We’re doing it more frequently, but it’s not lasting as long. Having holidays, that is, as Britons relinquish the once-required two weeks away in favour of shorter city breaks.
We’ve always been an adventurous bunch, keen to strike out from own shores, temporarily, in search of new lands, new peoples, and new foods we can ruin with tomato sauce. Since the mid-1990s, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of holidays taken by UK residents, who now head off on more than 45 million foreign breaks a year, up from 27 million in 1996, according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics.
The rise in budget airlines over that period has seen the European city break become ever more accessible and appealing. For this year, travel experts are tipping the following: Dubrovnik, Croatia’s magnificent walled city, a Unesco world heritage site (and the real King’s Landing in Game of Thrones); Budapest, Hungary’s genteel east-meets-west city of romance; Bruges, one of Europe’s and Belgium’s best-preserved medieval cities; and Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital city and home of hygge, jazz and haute cuisine.
I’d like to plead the case for Warsaw. I’ve just returned from a short break there and now know that this is one seriously beautiful and cultured place to be. The bars and cafes alone are wonderful; the shopping, brilliant. If you’re looking for a padded, fur-trimmed, hooded coat, this is the place to go; almost everyone is wearing one this season.
We love to explore within our own shores, too. For 2018, Vogue is tipping Oxford, Brighton and Glasgow as stylish UK destinations, although surely Edinburgh and York both also meet any style criteria you could possibly wish to set?
As the new season fashion collections begin to roll out across the UK and the rest of Europe, it’s an excellent time to take a city break which involves shopping (remember to leave room in your suitcase on the outward journey).
Unlike items bought on a beach holiday, pieces bought on a city break tend to be practical, versatile and chic by their very nature (we want to look and feel good instantly, back to the hotel room and straight out to dinner). This means they translate easily into our at-home wardrobe, so much so that you might well ponder, as I do, how you managed without them.
On spring and pre-spring city breaks this year, look out for trench coats and lightweight macs, packable and roomy enough for knits under; cashmere cardigans and chic sweaters, good for wearing solo or layered and essential for evening cover-ups, even on beach holidays; an easy, eye-catching dress, again something light to pack, and perfect for glamming up at night; a cape, ideal for chilly UK breaks in early spring and autumn; and an easy tote bag, for carrying your shopping buys and also doubling as cabin bag on the plane ride home. Not usually possible if you travel with only a small carry-on suitcase, of course, although my advice would be always to take a huge suitcase on a short city break, no matter where you go. Why limit your shopping options?
* More style tips on https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/lifestyle/fashion/fashion-setting-a-right-royal-tone-1-8975744 and https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/lifestyle/fashion/fashion-setting-a-right-royal-tone-1-8975744
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