As the summer sun continues to shine, the August bank holiday weekend offers a golden opportunity to embark on an adventure without straying far from home. Whether you're after a weekend of outdoors exploring, wandering world-class cultural institutions, or simply seeking a relaxing escape, we’ve picked 5 of the best cities in the UK to staycation this bank holiday. From the bustling streets of London, Birmingham and Manchester to the rugged landscapes of Edinburgh and Glasgow, we uncover the hidden gems and well-known favourites that make these cities the perfect destinations for a August bank holiday getaway. Ready? Set. Escape.2023 August 16
London may be an obvious, but no less exciting choice of destination for a bank holiday break. From the idyllic and leafy streets of the West and Southwest, to the gritty and ever-evolving neighbourhoods of East London, there is just so much to explore in this sprawling capital. And on an August bank holiday the city is humming with plenty to see and do, such as the world-famous Notting Hill Carnival - a riot of colour and culture that will have you dancing to the rhythm of the Caribbean all night long. Or, for something a little more low-key, why not start your morning at Broadway Market in London Fields, where you can shop artisanal foods, crafts and vintage fashion before moving on to one of the city’s many free exhibitions, galleries and museums. After working up an appetite, head to London’s most iconic food market, Borough Market to trial some its most viral food offerings. On your list should be the wild mushroom risotto which is made fresh right in front of you and a crumble from Humble Crumble who are reinventing the nostalgic dessert - choose from a range of iconic parings or build your own, with a choice of fillings and toppings. Finish off your day by enjoying a cocktail at one of London's many rooftop bars, such as Sushi Samba or Sky Garden, which offer panoramic views of the city. With six easyHotels in London, you'll have access to the best of the capital no matter where you stay.
From exploring the leafy streets of Stirchley and checking out the city’s up-and-coming craft brewing scene, to taking a boat along its myriad waterways or visiting a nearby beach, the day is always wide open with possibilities when in Birmingham. A home-grown explosion of neighbourhood restaurants has made it one of the most exciting food scenes outside of the capital, with laid-back neighbourhood stop Tropea as well as old favourites such as Chakana, The Wilderness and the Harborne Kitchen, which are all often voted as some of the best places to eat in Birmingham. Then, there's the culture. Make sure to explore the quiet Art Deco corridors of the Barber Institute of Fine Art and see works from the likes of Van Gogh, Manet and Renoir. One of the UK’s best small art galleries, it’s free to enter and offers revolving exhibitions. Plus, it’s just a 10-minute drive from easyHotel Birmingham City Centre. For something a little more off the cuff, check out our Peaky Blinder’s Guide To Birmingham to discover some of the key destinations in the show. Round off your trip by heading to the Symphony in Centenary Square, which attracts some of the world’s biggest artists across several genres. Considered to have some of the finest acoustics in the UK, book and a show and make sure to leave time to grab a bite at its in-house cafe B:Eats, which offers live music and the celebrated Brummie Bacon Cake - when in Rome after all.
In best-of-both-worlds Glasgow, you could be wild swimming in the highlands and knocking back a fine-dining meal and sipping natural wine in the city’s bustling West End all within the space of an hour. Described by locals as ‘creative, gritty, arty and friendly’, you won’t be short of things to do, see and eat and will have the freedom to explore it all with our Glasgow City Centre hotel as your base. Art lovers, head to the House for an Art Lover - a multifaceted space that was created in 1989 by Charles Rennie Mackintosh - one of Glasgow’s most famous creators, architects and artists. You can also scratch the surface of Glasgow’s cultural riches at the Victorian Gothic Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, The People’s Palace and its principal producing theatre, the Citizens Theatre, where you’ll have the opportunity to see work by the country’s finest playwrights, including the likes of David Harrower and Zinnie Harris. After a day of exploring, make sure to unwind with a drink at the local’s-favourite Dukes Bar, and top it off with a feast from one of the many restaurants in Glasgow city centre. You’ll be spoilt for choice.
One of the country’s largest metropolises, it’s no surprise this once industrial city is now one of the UK's most vibrant tourist destinations. But this ‘Capital of the North’ is known for so much more than just football, music and distinct haircuts. To start your Manchester bank holiday weekend, first head to the cobbled streets of the Northern Quarter where you’ll find cool cafés, independent shops and diverse drinking dens. Come sundown, you won’t want to miss the neon-lit Chinatown, offering up authentic dim-sum restaurants and karaoke bars, before carrying on the party at underground club Hidden (which is often touted as one of the best places to go on a night out in Manchester). Soothe your Saturday night hangover with a trip to the National Trust’s Castlefield Viaduct – its first sky park and a peaceful oasis in the midst of the city. Offering enviable views, plenty of history, and horticultural workshops and events, make sure to spend an afternoon there, where entry is free and open to the public every day from 11am to 4:00pm. For a jam-packed weekend of exploring, easyHotel Manchester is situated right in the thick of it for a convenient stay.
Whether you visit in the summer when it's light until midnight, or in the winter when snow speckles the ground, any time of the year is a good time to visit Edinburgh, but really, it is at its best - or most alive in August when artists, actors and musicians arrive for the annual Fringe festival. The Fringe is now the world’s largest arts fair; hosting around 3,000 shows annually in 294 venues. During the day head to the Summerhall’s central courtyard, to watch local performances and tick off the ultimate Fringe experience by catching a stand-up comedy show at the iconic The Stand. Just make sure to book any show early to avoid disappointment and check out our ultimate guide to the Edinburgh Fringe before you go here. To escape the hustle and bustle, check out one of the city’s many free Edinburgh walking tours and find out more about the city’s rich heritage and culture. After a day of excitement make sure to leave time for eating out in Edinburgh’s old town and explore some of the city’s tucked away drinking dens. We bet you to find a better nightcap than at Lucky Liquor - a New York-style bar that changes its menu seasonally, offering 13 cocktails and 13 spirits on any given night. Luckily, after perhaps one to many, easyHotel Edinburgh is just a short walk away, in the heart of the city on Princes Street in Edinburgh’s New Town.
Whether you're a city dweller on the hunt for an action-packed day trip or the outdoor type seeking a slow-paced staycation, make sure to choose easyHotel as your base this bank holiday.
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