11 UK City Break Locations for 2020

Oxford | Liverpool | Birmingham | Canterbury | London | Worcester | Cambridge | Salisbury | Stoke-on-Trent | Edinburgh | Bath

Fantastic public transport links, a wealth of things to do and the ability to stay and relax on a nearby campsite makes a UK city break a great holiday option. From the historic city of Canterbury to the cosmopolitan feel of Edinburgh and London, here’s a guide to help you choose your ideal city break.

1. Oxford

Oxford-Punting (shutterstock, Daisy Daisy)

Oxford is well known for its prestigious university, and there’s so much to do during a city break here. You may not have expected to see Oxford on this list, but we promise, a trip to the city of dreaming spires won’t disappoint.

Things to see and do in Oxford

It’s hard to avoid the architectural brilliance of Oxford University during a trip to the city. For art and archaeology, you’ll want to visit the Ashmolean Museum. The Museum of Natural History and the History of Science Museum is where you’ll want to head with an interest in past and present science and technology. The Bodleian Library is impressive regardless of your interests with over 13 million printed items available. Worth mentioning is that you won’t need to spend a penny on entrance fees; all of these attractions are free to enter.

The Medieval Oxford Castle & Prison makes a great day out. Explore the partially ruined stronghold before heading underground to the castle’s prison and creepy 900-year-old crypt.

Film and TV lovers will already know that many locations in the Harry Potter series were inspired by locations in Oxford. You can book onto a tour but a few locations to point out are Christ Church College (the inspiration behind the Great Hall and filming location), The Bodleian Library (filming location of Hogwarts Infirmary) and New College.

If the weathers nice, a punt on the River Cherwell is an experience not to turn down, followed by a pub lunch or picnic on the riverbank as a great way to end your Oxford city break.

Where to stay in Oxford

Our Oxford Club Site is just one mile away from the city centre, and you can walk, cycle or catch a bus right outside the campsite. Our tree-lined site is a great way to escape the city after a day of exploring to reboot for the following day.

Oxford-camping

2. Liverpool

Liverpool (shutterstock, Shaun Jeffers)

A city built on a backbone of music and arts, Liverpool is thriving and bursting with things to do.

Things to see and do in Liverpool

For many, Liverpool is most well known for being the home of The Beatles. The Magical Mystery Tour is a 2-hour bus ride, taking you to places associated with Paul, John, George and Ringo as they grew up and left their mark on the city. The bus will drop you off at the legendary Cavern Club. Another way to learn about the band of four is to visit The Beatles Story, which is jam-packed with memorabilia, special exhibitions and exclusive photographs.

The thriving city is full of independent shops, cool cafes and galleries to discover. Lark Lane, Liverpool ONE and the Royal Albert Dock are just a few of the best places to spend an afternoon shopping.

Contemporary attractions aren’t all that’s on offer, Liverpool stands true to its history and culture. There’s not one, but two cathedrals to visit in the city. Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King are completely different in both look and feel and very much worth a visit.

Finally, you can’t explore Liverpool without experiencing the waterfront which has Unesco World Heritage status. You can take one of the many trips available on the Mersey Ferry to see Liverpool from the water including evening cruises, bird watching cruises and the usual daytime services.

Where to stay in Liverpool

Our Delamere Forest Club Site is a 50-minute drive from Liverpool, surrounded by Cheshire’s largest area of woodland. This campsite is a welcome change from the busy city and ideal for walkers and nature lovers.

Liverpool

3. Birmingham

Birmingham (shutterstock, BJ Ray)

At the heart of the West Midlands, Birmingham has plenty of culture and history to offer while keeping up with contemporary life.

Things to see and do in Birmingham

The iconic Bullring, Grand Central and New Street are the most popular areas for shopping. The city centre has many side streets to explore which are full of independent and high street shops too.

