providing the perfect base from which you and your furry friend can explore the scenery and admire the wildlife!
Top Pet-Friendly UK Weekend Breaks in the Lake District
KeswickAn ideal location for that dog-friendly short break, Keswick scooped the National Award for most Dog-Friendly Town / City in the 2019 Dog-Friendly Awards, so it has to be worth a mention. A market town in the northwest of England's Lake District National Park, this destination is booming with an abundance of pet-friendly shops, cafés and pubs where your favourite furry friends will be given the pawwfect treatment. There are an abundance of dog-friendly cottages in Keswick, many of which have enclosed gardens, log burners and are close to Derwentwater - fabulous for lakeside walkies throughout the day.
PenrithPositioned on the border of the Lake District National Park, Penrith is a great place to take a dog-friendly weekend UK break. There are pet-friendly attractions nearby and hundreds of walks to explore around the Lake District, as well as the Eden Valley and the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
WindermereFamed world-wide, Windermere is one of the most popular holiday destinations for a weekend break in the Lake District, great for you and the whole family, as well as your pet. There are numerous walks to explore, lakes to discover and an eclectic mix of dog-friendly pubs, cafés and attractions. The town of Windermere is located in the South Lakeland District of Cumria and lies about half a mile east of lake Windermere.
Top 10 UK Dog-Friendly Weekend Break Attractions in the Lake District
Dogs are allowed at the following attractions - with well-behaved owners of course!
- Coniston Launch and the National Trust's Steam Yacht Gondola - The landscape that originally inspired the series of popular books by Arthur Ransome titled 'Swallows and Amazons', Coniston's famous stretch of water is truly a sight to behold. Enjoy a number of cruise options on board a Coniston Launch or the National Trust's Steam Yacht Gondola. Your dogs will be allowed on the outer decks, though not inside the saloons. There's even a special 'Swallows and Amazons' cruise too for literary fans. Grab a spot to eat at Brantwood House (the home of John Ruskin) on the eastern shore of Coniston water, where the Gondolas and Coniston launch both stop. Dogs on leads are welcomed in the grounds and café.
- Grizedale and Whinlatter Forests - The Forestry Commission's Grizedale Forest is a great place to walk with your dog and has several waymarked trails for all abilities. Famed for its remarkable outdoor sculptures there are around 40 to be found along its network of pathways. Near Keswick, further north, is Whinlatter Forest which has beautiful views across Bassenthwaite Lake, Derwentwater and Keswick, with multiple trails to ramble with your pet.
- Keswick Launch - A fantastic way of exploring the many beautiful areas surrounding Derwentwater, you could take a cruise of the lake on board the Keswick Launch. If you're planning on spending your dog-friendly weekend break in Keswick then stop off at one of Derwentwater's many jetties to partake in a picnic or scenic ramble. Dogs are allowed on board free of charge.
- Lowther Castle and Gardens - Located near Penrith, Lowther Castle is a dramatic ruin standing amongst 130 acres of superb gardens and peaceful woodland. Built in the early 19th century it was almost entirely demolished in 1857, which left only the outer shell of the building. A great deal of work has taken place to restore the gardens after they were abandoned and they are now an outstanding display of lawns, shrubberies, rock pools and summer houses. If you're planning a family weekend break this attraction is perfect for a family excursion with an adventure playground to keep the children entertained. Dogs are also welcome on leads throughout the grounds, though this excludes the adventure playground.
- Muncaster Castle Gardens - Set in an elevated position in the south west of the Lake District, this impressive Castle welcomes dogs on leads, free of charge throughout its 70 acres of lushious woodland gardens and grounds. As you may expect there are a few restrictions with dogs; they're not allowed in the house or inside the Hawk and Owl Centre. There is a special viewing area from which you and your canine companion can observe the afternoon bird of prey display, the 'Sky hunters'. You can also visit Muncaster Castle's daily Wild Heron feed. Dogs are welcome outside the Castle's main café and indoors at the Bird Garden Tea Room.
- Ullswater - With plenty of options for linear and circular walks, Ullswater is a great place to take your pooch and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Take your dog on board one of Ullswater's 'Steamers' for a small charge. These steamers have been in service on the lake since 1859 and allow you to relish in arguably some of the Lake District's most dramatic landscapes. Additionally, there are interesting piers to explore in the local area which makes it an ideal location to seek out.
