Looking to book a last minute city break to escape from your everyday life? Or maybe you’re just looking for a weekend break to relax and experience some of the UK’s best cities. We will guide you through the top cities in South East England all offering unique experiences.
Brighton and Chichester
East Sussex’s famous seaside resort offers a range of activities and things to do across Brighton all year round and it’s not just the glorious golden sandy beaches that will catch your eye.
First of all you’ll need somewhere to stay and there is plenty of accommodation within the surrounding area. The Amsterdam Hotel boasts stunning views over Brighton's famous Pier with continental breakfast included in the price of your room. If you’re looking for somewhere in the heart of Brighton’s entertainment then look no further than The Andorra that has rooms fully centrally heated and includes an en-suite.
There is plenty to do within the centre of the city with the British Airways i360 set to embark and embrace Brighton with its world’s tallest moving observation tower and the world’s first vertical cable car this summer. If you’re hungry in the evening then be sure to visit Las Iguanas, situated on Jubilee Street, the restaurant features the very best South American food and cocktails in the city. Once you polished off some of the finest grub the south has to offer then why not experience the vibrant night life that Brighton has to offer.
When people think of cities, you would automatically assume that it is all tall buildings and lots of traffic however the city has a lot of rural areas on offer. Devil’s Dyke, just five miles north of Brighton, offers stunning panoramas, a record breaking valley, a curious history and England’s most colourful habitat. Another peaceful place to consider is Ditchling Beacon which boasts the highest point in East Sussex and offers commanding 360 degree views from its summit.
If you decide to go on a city break here then make sure you consider staying in the Horse & Groom that serve superb cuisine and a wide selection of real ales, situated just five minutes away from the city centre. If you’re looking to stay somewhere a bit more rural then why not take a look at Pitlands Barns. The 1844 Sussex flint barn converted into three luxury self catering holiday homes are all furnished to the highest standards and is situated on a working farm in the heart of the South Downs National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Fishers Adventure Farm Park would be an ideal opportunity to take your kids on a city break with you and is arguably the number one family day out in the South East. For more sporty and weekend breaks possibly, you must checkout the Goodwood that offers some of the most exciting horse racing in the country as well as golf, race car driving and a Aerodrome.
There are three cities in Hampshire all offering something different to visitors and tourists. Southampton is known for its wonderful shopping and boasts a number of high end as well bargain based shops with West Quay Shopping Centre in the heart of it all. If you’re looking for classic and cutting edge art then why not visit the Southampton City Art Gallery and if you want to be entertained then the Mayflower Theatre hosts some of the biggest shows in the country.
There is a plenty of accommodation in the Southampton area with the Grand Harbour Hotel just one of them with it being adjacent to all four of the city's cruise terminals. The hotel offers 173 en suite bedrooms, incorporating a range of suites and waterfront rooms with balconies.
If you’re looking for something quirky to do with the family then the Bursledon Brickworks Museum would be a perfect day out. You will also get a chance to see the only remaining steam driven brickworks remaining in the country. If you visit the old town then you will come across the magnificent Tudor House. The timber-framed building facing St Michael’s Square was built in the late 15th Century, with King John’s Palace, an adjacent Norman house accessible from Tudor House Garden, dating back a further 300 years.
Another Hampshire city is Portsmouth famous for its historic dockyard and naval history. Even today, many of Portsmouth's most stunning features and most popular attractions are found near the harbour. From the elegant yet imposing Emirates Spinnaker Tower, to the historic HMS Victory, you'll find a huge range of things to see and do around the area. If you’re looking to shop until you drop then look no further than Gunwharf Quays being one of the best shopping locations in the south, with loads of big brands and stores to choose from including bowling alleys, cinemas and nightclubs.
If you’re looking to stay in Portsmouth then G! Boutique Hotel would certainly be right up there with the places to stay. Hampshire’s funkiest boutique hotel is just 5 minutes’ walk from Southsea beach, 10 minutes from Albert Road’s restaurants and entertainment. If you want Gunwharf Quays on your doorstep then we suggest you stay at the Fortitude Cottage with all the bedrooms attractively furnished and immaculately maintained. For an interesting yet fun afternoon, visit the Aspex Gallery which is housed within the historic Vulcan Building at Gunwharf Quays.
Hampshire's historic cathedral city Winchester is one of the oldest settlements in Britain and the ancient capital of England. The city is dominated by Winchester Cathedral and with it dating back to 1070; it's one of the largest cathedrals in Europe. You will also find the grave of one of the most popular literary figures in the country, Jane Austin. Nearby attractions include the delightful Marwell Wildlife or the futuristic and hands-on science exploration centre at the Winchester Science Centre.
If you’re looking to stay overnight in Winchester and you were looking for that little bit extra class then look no further than Lainston House Hotel. The charming 17th century William and Mary house stands elegantly in 63 acres of Hampshire parkland and with an abundance of atmosphere and character. For those on a budget, the four star Holiday Inn hotel in Winchester is the perfect place to stay, whether it be business, leisure or with the family. If you are staying then make sure you visit beautiful and intimate Edwardian-style Theatre venue Theatre Royal Winchester. From high end plays to comedy, there is plenty of entertaining shows on offer at the Theatre.
The world-famous City of Dreaming Spires, Oxford is a picture-perfect historic site set in the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside. With it being famous for its university, that has seen Oscar Wilde to 25 British Prime Ministers pass through its colleges; the city also boasts high-street brands and chic boutiques that can be found in the Westgate Shopping Centre.
There are plenty of cinemas, art cafes and music venues to choose from with its large student population the majority who takes advantage of these. The New Theatre, Oxford, certainly attracts some of the best shows in the country and has seen the likes of Gary Barlow, Alan Carr, Jack Whitehall and Peter Andre all perform there in recent times.
If you’re looking to stay in the city then there is a number of hotels within the surrounding area of Oxford and the Royal Oxford Hotel is ideally located just two minutes' walk from the heart of the city. Three miles situated from the city centre and you will find The Bungalow which is a bed and breakfast accommodation serving a Full English breakfast with free range eggs.
Once you’ve finished your visit to Oxford, don’t forget to get some souvenirs at the wonderful Podarok. The shop has a large selection of gifts from home ware to designer jewellery and leather satchels.
The World Heritage Site of Canterbury in Kent is home to some of the most historic and well known buildings in Britain. With its character and heritage, it's no wonder that Canterbury is one of the most popular destinations in the south. As soon as you arrive in the city, you can’t but notice the famous Canterbury Cathedral. The cathedral, together with St Augustine's Abbey and St Martin's Church make up the city’s World Heritage Site.
The Iffin Farmhouse is a luxury bed & breakfast just minutes from the city central and would be an ideal stay for anyone visiting the area. The peace of the countryside compliments the ideal area with home cooked evening meals and breakfasts to choose from.
If you’re looking to take a walk on the wild side then look no further than Wingham Wildlife Park where you can see more species than any other zoo in Kent. The walk-through enclosures include animals such as lemurs, wallabies, deer, prairie dogs and flamingos.