Students – Lisbon
Lisbon is an enchanting mix of old and new, sun and sea, ups and downs. Navigate your way round the hills and you will find traditional neighbourhoods, breathtaking views, cute cafes and boutiques, all within walking distance. When your feet do begin to ache the modes of transport are numerous: trains, trams, taxis and modern tuk-tuks! Aside from the typical tourist attractions, this capital has plenty of other ideas for young people to explore. Flights are cheap to Lisbon and the night life is infectious!
Stay at The Independente: the trendiest hostel and suites accommodation in the city. This funky venue also offers a groovy bar and restaurant for guests and visitors. Cheap and cool.
Couples – Zurich
Many assume Zurich will be stiff and stern, with thoughts of finance and business, I witnessed the opposite: a fresh and friendly city with beautiful surroundings, a delightful old town, a cool and creative burgeoning industrial quarter, and a culture which is instantly likeable. Just 80 minutes from London by plane to Switzerland’s most popular city, it is the perfect weekend destination for a romantic getaway.
Stay at Baur au Lac: the belle of the town, Baur au Lac hotel is the most renowned place to stay in Zurich. Currently celebrating its 170th birthday the hotel has served many famous and royal guests over the years. Today it upholds the highest level of classic luxury and tradition whilst regularly modernising its facilities. It is a special place for couples to celebrate a special occasion and indulge in a lovely city break.
Families – Cornwall
While my friends jetted off in the school holidays to exciting international destinations my family drove to Cornwall, it seemed like an unfair substitution. Now, years later, I can truly appreciate this amazing county, and particularly take advantage of its close proximity to London. Serene sunny beaches, stunning sights, charming pubs, long countryside walks and a carefree lifestyle, Cornwall is a blissful destination for a refreshing minibreak family holiday. Just 4-5 hours by train from London Cornwall has a plethora of activities and sites for kids and adults. I can particularly recommend The Minack Theatre and The Eden Project, enjoyable for the whole family.
Stay at Bedruthan Hotel & Spa: Set into the cliff above Mawgan Porth Beach on the North Cornwall coast Bedruthan is build amongst a stunning backdrop. This award-winning hotel has been welcoming families for over 60 year and has something for every age-group: free activity programmes, kids clubs, surf lessons and all the facilities to ignite a child’s imagination.
Just Retired – Oslo
Unusual and exciting, Oslo has an icy cold appearance and climate but is perhaps the warmest and friendliest city I have visited. In recent years Norway’s capital has grown in popularity and importance, with the ‘barcode’ business district developing at speed and the hotel and restaurant scene becoming more trendy and diverse than ever before. It may be more expensive than its Scandi counterparts but it has just as much, if not more, to explore and discover.
Stay at The Thief: Less than a year old, the Thief hotel is without doubt the most enticing hotel in Oslo. Located on the water’s edge in the cultural hub of Tjuvholmen, this coveted hotel is the home for every celebrity visiting the city. With an enviable art collection and an alliance with neighbouring gallery, Astrup Fearnley, the accommodation looks as seductive as it feels. Hotels don’t come much cooler than this.
Mature travellers – Alicante
Of all the wonderful Spanish cities Alicante is not the most obvious destination for a weekend break, however with 300 days of sunshine a year and very cheap daily flights from London airports, Alicante is sure to suit those in need of a warm minibreak, all year round. The destination is ideal for older travellers as it offers exoticism without the long flight, warm weather and great food.
Stay at Asia Gardens: This contained luxury hotel is an oasis of calm and luxury 30 minutes drive from Alicante city centre. This Asian inspired exotic hotel offers indulgent rooms, sparkling pools and a traditional Thai spa. With several restaurants and tropical gardens on site there is no need to leave the hotel!
Basingstoke- Pemberley House: Once you’ve embarked upon most of your travels, an idyllic setting to retire in, could be found in Basingstoke. In the event that you’re looking at your different retirement options, this town situated on the outskirts of the county of Hampshire with its picturesque countryside, may be more than just picture perfect. Gracewell’s Pemberley House care home in Basingstoke, is a classic example of one of the facilities you could invest in for retirement living at its best.