This year’s officially all about going out on day trips & weekend breaks. Day trips for runs in quaint green parks with swaying trees, short visits to picturesque country villages to discover the best poached eggs brunches and weekend breaks to windy moors where the Bronte sisters wrote their heart-melting stories. Shaun and I have recently been exploring the Cotswolds and generally within a driving distance of the heart of heritage England and we’ve been taken aback by some of the gorgeous places we’ve come across – from Oxford and Bath to Moreton on Marsh and Much Wenlock, there are some real gems scattered around this country.
As you know I’m an old soul (I might have just turned 28 but in my head I’m at least 83) which means I’m especially drawn to all places with an underlining spell of history. Give me your haunting ghost walks, mind-boggling mysteries and legends, and even pubs where famous people had a pint in. I take them all! And you know what’s the best thing about short breaks? You don’t have to plan them. You don’t have to book a cat sitter (because the children cats will make it over night without you), you just pack your weekender bag, get in the car and you’re off!
?? WHERE TO GO FOR THE PERFECT WEEKEND BREAK FULL OF HISTORY & HERITAGE?
?️ Explore the world of Beatrix Potter
One that’s been on my list for ever and I’m hoping I get to see it this summer! A weekend in the Lake District means only one thing (well, three) – a copious amount of cups of tea, cream tea for breakfast, lunch and dinner and picturesque walks in the footsteps of the most romantic writers of the 18th and early 19th century as well as those of Beatrix Potter herself. Find your way up to the Hill Top Farm, take a boat trip across the lake Windermere and perhaps even discover all 15 farms that Beatrix Potter once owned.
?️ The Secret Garden
Cornwall is a home to many breath-taking countryside views and blossoming gardens – but it’s also a home to its very own Secret Garden. The Heligan Gardens are the real life lost gardens if you like. The Heligan estate was in the Tremayne family for over 400 years and their keen gardening spirit and hard working hands built Britain’s most popular and also most spectacular gardens across more than thousand acres around it. Unfortunately with the First World War the gardens (and the estate) became forgotten and had turned into a jungle full of overgrown shrubs, cobwebbed nooks and crumbling stone walls. It wasn’t until 1970s when the gardens were rediscovered – together with all its colossal rhododendrons and 30,000 Cornish daffodils.
?️ In the land of Shakespeare
It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t mention the bard himself in this list, would it? Stratford upon Avon is only a couple of miles from Birmingham yet it couldn’t be more of a different scenery. Stratford is full of charming little shops and cafes, charity shops where you will find a ton of treasures, and you will also be able to visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace – I’ve been at least 5 times and even though it is a proper touristy spot I’ve always enjoyed the mystique around Shakespeare and his life.
?️ ‘She was come to be happy, and she felt happy already’
To quote one of Jane Austen’s characters, Bath sounds like it’s always been a beautiful place to visit. There will be plenty of Jane Austen themed things to do in the city this year as it’s been 200 years since her death. Learn about the pompous Regency period, perhaps take a guided walk with a local historian who will tell you all about Jane, her life, and who knows, he might even throw in some quirky dating stories she’s so well known for!
?️ The Wuthering Heights
Haworth is a tiny but mighty village in West Yorkshire. It’s surrounded by the most wuthering moors you can possibly imagine – that kind of moors that Cathy & Heathcliff would sit on dreaming of a life that they were never going to have. Make sure that you check the local events calendar as they often have historical events and heritage costume festivals on! What better way to spend your weekend than by exploring the Bronte’s most famous love story – and you might even want to visit Top Whitens which is the very house that inspired Heathcliff’s lodge.
There’s plenty of day and weekend trips that you can plan around England – you can find a plethora of ideas and great deals on last minute packages on GreatLittleBreaks. They have some super quirky packages too – my favourite is definitely Discover The Castle on the Hill (see it here) which is inspired by Ed Sheehan’s recent release that has been aptly nick-named his ‘love song to Suffolk’. GreatLittleBreaks also throw in English Heritage membership to many of their deals which is pretty costly on its own so having it included in the price of a package is always a nice saving.
? This post is in collaboration with GreatLittleBreaks however my passion for travelling is my very own, backed by a Master’s degree in tourism and years of working in one of England’s largest city tourism boards.