There’s no better way to de-stress than with a simple change of scene. If you’re in need of a break, why not consider a few days in one of the many fantastic towns and cities in our region? And we’re not just talking a weekend getaway either. A break during the week is almost always the more relaxing option thanks to fewer crowds and quieter attractions.
Sound enticing? Whether you want to totally switch off or you’re keen to immerse yourself in some of Britain’s most fascinating history, these are our top picks for a mid-week escape.
- Dive into centuries of history in York
With its Gothic Minster, medieval walls and hidden Roman baths, York is a true patchwork of historical influences. It’s the ultimate getaway destination for those who love learning about the past, with the JORVIK Viking Centre, Clifford’s Tower and the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall among its many awesome attractions.
A walk along York’s City Walls is a must and will give you a clear – and very photogenic – snapshot of what the city looked like in centuries gone by. Want to pick up some souvenirs or sample some local Yorkshire delicacies? Make a beeline for the Shambles – a picture-perfect street featuring timber-framed houses that once housed medieval butchers’ shops. Today, it’s the location of several independent boutiques and a fantastic market that’s open every day of the week.
Stay: Enjoy unrivalled luxury in a historical setting at The Judge’s Lodging.
Eat: Treat yourself at The Rattle Owl or head to the Shambles Market for sensational street food.
- Eat your way around Manchester
Tend to choose your holiday destinations based on their culinary credentials? Manchester won’t fail to tickle your tastebuds. The dynamic Northern city has a thriving food scene, varying from artisan brunch spots and award-winning curry houses, to fancy bistros with epic cityscape views.
Spend your mornings wandering around trendy neighbourhoods like the Northern Quarter and Ancoats where you’ll spot plenty of cool coffee shops perfect for lazy brunches. Tea time is made easy thanks to loads of incredible dining options. Treat yourself at 20 Stories in Spinningfields, tuck into wholesome British fare at cosy Sam’s Chop House or venture south of the city to Manchester’s bustling Curry Mile.
Stay: Chic Whitworth Locke sits in the heart of the city and right above a Foundation Coffee House.
Eat: Head to Mackie Mayor – a food market lodged inside a beautiful Victorian building – for a choice of delectable cuisines.
- Shop ‘til you drop in Liverpool
Liverpool isn’t just a city famed for its musical connections and reputation for a good night out. It’s also packed with history AND it’s a haven for shopaholics.
A mid-week break to Liverpool gives you the ideal excuse to plan a shopping spree. Your first port of call should be the Liverpool ONE shopping district right at the heart of the city. There are over 170 shops to browse, from high street chains and designer boutiques to well-known bookshops and luxurious cosmetics stores.
Prefer vintage threads? Stroll up Bold Street where you’ll find a handful of great second-hand stores. Alternatively, make your way into the industrial-chic Baltic Triangle to the Red Brick Markets. The independent shopping centre within the Cains Brewery Village features numerous stalls selling clothing, accessories, homeware and more.
Stay: Check into The Baltic Hotel for easy access to the neighbourhood’s thrift shops.
Eat: Bold Street is littered with eateries – check out Leaf for a light lunch or Mowgli for Indian sharing plates.
- Immerse yourself in culture in Edinburgh
Scotland’s capital is easily one of the UK’s favourite city break destinations. As well as heaps of cool bars, innovative restaurants and seemingly endless museums, Edinburgh is brimming with attractions which let you delve deeper into its rich culture.
Begin your cultural tour at Edinburgh Castle where you’ll discover over 1000 years of history. From there, take your time strolling down the Royal Mile that’s dotted with fantastic medieval buildings housing restaurants and specialty shops selling uniquely Scottish souvenirs.
Lucky enough to have some sunshine during your getaway? Walk up Arthur’s Seat or Calton Hill for panoramic views across the city. Other Edinburgh activities you might want to add to your itinerary include whisky tastings, ceilidh dancing lessons and trips to historic neighbourhoods like Leith and Stockbridge. There’s also several cultural festivals to attend throughout the year, including Edinburgh Fringe, Edinburgh Art Festival and Hogmanay.
Stay: Enjoy a romantic setting at the boutique House of Gods Hotel in Edinburgh Old Town.
Eat: Tuck into some tasty seafood in a former whisky warehouse at Ostara in Leith.
- Escape to the country in pretty Penrith
Craving some peace and quiet? Delve deep into the countryside in beautiful Cumbria. Penrith is one of the main getaways to the lovely Lake District and it couldn’t be easier to reach by train.
The town itself is awash with pretty stone buildings, cosy pubs and ancient attractions, including a ruined 14th century castle. Penrith is also blessed with various walking and cycling routes. In fact, it’s recognised as Cumbria’s first cycling hub. Book a spot on the train for your bike and get ready to explore tranquil trails that can easily be completed in a day.
Stay: The North Lakes Spa & Hotel on the edge of Penrith is the ideal place for some R&R after a long hike or cycle.
Eat: Sample locally-sourced Cumbrian delights at Foundry 34 in the centre of Penrith.
Feeling inspired to plan a mid-week escape? Check before you travel and book your tickets in advance online or using the TPExpress app.