HomeAway travel expert
Sooner or later, we each experience the desire to get away from it all: even when we’re not sure if there’s anything to get away from! But 'getting away', of course, doesn’t necessarily mean jetting off to tropical climates; sometimes all it means is spending a long weekend somewhere relaxing. Luckily, this can be done without even leaving the comfort of the United Kingdom's very own shores. And a cheap weekend break in the UK can even fit the bill when you really do require a beach; just make sure to check the weather forecast well in advance!
It doesn’t matter what kind of break you’re looking for or who you’re travelling with. From rugged mountainous scenery to quaint towns and villages, urban chaos to rural charm, the UK has everything you could hope for in a brief getaway. Do it in style and comfort, with your very own private cottage or apartment. HomeAway has an array of rental properties in all corners of the British Isles, from farmhouses in the Scottish Highlands to penthouses in the City of London. There are plenty of options to choose from, so to help you make up your mind, we’ve compiled a list of our favourites.
Short breaks in London
What better place to start than the capital city? Not just a rich melting pot of all manner of cultures and sub-cultures, but one of the most vibrant cities on the planet, London truly has it all. The swanky West End allows for the ultimate in both retail therapy and fine dining, as well as a beguiling number of celebrity hangout nightclubs. You could of course take the cultural route, spending a day exploring the treasures of the British Museum or the Natural History Museum, both of which are completely free to enter. Or you may enjoy learning about the city’s bloody history with a tour of the notorious Tower of London. In truth, there are a tourist attractions on almost every corner, so a stroll around the centre will present any number of options. And with myriad low-flight air carriers, a cheap weekend away to London is easier than ever.
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Short breaks in Edinburgh
From south to north, the Scottish capital is another mesmerising destination for weekend trippers of any kind. The city centre is dominated by the historic castle, and one can almost picture nobles of old peering out over their subjects from the battlements on the volcanic perch. The cultural diversity here is staggering, with students from around the world calling it home due to its prestige and warmth. Walk the length of the Royal Mile from the castle down to Holyrood to experience the best of Edinburgh, with tourist hot spots giving way to the outlandish beauty of Arthur’s Seat. Elsewhere, a gamut of bars, restaurants, nightclubs, concert venues and theatres vie for your attention; the only problem with a short break in Edinburgh is that it invariably must come to an end!
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Short breaks in The Lake District
Quite possibly the most quintessentially British - or English at any rate - location on these fair isles can be found in the northwest region of England. You won’t find much in the way of nightlife here; you won’t behold a sprawling urban playground. What you will encounter is raw beauty, with the likes of Coniston Water and Lake Windermere among the most scenic. Perhaps the most splendid of all is Derwent Water, an uncharacteristically exotic lake studded with an archipelago of islands amidst a backdrop of remarkable mountain scenery. The prize for the most romantic, and a favourite for lovestruck couples, goes to Ennerdale Water - where Bill Clinton popped the question to Hilary back in the 1970s.
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Short breaks in Wales
Almost like a small-scale simulacrum of the UK in terms of diversity, Wales is a land famous for craggy mountains as well as a thrumming city life; seaside sensibilities and tranquil rolling hills and valleys. The Snowdonia region is a wonderful starting point, with a funicular railway on hand to whisk you to the summit of the mountain for which it is named. On the north coast lies Rhyl, the Welsh answer to Blackpool with the same “kiss me quick” attitude and family-friendly amusement arcades lining the main prom. Alternatively, you could opt for the historic capital of Cardiff, an increasingly acclaimed hotbed of culture, nightlife and sport. Check out the incredible Millennium Stadium, especially if you’re lucky enough to be there when the national rugby team are in action. Should you wish to complete a “four nations” style holiday, pair a visit to Wales with short breaks in Dublin, Edinburgh and, of course, the Big Smoke - London.
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Short breaks in Cornwall
Way down in the furthest reaches of the UK lies our very own answer to the French Riviera. Cornwall has, particularly in recent years, grown in stature as a destination not just for short weekend breaks but as an alternative to foreign summer holidays. This is due to its picturesque coastline, seasonally warm waters and prominence amongst water sport enthusiasts. Even if these aspects don’t float your boat, there are plenty of other qualities to entice you. Don’t miss the Eden Project near St Austell, a colossal botanical sanctuary housing thousands of plant species and various events throughout the course of the year. If you fancy a hike, brave your chances of encountering the famous beast on Bodmin Moor!
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See accommodation options for UK short breaks
Exquisitely finished and beautifully presented, The Sail Loft is amongst the very best examples of a romantic bolt hole to be found in Torbay. The views are truly spectacular from every vantage point, and the large private decked veranda makes for...
Sitting at the top of The Old Well Steps, in the eaves of a Georgian building, this is 15 Wishes. From the little balcony, there are views over the russet-red rooftops of the Citadel and toward the sea. Camber Sands and its amazing dunes are only ...
Seasalter Beach Hut is located directly on the beach and is the perfect spot for a peaceful holiday with nothing but sea and wildlife to gaze at from the cosiness of the property in the winter or on the beach in the summer.
You enter the beach hu...
This old Devon farmhouse, with its thick walls and huge fireplaces, has been updated to provide luxurious family accommodation including range cooker and sumptuous four poster beds, but without losing any of its quirky features and country house c...
Beautiful, detached, elevated house, situated at beautiful Warfleet Creek on the edge of Dartmouth, overlooking the Dart Estuary. Situated in a sunny, sheltered position with the most stunning views of the river Dart and Devon countryside from all...
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