Discovering and experiencing international cultures might be the key to happiness for a lot of people, but even the most intrepid explorer appreciates the wonders on their doorstep or close by. It’s easy to become immune to the beauty that the UK has to offer if you have lived there your whole life, but visitors from across the globe also rarely seem to know about the amazing British cities outside of London. Here is a guide to five hotspots in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Antrim, Northern Ireland
County Antrim in Northern Ireland offers huge stretches of unspoilt coastline, dotted with medieval ruins and natural wonders like the Giant’s Causeway. Glenariff Forest Park, also known as ‘Queen of the Glens’, boasts a unique three-mile-long waterfall walkway. Dunluce Castle is a medieval landmark perched on a crag, offering tours that teach visitors about its fascinating history. Belfast is the country’s capital city, fast emerging as a cosmopolitan hub for great shopping, dining and entertainment. Try some Irish whiskey at Crown Liquor Saloon or watch some comedy at Empire Belfast.
Scotland’s capital city is thick with historical myths and tales. The city welcomes you with its medieval Edinburgh Castle, overlooking the city from its craggy nest. Take a tour of the building then make your way along the Royal Mile to soak up street performances and maybe even one of the hugely popular ghost tours. If you have your walking boots, trek up Arthur’s Seat for glorious panoramic views of the city. Edinburgh has an amazing dining scene for all budgets, with inexpensive cool joints including Burger Meats Bun, The Rosehip, and Indigo Yard. End an evening at one of the artisan cocktail bars such as Panda & Son’s or Bon Vivant.
Ah, the land of the valleys! Anglesey sits in the north of Wales, with a seriously dramatic landscape. Lligwy Bay is a lovely beach where you can spot dolphins and seals, Beaumaris is a 13th century castle with UNESCO World Heritage status, and South Stack lighthouse offers peaceful views for some time out from the hubbub of life. This is a great part of the UK for people who love the great outdoors and nipping into a local pub for some hearty grub and an ale.
Home to great cities like York, Sheffield and Leeds, along with the famous North Yorkshire Moors, seaside towns and many a quaint village, Yorkshire is a diverse and vast county. For cheap holidays that take you back to childhood, head to Filey or Scarborough in the summer for some beach fun. If you fancy a weekend of brilliant shopping and fun nightlife, Leeds is your best bet. For beautiful walks, make your way up Ilkley Moor then find inspiration to write at Bronte House in Haworth. York is an extremely historical city with interactive dungeons and a Roman wall to walk around.
Well it had to make the list; it is a world-class city after all. Be a tourist for the day by making your way around the sights that make this city so great. Get your photo taken at Platform 9 3/4 at London King’s Cross (you know you want to), take a guided tour around Tower of London to relive its grim and gory past, pop by Buckingham Palace, and take a boat trip on a sunny day to sit back and see the sights. At night time you’re spoilt for choice, but Camden offers some great pubs for a lively evening.
The UK is an amazing holiday destination, with many a city, town and village to visit from top to bottom.
DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by First Choice.