UK adventure time

Cities to visit within an hour of your Canvas

Life at Canvas means having access to fun, food, shopping and culture on your doorstep. Our city locations put you in the beating heart of the community so you can live like a local. We also put you within easy reach of public transport and major motorway networks, so you can venture out should the mood take you.

One of the great things about the UK is it's size. It packs a LOT into a small space. You don’t have to travel far to experience new cities and all they have to offer. If you’ve got a free day or two coming up, here are our favourite places to visit within an hour of your Canvas city.

Scroll down to find your UK Canvas location and start making travel plans.



Take the train north west from Victoria Station and you’ll arrive at the charming, cosy city of Oxford. Like its big rival Cambridge, Oxford is best known for its university (the oldest in the English-speaking world). This gives the city a good blend of olde-worlde English and cosmopolitan that makes for great day out.

What to do:

  • Take a University & City walking tour to see important mediaeval buildings and learn about the history of the city.
  • Stroll along the Oxford Canal and enjoy a tranquil haven right in the centre of the city.
  • Kick back and take in classic landmarks with tea and scones from a seat on a river cruise.


Head out of Victoria Station an hour’s train ride in south and you’ll find yourself in Brighton — home of the classic British seaside.

There’s no denying that Brighton is best experienced when the weather warms up and you’re able to relax in a deck chair and dip your toes in the English Channel. But don’t hold out for a sunny day. There's lots to do here all year round.

What to do:

  • Explore the grade-II-listed Brighton Palace Pier and enjoy fairground rides, arcade games and, of course, fish and chips.
  • Check out The Lanes for the city’s coolest independent shops and coffee spots. You’ll not find better anywhere in the UK.
  • Take an LGBTQ+ walking tour to discover Brighton’s queer landmarks and learn why people consider this city to be the UK’s LGBTQ+ capital.



A train journey west from Manchester Piccadilly or Manchester Victoria takes you to another great powerhouse of the North, Liverpool.

It’s a city famous for many things. Some you might know — The Beatles, Liverpool FC, Albert Dock. Others you might not be so familiar with. Like, for example, Liverpool being second only to London for the number of museums, galleries and listed buildings.

If you love the history and culture of Manchester, you’ll feel right at home here.

What to do:

  • Take a walk around Royal Albert Dock and pay a visit to Tate Liverpool. It's one of the most impressive art galleries you’ll find anywhere in the world.
  • Enjoy an immersive journey through 1960s Liverpool and learn about the world’s most famous band at The Beatles Story. Maybe visit the legendary Cavern Club too.
  • Visit the Museum of Liverpool — the largest museum dedicated to a city in the UK — to learn about the fascinating history of Merseyside.



South west of Manchester and south of Liverpool is a city that offers something different to both.

If you love history, Chester is a city for you. It was founded as a Roman fortress but evolved over the centuries to become a typical English town, filled with beautiful mediaeval Tudor-style half-timber buildings.

If you love animals, Chester is also a city for you. It’s home to one of the best zoos in the world.

If you love both history and animals, well, Chester is THE city for you.

What to do:

  • Take a walking tour with an authentic Roman soldier to discover the history of the place and visit the city walls, amphitheatre and Roman gardens.
  • Visit Chester Zoo to see over 20,000 (TWENTY THOUSAND!) animals and explore 128 acres of zoological gardens.
  • Check out independent shops, restaurants, cafes, bars and England’s oldest shop front along the mediaeval Chester Rows.




Half an hour by car along the A4 or 12 minutes on the train from Bristol Temple Meads lands you in one of the most beautiful cities in the whole of the UK.

Bath is a bucket-list city. It’s a spa town, which means it's a town based on a mineral spa. Many people come here for health reasons, to relax and replenish. And this is what it’s most famous for. But there’s much more to Bath than R&R. It’s a historical and cultural hotbed, or should that be a hot Bath

What to do:

  • Visit the Roman Baths to see an example of the legacy left by our incredibly innovative ancestors.
  • Take a walk around the city centre to marvel at Bath’s Georgian (they loved Bath as much as the Romans) limestone buildings and check out Pulteney Bridge — a site so spectacular you’ll have to remind yourself this is South West England and not Florence.
  • Bring your swimsuit and tip a dip in a geothermal roof pool at Thermae Spa. When in Bath and all that…


Bristol’s location close to the Welsh border means you can head west and be in a different country within an hour. Okay, it might not feel like a different country, but Cardiff is a great place to experience some classic Welsh charm.
As Wales' capital city, Cardiff ticks every box — fantastic food, shopping, architecture and culture. It’s also one of the friendliest places you’ll ever visit.

