Having lived in England for a short time and traveled to the UK probably over 50 times in my life, the country holds a special place for me. I love the Christmas season in London, the historical area of Edinburgh and the beauty of the Lake District. Having close friends that I still keep in touch with that live in the midlands of England, the special relationship between our two countries has been difficult over the past few years, but the people are always warm and welcoming. Covid has been devastating for the average person in the UK, and hopefully that will change. Not being able to go to the neighborhood pub or see friends and family has been difficult. But England and the UK remain the same. A must-see destination that is easy to travel and explore.
England is every artist’s dream destination – most famous for its lush, rugged lands. A spur to writers and filmmakers. From the superb beaches and Cornwall’s rugged cliffs to the rolling hills, the granite fells and smooth lagoons of the Lake District. The countryside especially, is quite a site to behold!
By the way, just so there is no confusion. England is the country of England. Great Britain is England, Scotland and Wales. And the United Kingdom is Great Britain and Northern Ireland. We know it is confusing sometimes as people tend to use these terms interchangeably. So just remember, you can be in the UK, but not Great Britain. You can be in Great Britain but not England. And if you are in England, then you are in Great Britain and the UK. Are you confused yet? Don’t worry, just get there and enjoy it all. Start with the cities and spread our from there. The trains are great and will get you everywhere you want to go and consider renting a car as the motorways are great.
So what about our favorite cities to explore?
London is fast and furious, posh, refined and a stone throw away from tourist cities like Bath and Berkshire – a town of Victorian splendor. Most travelers visiting the UK usually have London in mind. However, apart from London, there are so many other incredible cities in the UK that you can see. So make sure to put aside a little time to check out other cities besides the capital!
Generally, the UK is packed with loads of things to see, and there is something for every kind of traveler. Whether you are flying solo, with your friends, or as a couple, you will most definitely find something to entertain you. Each city has its uniqueness, setting it apart from the others, tempting any traveler to stay longer.
It would be impossible to list all the beauty and fineness this tiny country offers in terms of crucial places to visit, but here, we present the best – at least somewhere to go from, with a plan to see the most of England and the UK.
Incredible Cities to Visit While In The United Kingdom
Attracting millions of visitors, London tops the list of the most toured city in the UK. It is home to Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family, the world-famous Big Ben, the big red double-decker buses, and the iconic black cabs.
Renowned for its history, rich culture, ancient architecture, and its buzzing nightlife, London will surely leave you gasping for your breath. Whether you want to spend your day relaxing at the Royal Park or spend your evening in one of the buzzing British Pubs, this old city offers you precisely what you want.
If you are history geek, it would be nice to brush through and explore the Tower of London, the British Museum and the National Gallery for some native history. From there, you can pass by the West End Theatre District for some awe-inspiring plays.
Don’t forget to check out Buckingham Palace, London’s most iconic architecture, be sure to bring your cameras for some memorable experience. Other must-see places for architectural buffs include the Irregularly Shaped St. Pauls Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and the London Eye.
After a rather engaging sight-seeing day, you can check yourself to one of these hotels for a peaceful night: The Alhambra, The Fielding Hotel, and The Ritz London.
Berkshire – Windsor Castle
This is the first sight you get when jetting into London from Heathrow airport. Just a short train ride from London, Windsor Castle, the fondest Royal family retreat is magnificent. Its fortified towers are unmistakable.
The gigantic castle dominates the town, with an expansive structure sitting on 13 acres of land (excluding the grounds) – overlooking the river Thames. Windsor is undisputedly is the largest occupied castle in the world! It dates back more than 900 years.
It is a paradise! And reportedly the queen’s favorite home away from home.
Main attractions for tourists include:
- The Staterooms, quite posh and ceremonial
- Royal collection Art treasures mainly past family members
- West Berkshire museum
- Legoland Windsor resort
- St. George’s Chapel – burial site where ten royals are buried(Duke and Duchess of Windsor)
- Queen Mary’s Doll House
For scheduled visits, check out the official Windsor website to pick your visiting dates as you check availability and current rates.
Best described as “God’s Own County,” Yorkshire’s breathtaking landscape is a favorite city for most paint artists and has inspired notables such as John Atkinson Grimshaw’s and David Hockney. It has three beautiful national parks, an uninhabited smattering, a rugged coastline, and delightful Victorian buildings.
When visiting Yorkshire, feel the warmth of the locals in their food and drinks –
the numerous bars and restaurants stretched across the streets, plus a fair old English city’s overall atmosphere.
If not for anything else, you should visit Yorkshire for its unique topography, with almost all attractions reserved as heritage sites.
This Scottish capital offers a unique blend of both the Old Town (ancient city) and the New Town, giving any traveler two completely different experiences. You’re never going to lack things to do in Edinburgh. There are numerous historical sites, like the Edinburgh Castle that’s beautifully perched over Edinburgh, and not to forget the haunted Greyfriars Churchyard.
You can start your day by exploring the Old Town, stroll along the main street, also known as “The Royal Mile,” for some breathtaking views. Then visit the magnificent Edinburgh Castle for some history lessons and photo taking. Later on, you can pass by the Grassmarket, to sample out fresh produce and mingle with the local folk. The market is full of restaurants, pubs, and shops; it’s the perfect place to relax while having dinner.
The New town gives you a different experience, since it’s contemporary and chic, full of vibrant youth. If you are adventurous enough, you can climb Arthur’s Seat for some picturesque view of the city. Later on, you can explore the Holyrood Palace, visit different art galleries for some modern art or take an educational tour inside the National Museum of Scotland.
