It was Gibraltar where John Lennon and Yoko Ono chose to tie the knot and the place where Sean Connery was married twice – in 1962 and 1975.

Ideally, the information should stop there, but our tour guide went on to say that Des O’Connor also got married in Gibraltar, which kind of took the shine off it a bit.

However, it’s easy to see the appeal. With the Atlantic on one side and the Mediterranean on the other, Gibraltar, or ‘Gib’ as the locals say, has a wonderfully relaxed, laid back feel to it and also has the added benefit of being British AND sunny – a rare combination.

Situated at the southernmost point of Europe and famed for its giant Rock, Gibraltar covers an area of just over two square miles. With its tax-free goodies together with some fabulous tourist attractions, it’s a busy place, particularly when the big cruise liners are in town.

However, being less than three hours from Manchester, it’s well worth a long weekend – just make sure you leave plenty of room in your suitcase for all those bargains...

By far the best hotel in Gibraltar, the famous Rock Hotel perches majestically above the city and can boast Winston Churchill, Errol Flynn, Prince Andrew (and me) among its former guests.

There are lots of quirky little touches to put a smile on your face, such as complimentary sherry in your room, rubber ducks in the bath and a bowl of lollipops by your bed.

It was right outside the hotel that I saw my first Barbary ape. He just sat there nonchalantly watching the world go by.

Travel further up the rock and you’ll see loads of them, mainly mischievous ones, so don’t carry any food, drinks or plastic bags or the monkeys will swipe them. They may be cute, but they’re also ruthless.

A popular belief is that as long as monkeys exist on Gibraltar, the territory will remain under British rule. Lots of the monkeys hang around outside St Michael Cave, situated at the top of the rock. This is a rabbit warren of a cave that was prepared as an emergency hospital during World War Two but never put to use.

Sometimes used as a spectacular venue for classical music concerts, its interior includes a series of spectacular stalactites and stalagmites.

Another ‘must-see’ while you’re in Gibraltar is the Second World War tunnels.

With a winding distance of more than 30 miles, a guided tour will show you where thousands of soldiers lived and worked in an underground city, many not seeing daylight for weeks at a time.

The long and narrow city centre has many a bargain for savvy shoppers and good buys include spirits, alcohol, electrical goods and jewellery.

For example, I bought a bottle of the delicious Bombay Sapphire for £10 and 200 Marlboro Lights for just £9 without exceeding my UK customs allowance.

It is surreal to be somewhere so warm and laid-back, yet still have such a British stamp on it – on the high street you’ll find Marks and Spencers, Monsoon, Next and Bhs among many other familiar names.

And there’s the benefit of not having to change your cash to euros, especially with the unfavourable exchange rate, although most shops accept both currencies.

For the active types, there are some great dive sites, fishing and windsurfing opportunities, but we chose to go out on a boat to spot some of the many wild dolphins to be found in the Bay of Gibraltar.

If you have time, there are also day trips to Morocco, which is just 15 miles from Gibraltar and provides a fascinating contrast to your holiday, with the chance to ride a camel or enjoy a traditional Moroccan lunch.

Gibraltar is a fascinating little place. There are red phone and post boxes and even a Morrison’s supermarket.

Yet this sun-baked corner of the Med is perfect short break material, especially if you’re seeking a home from home.

Gibraltar Tourist Board

Monarch Airlines

The Rock Hotel