The end of the month is quickly approaching, and with it creeps one thing to the forefront of our minds: payday. Yes, payday is nearly upon us, which means that the daydreams of how we are going to spend this month’s hard-earned cash can officially commence.
If you’re on social media then your feed has most likely been filled with poolside pics and joie de vivre videos as your friends document each and every enviable moment of their summer holidays. And while bearing witness to their daily, blue-skied delight might have been tough over these last few money-scrimping days, maybe it’s worth considering a break for yourself once the monthly wage comes in?
A change is as good as a rest, and a little weekend getaway could provide just the change-of-scenery necessary to get you out of this green-eyed haze. Considering how a weekend isn’t a very long amount of time, you’ll want your trip to involve as little travel time as possible, which is why we’ve picked out these five gorgeous nearby summer locations that promise a good time for all visitors.
Image credit: ukgardenphotos on flickr
Located at the very bottom of England’s western foot, Cornwall is one of the UK’s most popular holiday destinations. This is thanks to the array of gorgeous beaches and favourable surfing and scuba diving conditions that the county claims hold to, alongside its quaint fishing ports, picture-perfect country cottages and ancient ruins. Oh, and Poldark.
(Note: Another reason why Cornwall is such a popular place for people to go deep-sea diving is because it has born witness to more shipwrecks than any other county in the United Kingdom).
Come from late July to early September, when the weather is still good but you avoid the height of the summer-madness. Here’s how to do it if you’re a foodie.
Image credit: Wolfgang Staudt
As one of the most charming medieval cities in Europe, Bruges’ wealth of ornate architecture and Gothic spires alongside cobbled alleyways is sure to make you feel like you’ve just been transported back in time. Nicknamed “The Venice of the North”, the wandering canals are as charming as those you’d find in actual Venice, except here you have the advantage of slightly fewer tourists ruining the backdrop…
Summer is a really gorgeous time to visit the Flemish capital as it’s warm enough to enjoy your locally-grown beer and cheese with mustard (the local favourite) outside, but temperatures rarely rise to uncomfortable levels.
Image via pixabay
This must be one of the most iconic seaside escapes in all of the UK, and getting there is really easy as it’s just a 60 minute train ride from London and only a 30 minute train ride from Gatwick Airport. Major sights include the pebbled beach, the amusement arcade on Brighton Pier the Hove (famous for its colourful beach huts & Regency architecture), and Rottingdean (a gorgeous little traditional English village), but Brighton also boasts hundreds of independent boutiques and even some award-winning restaurants (including everything from traditional fish & chips to an incredible zero waste restaurant).
Located on the Bay of Biscay, the focal point of La Rochelle is its large pleasure boat marina. La Rochelle’s luminous limestone facades have earned it the nickname La Ville Blanche (the White City); gawk at arcaded walkways, semi-timbered houses and the oldest town hall in France (built in 1606). Adding to the town’s visual beauty, La Rochelle is peppered with gorgeous lighthouses and surrounded by several little islands that hold powdery-sand beaches.
Tip: book for mid-July to catch the hugely popular Francofolies French music festival.
Image credit: William Murphy on Flickr
Belfast is a city steeped in history and culture, and despite its proximity to the Republic, it remains a place that a surprising number of Irish citizens have never visited. Choose between a host of widely acclaimed attractions, including the Black Cab tours (which take you through the city’s troubled past), the Titanic Belfast experience (the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction), and the CS Lewis trail through the city. And then when all the learning has been done, you can soak up the vibrant atmosphere in the bustling Cathedral Quarter, explore Belfast’s exploding food scene or make the most of the warm summer evenings out in one of the city’s many beer gardens.
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