- The Lingholm Kitchen and Walled Garden - This superb Estate is filled with literary inspiration and found in Portinscale, on the north western shore of Derwentwater. You can savour home-cooked meals made with local produce and the contemporary café overlooks the octagonal kitchen gardens towards Skiddaw. Fellow animal lover Beatrix Potter, famous for her anthropomorphic animals, stayed at Lingholm with her family on a number of their annual summer holidays. The original kitchen garden was actually the inspiration behind Mr McGregor's Garden in The Tale of Peter Rabbit. A welcoming location for your dog, though they will need to be kept on a lead.
- The Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway - Fancy riding a steam locomotive with your dog whilst you visit the Lake District? Then this attraction is pawwfect for you. Situated at the southern tip of Windermere, the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway, complete with 1950s carriages, travels along three and a half miles of the former Furness Railway branch line. Dogs travel free of charge.
- The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway - Known locally as La'al Ratty, this dinky miniature steam railway in the south west of the Lake District is a great way of getting about. It travels along the start and end points of the many walks throughout Eskdale. This railway stretches across seven miles, from Ravenglass to Dalegarth and has several stops along the route. Your canine companion is allowed on board for a small charge; this includes a doggy welcome pack and water bowls at both ends of the line. Perfect for pet-friendly travel.
- Windermere Lake Cruises - A weekend break to the Lake District wouldn't be complete without a trip out onto the water. Windermere Lake Cruises enable you to enjoy a gentle trip around the whole of England's longest lake. Dogs are welcome on the cruises free of charge and you can even stop off at one of the pet-friendly attractions along the lakeside. Why not combine this railway ticket with a ticket to travel by boat too!
Finest Luxury Breaks in the UK
If your vocation is vacation and luxury is a must, then we at Holiday Extras have compiled a brief compendium of UK luxury weekend breaks for your delectation and delight. The UK has a host of beautiful locations to choose from, be it England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales and they all possess some of the most exclusive places to stay in the world; especially in their capital cities. Relax and unwind at one of these handpicked luxury UK hotels all offering outstanding customer service and exclusive facilities in the UK's capital - the fabulous city of London. Whether you're looking for that perfect luxury weekend break sipping champagne in the hotel hot tub or fine dining in the hotel restaurant, the nice thing is that luxury doesn't necessarily have to come with a high price tag, as all the destinations we have selected offer cheaper luxury options, so with that in mind summon your chauffeur and let's begin!
Luxury Weekend UK Breaks in London
There is no better place than the United Kingdom's capital city when you want to flex your luxury muscles - North, South, East or West, London luxury is the best. We have hand-picked three perfectly positioned high-end hotels for you to begin your London luxury weekend break. A stay at one of these hotels is also available with our UK short breaks package which includes The View from The Shard London.
Leonardo Royal Hotel Tower Bridge
If you're looking to start your luxury adventure in the capital then there is no better place than the Leonardo Royal Hotel Tower Bridge. Located just 10 mins walk from Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, and 15 mins walk from the Shard this City-Smart hotel is a must-see. Sitting on the edge of the old City of London, the Leonardo Royal Tower Bridge is perfect for exploring all that London has to tempt the discerning epicurean. This contemporary hotel offers 370 luxurious air-conditioned guest rooms with superiors, executives, and suites to choose from. With access to The Rena Health & Fitness Club where guests can work-out in the state-of-the-art gymnasium or take advantage of the 25m indoor swimming pool and indulge in the Spa that has a wide range of exclusive treatments available. Relax after a day's shopping and taking in the sites at one of the two bars and dine in funky elegance at Leo's the hotel's restaurant. Make the Leonardo Royal Hotel Tower Bridge your luxury haven and your decadent weekend break will feel heaven-sent.
Leonardo Royal Hotel Tower Bridge, 45 Prescot St, London E1 8GP
Leonardo Royal Hotel St Paul's
In the Shadow of Sir Christopher Wren's masterpiece St Paul's Cathedral, at the beating heart of London's financial district stands the Leonardo Royal Hotel St Pauls, with 459 elegant contemporary rooms that can accommodate the luxury leisure explorer. This London spa hotel offers an impressive 18m indoor pool. The St Paul's Rena Health and Fitness Club provides guests with a wide range of exclusive services, including a fully-equipped gymnasium and a chance to luxuriate at the amazing Rena spa. The Leonardo Royal Hotel St Pauls is also home to Sabine, a secret garden oasis enjoying beautiful views of St Paul's Cathedral. Sabine boasts a glass domed roof with a heated outside terrace where guests can relax over a glass or two of champagne perfect for that luxury weekend break as a couple and a fantastic way to unwind after a busy day in the capital.
