The long weekend and mini breaks are being hailed as a great way for overworked employees to get out of the country for a few days and really relax and unwind. But with central Europe on our doorstep, where is a good place to go to spend your precious holiday time?
Antwerp is a great destination, and really easy to get to in a matter of hours from London. Belgium is really close and easily accessible thanks to the Eurostar. The region is a hub of economic and cultural activity in the country, and the city sits on the bank of the river Scheldt and boasts one of the largest seaports in Europe.
There is lots for you to do on a weekend here, from the zoo which is one of the oldest in the world and offers the chance to see around six thousand animals. You can also visit a plethora of cathedrals and churches, or try some of the museums in the area, like the Royal Museum of the Fine Arts.
Antwerp has been the living place of some influential people in history, with William Cavendish, the first duke of York having lived there, as well as Albert Lilar (the minister of justice) and George Du Maurier (the grandfather of Daphne Du Maurier).
If you are visiting the area in August then make sure you visit the Bollekesfeest, which showcases local beers and sweets made in the region. They also offer locally made liquors and coffees, and the festival is a time for farmers and other vendors to sell their wares to people who gather for this reason.
Antwerp has a cult status in the fashion world due to the Royal Academy of the Fine Arts which is deemed to be one of the best in the world, and it has produced a vast amount of renowned Belgian designers. It also has a school of painting that has been frequented by a host of painters from the region.
If you are looking to take a break to Antwerp or any of the other cities in the region then make sure that you book travel insurance to cover you in the case of accident.