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Sweet Escape: The Best Weekend Breaks in the UK

From idyllic Cotswolds cottages to quaint market towns, these are the best weekend break ideas to help you unwind and recharge
By: Maddi John

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Sweet Escape: The Best Weekend Breaks in the UK

Sweet Escape: The Best Weekend Breaks in the UK

From idyllic Cotswolds cottages to quaint market towns, these are the best weekend break ideas to help you unwind and recharge

By: Maddi John


With life seemingly moving in fast-motion these days, it’s important to pause, take a breath and give yourself time to switch off from the pressures of your day. And while we can’t offer you more hours in a day, we can inspire you with relaxing ways to spend the time you do have, starting with these weekend break ideas that’ll allow you to recharge and return back home with renewed clarity and a sense of calm.

We often cast our attention to far-flung destinations with tropical climates and white sandy beaches when it comes to planning a great escape, but what most of us forget is that many hidden gems are only a drive or train ride away, right here in the UK. So where does one go for a getaway of complete serenity, you ask? Fret not, there’s no gatekeeping here. We’ve enlisted the help of the Liberty community to share the best weekend escape spots for complete serenity. And relax…

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1. Unyoked Cabins: Flint, Norfolk

Estée Lalonde, Brand Founder of MIRROR WATER

“I’m passionate about relaxing, so I’m not going to keep my favourite city break a secret! Unyoked is your own private cabin in the wild. They have (dog-friendly!) locations all of the UK and it is the perfect place to completely switch off, light a fire and unwind (with no wifi!). I formulated MIRROR WATER products to smell like a sparkling forest to help tide me over during busy periods until I could get back into nature again. It’s amazing what just a few days surrounded by trees can do for your wellbeing.”

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2. Pembrokeshire, Wales

Robyn Stevens, Editorial Graphic Designer at Liberty

“For anyone who enjoys camping, I can’t recommend Pembrokeshire in Wales enough. I’m a firm believer in slow living and prioritising time to unwind, and Pembrokeshire is the perfect spot to switch off and enjoy the moment, with its scenic cliffside that overlooks the sea. It’s remote enough that you can disconnect from technology and there are plenty of walking paths that made for great seaside hikes. I love to make barbecues and campfires while watching the sunset on the cliff – there really is nothing like lying under a sky full of stars far away from the city.”

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3. Derek Jarman's Prospect Cottage, Dungeness

Spandana Gopal, Founder of Tiipoi

“With my new-found love for gardening and English gardens, I've been lucky enough to be a homeowner in Hackney with a beautiful garden. I love putting on Sarah Raven's podcast before bed (which literally makes me feel like I am smelling the roses) but if I really am craving a break from being in London, I absolutely love visiting Derek Jarman's Prospect Cottage in Dungeness - it has an otherworldly feeling about it, somewhat dystopian with the flowers emerging from shingle beach in the backdrop of a power station. We have always been lucky enough to stay in one of the fishermen's cottages.”

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4. Cotswolds, Gloucestershire

Lyndsay Conway, Head of Audience Development at Liberty

“To escape the energy of London, the Cotswolds offer a calming break all year round. I love that this collection of counties is just a two hour drive from the capital, yet it feels like another world. I like to spend my time there exploring the historic villages and houses. My favourite spots are Sezincote House, a completely unique Indian Palace in the middle of the English countryside and Kelmscott Manor, William Morris’ very own Cotswolds escape.”

5. Deal, Kent

Sarah Zellweger, Founder of SZ Blockprints

“My favourite UK getaway is Deal, a quick drive from East London on the Kent Coast. We always stay at The Rose, the central hub of merrymaking in town. The hotel is a renovated pub with gorgeous, moody interiors and a cosy, renowned restaurant downstairs. I love popping around all the shops and windy streets, ultimately hitting the pebble beach for walks and chats. Deal is a great mix of salty dogs, delicious French wine and always a blast. Such a special, little spot.”

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6. Ilkley, West Yorkshire

George Elliot, Junior Fashion Writer

“As a traditional, Victorian spa town that boasts – among many more attractions – a balanced mix of independent boutiques and well-known shops, manicured parkland, award-winning restaurants, a lido, picturesque moorland and the legendary Betty's tearoom (beloved by residents and tourists alike), Ilkley is one of those rare destinations where there's something quite literally for everyone. Laid-back but far-from-boring, historical but not stuck in the past, add this West Yorkshire beauty spot to your to-visit list if you believe in the ‘go where the locals go’ mantra.”

7. Forest Row, East Sussex

Yasmin Sewell, Founder of Vyrao

“One of my best friends lives in Forest Row, East Sussex and we spend time in Ashdown Forest, it’s a really magical place. We wander the forest barefoot then go to a brilliant Hot Yoga place called Yard Yoga followed by lunch at my favourite cafe, Seasons Kitchen, which uses locally sourced ingredients. It's the two-day weekend escape I need to set me up for the week ahead.”

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