I would take what your lecturer said with a pinch of salt. Although it is true that (as the previous poster has pointed out) universities exploit their staff massively, lecturers and PhD students should and do take breaks. Many have young families that they spend time with, and take weekends off. I'm a PhD student and take most weekends off, occasionally doing a bit of work if I have a deadline coming up. My supervisors very strongly encourage me to take holidays, and do so themselves. One thing that complicates this, however, is that PhD funding can be very scarce (especially in humanities) so those who do not recieve a scholarship often have to spend the time they take off their PhDs working in other unrelated jobs to make ends meet, as the Doctoral Loan does not fully cover tuition and living costs. I'd recommend talking to other academics and current PhD students to get a more well-rounded view on what doing a PhD and working in academia actually looks like.