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Top 5 UK Weekend City Breaks From London

21 April 2016 | London Calling

Spring has officially sprung, and the weather is beginning to improve. Now is the time to explore more of your local city or book a lovely weekend city break! Here are our top 5 recommendations for the perfect city break…

Cardiff

On arrival, head for the city centre where you will find Cardiff Castle which offers expertly guided tours to transport you through its fascinating history. Afterwards, take a stroll around Cardiff Bay and pick from its vast variety of restaurants for dinner. Being the largest waterfront development in Europe, Cardiff Bay is home to lots of places to eat and Mermaid Quay’s bars are the perfect place for a post-dinner drink whilst looking out across the bay.

An essential when visiting Cardiff is a trip to the National Museum, home to one of Europe’s finest art collections spanning 500 years. Then after, if you’re looking for a unique dining experience, we suggest The Clink. Located on the grounds of a prison, you’ll be served by prisoners who participate in The Clink restaurant training scheme.

Oxford

Start off a weekend in historical Oxford by visiting Blenheim Palace, a beautiful countryside stately home situated just outside the city in nearby Woodstock. A world heritage site and the home of the 12th Duke of Marlborough, this heritage home is open to the public and its gardens are home to the greatest collection of ancient oak trees in Europe. In the evening, head back to Oxford city centre and stop at the Mad Hatter– Oxford’s literary speakeasy – for a glass or two.

On Sunday, take the opportunity to discover some of Oxford’s many museums. The Pitt Rivers Museum is famous for its archaeological and anthropological collections and holds interesting artefacts from all over the world. After a long day of site seeing, take a break at one of Oxford’s many cafes before heading over to Oxford Castle, where the Oxford Castle Unlocked tour brings the building to life.


Brighton

The main feature of Brighton visually is the Royal Pavilion; a building as lavish as George IV’s lifestyle, it’s an impressive piece of architecture and definitely worth a look around. After a visit to this former royal coastal retreat, take a stroll through Kemptown to the Brighton Marina where you’ll find lots of night-time fun at the casino, cinema or bowling alley.

No visit to the seaside would be complete without a visit to a chippy, so spend Sunday by the sea having fish and chips on the pebbles. Thrill seekers can take a ride on one of the Pier’s attractions and those looking to relax can head to the Palm Court restaurant. Before leaving, don’t forget to take a ride on the Brighton Wheel where you can look across the sea and take in the gorgeous view.


Bristol

To start a weekend in Bristol, pay a visit to a Bristolian must-see, the SS Great Britain – the world’s first great ocean liner. Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel to connect Bristol with New York, the museum ship gives you an insight into 19th century transatlantic travel. If your curious mind is still hungry to learn more, visit At-Bristol Science Centre which is accessible to all thanks to their interactive exhibitions. For a fantastic dinner with a view, we recommend Riverstation, part of the Bristol food scene for 20 years.

For those with little ones, take Sunday to visit Bristol Zoo Gardens – the fifth oldest zoo in the world and currently home to an adorable baby gorilla. Whilst you’re there, make sure to walk across the award-winning Clifton Suspension Bridge, an iconic Bristol landmark offering spectacular views and a photo opportunity to take home.


Canterbury 

To kick off your trip, pay a visit to Canterbury Cathedral which is at the heart of the Church of England and part of a world heritage site. Afterwards, grab a quick bite from pulled pork specialist Pork & Co and walk off your lunch by strolling around the cobbled streets. Be sure to pay a visit to The Beaney – a library, gallery and museum situated in a grade 2 listed building and also home to a portrait by Flemish Baroque artist Anthony Van Dyck.

For a peaceful end to a visit in Canterbury, take a scenic River Tour and enjoy the beautiful Kent countryside whilst you learn about its history. For those visiting with family, take the rest of the day to visit Howletts Wild Animal Park. It is just outside of the city and home to over 50 species and 400 animals, including baby rhinos, baby elephants and more gorillas, tigers, leopards and monkeys than anywhere else in the county.
 
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