UK’s Top Weekend Getaways – What you need to know

5 January 2021 Off By Preeti Asri

If you are staying in London or coming down anytime soon, you can experience some fabulous weekend getaways from London without straining that purse as well! There are tons of charming weekend getaways near me that you can check out and as for queries pertaining to are hotels open in UK, it is recommended that you check online and book right away, while keeping all current protocols in mind. 

Best weekend getaways from London for you 

While you must have booked your UK hotels in London well in advance, here are some of the best weekend getaways that you should know more about. London is an ideal point for enjoying some fun getaways within the UK and also in international climes (but more on that later!). It has the best flight and railway connections with abundant options at your fingertips. 

Here’s taking a look at the best options for spending exciting weekends with your loved ones or simply as a solo traveler for catching up on some much-needed me-time alone! 

  1. Paris

Paris is one of the very best weekend destinations that you can easily access from London. You can simply hop onto a train for a journey spanning 2.5 hours while it takes just one hour via flight. Paris has an abundance of activities and attractions to satiate even the most seasoned traveler looking for a stimulating weekend break. Visit the iconic Eiffel Tower, as clichéd as it may sound and also the Louvre, one of the world’s most visited attractions housing the famous Mona Lisa portrait. 

Paris is also a sheer delight for serious gastronomes who love their fine dining with its quaint streetside restaurants, cafes and other joints while giving you several bustling markets to explore as well. The charming alleys and streets will give you a feel of what it is that makes Paris the most romantic and coveted city in the world for travelers across the world! The Latin Quarter deserves some serious exploration as well, with some of the oldest structures here dating back to medieval ages while the Montmartre is another hallowed landmark with its links to the literary and artistic circuit in Paris through the ages. 

  1. Bath 

If you’re presently in London and seek a date with history on your upcoming weekend, simply venture to Bath. This historic and charming town is just 1.5 hours away via train and is named after its famous Roman Baths. More than a million visitors frequent the site annually and you should plan to visit at a somewhat quieter time, away from the buzz of the tourist season. Christmas is a great time to spend time in Bath with fewer people and access to more attractions while the Christmas Market is a great place to shop for crafts and gifts which are locally created. 

The delightful architecture of the Royal Crescent has been drawing people since the Georgian era while No. 1 Royal Crescent, built in the 18th century, is worth exploring as well. 

  1. Amsterdam 

Another international sojourn which is only a weekend away is Amsterdam, one of the biggest hotspots for global travelers in Europe. Amsterdam is just an hour’s flight away from London and you will find some of the continent’s biggest attractions here including the imposing Rijksmuseum with works from legends such as Rembrandt while boat canal tours are also wonderful ways to spend romantic afternoons or evenings. 

You will find famous locations in the city including the spot where young Anne Frank penned down her iconic diaries and also the majestic Van Gogh Museum with its huge collection of artwork and other memorabilia. If you have time, head to the Royal Palace which has been housing the Dutch Royal Family since the year 1648. 

  1. Canterbury 

Create your own version of Canterbury Tales by visiting this famous cathedral city located in Kent. A railway ride of just an hour takes you here from London for a unique weekend jaunt. The Canterbury Cathedral itself is a work of art and architectural magnificence while coming with a chequered history of its own including the lovely gardens and Cathedral Precincts. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which not many people know and you will find historic spots including the one where purported orders of the King in 1170 saw Archbishop Thomas Becket being murdered. There are tons of lovely walking trails at hand along with the best dining and shopping experiences as well. 

  1. Edinburgh

For a rather blissful weekend, simply take a one-hour flight out of London to another capital city which offers a bevy of attractions. The capital of Scotland comes with the awe-inspiring Edinburgh Castle along with its numerous exhibits comprising of famous artifacts and crown jewels. 

You can also access the Royal Mile, the historic townhomes and shop fronts in the city along with the New Town zone while Princess Street is the ideal place to savor some of the best shopping and dining experiences in town. If you can, plan your trip to coincide with some of the world’s most popular events held here including the Edinburgh International Book Festival or the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. 

