Exciting ideas for last minute breaks in the UK and Europe

Got a mad urge to get away on a holiday right this very minute but don't know where to go? If you're longing to escape your daily routine for the weekend or even for a few days, you can find plenty of opportunities for last-minute breaks right here in the UK. Or, if you're up to it, you can fly to Europe for your last-minute mini-break. It's just a matter of figuring out what you want to do and who is coming with you. Once you've got that sorted out, you can easily pick out a destination for your holiday.

Close-to-home last minute short breaks in the UK

You don't have to leave the UK for your last-minute mini-breaks. There are plenty of exciting holiday destinations a few short hours' drive or train ride away from where you are. Check out these suggestions.

Attend a festival in Glasgow

There's always a festival going on in Glasgow, so if you need an excuse to get away, you can simply book a holiday rental in this Scottish city and attend a fest. Take your pick – the Glasgow Film Festival and the Southside Film Festival for movie buffs, the Glasgow Art Fair for culture vultures, Celtic Connections and the World Pipe Band Championships for traditional music enthusiasts, Pride Glasgow and Glasgay for LGBT supporters, and many more.

Enjoy the outdoors in the Lake District

The Lake District is an ideal destination for last-minute family breaks. The region is known for its stunning natural beauty, and there are plenty of activities there that will keep your kids entertained. For one, you can introduce them to the wonder of the Great Outdoors by taking them on kid-friendly hikes or on boat rides on Lake Windermere or Ullswater. The beauty of the Lake District also makes it the perfect backdrop to romantic getaways. No worries if you're single, too – you can also enjoy this region as a solo traveller.

Unleash your inner geek in Cardiff

If you happen to be a fan of BBC hits like Doctor Who, Torchwood and Sherlock, Cardiff is a great destination for your last-minute breaks. You can tour locations where the TARDIS landed or where Sherlock went hunting for his next clue, such as Cardiff Castle, Caerphilly Castle, Wales Millennium Centre and Roald Dahl Pass. If you're more of a history buff than a pop culture geek, you can visit the many castles in and around Cardiff. Aside from Cardiff Castle and Caerphilly Castle, there's also Castell Coch, Llandaff Bishop's Palace and St. Fagans Castle.

Fabulous European destinations for last minute breaks

If you've set your eyes on Europe for your last-minute breaks, then by all means go. There are many enticing European destinations that are only a few hours of travel by air or by train from the UK. Here are some recommendations.

Get off the beaten path in Paris

There's more to Paris than the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the Notre Dame. On your next last-minute break to the City of Lights, you can get off the beaten path and head to the places that few holiday-goers get to see. You can, for instance, explore the Roman ruins on Ile de la Cite or shop for vintage goods at Belleville's flea markets. Or you can visit the Catacombs of Paris, where only the brave dare to go.

Go on a pub crawl in Brussels

The Belgians are proud of their local beers. On your next last-minute mini-break, instead of visiting museums and touring the usual sites, you can go on a Brussels pub crawl and show your appreciation for their homegrown brews. Their beers come in different strengths and flavours, and you can savour them with appetisers like cheeses, chocolate and pate. While you're at it, find a pub that hosts live bands so you can enjoy great music with your beers and cheeses.

Let out your inner foodie in Porto

The city of Porto is one of Portugal's culinary centres. Many dishes native to Porto have found their way into what's now considered to be traditional Portuguese food. If you're a foodie whose taste buds are craving for something new, you can head to Porto on your next last-minute mini-break and feast on the culinary delights the city has to offer. Better yet, pack some of these goodies in a basket along with a bottle of good port and have a picnic at the beach.