You may feel that you’ve ticked off the list of UK city breaks already. You’ve loved and left London, and exhausted Edinburgh, sampled Manchester’s delights and taken in the history of Bath, captured Liverpool’s culture and drunk Bristol’s bars dry.
So what’s next? Well, for starters we suggest you try these hidden UK gems – they’re often underestimated, but make for an ideal weekend away from the crowds…
Situated in the East Midlands, Lincoln is the perfect weekend destination for history buffs. There’s both a cathedral and a castle to explore, as well as the Lincoln Guildhall, where you can enjoy a free (and highly recommended) tour. Be sure to stop at the Wren Library – a 15th century set-up known as ‘the most beautiful room in England’, and tuck into cheap eats at local haunts such as The Cheese Society, Cafe Portico, and Elena’s Kitchen.
Hull was UK City of Culture for 2017, and the attractions in the area reflect this – from The Larkin Trail, a walk around the favourite spots of poet Phillip Larkin, to The Deep, a contemporary building housing an aquarium, museum and environmental charity all in one, and home to most incredible views. Take a weekend trip and you’ll have your fill of museums, galleries, and parks – just don’t forget to walk the pedestrian lane on the iconic Humber Bridge before you leave.
Reading’s reputation is mainly as a commuter town (yes, we know it’s not strictly a city, although they’ve attempted the status) – but look past the somewhat ‘beige’ exterior and you’ll find lots to enjoy behind the scenes. There’s plenty of shopping, both on the streets of the town centre and in The Oracle, impressive buildings to admire, and green spaces to wander through (including Basildon Park, an 18th-century National Trust property with sprawling gardens) – plus, Stanlake Park Wine Estate does an excellent wine tour…
(Almost) everyone has been and done Edinburgh, but far too many overlook of us overlook Glasgow, which is a mere hour’s drive away. Let the 120-year-old subway whizz you around the sights of the city – it’s perfect for creatives, with a multitude of free museums, amazing architectural sites (designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh made his mark in several places) and a notable music scene. Food fans should head to Finnieston, where a smorgasbord of fashionable restaurants await.
Britain’s tenth largest city boasts eclectic mix of family-friendly attractions – the National Space Centre, Stonehurst Family Farm and Ashby de la Zouch Castle are all worth a visit. For a more relaxed affair, while away an afternoon deer-spotting in Bradgate Park, learn something new at New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, or stuff yourself silly at one of the city’s top-rated curry houses.