Summer. It passes by so quickly doesn’t it? One minute you’re slapping on your factor 30 and firing up the BBQ and the next you’re pulling on your woollies and kicking up crunchy crimson leaves underfoot. It seems with today’s increasingly hectic lifestyles, we forget to slow down and enjoy our free time.
With summer being the best time of the year to get out and about in the UK, it’s time to start exploring and enjoying those weekends of sunshine. OK, the weather can’t be guaranteed – this is the UK after all, but what you can guarantee is that a short trip to one of the UK’s most weekend-friendly cities will put the spring back in your step.
Staycations are all the rage right now, and for good reason. UK tourism has never been so diverse, with thousands of ideas for a few days away from it all with your significant other or with the little people. This is where memories are made, so get out there and make the most of the rest of the summer!
Edinburgh is Scotland’s number one short break destination with a great mix of historic sights, museums and interactive days out to educate and entertain both adults and kids alike. Of course there’s Edinburgh Castle and the Museum on the Mount for a blast of culture, but for something a little sillier, head to the Museum of Childhood to see a plethora of toys through the ages, from Corgi Cars to Barbie dolls. It passes by so quickly doesn’t it?
Fancy something a little more thrilling? Edinburgh Dungeons will get your pulse racing with its costumed cast tasked with chasing you around a mirrored maze. Want more? The Cadies and Witchery Tours take you on a journey through Edinburgh’s dark past.
If the weather plays nice, then Bournemouth is a fantastic choice for a weekend away with a sweeping sandy beach and some of the warmest, cleanest seas in the country. Try your hand at surfing or simply enjoy the gorgeous walk from Bournemouth beach to Hengistbury Head, an area of outstanding natural beauty.
For rainy days, there’s Rockreef with its climbing walls for all abilities, and the Bournemouth Oceanarium where you can come face to face with penguins, loggerhead turtles and reef sharks, and even find Nemo! Or, you could just have a cocktail and watch the sun set.
For a city with so much history, it would be a crime to head to York and not explore its many grand houses, churches and museums. York Castle Museum is a fantastic place to start, and provides an excellent introduction to the city’s history in a fun and interactive way. Just outside the city, Castle Howard is a local favourite and is truly breath-taking in every way possible.
After you’ve got your fill of history, save room for dessert! York’s Chocolate Story, a whole museum dedicated to the sweet stuff (with plenty of tastings to enjoy of course) will sate your cravings for something sweet.
Southampton has undergone a transformation in recent years and is now a centre of family entertainment, with dozens of ways to spend a few days with the kids. Climb and zip wire through the forest at Go Ape, abseil or kayak in the countryside at Woodmill Outdoor Activities Centre, or ski the dry slopes at Alpine Snowsports Centre.
For couples and those seeking the quiet life, the Royal Victoria Country Park is a haven of wildlife and has a quaint miniature railway to enjoy. Southampton’s Tudor House and Garden is worth a look too, with over 800 years of history to explore.
Budding TV presenters will be in their element with a visit to BBC Birmingham Public Space. Peek behind the scenes of some of your favourite BBC TV shows and even have the chance to present the weather using the green screen!
Don’t miss a visit to Birmingham Botanical Gardens or one of the many historic houses in and around the city such as Aston House or Soho House. Finish off a perfect trip with a visit to Cadbury World for the ultimate choccy experience including a 4D chocolate adventure!