The next three months are going to be an exciting time for me. I have five city breaks planned over the next three months, I will be returning to a couple of my favourite European cities which I have visited over the past couple of years. I also plan to visit a few places for the very first time. Here are my next five city breaks which I have planned, and some of the things I plan to do.
For those of you who have not yet planned your last minute escape for summer 2016, fear not! Here are my recommendations for great city breaks for summer 2016. Whether you're looking to spend a couple of days somewhere close to home, or if you fancy venturing a little further afield. I'm sure one of these fantastic destinations will take your fancy.
Bilbao, known as the capital of the Basque Country, is a port city located on Spain's northern coast. Surrounded by rolling green hills, Bilbao is located in a valley on the banks of the River Nervión, and is the 5th largest urbanisation in Spain. Bilbao city centre is a mix of modern skyscrapers as well as many traditional buildings in the old town. Some say Bilbao is the home of authentic Spanish cuisine, and this was something that I wanted to find out for myself on my recent Bilbao city break.
I recently went on a short break to Holywell Bay, near Newquay in Cornwall with some friends for the bank holiday weekend. When I'm at home, Sunday is a day for having family or friends over to visit and to enjoy a traditional Sunday roast. If I'm away for the weekend, it's the one thing I really miss. However, when I'm away for a weekend within the UK, I don't have to go far to find a cosy local pub to enjoy my Sunday lunch.
Copenhagen has long been on my city break to do list, so one evening when I stumbled across some cheap flights I decided to book a Copenhagen city break. I booked my flights with Norwegian, who fly between London Gatwick and Copenhagen 5 times a day. The return flight cost just under £50pp. Norwegian is a low cost airline which is rapidly expanding their services from London Gatwick, and have the added advantage of free wifi onboard.
Spread across 219 square miles of beautiful Hampshire countryside is The New Forest National Park. The New Forest is about an hours drive from my home in Sussex, and even though I pass through here quite frequently it had been years since I had actually stopped to enjoy some of this stunning area of the country.
One thing I had planned to do in December 2014 was pay a visit to the Christmas Markets in Bath, UK. Being used to visiting the markets on the continent, I had assumed that the Bath Christmas Markets would be open right up until Christmas Eve, and so I planned to visit on December 23rd. This was a big mistake on my part as the Christmas Market in Bath only ran until December 14th. This did, however, teach me a valuable lesson of the importance of thorough research before planning a trip. So this time around I did just that.
I try and visit at least one Christmas market each year, and this year along with a group of friends we decided to visit Luxembourg. This was my first trip to Luxembourg, so as well as enjoying the various Christmas markets, I also discovered some of this picturesque continental city. Luxembourg is completely land-locked between France, Belgium and Germany and has subtle influences from all its neighbours.
I have always regarded Seville as the rustic heart of Spain. Known for its stunning tapas, beautiful Moorish architecture, and its labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets, Seville has long been on my to-do list. So when British Airways announced a daily service from London Gatwick, I didn't hesitate in booking some flights.
The 2005 Radio Times poll named the Jurassic Coast the fifth-greatest natural wonder of Britain. It is definitely at the top of my list, alongside Glen Coe in Scotland. The Jurassic Coast is located on the South coast of England, running 96 miles from Orcombe Point in Devon, to Old Harry Rocks near Swanage in Dorset. In 2001 the Jurassic Coast was designated a World Heritage Site, the second site in the United Kingdom.
The Tinwood Estate is located just three miles from my home, on the edge of the South Downs national park. Tinwood first set up their vineyard in 2007, and since have been producing three fantastic varieties of sparkling wine. From their Blanc de Blancs, and their Estate Brut to their cool refreshing Rosé.
This year celebrated the 20th year of the West Dean Chilli Fiesta. To my shame West Dean is less than ten miles from my home, and this was to be my first visit to the Fiesta. The Chilli Fiesta is a three day event, from Friday to Sunday, and its aim is to celebrate everything about the humble chilli.
I stumbled across flights to Corfu whilst on the British Airways website looking for reward flight availability for a short summer getaway. Up until this point I didn't even know British Airways flew there, and when I looked into it I found out that it is one of their new routes that started in May. The 3 hr 15 min flight departs Heathrow Terminal 5, four times a week direct to Corfu.
We have had a quite a warm spring, and the temperatures in southern England, and the whole of the UK are set to stay hot for most, if not all of summer 2015. I can hear your thinking "are we not told this every year?" Well, being as optimistic as I possibly can, I have made the decision to spend most of summer 2015 in the UK to explore and seek out some hidden treasures in the south of England.
When it comes to city breaks, I love nothing more than exploring new places. Don’t get me wrong, I have been to, and love all the classic city break destinations such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Rome, Venice, and even New York. But I also enjoy exploring somewhere a little less popular and off the main tourist trail.