  1. Cardiff

Weekends away from London give you ample scope to land in various nearby capital cities, Cardiff being one of them. What makes it one of the best weekend getaways from London is the fact that you can reach within two hours by train while the welcoming and friendly Welsh citizens make the whole experience more enjoyable. 

Take a walking tour throughout the elegant Victorian arcades of Cardiff along with checking out historic shopping precincts and the 1858 Royal Arcade which has several local stores selling Welsh goodies while the Cardiff Castle should be on your must-see itinerary as well. 

  1. Dublin 

Just an hour’s flight away from London, Dublin is an Irish city that makes for a fabulous getaway on any weekend with its avalanche of fun attractions and things to do. The downtown core of Dublin is where most of the attractions are housed including the fabulous Trinity College with its pristine gardens and grounds and also the Grafton Street which is hugely popular with visitors. You will find ample scope for entertainment and shopping here while enjoying live music belted out by sidewalk musicians throughout this stretch. 

  1. Brighton 

Just an hour away from London via train, the beautiful city is where you will enjoy a highly authentic seaside retreat for the weekend. There are several UK hotels available in this part of the country and you will find some quaint townhomes looking onto the beach as well. You should venture for the promenade for a walking tour with spectacular views of the English Channel and Regency-era structures lining the beautiful streets along with numerous lovely parks and gardens. 

The Palace Pier is one of the biggest landmarks in the city while the Brighton Festival is a great time to plan your trip. Held annually in May, this festival covers multiple cultural events including pop music and classical performances, film and comedy shows and several other attractions covering leading venues including the beautiful Royal Pavilion. 

  1. The Channel Islands

Visitors booking UK hotels often miss out on the picturesque Channel Islands which are just an hour away from London via flight. This chain of spectacular islands right off the French coast also include the smaller Guernsey, Hern, Sark and Alderney islands along with the biggest one which is Jersey. This is where you may wish to start your weekend getaway. Savor the amazing views from almost everywhere while exploring the wonderful hiking and walking trails along with charming streets and fortifications of St. Helier along with exploring the hugely popular Durrell Wildlife Park as well. 

If you have some time in hand, you can think of covering Guernsey as well via ferry. This is another delightful island and a popular hiking destination owing to its shoreline which is dotted with cliffs. The Channel Islands are ideal for lazy and long weekends with your friends and family in tow. 

  1. Cambridge 

Cambridge is not just your regular imposing University city; it is also a wonderful spot if you are searching for weekend getaways near me. It is just an hour away via rail or car from the London city center and is a beautiful place to spend a couple of days exploring the historic attractions and soaking in the old-world charm that still exists. Cover at least a few of the older colleges while other attractions include some of the coolest UK events that you will find such as the Midsummer Fair which is 800 years old. The Cambridge Folk Festival is another event worth including in your itinerary too! 

  1. Bournemouth

Bournemouth is a must-visit for those who simply love seaside retreats and vacations. It is comparatively easier to access Bournemouth which is just two hours away via train and is one of the most elegant coastal towns in all of Britain. You will find some of the top UK hotels in this town along with several famous old inns which serve up nostalgic and satiating meals for company. The beach itself is a short walk away and covers a whopping 17 kilometers, linking to Hengistbury Head which runs into the neighboring Poole locality. 

  1. Windsor 

Windsor is one of the leading weekend getaways for those looking for a shorter break from London since it is just 30 minutes away via train. You will be dropped off in one of England’s most majestic older towns and will be able to explore one of the UK’s most famous and iconic attractions, namely the elegant Windsor Castle. 

This castle has been a home for the British Royal Family for more than 950 years while offering scope for vast exploration courtesy its numerous attractions. Do not miss out on highlights including St. George’s Chapel and also the State Apartments. The Great Park is also ideal for some relaxed wandering during your trip. 

