Short hops from London

Golden sands of Porto Santo Beach in Portugal © Creative Commons - Joao Maximo

Porto Santo Beach, Portugal by Joao Maximo (Creative Commons)

Spring has made a reluctant appearance in the UK, after dragging its feet for what seems to be the longest time. Even now we’re still in our coats, so it’s no wonder that lots of people are trying to escape the long chill or 2013 by escaping to warmer climes for the weekend. Here are a few ideas for a few days’ mini break:

South of France

The Mediterranean, the Riviera, the wine regions and historic cities and buildings are all great reasons to go to the South of France, not to mention the warmer weather. Several hundred miles to the south of London, it attracts sunseekers the world over.


Lovers of wine and seafood are particularly at home in Portugal: its Atlantic coast means that fish and crustaceans are in plentiful supply. Find a holiday apartment by the beach and sink into a few days’ hedonistic revelry.


Get in before the really searing heat of summer and the tourists. A truly raw cultural experience, Morocco is a place to haggle with stall-holders, to get lost in, to smell some exotic smells and see some exotic sights, and it’s only 3.5 hours from London.


With bargain basement prices at the moment, Greece is a particularly palatable holiday destination. A self-catered holiday apartment on an island is an especially popular option among holiday-makers, and there are plenty of package deals going.

Sar­dinia, Italy by pjt56 (creative commons)

Sar­dinia, Italy by pjt56 (creative commons)


Sipping wine and eating cheese in a warm piazza somewhere sounds like a pretty good way to spend a few days. Try some real coffee, float away with an amazing gelato and marvel at the artisan pizza and pasta and you’re away – and that’s before you’ve even looked at some Roman ruins, seen some art or wandered around some outdoor food markets.

Taking a short hop holiday is mostly a matter of just making some time and planning properly. It will make a world of difference to get away from the smoggy bustle of London, especially to get a jumpstart on tanning for summertime.

Vivienne Egan writes for FHR who provide trusted Gatwick Airport Parking and will have your car ready (and heated) for when you come back to the UK climate.