Long weekend breaks
Getting away for a few days can be just as refreshing as an extended vacation, and spending a long weekend abroad is often all you need to invigorate your mind and give you a new perspective. A short vacation in a lively, cosmopolitan city is a great way to cram plenty of activities into your long weekend, with culture, shopping, dining and nightlife all available on your destination's doorstep.
Explore London in a long weekend
Few cities let you cram as much activity into a short space of time as London does. With world-class museums, galleries and attractions, including Tower Bridge, the London Eye and Buckingham Palace, you can easily spend a few days soaking up the view; or unwind with a stroll in Regent’s Park or a boat ride on the Thames – your long weekend can be as active or as relaxing as you like.
Hit the shops along Oxford Street; browse through iconic department stores such as Harrods and Selfridges; or sample the exciting food scene at some of the capital's coolest restaurants, bars and nightspots. The West End theater scene is legendary, with an assortment of famous musicals and celebrity-studded new plays, or you can catch everything from live music and comedy to ballet and opera. There's no shortage of things to see and do in London, and you'll come back from even a short trip feeling like you've seen the world!
Check out more London highlights in our destination guide.
A short trip to Manchester
Edgy, vibrant and effortlessly cool, Manchester has more than earned its nickname of "Capital of the North." Known for its red-brick Victorian architecture and cutting-edge music scene, this former industrial city is a fabulous destination for a long weekend break, with a refreshing mix of culture, shopping, history and nightlife, all served with a laid-back vibe.
Check out the evocative exhibits at the Imperial War Museum North; admire the neo-Gothic splendor of the historic Town Hall and John Rylands Library; and view the works of Salford artist L.S. Lowry at The Lowry gallery, before grabbing a bite to eat along the famous Curry Mile. Sports fans can try to catch the local soccer teams Manchester United and Manchester City in action, while keen shoppers can hunt for everything from designer buys to quirky vintage finds in the city's diverse stores and markets. Manchester is also renowned for its nightlife, so try to catch a live gig and check out the thriving bars and clubs in The Village for maximum fun during your weekend trip.
See our Manchester destination guide for even more great activities.
Experience a weekend in Edinburgh
As Scotland's capital city, Edinburgh is packed with history and culture – more than enough to keep you entertained during a long weekend trip. Start with a visit to Edinburgh Castle, perched on a cliff overlooking the city; then wind your way through the cobbled streets of the Old and New Towns, which together are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Soak up some culture at the Scottish National Gallery, then try out your sea legs on the Royal Yacht Britannia. Feeling brave? Join an underground ghost tour in Edinburgh's haunted vaults – then warm up with a whisky in a cosy bar on the Royal Mile to settle your nerves.
History buffs can drop by Holyrood Palace, the Queen's official residence in Scotland, or check out the extensive exhibits in the National Museum of Scotland. Browse for local artwork and crafts in quirky independent shops and galleries, and enjoy a meal in one of the city's outstanding pubs and restaurants. Go for a relaxing stroll in the Princes Street Gardens, or get a taste of the Scottish outdoors with a climb up Arthur's Seat – even a short vacation in Edinburgh is enough to leave you feeling on top of the world.
Read our destination guide for more ideas on what to see in Edinburgh.
A short break in Glasgow
As boisterous and fun as it is smart and sophisticated, Glasgow is a city with plenty to offer even on a short trip. If you're fond of shopping and nightlife, few UK cities can rival this Scottish metropolis; and it's also a brilliant destination for those who love museums, galleries and historic attractions. Whether you're looking for a lively party weekend in Glasgow's legendary clubs and bars, or a relaxing cultural break in this relaxed riverside city, even a short visit to Glasgow is sure to be packed with activity.
Start your visit with a tour of the world-class Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, or peruse the stunning Burrell Collection. Spot the influence of designer and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh in buildings throughout the city, from the iconic Glasgow School of Art to the House for an Art Lover, before exploring the Botanic Gardens or strolling along the River Clyde. Get in some retail therapy in the stores along Buchanan Street, and dip into the city's exciting culinary offerings before catching a gig at one of Glasgow's vibrant live music venues – the city is renowned for its arts scene. Whatever your interests, a long weekend in Glasgow is sure to leave you feeling invigorated.
Find more Glasgow attractions in our destination guide.