The Entertainment Guide features a huge and eclectic choice of restaurants, bistros, cafes, bars, clubs, shops, salons, spas, hotels, tourist attractions and much, much more. From a romantic meal for two, a business lunch or a weekend away, The Entertainment Guide provides a fantastic choice to suit every taste and occasion.
Aberdeen. A city whose global reach belies its humble size. A city built on granite but transformed by oil. A city whose grey exterior reveals hidden depths and warmth upon closer inspection. If you know where to look, Scotland's third largest city offers a wealth of options.
Ayr: an idyllic seaside town in a green and leafy county. To the north lies the urban sprawl of Glasgow, while to the west lie sandy beaches and rocky outcrops. For city-dwellers craving a weekend away and for tourists enthralled by Scotland's past, Ayrshire is an enticing destination. A place to seek solace, retrace roots and indulge in one of the country's oldest and greatest sports – golf.
For its industry and architecture, its history and character, there's no place like Belfast. Pick a metric – any metric – and the Northern Irish capital can claim distinction. From the dockyards, where the Titanic Quarter lies, to the residential streets daubed with political murals, you don't have to search for Belfast's story: it's literally engraved onto the bewitching city, greeting you at every twist and turn.
When pressed to name the UK’s largest city outside of London, most Brits will instinctively respond with Liverpool or Manchester. The truth is, that the accolade goes to Birmingham with in excess of 1.1 million residents, a figure that is growing rapidly. The West Midlands city is blessed with a rich history and a vibrant present, one that’s seen it become a centre of excellence for Michelin-star dining, live music and the arts.
As the quintessential seaside resort, Brighton is married to the sea. With London just an hour away, it is, after all, the closest point of call for many Brits eager to escape to the coast. But it’s not just its proximity that lures Londoners to the south-east resort; Brighton’s charms extend to much more than the sea breeze and salt spray whipped off the English Channel. Colourful, vibrant, creative, eclectic: pick a superlative and you’ll find ample evidence to fit the description in the bustling resort where the nights, like the days, fly past in a kaleidoscopic blur of eye-popping sights and myriad sounds.
Where the Severn Estuary nears the Bristol Channel lies a Roman city once famed for its exquisite architecture and intrepid seafarers. Today, Bristol’s economy is more tied to its creative media and aerospace industries, but those imperious buildings still stand, uncowed by the ravages of weather and time. “Creative” is a word you’ll hear a lot as you explore this Roman city: Bristolians are a creative, free-thinking bunch. It’s also a place where tourists go to marvel at the culture, revel in the nightlife and savour the award-winning gastropubs and restaurants.
With a storied history dating back to the Bronze Age, Cambridge is a fascinating city, regardless of the era you choose to hone in on. There was a major settlement here in Roman times, but it was under Viking rule that Cambridge became a major trading post. Fascinating as its ancient history is, the city is of course best known as a seat of learning and for the iconic buildings that delineate its skyline.
here the River Taff meets the Severn Estuary, the UK’s 11th largest city lies, but to describe it in such quantitative terms does not even begin to do it justice. The Welsh capital since 1955, Cardiff is a hub of sports and music, food and comedy and all of life’s other great pleasures, from cocktails to castles. The home of the national opera, theatre and dance companies, which are all incorporated into Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff is many things to many people.
Welcome to the latest edition of the Entertainment Guide for Central Scotland. The undulating valleys, green pastures and gurgling streams that characterise this region are reason enough to come and visit – yet it offers a lot more than charming scenery. Central Scotland may be beautiful, but it also boasts pleasures of a more contemporary nature: the towns of Falkirk, Perth and Stirling are replete with an abundance of modern boutiques, shopping centres and eateries.
You can't talk about Dublin without talking about the Liffey. It bifurcates the city, separating the north from the south and providing respite from the thronged backstreets and alleyways that run all the way to the water's edge. When the bustle of inner-city life becomes too intense, pause on one of the Liffey's footbridges and catch your breath. The water may be bitterly cold, but the view along the waterfront is deeply enchanting. Of the many crossings to span the river, perhaps the greatest is James Joyce Bridge, named after the city's most famous literary son.
