Made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the UK has long been one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations. The attractiveness of the country has a lot to do with its diverse landscapes and rich cultural heritage. The excellent places to visit have everything from beautifully preserved estates and castles to many world-famous art galleries and museums.
Both in summer and winter holidays you can plan a trip to the UK. Be assured of a lot of entertainment and fun that seems to be endless in this country.
Plan your sightseeing adventures with our list of the best places to visit in the UK.
1. Places to visit in the UK: London
While it is possible to plan a trip to the UK without going to London, it is nonetheless not recommended to recommend it, as the country’s vast capital is full of attractions to keep you busy. To know the history of the UK, you can visit the Tower of London. Situated beside the spectacular Tower Bridge on the banks of the River Thames, this former palace and prison is home to landmarks such as the iconic 1000-year-old White Tower, with its fascinating armor and weapons, and the Jewel House, where are Crown Jewels.
Admirers of the British Royal Family will have wished to visit Buckingham Palace, London’s royal mansion since the regime of Queen Victoria. Here you can enjoy the colorful changing of the guard pump or even take a tour of the palace halls (be sure to book in advance as they are only open a few weeks a year).
The area of Whitehall Road in the city is another must place where you will find Big Ben and the buildings of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, scene of many royal weddings. South Kensington, home to the city’s best museums including the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Natural History Museum, as well as the popular Harrods department store, is another place to visit in London. Also check out Trafalgar Square, home to the iconic Nelson’s Column and the National Portrait Gallery.
2. Liverpool and Manchester
Manchester is often the first stay for many tourists wanting to explore the north of England, Scotland, or Wales. Castle field is renowned for its well-preserved Victorian houses, canals, and Roman ruins, as well as its many old warehouses now serving as trendy shops, hotels, and restaurants. Other attractions include Manchester Cathedral and the historic Town Hall, as well as a rich cultural scene including museums (Museum of Science and Industry), galleries (Manchester Art Gallery), and entertainment venues (Chinatown).
Liverpool, just at a distance of an hour by train, offers great cultural excitement, not least because of its association with the Beatles. Music fans are drawn here for “Fab Four” related attractions such as The Beatles Story in the renovated Albert Docks neighborhood; the famous Cavern Club, where the group made their debut in 1961; as well as the previous homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney (many walking and bus tours of The Beatles sites are also readily available).
3. The university towns of Cambridge and Oxford
The UK is a center of learning, with two of its most popular university towns also includes in tourist destinations. An easy drive to north London – and just 80 miles away – Cambridge and Oxford have for centuries vied for the title of leading academic institution in the country, a rivalry celebrated at the famous rowing event, The Boat Race, which takes place every spring.
Despite this generally positive rivalry, each site offers plenty of attractions that will make them interesting additions to your UK travel itinerary. Highlights of a visit to Cambridge include strolling through the UK’s largest collection of preserved historic buildings, many of which are near the 31 colleges of the University of Cambridge, including the oldest was founded in 1284.
As well as touring the college’s stunning grounds (only a few of the university buildings offer tours), visitors to Cambridge should also take a trip along the River Cam and explore the old city center.
The 38 colleges of Oxford University are equally attractive, each built around a quadrangle and several courtyards and chapels, dining halls, libraries, and student housing (some also offer packages of unique tourist accommodation). Some of Oxford’s highlights include the Carfax Tower, which offers magnificent views of the city center, and the many old and refined buildings of the High Street.
4. Places to visit in the UK: Edinburgh
The capital of Edinburgh, one of Scotland’s most attractive cities, is also one of the UK’s most visited destinations. Popular for its many well-preserved historic buildings, Edinburgh is perhaps best known for being home to the majestic Edinburgh Castle. Alight high above the Old Town on a rocky bluff, this 13th-century royal fortress contains attractions such as the popular One O’clock Salute, held at the Scottish Jewels; National War Memorial; the Half Moon Battery; Royal Palace; and the famous Stone of Destiny (the Stone of Scone), did not return to Scotland until after 700 years of detention in London.
From the castle you can easily explore the city’s other most important historical sites, including the Old Town’s Royal Mile with its exquisite architecture, shops, cafes, restaurants, and art galleries, as well as its magnificent old palace of Holy Roodhouse. . Other highlights of Edinburgh include Princes Street, renowned for its shops and restaurants, as well as the Royal Botanical Garden and the National Gallery of Scotland.
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5. Ancient Stonehenge and Medieval Salisbury
One of the oldest World Heritage sites on the planet, Stonehenge has been a place of pilgrimage for more than 4,500 years. It was thought to have been erected as a place of worship, but these days the crowds are tourists drawn by the scale of this magnificent monument to the ingenuity of mankind.
It is an extended site, covering an area of over 20 square kilometers and home to a state-of-the-art visitor center, which offers a captivating insight not only into the construction of Stonehenge but its history as well. Plan forward and buy a timed ticket for the day of your visit.
Also, don’t miss the medieval town of Salisbury, located 10 miles south of nearby Stonehenge. Here, you’ll be rewarded with a chance to visit one of the country’s most famous cathedrals, dating back to 1220, and habitat to an original Magna Carta. Then, stroll through the old city center with its many fine churches and historic medieval architecture.
6. Wonderful Windsor
The historic town of Windsor easily located a short train ride from West London offers a lot of fun activities for tourists. In addition to its charming setting by the Thames and numerous medieval half-timbered buildings along its picturesque old cobbled lanes, it is also home to the spectacular Windsor Castle, the most famous of the UK’s royal castles.
This large and old castle served as the summer residence of British royalty for over a millennium (it was founded by William the Conqueror in 1078) and is the largest inhabited castle in the world. Highlights include the splendid State Apartments containing the Queen’s Gallery and Dining Room, each with beautifully painted ceilings and woodcarvings, and St. George’s Chapel, famous for housing the Knights and Ladies of the old order of the garter.