Wondering which are the best places to visit in the UK? I and my fellow travel bloggers listed down our recommended places to visit in the UK.
The UK is one of the most visited countries in the world due to its royal grandeur and history. In addition to that, the UK is also known for its beautiful countryside along with the other touristic places in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Oh, plus the famous British food to try around the country.
More on about the UK: Best UK Travel Itinerary for 2 Weeks
Read along to discover our recommendations. Most of the suggested places in this post are managed by the National Trust and English Heritage. A membership subscription that will let you visit unlimited touristic attractions in the UK managed by these organisations.
Here are the best places to visit in the UK
Worcestershire sits right by the heart of England. Known for the great English countryside and Elgar county. Worcester, the centre of the county is also known as the Faithful city due to its loyalty to the crown during the English civil war from 1642-1651.
Great Malvern hills is a fantastic place to visit in the UK if you love the outdoors and nature. Located in Worcester is the Firs, the birthplace of the famous English composer Edward Elgar. You can find out more from the National Trust.
Worcestershire is also the home of the famous and loved home sauce, the Worcestershire Sauce. The factory of this amazing sauce is still based in Worcester town where it all began.
A visit to the Worcester Cathedral is also worth the visit. It is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the UK.
More on about the UK: British Inventions and Inventors That Changed The World Forever
During the Victorian age, Birmingham is known as the home of the Cadbury. Up to this day, the Cadbury factory still stands in Bourneville and it is currently one of the most visited attractions in the city. You can read about the other places to visit in Birmingham here.
More on about the UK: The Best Day Trips from Birmingham (UK)
The Angel of the North
The Angel of the North is famous for its enormous height and minimalistic modern artistic expression. It has also been seen in various music videos and films, hence it became one of the popular places to visit in the UK.
The purpose of the Angel of the north is to symbolise the generational transition from the old industrial age to the new informational age. The symbolism is to commemorate the coal miners who worked on that site in the dark for 200 years. It is also a constant reminder of hopes and fears for the people.
You can see this landmark towering over the skyline on your way to New Castle.
The Lake District
My husband and I went to the Lake District for a week’s caravan holiday, and it was a great relaxing trip exploring the British countryside. Included in the UNESCO World Heritage sites in the UK for their outstanding natural beauty.
Whether you’re into an outdoor adventure or just want a laidback walk through arts and history, the mountainous region of Lake District in North West England can offer you the perfect escapade. From hiking trails to open water swims, museum visits to castle exploration, the stunning sceneries of Lake District offer a multitude of activities for couples, families, kids, and anyone from all walks of life.
St Michael’s Mount
Saint Michael’s Mount in Marazion, Cornwall is an iconic landmark in the UK. Its history is far from the 11th century when it was originally purposed as a monastery by King Edward the Confessor and was given to the monks of the Benedictine order of Mont-Saint-Michel of France. Hence, it resembles its feature as a tidal island and castle on top of the hill like the one in France.
The St. Michael’s Mount is now managed by National Trust you can visit this historical landmark in Cornwall. It is advisable to book your tickets in advance. When it’s high tide a short boat ride is necessary to access the island, however, during low tide, a cobbled stone path will give you access to the island on foot.
This is also one of the filming locations of the famous Game of Thrones series – House of Dragons.
Brighton, East Sussex
Brighton is an easy train ride from London Victoria Station and London Gatwick Airport, making Brighton the perfect destination for day trips outside of London. It’s one of the favourite seaside towns in the UK with its beautiful beaches, lively high street and shopping centres, the vibrant Brighton Pier and the majestic Royal Pavillion.
Feel free to check this article that I wrote about other Best Things to Do in Brighton (UK) For Fun Weekend Breaks, I’m definite that you will find something that will interest you whether you are visiting with friends, couples or families.
More on about the UK: Visiting the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for a Weekend Break (UK)
Recommended by Heather of Conversant Traveller
The Scottish Borders are often overlooked by visitors heading straight through on their way up to the Highlands and islands, but we suggest you factor in a few days here on your next trip up north, you won’t be disappointed.
