Pick up your backpack and explore a new place this weekend!
From the usual Monday blues to the exhausted Friday evenings, the week seems to go on forever. So, when the weekend is finally here, a change of place is sometimes the best way to refresh your body and mind. This weekend instead of sleeping in and catching up on your entire week’s sleep, grab your backpack and go to a nearby place to calm your mind and stretch your muscles. Here are five places you can easily get to this weekend:
A stone’s throw away from Cardiff, the calm and serene Barry Island is one of the must see places for anyone who is visiting Cardiff or lives in the city. If you are beach person and enjoy surfing, sea kayaking or beach volleyball, Whitmore Bay beach should be at the top of your list. But if you are the nature-lover who loves long strolls in parks, Porthkerry Country Park is a must-see.
If amusement park is your thing, then head straight to Barry Island Pleasure Park especially if you have children with you. For all Gavin and Stacey show a tour is available which takes them through all the locations of the set.
Vivianna Koskina who recently visited Barry Island says, “The place is unique. Following the paths could take you to either a beach or to a hummock where you could see Barry from far away. What I liked the most is the local restaurants that gave you the chance to eat fish and chips while gazing at the sea. I would recommend visiting the place with your family, family as Barry Island is the perfect place to enjoy some good time with people.”
• How to get here: 29 minutes by train
• Distance from Cardiff: 10 miles approx.
• Where to stay (top-rated on Tripadvisor): Aberthaw House Hotel, Tadross Hotel, Sutton, Mawr Farm
• One thing you must do in Barry Island: If you are water person, you should definitely try a water sport like surfing.
If you love beaches, you will love Aberystwyth. The seafront is an idle place to relax after a busy week. There you will find long the Promenade which stretches across many of Aberystwyth’s landmarks such as Constitution Hill and Victoria Terrace.
Penglais Nature Park is a calm place where you divert your mind from the buzzing city life for some time. Another major tourist attraction is the beautiful Aberystwyth Castle, a place you should visit while in the city. Go back in time by hopping onto a Vale of Rheidol Railway steam train service, which in 1902 used to be a link between lead mines of the Rheidol Valley and Aberystwyth’s harbour.
Book lovers will find their home in the beautiful building of National Library of Wales. Bwlch Nant yr Arian Forest Visitor Centre, Ceredigion Museum and Magic of Life Butterfly House are some other places that you can visit in Aberystwyth.
• How to get here: 4 hours by train
• Distance from Cardiff: 98 miles
• Where to stay (top-rated on Tripadvisor): Glyn Garth Guest House, Shoreline Guest House and Gwesty Cymru
• One thing you must do in Abersystwth: Take a walk along the Promeneade that stretches along the seafront.
Hop onto one of the many frequent trains between Cardiff and Bristol and kick-start your weekend. As you step out of the train at Bristol Temple Meads station, the road leads you straight to the river. Get onto one of the ferry boats to get a panoramic view of the vibrant city.
One of the most famous places of Bristol is the Clifton Suspension Bridge designed by Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Set in the scenic Avon gorge, the Bridge is an iconic symbol of Bristol.
Then visit the Brunel’s SS Great Britain, the world’s first great ocean liner. Get the feel of sailor while exploring one of the most visited place in Bristol.
If you are an avid reader of the author Jeffrey Archer’s Clifton series which was set in Bristol, then chances are the scenes from the book will come alive as you walk through the dockyard. Spend some time at the Bristol City Docks. The ferries are beautiful and the view is something you shouldn’t miss.
Bristol Zoo Gardens, St Mary’s Redcliffe Church, the Museum and Art Gallery, the Bristol Aquarium and the Bristol Cathedral are some of the must visit places in Bristol.
And if you are an art-lover, Bristol is a place you would love to explore. You can see some brilliant street spread all over the city. You can go for one of the street art tours if you really wish to learn the street art in depth.
A lover of the place Shubhra Mukerjee says, “Bristol’s Temple Meads railway station is a gorgeous structure to look at. Standing tall with a clock in the middle tower, it looked majestic under the blue sky. The best place out of the lot was the Clifton Suspension Bridge. A breath-taking view is what awaits you once you climb up a small slope, a touristy spot but very quaint and great for taking pictures.”
• How to get here: 50 minutes by train • Distance from Cardiff: 26 miles
• Where to stay (top-rated on Tripadvisor): Ferndale Mews B&B, The Greenhouse Bed & Breakfast and Woodstock Guest House.
• One thing you must do in Bristol: Visit the Clifton Suspension Bridge.
A quintessential city, Bath is a must visit if you want to go little further into England this weekend. The Roman Baths is one thing that is worth seeing for anyone visiting the UK. The essence of the Roman Empire, the magnificence of the kings and the peek into the everyday lives of the people of that era is a main attraction of the city.
If you are a Jane Austen fan, then Bath is your heaven. The Jane Austen centre is a must visit for Austen fans where they can have the Jane Austen experience. Further down the same road, you will find the Circus and The Royal Crescent where you just sit and soak the sun.
“I visited the customary Royal Baths, the Holborne Museum and the famed Royal Crescent. It is a beautiful city to spend time in but make sure you have plenty of time to really enjoy your visit,” advises Shruthi Vijayan.
• How to get here: 1 hour by train
• Distance from Cardiff: 56.8 miles
• Where to stay (top-rated on Tripadvisor): Old Mill Hotel, The Old Malt House and Bodhi House
• One thing you must do in Bath: Visit the Roman Baths.
Further into England, you will find Birmingham, a place where you will always find something to do.
Chocolate fan? Head straight to Cadbury World. The museum educates the visitors about the history of cocoa and the Cadbury family but the best part is that you get free samples of chocolates!
Library of Birmingham, Thinktank Planetarium, Museum & Art Gallery, Winterbourne House and Garden, Jewellery Quarter, National Sea Life Centre, Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park and Symphony Hall are some of the many places that are worth visiting in Birmingham.
If you are looking forward to some exploring this weekend, then Birmingham will keep you on your toes. The city has something for everyone.
• How to get here: 2 hours by train
• Distance from Cardiff: 86.21 miles • Where to stay (top-rated on Tripadvisor): Westmead Hotel, Bloc Hotel Birmingham and Old Rose and Crown Hotel
• One thing you must do in Birmingham: Visit the Winterbourne House and Garden and Cadbury World.
So, what are you waiting for? Go pack your bags and go sightseeing!