Now that families with children are back at school, it’s time for you singletons and child-free people to hit the cities of the UK for a well-deserved city break. The UK has so much to offer in terms of city breaks. There is literally a city for everyone and with holiday rentals at bargain prices now that we’re off-season, why not? From eclectic Bristol to romantic Edinburgh, let’s check out some of the best city breaks in the UK…
The best city break destinations in the UK
City break in: Bristol
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If you know me you’ll know that Bristol has and will always have a very special place in my heart. It regularly gets voted the best place to live in the UK and there’s more than one reason for it. The city is incredibly vibrant and creative but also suits those who love nature. There are dozens of parks in Bristol and river Avon lazily flowing through the town centre. and a festival almost every weekend. The colourful houses of Hotwells dance to the music of Massive Attack while art lovers admire Bristol’s street art and maybe unknowingly walk past Banksy who’s on the lookout for a new canvas for one of his masterpieces. My top tip: Be sure to use AA Taxis if you need transport around the city during your visit.
Must-sees: Clifton Suspension Bridge, SS Great Britain, Ashton Court Estate, Street Art, Arnolfini, St Nicholas Market
City break in: Manchester
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Once the heart of the Industrial Revolution, Manchester has always played an important part in the UK’s culture and history. Home to the most famous football club (Manchester United) and Brit Pop band in the world (Oasis), Manchester is the perfect destination for sports and music lovers. Watch a match at Old Trafford, soak up the UK’s history in one of the many museums and enjoy a drink or two in one of the swanky bars in Spinningfields – the place to be for shopping and dining in the North-East’s secret capital.
Must-sees: football match at Old Trafford, Museum of Science & Industry, Imperial War Museum, John Rylands Library
City break in: London
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London is not only the UK’s capital and one of the most popular cities in the world, it’s also the ultimate city break destination in the UK. Heart of the British Empire and home to the Royal Family, London is a great choice for all those who can’t get enough of sightseeing and culture. There’s, however, more to London than the classic tourist hotspots. Get to know the creative side of the city and admire the street art on the Southbank or in Shoreditch before heading to Soho for food and some of the city’s best night clubs and bars.
Must-sees: Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s, Southbank, Camden Market, Tower of London
City break in: Brighton
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Once a fishing village on the south coast, now one of the trendiest places to visit in the UK: Brighton is full of quirky shops, vegan and vegetarian restaurants and has a performing arts scene like no other city in the country. Take a stroll down The Lanes before enjoying some good old seaside fun down at the beach or visiting the Royal Pavillion, the former seaside retreat of George, Prince of Wales.
Must-sees: Brighton Pier, The Lanes, Royal Pavillion
City break in: Newcastle upon Tyne
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The Angle of the North is probably Newcastle’s most famous landmark, and although, it’s not technically in the City of Newcastle but neighbouring Gateshead, it’s a sight you shouldn’t miss when visiting the city on the river Tyne. Once a fort on Hadrians Wall, Newcastle is now popular for its nightlife and cultural scene. Walk around the Quayside or discover the city’s underground on a guided tour through 2.5-mile-long Victoria Tunnel. The area around Eldon Square is surrounded by quaint passageways with shops, elegant arcades and exclusive designer boutiques. The perfect destination for all shopaholics who fancy a spot of retail therapy before they hit Newcastle’s party scene.
Must-sees: Angle of the North, Tyne Bridge, Victoria Tunnel, Quayside, Eldon Square, St Nicholas Cathedral
City break in: Bath
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Bath is a great city for those who fancy a city break in the UK but don’t want the hustle and bustle of London, Manchester or Liverpool. While donning city status, it’s is definitely on the quieter side. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of things to do in Bath, though. Learn about Roman life in Britain in Bath’s world-famous Roman Baths, dress up as Jane Austen or enjoy some of Bath’s best ice-cream at The Real Italian Ice-Cream Co.
Must-sees: Roman Baths, Bath Abbey, Jane Austen Centre, Fashion Museum, The Real Italian Ice-Cream Co
City break in: Edinburgh
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Kilts, bagpipes and haggis might be the first things that spring to your mind when you hear that someone’s planning a city break to the Scottish capital, but Edinburgh has much more to offer than that. Regularly voted as one of the UK’s most romantic city break destination, Edinburgh is not only home to one of the most beautiful castles in Scotland, it’s also host to the world’s largest arts festival with over 50,000 performances each year. Arthur’s Seat offers a fantastic view over the entire city and at Elephant’s House, you can enjoy a cuppa in the same place J K Rowling wrote Harry Potter.
Must-sees: Fringe Festival, Edinburgh Castle, Arthur’s Seat, Elephant’s House
Have you visited any of these cities? What are your own top tips for city breaks in the UK?
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