Best Weekend Breaks in the UK
There’s no excuse for not taking a holiday. The physical and mental benefits of having a break from work have been proven beyond reasonable doubt. The risks of not taking time out to recharge your batteries are real and scary, ranging from burnout to cardiovascular disease and increased mortality.
Did you know that an annual holiday can cut the risk of heart attack by up to 50%? Your blood pressure, heart rate and stress levels all reduce when you’re off work, even if it’s only by taking a short weekend break. Free time, a warm climate, some sun and rest is all it takes to quickly lower your exhaustion levels and help regenerate you from the inside out.
Vacation frequency plays an important role too. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t always better to take one big summer holiday since the pressures involved in planning and the expectation of perfection may spoil some of the benefits.
Instead, it may be healthier to take several shorter breaks throughout the year. And how about looking for destinations closer to home without the stress of long passport queues and airport security checks to contend with?
Here are our favourite ideas for low-stress short breaks in the UK that can be taken at any time of year and are perfect for solo travellers, friends, couples and families.
1. Unique Self-catering Cottage
Get the kids, the dog and possibly the kitchen sink packed into the car and set off to your home from home for a few days. Self-catering cottages with character can be found all over the UK, offering an authentic holiday experience unlike any other.
The National Trust, for instance, has over 400 of the best holiday cottages in the UK - choose from cottages in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for rent from 2 to 28 nights. Their eclectic collection includes cosy country cottages and historic manor houses, seaside cabins and even the odd lighthouse.
There is so much choice so whether you want to stay close to home, or go a little further you will be able to find something to match your interests and budget.
2. Country House Hotel Spa Weekend
Sometimes, taking a break from work means you need to get some self-care and indulge in the overwhelming desire to be pampered from head to toe. Whether you go solo, with a partner or some friends, treat yourself – you know you’re worth it.
Find a luxury country house hotel within no more than a few hours’ drive from home and spend a long weekend on a spa break. With nothing to do but focus on your own wellbeing and happiness, you’re bound to emerge fully relaxed and revitalised.
3. Staycation City Break
It’s all very well jetting off for shopping trips to New York or Marrakech, or spend long weekends exploring historic European capitals – we’ve all done it. But what about rediscovering the jewels in our own crown back in Blighty?
Book a weekend break in London or Edinburgh, Liverpool, Bournemouth, Bath or Brighton, York or Oxford or any of our beautiful towns and cities and be a tourist closer to home. Britain attracts in the region of 40 million overseas visitors per year – a staggering number. Do they know something we don’t?
Camping is one of the most fun ways to spend a weekend break. Pack a tent, take food and enjoy the great outdoors. There are campsites located throughout the UK, popular destinations with stunning natural beauty we recommend include the Lake District, Peak District, Lochness and the New Forest. Some travel companies offer UK tours which include camping in the itinerary which are great way to meet other people have see different places.
5. Festival Glamping
If you’re keen to get away from it all, and are not keen on the rustic idea of camping, then consider one of Britain’s many festivals which will free your spirit. The festival season is now an established sector and getting busier by the year, with music, culture and entertainment events taking place throughout.
Whether you’ve always wanted to experience Glastonbury in person or prefer the niche appeal of a smaller event, there’s no need to rough it in a tent. Instead, stretch the budget and go for stylish on-site accommodation in a hippie yurt or tipi, quirky shepherd hut or gypsy caravan, vintage Airstream or sustainable eco pod.
6. Activity Breaks
They say that a change is as good as a rest. If you’re the type of person that normally lead an active lifestyle, doing nothing may be the last thing you want to do on holiday. Activity breaks are just that: you choose something you really want to do – surfing, white water rafting, golf, cycling, sailing, bushcraft skills etc – and find somewhere to indulge your passion for a few days. Whether you prefer the relative predictability of a Center Parcs weekend break or go and have an activity adventure, you’ll come back full of new found energy.
7. Beach Break
You might not even realise but there are some amazing beaches to see in the UK. Of course summer is the best time to visit but visiting a beach anytime of the year is relaxing when you see the ocean. There is a lot of choice to, from the gorgeous white sandy beaches of Bournemouth, to the pebbled vibrant beach in Brighton or the scenic Rhossili Bay in Swansea and beaches in Cornwall, you can find amazing places throughout the country.
8. Climbing in Wales
North Wales is one of the most underrated tourist destinations and it is suprising how many people actually have been to Snowdonia. Located in the north-west of Wales, Snowdonia is spectacular and is home to Mount Snowdon - the highest mountain in Wales with an elevation of 1,085 metres above sea level. Don't worry if you are not the most fit shape, there is a train you can catch if you don't fancy the walk or hike. The views from the top of Mount Snowden are spectacular.
9. Skiing in Scotland
Okay, this is something only possible in winter but if you head north you can actually spend a relaxing weekeng skiing in Scotland. There are some really amazing ski centres in Scotland including Cairgorm, Glencoe, Glenshee, Nevis and Lecht. Okay, it doesn't compare to the rockies or some of the best European slopes but it will still be a lot of fun and there are tracks for all levels.
10. Explore an Island
The UK is a large island, but there are lots of smaller islands to check out which offer a great way to spend a long weekend. If you are longing to be surrounded by ocean exciting these type of break will appeal to you. There are lots of exciting and unspoiled islands to consider including Jersey, Sark, Guernsey, Isle of Wight, Anglesey, Isle of Man and Alderney in the Channel Islands. Or for something a little more remote consider a trip to the Shetland Islands located off the coast of northern Scotland.
11. Go in Search of History
The UK has a rich history and there are so many monuments and places of interest to check out. Our top recommendations for historical sites to visit include Stonehenge (Wiltshire), Kenilworth Castle (Warwickshire), Portchester Castle (Hampshire), the ancient spas in Bath, Wrest Park (Bedfordshire), Dover Castle (Kent), Bolsolver Castle (Derbyshire), Stokesay Castle (Shropshire) and Hadrian’s Wall (Scotand). You will get to see amazing places, a lot of which are totally free and learn more about history.
These are just a few ideas for a relaxing weekend break away as there are literally hundreds of options. Now go and start planning your perfect UK getaway today.