The borderlands are home to a whole lot of history, fascinating legends and miles of beautiful countryside to explore. There are stunning abbey ruins to visit, countless hiking trails and some really good things to eat too, such as afternoon tea with a Scottish twist, and haggis bonbons, so good!
You can visit Abbotsford, the home of novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott, try out a spot of falconry, and sleep in a castle. And because most people are making a bee-line for the lochs and glens, you’ll probably have the borders all to yourself. Which can only be a good thing.
I wrote another article about the best things to do in the Scottish Borders. I encourage you to check it out.
Recommended by Suzy of Our Bucket List Lives
Lincoln is a City in Lincolnshire and it is not only incredibly historic but is packed full of places to visit. See this post about things to do in Lincolnshire.
Down at Brayford Waterfront, you will find many modern restaurants, a cinema and boat trips. Cross the road and you will find many shops on a pedestrianized street. Head up the famous Steep Hill, yes it really is steep, there are theatres, museums and many historic buildings.
Once you have reached the top you will be rewarded with Lincoln Castle, Lincoln Cathedral and a little further on the Museum of Lincolnshire Life. This museum is free to visit and is a really lovely museum.
Recommended by Esra of Arabian Wanderess
Manchester is one of the major cities in the UK and the new home for the BBC. It is only two hours away from London with the fast Virgin train.
It might not be the immediate choice when you are planning your trip to the UK, but Manchester can give you a quitter English break with its nice mix of free activities like the Manchester Art Gallery, Imperial War Museum North, and John Ryland Library.
There is also a quirky side to the city, which you will find once you head to the Northern Quarter, where you will find all the independent shops, cafes and street art.
The Shambles, York
Recommended by Faith of XYUandBEYONd
I’ve read about The Shambles for years and it has been on my bucket list to visit for a very long time. The photos you see in history documentaries just don’t do the place justice.
A shambolic topsy turvy place of sheltered laneways with tilting Tudor buildings on either side of the Shambles is a slice of history from the 15th century. The Shambles got its name from the butchers that used to toss the leftover bits of meat into the streets. Over 900 years old it is mentioned in the Domesday Book and there are as many stories as there are cobbles on the streets.
The Shambles has many a cafe, restaurant and quirky shop which you can ramble through. Being such a small, narrow collection of streets the shops tend to be independent retailers and you won’t find many name-brand stores here. The little cafes are tiny and serve a fabulous cup of tea and a scone. There is also a daily market with around 80 stalls selling everything from fresh fruit and veg to knickers.
The Shambles Food Court is a must-visit preparing everything from North African food to French Crepes.
Recommended by Jess of Unearth the Voyage
Off the coast of North Wales lies a sleepy little town called Conwy. Conwy is most famous for its enormous 13th-century castle looming over the small town.
Another majestic sight to see in Conwy is the Conwy Suspension bridge built much later than the castle itself. Although the bridge is newer, it is worth checking out because it was one of the first suspension bridges ever built and it is designed to blend in with the medieval look and feel of the castle.
Besides the castle and suspension bridge, Conwy has a lot to offer in terms of spending a day walking around and exploring a cute little seaside British town. The town is built along the banks of an estuary which is home to fishing boats and picturesque sailboats. Don’t forget to spend some time exploring the other sights Conwy has to offer such as the smallest home in Britain and also the largest beer garden in Wales!
Read more about Wales: Snowdonia Mountains Hiking and Camping North Wales Guide
Recommended by Jenny of Travelynn Family
Nestled between the big cities of Manchester, Sheffield and Derby, the Peak District encapsulates the true charm of the English countryside with its green rolling hills, dry stone walls, quaint country cottages and old pubs serving real ale in front of a roaring fire.
This is the England that I love and the place we call home. Whatever the weather, we love nothing better than a long family walk in the Peaks.
Our favourites are the Nine Ladies Circle through Stanton Moor Peak or the walk starting next to The Robin Hood pub in Baslow, with spectacular views from Birchen Edge. Alternatively, hire some bikes and ride the Monsal Trail or Tissington Trail. Reward your physical activity in one of the many cosy local pubs with a pint of Black Sheep and a hearty roast dinner or chip butty.
