Sometimes you just have to get away. There’s nothing like a weekend getaway to help clear your mind and fill your batteries.
Lucky for us, the UK is full of bustling cities, charming villages, sweeping views, and cosy forests, all within a few hours on the train. Read on for a list of places to go in the UK for a weekend.
Romantic Weekend Getaways in the UK
While many might consider a whirlwind trip abroad to be the ideal romantic break, there are plenty of fantastic options for romantic weekend getaways right here in the UK, and all are easily accessible by train.
Here’s our top pick of just a few places you can explore with your other half.
It may seem obvious at first, but London is a great place to go in the UK for a weekend. Couples will find masses of things to do. If you’re craving culture, go to a play or musical in the West End, or see some of the best British art at the Tate.
For a romantic dinner, try The Barbary Next Door or be extravagant and treat your darling to Bob Bob Ricard. In the mood for a long walk? Have a ramble in Greenwich Park, with a well-deserved pint at The Princess of Wales afterwards.
If you want to satisfy your love of learning, why not try a whisky-tasting class? Or if you’d like to relax, many spas offer couples’ packages, including one at the Shangri-la hotel.
London is one of the most accessible places in the UK, served by a number of mainline train stations, including London Euston, with daily services to the North and Scotland.
If you and your sweetheart would prefer a more pastoral experience, Holyhead is a great place to go for a weekend away.
For a cosy place to snuggle up and watch the ferries, book a room at The Hut Wales - Seafront Inn. If you prefer le grand luxe, treat yourself to a stay at the Caerwylan Hotel in nearby Criccieth.
Once you’ve found a place to stay, it’s time to explore Holyhead. You can learn about shipwrecks and pirates at the Holyhead Maritime Museum, see the South Stack Lighthouse in Anglesey, or visit the 4th-Century St Cybi Church.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can stretch your legs and hike up to the Holyhead Mountain Hut Circles, relics of the Roman occupation.
You can travel by train to Holyhead from Chester, Manchester and Milton Keynes, as well as directly from London in under four hours.
Looking for more ideas for a romantic long weekend in the UK? Here are seven of the best romantic getaways.
Cheap Weekend Getaways in the UK
You don’t need to spend a fortune for a great getaway. There are lots of places to go in the UK for a weekend, even on the tiniest of budgets. Here are a couple of ideas:
Did you know that all the museums in Liverpool (apart from one) are free? Keep this in mind as you’re looking for things to do.
Take the kids to Little Liverpool at the Museum of Liverpool and while you're there, satisfy your inner nerd with a poke around the Liverpool Overhead Railway Gallery. Afterwards, why not stroll down the waterfront and enjoy some people-watching?
For you fangirls out there (you know who you are!), try not to faint whilst you visit The Beatles Story Exhibition/Museum or follow the Fab Four’s footsteps down Penny Lane, through Strawberry Fields, and down to the Cavern Club.
Liverpool is one of the North West’s best-served cities by train, with daily services across the North and to and from London in just two hours and 12 minutes.
If you want to explore the North West but have already ticked Liverpool off your list, check out our guide to the perfect weekend in Manchester.
Edinburgh gets all the attention, but Glasgow is worth the visit. If you’re counting your pennies, Glasgow ought to be on your list of best UK weekend breaks.
For a weekend morning’s browse, the city is crawling with markets. Homemade crafts are to be found at the Merchant Square Craft Market, and This Is Not A Boot Sale is where you’ll find your next new-to-you treasure.
For lovers of all things vintage, Seamster Vintage is a zero-waste clothing store that’s definitely worth a visit. For art lovers, Glasgow City Centre is known for its spectacular murals, which you can see for free with the help of the City Centre Mural Trail Map.
Glasgow is located at the top end of the West Coast Mainline, with daily services to London via Carlile, Crewe, and Milton Keyes.
Family Weekend Getaways in the UK
For the whole family, the best weekend breaks in the UK are those that have something for everyone. Here are a couple of ideas:
The Lake District
The best weekend getaways in the UK are those in which you can stretch your legs and the kids have space to run around. For that, the Lakes is a fantastic choice.
In Keswick, the Lake District Wildlife Park has red pandas, otters, and meerkats. For lovers of all things mechanical, the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway is a seven-mile steam train route that takes you through spectacular countryside.
On a rainy day, take everyone to the Lakes Aquarium or the World of Beatrix Potter. If your kids are part fish, they’ll enjoy hiring a canoe. If you just want to take in the beautiful countryside, check out this resource for accessible and child-friendly trails.
Our trains stop at Oxenholme, Penrith (North Lakes) and Carlisle so you can explore a whole range of places in the Lake District with us.
Tucked in a corner of Shropshire, Shrewsbury has loads of family-friendly activities, and your little adventurers will love trying out archery at The Edge Outdoor Adventures.
Amateur sleuths will enjoy solving the mystery of Eva Looshon with Treasure Trails: Darwin’s Shrewsbury, while Shrewsbury Prison has its own take on the escape room with the Shrewsbury Prison Break.
And for nature lovers young and old alike, the Shropshire Wildlife Trust is a must-see, thanks to its accessible and kid-friendly trails in the area.
Shrewsbury is connected to all of our stations, making it one of the best-connected places in the UK to escape to for a weekend. You can travel here from London in less than two and a half hours, and from Birmingham in under an hour.
Solo Weekend Getaways in the UK
Sometimes you just have to get away from it all and reconnect with yourself. How you choose to recharge is up to you. Here is a list of the best UK weekend breaks for one:
Treat yourself to a weekend spa package at Thermae Bath Spa Browse for antiques in Scotland, including at the Scottish Antique & Art Centre Shop your heart out in London
Take a pottery class and shop for Wedgwood china in Stoke-on-Trent
Weekend Beach Getaways in the UK
Nothing says ‘getaway’ like an expansive ocean view. See below for some ideas on the best places to go in the UK for a weekend by the sea.
Llandudno has a fantastic pier from which to gaze out at the Irish Sea. West Shore Beach is a good spot for a stroll on a sunny day, made even better with a coffee or an ice cream from the West Shore Beach Cafe.
For accommodation, treat yourself to a four-start experience at the Lawton & Lauriston Court. If you prefer something cosier, the Headlands Hotel is just the ticket. Hungry? Enjoy some local fare at Home Cookin’ or fish and chips at Chish N Fips.
Llandudno is served by two main train stations, Llandudno and Llandudno Junction, which are a short 10-minute ride from one another. It’s simple to get to Llandudno Junction from anywhere in Britain, including direct services from London in just over three hours.
Blackpool has everything you could possibly want out of a British seaside town. There are three piers featuring roller coasters and other attractions, the world-famous Madame Tussauds wax museum and Blackpool Aquarium.
On the famous Blackpool promenade, check out the Beach House Bar & Bistro for craft cocktails. There are also plenty of seafront hotels to choose from.
The line to Blackpool branches off the official West Coast Mainline at Preston, making it one of the most accessible seaside resorts in the UK by rail. There are direct services to and from London in under three hours, and services from Warrington in just 45 minutes.
Have a weekend getaway with Avanti
Once you decided where you want to go, it’s time to book your train tickets with Avanti West Coast. However, if you’re looking for more inspiration with locations, you can read all about where we go for other destinations to consider.