It might not feel like it right now but it’s summer holiday season and it’s time to get out and about to explore the UK. Don’t worry if you don’t have the time of money to take a full week in the sun as we’ve put together 8 gorgeous places in the South of England that are all easily accessible for a weekend break.
The south of England is one of the most popular spots in the UK to explore – partly because of the slightly better weather and the proximity to London – but mostly because it’s absolutely gorgeous and there’s so much to do!
So if you’re looking for a good old British weekender, here are some of the best spots in the south of England. For more info about each destination, check out this South England Travel Map for advice on how to get there, activities, food and drink and local attractions.
Here are 8 places in Southern England easily accessible for a weekend away from London.
Best for a romantic weekend away
The historical and romantic city of Cambridge ticks every box for a couple’s weekend retreat. The amazing architecture, museums, galleries, markets and boutiques will keep you busy and an impressive summer events program means there’s something going on almost every weekend. There are lots of fairs and festivals every year including the Cambridge Film Festival that’s held every September.
Don’t Miss: A punting tour for a traditional way to relax and see the magnificent buildings around you.
Best for a traditional British weekender
Berkshire has more than it’s fair share of British pubs where you can enjoy a classic pie and chips surrounded by the gorgeous English countryside. You can also visit Windsor Castle, have a flutter on the races at Ascot or take a trip to many English gardens.
Don’t miss: A trip to Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is filmed!
Best for beach holidays
It’s not hard to see why Cornwall is one of the most popular holiday spots in the UK. Beautiful beaches and gorgeous wild swimming spots bring people back year after year.
Visit Cornwall’s 8th Wonder of the World, The Eden Project, or go to The Minak, an open air theatre with incredible views as it juts out into the sea.
Don’t miss: Learning to surf! Head to one on the gorgeous beaches such as Widemouth Bay where there are lots of surf schools to choose from.
Best for activity holidays
If you’re looking for an adrenaline fuelled break then Devon is the places for you. Whether it’s walking, cycling, canoeing, surfing, caving, climbing or abseiling, there’s something for you in Devon.
Don’t worry, there are activities for those of you who prefer a gentler pace too, such as Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks. Or if you love a bit of crime writing then follow the Agatha Christie Literary trail through Torbay and Torquay.
Don’t miss: Devonshire Cream Tea with lashings of clotted cream.
Best for little wildlife lovers
Pay a visit to the Norfolk Broads, the protected wetland full of rare and beautiful wildlife. Norfolk has a lot of activities on offer but the wildlife activities aimed at kids are the star attractions. Take a boat trip or a river cruise and visit the Amazona Zoo or the Sealife Sanctuary.
Don’t miss: Get your culture fix at Sandringham House, the royal family’s country retreat.
Best for foodies
This medieval town of Suffolk is great for all you foodies. It’s home to the Aldeburgh Food and Drink Festival and is a great place to get an introduction to foraging. There are lots of foraging courses available, including one with Carl Shillingford, a trained chef who accompanies you into the forest. Once you have collected your goodies you can go back and cook up a storm under his expert supervision.
Don’t miss: Snape Maltings Farmer’s Market on the first Saturday of every month.
Best for a little bit of everything
There’s so much more to Essex than dodgy tans and cheeky chappies. Essex has the UK longest coastline, the most islands and the longest pier so pack some comfy shoes, take in the fresh sea air experience the beautiful Essex coast.
Don’t miss: A trip to one of the 35 uninhabited islands surrounding Essex. They’re a haven for a wildlife and a great place to escape from the modern world.
Best for a spa weekend
Fancy treating yourself (or your partner/friend/mum) to a relaxing spa weekend? Sussex has a great choice of spas and there’s something extra special about a spa on the on the coast. The fresh sea air will help you de-stress, unwind and detoxify.
Don’t miss: Camber Sands Beach. Blow away the cobwebs on this gorgeous white sand beach.
Is there anywhere else in the South of England you’d like to visit this summer?
This post was written in collaboration with The Dream Lodge Group but, as always, all thoughts, opinions and obsessions with British weekend breaks are entirely my own!