No visit to the UK is complete without a stay in London and the capital makes a great base to explore the rest of the country. You won’t be short on things to do in London as it has a huge range of attractions ranging from the historic to the very modern. It also has excellent transport links connecting the city to the rest of the country. Many of the UK’s iconic sites are in London and if you can you should try to include a trip to the Tower of London, London Bridge, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Oxford Street, Madame Tussauds and Marble Arch. London is also home to some of the world’s greatest museums, a huge array of shops and plenty of green space. London is in fact one of the greenest cities in the world and some of the best parks are Hyde Park, Regent’s Park and Holland Park.
In the evenings there are plenty of trendy nightclubs or bars to choose from. Culture vultures might want to catch a musical or even a play in the West End – the British equivalent to America’s Broadway. The city is easily navigated by trains via the underground system but for a more scenic route try a boat ride on the River Thames.
This is one of the UK’s most elegant cities. It is built to grand proportions and has a unique history – even the Romans thought Bath was a worthy travel destination. The main draw is the hot springs which spring naturally from underneath the city. The Romans, 18th century aristocrats and now tourists flock to the city to enjoy the grand architecture and relaxing natural spas.
See the Palladian terraced houses, spacious city squares, UNESCO heritage site Georgian architecture and of course enjoy the therapeutic waters. The city boasts the only natural thermal waters in the country, Thermae Bath Spa offers pools of the rejuvenating waters as well as spa treatments. While here also make sure you squeeze in a visit to the historic Bath Abbey, Royal Crescent and the Pulteney Bridge.
This beautiful and fascinating city is the cultural capital of the north. Every year it plays host to many unique and exciting festivals including the Edinburgh Festival, the Edinburgh Tattoo and the most famous New Year’s Eve Parties in the world – hogmany.
The city is rich in history but is also extremely modern in its theatre, arts and entertainment. The main attraction is the Edinburgh Castle perched on an elevated volcanic rock where there are several museums. Walk down Scotland’s most famous street (the Royal Mile), visit the free Botanical Gardens, explore the labyrinth of Gilmerton Cove and visit the National Museum of Scotland. This is the gateway to Scotland and from here you can explore the surrounding countryside, small villages and other Scottish sites.
Hailed as one of the country’s coolest cities Brighton is often compared to San Francisco for its laid-back atmosphere, liberal outlook and large gay population. The city is both a typically British seaside resort and a hub of culture. Brighton is popular with artists and there are several good galleries as well as a dynamic theatre life. The culture is eclectic, innovative and sometimes outlandish yet the city itself oozes old-world style and 19th century class.
The city by the sea has narrow lanes with interesting and quaint antique stores and cafes serving scones and tea. Come to Brighton to be yourself, enjoy the sunny (relative to UK) weather and see the sights. There is the Taj Mahal-looking Royal Pavilion, the Regency architecture, the iconic Brighton pier and the long pebble beaches.
For more information on Brighton accommodation
You’ll fall in love with York’s fairy tale architecture and cobbled streets which seem like something out of a Dickens’s novel. The Old City of York is pedestrian-only during the day and you can visit the many historic buildings here like the York Minster, the largest Gothic basilica north of the Alps. The cathedral has stunning stained glass windows. Other sites include the Treasurer’s House, the National Railway Museum, and the Jorvik Viking Museum.
Take a walk around the medieval walls and explore the Shambles, a labyrinth of medieval streets. The city is rich in craft stores, cozy pubs (including one called “Hell”) and the surrounding countryside has many sites worth visiting. In the evening there is a dynamic nightlife as well as a spooky and entertaining Ghost Tour.
For more information on York
Written by Petal Mashraki. Petal is a freelance travel writer who has lived and been educated in England, South Africa and Israel.