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With the onset of autumn and the sun’s increasing absenteeism, swap flip flops for ankle boots and put a smile on the other half’s face this season with an impromptu weekend city break from Sykes Cottages. We’ve a growing number of super inner-city cottages, entrenched within the borders of some of the UK’s most palatial metropolises, including York, Chester, Edinburgh and Lincoln, which provide the perfect base for a spot of urban exploration! With fewer tourists and cooler temperatures, there’s really no better time to pound the pavements of your favourite city than autumn, but if you’re still in need of a little inspiration, read our handy guide to three of the UK’s top stops for a self-catering city break.

Step back in time on a cottage break in York

The Shambles, York

Via Flickr

We’re sure you’ve read about York in one history book or another, but until you’ve paid it a visit yourself it’s difficult to appreciate the scope of history that is encased within the city’s ancient walls. Speaking of walls, that’s where we’ll begin. Take a lap around the city of York from the vantage point of this spectacular roman-age structure to get a feel for the panorama of this archaic city, before stooping into The Shambles to pick up a trinket or some local produce from one of the street’s original oak fronted medieval shops. Swap the modern age for the Viking age in the JORVIK centre, home to an interactive Viking city as well as a deluge of funky Nordic odours! Or, terrorize yourself at the York Dungeon, where you’ll be petrified by the Plague Doctor and witness the sticky end of Guy Fawkes. Take a tumble back to yesteryear for yourself with one of our self-catering cottages in York; who knows what you’ll uncover on your weekend escape in this age-old city!

Eat well in Edinburgh on your next city break

Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh

Via Flickr

Edinburgh, birthplace of Hogmanay, haggis and Sean Connery, and now the jewel in the UK’s culinary crown. If you’re out to indulge on your next city break, there’s really no better place. You’ll find all manner of Scottish gastronomy amongst the city’s Michelin-starred restaurants, food markets and specialist delicatessens, making Edinburgh an outright mecca for foodies. Gorge on Highland Bay langoustine and Aberdeen steak in the city’s top restaurants; sip warming Scotch over a plate of hearty fare on the Royal Mile, or cook up a storm in your Edinburgh cottage kitchen with ingredients sourced from the weekly farmer’s market, before snuggling up for a supper of oatcakes and chutney in front of your cottage’s open log fire. Can you think of a better way to spend a sumptuous weekend away?

Soak up some city culture in Plymouth

Plymouth Barbican, Plymouth

Via Flickr

With a pseudonym like ‘Britain’s Ocean City’, it’s easy to assume that the only thing on offer in Plymouth is its maritime heritage and golden Devonshire shoreline. But don’t rule out the culture of this South coast city just yet! As it turns out, Plymouth offers a plethora of cultural activities for the urban gadabout, including exhibitions, concerts and regional fêtes, making it the perfect place for an enriching city getaway. Scrutinise the work of top UK artists at the Artist’s Make Faces exhibition, commissioned by Monika Kinley; enter the ‘live studio’ of Edward Waite as you sidle through his Urban Architecture; fill your Plymouth holiday cottage with homely antiques and kitchenalia acquired at the city’s annual Vintage Fair, before heading to Café Acoustica, an evening of unplugged music and performance poetry at Plymouth’s B-Bar.

Our short city breaks are available on a last minute basis, so why not spice up your weekend with a spontaneous urban getaway? To find out more, take a look at our self-catering city breaks page today.

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