We're looking to go on a city break in January for an upcoming special birthday of mine, can anyone recommend the best cities to visit? We would be flying from the UK so somewhere not too far. We also are considering taking our children of 9 and 11.
I always love heading down to Andalusia that time of year. A very good chance of nice weather (so far I've always lucked out with 20+ degrees during the day, and mostly sunny), and amazingly interesting cities, which that time of year aren't as swamped by tourists as they otherwise are. Sevilla and Ronda (easily reachable by bus from Malaga) are probably my favorites, though of course Granada has the Alhambra, which is a couple of notches up above Sevilla's Alcazar.
I don't really know how child-friendly these cities are, but I imagine children would at least be somewhat interested in the old fortresses, and maybe also in the Roman ruins which lie scattered about in that region. (There's a very cool Roman amphitheater about 15 minutes by bus outside of Sevilla.)
I loved Ghent in Belgium, after it was recommended by people here. Lovely small city, with plenty to see and do, can be there in a couple of hours on the Eurostar. Again not sure how much it will interest the children, but there is lots there and I am sure something would be of interest (especially the nice Belgian hot chocolates!).