I’ve always been more a fan of city breaks than country retreats. There’s just something about the buzz of a city that I find so infectious. Don’t get me wrong, I love the countryside and its tranquil offerings too – but if I want a quick, invigorating getaway, it’s a city break all the way for me.
Here at Superbreak, we’ve just revealed our top cities – the urban holiday destinations that are most searched for on our site. There are some classics in there, like London (of course), seaside draws Blackpool and Brighton, and my personal favourite Edinburgh, which is currently gearing up for its manic summer festival season.
But it’s heartening to see some lesser known city breaks in there as well. Leeds, for example, isn’t a city that most people would think of going to for a holiday but it really does have so much to offer. For starters, the opportunities for shopping are great, especially around busy Briggate. And in the Exchange Quarter, you’ll find plenty of inviting cafes and unique boutiques – it’s really one of the city’s prettiest areas.
Other post-industrial towns – like Glasgow and Liverpool – feature too. I like Glasgow a lot; there’s always something going on and it’s a fantastic place to be if you like music – the success of homegrown bands like Franz Ferdinand and Glasvegas are just a small sample of what its eclectic music scene has to offer.
Liverpool also received a great boost from its status as European City of Culture in 2008 and its many museums and art galleries have become the toast of the country since. And I love that Cardiff and Belfast are featuring too, these two capital cities have long been overlooked as premier city break destinations in the UK.
Out of the foreign cities that feature in our list of top cities, there are no surprises: Barcelona, Paris and Prague are definitely favourites with Brits for their unique mix of cultural attractions, diverse culinary opportunities and great summer weather.
But I’m thinking this balance might change a bit as the recession continues and cheaper cities like Budapest, Warsaw and Istanbul may start to emerge in our most searched for list. We’ll just have to wait and see if I’m right!