10 Best Places to Visit in the UK

The United Kingdom (UK), which is made up of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, has long been one of the most well-liked travel destinations worldwide. Like myself, most tourists find that the country is appealing because of its varied landscape as well as its extensive cultural history. In reality, the best places to visit in the UK range from its numerous big city art galleries and museums to its immaculately kept country estates and breathtaking castles.

But one of the best things about visiting the UK is how simple it is to get around in this interesting, diverse, and relatively tiny nation. You can base yourself in a handful of cities and go to other locations by using the train, bus, or ferry since the UK could easily fit into the state of Texas with room to spare.

The 90-minute train travel to stunning Salisbury, for instance, is one of my favorite day trips from London. Once there, Stonehenge, one of the nation’s most well-known attractions, is just a short bus ride or tour away. Want to go back and forth between Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland? You can arrive in each city’s center after an hour on a train.

Yes, it sometimes seems like the UK is an extremely busy travel destination. But if you properly organize your sightseeing excursions using my list of the top destinations in the UK, you’ll have no trouble making the most of your time.

1. London: The UK’s All-in-One Destination

Even while it is feasible to arrange a trip to the UK without going to London, I would not suggest it. In order to get over my jet lag before leaving for my intended final destination (or destinations), I always start my trips to the UK by staying a few days in the vast capital city.

There are many of things to do to keep you occupied. Want to know more about the lengthy history of the UK? There are more than 200 top-notch museums and art galleries in London, so you are spoiled for choice.

Evidence from virtually every era of history since can be found in the City of London, the original Roman city’s center. This area is home to some of London’s biggest attractions, such as the Tower of London.

This medieval palace and jail is situated alongside the magnificent Tower Bridge on the banks of the River Thames. Highlights include the landmark 1,000-year-old White Tower with its interesting displays of armor and weaponry and the Jewel House, home of the Crown Jewels. I always return to take a picture of the Tower of London with Tower Bridge in the background at sunrise or sunset.

If you’re a fan of the British Royal Family, you should visit Buckingham Palace, which has served as London’s royal residence since Queen Victoria’s time there. You may take in the vibrant pageantry of the Changing of the Guard here, or even go on a tour of the State Rooms of the Palace. Since there are only a few weeks when they are available each year, make sure you reserve your space in advance.

You can stroll from here along the Thames to the city’s Whitehall Road neighborhood. Here, you may find Westminster Abbey, the site of numerous royal weddings, Big Ben, the Parliament Buildings, and more.

The Victoria and Albert Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the renowned Harrods department store may all be found in South Kensington, another popular destination in London. Visit Trafalgar Square as well, where the National Portrait Gallery and the famous Nelson’s Column are located.

Also, be sure to utilize London’s first-rate transportation options. The system is now so advanced that you can easily use a debit or credit card to tap in and out as you go whether you take the bus or the underground. It’s really pretty simple, and after you’ve learned the “Tube” network map of the city, you’ll be moving around like a local.

2. Edinburgh: Scotland’s Capital

Edinburgh, the capital of the UK, is one of the most beautiful cities in the country and one of the most popular travel destinations. Although Edinburgh is highly recognized for its numerous historic structures that have been preserved, the majestic Edinburgh Castle is undoubtedly its most well-known landmark.

This 13th-century royal fortification, perched high above the ancient city on a rocky promontory, features attractions including the famed One O’Clock Salute, held every day at Half Moon Battery, as well as the Scottish Crown Jewels in the Royal Palace. The Scottish National War Memorial and the renowned Stone of Scone, also known as the Stone of Destiny, are also worthwhile stops. The Stone of Scone was only recently restored to Scotland after spending 700 years in London.

I always find it simple to visit the city’s other most significant historic sights from the castle. Follow the Royal Mile, a charming, medieval cobblestone boulevard that is a lot of fun to walk, downhill from the castle to the Old Town. Yes, there are a lot of the typical tacky tourist and gift shops, but avoid these and keep an eye out for the area’s beautiful old architecture, boutique shops, cafés, and restaurants, as well as the hipster art galleries and studios.

You may also locate the magnificent historic Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh’s historic Town. I normally travel from here to Princes Street and New Town before turning around and returning to the castle. The late 18th century saw the planning of this broad, more contemporary avenue, which is now incredibly well-known for its dining and shopping options. Additionally, there are attractions there including the National Gallery of Scotland and the Royal Botanical Garden.

3. Roman-Era Bath

Bath, however, one of the smaller cities in the UK, more than makes up for its tiny size with an abundance of attractions. This lovely city, named for its well-known Roman Baths, has been drawing tourists to its therapeutic waters for more than 2,000 years.

The water, which is believed to contain 43 different minerals and has healing powers, gushes from three hot springs and rises 3,048 meters at a rate of 275,000 gallons per day before spilling out at a constant temperature of 46.5 degrees Celsius. Being so close to the hot springs that the Romans and early Britons enjoyed some 2,000 years before you arrived is both an amazing sight and a little unsettling.

