Easter is a major holiday in Europe. In the UK, everything shuts down for a four-day weekend. People go to visit their families. Massive traditional meals are whipped up, sweets are ingested at a rapid rate. It’s kinda like Thanksgiving, just in the spring.
Fair enough. Four day weekend. Tons of food. Treats until you pop. Count me in.
The best thing about a four day weekend is that it’s long enough that you can really go somewhere. There’s no need to stay within an hour of home – you have four full days to get outta dodge and explore. This year, we’re finally (finally!) going to the Lake District, about a five hour journey from London. It’s far enough away that our time would feel stretched over a normal weekend, but with four days we should be grand.
Here are five other top picks for Easter weekend or any other long weekend on the horizon!
Snowdonia, Wales – I love the name Snowdonia. It sounds like a location in Game of Thrones. It’s also a region in north Wales, a national park, and home to the tallest mountain in Wales, called Snowdon. But the reason to really go there is because the entire place is postcard beautiful. It has that rare trifecta of mountains, meadows and sea. Plus it’s in Wales, so all of the road signs, all in Welsh, contain a shocking number of ‘L’s’ and ‘Y’s’ which is always fun. Snowdonia is also home to the wettest place in all of the UK, which you know is saying something.
Eastbourne – The chalk cliffs that line the south coast of England are stunning. They are ancient, and as you walk the coast, you feel as if you’re in the Jurassic Era, waiting for a stray dinosaur to emerge from the sea any minute. You can’t go wrong with a long weekend holiday anywhere along the coast, but we particularly like the Eastbourne region. It’s relatively easy to get to, it’s within driving distance of several spectacular walks and historic sites and even local wineries. We love cozying up during the chilly damp mornings, stretching our legs on a leisurely coastal walk and then topping up the day with pints at one of the countless pubs.
Edinburgh, Scotland – Scotland is still part of the UK (for now!) so remains high on our list for a great place to spend a long weekend. For Londoners, the journey to Edinburgh takes the better part of an afternoon, but it is well worth it. Spend time exploring Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Botanic Gardens, and if the weather is good, take a walk up to Arthur’s Seat for amazing views of the whole city. Once you’ve had enough culture, do what we like to do and drink scotch! The Scotch Whisky Experience is a great place to get educated on all things scotch and the selection is vast, so you can do tastings every night and never get close to sampling them all. For the truly adventurous, rent a car for a day or two and visit some of the scotch distilleries further afield in Scotland.
Devon – Here’s a little secret. On major holiday weekends, stay away from Cornwall. That small region, at the tippiest tip of the Southwest Coast is a haven for UK travelers but the roads are small and narrow and the drive time increases exponentially when all Brits collectively say to themselves, ‘It’s a long weekend – let’s go to Cornwall!’ Instead, we recommend Devon, just east of Cornwall. A little less time on the motorway, a little less chaos, you can thank us later. We particularly enjoy Exeter and Exmouth, both of which don’t require a lot of back road driving. Devon is also famous for its clotted cream, which means having scones every day here is not only encouraged, it’s practically required.
Peak District – Peak District National Park is in north central England, in the general vicinity of Manchester and Sheffield. One of England’s oldest national parks, it’s also home to numerous historic houses, churches and even castles. We suggest Chatsworth House, Hardwick Hall and Lyme Hall (which was a film set for the BBC adaptation of Pride & Prejudice). There are countless walks to do in the National Park, but we particularly like the idea of hiking to Eldon Hole, essentially a massive pothole, the deepest one in the area. A hike to a pothole? Why not!
With a long weekend looming, we hope that you have fantastic plans to explore more of your neck of the woods. If you’re in the UK, remember that it’s not too late to organize a late-breaking four-day holiday to one of our favorite places. Happy Easter to all!