I encourage you to read the article I wrote if you are looking to find out some best things to do in Peak District.
Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire – Wales
Recommended by Anna of Would Be Traveller
While the UK has some globally famous big cities, it’s also a wonderful place to explore the great outdoors, including my favourite – Skomer Island in Pembrokeshire, Wales. If you want to know more about this beautiful county, I wrote some best things to do in Pembrokeshire, Wales.
This tiny island is one of the best places in the UK to see puffins, thanks to it being completely uninhabited by humans and a protected habitat for many of the country’s best-loved seabirds. Wildlife enthusiasts can visit for the day thanks to a boat trip from Milford Haven, and it makes a great place to explore, admire the scenery and, of course, spot a puffin or two.
Puffins arrive on the island in early April to nest and remain there until the end of July, so it’s important to time your visit well! Have a read of my post about how to see the puffins on Skomer Island for more information on boat times, ticket information and what else to expect from your visit.
Recommended by Michael of The World Was Here First
The city of Inverness, which is often labelled as the ‘Gateway to the Highlands,’ is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit on a trip to Scotland, both as a destination in its own right and as a base to explore nearby attractions.
Visitors to Inverness can spend a day exploring the city and visiting sites such as the Inverness Castle and the Ness Islands and indulging in the improving culinary scene before embarking on a number of fantastic day trips in the area.
Some of the best places you can visit within a day’s drive of Inverness include Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle, Culloden Battlefield, Cawdor Castle or your choice of the many famous distilleries in the Speyside region.
Isle of Mull, Scotland
Recommended by Kaylie of Happiness Travels Here
One of the best places to visit in the United Kingdom is the Isle of Mull. Mull is found just off the coast of Scotland in the Inner Hebrides. Only a short ferry ride from the mainland, Mull has the charm and solitude of the more remote Islands without the crowds of the Isle of Skye.
The scenery on Mull is stunning. Can you believe that Scotland has gorgeous white sandy beaches?
Lush green farmland and pockets of native forest are home to plants and flowers not found elsewhere in Scotland. There are castles, ruins and shipwrecks to explore and of course, whisky to sample at the Tobermory Distillery.
Wildlife cruises around the Island are a must-do. Otters, dolphins, humpback whales, orca and basking sharks inhabit the surrounding waters. Rare white-tailed sea eagles are known to nest on the Island and in the summer months, large colonies of nesting Puffins can be visited along the cliff-lined shores.
Recommended by Mandi of Big Family Little Adventures
Great Yarmouth is on the East Coast of England, located between the Norfolk Broads and the North Sea.
It is famous for large sandy beaches, and a multitude of attractions along the seafront golden mile, these include The Hippodrome Circus, with its stage dropping away to reveal a water-filled pool, The Pleasure Beach, home to the UK’s only wooden Rollercoaster and Joyland with unusual historic rides.
Great Yarmouth has one of the most complete medieval town walls in England, some parts of the wall date from 1261, this is complemented by a wide range of historic attractions and museums. These include the Time and Tide Museum, which tells the story of the area and is located in an old herring curing works and The Nelson Museum (Lord Nelson was from Norfolk)
Great Yarmouth also has a warm and dry climate, making it a wonderful location for a holiday.
Arundel, West Sussex
Recommended by Nicky of That Anxious Traveller
Arundel in West Sussex is probably the best town in England that you’ve never heard of.
For a start, it’s a historic town with an imposing castle dating back to 1068, in which the aristocracy still dwell – but you can go inside! From the spring to the autumn, the castle opens its doors so that the public can have a look around the stately halls, the historic armouries, and most fun of all, poke around the dungeon.
Secondly, the town itself is lovely: small but brimming with character, it caters to your every need for a lovely day out. From antique shops to bookstores, and handmade candies to restaurants and breweries.
Thirdly, Arundel was voted the ‘Most Relaxing Town in Europe‘ by the Mindful Getaway Guide, beating spots like Capri, Ibiza, and Baden-Baden. Take a day trip from London, explore Arundel, and relax in the countryside!
