City breaks aren’t the only way to enjoy a weekend away, writes Katie McGonagle.

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Have an Irish adventure

Fancy getting the gift of the gab – courtesy of a kiss on the ol’ Blarney stone – then filling your Instagram feed with snaps of the scenic Cliffs of Moher, kicking back on the windswept beaches of the Dingle Peninsula or dancing an Irish jig in Ennis, all in a long weekend? Shamrocker’s Southern Rocker Tour – which has just been ranked the best multi-day tour in the world by TripAdvisor – packs all this and more into just three days. Add the lunar-like landscape of the Burren, a night in Killarney and stops in Dublin and Galway City, and you’ve got the makings of a true Irish experience.

Book it: The three-day Southern Rocker Tour starts at £209 including two nights’ hostel accommodation, transport, and breakfasts.

Feel festive in France

Cruising doesn’t have to mean multiple days at sea – short sailings offer a taste of life on the water. Cruise & Maritime Voyages has a December mini-cruise along the Seine, calling at Rouen for its famed cathedral, Honfleur to wander through cobbled streets or take an optional excursion to Deauville, and Zeebrugge for last-minute shopping in the Christmas markets of Bruges.

Book it: Fares start at £319 departing Tilbury on December 8 for a four-night Festive French Getaway on Magellan, based on two sharing an inner cabin with full-board meals, entertainment and late-night snacks.


Kick back on the Casablanca coast

No time for a two-week beach break? Lauren Ross, product and commercial manager at Simply Luxury by Travel 2, recommends Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort on the Moroccan coast, an hour from Casablanca. She says: “The best thing about this hotel is its fantastic activities, including a links golf course, paintballing, go-karting, quad biking on the beach, horse riding and a beautiful spa. It even has a world-famous Buddha-bar where you can enjoy Asian dishes and a late-afternoon cocktail while a DJ sets the atmosphere.”

Book it: Four nights in a pool view room at the five-star Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort Morocco, with flights from Gatwick, transfers and breakfast, starts at £629 for travel on May 1, 2020.

Take a scenic staycation

If clients are short on time, forget the flight and make a beeline for the British countryside instead. The Lake District is big on epic landscapes, vast glassy lakes, and charming towns such as Windermere, a good base for scenic walks.

Book it: Shearings’ Highlights of the Lake District starts at £274 in May 2020, including four nights’ half-board at The Windermere Hotel, coach travel from a UK pick-up point, plus a full-day rail and cruise tour, and half-day visit to Keswick and Grasmere.

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