Also, in the city centre, you’ll find the National SEA LIFE Centre, Birmingham Museum and Gallery, the Ikon Gallery and the Thinktank Science Museum. The Library of Birmingham is free to enter and has a rooftop terrace with great views over the city centre. These attractions are all ideal for rainy days.

Away from the city centre but within driving distance, you’ll find the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Birmingham Back to Backs, Cadbury World and the Black Country Living Museum.

Birmingham has a large network of canals, travelling 313 miles through the city and surrounding areas. Take to the canal by foot or head to Brindleyplace and learn about Birmingham’s heritage on one of the daily canal boat trips.

Where to stay in Birmingham

Our Kingsbury Water Park Club Site is just a 20-minute drive from Birmingham city centre and right next door to the country park of the same name. Camping here gives you easy access to the water park, walking routes and plenty of wildlife which will be a welcome break from the busy city.

Birmingham-Camping

4. Canterbury

Canterbury (shutterstock, Alexey Fedorenko)

One of the most visited cities in the UK, Canterbury is full of history, impressive architecture and fascinating stories to tell.

Things to see and do in Canterbury

A visit to Canterbury Cathedral, founded in 600AD is a must. Home to the tallest landmark in the city, Bell Harry Tower which can be seen for miles around, Canterbury Cathedral was also the location of Archbishop Thomas Becket’s death. Find out about this and so much more during a trip to the cathedral.

Canterbury’s City Walls, St Augustine’s Abbey, Christ Church Gate and Westgate Tower and Gardens are just a selection of other fascinating architecture to visit. Canterbury Roman Museum is a great place to find out more about the history of the local area.

The River Stour flows through the city making boating and punting a large part of Canterbury’s historical past. Hire a boat and go punting yourself or join one of the guided boat tours to find out more about the city’s history and buildings along the river.

Wingham Wildlife Park, around a 25-minute drive away and Howletts Wild Animal Park, around a 20-minute drive away make great days out for kids.

Where to stay in Canterbury

Our Canterbury Club Site is just one mile south of the city. You can walk from the campsite or take the bus which stops right outside the site entrance. Camping in Kent allows you to enjoy the best of the coast, countryside and busier city life.

Canterbury-Camping

5. London

London (shutterstock, Ingus Kruklitis)

London is the most visited city in the UK and is crammed full of things to see and do.

Things to see and do in London

There’s too much to do in London for one trip, and once you’ve had a taste, you’re sure to go back time and time again. Here are some of the top attractions and sites to visit, we’re sure you’ve already heard of a few.

The Tower of London, Her Majesty’s Royal Palace, makes for a full day out in itself. See the crown jewels, the site of many royal beheadings and visit endless exhibitions about the history of the historic castle. Tower Bridge and Westminster Bridge are here too so worth a visit during the same trip.

Walk up the Mall to Buckingham Palace, and if the Royal Standard flag is flying, you’ll know the Queen is in residence. The Changing of the Guard is a great sight to see if you haven’t before, a popular event with tourists.

Next up, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben shouldn’t be missed. The London Eye is a great way to see the city and the attractions you’ll have surely visited during your visit.

Oxford Street and Covent Garden are popular for shopping while a visit to Shakespeare’s Globe provides an entirely different experience. That’s the great thing about London, the past is harmoniously intertwined with the contemporary and pride in the city’s history can be seen wherever you go.

Where to stay in London

We have two campsites near London. Our Theobalds Park Club Site is located off the M25 in the heart of Hertfordshire in secluded woodland, providing a welcome rest from a busy day in London. It’s just 15 miles from the city and a short train journey from Waltham Cross.

Theobalds-Park

The second option for camping near to London is our Walton on Thames Club Site, again, just a train ride away from London’s main attractions. Hampton Court Palace, Legoland and Thorpe Park are all nearby, meaning there’s something for everyone to enjoy on holiday here.

Walton-on-Thames

6. Worcester

Worcester (shutterstock, UAV 4)

Worcester, in the West Midlands, is just over 100 miles away from London and a makes for a much quieter city break without compromising on things to do.