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Recommended by Cazzy of Dream Big Travel Far
Belfast is a city bursting with unique history, and fantastic sights and of course, it’s the birthplace of the Titanic. Northern Ireland’s history is a unique one, and the amazing murals around Belfast highlight the problems that occurred in the city.
Bus tours will take you to important locations, such as the Peace Walls, the Hunger Strike Mural and much more. You’ll learn so much and be fascinated by what went on in Belfast.
Leonardo DiCaprio fans will love the Titanic centre with its iconic history and very own re-creation of that famous staircase. Afternoon tea can be enjoyed on the stairs every Sunday, but book in advance as it’s super popular. Belfast also boasts a thriving food and music scene.
All over the city, every night you’ll find fantastic bands playing live music, including rock bands, tribute acts, and Irish traditional music. Food markets are held weekly and include the award-winning St George’s Market every Friday.
Recommended by Jo of Beyond The Lamp Post
England is a place that wears its history proudly, and nowhere is that more apparent than in Stratford Upon Avon.
Fans of the Bard will know that the town was his birthplace in April 1564, and the place where he is believed to have been born is now open as a museum where, in the summer months, you can enjoy performances of his work in the gardens.
The town is also known for its beautifully maintained examples of Tudor architecture, which include the cottage that belonged to Shakespeare’s wife, Anne Hathaway (also a museum), and its canals, bridges, churches and peaceful small-town atmosphere. Visit in autumn to see the leaves changing colour, or take a summer boat ride on the Avon.
Enjoy a roast meal while keeping warm by a pub fire in winter, or appreciate fresh beginnings in the spring. Any time’s a good time to see Stratford!
Recommended by Cath of Passports and Adventures
Cardiff, the Welsh capital, is one of the best places to visit in the UK and is also one of my favourite cities. It is a city that has something for everyone, from solo traveller to families.
A city centre is a bustling place with shops, cafes, restaurants, museums and Cardiff Castle, a must-visit place. Further outside the city, you will find other places of interest, such as St Fagans, the Welsh National Museum of History. And Cardiff Bay is another area of the city not to be missed.
If nature is your thing there are parks within the city to enjoy as well as walks on Caerphilly Mountain on the edge of the city. You can also enjoy nearby beaches and with an abundance of places to stay to suit every budget, it really is a city that has it all.
Read more about Wales: Cardiff Attractions: Things To Do in Cardiff For Fun Weekend Breaks
Lyme Regis, Dorset
Recommended by Claire of Weekend Candy
Lyme Regis in Dorset is as just as handsome as you imagine it to be. It’s blessed with nearly 95 miles of dramatic Jurassic Coast for visitors to drink up, as well as a flock of seafood restaurants and salt-air pubs that spill right out onto the beach.
Add to that Lyme’s links to Jane Austen (she used to ‘take the sea air’ here 150 years ago) and another literary great, John Fowles, plus its famed Cobb (seen in the French Lieutenant’s Woman), and you have a town that has plenty of pulling power all throughout the year.
For geologists and palaeontologists, Lyme’s cliffs are awash with fossils – so a fossil hunt is a must whether you visit for a weekend or longer.
The Cotswold is the quintessential British scene that you will imagine whenever you hear of the British countryside. I must say it is an absolutely stunning region of England, no wonder most of the celebrities, high profile and even the British Royal family have their residence in this part of the country.
The vast region of the National Park and the Area of National Beauty (AONB) are some of the main highlights of the Cotswold region. Arlington Row in Bilbury is the most pictured row of cottages in the UK. Castle Coombe is another Cotswold Village that is known for its beautiful stone cottages.
I wrote another blog post about the 18 Beautiful Cotswold Villages to Visit in the UK. I highly recommend that you read it to see which one of these charming British villages to visit first.
Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland
Recommended by Corrine by Reflection En Route
Eilean Donan Castle, located on the island near Loch Douich and Loch Alsh and only a two-hour drive from Inverness, is a must-see when travelling around Scotland.
To access the castle, you must park and walk across a picturesque stone bridge. This 13th-century castle is still owned by the family MacRae, and they gladly open this much-visited site to the public.
You can even stay at a small cottage and wake up to the views of the castle if you like. On-site, you can take a tour, or have a read and a scone in the gift shop and cafe. Don’t miss one of the most iconic castles in Scotland, and make plans to visit Eilean Donan.
