5 cities to visit in 2024

Want some inspiration for a new city to visit? The picture we have in our minds can be very different from how buzzing Dundee, Plymouth, Sunderland, Sheffield and Canterbury are these days.
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Some cities are front of mind when it comes to thinking about city breaks. History, culture and good food are everywhere. Here’s some of the surprising and fascinating things you can discover when you choose a more unexpected city.


As the UK’s only UNESCO City of Design, Dundee has the cutting-edge when it comes to creativity. The big draw is the V&A design museum on the waterfront, but there are plenty of lesser-known attractions that make this city so cool.

Dundee’s industrial textile heritage is brought to life at Verdant Works, while the city’s impressive street art trails showcase the colourful work of both local and international artists.

If you’re curious about the cosmos, Mills Observatory is the place to watch stars, planets and other jewels of the night sky.

For more natural wonders, head to Camperdown Country Park, a gorgeous green space located just three miles outside the city centre. Follow the tree trail to see part of the National Tree Collections of Scotland.

Food and drink lovers shouldn’t leave Dundee without tucking into a traditional Scotch pie from a local bakery or sampling a variety of delicious street food options.

Check out our hotel in Dundee overlooking the Tay in wooded grounds


With its spectacular waterfront, famous lighthouse and blissful surrounding countryside, Britain’s Ocean City offers the perfect combination of a lively and relaxing getaway.

Not to be missed is The Box, a free museum and arts centre with highlights including a life-size replica woolly mammoth and a mock TV studio where you can present the news.

You’ll find a different take on history at the Black Friars Distillery where Plymouth gin has been made since 1793 - the oldest working gin distillery in England. It’s on The Barbican, the city’s old port packed to the brim with pubs, cafes, galleries, specialist shops – and award-winning fish and chips.

If you feel like heading out of the city, Plymouth is surrounded by beautiful golden beaches such as Bovisand and Wembury, and offers scenic walks along the South West Coast Path.

New Continental Hotel, Sure Hotel Collection by Best Western is a great place to stay in Plymouth within walking distance of the sea.


If you think you know Sunderland, think again. While its mining and shipbuilding heritage is still clearly visible, there’s so much more to this visionary city than meets the eye.

For starters, the city has a buzzing cultural scene. The Fire Station is the North East’s newest arts venue, hosting everything from classical to indie via jazz and folk.

Sunderland also has a flourishing restaurant scene, with a huge range of Asian, Indian and Italian-inspired eateries, not to mention Turkish and tapas as well as traditional favourites.

For outdoor pursuits, climb Penshaw Hill to admire the stunning views that stretch for miles across the region. Alternatively, enjoy a seaside trip to Roker Pier and lighthouse. The sea air is invigorating as you stroll along the beachfront, while water sports enthusiasts can have heaps of fun surfing, kayaking or sailing at Adventure Sunderland.

Enjoy a stay at Roker Hotel, BW Premier Collection by Best Western, overlooking the sea and the lighthouse.


Sheffield is rapidly turning into a foodie hotspot – and it’s not just us saying it – it was one of the Observer Food Monthly’s food favourites for 2023. A trip here could help you discover some of the newest food talent and be a real treat for your tastebuds.

A good place to start your foodie pilgrimage is Kelham Island in the city’s oldest industrial district. Enjoy a bottomless brunch at the Cutlery Works, voted the best food hall in the UK in the 2022 British Street Food Awards.

And while you might think of Sheffield as the Steel City, it’s actually one of the UK’s greenest cities – partly in thanks to its 22,600 acres of green space. So, if you fancy a more outdoorsy city break, we recommend walking the Rivelin Valley Trail, which links Sheffield to the Peak District.

If it’s raining, Sheffield Winter Garden can provide a unique undercover experience – it’s the largest urban glasshouse in Europe and home to more than 2,500 plants.

Choose one of our hotels in Sheffield.


Dominated by its mighty cathedral, Canterbury is one of the prettiest historic cities to spend time in just wandering around its medieval cobbled streets, timber-framed buildings and riverside gardens.

You can find out more about the city at the Beaney House of Art & Knowledge, which is jam-packed full of curios and paintings you can ‘step into’. Nearby, the Canterbury Roman Museum is home to the UK’s only remaining Roman pavement mosaic which hasn’t been moved from its original place.

Canterbury is also a good base to visit local vineyards such as Chartham or follow the Canterbury beer trail to sample local and real ales. Grapes and hops are grown in this part of England thanks to its relatively mild climate.

If you fancy a beach day during your city break, the classic seaside towns of Herne Bay and Whitstable are only around 8 miles away.

See the sights of Canterbury and beyond during a stay at Best Western Abbots Barton Hotel, set among two acres of landscaped gardens.

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