You needn’t travel far for exciting attractions and amazing cultural experiences, you have some of the world’s best destinations right on your doorstep! From bustling cities and picturesque towns, to beautiful natural parks and spectacular sandy beaches, the UK has it all!
We’ve made a list of some of the best UK destinations to help inspire you on your summer hols this year. You needn’t go far, just jump in your car! Please check tourist and transport updates before travelling.
One of the top places to visit in the UK, there are tons of reasons to visit London: from its iconic landmarks – Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, to name just a few – to its inspiring modern attractions, like the Tate Modern and the Shard, there’s always something new to explore, even if you’ve been a hundred times before.
Perched on extinct volcanoes and rocky crags, Edinburgh has one of the most unique settings in the world… and much more besides. Whether it’s walking the medieval streets of the Old Town or exploring the world-class galleries and eateries of the New Town, there’s something for everyone in this historic and cosmopolitan city. Explore these great Scotland city breaks now!
Once the busiest coal port in the world, this thriving city has an embarrassment of attractions and a dizzyingly good nightlife. No matter what you feel like doing, Cardiff has you covered. Superb shopping? Check. Marvellous museums? No problem. Picturesque parks? Of course! If that wasn’t enough, it also has one of the best castles in the world – nothing will prepare you for the riotous Gothic-Revival interiors of Cardiff Castle.
One of the UK’s most exciting and dynamic urban centres, Manchester’s celebrated concert halls, theatres, clubs and cafés feed off the cosmopolitan drive provided by the country’s largest student population outside of London. Go for a stroll along Albert Square with its stunning neo-Gothic buildings or visit the city’s top-class museums, there’s no shortage of great attractions in this marvellous city. We’ve made it extra easy for you with these amazing Manchester holidays.
Roughly equidistant between Falkirk and the outskirts of Edinburgh, the ancient burgh of Linlithgow is overflowing with medieval charm. Largely unchanged since medieval times, the town’s highlights include Linlithgow Palace, a splendid fifteenth-century ruin romantically set on the edge of Linlithgow Loch, and the adjoining St Michael’s Church, a soaring gothic masterwork.
A town of picturesque nooks and eye-catching vistas, with no less than four incredible beaches to its name, St Ives is an absolute gem of a town. It flourished as a vibrant artists’ colony in the early 20th-century and now contains its own branch of the Tate, as well as numerous other fascinating museums and galleries.
It’s no mystery why Rye is one of the most magical places to visit in the UK: this ancient, hilltop town – half-timbered, skew-roofed and quintessentially English – claims to have retained more of its original buildings than any other town in Britain. There are plenty of good independent shops and you’re positively spoilt for choice when it comes to great restaurants and places to stay.
As well as a superb early medieval castle, Conwy offers some fascinating glimpses into the past of north Wales. Factor in its marvellous setting, abundant accommodation and flourishing restaurants and shopping, and you have the ideal base for a few days’ exploring the Lower Conwy Valley and surrounding coast.
A tight knot of romantic peaks, moors and lakes, with more dry-stone walls and sheep than you can shake a stick at, the Lake District is the very definition of pastoral bliss. Adventure-seekers come to explore England’s largest lakes and highest mountains, or to immerse themselves in full-on outdoor activities from mountain-biking to fell-walking and kayaking.
The Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park covers over seven hundred square miles of some of the most picturesque landscape in the UK. The centrepiece is undoubtedly Loch Lomond, the epitome of Scottish scenic splendour. The Trossachs are ideal for exploring on foot or on a mountain bike – walkers can choose from any number of waymarked routes through the forests and along loch-sides, while bikers are served by a network of forest paths and one of the more impressive stretches of the National Cycle Network.
Jagged mountains, secluded woodland, calm glacial lakes, tumbling waterfalls and complex coastal dune systems – this is just par for the course at the stunning Snowdonia National Park. The park’s biggest attraction is the mighty Snowdon, one of the UK’s tallest mountains – apart from the appeal of its sheer height, Snowdon also sports some of the finest walking and scrambling in Wales, making it one of the must-visit places in the UK.
Covering over two hundred square miles, the New Forest is one of southern England’s favourite rural playgrounds. This spellbinding park offers some of the most rejuvenating walks in the south – and if it’s your lucky day, you might even see wild deer roaming with their young. For the not so lucky, the not-so-conspicuous New Forest pony can be found grazing nonchalantly by the roadsides and ambling through villages. Deer or no deer, the New Forest is one the best places to go in the UK.
Declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1987, Bath has been attracting visitors since pre-Roman times. All the significant stages of English history are represented here, from the Roman Baths to medieval Bath Abbey, from the Georgian splendour of the Royal Crescent to the modern Thermae Bath Spa development. Combined with a vibrant shopping centre, year-round festivals and lively entertainment scene, Bath is one of Britain’s most appealing cities. Book your next adventure with these great Bath holidays.
From punting on the Thames to visiting the oldest botanic garden in Britain, Oxford is full of rich cultural experiences. Its sprawling colleges are dripping with history – student-led tours take in the breathtaking architecture and unique stories of these world-famous institutions. The city also has a wealth of great museums that are fun for the whole family.
Chester is home to a glorious two-mile ring of medieval and Roman walls that encircle a kernel of Tudor and Victorian buildings. The compact centre of this little city is full of cultural charms that can be explored on foot, and taken altogether Chester has enough in the way of sights, restaurants and atmosphere to make it an enjoyable base for a day or two…
If it’s history you want, you can’t go wrong with York. Encircled by medieval walls and gateways which still bear the scars of battle, its great Gothic cathedral lies surrounded by quaint, narrow streets. The bustling life of the golden Elizabethan age can be imagined in the half-timbered houses of the Shambles and the elegance of Georgian England savoured in the sleek lines and fine furniture of Fairfax House.
Drawing crowds since the Victorian times, Margate is the original seaside town. Its beach, a dreamy swath of golden sand, is still as glorious as ever and its tidal pool and kiddy rides make it perfect for families. When you fancy a break from the sun, Margate has a wealth of treasures to discover, from the fantastic Turner Contemporary to its unforgettable Shell Grotto – you won’t be bored for a minute.
Protected by high cliff walls and composed of coarse sand, Porthcurno Beach is one of the most scenic places in Cornwall – and that’s saying something! The highlight is Minack Theatre – set against the spectacular backdrop of Porthcurno Bay, it features an eclectic programme of plays, operas and musicals that make it one of the best places to visit in the UK.
An award-winning expanse of beach, Woolacombe Sands is an attractive spot for surfers and families alike. Putsborough is the pick of the swimming spots and it’s less crowded than the more developed north. At the opposite end of the bay, a break in the rocks makes space for pocket-sized Barricane Beach, famous for the tiny tropical shells washed up here from the Caribbean by Atlantic currents. Start your journey of discovery at one of these great Devon hotels.
One-time capital of Northumbria, the little village of Bamburgh has two spectacular sandy beaches, backed by rolling, tufted dunes. It’s the perfect place for a picturesque walk or general beach fun. Looming over the beach is the village’s magnificent castle – definitely worth a visit when you’ve had your fill of the sand. The village also has shops, cafés and pubs to discover.