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  • Bank Holiday Breaks

    There’s nothing quite like the promise of a three-day weekend to get your fingers itching to book a mini break. Whether the lure of the seaside, the thrill of city life or the calm of the countryside is calling you – here’s four great British breaks to make the most of the long weekender...

    Sea air... Margate

    Since the arrival of the Turner Contemporary gallery in 2011, Margate has been on a steady upward trajectory towards gentrification. These days, you’re just as likely to spot artistic hipsters beards as you are Kiss Me Quick hats. The cobbled streets of the old town are lined with quirky boutiques and eateries (it’s a major foodie destination) and there are miles of dramatic coastline to explore – make sure to stroll along the clifftop to beautiful Botany Bay.

    Stay at… The Reading Rooms – which elevates the concept of bed and breakfast to an art form. Housed in a restored Grade II listed Georgian townhouse on a leafy square just a stroll from the seafront, there are only three beautiful bedrooms (each takes up a whole floor) and possibly the best breakfast menu you’ll ever encounter.  

    Eat at… Head to Hantverk & Found for their acclaimed seafood menu or dine on the harbour arm (with views back to the town) at Scandi-inspired Mala Kaffe or the brilliantly-named Cheesey Tiger

    Don’t miss… Dreamland – the UK’s oldest amusement park, which has been subject to a painstaking renovation. Ride the wooden rollercoaster (genteel rather than hair-raising) and marvel at the Art Deco ballroom. And, of course, the Turner gallery – perched majestically on the sea. Look out for Anthony Gormley’s sculpture, Another Time, which is revealed at low tide.

    Country Escape... North Norfolk

    Burnham Market tends to steal all Norfolk’s trendy thunder, but there are so many corners of this county of endless flat countryside and big skies to explore. Base yourself in the pretty village of Docking, and you can explore Old Thornham, Brancaster, Wells – and the astonishing vast shimmering coastline.

    Stay at… You’re in the pretty village of Docking because you’ve rented the Little Norfolk Cottage, which is so perfectly renovated that a) you’ll want to move in or b) you’ll want to go home and redecorate your entire home. They really have thought of everything – from the perfect interiors to the Nespresso coffee machine, and an array of old fashioned sweets in charming glass jars. 

    Eat at… Have lunch in the pretty garden of the - much-garlanded with awards - Orange Tree (where you’ll also find rooms if the cottage is booked); try the rustic fare at friendly Shucks at the Yurt; or eat seafood with views over the marshland at The White Horse in Brancaster Staithe. 

    Don’t miss… The beaches at Holkham and Hunstanton with their miles of golden sands stretching as far as the eye can see and Wells-next-the-Sea with its array of pastel coloured beach huts.

    City Buzz... York

    York has it all. Not just medievally picturesque, encircled by ancient walls and perched on a river – heck, it even has charming medieval alleys (‘snickleways’) running between the proper old-fashioned tearooms; it’s also disarmingly cosmopolitan with cafes, galleries and delis around every cobbled corner.

    Stay at… Go for something stylish. Choose between the bold, brilliantly-coloured interiors at Churchill Hotel, or opt for the soothing palette at the Judges Lodging (we love the little touches like the vintage phones), which also houses several eating options – from an atmospheric cellar bar to a cosy, leather booth-filled restaurant. 

    Eat at… We don’t know about you, but we find a restaurant called Ate O’Clock hard to resist. The Star in the City has a prime position on the river – and prime gastropub food. And no trip to York would be complete without a Fat Rascal at Betty’s Tea Room

    Don’t miss… The Shambles - this eye-poppingly quaint Elizabethan street dates back to the fourteenth century (when it was home to numerous butchers – hence its name). It’s now an alternative to the generic high street, clustered with independent boutiques and eateries (York is a foodie haven). Set aside a couple of hours to walk the city walls and wallow in the glorious views.

    Spa Retreat... Glasgow

    You’ll find Blythswood Square in a former terrace of Georgian houses on a leafy refined square in the heart of hip Glasgow. And did we mention the spa?

    Stay at… Blythswood Square has the feel of a private members’ club – all marble bathrooms, plush interiors in autumnal hues and the requisite tweeds.

    Eat at… The hotel’s main restaurant is in the former ballroom, but if you fancy something more relaxed, try The Gannet (Brooklyn cool hits Glasgow); Stravaigin; or Glaswegian institutions, Two Fat Ladies (really) and Number 16.

    Don’t miss… The spa (obviously). It’s extensive and if you can’t find relaxation in the crystal steam/hydrotherapy room and relaxation pools/thermal suite, or from the extensive treatment list, then we give up. Try some popcorn and a film at the hotel’s private cinema instead.

    Time to pack...

    We've got your bank holiday break wardrobe sorted.
    (Just don't forget your pyjamas.)

    From more packing inspiration shop our what to pack edit here!

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