If you’re planning a weekend away with your mates, a city break is a natural choice. After all, these give you loads of options when it comes to what to do, plus you can pretty much guarantee there’ll be some decent bars and clubs to hit.
I think some cities are better for this kind of break than others, though; below, you can check out some of my favourites.
I absolutely love Newcastle, and it couldn’t be more perfect for groups of friends. Famed for its amazing nightlife, it’s also home to a massive selection of art galleries, restaurants and theatres. The icing on the cake is that it also has accommodation to suit pretty much every budget.
If you’re travelling in a big group, I’d particularly recommending renting a self-catering cottage in Tynemouth, since this should give you plenty of space and the chance to see a few of the attractions outside the city centre too. Alternatively, you could opt for a more centrally located self-catering apartment or hostel, such as Euro Hostel.
Highlights of staying in Newcastle include the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, which stages incredible temporary exhibitions (not to mention being housed in an absolutely spectacular building), and its landmarks like the Castle Keep and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge. It’s also worth bearing in mind that there are some seriously good cycling routes in and around Newcastle, for those of you who like getting active on your holidays.
Next on my list is Edinburgh, which is easily one of the prettiest and most interesting cities in the UK. Famous for its stunning architecture, castle, culture, great shopping and world-renowned festivals, this is a great place for groups of friends to come at any time of year.
That said, if you’re keen to see the city at its most vibrant, you should probably time your trip to coincide with one of its many festivals. The most famous is, of course, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which takes place each August.
This is the world’s largest arts festival, taking place across the Royal Mile and art house venues. Thousands of performances – including comedy, theatre and music – are held here over the course of the month, with it being a famous platform for upcoming stars. Other festivals worth keeping your eyes peeled for include the Scottish International Storytelling Festival and the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
In terms of shops, make sure you don’t miss Princes Street, with its high street favourites and views of the castle, the high-end labels of George Street or the classic Scottish shopping available on the Royal Mile.
Last on my list is Liverpool, a UNESCO World Heritage City. Like Newcastle and Edinburgh, it has that killer combination of the historic and modern, sprinkled with brilliant nightlife and loads of great attractions. Plus, the fact that the city centre is very compact means it’s well suited to exploring on a weekend break.
The Liverpool Waterfront is one of the must-sees, given the fact that it earned the city its UNESCO heritage status. As well as being important in historical terms, it offers loads to do, being home to places like the Tate Liverpool and the Merseyside Maritime Museum. Plus, it’s simply a nice place for a riverside walk.
If you’re keen on doing a spot of shopping during your break, then you’ll be in for a real treat, since the shopping here is second to none. The top place to go is Liverpool ONE, a shopping centre in the heart of the city. This is home to well over 150 stores – a mix of high street names and independent shops – as well as lots of restaurants and cafes.