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10 bank holiday destinations: places in Europe to visit during Jubilee weekend - from Oslo to Belfast

Bank holidays are ideal for a quick trip to greener pastures

Many of us are looking forward to an extra bank holiday this year, thanks to the Platinum Jubilee.

If you’re looking to take advantage of the time off with a short break, we’ve uncovered some hidden gems in the UK and Europe, which are quick and easy to travel to.

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Here are 10 mini-break ideas for the upcoming bank holidays.

Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight.

A classic seaside holiday destination, visiting the Isle of Wight is an escape from the British mainland but offers the perks of staying at home - for example, no passports are required, and it’s quick and easy to get to.

With its bustling capital, Newport filled with comfort and familiarity, the Isle of Wight also offers a selection of independent shops capturing the essence of this paradise island.

The Needles landmark makes for stunning scenery, offering tours in speedboats or slow boats. There’s also the option to  head over to Ventor to look at the beautiful botanical gardens.

The Osbourne estate transports you to Queen Victoria’s summer home, while Carisbrooke Castle offers up a dose of local history.

Isle of Wight is accessible easily by ferry, which takes around 40-45 minutes depending on the journey you take. Tickets vary according to season, but can cost up to £200 return.

Although the Isle does have airports, they cater for light aircrafts and are considered more airfields than airports, and are not accessible for commercial flights.

Oslo, Norway

Norway's capital Oslo provides a vision of a new future for Scotland for some nationalists, but are the financial risks worth it? (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Located between mountains and the sea, this country embodies a ‘something for everyone’ vibe.

In the summer, catch an easy trip to marvel at the Oslo Fjord on its main island, Hovedøta, which is packed with activities, such as a hike, a relaxing beach day, to gazing at monastery ruins.

For an eclectic mix of cuisine, try going to Vippa, the city’s food court inside an old industrial building. With a mix of locals and tourists, this ideal spot provides scenery and relaxation.

Oslo offers saunas and snow, and with a range of parks and attractions like the Opera House and the Nobel Prize centre, it’s a perfect place to spend a bank holiday.

Oslo sits two hours from London by a direct flight, making it the perfect destination to say ‘effortless holiday’. Via Skycanner, you can find direct flights from London from £111 per person during the dates of the Queen’s Jubilee.

Brussels, Belgium

The Grand-Place in Brussels, Belgium. Image: CPN - stock.adobe.com

Gilded glamour is in abundance inside Brussels’ Grand Place, but for something more contemporary, catch a glimpse of the towering Atomium.

This capital is perfect for someone unsure of their holiday vibe until they get there, offering monuments from the 15th Century to tours of the world-renowned chocolate shops such as Chocopolis Brussels, or Maison Pierre Marcolini.

Art history fans can navigate their way to the Musée Magritte Museum, dedicated to the Belgian Surrealist, Rene Magritte or the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium to marvel at the works of Pieter Bruegel.

Flights from London take 1 hour and 15 minutes, with the cheapest being £192 per person. Alternatively, you can take the Eurostar direct from London to Brussels, from £49.50 per person, the journey will take 2 hours.

Cardiff, Wales

Cardiff.

With a medieval castle proudly standing in its centre, Cardiff offers a range of activities, like exploring dense forests, visiting traces of Victorian architecture, and grabbing something to eat in quirky food establishments.

Get a dose of culture through castle hopping and enlightening museums or just take a stroll through Cardiff’s striking city centre. Spending a weekend in this peaceful place is an ideal way to spend a summer holiday.

Cardiff is accessible via the mainland, and is accessible via train too. However, prices vary according to peak time tickets.

Isle of Skye

Portree on Isle of Skye. Tourism businesses on the island fear for their future amid the Coronavirus outbreak.

This charming and iridescent island is overflowing with natural scenery, making it an amazing holiday for campers and sightseeing enthusiasts.

From the Old man of Storr, a selection of geologic formations to the Cuillin hills, which have Fairy Pools sitting at the bottom, the Isle of Skye is perfect for active adventurers who love walking.

WIth this Isle being close to the Scottish Mainland, it’s also perfect for anyone wanting to do a road trip as the island is 50 miles long and 25 miles wide.

On the way, stop and see Portree, the capital of Skye, and marvel at the Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls Viewpoint.

You can get to the Isle of Skye via Inverness, via bus links or by train to Kyle of Lochalsh. You can cross Skye Bridge with bus services or you can access the Isle via ferry

Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh city in winter from Calton hill, Scotland, UK

Rife with wild art and gothic buildings, Edinburgh provides a stunning weekend escape, through food and whiskey tours across the city. For any architecture fans, Edinburgh offers its renowned castle, or a climb up Calton Hill to gaze upon its iconic buildings.

Wander up the cobblestoned Royal Mile, or partake in its busy dinner scene, Edinburgh promises scenery and an experience you’re not likely to forget.

Edinburgh is accessible through roads across the UK, or you can fly over directly from London for £115 return per person during the Queen’s Jubilee.

Train tickets from Kings Cross to Edinburgh are also available from £138.00 on the same dates.

Barcelona, Spain

View of the city from Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain. Image: gatsi - stock.adobe.com

Two hours away by plane, Barcelona makes a perfect escape to revamp your bank holidays.

Barcelona is a sizzling choice providing an intoxicating experience of old fusing into new. With landmarks like the Basílica de la Sagrada Familia to the Casa Milá and the Palace of Catalan Music, Barcelona is teeming with things to do.

For cuisine, delve deep into Spanish authenticity, and sample delicious dishes from food stalls or raved restaurants.

Plane tickets from Thursday 2 June 2022 to Sunday 5 June 2022 can cost upto £219 return per person from Birmingham, but prices from London can go upto £400.

Milan, Italy

Milan, Italy (Image: Getty Images)

An Italian escape in under two hours from London, Milan offers the world-famous Duomo di Milano.

Known for its historical touch, this city is filled with opera houses like the Teatro alla Scala, to art museums holding masterpieces like The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci in the Santa Maria delle Grazie.

Milan, also known as the fashion capital of the world, is home to Via Montenapoleone, the key shopping street to be visited by anyone looking for fashion inspiration.

Flights from London to Milan during Thursday 2 June 2022 to Sunday 5 June 2022 costs from £200, and will take roughly 1hour 55 minutes.

Jersey, Channel Islands

Jersey is for memorable family holidays, for that sweet mix of water activities and historical monuments. With zoos, the Maritime Museum, quirky statues like the SandWizard, or castles like the Elizabeth Castle or Mont Orgueil, it’s perfect for those who love the sea and history.

Of course, for cuisine, Jersey offers a selection of international food and standard fish and chips, so you’ll never run out of things to eat!

Flights to Jersey start from £186 per person and will take roughly 1 hour 10 minutes.

Belfast, Northern Ireland 

You can take a road trip around Northern Ireland (Image: Getty Images)

Scenic and stunning, Northern Ireland is the inspiration for many historical and fantastical backdrops. This quick trip allows you to see some striking features like Giant’s Causeway, Norman castles and some Game of Thrones film locations.

Northern Ireland is perfect for road trips and something for adventurers who are always on the move.

Flights from London to Belfast for the Queen’s Jubilee start from £123, or you can opt to take the ferry, which will take 2 hours 15 minutes.