Home Grown Holidays : City Breaks
Staycations are in vogue, and the UK is brimming with little-known gems that make it the perfect place to start your next adventure. Here are some of our favourite city breaks.
Edinburgh, the only capital city on our list, has forged a well-deserved place as not only a top UK destination, but in our humble opinion a global one too. For starters, it's beautiful - so much so that it inspired J.K. Rowling's Hogwarts, and it isn't difficult to see why as ancient buildings sprawl across the landscape in all sorts of gothic shapes and sizes, from taverns to castles. Particularly eye-catching architecture to look out for include Scotts Monument, St Giles Cathedral, and the famous Edinburgh Castle. Once you've done your 10,000 steps in the city, it's time to do 10,000 more just outside; for a break from the hustle and bustle, the walk up to Arthur's Seat provides a stunning 360 degree view of Edinburgh, or if you don't fancy a hike you can always wander around the Water of Leith that meanders through Dean Village. You might need a drink after all the activity, so head over to George Street for a great mix of restaurants, bars, and pubs.
Although not a capital city anymore, York did primarily serve as one between 1298 and 1304 (whack that fact out on your next Tinder date and see them swoon). If you can't make it all the way up to Scotland, the Shambles (pictured below) look like a scene out of Harry Potter, and the twee road takes you all the way to York Minister five minutes away - the biggest gothic Cathedral in Northern Europe with a brilliant view of the city from it's roof. The city walls are also some of the best preserved in the country (another fact for the second date), and being a historical hub, York also harbours a tonne number of (free) museums, including the Jorvik Viking Centre, the York Art Gallery, and best of all, a chocolate museum.
The City of Bath is one of the UK's 32 UNESCO World Heritage sites, and having been founded close to 10,000 years before Edinburgh, this city is packed with history as well as style. It is most famous for the Roman remains dotted about, which include a temple and hot spring baths, but its architecture also covers neo-classical buildings which can be spotted at the Royal Crescent and Queens Square. You can see most of the old city by taking a boat trip down the River Avon as you imagine what it was like to be Jane Austen, who famously lived in Bath for a number of years - inspiring the setting for a number of her novels.
Brighton & Hove
Brighton & Hove has been a favourite destination for Londoners trying to escape the city for hundreds of years. As the nearest stretch of the South Coast to the capital, its proximity to the Big Smoke has played a key part in Brighton's growth as a thriving city. In recent times, Brighton & Hove has gained a reputation for its open-mindedness, and is known as both the environmental and LGBTQ capital of Britain. Whether you're a kid at heart who loves arcades, a beach bum who wants to lounge in the sun, or a shopaholic who'll get lost amongst the shops, Brighton has it all. The Lanes provide a network of small streets dotted with independent shops, and the seafront provides endless walks along the beach or an afternoon of fun along the pier. Brighton & Hove is also nestled in the South Downs National Park if you fancy stretching your legs away from the city.