Time For A Short Break Away From It All

Hotel room

Sometimes you just need to get away from it all and a short break is an ideal way to escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. These options are mainly one and two night escapes in hotels to suit all budgets.

If you can't get time off work to head over to Paris or sail to Amsterdam, the next best thing is a short break here in Blighty. Or perhaps you're already planning a trip to London but haven't found your accommodation yet?

A short break experience is a convenient alternative to finding and price comparing hotels across the land. Some experiences not only include the accommodation but also include perks such as a romantic dinner, theatre tickets, spa treatments, and more.

As for the accommodation itself, there's a world of choice - my price checker lists a mind boggling 2,500+ of them. Opt for a budget glamping getaway or splurge on a luxury retreat. Fancy something a little more quirky? Or perhaps a treehouse short break is more your thing?

Here's the gist of what's available and some ideas for you to consider.

Luxury Short Breaks

Lavish, luscious and loaded with little luxuries. That’s what you can look forward to on one of these luxury breaks, and for goodness sake, why ever not? All too often life is all work, no play. So swing the balance back in your favour and head off for a truly decadent escape. You could be serving up your own slice of heaven with spa treatments on-tap, a leisurely nine holes or even a spot of croquet. Round it off with an overnight stay in a plush suite (some have private hot tubs, don’t you know) and add yet more decadence with a la carte dining and celebratory fizz. Go on – you’ve earned it.

Here's a suggestion:

Spend a magical two nights on this über-luxury break at The Slaughters Manor House in Gloucestershire. You won't want to leave your Garden Room which comes complete with a private garden and a gorgeous Canadian hot tub. Receive a Champagne arrival.
From £1,765 for two from Buyagift (at time of writing)Learn more°

Boutique Short Breaks

Fed up of feeling like a room number? Try one of these boutique breaks and you’ll soon feel like a person again. Cosy, comfy and charming, these unique properties pride themselves on their individual personality, and focus on the finer things in life – like friendly service, quality food and homely décor. After all, it’s the little things that make the biggest differences. Boutique breaks come in all shapes and sizes, from the cute and cottagey with woodburners and hatched windows, to the suave and stylish with shiny chandeliers and soaring spiral staircases. It’s Old Blighty as you’ve never seen her before – so treat yourself and someone special to a weekend away in one of these beautiful, welcoming and heart-warming locations.

A great idea:

Enjoy two nights in a Superior Double room at the La Suite West boutique hotel near Hyde Park in London. This hotel is designed by Anouska Hempe and draws inspiration from neighbouring Kensington.
From £310 for two from Virgin Experience Days (at time of writing)Learn more°

Countryside Short Breaks

You can’t beat the British countryside. Green, glowing and glorious, it’s a staple part of our lives in one way or another. Now you can enjoy the best of Old Blighty and all her dips and dales with this fabulous choice of countryside breaks. Come and create wonderful memories filled with whatever you fancy – whether it’s leisurely strolls and cream teas, wellied walks in the early morning dew or farmyard fun with the kids. Whether you’re into lakes, mountains or Wuthering Heights-style wilderness, you’ll find something that’s right up your street. Feel-good getaways don’t get much better than this.

Here's a suggestion:

Spend two nights in a country house in Hampshire. Langrish House is a listed 17th century manor house set in 14 acres of rolling countryside.
From £299 for two from Red Letter Days (at time of writing)Learn more°

Budget Glamping Breaks

Glamping pod

Forget what you know about camping. Glamping - glamorous camping - takes it to a whole new (comfortable) level.

Forget bent pegs, stony ground and creepy crawlies: glamping is the latest outdoor accessory! ‘Roughing it’ has taken on a whole new meaning with the arrival of pods, huts and tipis which are poles apart from your old musty canvas. Settle down in a charming chalet-style cabin complete with all your creature comforts. Get back to nature in style and enjoy a thoroughly relaxing retreat in this camping experience with a twist. One thing’s for sure, it will certainly be love at first ‘site’.

No more pitching up in the dark or packing up in the rain. Camping has finally had a 21st century makeover! Choose between a quaint wooden camping pod, a classic cowboys ‘n Indians style tipi (don’t forget your feather headdress). You’ll enjoy all the best bits of camping with a few luxuries thrown in – from a comfortable bed to a working kettle. After all, who wants to wake up in a cold tent without a cup of tea? Great for first-time campers, this is the perfect way to jazz up your camping break, escape the creepy crawlies and try something that little bit different.

Here's a suggestion:

Head to Tavistock in Devon with the kids and enjoy a budget family glamping break. Bring your own blow-up mattresses and bedding and stay in a camping pod.
From £49 for two adults and two young children from Activity Superstore (at time of writing)Learn more°

Gourmet Short Breaks

Combine your two favourite things – good food and holidays – with one of these fabulous gourmet breaks. Forget flights, fussy ferry trips or braving the 'chunnel'. It’s holidaying at home at its absolute best; complete with lavish overnights, first-rate service and the finest cuisine you’ve ever tasted. From palatial houses and four-poster beds to turret-clad castles with film-set courtyards, these gourmet breaks put a new spin on luxury and serve up a completely new take on home holidays. Score some serious brownie points by treating your favourite person to one of these luxury breaks that really do cut the mustard.

