Bath & West Country Walks
based: Somerset, UK
Guided and self-guided walking holidays in South West England from April to October. Enjoy the Cotswolds, explore Exmoor, discover the Mendip hills and Bath. Visit Avebury, Bourton on the Water, or Stonehenge and Glastonbury. Also walking holidays in Austria in June and Cyprus in November. Hotel and inn accommodation with private facilities.
| walk/trek/hike | unguided walking | seniors/silver surfers | weekends/short breaks | England | Wales | Austria | Cyprus |
Black Mountain Activities
based: Powys, Wales, UK
Weekend multi-activity packages in the Black Mts and the Brecon Beacons National Park, South Wales. These 2 or 3-day active weekend breaks include 4* guest house accommodation at the Black Mountain Lodge, evening meals, packed lunches and a range of active outdoor activities each day; they are available on weekends right through the year.
| weekends/short breaks | multi-activity | Wales |
DFDS Seaways Featured Site
based: Tyne & Wear, UK
If time is tight but you fancy a break away on the ocean waves then DFDS Seaways have a host of mini cruises on offer. Also combined short cruise/hotel breaks to Europe (Holland, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Norway, Sweden and France); themed mini cruises which include visits such as the bulbfields and Keukenhof Gardens, Legoland or the Artis Zoo in Amsterdam.
| short/mini cruises | theme cruises | bulb fields | Christmas shopping/markets | family | self drive | theme park | weekends/short breaks | Europe |
French House Party Carcassonne
based: Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Cookery, arts or leisure holidays in high-class private property near Carcassonne with great French cuisine and wines. Recommended in "100 World's Best Vacations" book. Eight-bedroomed accommodation has pool, tennis and boules. Tutored courses include painting, books, creative writing, songwriting, movie-making and Gastro Academy with top French chefs.
| cookery | gastronomic | wine | groups | weekends/short breaks | songwriting | writing | film/video | team building | weddings/honeymoons | painting/drawing | France |
Lastminute Featured Site
Weekend breaks and short holidays everywhere! Lastminute's Weekend Break Browser can help you choose, whether it's a romantic break for two, a mad weekend with your mates, or a simple relaxing getaway; from weekend breaks in Paris and Barcelona to trips to Vegas and New York.
| city breaks | weekends/short breaks | France | Italy | Sweden | UK | USA | Ireland | Spain | Czech Republic | Egypt | Poland | Worldwide |
based: Merseyside, UK
Themed weekend breaks at 5 family holiday parks in beautiful coastal locations in England and Wales. New breaks and weekends are added regularly throughout the year and include short breaks themed around entertainment, music, sports, dance and special interest.
| family | weekends/short breaks | England | Wales |
Rufflets Country House Hotel
based: Fife, Scotland, UK
A 4-star country house hotel just 1 mile from St Andrews, offering a variety of short breaks, including weekends, romantic and Valentine, Christmas and birdwatching breaks and golf packages. Rufflets has been in the same family ownership since 1952, and offers a relaxing atmosphere to get away from it all.
| weekends/short breaks | Christmas/New Year | valentines | romantic | golf | bird watching | Scotland |
South Downs Discovery
based: Hampshire, UK
Self-guided walking holidays on the South Downs; a range of options with 6-10 day duration as well as shorter 2-5 day walks. South Downs Discovery plan and tailor-make each trip, with handpicked accommodation, door-to-door baggage transfer and 24/7 support included – they also offer a baggage transfer service to independent walkers.
| unguided walking | weekends/short breaks | women | England |
EUROPE: Surprise yourself with a secret hotel
Exclusive deals mean that you can get a 4* or 5* hotel room in 250 destinations for up to as much as 35% less than you'd pay elsewhere. These are lastminute's Top Secret hotels, secret because the deals are exclusive and because you'll not get to know the name of the hotel before you book.
It's not as risky as it sounds, you'll get to see the important things before you book (hotel star rating, the area, the facilities and the price), but the name of the hotel will only be revealed after the booking has been made. The rewards are some excellent discounts on some lovely hotels, well worth a bit of a gamble!
The thing about weekend breaks is that they are just that, weekends, just two precious days (unless you choose to extend), so time is the most important commodity to consider. Make the most of it, don't waste one second, even if all you're doing with it is – well ... nothing (relaxing, chilling out). And if you're after a specialist activity weekend it's all the more important to squeeze in as much of your specialist subject as possible!
Here are our tips on how to avoid spending your weekend break time in traffic queues, at airports, lost in a strange town or waiting for trains; and on how to spend that precious time doing the things you really want to be doing, be that rushing round a city hovering up the sights, taking quiet strolls on windswept beaches or learning how to tango.
• Try to avoid peak weekends like public/bank holidays or school half terms when demand (and prices) will be at their highest.
• On the other hand the public/bank holidays may mean you can make your break into a longer weekend without using up your holiday allowance, so if you insist on going at peak times book as far ahead as you can, everyone else will have the same idea.
• Adjust your timing, if you're able to leave early on a Friday, or arrive back very early on a Monday morning you can avoid traffic, rail and flight congestion, flights will generally be cheaper then too. On a specialist break or weekend course many providers will allow you to extend your time in the accommodation to enable you to do this.
• If you're booking a flight make sure you know exactly which airport to fly to, don't make the mistake getting a cheaper flight to a satellite airport that's further from your destination.
• If you're retired then move your 'weekend' to mid-week and get the best flight prices and hotel deals.
• Make it into a long weekend, add on a day (or two) of holiday leave to make the best of the time away.
• Don't book accommodation too far from the action, you're wasting precious time by having to travel and you'll have to pay transport costs too, it's often worth paying extra to stay in accommodation close to the places you've come to visit.
• Don't try and do it all, be realistic about what can really be achieved in just a couple days or you'll find yourself exhausted and in need of a holiday at the end of your holiday.
• If you're flying, pack light. For a weekend break it should be possible to do it on hand luggage, which means you'll be able to head straight off as soon as you get to your destination, rather than having to wait for them to unpack the hold. It's also cheaper and means there's no risk of your luggage heading off somewhere else without you!
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