The Greatest British Weekend Break travel

The Greatest British Weekend Break Has Been Revealed, According To New Study

Authored by tomtravers
Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2024 - 06:00

The Greatest British Weekend Break Has Been Revealed, According To New Study

  • Searches for ‘weekend away UK’ are up +100% over the past 90 days¹
  • Village Hotels have crunched the numbers based on categories such as outdoor leisure, sports tourism, food and drink, shopping and arts and culture to reveal the UK’s best weekend breaks (outside of London).
  • Glasgow ranked top with a score of 7.074 out of 10, followed by Birmingham (6.203) and Leeds (5.951)

There are so many great things about Britain – so it’s no surprise that searches for ‘weekend away UK’ have increased +100% over the past 30 days¹. So, whether your idea of weekend leisure is finding a unique vintage find or cheering on your favourite football team – which UK destination is the greatest British weekender?

To save people the Google searches and TikTok browsing, Village Hotels have crunched the numbers themselves to reveal the best UK destinations for the ultimate weekend break – based on five sub-categories of sports tourism, outdoor leisure, food and drink, shopping and arts and culture.

Flying the flag for UK weekend breaks, Scottish city Glasgow loch’d in first place with an impressive 7.074 out of 10 in the index. Glasgow has it all, whether you’re taking in the city skyline after a hike up the Glasgow Necropolis, or finally getting the bucket list ticked off seeing that Van Gogh painting at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery. After hitting one of Glasgow’s 186 hiking trails, there are plenty of culinary delights to fuel you back up for the night ahead, with 222 five-star restaurants and 2 Michelin star establishments in Unalome and Cail Bruich.

Moving further down the country, Birmingham take a highly respectable second place. The city also ranks highest for shopping experience with 11 shopping centers and 53 vintage stores – head to Digbeth, which was awarded the oh-so-prestigious accolade of the UK’s ‘coolest neighbourhood’, and grab a unique find at Red Brick market, and after visit the Custard Factory for independent cafés, shops and cinemas. For those looking to treat their tastebuds, Birmingham also has an amazing food and drinks scene with 246 five-star restaurants, four of those holding the prestigious Michelin star.

Part of God’s Own Country, Yorkshire, Leeds ranks third with a score of 5.951. Perhaps most well-known for its sports tourism, the city is home to four professional stadiums, including Leeds United home ground Elland Road. Hop on a train from the city centre to Headingley, where you can catch a Leeds Rhinos game, or a cricket match at the Headingley Cricket Ground - see if you can complete the infamous Otley Run after. Leeds also has an amazing shopping scene, with the Corn Exchange a crown jewel of the city’s independent shops.

The ‘London of the north’ Manchester ranks at number four with a score of 5.747, drawing in some of the UK’s trendiest heads to the city’s Northern Quarter, and offering worldwide appeal to sports fans as the home to Manchester City and Manchester United. Bristol rounds out the top five, with a score of 5.143, with a thriving arts and culture scene (and home to the elusive Banks), and home to the largest road of independent shops in the UK, Gloucester Road.

Commenting on the study a spokesperson at Village Hotels said, “The weekend is where most of us let off some steam after the buzz of the working week - so it’s a great opportunity to take a well-needed break. However, one size definitely does not fit all when it comes to how we choose to spend our downtime, while some of us prefer to be part of adrenaline-pumping atmospheres of sports stadiums, others prefer taking a reflective moment with some of the world’s most famous artworks.”

“With this in mind, we wanted to put together a comprehensive list of the best weekend breaks, to suit everyone in your group – as the last thing you need is a discrepancy in your downtime. We hope our research has inspired people to take a weekend break across the UK in the coming few months!”

You can find full information about the research, including a breakdown by activity type on the Village Hotels site:

Go on, make it a long weekend – start it early or end it late with a Friday or Sunday night stay from just £69 with our weekend break deal - including £30 to spend in our Pub & Grill!

  1. Search data correct as of 12.02.2024


We’ve ranked 45 UK destinations to find the top weekend getaway destinations. We compared 10 factors which could help you have a great weekend break, which were then normalised, summed up for each location, and ranked. Here’s the data we used to create scores for each city:


  • Hiking trails - The number of hiking trails in each location as found on AllTrails.
  • Outdoor activities - The number of results under the Outdoor Activity section on TripAdvisor per 100,000 population.
  • Sports bars - The number of sports bars in each location on Google Maps with the prompt 'sports bars in X' per 100,000 population.
  • Stadiums - The number of stadiums within each location.
  • 5-star restaurants - The number of restaurants in each location with a TripAdvisor rating of 5* per 100,000 population.
  • Michelin Star restaurants - The number of restaurants in each location on TripAdvisor that have at least 1 Michelin Star.
  • Shopping centres - The number of shopping centres in each location on TripAdvisor.
  • Vintage Stores - The number of vintage stores in each location on Google Maps with the prompt 'vintage stores in X' per 100,000 population.
  • Museums - The number of museums in each location on TripAdvisor per 100,000 population.
  • Art galleries - The number of art galleries in each location on TripAdvisor per 100,000 population.


About Village Hotels

With everything under one roof, Village is the perfect destination to dine out, stay, work and play! Stylish guest rooms with mega comfy beds, big TVs and power showers, a Pub & Grill showing all the live sport with best of British ingredients menu and a huge Health & Wellness Club with pool, VWorks co-working space, plus an on-site Starbucks for everyone’s favourite coffees and snacks. Choose from 33 locations across the UK. 

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