For many of us, weekends are a precious time. If you work full-time in the week then your weekend is your opportunity to recharge, to spend time with friends and family and to not have to think about work, if possible. When you consider this, it might seem like going away for the weekend can be nothing but hassle, wasting the spare time you have but actually, research has proven that short breaks can do wonders for the soul and that in fact, you are likely to be more productive come Monday morning if you have been away then you would have otherwise.
But how do you make sure that your weekend isn’t spent haring from one place to the next without really getting much done? London is a fantastic place to spend 48 hours, but only if you take the time to properly plan. Depending on the time of year you go, you could spend a number of those limited hours you have standing in queues waiting to get into popular restaurants or tourist attractions which will diminish the effect of getting away from your home life.
But making sure that this doesn’t happen is really very simple. We have put together a quick guide on how to make the most out of your short break and ensure that you come back feeling revitalised and ready to face a new week at work:-
The first step is to decide what you want to get out of your short break. London is a fantastic city with lots on offer so it doesn’t matter whether you want to hide away in a tranquil oasis in one of the city’s top spas or take in the culture and history on a sightseeing tour, you just need to decide. Once you have an idea of the type of break you want, you can move on to deciding what you would like to see and do whilst in the city. How much of your itinerary you plan is entirely dependent on the type of person you are; some people like to have every last detail planned whilst others prefer to wing it.
In our experience, having at least a basic idea of some of the places you would like to visit is a necessity to avoid wasting time. Make a short list and then spend some time looking at their locations in relation to one another on a map. There is nothing worse than travelling to one end of London to see something, then travelling back to see something else and then back again for a third time. If you can group attractions or activities together then you will be making the most of your 48 hours in London. Bear in mind that if you are leaving on the Sunday you won’t have as much time so try and get the majority of your sightseeing and exploring done on Saturday; particularly if there is something specific you want to see.
Travelling to London couldn’t be easier whether you want to arrive by plane, train, car, boat or bus. If you are working to a tight budget then shop around and look at the different travel options. To really make the most of your weekend you are going to want to journey on the Friday evening but be aware that this may be peak time and you may end up spending more than you perhaps wanted on your travel fares. If taking an afternoon off work is a possibility then this may work out cheaper. Otherwise you will just have to bite the bullet; knowing that you will at least get a full day on Saturday from your trip. If you have far to come, even if you are travelling within the UK then consider flying; a flight from Manchester takes less than an hour and there are many great deals to be found from airline companies.
Once in London, you are going to want to get around with speed and ease so make sure you buy an Oyster Card; this will give you access to the majority of London’s public transport network and will make exploring the city that bit quicker and simpler.
There are lots of excellent hotels in London; the difficulty comes in knowing which one to choose. For a short weekend break we would suggest looking at centrally located hotels such as Park Grand Paddington Court Hotel. This will put you within easy reach of many of London’s best attractions and will cut down on your travelling time. Whilst a budget hotel outside of the city centre might save you money initially, it could cost you time and increase your travel fares if you have to be coming into Central London each morning. Once you have decided on where you are going to stay, make sure you look online and plan your route from your chosen method of transport, be that Heathrow Airport or St Pancras, for example, to your hotel. The last thing you want is to arrive and immediately get lost, wasting precious minutes of your downtime.
Pack light, especially if you are travelling by plane as this will mean you could potentially avoid having to put a bag into the hold making your journey through the airport even quicker. Remember you are only going for two days and don’t need to take that much with you. At the end of the day, you will end up carrying it, so pack as little as you can get away with.
The final step is to simply enjoy your time away from home. The to do list can wait, those shelves you have been meaning to put up for weeks can wait, the washing can wait…the main aim of your break away is to take a step back from the everyday humdrum of life and have some time to yourself. Make sure you really make the most of it, switch off and have a great time.