When people think of taking a weekend city break I think most would start looking at flights out of the country. But there are some great cities right here in the UK. The north, south and in between all have great cities that are worthy of visiting. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing break or to have jam-packed trip with loads to do, these are the UK cities that you need to visit. These are my top 3 UK city breaks outside of London. I’m sure there are some gems that I still need to visit too. What are your favourite cities in the UK?
I think Edinburgh is probably a lot of people’s favourite city. It has beautiful architecture and history to learn about. It’s a great place to go for Christmas markets in the winter, and of course the Fringe in the summer. It’s easy to take a coach tour (or drive yourself) to the Highlands as well. It’s much colder and windier in the winter but after the Christmas period it’s much cheaper to visit and far less tourists are around.
There are so many things to do in Edinburgh. The walk up to Arthur’s Seat can be done from the city centre so you can still get your hiking fix even if you don’t have time for a trip into the Highlands. If you’re looking for something to do indoors then I’d definitely recommend the National Museum of Scotland. It’s free to visit and has a whole host of different collections to view. There’s something for everyone to enjoy. If you love museums then you’ll be in paradise in Edinburgh. There are a lot of smaller ones to visit from the Museum of Childhood to the Museum on the Mound. And a lot more.
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Brighton is perfect for a nice weekend break. There are wonderful independent shops and cafés to peruse. If you want to get out of the city then there are beautiful beaches nearby. Birling Gap is a really cool white cliff beach, most of the beaches that I’ve been to along the coast here are lovely. There are also some beautiful country walks around the downs. If you head the other way then the town of Arundel is also worth a visit. It’s basically a fairytale town with a cute castle. Along the coast is Eastbourne which has a pretty impressive pier and is a fair bit quieter than Brighton.
The Lanes are one of the things that Brighton is known for and if you love that feeling of finding hidden gems then it won’t disappoint. There are antiques stores, tea rooms, clothing boutiques, pubs and restaurants. The North Laine area is probably my favourite part of Brighton. It’s a little less hectic and has some really great shops. Utility and Abode are great for homeware and it would be almost rude not to pay a visit to Snooper’s Paradise.
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The smallest city in the country, St David’s is a beautiful little city. The cathedral is quite impressive and a gorgeous place to spend sunset. Of course, all of the nearby coastlines are worth visiting. This is the perfect UK city break if you want something more relaxing and slow-paced than your typical city. Again, it’s a place that gets busy with tourists in the summer months but it’s a great base for outdoor activities like cycling, surfing or wild swimming.
Spend your days strolling along gorgeous beaches or taking boat trips to the nearby islands. Whitesands Bay is a blue flag winning beach just around the corner. Head a little further around the Pembrokeshire coast and you can spend the day on Skomer island. If you can get landing tickets that is! The island is famous for the puffins that live there between April and July. This brings a lot of people to the area and the limit of 250 visitors per day to the island is strictly enforced.
Despite being a very small place, there are some great options for eating out. You can pop to the chip shop (followed by a trip to Gianni’s for ice cream) or have a gourmet three-course meal. We opted for chips and were not disappointed. If you’re looking a bit further afield then I’d recommend The Cambrian pub. The burgers alone are worth visiting for.
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Have you visited all of my top 3 UK city break locations? What are your favourite UK cities for a weekend away? Where else would you include in this list?