The perfect way to balance a busy life is to give yourself short breaks in a nearby city. Your dear old TripDad is going to show you two of the best short breaks you can go on. Of course, If you’re like me, you’d really prefer taking an entire month or more off at a time – and most certainly a nice 7 or 8 day holiday as well – however, one of the very best ways to get away from the hustle can definitely be with short breaks – and we’re going to show you how to make the best of them right now.
Best Cities for Short Breaks
According to the Guardian, the 10 best cities in the world are London, New York, Paris, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Rome, Berlin,Istanbul, Edinburgh and Las Vegas. I’m proud to say that I’ve personally been to 7 of these fine cities, all of which deserve much longer than 2 or 3 days visit (although if you do 3 days in Vegas like in the movies, your body will feel like it was a full week).
The Guardian’s 10 best are truly glorious cities to visit, but what if you’re looking for short breaks in UK only? Well, we best start with the one that made Guardian’s top 10 world wide list, shall we?
London- One of the greatest cities in all of the world – if you’re only going to be here for 2 or 3 days – then you’ll have to narrow down the site-seeing to perhaps half a day. Jump on a nice double decker and you’re off and running. Many people take what they call a “Theatre Break” to London as well because there’s so much incredible theatre there. This is where my wife and I first saw the Lion King and it was simply fabulous. (If you’re not wanting to take in a big show, there’s plenty of small local theatre you can support as well – I still remember the hilarious “Shakespeare in an Hour” performance we saw over a decade ago.)Plenty of fine dining all about town.
TripDad always suggests being creative, but especially with short breaks. London Breaks suggests some afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason or the Grosvenor House or perhaps a lovely lunch aboard a Jazz cruise. So much more to do here you could literally do zero planning whatsoever, arrive in London on Friday eve, pick up a local guide, and stumble from the newly renovated Kensington Palace the next day to the London Dungeon by noon; get a spectacular view of the city on the London Eye in early afternoon, and board a grab a show in the evening (all in one day!) If that’s too fast a pace for you, stroll through the London Zoo or the Sealife London Aquarium on the following day.
Whatever your heart’s content, you can find it in London for certain. There’s enough to do in London for you to plan 2 or 3 short breaks a year and never run out.
Short Breaks Nearby
If you’re looking for short breaks nearby the UK and simply don’t want to travel over (or under) water, then we highly recommend popping up to Edinburgh (yes, Scotland). Although not constitutionally part of the UK, certainly a brother worth a visit to the north. You’ll see why the Guardian included this lovely city in it’s list of top 10 as well.
Edinburgh – sadly, I’ve never personally made it to Edinburgh but after doing this bit of research for you I’m ready to hop on a plane for one of my next short breaks myself! According to Edinburgh City Breaks, “Edinburgh is geographically a small city but a city packed with things to see and do. Its small size means it is eminently walkable which is wonderful.” I don’t know about you, but I love going on short breaks to completely walkable cities! (Mostly because I eat all the food I want and still don’t gain any weight because of all the walking, but we’ll save that tip for a future TripDad article.)
You simply can not miss Edinburgh Castle, quite possibly living up to it’s claim as the world’s most striking castles. (And when we say you can’t miss it … really, a simple walk about the city and you’re eyes are certain to be entertained. Now here’s a quick list of TripAdvisor’s top 10 Edinburgh Attractions to fill in the remainder of your holiday:
1. Gilmberton Cove – a series of chambers and passageways lying beneath the city, this archeological mystery has baffled minds for over 300 years.
2. Arthur’s Seat – 2000 year old hill fort situated within Holyrood park offers walks, solace, wildlife, volcanic geology and incredible views of the city.
3. Xtreme Carting – bring your inner child (or real one’s over the age of for this fun and thrilling motorsport experience.
4. Camera Obscura & World of Illusions – 5 floors of hands-on fun: vortex tunnel, mirror maze, and shrinking room.
5. Royal Yacht Britannia – experience what life was like on board this fascinating tour.
6. National Museum – discover Scotland’s rich science, art, nature, and culture all under one roof.
7. National War Museum – set within the Castle, find out how wars have shaped Scotland’s reputation.
8. Royal Botanic Garden – 2kms north of the Castle, 31 hectares and even better since it’s free.
9. Princes Street Gardens – Perfectly landscaped park & woodland surrounding the Castle.
10. Calton Hill – Historic neighborhood lined with monuments dating back to the Enlightenment.
Pick a few for your weekend holiday and have a great time! As a side note, if you have the extra time, how can you not drive up to Loch Ness and take a peek for Nelly or at the very least head up to the Isle of Sky for another bit of incredible castle watching and take in the beauty of northern Scotland. Isle of Skye is in Perth and less than an hour’s drive while Loch Ness is certainly not a consideration for short breaks since it’s nearly 4 hours by car.
B.I.D – even on Short Breaks
As we first introduced in TripDad’s Cancellations Holiday article, you should always remember to “B.I.D.” before booking any holiday whether long or short. Here’s how:
- Budget – How much do you want to spend, are you looking for luxury travel or backpacking, etc.
- Interests – Will this be a family trip, romantic break, or around the world trip of a lifetime?
- Destination – Obviously, you’ll want an idea of where you want to go (near or far, beach or snow, etc)
Know these three things ahead of time and you want get sucked into the online travel vortex when doing your research.
Thanks for reading TripDad, we hope you see why “Father Travels Best”. Be sure to comment below and let us know any questions or experiences you have regarding short breaks.