Planning to visit the UK? Great idea! People often visit London only but there’s a lot more than that in England. In fact the UK consists of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The UK is not big so it’s very easy to travel from one part of the country to another. That’s good news, there are many places to see: castles, museums, art galleries, architecture… What to do in the UK? Here’s a list of the best places to visit in the UK, then I’ll share UK travel tips.
Places to visit in the UK
Bath is one of the best towns to visit in England. It’s not big but there are many things to do there. It’s named after the Roman baths, which have been all over the city for more than 2,000 years. It’s said the waters have healing properties. It’s not possible to enjoy the Roman baths of that era but there are several spas, such as the Thermae Bath Spa.
Admire the Georgian architecture of the city, and go to the Circus, the Royal Crescent and the Bath Abbey. You can also go to Stonehenge which is not far. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
No need to introduce London, the capital of the country. It’s one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. You’ll find there stores, restaurants, pubs, museums, markets, parks… There are numerous things to see in London: Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guard, Big Ben, the Westminster Palace, Tower Bridge, London Eye, Picadilly Circus, Sky Garden, the numerous parks, markets, museums, etc. I wrote a detailed article about my visit to London. Here’s where to stay in London. Click here to find the best activities.
Brighton is on the coast, only one hour away from London. It’s one of the best places to go in the UK. It’s home to many quirky shops and a big gay scene. Have a walk at the Pier, a walking path along the sea. Have fish and chips in a restaurant along the beach. And don’t miss the Royal Pavilion. You’ll feel like being in Asia, not in the UK! Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
York is a charming medieval town in the north. It’s one of the most beautiful cities in the UK. Mostly because you’ll find there the nicest cathedrals of the country, especially York Minster dating back to 627! You have a stunning view atop this cathedral! You also have to see the ancient City Walls around the old medieval city center. Take photos of The Shambles, one of the most famous medieval streets of York.
Visit the National Royal Museum, highlighting old steam engines. And don’t forget Jorvik Viking Centre, to learn about the the cities Nordic heritage. Here’s a one-day York itinerary. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
Cambridge is known for being a students city. Its university is the world’s 4th oldest surviving university, dating back to 1284! Take some time to admire the historic buildings and enjoy the most popular activity of Cambridge: a punt tour along the beautiful river Cam.
Also head atop the Great St. Mary’s church for the wonderful view. Since many students live there, there are many festivals, live music, bars and art galleries. Here’s a guide to a Cambridge day trip. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
Liverpool is known all over the world for two reasons: its two major football teams and the Beatles. Head to the Cavern Club, where the Beatles performed 300 times. Or The Beatles Story, a museum dedicated to them. But there are also nice green spaces in Liverpool and cool museums such as the Merseyside Maritime Museum or the Museum of Liverpool. Enjoy a boat ride on the Mersey Ferry. Wanna know more? Here are famous landmarks in Liverpool! Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
Manchester, also called the Capital of the North, is known for its football teams but there’s more than that! It was an industrial city, which is now very modern. Don’t miss the Manchester Cathedral, Manchester Art Gallery an the Science and Industry museum. You also have to see John Rylands Library. Chinatown offers great Asian dishes!
Oh and of course you have to see one of the major football stadiums of the city: Old Trafford and/or Etihad Stadium. By the way, the National Football Museum in the city is the largest football museum in the world. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland. The Edinburgh castle overlooks the city, you won’t miss it. But there are also many museums, green spaces and art galleries. Head there if you’re looking for nice cities to visit in the UK. Visit the National Museum of Scotland, Royal Mile which is a street with boutique shops, cafés and restaurants, and the Holyrood Palace. In the summer, there’s a famous festival called Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
Oxford, located northwest of London, is also a student city. There’s a long rivalry with Cambridge! Oxford’s University is the oldest English-speaking university in the world. Head to Carfax Tower with its fine views over the city center. Have a walk at High Street and admire the old buildings. You have to see Bodleian Library, home to more than 11 million volumes. It’s served as the backdrop for several Harry Potter movies. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
Bristol is in the southwest of England. It’s the hometown of Banksy. Bristol is modern with its bars and trendy restaurants, and at the same time old with its museums, its cathedral and art galleries. Take a boat trip along the river Avon, admire the Bristol Cathedral and don’t miss the Suspension Bridge. Bristol is one of the best places to visit in England. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland, but Belfast is not that big. This is where the Titanic was built, and this is where Game of Thrones was filmed. There are many green spaces, bars, restaurants, and a mix of Georgian and modern architecture. Have a walk at Cathedral Quarter, a lively area with many pubs and restaurants. Go to the St. George Market on the weekend and admire the Belfast city hall. Click here to find your accommodation. Click here to find the best activities.
