Huddled in bed after a seemingly endless day at work swiping through Instagram posts of friends basking in the sun in Greece, Spain or Portugal? We’ve all been there. In the grips of a grey and miserable winter, the prospect of a Mediterranean or exotic holiday seems miles away - literally. But who said we always need to turn our sights abroad? Right on our doorstep there are beautiful destinations all over the UK, and not all of them need to break the bank. Here are our five great places to visit in the UK on a budget under £150* - yes, really.
1. Live music in Glasgow
Live music in London can be hard on your bank balance so look to Glasgow as a much cheaper alternative with one of the best live music scenes in the world. A return flight from London to Glasgow averages £75 and the Crookston Hotel can put you up for £43 a night, with a delightful breakfast included - make sure to order the full Scottish! Your evening will be full of entertainment at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut live music venue- a bit of a mouthful but oh so worth it, with tickets averaging £10. An alternative is 13th Note, where you can hear live music while eating delicious vegan and vegetarian food, including haggis, neeps and tatties for a tenner.
2. Beachside getaway to Botany Bay, Kent
With its white chalk cliffs and quintessentially British vibe, Botany Bay is one of the most picturesque coastal sites you can visit in the UK. Averaging an hour and a half, the train journey is short enough to make it a relaxing day trip from London at £25 return to Broadstairs station. From Broadstairs you can either get a quick bus to Botany Bay, or if you are feeling ambitious and energetic, why not walk it - a 2-3 mile hike that passes through four beautiful bays. You can reward your hard-earned effort with a delicious seaside meal at Botany Bay Hotel, with a classic fish and chips for £12.95.
3. Adrenaline-fueled adventure at Zip World, Wales
Ever wondered what it might feel like to fly the longest and fastest zipline in Europe? Look no further. Zip World near Bangor in North Wales will make the perfect fun-filled adventure weekend for you. Although the train to Bangor is slightly on the expensive side at £90 return, the zip line is only £10 - so no excuse not to go. While a fear of heights might leave your stomach churning, a tasty burger at The Blondin Restaurant at Zip World Penrhyn Quarry for a tenner will work its magic. Recover from the excitement of the day at one of the many idyllic hostels in the area for the bargain price of £30 a night.
4. Historic walk along Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland
While there are countless beautiful countryside walks in the UK with an inviting pub waiting at the end, nothing quite matches the charm of Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland. The walk combines Roman history with the windswept beauty of the northern countryside. A return train from London to Hexham is £80, where you can catch the AD122 bus to Hadrian’s Wall in under 20 minutes. After a long stroll, hike or run, don't forget the obligatory pub visit at the end - perfectly answered for at The Twice Brewed Inn with its classic sausage and mash for £12.45. And finally, The Station Inn at Hexham is the perfect place to end the day at £35 per night.
5. Art tour of Manchester
Manchester is the perfect place for an artsy weekend. While most museums in the UK offer free entry, the exhibitions at Manchester Art Gallery are also free - now that’s a first. If you are lucky enough to be travelling during the Manchester International Festival in July you’ll be in for a cultural treat, with 18 days to explore the new and budding art scene. And to tick off all the hipster boxes, head over to the Cane and Grane for some sticky ribs at £12, a New York-style bar spread over three themed floors. Travelodge, smack in the city centre, offers really cheap accomodation at only £25 per night.
*All prices are quoted from London and correct at the time of writing. Prices may vary at peak times.