Essex is an awesome place with loads to do. But what about if you fancy a change of scenery? Here are three destinations that you can reach by train in under four hours and thirty minutes. There’s even a foreign country thrown in there!
Essex to Leeds, West Yorkshire
Best for… a shopping city break.
Leeds is a big city with tonnes of areas, but the city centre is surprisingly compact. You can reach many of the cities major features on foot. This includes the library and museum, plus there is the Royal Armouries Museum just on the outskirts of town. If you want to know one thing that Leeds is incredible for, it’s shopping! A few years ago the Trinity shopping centre opened, a huge building with three floors and gorgeous glass ceilings. This shopping centre added to the list of other places the city already had, like the ornate old arcades and the main shopping street, Briggate. The Victoria Quarter is stacked with designer shops, from Louis Vuitton to Vivienne Westwood. There is also a Harvey Nichols, plus a huge John Lewis is due to open later in 2016. Stay at a hotel on or near Call Lane. This is where the city’s most popular restaurants, bars and nightclubs reside. Enjoy a night out here and you won’t regret it. On your second day, you could venture out of the city centre to the White Rose Shopping Centre.
Train journey: under 3 hours 15 minutes
Essex to Blackpool, Lancashire
Best for… a seaside break.
Blackpool is easily one of the best seaside destinations in the whole country. They’ve got all sorts. Thanks to its continued influx of tourists who love it there, they’ve been able to keep the town looking great. You’ve got the Blackpool Tower, which you can travel up. There are also incredible shows in Blackpool in various different places, including the tower. And of course, at the Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Here you’ll also find all the rides and roller coasters your heart you could ever desire. Stuff yourself on fresh, sugary donuts and candy floss. Don’t fill up too much, though, you really don’t want to miss fresh fish and chips on the beach at sunset. Stay in a traditional B&B for a friendly northern welcome, or go for a hotel with views over the sea.
Train journey: under 4 hours 15 minutes
Essex to Paris, France
Best for… a cultural city break.
It’s pretty wild to think that you can reach another country in such a short amount of time! But that’s right; the capital of France is under four hours away. There is so much to do on a weekend break in Paris there isn’t time to list it all. But you could visit the Louvre, or go and see the Mona Lisa in person. Of course, you’ve also got the Eiffel Tower, which provides breathtaking vistas over the twinkling city below. Paris is split into ‘arrondissements’, so stay in one that is close to your top priority tourist spots.
Train journey: under 3 hours 30 minutes