Weekend Whim: Last Minute Destinations Close to the UK

We’ve all been there; the weather’s taken a turn for the worst, your grown-up children are behaving like their former juvenile selves and you just want to get away. Anywhere. Luckily, we live in an age of easy air travel, which makes a cure for this particular ailment readily available: a weekend on the continent.

A last minute break is often dreamt about in the conservatory on a rainy afternoon, but when actually put into practice they can be act of immense liberation and rejuvenation. So shake off those blues and set the mind wandering to pastures new!

Here are a few great ideas, all around a two hour flight from the UK.

Ah Paris, the city of love! It’s perhaps the brightest jewel in Europe’s crown and a city that one can return to time and time again and always discover something new. The splendid romantic buildings of France’s capital align themselves in beautifully planned formations that are simply made to be strolled along – and not at pace. In particular, a foray to Montmartre, the beautiful suburb with its impressive church at the top of the hill comes highly recommended for a quiet stroll and stunning views over the city.


Many of us know this gorgeous Austrian city from the setting it provided in the critically acclaimed movie The Sound of Music. Indeed, the true story on which the film is based is just one of a plethora of historical adventures that ooze from every building and bar in the city. There is a calming atmosphere to the place, which can be best experienced whilst walking around the Baroque buildings lining the left bank of the River Salzach. If you’re feeling more adventurous, a day trip out to the surrounding Eastern Alps promises spectacular views and stunning walks. A last minute break doesn’t come much better than this.


The capital of Germany has more recently become acclaimed as Europe’s capital of cool. The cheap rents and general affordability have made it a haven for young artists and entrepreneurs from across the world. So if you’d like to wind back the clock and see what the youngsters are up to, this is the destination for you. In particular, Kreuzberg has made a name for itself as a funky, alternative centre full of cafes and bars, without the brutalist architecture that comprises most of Eastern Berlin. This is also the perfect destination for fans of twentieth-century history. The impact of the Berlin Wall on the capital is visible to this day, not to mention the purposefully left ruins of the structure, which have become a sort of mural for peace and coexistence today. History and youthful culture make Berlin a city not to be missed.

Spontaneous last minute break adventures are can be cheap, practical and very enjoyable. Flights to all these destinations average just a couple of hours, making them ideal for a weekend or short break. So pack your smallest bag and embark on a few days of relaxation and culture!

Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you're heading off on a last minute break, pre-book a shared or private transfer to your hotel to save time and money. Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.

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Author: Desiree Michels