Leonardo Royal Hotel St Paul's, 10 Godliman St, London EC4V 5AJ
NYX Hotel London Holborn
Standing in the heart of Bloomsbury the NYX Hotel London Holborn has 213 luxurious bedrooms and suites, offering a thoroughly midtown contemporary art feel throughout. Playful laid-back luxury and urban cool are the watch-words at the NYX. The hotel is a short hop, skip and a jump away from the British Museum and Covent Garden, with many temptations for the discerning boulevardier. The hotel is a Mecca for the health conscious and a full range of bespoke fitness and indulgent spa services are available to guests, including a 13m swimming pool with infinity edge spa pool, a fully equipped gymnasium, sauna and steam room. The Rena Spa has a range of treatments on offer by award-winning French beauty brand Caudalie for your every pampering need. So when you need the perfect luxury mini-break make The NYX Hotel London your base to eat, drink, shop and play, the London way.
NYX Hotel London Holborn, 50-60 Southampton Row, London WC1B 4AR
Top Romantic Weekend Breaks for Couples in the UK
It's fair to say that romance is subjective, for some it may be the lure of sunsets or the perfect candle-lit dinner, and for others a city break packed with everything from sightseeing to shopping. At Holiday Extras we've taken inspiration from the big screen to shortlist some of the best romantic weekend breaks the UK has to offer. The fabulous United Kingdom has played host as the backdrop to many of our favourite television shows and films. It's crystal clear to see why - the UK is home to incredible coastlines, grand stately homes, outstanding countryside, ancient castles, bustling cities, towns and villages that are so ideal they look like the picture-perfect postcard. If you're looking for unusual romantic weekend break ideas in the UK, then why not take inspiration from the silver screen!
Cornwall: Think Poldark
The perfect setting for a romantic weekend break in the UK, discover the glistening blue waters, luscious countryside and outstanding cliff locations that formed the backdrop for the romantic on-screen adaptation of Winston Graham's Poldark. The UK's longest stretch of continuous rugged coastline in Cornwall creates the ideal romantic coastal break for any couple to also explore where much of the action in Poldark took place.
Top 5 Romantic UK Weekend Breaks in Cornwall
The majestic county of Cornwall was the inspiration for the setting of Winston Graham's 18th century Poldark novels and at Holiday Extras we've short listed the top 5 idyllic on-screen locations to visit on your romantic Cornish getaway.
- Bodmin Moor and St Breward - The Bodmin Moor was a prominent filming location including scenes featuring the exterior of Ross Poldark's house. This breathtaking landscape with its rugged character is the perfect backdrop to the passionate plot of the novel and the ideal place to walk on a romantic weekend break.
- Charlestown - Situated near St Austell and famed for its original Grade II Listed harbour is complete with Tall Ships and numerous exciting restaurants for that intimate evening meal.
- Gunwalloe on The Lizard - A magical sandy cove, overlooked by the tiny church of St Wynwallow, this attractive setting was frequented by the cast members, including Aidan Turner, who helped this cove re-live its smuggling past as the nocturnal shipwrecking scenes were filmed here.
- Padstow Area - A spectacular choice of location for a wonderful weekend break, you'll love the breathtaking views across the Camel Estuary and Tregirls beach when visiting the north of Cornwall. The unprecedented beauty of the wide sandy beach is longing to be explored. Poldark's fictional Nampara Cove was filmed here. Padstow itself also offers a wide variety of outstanding restaurants for a loved-up evening meal.
- St Agnes and Chapel Porth - A wonderful National Trust property, these engine houses perched on the cliff edge at St Agnes Head give a real sense of the mining industry in Cornwall. Used to represent part of the Poldark's family estate, if you and your partner are interested in history then this is a great attraction to visit during your short break in Cornwall.
Northumberland: Think Harry Potter
If you're planning a romantic break in the UK then look no further than Northumberland. A county of endless possibilities, rushing waterfalls, the breathtaking beauty of the alluring landscape, peaceful beaches and romantic ruins of ancient castles will be perfect for your romantic weekend away. The land is steeped in history, being the home of the well-loved Earl Grey tea, named after the prominent British Prime Minister, Charles 2nd Earl Grey. This delightful brew was requested by his wife Lady Grey using the addition of bergamot oil to offset the strong taste of lime in the local water. You too could swoon by the seaside as Northumberland is simply tough to beat with its staggering scenery, places to stay and adventures to be had. We've handpicked some of the best romantic parts of Northumberland you could venture to as a couple, including the world-famous setting for several Harry Potter films. Whether you're a fan of the series or not, let us draw your mind to where passion could take flight.
