Whether you’re shoppers, gallery hoppers, or just want a lovely location to catch up on the goss, grab your best girlfriends for these fabulous UK city breaks.
Best city break for… Shopping
Will you search for treasures in the historic Covered Market, or browse the best of the high street? Oxford has all the big-name shops, plus a vast array of independent boutiques and delicatessans. For one-of-a-kind dresses don’t miss Fresh Oxford (Covered Market), while you’ll find chic everyday threads at Vanilla (South Parade) and Indigo (Cowley Road).
Oxford has lots to offer discerning shoppers (Alamy)
This hotel is in a delightful location on the banks of the Thames. Oxford is just 15 minutes on foot along the Thames towpath, and the hotel is set in 20 acres of parkland – with a great leisure club, heated swimming pool, sauna and steam room.
Yes, there’s lots to experience in the city’s heart (such as punting, Ely Cathedral, and more museums than you could ever squeeze into a weekend) – but the real charm of Cambridge is its blissful rural surroundings – think rolling fields, pretty villages and the beautiful River Cam. The perfect choice if you fancy a good dose of fresh air with your urban adventures.
Just over a mile from the heart of Cambridge, Hotel Felix occupies a Victorian mansion and is set in charming gardens. Explore the city during the day before returning to the peace of the hotel surrounds in the evening. Privately owned by art collectors, Hotel Felix’s interiors are contemporary in style, with striking design features.
The birthplace of many a famous poet, rockstar and artist, it’s little wonder that Manchester’s creative scene is buzzing. The Lowry, Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth will enthrall art lovers all weekend, while shoppers will love the city’s thriving independent stores – which specialise in everything from vinyl to blue cheese.
King Street Townhouse occupies a magnificent 19th-century building with eclectic interiors. The pièce de résistance is the rooftop infinity pool and spa, framing spectacular views of the Town Hall Clock Tower.
For a little pampering on your girly city break, venture to Thermae Bath Spa to wallow in its mineral-rich rooftop pool – which boasts fantastic views of the city (particularly spectacular at sunset). There’s also a massage list as long as your arm, a Roman-style steam room and state-of-the-art infrared sauna – plus the cafe serves a great afternoon tea…
This is the perfect pied-à-terre for a break in one of Britain’s most beautiful cities. Just a short stroll from the Roman Baths and a stone’s throw from the best shopping, the Abbey Hotel is spread across three Georgian terraced houses, combining an eclectic collection of art with great service and superb food in the Allium restaurant.
Exclusive hotel offer for w&h readers: One-night stay from £65pp (RRP £80pp). Includes £10 voucher to use in Allium restaurant. Click here for details, terms & conditions & how to book
Just a short walk from Victoria Station and opposite Buckingham Palace, freshly refurbished Rubens at the Palace combines impeccable service with traditional grandeur. The dining is excellent, from The Library restaurant, which specialises in grills and steaks, to the royalty-inspired afternoon tea.
All offers subject to availability. Supplements may apply for stays on peak days of the week and at specific times of the year. See the individual articles about each hotel offer for further details and how to book.