Five affordable city breaks in windswept out-of-season destinations

SUMMER is over but that’s no reason to stop going on holiday, especially if you enjoy weekends spent traipsing around bleak, damp cities. Like these:


It will piss down, but you can shelter from the elements in a Wetherspoons which costs a fortune because it’s in Leicester Square, and you have no idea where else to go. The more courageous traveller could venture to Camden Lock where you can get high off second-hand weed smoke and break an elbow slipping on wet cobbles. Fortunately some of the city’s best attractions are indoors. Unfortunately, they all cost £300 for a family of four.


Found a cheap deal for this charming Belgian city? Of course you have, because this is the hinterland between summer in a spectacular gothic city and the cosy charm of their Christmas markets. The hotel owners already hate British people because of all the stag dos and are annoyed with you for booking during October when they wanted a bit of a rest. The only upside is the nine per cent Trappist beer, until you have to suffer the hangover the next day.

Ibiza Town

It’s the world’s go-to party island, full of beautiful people and amazing nightlife. Well, it is during the summer. But by autumn, the local seafood restaurants are shuttered, the clubs are mothballed, the azure blue sea is a muddy grey and the only other visitors apart from you are burned out pillheads who have forgotten how to get home.


You might as well stay in Britain as it’s essentially the same place as Gibraltar: an exposed, wind-battered rock where every direction is uphill and everyone speaks English. The charm disappears with the sunshine and the most exciting tourist attraction is being mugged by a pack of wild monkeys. It wasn’t worth the money you got fined for taking the kids out of school during term time, however much you try to convince your partner otherwise.


You arrive to the crushing news that Oktoberfest actually happens in September and you’ve just missed it. Cue a 48-hour trudge round their grey central business district looking at the same shops as are in your local shopping centre, which don’t even have the benefit of being cheaper because the exchange rate is shot. Every menu is impenetrable so you end up eating boiled white sausages three times a day. Wish you were here!

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Mum decides to be famous millionaire children’s book author

A MUM has inspired dread in everyone she knows by announcing that she has written a children’s picture book and is going to get it published.

Emma Bradford spent two whole hours working on the text of Tinky and the Tiny Fairy after making it up for her kids one evening while pissed on a couple of glasses of wine.

Bradford said: “I’ve always fancied being famous and incredibly rich, like JK Rowling and all those other fabulously wealthy children’s authors. I’m sure there are some.

“I just need to get an agent and a publisher, which should be a piece of piss. It’s just sending a couple of emails, right? I’ve no doubt the offers will come rolling in.

“And I’ve also contacted my husband’s cousin, who is a professional book illustrator. She’s doing ok already, but when she reads Tinky, she’ll jump at the opportunity to go stratospheric.

“I’m looking forward to the champagne launch party and bookshop tour, before Warner Brothers snap up the film rights. That will all happen before Christmas, I reckon.”

Children’s book author Carolyn Ryan said: “I make about two grand for a year’s work if I’m lucky. If she wants to get rich quick, I recommend stacking shelves.”