Nottingham is called the Queen of the Midlands. This is where Robin Hood comes from, the Sherwood Forest is not far! You have to see the Nottingham Castle and the Robin Hood statue just outside the castle walls. Also head to Slab Square and Wollaton Hall Park. Have a drink at Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, probably the oldest pub in England (more than 800-years-old). Click here to find your accommodation.
That was a list of the many things to do in the UK! If you have a car, check out this post listing the best road trips in the UK! Now here are a few UK travel tips!
UK travel budget
- Accommodation in the UK is a bit more expensive than our Western standards. One night in a hostel dorm costs around 15-30 GBP ($20-40). One night in a mid-range hotel costs about 40-100 GBP ($55-135). Prices start at 150 GBP ($200) per night to stay in a luxury hotel. Click here to find your accommodation.
- Food is also more expensive than our Western standards. A snack costs around 6 GBP ($8). Same for fast food. Asian food costs about 10 GBP ($13.50). Eating at the restaurant costs around 20 GBP ($27).
- Regarding transportation, in big cities there’s public transportation. A bus ride costs about 4 GBP. To get around in the country, there’s also the bus. A bus ride costs about 15-30 GBP ($20-40). A train ride costs between 20 and 60 GBP ($27-80). Domestic flights aren’t expensive but since it’s a small country, the same journey is faster by train. Prices start at 35 GBP ($47) per day to rent a car.
- Regarding activities, attractions cost around 10-20 GBP ($13.50-27).
Basically, if you’re traveling on a budget, you can get by with $70 per day. Otherwise you’ll spend about $155+ per day.
How to get around in the UK
In big cities, there’s public transportation (bus, subway…). To get around in the country, there are buses, trains, domestic flights or cars. You can try hitchhiking.
Best time to visit the UK
The best time to visit the UK is from May to September. In winter, it’s really cold, it’s raining and the weather is gloomy. Spring and autumn are good seasons to visit the UK, but it’s often raining.
Visa policy of the UK
If you’re an European citizen or coming from a Western country, you don’t need a visa to visit the UK. You can stay up to six months. All the details here.
Safety in the UK
The UK is a very safe country. There are little scams, like pickpockets in touristy areas, but it’s like in other countries. Just be very careful if you drive, we’re not used to drive on the left side. Again, be vigilant when crossing the street. We tend to watch on the wrong side because of the driving on the left side. Before traveling, don’t forget to get travel insurance. It will protect you against illness, injury, theft and cancellations. Click here to get one.
Packing list for the UK
I’m not gonna list all the things to pack for the UK. I don’t know how long you’re gonna stay there, where you’re going in the UK, what you’re going to do and when you’ll visit. Take all the necessary clothes, toiletries, and also:
- hand sanitizer
- combination locks
- a money belt
- a security cable lock
- a travel plug adapter
- a stainless steel water bottle
- a lifestraw (a water bottle with a purifier)
- a menstrual cup (for the ladies)
Here’s a full list of travel accessories, which can be useful!
What to eat in the UK
The UK isn’t really known for its gastronomy… There’s the famous fish and chips, fried fish and… chips/French fries. There’s also the roast dinner. A dish you enjoy at the pub on Sundays: meat, vegetables and potatoes. Let’s not forget the English breakfast: sausages, eggs, beans, tomatoes, etc.
That’s it! You know everything now to visit the UK!
- Traveling soon? Check out my travel resources page!
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- Always use a VPN when traveling. I use ExpressVPN and I love it. Here’s why use a VPN when traveling.