Weekend Getaways from London within 2 hours by train 

There are many other weekend getaways near me that you will find within just two hours’ distance from London via train. These include the following: 

  • Margate– A 1 hour and 27 minute journey from St. Pancras International, Margate is one of those classic seaside resorts in England, fusing traditional culture and architectural magnificence with contemporary delights and a lovely beach that is as good as the one in Brighton. Margate is now fast becoming the go-to beach destination for people living in London. 
  • York- It will take you just an hour and 52 minutes to reach York from King’s Cross Station. York is a city with chequered history and heritage while you will find a welcoming pub right on every street corner as well for that relaxing tipple in the company of friendly and welcoming strangers! York is one of those classic British cities with spellbinding charm and narrow, inviting streets that have walls dating back to the 13th century along with the famous York Minster Cathedral as well. You can simply take a walk along the Ouse or go on a short drive of 45 minutes to reach the glimmering North Yorkshire Moors. 
  • Bristol- Take a 1 hour and 44 minute ride from Paddington Station to reach this environment-friendly, bustling and colorful city, Bristol. It is highly favored by the millennial population in the UK who seek meaningful weekend getaways. It is the very first cycling city in the United Kingdom and you should definitely rent your own bike for moving around the city throughout the weekend although make sure you prepare for some hillside slopes in the bargain! You can take cycle rides till several independent eateries and stores dotting Bristol or venture out through the swanky Montpelier zone which has earned mention as the coolest neighborhood in the UK sometime earlier. 
  • Rye- Rye is another charming village that you can access in only an hour and 8 minutes from St. Pancras International. Rye is a village dating back to medieval times and has unparalleled charm with plenty of rest, recreation and succor available for a wonderful weekend jaunt. You will love roaming the charming alleys and lanes housed in this village in Sussex while picking up delightful locally-made high-street homewares or even digging into sumptuous local fare at one of the classic tea rooms nearby. The whole experience is simply unforgettable to say the least. 
  • Cheltenham- Cheltenham is just a two hour train ride away from the Paddington Station and you can access the Cotswolds from here which is one of the United Kingdom’s most beautiful areas worth exploring. The Sandford Parks here date back to the 1930s where you can experience some vivid nostalgia or simply explore the Montpellier Gardens where invigorating summer bandstand concerts also take place. All in all, a nice weekend getaway for Londoners without a doubt! 
  • Liverpool- Liverpool is a 2 hour and 12 minute ride away from the London Euston Station. It is already held as an iconic city for two key reasons, namely the presence of the famous Liverpool Football Club which has seen the rise of footballing legends like Steven Gerrard and many others and also for being the birthplace of the Beatles from the 1960s. You can watch a pulsating football game while you’re in town while sauntering throughout the waterfront and grabbing a bite at the numerous plush eateries in the city as well. The Cavern Club along Mathew Street is where you should spend an evening and this is where the Beatles used to play early on in their careers. 
  • Frome- 1 hour and 55 minutes is all you need to access one of the best weekend getaways from London, namely Frome. Take the train from Paddington Station and reach this famous market town with its heritage trails, medieval era streets and a plethora of art and craft on offer for visitors. The annual festival is definitely the best time to visit. 
  • Oxford- Oxford is a mere 53 minutes away from London via Paddington Station and offers a fairytale ambience, complete with historic cobbled streets, imposing spires and a classic British vibe all around. The famous University is worth visiting along with the majestic architectural masterpieces dotting this town including the iconic libraries and some really welcoming pubs such as the Eagle & Child and Lamb & Flag where the likes of JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis were often spotted in the past. 
  • New Forest- An hour and 32 minute ride will get you to New Forest via the Brockenhurst Station from London Waterloo. This is countryside charm at its finest; visit the lovely city as a getaway to New Forest. Wander through the quaint village prior to walking through the forest on a long and lazy afternoon, complete with the historic woodland and the secret coastline which is included within the 140 miles of pristine pathways and walking trails. 

These are some of the best weekend getaways from London that are worth considering by all means. What are you waiting for? Pack your bags and venture out today! 

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