Saturday, 24 August 2013

Holiday Blog Tour #4 - City Breaks

Who said a city break had to be for couples looking for a romantic getaway?

Don't get me wrong, as we sat on the train heading to London we were surrounded by doe eye'd lovers, but it certainly didn't deter this single mum and her band of teens.

There are plenty of cities here in the UK for us to choose from for an overnight stay, each one offering it's visitors a wealth of historical sights, attractions and hotels. 

If you are planning a trip around the UK or visiting us from afar, take a look on Wikipedia for an impressive list of cities; Bath, Birmingham, Cambridge, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Nottingham, Sheffield, York, Wells...these are just a few from an extensive list which also covers Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

I have taken my children to our Capital once before and they loved it so much that this was their city of choice for our Blog Tour #4. 

What I didn't want to do was take them around the main sights we had seen before - as wonderful as Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Madame Tussards and Picadilly Circus may be there are so many other areas worth visiting. 

Always conscious of my budget I chose a Premier Inn for our bed and breakfast needs, Premier Inn County Hall is at the base of the London Eye so this hotel is a perfect base to explore from.  It's on the Southbank of the Thames and this is where we started our walking tour.

When I've taken a city break with my mum we have invariably ended up in the shops - it's a girl thing.  If my children even suspected I was heading in the direction of Oxford Street they would throw me in the Thames, however there is one particular store that they know I am physically incapable of walking past - a book shop.  I was therefore over the moon when we found Foyles Bookstore but imagine my delight when ten minutes later we stumbled across the Southbank Book Market.

When they did finally drag me kicking and screaming from the stacks of paperbacks, we enjoyed a leisurely stroll along the river, taking in the Tate, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Sir Francis Drake's ship and ended up on the HMS Belfast.

We ate our lunch sitting alongside the Tower of London before heading toward Hyde Park to see Princess Diana's Memorial Fountain.  The park was full of families taking in the summer sunshine and having a paddle in the fountain, the atmosphere was buzzing and we couldn't help but get caught up in the fun with the addition of ice cream of course.

As we walked along the Thames after dinner the previous evening, to take in the full moon as it hung above the City, I casually pointed out the 'second star to the right' and realised our trip to Hyde Park would not be complete without seeing Peter Pan's Statue. 

I adore the vibrancy of London and yet it was lovely to spend time out of the main rush of the city streets and explore the parks and river bank attractions on this city break.  I will definitley look at spending more time on the Southbank as this has a treasure trove of boutiques (must take mum!) bars, restaurants and attractions together with art galleries and historical buildings.

So next time you choose a city break, take a look at some of the less well known attractions and you may find a jewel or two of your own.

Where was your favourite City break?  Where would you love to visit?


  1. Oooh have fun! think I could do with a trip round Southbank too :)