As the sun sparkles on the Tay estuary and a light breeze ripples through the trees, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in the best place in the world...or in Scotland at the very least. And perhaps you are.
Edinburgh. Three syllables (four if you pronounce it Ed-in-bu-rgh), one city, a world of possibilities. Whether you're a Burgh resident or a first-time visitor, Edinburgh can be anything you want it to be: cultural hub, shopping mecca, trendy nightspot, historic treasure.
How best to describe Glasgow? A city of infinite possibilities and endless stories. A dense urban sprawl, bifurcated by the dark waters of the Clyde. High rises and low hills. Green spaces and orange bricks. Scotland's largest city, coloured by its flamboyant characters and red sandstone edifices.
Inverness. The capital of the Highlands. The mouth of the River Ness. The seat of endless history and intrigue. Whereas once its streets resonated to the clash of swords and stomp of marching boots, today it's a modern, forward-thinking place; a city that's proud of its past, but firmly embracing the present. With a plethora of outdoor activities, a bustling college and, in Caledonian Thistle FC, a Scottish Premiership side who are riding high, Inverness is on the up. That is was recently declared Scotland's happiest place to live is testament to its ascendancy.
To the South-East of Glasgow lies a county of bucolic beauty interspersed with a ribbon of bustling towns and villages. Lanarkshire is as prized for its rolling hills and sprawling country estates as it is for its quaint tearooms, gastropubs, festivals and fairs. It takes a lot to lure Glasgow’s dining set away from the city, but thanks to a handful of acclaimed restaurants and chic bistros, Lanarkshire attracts swathes of the city’s discerning diners every weekend.
Wedded to the Irish Sea and flanked by the River Mersey, Liverpool has served as a major English port for centuries. Times change and industries shift, but the city retains its role as a coastal stronghold that dominates the North West of England. Its geography may have fuelled the city's inexorable expansion, but it's certainly not Liverpool's defining feature.
Fringed by the Pennines to the north and the Cheshire Plain to the south, Manchester is a modern metropolis with an ancient past. The Roman fort of Mamucium may have seen better days, but the Mancunians who took their name from it are thriving in the city of sport and industry. From its club scene to its culinary scene and from its sports stadia to its rejuvenated quays, Manchester is alive.
Seven bridges and a sea of shimmering lights, sparkling on the Tyne’s dark waters, bifurcate the famous city of Newcastle. It’s a city that occupies a special place in the hearts of its residents and temporary guests. Whether living there as a student, partying there for a stag weekend or passing through on business, the North East stronghold exerts a strong pull. It’s enough to ensure your first visit to Newcastle won’t be your last; the dual conurbations of Newcastle and Gateshead lure visitors year after year, returning to cement old memories and embed new ones.
London might serenade the shoppers and Edinburgh the castle crowds, but for many UK visitors there’s one city that trumps them all. One city whose architecture, culture, education and literary heritage is unsurpassed. It’s affectionately known as The City of Dreaming Spires and its home is in the county of Oxfordshire.
Long before the first tourists flocked to Sheffield (England’s third largest district by population), it was prized for pioneering advancements in industry, with steel its stronghold. Today, Sheffield’s industrial might has been tempered by a gentler side that has attracted visitors from across the British Isles and beyond, lured by the green spaces, constituting over 60% of the city, and the Peak District national park it abuts. With over 250 parks, woodlands and gardens, Sheffield is an urban city wrapped in a bucolic vista.
It might not be the UK’s most populous city, but for short breaks and beach holidays, Swansea is in a class of its own. Family holidays and couples’ romantic getaways all start in Swansea Bay, whose steep cliffs and golden sands give way to a peninsula that can be as calm as glass on a summer’s day.