What to do:

  • Wander around the city centre and step into a fairy tale with a visit to Cardiff Castle.
  • Explore Cardiff’s creative side and take in a show or exhibition at the Wales Millennium Centre.
  • Head to Cardiff Bay and Roald Dahl Plass to walk some of the Taff Trail. You’ll need more than a day to walk the 50+ miles to the Brecon Beacons National Park, but you can certainly enjoy some of its magic on a two or three mile ramble.




A picturesque train ride through the Scottish lowlands from Glasgow Queen Street Station puts you right in the centre of Scotland’s capital city.

Read any list of the most beautiful cities and Edinburgh will be in it. Read any list of must-visit cities and Edinburgh will be in it.

With a castle that looms large, paved streets lined by Gothic buildings and culture by the bucket full, you’ll come to love the fact Edinburgh is only an hour down the road from your university.

What to do:

  • Wander around the old city and take in the sights. As you do, make your way up the Royal Mile and visit Edinburgh Castle.
  • Take a whisky tour to see the city through the eyes of a local and sample some of the region's finest whiskies.
  • Hike up Arthur’s Seat and enjoy city-wide views. See if you can spot the clock tower of The Balmoral — Edinburgh’s grandest hotel.
  • Bonus: If you’re visiting in summer, book tickets for The Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh Fringe for world-class music, drama and comedy.



How do you like your cities? Great art? Belfast has it. Vibrant culture? You’ll find it in Belfast. Stunning architecture? There’s a mix of Georgian and modern buildings in Belfast. Friendly locals? Come on, this is the friendliest city in the UK we’re talking about.

But hang on, surely Belfast is over an hour away from Glasgow? By road and boat, yes. By plane, it’s only 45 minutes. And you can make the trip for around £40 return from Glasgow International Airport.

What to do:

  • Check out the traditional pubs of Hill Street and Commercial Street. Stop in at the Duke of York to see the memorabilia and listen to some local live music.
  • Visit Titanic Belfast to learn the story of the building, demise and legacy of the Titanic in nine galleries across six floors.
  • Take a political taxi tour to learn about Belfast’s troubled history and visit famous murals with a working taxi driver.




Coventry is less than half an hour away from England’s second city by train or car and it’s the ideal place for a big city experience.

Birmingham is the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and remains a forward-thinking city, with numerous attractions including museums, galleries and parks. It also has a growing street art scene and is the heart of creativity in the Midlands.

What to do:

  • Stroll around Canal District and visit some of the area’s cool independent pubs and restaurants. While there, stop in at Ikon Gallery to enjoy its ever-changing modern art exhibitions.
  • Spend a few hours sampling the shops, street food and street performers at the Bullring Shopping Centre.
  • Explore the murals and wall art that cover the old factory buildings, alleyways, bridges and archways of Digbeth.



With Birmingham to the west and Nottingham and Sheffield to the north, Leicester is a city that often goes under the radar. But it’s perfect day-out material: 45 minutes away from your Coventry base and with a good mix of historical and modern attractions.

What to do:

  • Visit on a Saturday to enjoy Europe’s largest outdoor market, with over 270 stalls selling everything from fruit and veg to clothes and jewellery. It’s the perfect way to experience Leicester like a local.
  • Visit the National Space Centre to learn about all things space and see the largest planetarium in the UK. It’s also the only venue in the world to house upright space rockets indoors. They’re an impressive sight.
  • Head over to Abbey Park and relax by the river Soar. There’s boat hire, a miniature railway, a lovely cafe and a Pets Corner with exotic birds and various farm animals — what more could you possibly want in a park? A maze? It has that too.


We’ve kept the destinations within an hour for each Canvas hub here, but nothing is stopping you from venturing further afield.

As said, the UK is a relatively small island with good transport. London to Edinburgh, for example, is only four and a half hours by train. Bristol to Belfast is little over an hour by plane.

If you’ve spotted a city you like the sound of that’s closer to another Canvas location that it is yours, pack a bag and pay it a visit. Heck, go wild. Visit every city on the list including every Canvas city (say ‘Hi’ if you see us). No two places are the same, so you’ll never be bored.


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