If you're keen on a coastal break away as a couple, then the rugged Northumberland coastline could be the perfect UK destination. Protected as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Northumberland's coast is simply breathtaking. There are endless beaches, quiet bays and drifting dunes which stretch from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Amble. There will never be a dull moment on this romantic mini-break as there is an incredible 60 miles of natural beauty along its epic coastline, filled with ancient history which can be appreciated on a peaceful walk or a cycle along Northumberland's Coastal Path. Grab a kayak together and enjoy water sports amongst the striking beauty and amazing wildlife, or take a boat trip (where you may even spot a Puffin). There are a number of desirable places to stay from hotels, seaside cottages with splendid sea views to B&Bs, or experience camping as a couple under the stars. The choices are endless!
The North Pennines
Featuring some of the most remote and unspoilt places in the UK, you will both love the dramatic views of the North Pennines. This incredible landscape holds the double accolade of being both a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Britain's first UNESCO European and Global Geopark. With cascading waterfalls and vast heather moors and ancient hay meadows, this is an extremely romantic place to enjoy rugged beauty on your short break away as a couple. Discover rare wildlife together; from deer and ospreys to puffins, seals, dolphins. Book a passion-filled stay in one of the vibrant villages or towns, like the idyllic Ponteland or dreamy Rothbury.
Star Gazing in Northumberland
What could be more romantic than spending time together gazing at Northumberland's dazzlingly starry skies. One of the best places to stargaze in the UK, 572 square miles of this county has been awarded Gold Tier status for its dark skies with the Dark Sky Park being the largest in the UK. Recognised by the International Dark-Sky Association, Northumberland proudly offers some of the best stargazing experiences and some of the clearest night skies in England, thanks to minimal night pollution and great conservation efforts. The splendid sky above Northumberland National Park and Kielder Water & Forest Park were officially recognised as Europe's largest area of protected night skies.
The breathtaking Northumberland Coast offers a spectacular window into the romance of the Northern Lights. You would normally need to take a trip outside of the UK, to countries such as Norway or Sweden to witness this incredible natural phenomenon. For an unrivalled astronomical stargazing experience participate in one of Northumberland's popular Dark Sky events, with dedicated observatories and a number of dark sky discovery sites which are the perfect place to stay up together after sunset. Forget the movies, this will be the perfect star-studded show!
Alnwick Castle: Think Romance
The perfect destination for an unusual romantic weekend break, Alnwick Castle has been home to the Percy Family for over 700 years and the Castle has over 950 years of history to discover. The origins of the Castle date back to the Norman period and since 1309 its remarkable story is woven with the illustrious history of the Percy family. The second largest inhabited castle in the UK, on a romantic trip to this stunning location you will delve deeper into the extraordinary history and be able to travel through the centuries of this thriving and evolving force of a Castle which has served as a military outpost, a teaching college, a refuge for evacuees, and of course a family home alongside being a spectacular film set.
Take inspiration for your romantic weekend trip from the glittering silver screen, it's safe to say that this beautifully romantic castle is no stranger to film crews. Alnwick Castle featured as Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter films. The phenomenal Castle most recently featured in Transformers: The Last Knight, Elizabeth, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves and also Brancaster Castle in Downton Abbey's 2015 and 2016 Christmas Specials. Come fly at Alnwick Castle and take part in one of their world famous broomstick training sessions which is perfect for any Harry Potter fan. Open to witches, wizards and muggles of all ages, join eccentric wizarding professors on the very spot where Harry had his first flying lesson in the film production of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. On a romantic weekend away to this extraordinary attraction you could both practice your mount and dismount, before curving and manoeuvring across Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
You and your significant other could also take aim with Cupid's bow and have a go at archery, take a 'Capability' Brown Walk, wander The State Rooms and Artisan's Courtyard. Enjoy a warm Northumberland welcome and delicious bite to eat at the Courtyard Café where you can find a cosy spot indoors or eat alfresco on one of the outside tables, framed by this magnificent medieval castle. Alternatively, visit the Victorian-style Stables Fryery which serves traditional fish and chips, situated in the castle's old stable block or pick up something delicious from the Armoury Takeaway, located within the medieval Artisan's Courtyard. There are flavoursome choices to suit every taste bud, with a variety of locally sourced food and drinks, including scrumptious sandwiches, paninis and sweet treats.
