As the warmer months approach, it's time to get excited about the countdown to your much-awaited summer holiday. With plenty of activities to lose yourself in, delectable cuisines to indulge in, and captivating histories and cultures to explore, discover a new city in the summer heat. We have put together a list of fun-filled recommendations for you to peruse, featuring some of Europe's most picturesque destinations. The only challenge will be choosing which destination to set your sights on first!
Longer nights and brighter days make for a perfect summer city break in the Northern Irish capital of Belfast. The city is a lively and vibrant locale all year round, however, during the summer months Belfast offers a wide range of activities and excursions, making it an ideal destination for a summer getaway. It’s also known to be a sustainable staycation and has ranked in the top 20 on the official list of sustainable destinations, so you can rest easy on holiday.
Any visit to Belfast must start at St. George’s Market. It’s one of the city’s oldest attractions and has been running since 1604. Visitors can expect to see dozens of traders and food stalls over the weekend, and you can even pick up some breakfast from some of the world-food vendors. Why not try some more regional cuisine and sink your teeth into a Belfast Bap or a traditional Ulster Fry?
The city is steeped in culture and history and there’s no better way to explore it than on foot. Stroll through the city and head over to the Titanic Quarter, where you can learn about the world-famous cruise ship that was built right in the city’s shipyards. There’s also the opportunity to take a guided tour of City Hall, which boasts stunning architecture and impressive interiors.
The summertime is perfect for getting into the great outdoors and exploring the natural beauty that’s on offer around the city. Check out the beautiful Botanical Gardens for a peaceful escape from the busy city life, or if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, a short hour’s drive outside the city will take you to Slieve Donard. Located in Newcastle, it’s the highest mountain in Northern Ireland and at 2,790 feet, offers incredible panoramic views overlooking the Irish Sea.
A day at the beach is also a necessity on a warm day in Belfast. Just 20 minutes outside the city centre, you’ll find Helen’s Bay Beach. With clear blue waters and a long sandy bank, it’s the perfect spot to spend a day in the sun, topping up your tan or dipping your toes in the water. There’s also a pathway for a brisk long walk by the water, and you’re likely to find people swimming in its tame waters in the early hours of the morning.
If you’re looking to spend a relaxingly active day in the sunshine, why not head over to one of Belfast’s golf courses? The Royal County Down Golf Club is located just outside of Belfast, in Newcastle and is one of the oldest golf clubs in Ireland. Take a swing and enjoy a peaceful day on its lush greens. You might even get a hole in one!
With its rich history and vibrant city culture, paired with the natural beauty of the land and the many attractions and landmarks to visit, Belfast makes for a truly enchanting summer holiday.
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Along the southwestern coast of Norway, you’ll find the country’s hidden gem and second-largest city, Bergen. The picturesque natural beauty, charmingly colourful waterfront buildings and rich cultural heritage make it an ideal holiday destination for adventure seekers looking for some rest and respite from the daily grind. Outdoor adventures, regional culture, arts and serene Scandinavian scenery, Bergen truly has it all!
One of Bergen’s must-see spots is its Bryggen Hanseatic Wharf. Renowned for its fascinating history and iconic landscapes, summertime spent on the wharf is a good time for everyone. Stroll down its cobbled streets and peruse amongst the quaint shops, enjoy some light refreshments at one of its many delightful cafes, and delve deep into its history as a major centre for the Hanseatic League at the Hanseatic Museum.
Vacationing in a harbour city gives visitors the perfect excuse to book themselves a boat tour, giving them stunning views of the city. Looking for a birds-eye view? Head over to Mount Fløyen which at 319m tall, offers visitors panoramic views of the entire city. Visitors can hike to the summit or take the Fløibanen railway, an 844-meter railway journey to the top. Bergen’s tallest peak, Mount Ulriken, is another popular viewpoint amongst tourists and hikers. Like Mount Fløyen you can hike to the top however you can also ride the Ulriken Cable Car to the top where you’ll find a delightful restaurant as well as more stunning views!
The natural beauty of this city is plentiful and extends to its surrounding waters. The city is flanked by two of Norway’s largest fjords, and visitors can book cruise tours to visit the fjords by water, guaranteed to give you an experience you’ll never forget.
A visit to Bergen is incomplete without exploring its historic Fish Market and you’ll find it located in the heart of the city. Founded in the 1200s, its gained historical notoriety as being a meeting point for merchants, fishermen, locals, and travellers. During the summertime, you can expect their offering to be at its best, with fresh seafood including freshly cooked crab, shrimp, and other regional seafood. Tantalise your tastebuds and treat yourself to some fresh Scandinavian seafood this summer!
A trip to Bergen promises a unique and enriching experience for all. From the stunning natural beauty to the rich cultural heritage, every moment spent in Bergen is sure to be memorable. Book your summer adventure to Bergen, Norway today and discover the magic for yourself.
Book your beautiful Bergen city break here >
Look a little closer to home and you’ll discover the perfect holiday haven along the north coast of Cornwall. Named the surfing capital of the UK, Newquay is a great escape for travellers looking to enjoy a classic British summertime. The town boasts a huge array of beaches that accommodate some fantastic activities with the opportunity to dip your toes into a little of everything, making it one of the most popular seaside resorts in the country.
Sun, sea and sand seekers will be thrilled to know that Newquay has more than enough sandy spots to top up your tan and with 11 beaches to choose from you’ll truly be spoilt for choice. One of the most popular beaches in the town is Fistral Beach, featuring wide sandy banks backed by dunes and towering cliffs, and provides the perfect surfing conditions for anyone wanting to dive into water sports fun. The beach has onsite surf schools, making it a great spot for both beginners and experienced surfers. There’s also a wide range of nearby facilities, perfect for cooling down on a warm summer afternoon. Located at the heart of Newquay is Towan Beach. Smaller than Fistral, it’s a popular spot for families with young children and offers a broad range of facilities, including beach showers and toilets, and cafes. There's also a small island located just off the beach called Towan Island, which is accessible via a narrow suspension bridge at low tide. The last of our beachy recommendations is Watergate Bay. This sandy little haven is located just a few miles out of Newquay centre and is also considered a great spot for surfing, as well as kitesurfing and windsurfing.
There are also plenty of opportunities to enjoy some al fresco dining in Newquay. The streets and beaches are filled with seaside cafes and restaurants, many of which have generous outdoor seating so you can enjoy some of the region’s finest dishes on offer and bask in the summer sun. Why not try The Harbour Fish and Grill? This restaurant specializes in dishes made with fresh local ingredients and classic flavours with a varied and plentiful menu. If you’re feeling spoilt for choice, the grill offers a seven-course tasting menu to help narrow it down. The restaurant is located on the harbour, so you can enjoy scenic views of the waterfront while you dine. But wait there’s even more! During the summer months, Newquay hosts several outdoor events that are fun for you and the entire family. The Boardmasters Festival is an annual event that’s popular with locals and tourists alike, spanning over 5 days and featuring live music, surfing competitions and other outdoor activities. With other events like outdoor cinema screenings, art exhibitions and food and drink festivals, there are so many things to do in Newquay, it’s very easy to see why it’s one of the UK’s hottest locales to visit during the summer.