Country Breaks ? A Relaxing Alternative.
For many the end of the summer period and beginning of autumn is the perfect time to start thinking of a short break before the long winter months settle in. With the main summer holidays of June and July seeming like a distant memory the need to recharge the batteries can lead to many of us exploring the various short vacation options available to them. To many the term ?short break? is synonymous with ?city break?. Be it going to a show in London or sampling the nightlife in European cities such as Prague, Amsterdam and Barcelona ? the options with city breaks are almost endless. However, perhaps the one downside is that short holidays in a city can often lead to you being more exhausted than when you set out for your break in the first place...
During the summer months one of the main problems with city breaks can be the fact that all the local attractions can be packed to the rafters with tourists. Literally, bus loads of people descend on small areas like plagues of locust ? meaning queuing becomes the order of the day. Another downside is undoubtedly the fact that major cities are expensive, which can leave you paying over the odds for inferior goods and services. Combining these problems with the organisation of flights, getting to and from airports, battling through traffic and navigating the local public transport ? it quickly becomes easy to see why a city break can leave you somewhat less than refreshed.
It is perhaps due to these tiring schedules that more and more Briton?s are exploring the joys of a quiet rural retreat. Providing a wonderful contrast to the hustle of the city, country breaks allow you to set your own pace enjoying the stunning landscapes, quaint villages and excellent hotels that the UK has to offer. Whether you fancy a visit to historic buildings, walking in glorious gardens or perhaps a winding cycle through the countryside, one thing you are always guaranteed is to return back to work well rested and full of vigour.
One of the advantages of living in a relatively small country such as the UK is that you are never too far away from the countryside. Even residents in major cities such as Manchester and Glasgow can find themselves in fantastic locations such as Loch Lomand or The Peak District in under an hour. Despite the UK being such an urbanised nation there is an abundance of top quality and unspoilt rural areas that provide excellent destinations for country breaks.
One such area is the Lake District, which is located in the North West of England and is officially the countries largest national park. Seen by many as the quintessential country retreat, the area gets its name from the large amount of stunning lakes that fill the area and provide a stunning foreground to the majestic mountain landscape. Perhaps as a result of the national park status the area was granted in 1951, the Lake District has maintained much of its traditional charm of small towns, welcoming inns, sumptuous bakeries and quaint craft shops. It is this preservation of times gone past that has ensure that the pace of life is slow ? making it an ideal getaway for those looking to unwind. For further details on the area and the multitude of activities that it has to offer try visiting http://www.lakedistrictoutdoors.co.uk.
On the eastern side of northern England, rural Yorkshire has always been a popular retreat for those looking to escape to the solitude of the rolling hills and moors. Television shows such as ?Heartbeat? and ?All Creatures Great and Small? have ensured the area has grown in popularity with those seeking the quiet life. The Yorkshire Dales ? a national park since 1954 ? is famous for it lush green valleys and limestone rock formations, which provide excellent backdrops for relaxing country walks. The area really is a haven of unspoilt beauty and a visit can almost feel like a step back in time. The informative website http://www.yorkshire-dales.com has an array of information regarding things to do and see in the area and the Yorkshire based short break specialist http://www.superbreak.com has various hotel deals in the area.
Finally, the Scottish Highlands is renowned the world over for its breathtaking scenery. This is perhaps most evident in the North West Highland region of Assynt which boasts some of the most rugged and dramatic landscapes in the British Isles. The unique combination of ancient mountain landscape, vast moorlands, spectacular cliffs and utter solitude proves a powerful magnet to many seeking the ultimate in rural escape. Unfortunately, the remoteness of Assynt make it perhaps not ideal for 2-3 day breaks but areas such as Aviemore in the Southern Highlands offer a more practical solution to those wanting to venture into the highlands for a country break.
At the heart of the Cairngorm National Park, Aviemore is a mecca for hill walkers as well as being a truly beautiful place that is fully accessible by road or rail. With an abundance of quality hotel accommodation the area can be visited at any time of the year ? indeed the winter is usually the most busy time to visit due to the flourishing ski industry in the Cairngorm Mountain Range. For further, details on short breaks in the area http://www.visitaviemore.com has all the information you will require.
Overall, a quiet break in the country can be an excellent, cost effective way to relax for 2-3 days. The UK is spoilt for choice in terms of possible destinations ? maybe its time you woke up and smelt the fresh air?
About the Author: Robin Richmond is a freelance travel writer and webmaster of http://www.travel-tips.co.uk