If European city breaks just don’t cut it anymore, give Dubai a go. It’s seven hours from the UK, but there are some fantastic flight deals out there – and cheap upgrades too (Emirates regularly has sales). Great shopping, beautiful beaches and incredible nightlife await – not to mention year-round sun.
While summer is the cheapest time to visit, it’s also the hottest (reaching up to 55 degrees) – but this is the time to find spa deals, bargains at all the top hotels, and discounts in all of the big malls as they gear up for the summer sales.
Log cabins aren’t just for romancing couples, you know: grab your girlfriends and head into the countryside, armed with a boot-load of food and wine. Canopy and Stars has some of Britain’s best remote boltholes – all with gorgeous interiors, beautiful locations, and every creature comfort you need for a fantastic stay.
Grab your girls and retreat to the countryside (Alamy)
The Lodge in Cumbria sleeps six and has blissful river views, walking paths on its doorstep, and a hot tub in the garden. What more could you want from a girls’ weekend away?
With sunshine, great food and cocktails on tap, cruises were made for girlie holidays – and Celestyal Cruises’ three-day Greek Islands itinerary is perfect for a long weekend. It sets sail from Athens on a Friday morning, venturing to Mykonos for white-washed villages and beautiful beaches, then mountainous Patmos for a taste of history.
Enjoy a long weekend cruising around Greece (Alamy)
Next stop is Crete and Santorini – an action-packed day that’ll see you exploring hilltop villages, sipping local white wines, and finally watching the sunset over the glittering ocean.
If fizz is an integral part of your girls’ weekend away, why don’t you go to Champagne itself? Over three wine-drenched days you can explore the beautiful city of Reims, take private tours of famous vineyards, and enjoy lots and lots of tastings.
Head down south to stretch your legs on the Jurassic Coast, the gorgeous collection of beaches between Exmouth and Dorset. On a three-day guided walking trip with HF Holidays, you’ll visit the fossil-rich beaches that give this coastline its name, stroll atop sunny cliffs, and swim in the idyllic Lulworth cove – pictured below.
Lulworth Cove in Dorset (Alamy)
This trip is designed for medium-level walkers, so it’s perfect for an active girls’ weekend away. All meals are included, as well as accommodation at West Lulworth House – a beautiful property with swimming pool, well-stocked bar and uninterrupted sea views.
The National Trust’s Working Holidays give you a great excuse to get outdoors – lending a hand with conservation, landscaping or wildlife surveys. Gather a few like-minded girlfriends and join the Trust on a weekend break, for a behind-the-scenes look at its most popular properties plus a big dose of the feel-good factor.
Cliveden, a National Trust property in Buckinghamshire, hosts working holidays (Alamy)
You could assist with outdoor conservation at Buckinghamshire’s Cliveden, or let off steam on an ‘extreme gardening’ weekend. You’ll work alongside friendly people from all walks of life, and stay in one of the Trust’s lovely holiday cottages.
If it’s serenity you crave, sign up for a weekend yoga retreat in the beautiful British countryside. You’ll find lots of options at Yoga Weekends, which connects hotels and retreats with yoga devotees all over the UK – plus some overseas options too.
It’s time to take your workout al fresco (Alamy)
You could bring in the New Year on a yoga weekend in Sussex, or practise pilates and meditation in sunny Oxfordshire. There are trips suitable for beginners, intermediates and yoga experts, as well as introductions to mindfulness too.
8. Stay in a British vineyard
British wines have never tasted better, so now’s the time to immerse yourself in the fruits of our fair country. Vineyard hotels offer the perfect combination of beautiful location, great food and fantastic wine – and a chance to restock your bottle supplies before you head home.
Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking, Surrey (Alamy)
You’ll find lovely Llanerch Vineyard just outside Cardiff, and Three Choirs in Gloucestershire. Sussex – the UK’s most prolific wine-producing region – has lots of vineyards with attached hotels or holiday cottages, while the wines of Camel Valley in Cornwall are regular award-winners.