The final months of the year are a time of promise when our towns and cities take on a magical flavour in the lead up to Christmas. This is a time for pampering, keeping warm and spending time with those people who make life special. Not surprising then that city breaks are a popular in the autumn months, whether it might be to pick up those perfect gifts, meet up with friends and family or simply to indulge in some of the most stunning urban settings in the country, we have some great ideas for getting away this Autumn. Typically when considering a city break many will instinctively think of London, Edinburgh or York, but we are going to look at some of the more provincial, but great options for a fantastic city break in Britain.
The Gothic cathedral is the centrepiece of this ancient city that oozes charm and appeal. The historic legacy has left its mark on the city leaving an architectural gem typified by the delightfully vibrant Bailgate quarter. Set in the immediate backdrop to the atmospheric cathedral, Bailgate has a fantastic array of shops and eateries creating a great buzz in the historic heart of the city. Castle Square is the venue for frequent markets offering artistic wares and fresh local farm produce. For inquisitive visitors there is the Norman Castle to explore and tangible links to the city’s Roman past remain with landmarks such as the 3rd century Newport Arch providing fascinating links to the past. Make Lincoln next on your ‘to do’ list.
The principle city in Cornwall, Truro is one of the smallest and cleanest cities in the United Kingdom. The cityscape is wrapped in a bowl shape around the imposing Cathedral and estuary which lit up in the evening is quite spectacular. Truro’s central location in the county means that Cornwall’s spectacular north and south coasts are a short fifteen minute drive in either direction. The compact cobbled city centre offers a fantastic range of modern restaurants and bars. Despite its small size Truro offers the usual range of popular shopping chains alongside quaint and quirky outlets that make this the most popular shopping destination in Cornwall. With the added spice of Christmas markets in the weeks preceding Christmas, Truro is one of the South West’s premier city break choices.
Set against the backdrop of delightful rural market towns and villages, Norwich is the cultural hub of Norfolk and the gateway to the world famous Broads. There is an energy about the thriving art scene in Norwich. The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts is a wonderful addition to the Norwich arts scene; this modern venue plays host to art exhibitions throughout the year. The city’s castle and cathedral are also prominent attractions amongst visitors to Norwich and with a wide selection of restaurants and bars, this a city with a bustling mix of nightlife venues. If you prefer a more sedate pace of life the city’s rivers link to the Norfolk Broads, an inland waterway system that extends across the county to the East coast, home to a diverse range of wildlife. At the heart of East Anglia, Norwich has a lot to offer on a city break this Autumn.
With very convenient travel links from London, Brighton is traditionally a very popular city break by the sea. With all the accoutrements of a modern city but with the added allure of being by the coast, it is not surprising that for many of us Brighton is the city break destination of choice. The expansive marina is a vibrant centre with and exciting range of restaurants to suit all palates. Brighton is renowned for its social scene, offering quaint eateries and bars in and amongst ‘The Lanes’ whilst the cities numerous lively nightclubs provide plenty of options for those intent on enjoying a party. The compact city centre means that many of Brighton’s attractions are all within a short distance, the distinctive Royal Pavilion, world famous Brighton Pier and Sealife Centre are amongst the most popular. Why not combine your next city break with a trip to the Sussex coast?
Perhaps the quintessential city break destination throughout the ages, the beautiful Georgian city of Bath is the gateway to the South West. Designated a city 450 years ago, Bath has been a magnet for tourists for centuries. Ever since Roman times people have been drawn to Bath to ‘take the waters’ in the mineral rich spas. The Roman Baths form part of a world heritage site, with a temple built around a natural hot spring for people to enjoy the reputed benefit of the waters therein. The distinctive Georgian architecture adds to the aesthetic appeal of a city blessed with delightful parks and gardens set against some of the most important buildings in the country. It is easy to imagine the world of Jane Austen, who lived in the city and was so entranced that she set both Persuasion and Northanger Abbey in Bath. Today Bath remains a popular and engaging resort with the usual selection of great bars and restaurants that you would expect from a first class city destination.