We all look forward to our holidays immensely – the time away from work, the chance to relax with the family. The planning and organisation, however, are far less welcome than the time away itself. It can, though, be enjoyable deciding where to go. In the UK, we're lucky enough to have some truly amazing holiday destinations on our doorstep – here are just a few.
There are very few of us who do not pine for a weekend in Paris. No matter what the time of year, France's capital oozes history, culture and authenticity. What's more, flights to Paris are both inexpensive and relatively short, making it possible to visit for a short amount of time. Day trips from the city include Versailles and its palace. As historically important as it is beautiful, Versailles is sure to satisfy the needs of any history lover.
For a true Parisian break, look for a pad in the cultural Montmartre district. From here, you will be able to walk through traditional streets to the famous Moulin Rouge and the Sacre Coeur, which gives an unrivalled view of the city at night. Art fans cannot pass up the opportunity to visit the Louvre, home to perhaps the world's most famous painting, the Mona Lisa.
A trip to Naples offers the opportunity to sample some of Italy's greatest delights. Not only will you find some of the country's greatest pizza and pasta, but you will have the opportunity to take a short boat trip to some of Europe's most luscious and beautiful islands, including Capri.
The city itself does a wonderful job of marrying the modern with the traditional. Nowhere in the city are you far from ancient monuments, nor from an operating theatre or opera house. A short trip south will take you to the historic town of Pompeii, giving you the chance to see its nemesis – Mount Vesuvius. In contrast to the country's industrial north, Naples offers an introduction to the laid back lifestyle of southern Italy and firms such as Flybe can help you reach their quickly and easily.
Unfortunately, many of us overlook Ireland and Northern Ireland when it comes to booking our holidays. While we won't typically find sun soaked beaches on the coast of Northern Ireland, it has a plethora of reasons why it ought to be a tourist destination on par with Spain or Italy.
Top of the list when visiting Belfast ought to be the theatre – the most popular choice for which will be the Lyric Theatre, on the city's south side. For day trips from the city, Giant's Causeway is just a taste of the beauty which lies in Northern Ireland. From there you will also be able to visit Bushmills, home to the whiskey distillery of the same name.
Northern Ireland is a very affordable holiday destination, with impressively low prices on flights to Belfast. Its proximity to mainland UK also makes it an ideal place to visit for a weekend, with a short flying time.