Recommended by Kirsty of Lost in Landmarks
Stonehenge is one of the most visited sites in the UK and it’s actually one of my favourites. Just being able to stand alongside these amazing, colossal stones and marvel at how they were built is a huge privilege.
You can get your tickets to visit Stonehenge from English Heritage. Alternatively, you can visit this English Heritage site for FREE if you become a member of the English Heritage Organisation.
It’s not the only ancient site in the vicinity though and if you like ancient history you’re in for a treat. There’s the Avebury stone circle which many prefer due to the fact you can touch the stones and also Silbury Hill and West Kennet Long Barrow. As well as the ancient and historical sites, it’s a great area for walking and exploring the best of the English countryside and some gorgeous little villages too.
Recommended by Charmaine of LuvMiHome
Cambridge is a relatively small English city but one steeped in a huge amount of history; with the Roman and Viking eras seeing Cambridge become a vital centre for trade and more recently for education.
Cambridge is arguably best known for its world-renowned university, which is known to be one of the most prestigious educational establishments in the world. In fact, over 1/5th of the population of Cambridge at any time are estimated to be students. Many students graduate and go on to work in the ‘Silicon Fen’ region, a play on America’s Silicon Valley and an area where a huge amount of technology companies have their UK headquarters.
The impressive historical buildings are a sight to behold, and Cambridge is also surrounded by Fenland and a beautiful river, the Cam, which is a popular area for punting down the river, a British tradition great for a sunny day.
Recommended by Gillian of Scotland Bucket List
Often described as the Athens of the North, Edinburgh has a rich architectural heritage. There is a striking combination of old and new, from the impressive medieval streets around the Royal Mile to the ultra-modern Scottish Parliament building.
This perfect mix continues throughout the city. Despite having a population of half a million, Holyrood Park offers up a slice of the Highlands, just minutes from the city centre. While Portobello adds a sandy beach, Newhaven provides an ancient harbour and Leith the trendy shore area.
For the art lover, there are galleries galore! From Dean Village, walk down the Water of Leith, and visit the Gallery of Modern Art to see a creation by Tracy Emin. Alternatively, enjoy the talents of Leonardo da Vinci at the Scottish National Gallery.
In the evening why not head to elegant George street to enjoy some of the many busy bars and excellent restaurants.
Edinburgh is a very special city and really needs to be on your Scottish Bucket List!
The Isle of Skye, Scotland
Recommended by Claire of I Live 4 Travel
The Isle of Skye in Scotland is a stunning place to visit. There is so much to see and do. It is famous for its rugged landscape and coastline, stunning beaches as well as beautiful castles that you can visit. It is popular with tourists who come to do one of the many day hikes that there are and you need a minimum of 4 days to really see a lot. It is easier if you have a car but there is also a tourist bus that goes around the island.
The top things to do on Skye are walking The Old man of Storr, hiking Quiraing, visiting Neist Point lighthouse, visiting the Fairy Pools, visiting Dunvegan Castle, sunbathing on Coral beach, see Kilt Rock Waterfall.
It’s a beautiful place and one of my favourites in the UK, that everyone should visit.
Lindisfarne, Holy Island
Recommended by Sarah of A Social Nomad
Located just off the coast of Northumberland, in the North East of England, the island of Lindisfarne is often just referred to as Holy Island. It’s reached by a tidal causeway that allows road access twice a day or a century’s old pilgrim’s path across the dangerous sands and mudflats for the more adventurous.
The island has a recorded history from the 6th century AD and has been an important centre for Christianity for many centuries. Today there is a ruined castle under the auspices of the National Trust, and even more ruined Christian priory managed by English Heritage and a variety of bed and breakfasts and pubs. There are stunning coastal walks and the chance to experience Lindisfarne Mead. This is a spectacular location with centuries of history and a great opportunity to explore the
Recommended by Chris of More Life In Your Days
Dartmouth is a stunning harbour town situated at the mouth of the River Dart in Devon. It is one of the most charming towns in the UK and makes a great place for a holiday or day trip.
