Gransnet forums


January short break

(30 Posts)
Debr4h Thu 22-Oct-15 16:42:58

It's my 30th wedding anniversary at the end of January and I'd like to book a short break for the two of us either in the UK or a short flight to Europe, I have a smallish budget and would prefer city to countryside . Any suggestions?

Jane10 Thu 22-Oct-15 17:02:18

Amsterdam is accessible and very interesting.....

hildajenniJ Thu 22-Oct-15 19:34:09

I went to Brussels in November a couple of years ago, and was surprised at how interesting, and full of things to do it was. I have also been to Bruges in the winter. It was lovely. As for Britain, what about Edinburgh or Glasgow or Newcastle upon Tyne?

Debr4h Thu 22-Oct-15 20:00:30

Edinburgh looks appealing but I'll take a look at prices for Bruges and Amsterdam too. Is Bruges quite compact? Thanks for the suggestions.

CleopatraSoup Thu 22-Oct-15 20:36:46

Have you considered a coach holiday to a specific city? You get terrific value for money; most companies pick you up locally and all the hotel bookings including meals, tours etc are done for you at group booking prices.

I enjoyed Belgium in the winter, shopping, markets, art museums, battle-field tours (maybe?) and the food is really superb.

What's your budget? What do you enjoy?

Debr4h Fri 23-Oct-15 18:13:02

Belgium is sounding promising, I'm not a good traveller on coaches or boats/ferries so prefer to stick to trains, planes and automobiles.
As for budget I'm looking at about £500 for a short break. I love museums and art galleries and my husband likes history in general so I'm torn between Edinburgh and Bruges. We went to Copenhagen last year, which we loved, somewhere similar would be ideal.
I appreciate all your ideas, thank you.

Tresco Fri 23-Oct-15 19:09:06

Bruges is very compact and pretty much flat - unlike Edinburgh! The art galleries have some wonderful Northern Renaissance paintings, and there is a Michelangelo sculpture in the cathedral. To get there by train you have to go through Brussels, and it is worth breaking the journey and going to the Brussels Beaux Arts gallery for more gorgeous paintings.

NfkDumpling Fri 23-Oct-15 19:25:48

What about Venice? DD2 and family are off there for five nights next week for around £350 including flights from Heathrow and staying near St Marks Square. I think they opted for self catering to get the independence - there's so many eateries, just buy stuff and take it back.

Grannyknot Fri 23-Oct-15 21:59:26

If you've never been to Bruges that's a lovely trip. I went with my sister and on one of the days we were there we caught a train from Bruges to Zeebrugge on the coast and that was fun too, we hopped on one of the teams to the next town.

In fact there's a tram service along almost the entire coast of

Grannyknot Fri 23-Oct-15 21:59:50

Trams not teams.

lefthanded Sat 24-Oct-15 10:48:43

All lovely places to visit, but if you are going in January I would recommend Barcelona. Fantastic (literally) architecture, great food and wine, busy nightlife if that's your kind of thing, even a beach and promenade you can stroll along.

Debr4h Sat 24-Oct-15 11:34:33

Great ideas, I've plenty to think about!

Tegan Sat 24-Oct-15 11:48:10

Agree about Barcelona. Have you been to the football ground there, lefthanded. Although I only went there because my partner wanted to go I loved it; I found the cathedral disappointing, not having realised it was still a 'work in process'.

CleopatraSoup Sun 25-Oct-15 09:22:15

What about a two centre trip and do Bruges and Brussels? It's about an hour on the train between the two cities. The Belgian people are lovely and nearly everyone speaks English.

There is a wealth of art work to be seen and it's steeped in hisotry.
link here to Brussells museums and art galleries

It's quick and easy to travel by Eurostar from London. link here for train information

If your husband likes history he might like to go to Ypres for the day for the museums and the ceremony at the Menin Gate.
link to Ypres here

Mamie Sun 25-Oct-15 10:10:04

Malaga is a lovely city and there are plenty of cheap flights. We spend three weeks nearby in Jan / Feb and love wandering around in the sunshine. There is a fantastic indoor market, some good museums and a beach.

Mamie Sun 25-Oct-15 10:12:10

Oh and if you want Northern Europe we had a lovely few days in Turin one year, travelling through the Alps by train.

Debr4h Tue 27-Oct-15 20:29:07

Thanks everyone, plenty to work on here. Belgium seems to be ticking all the right boxes, I'll start planning soon, all comments have been very useful.

Grannyknot Wed 28-Oct-15 09:21:45

I agree re Barcelona for a winter trip. I will never forget one year sitting in the warm sunshine in a cafe watching people surfing - on Boxing Day!

sunshine is the best.

Balini Fri 30-Oct-15 01:14:26

The wife and I went to Bruges, a number of years ago. There were plenty of places of interest, and restaurants. It was a holiday weekend, and everything was closed. Worst of all the place stank to high heaven. The locals, didn't seem to notice. We did.

Grannyknot Fri 30-Oct-15 07:28:13

balini I'm amazed. What struck us about Bruges is that the whole town was immaculately clean with no litter in sight. What on earth could have caused a stink to high heaven?

And everything closed on a holiday weekend? Why would that have been the case? confused

Evertheoptimist Fri 30-Oct-15 09:29:57

I'm currently in Alicante for the first time. It's amazing!! Short flight, 15 mins from airport. Beautiful.
Closer to home, try Belfast. Fab for a short break. Lots to see and do plus the friendliest folks ever!

townie Fri 30-Oct-15 09:33:13

On Malaga, we recently went for 3 days in January and it rained all the time. Not good if it does because it doesn't have the wealth of things to see that Eg Barcelona does.

I second Belgian cities. Ghent too is well worth seeing -an old city with superb Van Eyck painting in the cathedral. It's a very short train trip from Brussels or Bruges.

Magicmaggie Fri 30-Oct-15 15:51:08

If you want to meet friendly folk. Try Dublin.
It has everything!
Great shopping in Grafton Street with lots of designer shops.
In that area, you can stop and have a light meal in the famous Bewleys Cafe where many films have been shot.
Exhilarating nightlife is in the Temple Bar area, here you can join in the crac as most of the pubs have musicians where you can sing your heart out.
There is also an art gallery and museum in the beautiful Georgian Merrion Square.
On the corner is the house that Oscar Wilde lived in as a child and directly opposite a full sized painted statue of him lounging against a rock.
I recommend that you treat yourselves to afternoon tea in the historic Shelbourne Hotel where all the major stars of the past have stayed.
And afterwards walk it off in the beautiful St. Stephen's Green opposite the hotel.
Sorry to sound like a travel brochure. I'm just reliving my past visits. (Happy Sigh).

Thebeeb Fri 30-Oct-15 20:40:35

My favourite place for a short break is Nerja in spain about 45 mins from Malaga.

Malaga is worth a visit. Frigilana and burriana beach are local. Torrox just a short bus ride away.

Nice prom to walk along and a town square that comes alive in the evening (not sure how busy in January though). Off there at the end of November.

Longdistancegrnny Fri 30-Oct-15 21:58:11

If you go to Brussels by Eurostar you can use the Belgian trains for free I think only for 24 hours at each end of trip - worth for example you could arrive lunchtime the first day in Brussels, stay there overnight and then hop on a train to Bruges for free the next morning.