Millions of people travel to the United Kingdom every year to take in its impressive sites and culture. The small island is packed with iconic scenes from busy cities to idyllic coastlines to stunning mountains.
Whether you’re a resident of the UK or travelling from around the world to visit, these ten locations will be sure to impress you during your travels.
Starting off with the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh is a city packed with celebrated buildings and history. Split into the medieval Old Town and the Georgian New Town, both sections have thousands of places to see. The Royal Mile and Palace of Holyroodhouse are some of Edinburgh’s true highlights. The city has a backdrop of the majestic Edinburgh Castle which is definitely worth a visit when in the city.
The annual Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the world’s largest arts festival. The festival has around 55000 performers across the city and brings in around 2.5 million attendees. The festival is surely one of Edinburgh’s busiest times of the year so make sure you book early if heading along.
One of the world’s most famous monuments, Stonehenge draws in millions of visitors every year. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to a prehistoric Stone Circle and Neolithic houses that are unlike anything else.
The iconic British Stone Circle is thought to date back at least 4500 years. Its original purpose is still unknown and the site is surrounded by speculation on how and why it was erected. Stonehenge is sure to be a memorable and meaningful place to visit thanks to its spiritual and redolent atmosphere.
The Lake District
Found in Cumbria in the North West of England, the Lake District is the country’s largest National Park and another World Heritage Site. The Lake District features 16 different lakes with the largest being Windermere. There are also many other beautiful scenes like mountains, hills and forests.
In addition to the stunning scenery, the Lake District has a huge number of quaint little towns and villages to visit. Each is filled with hotels and bed and breakfasts so there shouldn’t be a shortage of places to stay.
While you’re there, why not take a hike on the tallest mountain in England: Scafell Pike, which stands at a huge 978 metres. On a clear day, the views from the mountain are spectacular, showing off the Lake District in its glory.
York is a small, medieval city in the North of England, filled with history and religion. The city is home to York Minster, the largest medieval cathedral in the country. It’s an absolutely stunning gothic-style building that dates back to the 7th century.
York is a walled city by two rivers, filled with dozens of museums including the Jorvik Viking Centre, one of the world’s smallest streets; Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate and The Shambles, one of the best preserved medieval streets lined with leaning buildings made from ancient timber.
You can also venture out from the city into the National Parks, the Yorkshire Dales and Yorkshire Moors.
For animal lovers, Chester Zoo is an award-winning sanctuary that features over 21000 animals across its huge 125 acres. The zoo has exotic and endangered animals from over 500 species including tigers, elephants, penguins and fish.
You can visit the animals and learn more from the zoo’s wealth of information around and the fascinating talks from Zoo Keepers.
The zoo is only a mile from the city of Chester, a breath-taking ancient city in the North West of England.
Cornwall is both the southernmost and westernmost point on the UK’s mainland, jutting out into the English Channel and the Celtic Sea. The coastal county is made up of pretty sandy beaches, sea-lined cliffs and charming towns.
The area is thought to get some of the best weather in the UK, especially in the summer months. Surfing in the wavy sea is popular as well as consumption of a tasty meat-packed pastry.
The Scottish Highlands
The Highlands is made up of the North of Scotland’s mainland and the surrounding Isles. The truly unique landscape is comprised of moors, mountains and lochs. Some of the UK’s most impressive animals can be found there. Dolphins, seals, whales, deer, birds of prey and a supposedly mythical loch-dwelling monster are just a few you could see.
Although the Highlands are filled with natural beauties, a clear standout location is the Isle of Skye. This magical island combines mountains and coastline in an utterly breathtaking package.
Oxford & Cambridge
The cities of Oxford and Cambridge are home to two of the most world-renown universities. Students come from around the globe to attend these prestigious establishments. The cities are separated by just under 70 miles and a bitter (yet amicable) rivalry which comes to head in the annual Boat Race on the River Thames.
Tourists visit these two beautiful cities to tour their historical buildings such as Cambridge’s King’s College and Oxford’s Bodleian Library. An absolute must when in Cambridge is to go punting on the River Cam.
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle and its neighbouring town, Gateshead are thought to be one of the friendliest places in the UK. This is thanks to its affectionately named Geordies and their easy-going attitudes. The North East city has sites of huge historical significance such as Hadrian’s Wall, named after the famous Roman emperor who reigned during its construction.
As well as ancient history, Newcastle and Gateshead are known for their modern landmarks including the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, the Sage music venue and the Life Centre. The city is also home to the iconic Angel of the North, a huge sculpture on the A1 a few miles out from the city. Newcastle is infamous for its lively nightlife, something you must experience if you’re visiting the area.
And who could forget about the world famous capital city of England, the one and only, London? Would any list of the UK’s tourist destinations be complete without it? Probably not.
London is a melting pot of different cultures and experiences. The city is filled with over nine million residents and has millions of visitors every year. There’s an endless number of things to do and see in the city.
You can visit historical gems like the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace or the Tower of London. Alternately, you can see one of the hundreds of museums or galleries like the Natural History Museum or the Tate Modern. Or you can visit the famous Oxford Street for shopping, Camden Market for browsing or visit the huge expanse of bars and restaurants.
It’s probably best to try to take in a few bits from all of the different options to make the most out of a trip to England’s completely unprecedented capital.
The UK may be small but it sure is packed with places like no others you’ll find in the rest of the world. What’s your favourite place in the UK? Share your thoughts with us in the comments down below.