Winter UK city breaks

Winter doesn’t have to mean weekends snuggled up in pyjamas. Why not get out and explore what some of the UK’s most-loved cities have to offer?

Wrap up warm and venture somewhere new for a day or two. Birmingham is alight with the famous German market, and both Manchester and Glasgow’s cultural offering of music, art and film has something for everyone.


Scotland’s biggest city is a bustling place, full of character and things to keep you entertained. Explore historic sights, local nightlife, world-class museums and galleries, and get involved in a calendar of events year-round.

Glasgow is home to the famous Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, award-winning Riverside Museum and the family favourite Glasgow Science Centre. Enjoy plenty of free attractions too – check out the Gallery of Modern Art, the Botanic Gardens and Glasgow Cathedral. There are no less than 70 parks and green spaces, and it’s a major hub for sports like rugby and football.

Ashton Lane, Glasgow.

Food lovers will appreciate Glasgow’s array of food and drink events, like CheeseFest UK on 30 November. Until 31 December, you can also go on a Distillery Tour & Whisky Tasting at Clydeside Distillery.

Tip: seek out the city’s hidden gems of top-notch restaurants, bars and coffee shops along Ashton Lane.

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The UK’s second city is much quieter than London considering its size, but offers so much for a weekend break. It has a large student population thanks to the universities and an eclectic nightlife scene in the city centre – particularly around Broad Street. Foodies will appreciate the growing number of independent shops, restaurants, cafes and bars all over the city.

Home to the Bullring and Grand Central shopping centre, REP Theatre, Symphony Hall, Mailbox, Alexander Stadium, and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, there’s a huge number of leisure, arts and cultural places to explore. The city is undergoing a major makeover with new tram systems, housing developments and a high-speed train network.

Canals, Birmingham.

One of Birmingham’s most celebrated events is the annual Franfkurt Christmas Market – stretching from New Street up to Victoria Square. Throughout November and December, soak up the festivities with a glass of mulled wine and Bratwurst in hand!

Tip: Visit Digbeth dining club. This area just outside of the city centre is a vibrant street food and entertainment destination open every Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday.

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This vibrant cosmopolitan city in the northwest is the perfect place for a cultural city break. Manchester is the home of great shopping and live music; shop till you drop in the Trafford Centre, explore vintage finds in the Northern Quarter or see a live gig at Manchester Arena or Bridgewater Hall. Sports fans can visit the iconic Old Trafford football stadium and Emirates Old Trafford cricket ground.

With a calendar of events throughout the year, you can see everything from Manchester Pride to Chinese New Year. Big festivals like Parklife and Manchester International Festival take place annually or biannually, as well as niche music, film and art festivals.

Manchester Town Hall, Manchester.

Until 21 November, visit the UK Jewish Film Festival back for its 23rd year. See the Christmas lights switch on 14 November and Christmas Markets until 22 December, or visit the Ice Village in Cathedral Gardens until 5 January 2020.

Tip: Discover the hidden gems in the Northern Quarter and Ancoats. There’s some great live music venues, bars and restaurants, plus vintage and vinyl shops.

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