If you’ve had enough of those Monday blues, then it is probably time you looked for an escape in 2016. City breaks are a great option to unwind, especially for those who cannot afford to take a week-long vacation. In a way, city breaks, are ideal for people to get a change of scenery without them having to break the bank in the process. If you’re scoping for places to visit in the UK this year and are in need of some inspiration, then the following should be some good places to get started.
The tiny city of St David’s in Wales has a population of about 1,600, so it’s pretty small. It also happens to be the smallest city of Britain, but apart from that, the city has much to intrigue travellers, with sights such as St Non’s Chapel and the Blue Lagoon being a must visit. The city is also the birthplace of Wales’ national saint, St. David, and makes for a good town and country option for those who would like to experience something different to the bustling cities of the UK.
Once there, don’t forget to pay a visit to St. David’s Cathedral which is tucked in a picturesque fold of land that served to conceal it from the marauders of the sea in ancient times. While there, you can stay at Penrhiw Hotel, which is a Victorian vicarage that has been sleekly converted into a cosy hotel for visitors. Those interested in art can look forward to the Twr Y Felin, which is an art hotel that’s also worth a visit.
Durham is a spectacular hilltop site, which is the final resting place of St. Cuthbert’s relics. Both the castle and cathedral are great examples of Norman architecture, which also happens to be one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites. The tiny city has some great bars, cafes and pubs that offer something for everybody. Durham also has some great B&Bs which exude their own charm to this already charming city. While there, you can take a trip to the 10-acre botanical gardens of the local university or walk along the banks of the River Wear. Between April and October, visitors also get to take cruises which launch from a boathouse near the river.
The city of Norwich often gets overlooked, even though it boasts of the largest existing medieval street plan of Europe and it also enjoys the distinction of being England’s second city for a good part of the Middle Ages. And if that’s not enough, the city is also home to a Norman castle and a cathedral, and the bustling art scene here is quite exciting too. Some of the famous festivals of Norwich include the Norfolk and Norwich Festival which is an annual arts festival that is held each May.
Accommodation shouldn’t be a problem in Norwich thanks to St. Giles House Hotel, which is a 24-room hotel and spa that is located at the city centre. If you’re not going to be visiting the city in May, then the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts houses a superb collection of sculptures, paintings and ceramics, and entrance to the exhibition is free.
Home of Tom Courtenay and Philip Larkin and many more of their ilk, Hull is in the running to be UK’s City of Culture by 2017, which is quite impressive. This small city is compact, picturesque and is a major port city in the Humber estuary. The Hallmark Hotel Hull is a great hotel that’s spread across 17 acres of beautiful greenery which is quite a sight. There’s also plenty to do in the city, and you could find yourself stuck between the Monster aquarium, The Deep and the vast slavery collection at the Wilberforce House Museum. Or you could just take a walk down the ancient streets of Hull and get an up close look at the unique city. Hungry? Make your way to the 1884 Dock Street Kitchen where you will get to taste a great range of seafood, with a two course set lunch priced at just around £15.
This is another tiny and quaint city that has its own castle and cathedral. The city is spread beside the River Witham and has its own Magna Carta which is definitely worth the visit. Once in the city, you can take the Lincoln Explorer Bus Tour to see an up close look at another historic city. If you’re wondering about where to stay then The Rest was formerly a church hall that has been converted into a sleek and stylish B&B.
Manchester is just brimming with energy no matter when you visit it. The northern quarter of Manchester is where you have your vintage shops, art galleries and craft centres, while the city centre is full of great architecture and a booming cultural scene that has to be seen to believe. Sports fans will get to mull over past victories at Manchester United’s ground that’s located at Old Trafford, while art buffs can visit one of the many museums in the city. Manchester has a dozen museums so you are sure to be spoilt for choice if you’re interested in arts or history.
If you’ll be staying the night (and you probably will!), Manchester has some great hotel options to choose from. While there don’t forget to set out on a unique culinary journey, where you will get to taste anything from Belted Galloway steaks and English snails and everything in between.
Oxford is home to some of world’s oldest educational institutions that are renowned around the world for their academic excellence. Some of those university colleges date back as far as the 13th century. Apart from its high IQ quotient, the city is also home to amazing riverside parks, bookshops and museums, and also has a thriving theatre scene as well.
City breaks are a great way of exploring a city’s unique past. So, visit these great UK destinations to get a snapshot of their local life.