Travel | Posted 06 Jan 2015

A new year, a new start, a new place - there are some amazing gems to discover on your 2015 travels.

Explore below our top picks of the best weekend getaways for 2015…

Escape to the Country - Cork


View out to Sea by Caitlin/CC BY (image size has been modified)

Ireland is the perfect place to disappear into the countryside. In the south of Ireland is the beautiful county of Cork where the landscapes are breath-taking and there is no shortage of fantastic walks and countryside to explore. Cork city is a thriving hub of activity with plenty of unique attractions from heritage and museums to opera and theatre, making it the ideal base for a weekend getaway.

There are many walks, parks, hikes to discover in Cork, most notable places include Sheep’s Head Peninsula, Beara Peninsula, Adrigole, Millstreet Country Park, and Charles Fort.

Cork City also runs a number of festivals throughout the year – take a look at a few of our favourites:

-          Kerrygold Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine (May)

-          Moby Dick Festival (May)

-          Shandon Street Festival (June)

-          Guinness Cork Jazz Festival (October)

This county is the perfect place to discover true Irish charm in both scenery and community.

City Explorer - Edinburgh


Edinburgh at a glance by Dimitry B./ CC BY (image size has been modified)

The Capital of Scotland, Edinburgh is the city to discover in 2015. Famous for its Christmas markets, Hogmanay New Year, Military Tattoo and of course, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, this city is bursting with culture, attractions, architecture, and beautiful Scottish landscapes.

Situated above the city and oozing Scottish History, Edinburgh Castle hosts many key events throughout the year, making it a truly iconic landmark and an Edinburgh must.

For a full list of city attractions, take a look at our Edinburgh city guide. This is a beautiful city to explore by foot, even though it can be quite hilly, it is well worth the effort!

Here is a quick list of the best Edinburgh festivals…

-          The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (August)

-          Edinburgh International Film Festival (June)

-          The Edinburgh Festival Fringe (August)

-          Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival (July)

For a full list of festivals, visit Edinburgh Festivals.

Visit the Coast - Plymouth


Plymouth by Chris Sampson/CC BY (image size has been modified)

Plymouth is amongst one of the best coastal cities to visit. In addition to idyllic Plymouth beaches, this city has plenty to offer with trails and walks, an aquarium, museums and art galleries. One of Plymouth’s best attractions is the Royal William Yard. It is the largest collection of Grade I listed military buildings in Europe 
and offers a beautiful spot for a hot chocolate or stroll. There is also a newly opened tunnel connecting Royal William Yard with Devils Point, which affords stunning views of Plymouth Sounds and Drakes Island, making the yard an absolute must-visit. The Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park is also a Plymouth must-see on the Rame Peninsula.

Plymouth is home to some unique events, take a look below at our top three:

-          Flavour Fest (August)

-          British Fireworks Championships (August)

-          Armed Forces Day (June)

Into Central Europe - Prague


Prague Castle by Ricardo Liberato/CC BY (image size has been modified)

The Capital of the Czech Republic, Prague is an utterly stunning city known for its fantastic beer, great food, astronomical clock and impressive castle. However, these attractions just scratch the surface of what’s on offer, from churches, galleries, and museums to traditional pubs, restaurants, and markets. Steeped in culture and heritage, Prague is architecturally breath-taking - exploring it by foot offers an immersive experience as you absorb the unique beauty of this city.

Prague is an incredibly romantic city, take a look at our Guide to Romantic Getaways for the best ways to enjoy Prague with a loved one.

Prague is overflowing with festivals and events, take a look at our favourites:

-          Pálení čarodźjnice [Witches' Night] (April)

-          Pražské jaro [Prague Spring] (May/June)

-          United Islands of Prague (June)

-          Struny pozimu [Strings of Autumn] (Sept/Oct)

Travel to the Heart - The Peak District


The Peak District National Park by Andrew Bowden/ CC BY (image size has been modified)

The Peak District National Park sits pretty much in the centre of England and offers a plethora of activities to enjoy as you discover stunning landscapes of Yorkshire. Whether walking, cycling, horse riding, or camping, there is plenty to do and see.

As well as offering an adventurous weekend getaway discovering the Yorkshire countryside, the Peak District is encircled by a range of unique cities for those wishing to explore some culture of the Northern cities. Enjoy the treasures of Derby, Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester and Leeds, all situated around, or under an hour’s drive from the Peak District.

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