The Palaces, the rugged and romantic terrains, the myths and legends and the tea; The UK is all that and much more, serving up culture, history, fun, and breathtaking beauty for every type of traveler. The country is so full of sights and treats that it may feel like it’ll take a lifetime to see and experience every one of them, especially if you don’t have the luxury of time.
So, we help you pick out the places to be and experiences to have when you’re in the UK. After all, life is short, and the UK is waiting, so pack your bag and get ready to tick off this list.
Buckingham Palace, London
The stately palace is fodder for photographs, but did you know that you can experience standing in the same rooms where Her Majesty welcomes world dignitaries, and marvel at the exquisite furniture and art pieces? Buckingham Palace tour opens up the rooms in the Palace to visitors during summer and if you can catch it, the changing of the guard is a free spectacle that’s always popular.
Roam the free museums, London
London may attract big spenders with its sumptuous shops and elaborate entertainment have a place on the lists of most expensive cities, but the museums, one of its best attractions, also happen to be free. World-class institutions like The British Museum, National History Museum, and National Gallery all open their doors wide for anyone looking to marvel at historical and artistic achievements. Note that while entry fees are free, special exhibitions may carry extra charges.
The prehistoric stone circle on Salisbury Plain commands the attention of millions of visitors from all over the world trying to decode the enigma. Speculation and conspiracy theories over its origin and past significance abound, from wizardry to alien, from burial site to sacred meeting place.
Whichever theory is yours, one thing is for sure: Stonehenge is as striking seen in person as it is in pictures; it’s hard not to be awash with wonder watching the sun come up over the majestic monument.
Take the West Highland train, Scotland
If you didn’t get your Hogwarts acceptance letter when you turned 11, don’t despair; enjoy a little magic in your life with a train ride like no other.
The Jacobite train that runs through Fort William – Mallaig and the instantly recognizable Glenfinnan Viaduct might be made famous by the movie, but it serves up plenty beauty of its own. With Ben Nevis and Loch Lomond along the way, you’ll be treated to scenes of magnificent natural beauty.
Lake District, Cumbria
There are plenty of national parks all over Britain, but the one you don’t want to miss is the Lake District, where forests spill into green valleys, and lakes dot the land, all framed by sloping mountains.
Come down here for a trek, a bike, a lake cruise, or a stroll in the great outdoors where Beatrix Potter wrote her beloved Tale of Peter Rabbit; the beauty of it all may inspire you the way it did the great writer.
Isle of Skye, Scotland
Scotland’s landscape is equally dramatic and enchanting, and this is especially true on the Isle of Skye. Find the charming rainbow row at Portree, the quietly imposing Old Man of Storr, and the cascading waterfalls of Fairy Pools on this lush little island straight out of a fairytale.
Cotswold Villages, Cheltenham
With its sweet meadows and pretty cottages in shades of honey, the Cotswolds is the picture-book UK of your imagination. Wandering around quaint villages like Stow-on-the-Wold, Winchcombe, and Bibury, you’ll find little antique shops, farms, and perhaps, an inspiration for your dream house.
For a good giggle, watch adults roll and tumble down the hill trying to chase wheels of cheese at the annual spring event Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling.
Tour Oxford University and Cambridge University
Arguably two of the most prestigious institutions for higher education, both Oxford and Cambridge universities exude rarified air. The universities welcome visitors to explore the museums and libraries, marvel at the distinguished architecture, and walk in the same paths as past alumnus and future luminaries.