Here at Holiday Extras, we believe that all Harry Potter fans should be aware that with our Short Breaks packages you can experience the adventure at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter with Hotel Stay & Breakfast. The Studio Tour celebrates the production home of all eight Harry Potter films and is situated beside Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, a purpose built, state-of-the-art film and television studio. From strolling through the iconic Hogwarts Great Hall, to sampling the taste of the Wizarding World's favourite, Butterbeer with a package deal designed to save you galleons and give you convenient stay nearby.
Top 5 Romantic UK Weekend Breaks from Cinema
- Old Royal Naval College - The ideal destination for any romantic break, this synonymous British film location plays host to not just hundreds of television shows, but these iconic London buildings have been the set for over 40 films since 1925. The college's world-famous Painted Hall has welcomed many Hollywood greats on-set including Meryl Streep starring as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. For couples that are fans of Disney, the hall also features in the 2015 Disney classic romantic movie Cinderella. If you're a Marvels fan, Thor: The Dark World, a spaceship crashed into the lower grand square during the final battle; thankfully only through the genre of CGI.
Address: King William Walk, Greenwich Peninsula, London SE10 9NN
- Chatsworth House - This magnificent stately home is picture-perfect, with grounds totalling 35,000 acres it's not surprising this has become such a popular film location in the UK, especially for period dramas. This phenomenal home played host to the 2005 adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and the connection to Jane Austen has come full circle over the years. For fans of the popular story, this is the perfect romantic spot to visit, as originally in the novel this stately home was named as one of the estates Elizabeth Bennett visited on route to Pemberley. Wonderfully fortuitous this was then used as the main set for Pemberley in the famed Pride and Prejudice adaptation. This spectacular home and grounds have also featured in many other period films and TV shows, including 2008's The Duchess and the 2016 TV series The Crown.
Address: Chatsworth, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1PP
- Castle Howard - Located in North Yorkshire, the building and its grounds has its own ties with cinema, perhaps most noticeably from its role as Brideshead in the 1981 production of Brideshead Revisited, and again in the 2008 remake. If you visit this idyllic romantic home you'll both be able to discover the exhibition dedicated to its appearance in Brideshead Revisited which hosted a wealth of stars on set including Jeremy Irons, Emma Thompson to Laurence Olivier. Scenes from ITV's Victoria were also shot at the castle, with beautiful interior shots used to mimic the interiors of Kensington Palace.
Address: Castle Howard, York YO60 7DA
- Castle Ward, Old Castle Tower - If you're planning a weekend break in the UK then look no further than booking a mini-break to Northern Ireland. Castle Ward is an 18th century National Trust property located near the village of Strangford, in County Down. Castle Ward has ties to one of the most iconic television series of all time, Game of Thrones. The farmyard of Castle Ward featured as Winterfell in the series that captivated audiences worldwide. It took 8 weeks to build the set on the farmyard, before hundreds of the cast and crew descended on this filming location. Visitors are invited to take part in the Game of Thrones tour. Witness the location of the Whispering Wood, the Baelor battle and confrontation between Brienne and the Stark men. Open to the public, this ideal attraction includes a whopping 820 acres of landscaped gardens, a fortified tower house, Victorian laundry, theatre, restaurant and shop.
Address: Strangford, Downpatrick BT30 7BA
- Portobello Road - Calling all Paddington bear fans! Referenced on many occasions in Micheal Bond's well-loved novels, Portobello Road, the world's most famous street market, is the home of Mr Gruber's Antique Shop. Visiting the Portobello Road Market is a favourite pastime for this much-loved bear, who likes to drive a hard bargain and it was only fitting to use this iconic street for the film adaptations of Paddington 1 and 2. Alice's Antiques is the location of Mr Gruber's Antique Shop in the film. This popular street in the Notting Hill district of Royal Borough Kensington and Chelsea in West London, is a tourist hotspot. The brightly coloured buildings are now iconic and have featured in numerous films, including Notting Hill with Hugh Grant. The Portobello Market is one of the best destinations for your weekend break away with the alpha and omega of all shopping experiences, with antique shops, boutiques and designer stores aplenty. There's also a wealth of restaurants, bars and cafés. Learn more about what to expect from this stunning Capital city and another world-famous market, Borough market via our UK City Breaks page.