Even though it’s illegal to take a bath in the historic Roman Baths (attempt it and you’ll get arrested! ), other neighboring spas, most notably the contemporary Thermae Bath Spa, provide a special chance to experience the city’s renowned waters. This must-try activity offers a gorgeous rooftop pool that uses the same water as the Roman Baths, along with breathtaking views of famous city attractions like Bath Abbey.

Bath is renowned for both its ancient history and its beautiful Georgian architecture. The most impressive examples may be found along the majestic, curving Royal Crescent, which is home to opulent residences. An interesting look into Georgian life is provided by one of them, No. 1 Royal Crescent, which is now a museum.

Bath is one of those increasingly progressive places that make things simple for automobile drivers, too, even though it has the same London train connection as the nearby port city of Bristol. In the summer of 2022, I paid the extremely reasonable Landsdowne Park and Ride facility on the outskirts of the city to park my car, which allowed me to escape traffic and difficulty. Regular bus services will not only whisk you away to the city’s center in just 10 minutes, but they are also affordable and widely available.

4. Ancient Stonehenge and Medieval Salisbury

Stonehenge, one of the planet’s oldest World Heritage Sites, has been a destination for religious observance for more than 4,500 years. Thought to have been built as a place of worship, today’s throngs are made up of visitors attracted by the enormous size of this amazing monument to human achievement.

It is a sizable facility with a cutting-edge visitor center that spans an area of more than 20 square kilometers. Here, you may get a fascinating look at both Stonehenge’s original construction and its subsequent history.

However, it can get crowded, so make sure to get a timed ticket well in advance of your visit. Better still, treat yourself to one of the new VIP ticket packages for the attraction. Your position on a fun “Stone Circle Experience” that includes free time to explore the site on your own is guaranteed thanks to this amazing experience. The decision? It is essential.

Just 16 kilometers south of Stonehenge, spend some time visiting the surrounding medieval city of Salisbury. A chance to tour one of the nation’s most well-known churches, built in 1220 and housing an authentic Magna Carta, will be your prize.

After that, take some time to see the medieval architecture and numerous beautiful churches in the old city center. There are numerous excellent places to stay in this area (my personal favorite is the Mercure Salisbury White Hart Hotel for its convenient location, 4-star quality, and cleanliness), as well as wonderful little quaint restaurants like the Cosy Club on Crane Street. The food served here is delicious, locally sourced, and home-cooked. They provided service in a very patriotic British environment.

5. Royal Windsor

Tourists can enjoy a variety of exciting sights in the historic town of Windsor, which is conveniently located just a short train ride to the west of Central London. Windsor Castle, the most well-known of the UK’s royal castles, is located there, along with many other ancient half-timbered houses that line its charming old cobblestone lanes and its picturesque Thames-side setting.

Over the course of more than a thousand years, British nobility has spent their summers at this magnificent old castle. It is the biggest inhabited castle in the world and was first constructed in 1078 by William the Conqueror. Highlights include St. George’s Chapel, known as the residence of the Knights and Ladies of the ancient Order of the Garter, and the spectacular State Apartments, which house the Queen’s Gallery and dining hall and each have brilliantly painted ceilings and woodcarvings.

Once you’ve had your fill of these ancient structures, don’t forget to spend some time strolling through the castle’s expansive and breathtaking grounds, which extend for approximately 10 kilometers. You can stop for a bit at one of the many picnic sites, some of which include barbecue grills, and take in some genuinely unforgettable panoramic views of Windsor and its castle.

Taking a family vacation? Legoland Windsor is another local site that is worthwhile going to. If you want to make a weekend out of it, this enjoyable family resort, located on 150 acres of parkland not far from Windsor town center, even has a contemporary hotel with a Lego theme.

The most well-known horse-racing site in the UK, Royal Ascot, is very interesting to see. While you might want to try to schedule your vacation to coincide with the Royal Meeting, which is held in June, you’ll find yourself battling frequently massive crowds here for what is, after all, one of the most significant events on the country’s social calendar.

6. Idyllic England: The Cotswolds

The picturesque Cotswolds, which span about 1,287 square kilometers of gorgeous countryside, is unquestionably one of the most photographed regions in England. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful destinations in the UK thanks to its unmatched pastoral scenery, and it is a popular destination on many travelers’ bucket lists.

The Cotswolds contain some of the best areas of the counties of Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire and are simple to reach from London and close to the well-known tourist destinations of Bath and Bristol.

Why come? If you’re anything like me, you came to England to visit its many charming villages and get a real taste of rural life. The lovely town of Bourton-on-the-Water should be on your Cotswolds itinerary. This well-liked tourist destination, known as the “Venice of the Cotswolds,” has a picturesque river backdrop and numerous well-preserved houses, some of which date back to the 15th century and are asking to be photographed.

The area’s large path network, which includes the fantastic 164-kilometer-long Cotswold Way, is among the most well-liked ways to accomplish this. Horseback riding, motorcycling, and simply taking in the history of well-known market towns like Castle Combe or Tetbury are some enjoyable activities.

