We’re spoiled for choice when it comes to long weekend breaks in the UK. With most of the country accessible by train, it’s easy to plan a quick romantic getaway to take a break from the usual routine, without having to worry about long queues at the airport - or forgetting your passport! We’ve rounded up the best long weekend trips close to home, with something for everyone from city break lovers to nature aficionados.
Long weekend in London
The capital is the classic choice for a long weekend trip. There’s so much to do that you can easily fill the time - and you’ll just have to come back again to tick everything else off your list!
When you take the train, you’ll arrive at London Euston station, in the heart of the city, and the excellent public transportation system makes it really easy to get around. You can pick up an Oyster Card for easy travel on the buses and tube, or simply tap your card for contactless payment.
Here are some of our favourite ways to spend a few days in London.
See the sights of central London
Particularly if you’ve never been to the capital before, you don’t want to miss out on the iconic sights and sounds of the city when visiting London. We’re talking about Buckingham Place, the Houses of Westminster, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. Why not take a trip on the London Eye to get incredible views over the city, and work out where everything is?
Hit the shops
London is the shopping capital of the UK, with something from everyone from quirky markets to high-end designer shops. Oxford Street is a must-visit, with the massive Selfridges department store, and the surrounding areas including Bond Street and Carnaby, also must-visit. Covent Garden is another essential shopping destination, with lots of unique stalls in the market, and quirky Seven Dials close by, home to over 90 shops.
Take a stroll
For such a bustling, vibrant city, London has a surprising number of green spaces. Make time in your itinerary to visit some of the city’s parks to enjoy a little breathing space. Hyde Park covers over 350 acres and there’s plenty to explore within its grounds - head to the famous Speaker’s Corner on a Sunday to hear some of the most impassioned speakers you’ll ever encounter. Regent’s Park is another good choice, convenient if you’re heading to Camden Market.
See a show
London’s West End is home to an exciting array of theatres, including some of the world’s best musicals. Take a pre-show stroll through Leicester Square, one of the busiest areas in London, packed full of street entertainers as well as high-end cinemas which often host world premiers. You might even get lucky and spot a celebrity!
Long weekend in the Lake District
If you’d prefer to get away somewhere peaceful for your trip, then this beautiful part of the country offers one of the best long weekend breaks in England. Take the train to Oxenholme for the southern Lake District, or Penrith for the northern part of the region, and get ready to explore. Here are some long weekend ideas for your time in the area, famed for its rugged mountains and breathtaking lakes.
Take a hike
The Lake District is the perfect spot for keen walkers. Home to the highest mountain in England, a walk up 978-metre Scafell Pike is a bucket-list item for anyone with a head for heights. If you don’t fancy spending all day in the hills, though, there are plenty of other options that are just as beautiful - and often, less busy than Scafell Pike, too.
Catbells, near Keswick, will take approximately 3 hours up and down - but you’ll be rewarded with incredible views over Keswick, Derwent Water and Borrowdale. Alternatively, take the 7-mile stroll around Ullswater, easy to get to from Penrith Station, for fantastic views of the surrounding mountains.
Visit the lakes
Of course, you can’t have a long weekend in the Lake District without seeing the lakes! There are sixteen lakes for you to explore in the region, each one just as beautiful as the last.
Windermere, at 10.5 miles long, 1 mile wide and 220 feet deep, is not only the largest of the Lake District’s lakes but also the largest in England. One of the best ways to explore it is by taking a cruise, where you’ll gain a unique perspective that can’t be had from dry land.
Derwentwater is another lovely choice if you’re on a romantic break in the Lakes. Just a ten-minute walk from the centre of Keswick, you can walk the entire eight-mile circumference of the lake - look out for ‘surprise view’, which offers incredible views of the whole of Derwentwater, Keswick, and beyond to Bassenthwaite Lake.
Long weekend in Glasgow
Scotland’s biggest city is the perfect location for a long weekend in the UK. Hop on a train to Glasgow Central, right in the middle of town, and you’ll be in the perfect position to explore everything this thriving city has to offer, as well as taking day trips further afield.
Explore the museums
Glasgow has a wonderful selection of museums, sure to appeal to you whatever your interests. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is one of Scotland’s most-visited attractions and one you should add to your list, too. Marvel at Christ of Saint John of the Cross by Salvador Dalí, explore local artwork and explore Ancient Egyptian exhibits. Another good choice is the Riverside Museum, an award-winning transport museum hosted in a unique building designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid.
Enjoy the nightlife
Glasgow has some of the best bars, restaurants and clubs in Scotland, so you’re in for a treat if you love a good cocktail. Merchant City is the place to be on the weekends - check out Merchant Square, a European-style square that’s perfect for people-watching, as well as the cocktails bars packed in Candleriggs.
The West End is another good choice for drinks, perfect if you’re in the area after visiting Kelvingrove Museum. Try Ashton Lane for picture-perfect photos of the cobbled street and twinkling fairy lights (as well as a choice of great bars), or head to the Oran Mor for a more traditional vibe and a great selection of whisky.
Take a trip to Loch Lomond
There’s plenty to keep you occupied in Glasgow for a full weekend but if you do fancy getting out of the city, Loch Lomond’s southern shores are easy to reach by train. The train ride to Balloch takes under an hour, making it perfect for a half-day trip.
Inspired by our break ideas? Remember, when you book your train tickets in advance, you can get great long weekend deals so pull out your diary and find a free weekend to enjoy a long weekend away.
Getting there by train
So, have you decided where to go for your next long weekend? Whatever location you’ve got your heart set on, Avanti West Coast can take you there. You can book any train journey through our Journey Planner, even if the stations and services aren’t run by Avanti West Coast.