Great ideas for that first mini break

If you’ve decided you want to stay in the UK & Ireland for your first ‘holiday’, then the traditional city of love – Paris – is out of the equation. But there are plenty of places that will ensure this is a holiday you never forget (in a good way, of course).

The Lake District
Ok, ok so it’s an obvious choice – the Lake District. But if you can get over the fact that you’ll probably be surrounded by lots of other loved up couples ‘getting away from it all’, this parkland makes the perfect romantic getaway for those who love a bit of a walk. Just pick a cottage, pack your boots and throw in a raincoat too – the weather there can be, well, ‘unpredictable’.

If you think it’s a bit too early in the relationship for your partner to witness you with rain hair and makeup down your face, a city break might be a better option. Liverpool is one of the best cities the UK has to offer, known for its cultural highlights – like Tate Liverpool, The Beatles Story and many museums – and, of course, for the night-times full of sophisticated bars and restaurants. Head down to the Waterfront for the best selection.

For all you beach lovers out there, Newquay is a great place for a first mini break. Spend the morning taking a walk along the cliffs, then head to Fistral Beach for a surf lesson (wetsuits can be flattering, honest). In the evening there are plenty of cosy pubs to snuggle up in, or you could grab a blanket and head to the beach for a sun-set picnic – what is better than that?

If you’re a party couple then you can’t beat a weekend trip to Dublin. Start the day with a trip to the Guinness factory where you’ll learn all about how the stout is made and, more importantly, you’ll have a drink in the bar overlooking the city. In the evening, head to the world-famous Temple Bar area where there are more than a few bars for you to party the night away in.

Isle of Skye
For those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle, Isle of Skye is a great escape. It’s stunning – really stunning – filled with ancient castles, cosy cottages and lots of pubs where you can spend the evenings tucked away, chatting and putting the world to rights (not that much will ever seem wrong on this beautiful island…).

If you opt for London as your mini break, it might be a tad expensive, but you get more than your money’s worth. There are all of the tourist spots, like The Houses Of Parliament and Buckingham Palace. Then there are the great shopping areas – Oxford Street and Brick Lane are particularly good. Then there are the beautiful parks like Hyde Park and Hampstead Heath. Then there are the theatres and restaurants and classic British pubs and cool clubs and street markets and celeb-spotting opportunities and historical side-streets and… We could be here for hours, but you get the picture.

It’s known as Little-London-on-the-Sea and is the ultimate place for a first mini break. First up there’s the pier, of course, which is full of retro arcade games and fairground rides. There are also great shops – both vintage and high street – cute cafes, and tourist attractions like architecturally unique Brighton Pavillion. At the end of the day, head to the beach for fish and chips and an ice-cream – simple but very effective romance.

While Somerset is a great place to visit on its own, it’s the glamping on offer there that makes for a really romantic mini break. Gypsy Caravan Breaks in Langport has beautiful old caravans where you can stay the night – think the joy of the outdoors, without the worry of mad, non-hair dryered hair. Perfect.

If you haven’t quite worked out what your other half prefers – sea or countryside – then go for somewhere that has both: Norfolk. It’s pretty hard not to feel all loved-up as you stroll hand-in-hand down one of the wind-swept sandy beaches or along the rolling hills behind it. If you want to mix it up with a city vibe in the evening, head to Norwich and catch a gig – it’s known for its music scene.

Last, but certainly not least, is Edinburgh. The great thing about this city – apart from its beauty – is that there really is something for everybody. Maybe you fancy delving into some history at Edinburgh Castle, or getting a cultural kick at the Scottish National Gallery. Perhaps you’ll go for a bracing walk up to Arthur’s Seat or maybe you’re happy to spend the day popping in and out of Edinburgh’s cute cafes and traditional pubs. The decision is yours.