Short break UK destinations for July and August

We hope you enjoy our selection of UK short breaks, hot to visit this July & August.

BATH

Why we say it’s hot right now:
Bringing a riot of colour, music and energy to the streets of Bath with a 1000-strong procession Carnival back again for 2018 (21 July) with Carnival Culture as this year’s theme. Events are held throughout the day, including a family-friendly Party in Sydney Gardens. The summer is a great time to visit and join in the fun of what promises to be an exciting and vibrant party!

Best known for:
Relaxation – Beautiful Bath has been a wellbeing destination since Roman times. Shopping – A city rich with fashionable heritage where you can shop for artisan treasures from one of-a-kind independent boutiques to on-style trends within high street stores selling antiques, arts and crafts, books, fashion, jewellery, and vintage clothing you won’t find anywhere else.  Jane Austen – you can wander through the pages of one of Austen’s classic novels as you stroll past mellow architectural masterpieces like the Royal Crescent and The Circus, or celebrate Bath’s most famous resident at the Jane Austen Centre.

The Circus - a striking masterpiece of Georgian architecture

The Circus – a striking masterpiece of Georgian architecture

Instagrammable landmarks:
The Georgian Circus and bathing in Thermae Bath Spa, (image above) which houses the only natural thermal hot springs in Britain.

Where to eat and sleep:
There are many luxury hotels and grand Georgian guesthouses in Bath. A few of our favourites include The Gainsborough Bath Spa, The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa and Roseate Villa Bath.

Arts and Culture:
Housed in some of the city’s finest buildings, the museums of Bath offer a wealth of remarkable stories. The Victoria Art Gallery and the Holburne Museum offer free entry to their permanent exhibitions. Both are housed in beautiful historic buildings where you can observe fascinating collections by Gainsborough, Turner, Zoffany and more, supplemented by a series of temporary exhibitions running throughout the year.

Pulteney Bridge Bath

Pulteney Bridge Bath

Getting there:
Located in the south west of England, Bath is easy to reach, just 90 minutes from London by train and a short drive from the M4 and M5.

THE MALVERNS

Why we say it’s hot right now:
The Malverns has inspired great British novelists including CS Lewis,  JRR Tolkien and Charles Dickens. This beautiful area is full of fabulous views, walking routes, literary tours, historic towns and thriving villages, museums and renowned gardens to explore.

19th century Eastnor Castle and landscape view along a path on the Malvern Hills

19th century Eastnor Castle and landscape view along a path on the Malvern Hills © BRITAINONVIEW/ Joanna Henderson

Best known for:
Malvern is famous for still having many (over 80) working gas lamps. There are gas lamps in Great Malvern Town Centre (on Belle Vue Island) and in the Priory Churchyard, in Malvern Wells along the Wells Road (A449) and Holywell Road, and in West Malvern. Malvern’s gas lamps feature in CS Lewis’s “Narnia” stories as a result of him attending Malvern College.

Instagrammable landmarks:
The stunning views of the Severn Valley by day, and under a working gaslamp during the evening.

Malvern Hills

Malvern Hills © BRITAINONVIEW/ Pete Seaward

Where to stay:
Set in the heart of the magnificent Malvern Hills, nestled amidst woodland, with panoramic Cotswolds views, The Cottage in the Wood is a wonderful choice for a short break – especially with a recent £2.5 million refurbishment project transforming the restaurant, bar, lounges, reception, hallway and kitchen. Gorgeous modern and stylish-chic interiors have transformed the hotel’s sophisticated spaces back to their Georgian glory. The lounge is cosy, colourful and eclectic, while the 2 AA Rosette restaurant perfectly reflects the hotel’s spectacular location. (An orangery and brand new spa is also being added to the property soon). Going back to the literary connection, The Cottage in the Wood was once part of the Blackmore Park Estate owned by John Vincent Gandolphi (1818-1902) – who it is believed was the inspiration for JRR Tolkien’s ‘Gandalf’ of a similar name – the great wizard from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Tolkien drawing much inspiration from the area.

Cottage in the Wood panorama

Cottage in the Wood panorama

Getting there:
Malvern is in Worcestershire, England, found on the A449 trunk route from Worcester to Ross on Wye.

