5 UK City Breaks for the upcoming Bank Holidays | i Travel Blog

 

 

 


5 UK City Breaks
for the upcoming Bank Holidays

 

Summer is fastly approaching and soon you’ll be dreaming of Mediterranean cities, southeast Asian landscapes and Caribbean waters. But while you count the days remaining until your well-deserved break, how about planning a UK weekend getaway to open the appetite? After all, sometimes the best destinations may be just around the corner.

 

1. Cardiff

Capital of Wales since 1955, Cardiff is one of the flattest cities in Britain and has more green space per person than any other core city in the UK. Over the course of 2000 years, Cardiff has been affected by a range of influences: from the Romans and Normans of antiquity, to the industrial revolution and coal industry which turned it into the thriving, international city we know today.

 

 

 

What to see:

Start with the panoramic views from Cardiff Castle, located in the city center, and spot the animals spread alongside the wall. Don’t forget to do a quick shopping in the Castle Quarter to see why Cardiff is known as the City of Arcades. Take a walk in Bute park (the city’s greener area), and head over to Mermaid’s Quay or Cardiff Bay for some waterside eateries. After lunch, visit National Museum Cardiff for major art, national history, and geology collections, or visit St. Fagans to learn about Welsh history in one of the world’s leading open air museums.

If you’re a sports fan, don’t leave without taking a tour of the Principality Stadium, which has hosted some of the biggest international rugby events.

 

2. Edinburgh
Named by the great thinkers of the Scottish Enlightment, Edinburgh is a city which begs to be discovered. From its fascinating nooks and alleys to the way that the architecture entwines with the surrounding landscape. Don’t let the number of tourists scare you off: despite its international attention, Edinburgh never gets boring.

 

 

 

What to see:

You cannot say you’ve been to Edinburgh without visiting the Edinburgh castle. It can get quite busy, so we recommend you book your tickets in advance, but the view is beautiful on a clear day. Speaking of views, the summit of Arthur’s Seat is hard to beat if you’re looking for breathtaking panoramas. For more outdoors activities, you can choose one of the many parks and gardens that the city has to offer.

Don’t miss out on important landmarks such as the National Monument of Scotland and Greyfriars Bobby; hit the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art for a superb selection of contemporary pieces; and visit at least one of the city’s markets for fresh, home grown produce and a variety of handcrafts.

 

3. Glasgow

An architectural legacy packed with Victorian Mansions and Public Buildings; a collection of wonderful museums and galleries; a legendary pub, clubbing and live music scene; and some of the best shops and malls in the country: this is what awaits you in Scotland’s biggest city. With over a hundred gigs taking place every week, and dozens of festivals happening every month, you won’t run out of things to do or places to see. From dawn to dusk and into the night.

 

 

What to see:

East End’s Glasgow Cathedral is a must-see for all photography and architecture lovers, and so is the Glasgow University, famous for having inspired JK Rowling’s depiction of Hogwarts. If you’re into Street Art, we definitely recommend the City Centre Mural Trail for a sight of some the biggest pieces adorning the city.

There are also dozens of museums to check, from Zaha Hadid’s Riverside at Glasgow Harbour, to a Science Center that will keep the young (and no so young) kids entertained for hours. 

 

4. Liverpool

Known as the city of the Beatles, Liverpool has been an historically important cultural centre in the United Kingdom. It has been recognized as the World Capital City of Pop, It was nominated as the European Capital of Culture in 2008, and several areas of the city centre were granted World Heritage Site status by UNESCO in 2004. Despite of its decline from the mid-1970s onwards, Liverpool has managed to regenerate and it is now one of the main economies in the UK.

 

 

What to see:

If you like museums, then you’re in luck: Liverpool has a great range of galleries and exhibitions, and most of them are free to attend! Check the Museum of Liverpool for a story of the city throughout the years; learn about modern-day slavery and human rights issues at the International Slavery Museum; and pay a visit to Tate Liverpool for one of the best art collections in northern England.

If architecture is more your cup of tea, you can’t miss out on Liverpool’s Albert Dock, the Roman Catholic Cathedral and the buildings known as the Three Graces (the Royal Liver Building, the Cunard Building, and the Port of Liverpool Building).

Finally, if you’re looking for Liverpool unique experiences, follow in the footsteps of the Beatles with themed museums and walking tours; or buy a ticket to watch a football match at the iconic Anfield Stadium.

 

5. Manchester

Considered by many as the second city of the UK (traditionally competing with Birmingham for the title), Manchester has always aimed at improving humanity by incubating movements such as communism, suffragism and vegetarianism. In 2017, a terrible act of terrorism may have tried to shake this progressive mindset, but the city only doubled it down by spreading tolerant and inclusive ideas among its inhabitants.

 

 

What to see:

Feel the Hogwarts vibes at the John Rylands Library and pay a visit to the Whitworth and the Manchester Art Galleries for an artsy morning. If you’re interested in equality, social justice and woman’s suffrage, make sure to visit the People’s History Museum for a taste of Britain’s history of democracy. The Victoria Baths are also a must-see cultural spot, as it hosts fairs, exhibitions and festivals inside the actual restored swimming pools.

If you’re looking forward to some shopping, wander to the Northern Quarter for a selection of unique, alternative and independent shops, selling everything from vintage clothing to plants and homeware.

 

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