Gallant little Belgium tends to get overlooked by weekend-breakin’ types which is good news for you, as Ryanair are currently offering flights from Glasgow Prestwick to Brussels from £2.99 one way. It only takes 35 minutes, too. Brussels tends to be unfairly maligned as ‘boring’ but it’s a vibrant European capital city with some cool shops.
Kiss me quick
If you’re one of those live-fast individuals who doesn’t suffer carbon-footprint guilt about flying in mainland Britain, a speedy jaunt down to Cornwall for seaside frolicking might be just the thing. Flybe’s all-in £29.99 flights from Glasgow and Edinburgh to Newquay come with the promise of surfing, beaching and great nightlife including big-name DJs.
Treat your inner child
Okay, this is cheating a little as it takes just over an hour to get to Billund (aka Legoland HQ), but Ryanair have new direct flights from Edinburgh to the Danish town where the pavements are actually made of Lego, starting at a pauperish £10. (The pavements aren’t actually made of Lego. Not all of them.)
Ryanair, as above.
French without tears
Ju-ust scraping in at the under-an-hour mark (depending on the flight) is Jet 2’s relatively new Edinburgh-Toulouse route, with prices from £29.99. All the romance and, er, Gallic sausage you would expect from the South of France, but with a chilled-out city vibe. Recently, Toulouse has become known for outstandingly beautiful graffiti, with a thriving, laid-back club scene growing up around a female-led street art revolution.
Oh, stop sniggering about shellsuits at the back there. Crowned as the European Capital of Culture 2008, there's much more to Liverpool than curly perms and a giant floating weather map these days. There's a packed programme of arts events, particularly in April, and train fares as low as £15.50 from Glasgow and Edinburgh.
www.virgintrains.co.uk 08457 222 333
If all that culture seems a bit fey for ya, strap on your crampons and head off to Arran for a week of bracing outdoor adventure. Try paragliding or canyoning, or climb Goatfell for spectacular views across the Isles. A five-day return with Caledonian MacBrayne ferries starts at £8.95, leaving from Ardrossan, near Glasgow.
www.calmac.co.uk 08000 66 5000
No, really. Calm down
Want to take things just a little bit more slowly? Make like a hermit in Northumberland National Park, which describes itself as ‘England’s most tranquil place.’ A return from Edinburgh to Newcastle, where you can pick up connections to the Tyne Valley, is £16.80 with GNER. Aaah, that’s better.
www.nationalexpresseastcoast.com 08457 48 49 50