Classic and Unusual “City” Breaks in the UK

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With international travel still being weird – for some destinations and people being totally off the cards – a safe bet for a city break these days is the UK. Although without the romantic nature of Paris or the party atmosphere of Prague – we still know how to enjoy a great nightlife here in the UK.

I’ve included your classic UK cities that are well known and cater to your avid city breaker – as well as some lesser known or unusual towns/cities



I may be biased but I consider Edinburgh to be the best city in the whole world. It’s deep, rich history, the friendliness of the people, the beauty of its skyline which has never been invaded by skyscrapers, the wide range of basic to michelin star food – I could go on for hours. You won’t change my mind! There are so many things to see and do in Edinburgh it’s worth picking a theme – so a boozy break , wellness weekend or a history hiking around – it gives you a bit of focus rather than trying to do everything in a short time. Also gives you a wishlist of what to do each time you come back. Because once Edinburgh has your heart – it will be there forever.

Hidden Gems (so many!)

Stockbridge – a great spot for vintage clothing finds, french patisseries, artisan cheeses and wonderful cellar bars – Stockbridge is a stunning district of Edinburgh in the New Town just down and away from Princes and George Street.

Stramash – Nightlife like you won’t believe. Proper live music that makes the floor vibrate, several levels of bars so if you want an intimate night you can still enjoy the music. Whoever books their bands has amazing skill at getting the right people.


Newcastle has a long standing as a fun party town! This many be the sort of city break to do by train – getting up after a long night partying and having to drive home may be dangerous! From the Quayside to the hustle and bustle of Grainger town – you’ll have to pick from wide list of options to plan your break!


Such an easy spot for a city break – multiple airports, train and bus stations makes this the easiest place to get to in the UK – but also the busiest. During the summer London can be hell with tourists so worth picking another time of the year – such as spring (for all the cherry blossoms) or December – for the Christmas shopping and lights! There’s something for absolutely everyone in London and the whole place is stuffed with hidden gems!

Hidden Gems – Choccywoccydooda. Amazing palace of chocolate worship. Chocolate fondues, cake sculptures and bakes makes this place just off Carnaby Street a favourite visit. There are too many others to list so this guide should help you with hidden gems of London – or try Tik Tok!


The official “Highland” city, Inverness is just picturesque beauty, wholesome nightlife and Harris Tweed handbags all rolled into one. I lived near Inverness for several months as well as visiting on many occasions and I just love it. It’s like a mini Edinburgh – but Highland. The Highlanders are wonderfully welcome, deeply proud of their nation and their history and can’t wait to get you on the floor for a birl when the music is playing. The shops are pretty decent – every tiny hamlet to large town for hundreds of miles commute to Inverness to do their business whether it’s commerce or health, wellness or furnishings. It’s a right wee melting pot!

Absolute hidden gems of Inverness;

The Market Bar – teeny wee upstairs bar – amazing range of live music every night from one man and his guitar to funk and soul.

Cool Runnings. Jamaican restaurant with Bob Marley all over the walls and stereo. Goat Curry is a must try!

Chanonry Point – Dolphin spotting daily. Just swimming around having fun! A drive away from Inverness but taxi will take you there.



Beautiful Oxford by the Thames, University city and affluent shopping destination – Oxford is peaceful, interesting and close to many big cities so makes it easy to get to on a Friday night for the weekend. Best enjoyed on a sunny midsummers day with lunch by the Thames riverside under a weeping willow. If you get a chance don’t miss Bicester Village for top deals on Uggs, Molton Brown and many more!

Hidden Gems – Visit the Bear Inn – been in operation since 1242. Can imagine what those walls have seen of human history! Or try the Junkyard Golf Club for a unique nighttime experience!


Stirling is another gorgeous Scottish skyline that hasn’t been invaded by tall buildings and being a University town, has much nightlife and shopping to offer. From twee Scottish souveneirs to artisan local crafting – there’s something for everyone. Often world class acts perform at the local Albert Halls if you can get tickets. Stirling is ringed by rugged hillsides of the Trossachs and much outdoor sport can be enjoyed here – whatever takes your fancy. The majestic Stirling castle and Wallace Monument tower over the city to remind you of the deep and rich history of this area.

Hidden Gems – Bridge of Allan, it’s just a few minutes north of Stirling but it’s a pretty, picturesque town with lovely boutique shops.


A wee city by the sea. Just up the road you have the epic golden sands of St Andrews, the V&A Museum by the docks and plenty of fun bars and restaurants to enjoy. It’s compact to get around easily as well and the transport links are good.

Hidden Gem – Lochee Park and the Observatory. I used to live right at the foot of the hill the observatory was on – I saw Halley’s comet there in 1987. A beautiful park and graveyard circling the hill with amazing views and the bonus of the observatory at the top. A lovely day out.

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