How is your weekend shaping up? One or two things planned? Or perhaps you will just let the mood move you.
In which case, think again – and have a proper experience, packing into a weekend what some people only dream of doing during a full two weeks. You’ll be the talking point in the office and you might not even have to use up a day’s holiday. So are you a Weekend Warrior or a Weekend Wimp?
Scroll down for some weekend trip inspiration…
GOLDEN SAN FRANCISCO
If you take a morning BA flight from London on a Friday, you will arrive in San Francisco at lunchtime. For top views of the Golden Gate Bridge, check into the Lodge at the Presidio, where rates start from £196 per night
Take the morning BA flight on Friday and arrive in San Francisco at lunchtime. Then hop in a taxi (not expensive) to the Lodge At The Presidio, the closest place to stay near the Golden Gate Bridge.
You’ve got 24 miles of hiking trails, 25 miles of bikeways and an 18-hole golf course on your doorstep. On Saturday morning, rent a bike from Blazing Saddles and ride over the bridge.
Then head to the Mission District to see the Latino neighbourhood and the street art. Celebrate with dinner at Californios, the only Mexican restaurant in North America with two Michelin stars. Take an overnight flight home on Sunday.
How to do it: Rates at the Lodge at the Presidio (presidiolodging.com) from £196 per night. Daily flights to San Francisco from £316 return (ba.com).
AN OMANI ADVENTURE
The Alila Jabal Akhdar hotel is 2,000 metres above sea level in Oman’s Al Hajar mountains
Not for the faint-hearted, but once you land in Oman after a seven-hour flight (time to read the UK’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement), head for Alila Jabal Akhdar, 2,000 metres above sea level in the Al Hajar mountains.
The hotel is plush, but the weekend is all about trekking, canyon walks, cave exploration and reminding yourself that this is not the Cotswolds.
The big dare is being strapped into a harness and stepping out onto 20 metre-high ropes and traversing a cave mouth.
How to do it: Red Savannah (01242 787800, redsavannah.com) offers a weekend to Oman from £1,298 pp based on two sharing. Includes return flights with Emirates, transfers and one night in a Mountain View Suite at Alila Jabal Akhdar.
ICELAND IS HOT
Breathtaking: A trip to Iceland offers the chance of spotting the elusive Northern Lights
Heli-skiing is banned in much of Europe, but not here.
Stay at Deplar Farm, a former 18th-century sheep farm that’s been converted into the swishest of hotels, with a glass roof, helicopter pads and musical instruments set up for a late-night jamming session.
Guests have complimentary use of Wagner custom skis designed especially for heli-skiing, and the geo-thermally heated outdoor pool is the perfect spot to catch a glimpse of the elusive Northern Lights. If you’re lucky.
How to do it: Rates at Deplar Farm during heli-ski season (March 15 to May 31) start at £1,673 pp per night. Daily flights from London to Reykjavik from £77 return (easyjet.com).
For wildlife-lovers, a weekend safari might fit the bill, with a package from The Long Weekend Safari including stops in Zimbabwe and Botswana
Take Friday off and fly overnight on Thursday to Johannesburg and on to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, arriving in time for an afternoon tour of the falls and dinner at the Boma, famous for its drum show.
After a night at the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, you are driven to Ngoma in Botswana, approximately 2½ hours away, for an afternoon game drive. Ngoma is known for its elephants.
Another game drive on Sunday and then head back to Victoria Falls for a flight to Johannesburg and on to London. Rather more exciting than a weekend at Longleat.
How to do it: The Long Weekend Safari package (africaalbidatourism.com, 00 263 213 284 3211) from £751 per person, staying in Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, fully inclusive. Price includes dinner at The Boma dinner and drum show, a tour of Victoria Falls (excludes National Park fees of £23 pp), two game drives, and all transfers, excluding flights. Daily flights to Victoria Falls from £835 return (ba.com).
