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Best city breaks for 2013

Looking for a UK city break? Try our top picks.

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Peace Bridge & Derry at night

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From musicals to art awards, city-wide music festivals and never-before-seen exhibitions, 2013 is an excellent year to visit Britain. The Olympics gave the world a taste of what’s on offer: now’s your chance to get over here and discover it for yourself! Here are some of the best cities...


There’s all sorts happening in London in 2013. If you want to see the whole of London in one go climb to the top of The Shard — Europe’s tallest building —and get an unrivalled view of the city’s famous landmarks. Music fans won’t want to miss the costumes and stage props of a British pop icon at ‘David Bowie is’ in March at the V&A. Then, if you’re heading out for an evening’s entertainment, catch the highly regarded musical ‘The Book of Mormon’ at the Prince of Wales Theatre in nearby Piccadilly.

You saw the Olympics on TV, now come and experience the Olympic Park for yourself. From July 2013 you can walk in the green parklands of the North Park and attend events at its 7,500 capacity arena. If you’re fond of all things horticultural, visit in May for the 100th anniversary of the Chelsea Flower Show. A busy year all in all!

Find out more about London 

Edinburgh, Scotland

Crowned by the towering edifice of Edinburgh Castle, Scotland’s capital is a delightful maze of spectacular sights, beautiful historic architecture and lots of top places to eat and drink. In 2013, head to the National Museum of Scotland for ‘Vikings!’, a brand new exhibition from January to May that explores modern perceptions of these historic people. While you’re there, take a look at ‘David Livingstone, I Presume’, an exhibition to mark the bicentenary of the famous Scottish explorer’s birth, open until April 2013. In the riverside Leith district, see a boat fit for a queen at the Royal Yacht Britannia which celebrates the 60th anniversary of its launch this year. 

Find out more about Edinburgh

Bath, England

Step into Bath’s elegant streets and immerse yourself in culture, heritage and plenty of excellent shopping. Visit the Jane Austen Centre, or indulge in Britain’s only natural hot spring spa at Thermae Bath Spa. 2013 is the 200-year anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice, and literature fans will want to time their visit to Bath with the Jane Austen Festival from 13 to 21 September. It’s a colourful, costumed event which will see the city transformed into a picture of 19th-century life, complete with a grand masked ball. You’ll find plenty of anniversary-related goings on at the Jane Austen Centre here too.

Find out more about Bath 

Derry, Northern Ireland

Named the UK city of culture for 2013, Derry will be host to a busy calendar of music, sporting, arts and dance events this year. 12-18 August will see the biggest festival of Irish culture in the world – Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann – take place in the north of Ireland for the very first time. Visit this historic city as it’s taken over by musicians and performers and enjoy a week of non-stop partying. See fantastic projection-art by Lumiere, attend the controversial annual arts award the Turner Prize and be wowed by the London Symphony Orchestra.  

Find out more about Derry

Cardiff, Wales

2013 marks the 50th anniversary of television hero Doctor Who, so it’s the perfect time to visit the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff. Based in the studios where Doctor Who was filmed, you’ll come face to face with classic monsters, characters and props from the TV show and be able to take part in an interactive adventure of your own. Over at the Wales Millennium Centre you can catch hit musical ‘Hairspray’ between 18-29 June, or for a more classical performance, see the Welsh National Opera here from 8-28 February.

Find out more about Cardiff 

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City Sightseeing: Bath

An open-top bus tour of the beautiful city of Bath - hop on and off at 17 stops

City Sightseeing: Bath
From £13
Bath Visitor Card

Enjoy discounts at restaurants, shops and attractions in Bath with a Visitor Card

Bath Visitor Card
s £3.10