JC Travels: 10 Places You Need to Visit in the UK
I think when you live in the same country for a long time, you can sometimes loose that motivation to get out there and explore. There’s always next week right? But really, now is the best time to get out there and adventure! I recently finished lessons with my Driving Instructor Newcastle and passed my driving test so it means that I’m more mobile than ever, giving me no excuse to put off seeing more of the UK! There are so many lovely places in the UK that are worth a visit. I’ve made my way around the country quite a bit in the last 3 years, so here are 10 places which should be on your UK travel list! And no, London isn’t on here, ’cause come, on, everyone knows you need to visit London!
Another traditional town, well worth a visit, combining a quick trip to the White Cliffs of Dover. Canterbury is a gorgeous, quaint UK town and really keeps the feeling of tradition with its narrow cobbled streets. You can visit the Canterbury Cathedral – one of the most spectacular in the country. I also highly recommend St Augustines Abbey Ruins which is full of history of one of the very first churches ever built within the UK. We are going way back now!
Dover is nearby, and although the town is a little dull, the white cliffs nearby are highly worth a visit. Have a wander through though not too close to the edge, and walk to the lighthouse. The views across the straight are spectacular and it is one of the most picturesque places you can visit in Southern England.
Heading now onto a few cities which are worth a visit. The first being Bristol, one I’ve visited many times. Bristol is quite quirky and definitely feels a lot more alternative compared to some other cities – it does remind me of Brighton. Have a wander through the town and look at all the multicoloured houses. The Clifton Suspension Bridge is also worth a visit – one of Brunels creations.
Bristol is also the home of quirky cafes and bars – make sure you spend a lot of time savouring the food and having a wander down along the river.
One of my first UK town breaks, a traditional town which houses Cambridge University. Wandering around the University buildings is gorgeous, you really get the sense of history here – years and years of learnings. You can enter a lot of the University halls and churchs – the King’s College Chapel was a definite highlight. Unfortunately as the weather was quite average when we went, we didn’t get to go punting, but it looks like the ideal quiet afternoon.
We also visited Ely which is very near Cambridge, the home of the epic Ely Cathedral which is well worth a visit. It also has Oliver Cromwells house which is great if you need to get a bit of a history fix!
I can’t do a list without including my home town right?! Manchester I feel has quite a bad rep, but has regenerated so much compared to when I lived there as a youngun. The weather may be average but the culture is just awesome. Not only is it home to a whole lot of museums, the museum of Science and Industry being a real highlight, but the food is where it shines. The Northern Quarter is full of independent bars and restaurants, just waiting to be explored!
If you want to venture further out of the city, then Manchester is also home to a heap of National Trust properties, with Chatsworth being only a short drive away. You could even visit somewhere like https://www.adlingtonhall.com which is also pretty close. In the city itself, John Rylands library is one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve ever seen!
Just across the way from Manchester (which I embarrassingly only learnt recently!), another city having a cultural revival in Liverpool. Like Manchester, it is home to a whole lot of museums especially by the gorgeous docks. The ship museum was a real highlight, learning all about the Titanic and other giant ships which were made or passed through Liverpool.
The ropewalks is similar to the Northern Quarter, and full of independent bars and restaurant. If you want a good night out the Liverpool is definitely a good option – probably why we saw a lot of hen parties whilst we were there! Plus, if you are a Beatles fan then this is the place to visit.
I haven’t yet explored all of Wales, but of what I have seen so far, it is a must visit when you are in the UK. Anglesey is the little island at the very North of Wales and is one of the most beautiful places in Great Britain. It is the ideal place to visit to sit, relax and walk across the sandy dunes. Red Wharf Bay is a gorgeous stop, along with a whole load of those country pubs where you can really unwind, and eat some amazing seafood.
Get yourself over here, stay out of the bigger towns and base yourself at a little B+B, even just driving across the island is gorgeous. Plan some walks and hope that you get some sunshine!
I really struggled to narrow down where in Scotland you should visit, as really, you should do it all!! But going on accessibility, then Loch Lomond is an awesome option as you get such a feel of the highlands, yet it is really only 45 minutes or so out of Glasgow. Loch Lomond is full of lochs, all surrounded by rolling hills and stunning greenery. It is the perfect location as you really have a variety of outdoor activities, from kayaking to hiking to biking. It does feel like you are out in the wilderness and away from the crowds.
As with a lot of these country locations, one of my many joys is finding a country pub which you can trek too, and Scotland is full of them! Pick a pub, have a good walk and then regain all the calories through some hearty pub food. Ideal holiday right there.
Now jumping down the country to Somerset, the pinnacle of beautiful English scenery in my opinion! Around here we have Exmoor National Park, full of rolling hills and little winding lanes. This is very much a walking and driving destination, but one to add to your list as I really don’t think you’ll get better views than in all of England! I still need to explore more of Cornwall, but this is totally an area you should start with.
Now onto one of my all time favourite cities, Edinburgh! Think of all the good bits of London and throw them into a compact area in Scotland and you’ve got it. The city is packed with things to do, from visiting the castle, to wandering down to the Scottish parliament. If you like Harry Potter then this is the destination as there are so many Harry Potter tours!
Again, food and drink is a real highlight here. From gin, to wine, to whisky, it really is the drink lovers dream! Combine that with some haggis (surprisingly delish), black pudding and creamy cranachan, I could probably spend a week here just wandering about and eating everything in sight.
Finally, the bright, cultured town of Brighton, right at the South of England on the coast. Brighton is what I always think of as the traditional British seaside town, but one which has all of the good bits still included. From it’s giant pier sticking out to sea, to it’s pastel houses and winding town streets. Although it is a rocky beach, it’s awesome to wander down along it, getting a 99 flake cone to devour as you go. I don’t think you can come to the UK without really experiencing a British seaside town!
So there we have it, from my 3 years here, the 10 places you need to visit in the UK. I definitely expect this to expand and shift as I continue to explore this lovely isle, but one things for sure, you don’t need to go far to find a hidden travel gem.
Where do you think I should visit in the UK next?