Manchester might be one of the best cities in the world to live and work in but it’s also great to get out of the capital occasionally. Nothing says ‘escape’ like a weekend trip from Manchester that reminds us of how beautiful Britain’s coast and country really are.
While the Lake District and Scottish Highlands are some of the loveliest places for a staycation, there are wonderful locations and hotels outside London that are closer to home but feel a world away, offering natural scenery, fresh air, and plenty of space to breathe and watch the world go by.
Here are a few of our favourite weekend break locations for Londoners looking to get away from it all for a few days and embrace the natural world, something the capital isn’t exactly renowned for.
Just under 2 hours away by train and located on the picturesque south coast, Portsmouth is renowned for its unique maritime heritage and is one of the more popular train journeys available with Thameslink Railway. As a port town, Portsmouth has a wealth of naval history and culture to explore with the HMS Victory and the National Museum of the Royal Navy offering all you could ever need when it comes to seafaring knowledge. The town is also famous for its shopping. But more than anything else, it’s the ability to see along the seafront and enjoy the fresh sea air that really draws in London punters.
Easily reached from either London or Brighton (more on that below), West Sussex is what many people picture when they think of the Great British countryside. It’s also, however, a part of the country that’s brimming with seaside delights. Explore the South Downs by bike, pottle along the coast and discover some of the region’s famous cosy pubs or just go for a good old-fashioned walk.
Brighton is a classic UK seaside town with a buzzing nightlife and some iconic attractions. Whether you’re taking selfies in the upside-down house, taking in some culture at the Royal Pavillion or simply walking along the seaside with an ice cream, Brighton is just an hour from the capital but couldn’t be further removed from it when it comes to atmosphere.
While it might be seen as little more than a cruise ship terminal for some, Southampton is actually a thriving city with its own history and culture. Explore the aptly named, Old Town, take in world-class museums, theatres and contemporary boutiques and take in the sights and sounds of the port in all its glory. You could even try your hand at some watersports if the mood takes you and the weather is up to the task.