Turn any short break into a gourmet short break with the addition of a meal for two. Book both experiences for the same date for an easy win. Better still, opt for a meal at a celebrity chef's restaurant for a really memorable getaway.

How about this?:

Spend the night at the Lismoyne Hotel in Fleet, Hampshire, and enjoy a one-course dinner for two and a glass of wine each. There's also breakfast in the morning too.
From £119 (at time of writing)Learn more°

Seaside Short Breaks

We’ve all got fond memories of trips to the seaside. Whether yours is building castles in the sand, eating fresh fish and chips with a wooden fork or crab-fishing off the harbour wall, you can now re-live those carefree days with one of these superb seaside breaks. From lavish luxury and sumptuous spa retreats to gastro getaways or budget B&Bs, there’s a fantastic range of seaside experiences to suit every preference and pocket. Whether you’re a surfer, sun-seeker or a seafood lover – or perhaps you just love the smell of salty air and sand between your toes – there’s a seaside break with your name on it.

A great idea:

Head to Grimsby in Lincolnshire for a luxury seaside holiday. Spend the night at the Humber Royal Hotel and get £23 per person towards dinner in the hotel's brasserie restaurant. Breakfast is also included in the morning.
From £119 for two from Virgin Experience Days (at time of writing)Learn more°

Romantic Short Breaks

Sometimes it is absolutely necessary for you and your significant other to get away from it all for a while. Just one night is often enough to recharge the batteries and spend some time with a loved one. It’s enough time to get enough of a break to feel revived and refreshed, ready to meet real life head on once again. Reality can take a rain check, and wonderful, relaxed, chilled time can take its place. A fantastic and fabulous one night break.

If it's romance you seek, consider a relaxing spa break.

Try this for size:

Spend a couple of nights relaxing on a romantic spa break at Sopwell House in St Albans, Hertfordshire. Make full use of the spa facilities and get two indulgent 50 minute treatments each too.
From £670 for two from Red Letter Days (at time of writing)Learn more°

Unusual Short Breaks

What to get the man or woman who has everything? Well, perhaps not everything, but certainly quite a lot of stuff. What to get the person who doesn’t need anything in particular, but who does require a present of some sort, because you like them enough to buy one for them? Something like that. A voucher for an experience day is a great way of showing how much you care without cluttering up your loved one’s house with any more gifts, but of course when it comes to choosing from the hundreds and hundreds of experiences available, it can become a difficult job.

Try this one:

Fancy staying on a private island? Enjoy the next best thing with a luxurious one-night stay at Spitbank Fort off the Portsmouth coastline in Hampshire. Take a private boat from the mainland to Spitbank Fort where you'll enjoy a night's stay as well as lunch, a four-course dinner, and a full breakfast the following morning. You'll get a Champagne arrival and an afternoon tea experience on the afternoon of your stay. Tour the historic fort and use its facilities including hot tub, sun decks, and games room.
From £720 for two from Virgin Experience Days (at time of writing)Learn more°

Hire a Classic VW

VW Camper

Forget other campervans, enjoy a short break in a classic VW camper

Vehicles can be beautiful things, and even the ones that aren’t so pretty are still a source of fascination for many. Even before we can legally get behind the wheel of a car, the looks and the mechanism of them delights and captivates, and it can become a bit of an obsession. It’s not always about speed – it’s about comfort, history, enjoyment, and being just that little bit different; and when it is about those things, a VW campervan fits the bill perfectly.

Each campervan has been lovingly restored so that it is luxurious and filled with everything you could need for your amazing adventure. Learn the ropes and get out on the road for a day trip with a difference. Drive into the countryside, or perhaps to the beach, and make the most of a bit of time away.

Try this one:

Experience the nostalgia of driving and staying in a 1960s VW Campervan. Enjoy a break around Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, or Dorset in this cool classic camper.
From £350 per campervan from Experience Days (at time of writing)Learn more°

Treehouse Short Breaks

Was a treehouse the ultimate in kids’ clubhouses when you were younger? That one child who had one – even if it was just some planks of wood thrown (before the days of health and safety, of course) across two branches, with a rope ladder (if you were lucky) leading the way up – was the envy of the class, and getting invited to their house was surely the best playdate ever! There was – and still is for many – just something about being able to climb up high, getting your feet off the ground and your head, in not in, then certainly closer to, the clouds that was exciting and the best fun that could be had. What a shame we have to grow up, and can’t play in treehouses anymore…

Wait a second! Hang on a minute! Who says treehouses are just for the kids? Try a treehouse short break and you’ll discover that some blasts from the past can be made into perfect mini breaks. Rediscover your youth and get away from it all by staying the night in a tree.