The town is centred on the bustling river where you can watch the comings and goings of various river crafts, and enjoy views over to beautiful Kingswear.
There are lots to keep you busy in this beautiful historic town. You may like to take a stroll along the riverfront promenade, visit the castle, ride a steam train, wander around the boutique shops and art galleries, or take to the water for a boat trip out to sea or up the river to Totnes.
One of our favourite things to do is to have a go at crabbing from the embankment. You are sure to catch something!
The Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
Recommended by Claire of Tales of a Backpacker
The Giant’s Causeway is an incredible rock formation on the northern coast of Northern Island, made up of around 40,000 interlocking basalt columns. The columns are the result of volcanic fissure eruptions and the subsequent cooling of the rocks, or, if you believe the legends, the columns were part of a path to Scotland made by the giant Finn McCool!
Whatever you believe, the rocks certainly don’t appear to be natural, and the Giant’s Causeway is certainly one of the best places to visit in the UK and the only UNESCO site in Northern Ireland.
You could go to the Giant’s Causeway on a day trip from Belfast, but if you have more time then take a couple of days to explore more of the causeway coastal route, where you will find incredible cliffs, spine-tingling rope bridges and jaw-dropping scenery. The best time to visit the Giant’s Causeway is at sunset when the tour groups have left, and you have the stones almost to yourself.
Recommended by Tom of The Travelling Tom
Chester is one of the lesser-known places to visit in the UK, but it’s also one of the best places you can visit. Chester is a Roman City and there are a lot of reminders from this era. The city has the biggest Roman amphitheatre in the UK, while the city centre is enclosed by its famous Roman walls. They are an excellent way to see the city and offer great views of the surrounding area.
Chester is a lively city with lots of pubs and cafes, so you won’t be short on places to eat or drink. If you visit during the summer, you might be lucky enough to check out Chester races. The city is home to the oldest racecourse in the UK and regularly holds horse races during the summer. It may be a small city, but there is a lot going on in Chester!
London is the capital of the United Kingdom and the most visited city in the whole country. Most visitors go via London to go to various corners of Great Britain. I would say that London is just the appetizer of the beauty of the UK and British culture. I wrote another article about the Best Things to Do in London (UK) if you are interested to see more about the various London attractions.
London city vibes are full of life. Every borough you visit always has something historical or upbeat that is going on like the famous historical sites of the British Royal family such as Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, Kensington Palace and the Tower of London, Tower Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral and many more.
Read more about London: 7 Money-Saving Travel Tips Exploring Around London (UK)
Recommended by Emma of Bubba Blue and Me
Famed for its Dreaming Spires, Oxford is one of my favourite cities. For young children, there’s the excitement of finding quirky rocks and dinosaur skeletons at the Natural History Museum or enjoying the giant bed and book-based activities at The Story Museum.
For teens play crazy golf or go to a disco ice skating session. Teeming with independent shops around the city, and the addition of high street brands and high-end designer stores in the newly built Westgate Centre, there are delights for any shoppers. But the history and architecture of the colleges and university buildings are where Oxford really comes alive. Enjoy walking or bus tours, visit the Ashmolean or Bodleian, and see famous film locations and the maze that is Blackwell’s bookshop. For relaxation and the great outdoors, the Parks, punting on the river and the beautifully calm Botanic Gardens.
We hope that our recommendations of the best places to visit in the UK will help you to plan your next holiday to the UK whether on a budget, for adventure, relaxing or a luxury!
Whatever it is, enjoy your trip around the United Kingdom!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Everything ZanyTravel Blog
Everything Zany Travel Blog exploring the UK and beyond. Sharing travel guides, tips, history and culture. Our travel media brand is founded by travel and hotel industry expert – Ryazan Tristram, a Dual Citizen (British – Filipina) based in Birmingham, UK. Everything Zany is a reputable and award-winning travel blog. Our work and contributions have been featured in Huffington Post, CNBC, Discovery Channel, GMA, Readers Digest, and Lonely Planet. Our missions are to build a great travel community and resource of travel tips, visas and travel guides for travellers. Join us as we travel around the UK and beyond with a mission to share the best of the world.