Flights to Antigua work perfectly for a weekend, with departures from London at 10am getting you in for the afternoon
Flights to Antigua work perfectly for a weekend. Leave at 10am on a Friday and you’ll be practising your backstroke by the afternoon, local time.
Stay at Carlisle Bay and you’re whisked through customs. The hotel sits on a glorious stretch of beach. There’s a huge spa, tennis courts, cinema and the food is some of the best on the island. Fly back overnight on Sunday.
How to do it: Classic Collection Holidays (0800 047 1064; classic-collection.co.uk) offers three days/two nights at Carlisle Bay Antigua from £2,329 pp.
Price based on two adults sharing a beach balcony suite with half-board lunches, including return flights from London Gatwick (ba.com).
ART IN RUSSIA
St Petersburg is less than four hours away from London by plane, making it doable for a swift weekend break
Known as the Venice Of The North, St Petersburg is less than four hours away.
Our relations with Putin aren’t great, but this city doesn’t care for him much either.
Stay at the Belmond Grand Hotel Europe and you get a private tour of the Hermitage Museum and the hotel has its own box at the opera house. Wrap up warm.
How to do it: The St Petersburg Cultural Heritage Experience package at Belmond Grand Hotel Europe (belmond.com) from £334 + VAT per night B&B based on two people sharing. Includes transfers, tour of the Hermitage, two tickets to the opera or ballet at the Mikhailovsky Theatre, one guided palace tour, one set-menu dinner.
Fly to St Petersburg from Heathrow from £217 return (ba.com).
MUSIC TO YOUR EARS
Schloss Elmau (pictured), which is located in the Bavarian Alps, holds concerts in its magnificent concert hall. There is also a top notch spa which offers treatments galore
With more than 200 concerts a year, Schloss Elmau is an extraordinary mix of top-class music combined with a top-notch spa in the Bavarian Alps.
The flight and transfer gets you there in three hours from London.
Concerts take place in Schloss Elmau’s magnificent concert hall. Book yourself in for treatments galore and return home on Sunday night refreshed in body and soul.
How to do it: Healing Holidays (healingholidays.co.uk, 020 3111 0809) has a two-night stay at Schloss Elmau from £699 pp, including flights, transfers, half- board accommodation, tickets to all concerts and access to the complimentary fitness classes and use of the spa.
DIVING IN TURKEY
For those interesting in exploring Turkey’s underwater world, the Mandarin Oriental in Bodrum is well placed for adventures in the deep
Located on Paradise Bay, the Mandarin Oriental in Bodrum is well placed for adventures in the deep, offering professional tuition and guides to lead you through the extraordinary underwater world.
A short boat ride takes you to the most popular of Bodrum’s diving spots: Black Island which features three wrecks to explore.
The Amphorae Fields are a natural memorial site, strewn with ancient amphora vessels that used to carry goods about 3,000 years ago.
How to do it: Mandarin Oriental Bodrum’s Try Diving course costs £105 (includes one dive, theory and practice). Room rates start from £265 per night. Direct flights from Gatwick to Bodrum from £173 return (easyjet.com).
If you fancy soaking up endless wilderness and trying your hand at a spot of technical driving across frozen lakes, you could take a snowmobile safari to the borders between Finland, Norway and Russia
Enjoy endless wilderness and technical driving across frozen lakes as you take a snowmobile safari to the borders between Finland, Norway and Russia.
Experience the thrill of the freezing Arctic Circle with a 36-hour journey starting and ending in Saariselkä in Northern Finland.
The driving distance is approximately 240 miles across snow-covered forests and thrilling landscapes.
You fly to Ivalo Airport, get behind the wheel of your snowmobile and then drive to the Russian border.
You’ll stay overnight at Nellim Wilderness lodge, taking in a sauna, before setting off in the morning to the Norwegian border with Finland. Then it’s back to Ivalo and a flight home.
How to do it: Fares from £1,215 pp inclusive of accommodation at Nellim Wilderness Lodge and based on a minimum of four people (laplandsafaris.fi). Fly to Ivalo, fares start from £181 return (finnair.com).