A top choice:

Take the family on a three-night escape to Machynlleth in Powys, staying in a designer-created treehouse high above the ground. Expect to find luxurious fabrics, retro furniture, a comfy bed, and a quirky and unusual Swedish compost toilet accessed over a rope bridge!
From £624 for two adults and two children from Activity Superstore (at time of writing)Learn more°

Theatre Breaks

Ballet

Enjoy a stage show and a comfortable night's sleep in London on a theatre break

Raise the curtain on a terrific experience that provides the perfect entertainment package: a trip to the Big Smoke, a first rate show and quality overnight accommodation. Choose from a selection of West End performances and enjoy a night of show business on the big stage, from magical musicals with all the song and dance you could wish for, to timeless drama and spine-tingling chillers. Whether you’re a house regular or a first timer, this is what London does best – so come and enjoy a show-stopping night out that you certainly won’t forget.

Choose from a magnificent range of shows and performances on offer to suit different tastes and budgets. Choose from timeless classics such as Blood Brothers and popular long-running shows like spine-chiller The Woman in Black, or opt for adrenalin-pumping productions such as We Will Rock You and Stomp.

Enjoy an overnight stay in a standard 3-star hotel, go one step further with a four-star stopover, or go all out with lavish five-star accommodation. The more luxurious breaks will include top-price theatre seats along with an excellent standard of accommodation, which makes for a wonderfully lavish trip and the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion, or just to enjoy the chance to live it up in the lap of luxury.

Try this for size:

Book a 3* London theatre break which includes overnight accommodation with breakfast plus upper circle tickets for a top London theatre show.
From £219 for two from Buyagift (at time of writing)Learn more°

Take the night off - What You Need To Know

  • WHEN: Most hotels require advanced booking of anywhere normally up to six weeks ahead of your preferred date. This is worth bearing in mind especially if you are planning a surprise romantic getaway.
  • WHERE: Hotels are available nationwide. The more quirky options, such as camper van rental and treehouse stays, are usually offered only in selected locations.
  • WHO: The vast majority of short breaks are available for two people sharing a room for either one night or two. Check the experience details for your chosen short break before you buy to ensure it is what you are after.
  • OCCASIONS: Short break vouchers are handy (and sometimes inexpensive) last-minute gift ideas for birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas. Most breaks are for two people so it's usually best suited as a gift for couples. There are some family options too, but you'll need to dig around for them.
  • PRICES: Enjoy a short break from around as little as £50. There really is something for everybody and the most expensive short breaks easily stray into four figures - although at that price you get complete and utter luxury. (correct at the time of writing)

(Photo credits to Bottlein; Lmcpy; Strecosa; Skeeze)

David

About Me

Hi, I'm David. I love finding unique gift ideas, so decided to blog about the best ones here. You won't find junk or tacky products here - I'm only interested in proper presents worth giving (and receiving).

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Shopping Ideas °

ProductPrice
One Night Glamping Break At The Quiet Site, Lake DistrictEnjoy camping in style with this One Night Glamping Break in a camping pod at the 100% carbon neutra...£45from Virgin Experience DaysLearn more
One Night Break With Dinner For Two At Hallmark Hotel Birmingham StrathallanEnjoy a one night break for two, with a three-course dinner and a full English or continental breakf...£139from Virgin Experience DaysLearn more
Country House Retreat With Afternoon Tea At Little Silver Country HotelLittle Silver Country Hotel is a traditional, enchanting retreat, where you can relax in luxury, ind...£199from Gift Ideas For TwoLearn more
Belmond Le Manoir Aux Quat'Saisons Break For TwoBelmond Le Manoir is the fulfilment of chef Raymond Blanc's vision to open the perfect hotel and res...£1,250from Red Letter DaysLearn more

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Ask David

  1. Hi my daughter would like to hire a be split screen camper van for Father’s Day can you please help? Thank you

    • The stockists above offer a range of VW camper vans for hire and each offers a gift voucher (some offer fancier gift packs) which would make an ideal present for Father’s Day. Then, the lucky Dad can book a an available date that is most convenient to him. Vouchers typically last between 9 and 12 months so it isn’t something that has to be enjoyed right away and could therefore be booked to coincide with another special event, such as a birthday or anniversary.

  2. Are the camper van experience days available in the Lancashire area? . I was thinking off buying my Daughter a voucher for a Christmas present . I am asking well in advance so I know we can purchase 1.

    • If you click on the experience you are interested in purchasing you will be able to find more details of which locations are available for hire. As there are several suppliers they each service a different area.

      • hi I can’t find any Campevan experiences in Lancashire , they seem to be down the south or Scotland. I would love to buy a gift voucher for my daughters Christmas present . Any body any suggestions . Thank you

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