NEWCASTLE AND GATESHEAD

Why we say it’s hot right now:
The Great Exhibition of the North, an epic 77-day exhibition showcasing art, culture, design and innovation from the north of England. One of the contributing factors is that Rough Guides have also declared Newcastle and Gateshead a top destination for 2018.

The Quayside at Newcastle & Gateshead

The Quayside at Newcastle & Gateshead

Best known for:
Being a great starting point for exploring the Roman remains of Hadrian’s Wall, the ancient defensive barrier that in its entirety once ran 73 miles from coast to coast.

Hadrian's Wall Northumberland National Park

Hadrian’s Wall Northumberland National Park

Instagrammable landmarks:
Sir Antony Gormley’s iconic Angel of the North stands at 20 metres high and 54 metres wide and is an outstanding piece of public art. Dominating the Gateshead landscape, stand at the feet of this impressive statue for an unmissable photo.

Plus, marking its 20th anniversary this year will be a range of special events; look out for pop-up #Angel20 activities and workshops at Gateshead venues.

Angel of the North

Angel of the North

Where to stay:
Although it’s twenty minutes away from Newcastle, as the leading design hotel and spa in Northern England Seaham Hall Hotel and Serenity Spa is certainly a worthy contender for receiving our vote.

Seaham Hall

Seaham Hall

A foodie paradise:
With a spate of new restaurant openings, Michelin-star restaurants, comforting street food and everything in between, the city is great for food choices. For a spot of romance, the Michelin-star House of Tides fits the bill, while the Quayside has welcomed Dobson & Parnell, with its focus on fine-dining British cuisine and Gateshead has seen the opening of Lola Jeans, which features a menu ‘from barn to board’ and an inspired cocktail list. Check out the neighbourhood of Jesmond for new eateries such as Cal’s Own for Brooklyn-style pizza pie too.

Getting there:
Gateshead and Newcastle, often described as twin-cities, joined by seven bridges across the River Tyne, are en route to Scotland. By train, it’s just a 1½ hour journey north to Edinburgh.

LINCOLN

Why we say it’s hot right now:
2018 is a big year in Lincoln and Lincolnshire as ‘Bomber County’ marks the centenary of the Royal Air Force, look out for some great events being held in Lincoln to celebrate. The long awaited International Bomber Command Centre has now officially opened to the public, with the country’s tallest war memorial, featuring the names of those who died serving in Bomber Command during WWII. Bastion in the Air features two major exhibitions; one in a former hangar at RAF Scampton, home of the RAF Red Arrows, with British and German aircraft in an authentic WWI airfield; and an exhibition at The Collection, will detail the county’s aviation development, focussing on the WWI threat from zeppelins.

Red Arrows performing a 'break' during a display sequence

Red Arrows performing a ‘break’ during a display sequence

Best known for:
Lincolnshire sausages, Lincolnshire plumbread, Poacher cheese, haslet, chine, and numerous historic buildings.

Instagrammable landmarks:
Both Lincoln Castle and Lincoln Cathedral are conveniently located together, on top of one of the steepest hills in the country. The cathedral is one of Europe’s finest Gothic buildings, once the tallest in the world, with stunning views from the roof and tower and intricate design inside. The castle, commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1068, stood atop the hill and protected the city for almost 1000 years. The Victorian prison experience, and underground Magna Carta vault make it one of the UK’s most popular castles.

Lincoln Cathedral Nave

Lincoln Cathedral Nave

Steep Hill

Steep Hill Lincoln

Where to eat and sleep:
The White Hart Hotel has a fantastic location, moments from the cathedral and castle. This is a traditional hotel with modern luxury and spectacular views. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, with modern facilities, where guests are encouraged to unwind and rest. The Grille, within the White Hart Hotel, offers an eclectic mix of dishes provided on the a la carte menu.

Dining at the White Hart Lincoln

Dining at the White Hart Lincoln

Getting there:
Part of the East Midlands, Lincolnshire sits on the east coast of England, to the north of Norfolk and the south of Yorkshire nestled between the Humber and the Wash. The A1 and A46 make the journey from the south quicker now than ever before.

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