Escape the city: our top picks for a midweek break

29 Aug 2019

Crisp mornings, vibrant colours and cosy evenings -- autumn is a wonderful time to escape the city and enjoy the best of the UK countryside. We've partnered with Virtuo car rental, and with our discount codes, you can get up to 25% off premium car hire. There's no paperwork or queues -- it's all done through the Virtuo app.

We've pulled together deals we love that are less than three hours' drive from London or Manchester. They're all great for a midweek break, so you get to leave your routine behind for a few days. Plus, you'll travel when the roads are quieter and tourist spots are less crowded.

Breaks from London

Virtuo has 12 pick-up locations in London. Once you grab your wheels, try out some of our suggestions below.

Try bird watching in Suffolk

Ivy House Country Hotel sits on the banks of Oulton Broad, close to the coastal town of Lowestoft, and is among 21 acres of grounds and gardens.

Your journey from London will take you through the Broads National Park: a great for a spot of bird watching or photography en route.

A 3-night stay at this property, with daily full English breakfast and dinner on the first night, is £189. And you can get there in a Mercedes A-Class for less than £40 per day (based on a 72-hour hire period).

Explore historic market towns and rolling hills in the Cotswolds

Midweek is a fantastic time to explore the picturesque Cotswolds. Some towns and villages, such as Stow-on-the-Wold and Chipping Campden, are much less busy than on weekends.

The journey from London to Dumbleton Hall gives you the perfect opportunity to stop off in the rolling chalk hills of the Chiltern Hills or North Wessex Downs Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Stays at Dumbleton Hall, which is a Grade II-listed manor house sitting in 19 acres of grounds with a private lake, are £119 per night, saving up to 48%, while three days' hire of a new Mercedes A-Class with basic-level insurance is less than £115.

Get some sea air in Cornwall

Cornwall is an ideal late-summer getaway, and the Land's End Hotel, with panoramic views of the Penwith Heritage Coast, makes for a remote escape. Three-night stays are £199, and include daily breakfast and cream team. If you're on an autumnal break, hole up in the cosy lounge, which has a fireplace. 

Leave the hotel for a 15-minute drive to one of the county's "most beautiful" (The Daily Telegraph) beaches at Porthcurno. Ride down in luxury: 72-hour hire of a Mercedes GLA is less than £140 with our exclusive Virtuo discount codes.

Breaks from Manchester

Pick up your vehicle from Manchester Piccadilly and within three hours you could be in the Pennines, the Peak District, the Lakes, the Yorkshire Dales or Snowdonia. Here are a couple of our favourite escapes from Manchester.

Escape to the Lakes

Scafell Hotel sits in the Borrowdale Valley, six miles from the market town of Keswick. Parking at the hotel is free, so the choice is yours -- leave your ride at the hotel and explore the Lakeland fells on foot or make the most of your luxury car and take the winding roads around the mountains.

Pick up your Mercedes A-Class from Manchester Piccadilly -- for less than £115 for a 72-hour hire -- and journey north past stunning Morecambe Bay and the Arnside & Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Stargaze in the Pennines

The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is home to Nent Hall Country Hotel. Stay for two nights, with daily breakfast and dinner on the first night, for less than £30 per person, per night.

The North Pennines is one of the best locations in the whole of the UK for stargazing during the winter. Head to one of the AONB's 16 official Dark Sky Discovery Sites and you might just spot the Milky Way. The drive from Manchester will take you up through the Great Asby Scar National Nature Reserve and close to Penrith, home of the 14th-century Penrith Castle. Hire a Mercedes A-Class for 72 hours for less than £40 a day.

About Virtuo

Virtuo is a modern car-rental service that provide a luxurious Mercedes A-Class or GLA every time, guaranteed. It takes two minutes to sign up on the Virtuo app -- there’s no paperwork, no queues and no restrictive opening hours for you to work around. Pick up your car from your nearest Virtuo location 24 hours a day, seven days a week, unlock it with the app and set off on your journey instantly. Every car comes equipped with GPS.

Member-exclusive offer

With up to 25% off Virtuo car rental through Travelzoo, you can get away for less this autumn and see everything the UK countryside has to offer. Follow the link to the Virtuo website and use one of our exclusive discount codes, which are valid until 31 December, 2019:

Code TZOO15 for 15% off a 24-hour rental
Code TZOO20 for 20% off a 48-hour rental
Code TZOO25 for 25% off a 72-hour or longer rental 

This offer is only valid to customers new to Virtuo. The deal expires on 1 December, 2019, and is valid on any rental ending before 15 December, 2019. Download the Virtuo app now to start exploring. 

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