By night you can visit the pubs around for some Scottish whisky, then tack your night in one of these places: Old Town Chambers, the Inn on the Mile, and Hotel Ceilidh-Donia.
The minute you think of Liverpool, the Beatles, the Liverpool Football Team, and the renowned Anfield Stadium comes to mind. Liverpool has numerous attractions scattered throughout the city. It has more museums and art galleries than any other city in the UK except the capital.
Liverpool is a colorful and diverse city with fantastic activities, enough to entertain travelers of all kinds. Especially during summer and spring.
While strolling through Liverpool, you can explore the famous Albert Dock, ride the ferry across Mersey River, visit the historic Liver Building or take a walk through the Beatles Trail around the revitalized ex-industrial power-house. Some other main attractions include a visit to The Tate Liverpool gallery, the Philharmonic Hall, and the Walker Art Gallery.
Later on, you can embrace the “football” tradition and visit the stadiums for some home game matches.
You can also spend your evening with the locals in some of the bars and restaurants on Wood Street.
You can check out these places The Shankly Hotel, Exchange Street Hotel, and Staybridge Suites, for your accommodation.
Oxford is indeed the oldest English–speaking and most respected University City in the UK and has for decades competed with Cambridge for its intellectual pre-eminence in England.
The unbridled spirit of adventure, numerous beautiful gardens, courtyards, and college parks – coupled with the vibrance of its walkways and colorful cultural facilities – all help create an Oxford unique atmosphere.
Once here, you can spend your mornings exploring the Oxford University grounds, especially the famous Bodleian library. Several movie scenes have been filmed here, including the famous Harry Potter Series. It might be exciting to check out other Oxford landmarks that appear in Harry Potter movies like Christ Church College. While still at the university, you can check out the Botanic Garden and the famous Headington Shark Sculpture.
If you feel you need something a bit more adventurous, stroll down to the Magdelen Bridge Boathouse for a punt ride. Or better yet, climb up the Carfax Tower for a strategic glorious view of the city.
As nightfall approaches, you can visit the Oxford Playhouse for some traditional plays; later, relax while sipping coffee at Queens Lane Coffe House, one of the oldest coffee houses in the Uk.
These hotels are worth considering for the night, Remont Oxford Hotel, Old Bank Hotel, and Vanbrugh Hotel.
Widely known as UK’s most glamorous city, Bath is famous for its beautifully preserved Georgian architecture. Named after the renowned Roman Baths, this magnificent city has attracted tourists to its medicinal waters for over 2000 years.
As you take a walk through the Bath Skyline Walk, you will be awe-inspired by the beautiful honey-colored city houses. Besides enjoying the magnificent Georgian architecture, you can check out the
Museum of Bath Architecture, The Royal Circus, and Royal Crescent, and go back in time during the Georgian era.
If you still have time, visit the Bath Abbey, a gothic cathedral, for some spiritual inspiration, then maybe take some photos on top of Pulteney bridge or hit the spa for some Bathing experience. Just like the ancient Romans did.
After your spa experience, you can opt for either of these for your night, The Roseate Villa Bath, Queensbury Hotels, and Harihton Hotels.
There is no secret that the University of Cambridge, a campus with centuries of history, is Cambridge’s biggest attraction. Cambridge appears to have one of the largest percentages of preserved historic architecture anywhere in the UK. Most of this architectural glory is based around the 31 colleges of Cambridge University, each rich in history.
Despite its charming, ancient character Cambridge is a modern city, and it’s a perfect holiday destination if you are interested in academics, history, and culture in one place. You can start with a stroll inside the university grounds. Later on, you can maybe have a park picnic in one of the green parks around the city.
If you are still energetic, you can visit some of Cambridge gothic churches and chapels. They include St. Peter Chapel, the smallest church in Cambridge, St. Mary the Great, the university church, and lastly, make sure you check out the Kings College Chapel, a true marvel of English artistry.
Instead of walking, you can go sight-seeing using a punt, float lazily down River Cam while taking photos of notable landmarks like Bridge of Sigh. From there you can visit the Fitzwilliam Museum for some history lessons. Other famous museums include the Museum of Cambridge and the Archaeology and Anthropology museum.
In the evening, you can visit the Fitzbillies for some mouth-watering Chelsea Buns. For your night, you can check out one of these lovely hotels: the Gonville Hotel, Ashley Hotel, and Christ’s College Cambridge.
Britain’s greenest countryside, the Lake District, has the grandest views in the entire country. The Lake District National Park covered nearly 885 square miles and was named a protected heritage site in 1951.
The beauty and scenic patchwork of lakes, gorges, coppices make it a favorite spot for outdoor lovers – a peaceful quiet haven for lovers to croon at each other, ride down the solitude country roads or hike across the hills. Since the weather is infamously random, light rains and smoky racing clouds only accentuate the glorious views’ splendor.
Our Final Word
Ok, I might be a bit biased. I love England and the UK. I love the people and places. The history and the resolve of the English. You cannot see it all in one trip. You cannot experience the magic of the UK unless you spend time between cities and the countryside. The small towns, the vibrant cities and the incredible landscape all await when we can travel again. From London to Glasgow, Manchester to Cardiff, It’s not easy to know which city to pick and which one to leave out of your itinerary. The united kingdom is a richly Historic Nation and is full of exciting destinations.
From the stone age intrigues to modern architecture, the UK has a wide variety of choices when traveling.