Explore London

Three Top Weekend Getaways in the UK

Whether you’re hoping to explore some beautiful countryside, immerse yourself in history, or stroll down a quaint cobbled street, we have some great ideas for your next weekend getaway in the UK. So, what are you waiting for? Have a read of our blog and then start planning!

Cotswolds

The Cotswolds

Why visit?

It’s been fifty years since the Cotswolds was declared an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – an accolade this sprawling region certainly deserves. The Cotswolds, which covers nearly 800 square miles (from Wiltshire to Worcestershire), combines gorgeous, honey-coloured villages; buzzing towns like Cheltenham; rolling hills; and stately homes. There really is something for everyone in this unique area.

Where to start…

There are wonderful museums covering everything from vintage cars (The Cotswold Motoring Museum) to the life of famous composers (like the Holst Museum in Cheltenham); important historical sites (such as Chedworth Roman Villa); and royal homes (the Prince of Wales’s Highgrove Estate is one key example).

Or, if you’re a fan of outdoor pursuits, the ‘wolds’ (hills) have much to offer. Walk the great Cotswold Way (which stretches from Chipping Camden to Bath - Camino Adventures has a great hiking guide here); climb Cleeve Hill for stunning views; or enjoy the rich grasslands of the Leckhampton Loop. Dress up in your finery for a day out at the Cheltenham races, or enjoy the wild woodlands of Westonbirt Arboretum and the cultivated rose-gardens of Hidcote (one of the most famous Arts and Crafts gardens in Britain, created by renowned horticulturalist Major Lawrence Johnston).

But it doesn’t need to be a jampacked trip – the Cotswolds offer plenty of opportunities to relax. Take a gentle stroll around one of the region’s delightful, chocolate-box villages like Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold or Chipping Norton, before trying cheeses, locally-reared meat and seasonal fruit and veg at their weekly farmer’s markets (if you’re lucky, you might even find some local fish from Donnington and Bibury trout farms for sale).

You’ll be spoilt for choice with accommodation, too: our trusted partner, StayCotswold, has a selection of beautiful homes in the area to suit any vacation type or size of group. Contact us today to make your Cotswold stay even more special with an exceptional homestay!

York

York

Why visit?

Voted the best place to live in the UK in 2018 by The Times newspaper, York offers both cosmopolitan culture and gorgeous scenery (the Yorkshire Dales are just a stone’s throw from the city). And, as a further draw, it’s quite unlike any other British destination. Situated conveniently between London and Edinburgh, this ancient walled city has been influenced by the Romans, Vikings, Normans, Tudors and the Victorians: it’s a real slice of British history.

Where to start…

Start with a tour of the famous Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter (more commonly known as York Minster) and climb the bell tower’s 275 steps for impressive views over York. If you’re still in the mood to hone your local knowledge, you can check out one of the city’s thirty world-class museums (from York Castle Museum to the National Railway Museum – the largest railway museum in Europe, don’t you know). Beer lovers will find plenty to love, too: York has some amazing pubs and even a brewery – York Brewery – within the city walls. Stop for a pint at the Roman Bath, the only pub in the world with the remains of a Roman bathhouse in its basement.

No trip to York would be complete without a stroll down its unique cobbled streets or a sip of famous Yorkshire tea. We suggest having afternoon tea at Betty’s, a York institution; or, for something a little quirkier, you can visit the Countess of York – an beautifully-restored train carriage that once formed part of the opulent Orient Express Northern Belle.

As dusk turns to evening, get a thrill with a guided walking tour. York is alleged to be Europe’s most haunted city, so a ghost tour is a must. We recommend the Bloody Tour of York, during which Mad Alice (a character from local folklore) will show you some lesser-known – and spooky! – city sights.

London

London

Why visit?

London is unlike any other city in the world and a must-visit destination for any traveller. Even if you’re only visiting for the weekend, you can enjoy all the comforts of a home-away-from-home by booking a stay at one of UnderTheDoormat’s superb properties. Whatever your plans, the perfect home awaits...

Where to start…

Just walking through central London is a treat in itself. Chock-full of incredible sights – from Big Ben to the Tower of London – and amazing architecture – the Milennium Bridge, The Shard, and more – you can easily spend a few hours just taking in the iconic landmarks. You don’t have to spend a huge amount to have a fantastic time, either: many of the world-famous museums, like the V&A and the Natural History Museum, are absolutely free. Check out our recent blog for more tips on the best free things to do in London!

Wherever your travels take you, don’t forget to check out the capital’s many green spaces. The Royal Parks, situated in the heart of the city, offer a pleasant oasis amidst the hustle and bustle; alternatively, you can venture further afield and take in the rural delights of Hampstead Heath or the grassy splendour of Greenwich Park. These are perfect spots for people watching too: there’s no better way to get a sense of London than by watching city-dwellers going about their days. And for many Londoners, weekends mean one thing – shopping. If you fancy splashing the cash, follow their example and head to one of London’s many shopping streets. With a diverse range of department stores, chic boutiques and amazing markets (like Portobello Road) to explore, you'll find plenty of opportunities to treat yourself.

London is one of the world’s financial hubs, meaning that people with jobs in the city certainly work hard – but they play hard, too. There’s so much to do in the evening: from Michelin-starred restaurants to cosy pubs to glittering film premieres and theatrical performances. Heading to a show is an absolute must: you might spot a celebrity taking a turn on the boards, or an up-and-coming comic doing a stand-up set in a dive bar. Whatever takes your fancy, make sure you book a ticket!