Whether you’re a foodie, self confessed sun worshipper or are after a rural retreat, we’ve done the hard work for you and have rounded up a variety of places we’d recommend you spend your precious three day weekend…
For food fanatics: Lyon
With the world’s most prestigious cooking competition, the Bocuse d’Or, held here every two years, it’s by no surprise that the historic town of Lyon is regarded as the capital of gastronomy. Foodies travel from far and wide to the quaint French town in the Rhône-Alpes region to enjoy the delicious dishes, fresh local produce and bustling outdoor food markets, which take place 6 days a week. Sat between the river Rhône and river Saône, and the Fourvière and Croix-Rousse hills, Lyon’s landscape is filled with terra-cotta roves, Renaissance architecture, medieval courtyards and a Roman ampithetheater. With a relaxed pace of life, your visit to Lyon will surely centre around superb food, and a probably a few carafes of wine.
For some sun, sea and sand: The Algarve
One for sun worshippers and sandcastle makers, the Algarve, located in the southernmost part of Portugal, is notorious for its sprawling beaches, stunning shorelines and crystal clear Atlantic tides. The Algarve’s rugged cliff lined coast is dotted with whitewashed fishing villages and sandy secluded coves, making it perfect for a family getaway or romantic beach retreat. Thanks to the Atlantic current you can surf on tumbling waves, whilst basking in the high Mediterranean climate or trek into the Algarve’s sweeping countryside to discover the mountainous trails. And if you ever tire of sunbathing, the old town capital of Faro has plenty to offer, with historic churches, charming cafes and picturesque parks to explore, all in the warmth of the sunshine.
For an urban escape: Budapest
For the ultimate three day city break, Hungary’s capital city of Budapest has plenty to offer, especially if you’re hungry for traditional Hungarian beer, roman style thermal baths and quirky open-air ruin bars. Split by the River Danube, the city is halved into two sections, the hilly Buda and more cosmopolitan (and flat) side of Pest, both rich in culture and history. The recent resurgence of designer hotels has turned old dilapidated buildings into covetable establishments, filled with trendy city dwellers. Ride the funicular to the top of Castle Hill, walk across Chain bridge connecting the two districts, gape at the royal palaces and opera houses, and experience the romantic sunset across the Art Nouveau style architecture.
For the best of both: Barcelona
If you’re looking for a beach escape and city break for the price of one, then Catalonia’s capital Barcelona is your ticket - ticking both boxes for vibrant cityscape and Mediterranean coastline and climate. The Spanish city is scattered with artwork, architecture and stunning gardens designed by Gaudi, filling the city with splashes of colour and a slice of surrealism. Food wise, from tiny tapas eateries to stylish Michelin starred restaurants; the city is brimming with unbeatable options, as well as striking skyline bars and cool underground cocktail clubs. After exploring the city, there are plenty of museums and art galleries to while away the afternoon in, after a morning of basking on one of Barcelona’s seven golden beaches – the perfect holiday routine.
For a country retreat: The Lake District
If you’re in desperate need of some tranquillity, wishing to be surrounded by rolling hills, rugged fell mountains and ribbon lakes, then head north west to the Lake District, England’s answer to a countryside retreat. The national park boasts awe inspiring landscapes and stunning walks, with idyllic towns, cosy traditional pubs and village markets along the way. Picnic in the open valleys, hike the hillsides and hire a boat to row across the famous lakes. Perfect for families and groups of friends, there’s no promise it won’t rain; the Lake District does have a reputation for random spurts of rain, but regardless of the weather the parks natural beauty is always breathtaking.
For a city staycation: Edinburgh
For a city escape that’s slightly closer to home, venture to the hilly Scottish capital of Edinburgh, home of haggis, the Scottish crown jewels and kilts (and birth place of Harry Potter). This captivating city has both a medieval old town and stylish new town to explore, with Edinburgh castle looking out across the winding city streets and cobbles of the Royal Mile. Arthur’s seat, an extinct volcano, sits behind the capital and offers sweeping city views after a grueling but worthwhile climb. During August culture vultures can enjoy the annual Fringe Festival, the largest arts festival in the world, which transforms Edinburgh into a stage, where street performances, comedy venues and music events pop up in every building and on every inch of the Royal Mile.
Now you know where to go, nailing your travel outfit is the most satisfying way to start your holiday. Shop our weekend wardrobe edit for some inspiration!