Best Weekend Spa Breaks in the UK
Are you craving that bit of peace and relaxation to improve your wellbeing and help you truly unwind during your weekend break in the UK? At Holiday Extras we recommend visiting one of the country's most popular and idyllic spa towns. The UK has some of the best spa breaks on offer; not only will you be delving into one of the UK's finest traditions, that hit its peak in the 18th century when wealthy and prominent individuals believed that 'taking the waters' would cure all sorts of illnesses, but you will be able to enjoy all the contemporary delights that these indulgent spa breaks have to offer.
A luxurious holiday to one of these charming spa towns will be filled with historical, cultural and literary intrigue, perfect for a weekend of romance or a getaway for a spot of rest and recuperation with friends. We've compiled a list of the most breathtaking places to visit, that have some the best spas and retreats to stay at during your trip. From Roman beginnings to Victorian peaks and 21st century makeovers, the UK's magnificent spa towns are destinations that have constantly evolved and updated to charm visitors from around the United Kingdom and the rest of the world. Let us make your next spa staycation less about hassle and more about holiday!
BathIf you adore England's history and would love a generous helping of pampering too, then Bath could be the perfect spa town for you - it had to be top of our list! Founded by the Romans on the site of ancient hot springs, this incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site contains some of the greatest preserved Roman ruins in the modern world. The Romans believed the water contained healing properties and constructed a temple complex dedicated to the Goddess Sulis Minerva. Popularised for high society later in the 18th century by Queen Anne who frequently took to the waters to cure her ailments. The Georgian era also led to the development of incredible Neoclassical Palladian architecture around Bath; including Pulteney Bridge and The Circus. Contemporary Bath is filled with quirky vintage shops and boutiques for fashion lovers as well as an eclectic mix of activities from visiting art galleries to walking the Royal Crescent. The ideal destination for a fantastic spa break - get ready to immerse yourself in the spa town that is Bath.
HarrogateEast of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Harrogate is a town in North Yorkshire which became unofficially known as 'The English Spa' in the 16th century and is the perfect destination for a spa break in the UK. Steeped in history with its iconic Ripon Cathedral and World Heritage Site of Fountains Abbey, this exciting town owes its fame as an internationally renowned spa town to William Slingsbury who discovered the first mineral well there in 1571, and was convinced it had the same health boosting properties as spa waters in Belgium. The popularity of public bathing houses was increasing and by Victorian times Harrogate was a go-to destination in the North and a favourite of Queen Victoria's for its healing properties. In the late 19th century the oriental inspired Royal Baths were constructed where visitors could appreciate a range of spa treatments and hydrotherapy under one roof. Today this exciting cultural town contains a generous mixture of visitor attractions, from private galleries to theatres and live music.
CheltenhamRenowned for its Regency buildings including the Pittville Pump Room, a remnant of Cheltenham's past as a spa town, Cheltenham is a UK town in Gloucestershire. Most famous for the Cheltenham Festival, this glorious destination attracts tourists from all over Britain and throughout the world, all year round. Discovered in the 18th century to have medicinal waters, this town earned its reputation as one of the premier spa towns in England. Propelled to fame during the late 18th century when King George III drank from the spring waters, Cheltenham has had an abundance of wealthy and famous patrons throughout history including Lord Byron, Jane Austen and Queen Victoria. The Pittville Pump Room is one of the town's best preserved spa landmarks, with grand bandstands and ornamental lakes that represent the splendour of the Regency period when this town bloomed into a coveted spa destination.
MalvernLying at the foot of the Malvern hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Malvern is a sought-after spa town and civil parish in Worcestershire. The town's famed for its water which was so coveted by British royalty that Queen Victoria refused to travel without it. In the 18th century tests were conducted to reveal that the water contained hardly any bacteria and Malvern grew in popularity during the Victorian age when it became an important centre for hydrotherapy. The premier 'water cure house' was built in Malvern in the late 19th century and the demand for (what became known as) 'cure tourism' grew leading to Malvern's expansion, which can be seen with many of the town's impressive Victorian and late-Edwardian buildings. The ever evolving Great Malvern is the heart of the town and celebrates an enticing bundle of modern-day attractions, including theatres and museums.