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WeekendsAway New York Imagine this. You get off the plane and you are immediately met with a busy, excited, multicultural whirlwind that is New York. With over 8 million people living across the five boroughs that make up the city – The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island – and as many as 800 different languages being spoken within it, it is known as the most linguistically diverse city in the world today and you’d be mad not to immediately fall in love with it. So, if that hasn’t sold you yet, how about one of the many attractions that draws in the hundreds of visitors each year. Times Square is what gives the city the name ‘the city that never sleeps’, with its constant hustling and bustling of people dining out, or visiting the theatre and cinemas. It is a definite must see place. The Empire State Building is known as the most famous sky scraper in the world, standing at a remarkable 318 meters (1250ft) tall. The view from the top will literally take your breath away as you gaze upon the rest of New York. If you’re more into the history aspect of the city then why not go and see the Brooklyn Bridge, which is in fact the most significant land mark in New York to date. Connecting Brooklyn to Manhattan, the bridge stretches to a magnificent 5989ft making it the world’s largest suspension bridge. Ladies, if shopping is more your thing then take a trip to 5th Avenue, where you’ll find a shopping paradise with a variety of stores for you to spend your well earned money. As the most famous street in New York, you might even bump in to a few familiar celebrity faces along the way. These are just a few of the attractions that New York has to offer, but your weekend away in the city will definitely not disappoint you. For more information on flights and prices please visit: www.lastminute.co.uk

Amsterdam With world famous art galleries, museums and canals, a city break in Amsterdam is definitely one of the most exciting trips that you will ever take. You can relax after a long day of exploring at one of the hundreds of famous coffee shops too. With 165 canals in total running throughout Amsterdam, (with a combined length of 100miles), it would be a shame to miss out on exploring the city via a boat and really getting to know the surroundings. After all, it is said that Amsterdam is a must see by water! Within the city, there are a number of tour operators that offer you a variety of canal cruise experiences, from open-top sightseeing by day to romantic candlelit dinner cruises by night. There is expert commentary on Amsterdam throughout the cruises, available in a multitude of languages. Once you’ve been on a guided cruise and fallen in love with the canals, and trust me you will, you might like to try one of the ideas listed here for more water enjoyment. Do it yourself - Hire a boat and enjoy the canals at your leisure, there is no boat license or experience necessary, (depending on the size and speed of the boat). For the more adventurous visitors, hire a pedal boat. You can depart from one jetty and leave the pedal boat at another. A dose of fitness and fun all at once! Charter a cruise on a salon boat, an elegantly restored wood-panelled vessel, perfect for a private dinner. You can also choose to wine and dine and enjoy a delicious three-course dinner and a glass of wine on board, perfect to surprise your partner with. For more information on prices and hotels please visit: www.lastminute.com All images from: www.sxc.co.uk

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London A lot like New York, (minus the accents and massive colour advertisements) London is an exciting and busy place that will also guarantee you fun. With many attractions for all the family, this is a great place for everyone – couples, friends, families, there is something for all. If you’re into your animals then why not take a trip to the London Zoo where you will find every type of animal you could ever think of. For those of you who are fascinated by animal performances then the penguin feeding time is definitely for you. Visit penguin beach today - which is actually England’s biggest penguin pool - and be amazed by the display the penguins put on for you. Also, you might even be lucky enough to meet the penguin boss – Ricky the Rock hopper. Trust me, he is worth a look. There is also a chance for a meet and greet with the animals themselves, in the experience days for the kids. If after a long day at the zoo you’re after a romantic meal you’re after then how about visiting one of the many popular restaurants within the city. You could visit the world famous Planet Hollywood, the trendiest West End restaurant. With lots of movie memorabilia on display throughout the restaurant the kids will love it, as well as the adults. And as it in an international bar and restaurant everyone will find something that they enjoy and you’ll have fun while doing it. Other attractions to visit while on your visit could include: The London eye, Oxford street shopping and the very popular wax museum Madame Tussauds. For more information on tickets for the above activities please visit: www.lastminute.com

Leeds Known for its nightlife and shopping, the city of Leeds might not be your first choice for a relaxing weekend away with your partner. Well, why not take a walk along the Leeds canal, or take a picnic at Kirkstall Abbey, pamper yourself at a spa or for the men, play golf at one of the many courses within the city. Enjoy a picnic at the abbey with yummy food, before starting your walk along the canal. At 127 miles long, you’ll see beautiful scenery, wildlife and many points of interest as you walk the 4 mile stretch from Kirkstall into Leeds city centre, where you can then begin your shopping trip. For the women, why not indulge in a pamper session at one of the spas located in Leeds. Escape the pressures of everyday life and leave the hectic world at the door as you relax and have time to yourself at the Waterfall Spa. With calming facilities and an extensive choice of invigorating spa treatments, this is a day that you’ll be crazy to miss out on. Leeds has a vast range of chains and independent bars and restaurants that offer the full scope of popular dishes. You are bound to find something for all the family to enjoy. For the meat lovers how about taking a trip to the Black House Grill, where you can enjoy quality, locally sourced meats. The menu includes all the well-known steak cuts; rib-eye, rump, sirloin, fillet and t-bone, but, they also offer a speciality ‘Kobe’ steak from cows that are hand-massaged from birth to create the most tender meat possible. Black house has a central bar which creates a great atmosphere and the stylish décor and affable service offers diners a great experience. For more information on Waterfall Spa please visit: www.waterfallspa.co.uk

All images from: www.sxc.hu

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Weekends Away  

Enjoy a weekend away in one of these four places.