Things to see and do in Worcester

The focal point of Worcester, is, of course, the impressive cathedral. The structure you can see today went into construction in 1084 and is the resting place of King John. Both the interior and exterior is beautifully crafted and full of detail.

Another nod to Worcester’s history worth visiting is the National Trust owned Greyfriars House and Gardens. The half-timbered house was built in 1485 and tells the story of the many families that have lived there. The Tudor House Museum is a beautiful 16th-century property on Friar Street, is free to enter and tells the tale of what life was like for those living in Worcester during that period.

Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum, the Infirmary Museum and the Museum of Royal Worcester are all recommended.

With the usual high street shops, regular markets and plenty of places to purchase local produce, there are plenty of shopping opportunities to enjoy.

Where to stay in Worcester

Blackmore Club Site is a 20-minute drive away from the city. You can drive or catch the bus nearby. Blackmore offers beautiful views of the Malvern Hills with fantastic walking and cycling routes from the campsite.

Worcester-Camping

7. Cambridge

Cambridge (shutterstock, Aniczkania)

Being one of the UK’s most popular university cities, a city break to Cambridge is the perfect mix of exploration and relaxation.

Things to see and do in Cambridge

Of course, a Cambridge city break is incomplete without visiting the university buildings. Kings College Chapel has the largest fan-vault ceiling in the world and is a real sight to behold. The Fitzwilliam Museum is a treasure trove of historical artefacts and information, and the Scott Polar Research Museum is all about the university’s world-class polar research.

Cambridge is a large city, with distance to travel between places to visit, which makes it incredibly popular with cyclists. The city is well set up for biking between attractions, and as a pedestrian, you’ll soon learn to dodge those on two wheels.

Another popular thing to do in Cambridge is to go punting on the River Cam. You can hire a boat and take to the water yourself or book onto a tour and see the city from a whole different perspective. Punting is good fun in fair weather, especially when followed by a visit to one of the many pubs in the city.

The woodland like Cambridge University Botanic Garden offers a break away from city life. The garden is home to over 8,000 different plant species in a series of landscapes.

As with any city, Cambridge has a diverse range of shops and places to eat, so you won’t find yourself short of things to do in the city during your holiday.

Where to stay in Cambridge

Cambridge Club Site is a 20-minute drive away from the city. The rural campsite is surrounded by countryside to explore and in perfect proximity to explore Cambridge at your leisure.

Cambridge-Camping

8. Salisbury

Salisbury (shutterstock, Alexey Fedorenko)

Bursting at the seams with Neolithic, Iron Age and Bronze Age History, Salisbury has so much to offer in the way of places to explore.

Things to see and do in Salisbury

Old Sarum, dating back to the Iron Age was the original site of Salisbury. The site of the old castle and cathedral along with housing settlements can be visited today and can be seen from our Salisbury Club Site.

Within the city Salisbury Cathedral has both the tallest spire and one of the oldest clocks in the world. It’s well worth a visit to marvel at the architecture and learn about the building’s past and present. The Magna Carta, one of the most celebrated documents in English history, can be found within the Chapter House. It’s the best-preserved copy and one of only four left in the world.

Salisbury Museum has a host of exhibitions to interest all. Learn about the history surrounding the city; see fascinating archaeological finds and view fine works of art.

Away from the city there’s Stonehenge, Avebury Stone Circle, Longleat and much more to keep you occupied.

Where to stay in Salisbury

Our Salisbury Club Site is less than a 10-minute drive into the city. If you’d prefer to walk into Salisbury, it’s just a short riverside walk away.

Salisbury-Camping

9. Stoke-on-Trent

Stoke-on-Trent (shutterstock, RMC42)

Well known for its pottery industry, Stoke-on-Trent has a huge variety of things to do from museums to theme parks.