7. The Magical Lake District

The breathtaking Lake District in Cumbria spans 1,448 square kilometers and is situated in the northeast of England not far from the Scottish border. Its reputation as a location of romance and outstanding culture will always be linked to its most famous former resident, Beatrix Potter. It is not simply one of the most magical places to visit in the UK for its stunning surroundings.

When Potter left her estate to the National Trust, she actually took the helm in conservation initiatives that have helped preserve so much of the Lake District. For its exhibitions and relics, Hill Top, her former residence close to Sawrey, is worth a visit.

Additionally, her legacy paved the way for the creation of Lake District National Park. This stunning region, which includes 12 of the biggest lakes in the nation, is another well-known location in the UK that is wonderful to explore on foot. The two biggest and best-known lakes are Windermere and Ullswater. Pack your hiking boots because there are more than 3,218 kilometers of hiking and walking routes in the park as a whole.

Visit Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England at 978 meters, as one of the other things to do while in the Lake District. In addition, there are other charming towns and villages, including Grasmere, to discover.

8. Medieval York and its Minster

The historic city of York, along the ecclesiastical capital of the Church of England, is one of northern England’s most well-liked tourist sites and is home to one of the nation’s most stunning cathedrals. Although the magnificent current Gothic construction was not completed until almost a thousand years later, York Minster, the greatest medieval church in the nation, has its origins in the 3rd century, when Christianity first began to spread.

An official guided tour is one of the greatest ways to explore this historical site. I advise making reservations in advance and giving the options some thought to choose which is best for you. I chose the intriguing “Tower Trip” option, which was a bit more pricey but well worth it for the stunning city views.

The magnificent stained glass windows from the 14th century, as well as the ornately painted interiors of the choir and north transept, are further attractions of a trip to York Minster. Visit the crypt as well, which houses pieces of the cathedral’s original church from the 11th century.

The old City Walls in York are another interesting relic. Every time I travel to the city, I make a point of wandering this approximately five-kilometer-long edifice. It’s a wonderful way to get some exercise while around the historic, medieval city center away from the tourists.

You’ll have fantastic views of The Shambles along the route, a winding road from the 14th century that is well-known for its beautiful old timber-framed structures, many of which dangle over the street below. In addition, the area is also renowned for its plethora of cafes, galleries, and boutique shops.

The National Railway Museum is the most well-known of York’s many notable museums. The impressive array of vintage steam engines from this museum, some dating as far back as 1820, as well as its one-of-a-kind collection of Royal Trains, are among its numerous highlights. A wonderful afternoon tea experience in the ancient Countess of York railway carriage is also available at the museum and may be reserved in advance.

9. The University Towns of Cambridge & Oxford

The United Kingdom has long been a hub of study, and two of its most well-known university cities are also popular travel destinations. Cambridge and Oxford are rivals for the title of the nation’s finest intellectual institution and are only 128 kilometers away and an easy commute north of London. This rivalry is commemorated during the renowned rowing competition known as The Boat Race, which takes place each spring on the River Thames.

Despite this often friendly competition, each place has a lot to offer that will make it worthwhile to include it on your itinerary when visiting the UK. The UK’s greatest collection of historically conserved buildings, many of which are close to Cambridge University’s 31 colleges, the oldest of which was founded in 1284, are among the highlights of a trip to Cambridge.

You should take a punt along the River Cam in addition to viewing the beautiful college grounds (only a small number of the university’s buildings give tours). It’s somewhat of a Cambridge tradition to participate in this must-do activity, and you might even get “punted” along by a college student who’s willing to talk about their time in school.

However, as with the majority of well-known tourist locations, some forethought can help you discover a trustworthy business for your punting excursion. Considerable licensed operators to take into account are Scholars Punting and Cambridge Punt Company, both of which provide entertaining picnic hamper packages. Cambridge Punt Company also provides a customized romantic evening excursion. Joining a group trip will help you save money in both situations.

10. England’s Pilgrimage City: Canterbury

Discover why this stunning city in Kent, England, continues to be so popular with tourists by paying a visit to old Canterbury.

Canterbury has always been a popular tourist destination because it is only a short hour by rail from the heart of London. Since St. Augustine first began converting pagan Anglo-Saxons to Christianity here in AD 597, pilgrims from all religions have been coming for more than 1,500 years.


Canterbury Cathedral, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s residence church, is the most well-known landmark in the city. This magnificent cathedral, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has a lot to offer, from its elaborately carved outside brickwork to its splendid interior, a highlight of which is the exquisite choir with its statues of six English kings. The beautiful Miracle Windows from the 12th century, which show incidents from the assassinated Archbishop Thomas Becket’s life, are very noteworthy.

After that, spend some time exploring Old City Canterbury’s pedestrianized section with its several historically significant timber-framed buildings, especially along Mercery Lane. The wonderful Canterbury Roman Museum should be on your agenda. It was constructed around the remarkable mosaic and the ruins of a former Roman townhouse.

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