Check out last minute weekend breaks in the UK and beyond

From hopping big-city destinations to serene country getaways and beachfront retreats, you won't have any trouble finding a worthwhile spot for your last minute weekend away. Check out these suggestions for a last minute escape that can't be beat.

Jet off to the continent for a quick weekend away

Got a free weekend coming up? Pack your bags – Europe's finest destinations are just a short flight away. Book your last minute getaway to Dublin, Barcelona or wherever the mood takes you.

Delightful weekend escapes in Dublin

Home of Guinness and the capital of Ireland – more or less in that order – Dublin is a bustling city packed with historic sights, mouth-watering flavours and loads of live entertainment. Book a holiday rental in the Temple Bar district for easy access to the iconic 13th-century Dublin Castle. Polish off a pint at the Guinness Storehouse before heading out to the city's lively pubs, many of which feature tasty traditional fare and live bands every night of the week.

Last minute getaways in Barcelona

Filled with historic Catalan architecture and the whimsical buildings of local architect Antoni Gaudí, Barcelona offers a unique combination of old and new. Holiday homes in the city can include atmospheric apartments in the Gothic Quarter and airy, modern lofts with views of the Mediterranean Sea. Take in art at the Museu Picasso and Palau Nacional before strolling along bustling La Rambla, a shopping street lined with cafes and eateries.

Keep close to home with these UK weekend destinations

For a memorable last minute weekend away that's a bit closer to home, these destinations in the UK offer everything from buzzy nightlife and killer cuisine to historic sights and tranquil country views.

Water and wilderness in wonderful Whitby

If you're looking for a serene escape, the historic fishing village of Whitby has everything you need. With everything from cosy holiday cottages to stylish villa rentals, Whitby boasts a broad, sandy beach along the North Sea, while the vast expanse of the North York Moors National Park is just a short trip away. Climb the 199 steps for sweeping views of the town, and admire the ruined Whitby Abbey, which served as the inspiration for Bram Stoker's "Dracula".

Great getaways in Glasgow

Set along the River Clyde, Glasgow is a thriving arts and culture hub. Holiday lettings here are close to a wealth of cultural institutions, like the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the Glasgow Science Centre and the People's Palace Museum. Take in a football match at Ibrox Stadium or Celtic Park, or sample your way through Finnieston's foodie paradise before heading to one of the city's 2 whisky distilleries for a dram or two.

Last minute weekend getaways for couples

If it's quality time you're after, cosy up for a last minute weekend escape in one of these romantic spots. From snug cottages in the scenic Lake District to Tuscan treasures in Florence, ace your couples weekend with these destination ideas.

Serene holiday rentals in the Lake District

For a cosy weekend away with that special someone, head to the serene scenery of the picturesque Lake District. The Lake District National Park preserves 912 square miles of mountains, forests and, of course, lakes, and it's home to Scafell Pike, the country's highest peak. Nature lovers can explore the park's hiking trails and boating lakes, while more sedate travellers will be satisfied to pack a picnic and admire the breathtaking scenery. There are also plenty of castles and museums to explore, while the area's pubs and breweries offer the perfect spot to bond over a pint.

Holidays, Italian style – weekend trips in Florence for two

Florence has everything you need for a romantic weekend away – world-class museums, delectable dining and scenic views along the Arno River. Holiday homes in the city include snug apartments, warm villas and modern lofts; many offer easy access to the Galleria dell'Accademia, where you can see Michelangelo's 'David'. Stroll past the vendors that line the Ponte Vecchio Bridge – where couples once attached padlocks as symbols of their affection – before sampling the city's namesake dish, Bistecca alla Fiorentina, at a candlelit restaurant.