Things to see and do in Stoke-on-Trent

The Pottery Museum and Art Gallery can be found in Hanley. Here you’ll find collections of ceramics, local archaeology finds and information about the lives of those working in the pottery industry. The largest Anglo-Saxon collection of gold and silver ever found the Staffordshire Hoard is on permanent display here too.

If you’d like to delve deeper into the local pottery industry, you can visit the Emma Bridgewater factory and the World of Wedgewood among others.

If you’re camping with kids, there are plenty of options for a family-friendly day out. You can walk among free-roaming monkeys at Trentham Monkey Forest, have an exhilarating day at Alton Towers Resort or take a more relaxed ride on the Churnet Valley Railway.

Where to stay in Stoke-on-Trent

Our Alton, The Star Club Site is perfectly located for you to explore Stoke-on-Trent and the surrounding areas. Explore the Peak District National Park, drive just one mile to reach the theme park or head into the city to enjoy its many attractions.

Stoke-on-Trent-camping

10. Edinburgh

Edinburgh (shutterstock, evenfh)

Edinburgh is one of those cities where you’ll never run out of things to do and new places to explore.

Things to see and do in Edinburgh

First off, Edinburgh Castle, sitting high on its volcanic rock overlooking the city is one of the best attractions to visit. Not only do you get fantastic views, you’ll learn about the past of the city, the people that lived in the castle and of course all about the royals as well as a chance to see the Scottish Crown Jewels.

Carlton Hill is a UNESCO World Heritage Site sitting high above the city. Here you can see the National Monument, the City Observatory, the Robert Burns Monument and fantastic views of the coast. Arthur’s Seat is another highpoint and a must if you’re a walker. Edinburgh was built on a now-extinct volcano, and Arthur’s Seat is the main peak of a collection of hills forming Holyrood Park.

Once you’ve seen Edinburgh from it’s highest points, venture underground at the Real Mary Kings Close. The tour takes you down into a series of preserved streets underneath the Royal Mile and tells the story of the poorest inhabitants of the city in the 17th century and the challenges they faced.

Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is one of the cities most famous streets, running through the Old Town, leading to Edinburgh Castle. There are plenty of shops to explore as you walk the mile and of course, the odd bagpipe player.

A walking tour is a great way to cover off many of the tourist hotspots in the city such as the Scott Monument, Greyfriars Bobby, locations related to Harry Potter and Grassmarket.

A little outside of the city, you’ll find Edinburgh Zoo which makes for a great family day out, and you’ll get to glimpse the world-renowned Pandas in their enclosure.

Where to stay in Edinburgh

Our Dunbar Club Site is a 45-minute drive away from Edinburgh. Just a short walk to the seaside, Dunbar has plenty to explore nearby but is close enough to the city to make a few day trips in and explore.

Edinburgh-Camping

11. Bath

Bath (shutterstock, Valdis Skudre)

The Roman and Georgian influences on Bath are unmistakeable but there’s plenty of modern influence to keep the city relevant.

Things to see and do in Bath

The Roman Baths are undoubtedly the most popular tourist attraction in the city. Below today’s street level, the Sacred Spring, Roman Temple, Roman Bath House collections of artefacts tell the story of the Roman way of life in the city.

Discover centuries of history during a visit to Bath Abbey. The stained-glass windows and brilliant architecture can be seen from the outside and upon entering you’ll be able to learn all about the history of the abbey over its 1,200-year lifespan.

Literature fans can visit The Jane Austen Centre, a celebration of her life and works. The Regency Tea Room, above the exhibition, is manned by staff in full regency regalia and provides a lovely break from exploring the city.

If you’re partial to a stronger beverage, Bath has a few different breweries you can visit, all providing tasting experiences.

Where to stay in Bath

Our Devizes Club Site is just a 35-minute drive away from Bath. In the heart of Wiltshire, surrounded by countryside to explore, Devizes is perfectly located for accessing the city.

Bath-Camping

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