Getaways: Great Places for a spontaneous trip in the UK

Home Holidays – UK Trips

Bored of trying to fill your summer holiday before school or uni starts again? At your wits end trying to think of ways to entertain your kids or to think of somewhere to go for that all important first romantic getaway? Let PromoPro UK give you the answers as we take a tour round some great UK destinations which are great for all occasions.


York, England

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This small city situated in the heart of North Yorkshire is a beautiful place for a couples retreat or a family weekend break. Despite being a relatively small city there is tons to do within the 800 year old city walls. Yorkies love to celebrate their history, whether it be reflecting on their Viking beginnings at the Jorvik centre or listening to the tales of the magic that local producers ‘Rowntree’s’ and ‘Terry’s’ made with the cocoa bean at the ‘York Chocolate Story’. History is everywhere in York and the best way to take it in by is strolling down the many ‘gates’ and ‘snickleways’ that snake around the city. It’s most famous alleyway is the quaint street called ‘The Shambles’ which hosts many local traders on its topsy turvy cobbles.

Standing anywhere in York you cannot fail to see the ‘Minster’ which is the largest Gothic Cathedral in Northern Europe and that should be your next stop. The mesmerising interior will take a few hours to properly digest but make sure you save time to clamber up the 275 steps to the top of the Minster Tower. Once you have caught your breath after the climb you can take in the phenomenal views over York and the surrounding Yorkshire countryside. They don’t call it ‘God’s county’ for nothing.

York locals will tell you that there is a drinking hole for every day of the year and while that may or may not be true there is certainly a wide variety to choose from. Try out edgy cocktail bars Evil Eye and Sotanos for romantic hideaways and if you fancy something more traditional try out some local ale at The York Tap or Pivni.  If you are going to be drinking all these cocktails you need some food to line your stomach which isn’t a problem in this city. Everywhere you look there are boutique cafes and independent restaurants to try out. Try out the gourmet sausage rolls at lunch at ‘the pig and the pastry’ and then head to ‘Mannions’ for afternoon tea, you deserve it after walking round the city. Finish up with dinner with amazing value dining at Rustique on Lendal or go for the pricier local gem Star in the City. Alternatively choose the first restaurant you see, because in York it is sure to taste amazing.


Belfast, Northern Ireland

 

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Situated on the banks of the River Lagan, Belfast has emerged from its troubled past to become a hotspot for weekend retreats due to the cheap flights and myriad of things to do. To begin your trip form a picture of the conflict that gripped Northern Ireland known as ‘the troubles’ and the best place to do so is at ‘the Crumlin Road Gaol’. Once known as ‘Europe’s Alcatraz’ many of the major players in the history of Ireland were held at one time or another in the prison. The thrilling tour round the gaol is one of the highlights of stays in Belfast, just make sure you stay with your group or you may end up staying longer than you intended. Aside from the darker elements of its history, Belfast was also once a shipbuilding powerhouse and was the site for the construction of the most famous cruiseliner of all time, the ‘Titanic’. Take the tour round the titanic museum and see what life would have been like aboard the ship and read about the chilling end that many of those who sailed met on the night it struck ice.

Just an hour’s drive away from Belfast and accessible by public transport, lies the stunning world heritage site ‘The Giant’s Causeway’. The interlinked hexagonal columns which stretch towards Scotland into the waves of the North Atlantic Ocean were formed from a volcanic explosion tens of millions of years ago. The Irish tell a different story about its formation as they relay the tale of Finn McCool the giant who laid the rocks as part of a cunning plan to defeat a Scottish rival which is of course where the site gets its name.

Taste the local catch at the Mourne Seafood bar or sample more produce from the surrounding area at one of the ‘Made in Belfast’ restaurants. Without reference to any cultural stereotypes, there are plenty of places to partake in alcoholic beverage in the city with highlights being the oldest bar in Belfast ‘The Crown Liquor Saloon’ with its ornate barfront and restored booths giving you an authentic drinking experience. Alternatively try out the heated beer garden at ‘The Dirty Onion’ in the cathedral quarter, with traditional Irish music played most nights mixed with a major refurb it is a great stop for one or two, as the locals say ‘The craic will be mighty’.


 

Oban, Scotland

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If a city break isn’t what you fancied, why not embark on an adventure to the East Coast of Scotland to the picturesque seaside town of Oban? A two hour drive through the Loch Lomond national park from Glasgow, this town dubbed the seafood capital of Scotland is sure to not disappoint. This is a destination for the adventurous and there is plenty to do around the water and surrounding headland. Take a trip on the Argyll Sea Kayak trail and spot the local wildlife which includes seals, otters and even the occasional whale. More nature comes in the form of the Arduaine Gardens just a short drive south of Oban, the grounds overlook the scenic ‘the Sound of Jura’ so is a great spot for botanists and novices alike. Other highlights that lie within the town include ‘McCaig’s Tower’ that resembles Rome’s Colosseum and stands above the town and for lovers of Scotch a visit to the Oban distillery built in 1974 to sample their single malt is a must.

If you exhaust all that Oban has to offer there also the beautiful surrounding islands to explore. Two of the standouts are Iona and Mull. Iona the island from which St Columba’s spread the message of Christianity to Europe has the abbey which he once called home. The island which takes its name from the Gaelic word for ‘baldness’ was the subject of the famous song by the former Beatle Paul McCartney. On its edge lies the second oldest lighthouse in Scotland from which you can see the North Antrim coast of Northern Ireland on a clear day. These and more of the surrounding islands are accessible through the local ferry services from Oban.


Anglesey, Wales

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­­­­­Another stunning coastal haunt is the island on the tip of North Wales known in local tongue as Ynys Môn or for those of us who need to brush up on our Welsh, Anglesey. Connected to the mainland across the Menai strait by the Menai Suspension Bridge and the Britannia Bridge, the island of 714m2 has some of the most stunning coastline in the UK. The best way to take it in is in by bike luckily the island has a natural route to take, along the Isle of Anglesey rural cycle way. Here you can relive the childhood experience of heading off on your bicycle on an adventure.

A great destination for a family trip is the medieval castle in the small town of Beaumaris on the western edge of the island. Commissioned in 1295 by King Edward I the castle has a bloodied history with many battles taking place at its doors, which is well worth reliving these during your stay. Another local attraction is the Llynnon Mill which is the only working windmill in Wales as it continues to produce wholemeal flour until this day.

Just a stone’s throw away from Anglesey back on the mainland is the Snowdonia National Park. Home to Wales’ largest mountain this is another area of outstanding natural beauty well worth a visit if you fancy a change of scene. If you are travelling with children a great visit is the greenwood forest park where they can lend their hand at archery and building wigwams from trees. Alternatively take a unique journey on the Fairbourne Railway which burrows through sand dunes to views of the mountain and beyond.