London itself is a favorite holiday destination for the whole world throughout the year. But for the people living in London, what are the quick and convenient retreats that can be visited over the weekend without missing work, but also grabbing enough opportunity to rewind and get yourself charged up for the next week?
Here are some of the best Weekend Getaways from London – some far from London, some not so much – where Londoners can spent a weekend with their friends and family.
Manchester is perhaps the second most important city of England and is lovingly called the capital of the north. Though known across the world for its home football team Manchester United and their ground, the Old Trafford, it is also a hub of industrial, historic and scientific attraction sites.
In Manchester, you will found ore museums than you can visit in two days within the city’s radius – the Museum of Science and industry on the old Liverpool station ground tells the story of the city’s legacy in industrial revolution and evolution over the years; whereas the transition of Britain’s monarchy to democracy is told in the People’s History Museum. Also there are Albert Square, Whit worth Art Gallery, Manchester Museum and a whole city full of opportunities to experiment with authentic English cuisine and a number of tea bars.
Distance from London: Manchester is around 208 miles and a four hour drive away from the country capital.
Best time to visit: The ideal time visit Manchester is from May to August when the weather is comparatively warmer and sunnier. If you want some snow, year ending December is also not a bad time, but avoid the rainy months.
Place to stay: Hotel Novotel Manchester and the Lowry Hotel are some reasonable and contemporary stays while King Street Townhouse and Hotel Gotham have vintsge décor. Stay Inn is a low budget, no-frill lodging In Manchester.
Norfolk is closer home and at the same time, a perfect destination for a quick weekend getaway, thanks to its lovely beaches and pretty streets. Important sights that should not be missed are Norwich castle, museum and cathedral which together were a medieval fortification, now transformed into a tourist spot; The Broads – a park intersected with channels of waterways and is an ideal place of relaxation with great scenery; the Great Yarmouth Beach with Nelson museum and aquariums, Banham Zoo and Thursford Collection with a display of antique cars and trains. Cromer and Hunstanton are two beaches ideal for walking and relaxing with lighthouses and seaside eateries in plenty.
Distance from London: Norfolk is 106 miles away from London. It takes around 2 hours 10 minutes to reach the beach city.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit Norfolk is from September to March where rain is less heavy and temperatures are mild. In the warmer months like February and March, you can hope to swim out into the sea.
Places to stay: The Strattons Hotel, the Morston Hall Hotels, The Blakeney Hotel, the Woodman’s Farm and the George are some of the ideal lodging places in Norfolk.
Devon is one of those places whose name you come across in the old vintage English Literature – remember Sherlock Holmes’ famous the Hounds of the Baskerville? With its exotic beaches and moors and open spaces of rocky fields and hiking tracks to follow – Devon is a paradise for those looking to spend some time free from the hustle-bustle of the city and in the lap of nature. The English Riviera is nearby with series of harbour towns, while Exeter is known for its old-school charm with its 12th century Gothic cathedral. Dartmoor National Park is yet another must-visit area near Devon which is perfect for biking, mountain trekking, and moor land hiking and so on.
Distance from London: Devon is 200 miles from London, a 3 hour 30 minutes’ drive away.
Best time to visit: The warm summer months from March to May are perfect for a visit to Devon.
Places to stay: Sidmouth Harbour Hotel, Glazebrook House Hotel, The Old Rectory Hotel, Combas Farm and Three Crowns are places to stay spread all over Devon.
4. Forest of Dean
Unlike the other names here, Forest of Dean is a small woodland region on a plateau in Gloucestershire, bound by river Wye and Severn. It is one of the few surviving ancient woods of England – once a crown forest meant for royal hunting, now it is an ideal retreat for those looking to spend some time in the authentic wilderness and experience the presence of wild animals from close.
Must-see sights include the Gothic remains of Tintern Abbey, the ruined 11th century Goodrich castle on the top of a hill, Clearwell Caves – an mine turned into an underground museum and Puzzlewood – a natural woodland customised for families to spend quality time in the extreme vicinity of nature, but with safety.
Distance from London: Forest of Dean is 140 miles away from London, needing a drive of almost 3 hours to reach.
Best time to visit: The winter and early summer is the ideal time to visit Forest of Dean – from November to April.
Places to stay: The Rock, The Speech House, Royal Lode, Tudor’s Farmhouse Hotel and Lindor’s Country House Hotel are some of the best lodging options.
Though they are removed from the capital, they are still quite popular tourist destinations. So before you book your trip, learn about the weather, accommodations and conditions of the attraction sites – whether they are open or closed for some renovation. It will be wastage if you book your weekend holiday and then end up not getting to see everything the place has to offer.