The UK is a stunning place to visit on your holidays, with a huge variety of attractions, from cosmopolitan cities to flowing countryside, sensational coastline to quaint country villages.
The best thing is that all these treasures are parked within a very small distance of each other, so you can sample a bit of everything in a very short amount of time.
Below we’ve highlighted some of the most breathtaking sights and things to do in the UK before you die. All of which you could get to within a few hours drive of each other at the most. What’s not to love?
Beaches of Cornwall
With a coastline stretching for over 250 miles Cornwall has no shortage of fantastic beaches and coves, over 150 to put a number on it making it one of the best places to see in England before you die. These range from secluded, barely accessible rocky coves to huge expanses of golden sand on the Atlantic coast. Visit www.cornwall-beaches.co.uk for more information.
Clifton is located just a few miles out of the centre of Bristol. It has stunning Georgian architecture, The Clifton Suspension Bridge and Zoo. It has a great selection of individual shops and restaurants. Clifton was home to Keith Floyds first-ever restaurant and The Ivy have recently opened up a restaurant in the centre of Clifton.
The Lake District
The Lake District is a region and national park in Cumbria in northwest England. A popular vacation destination, it’s known for its glacial ribbon lakes, rugged fell mountains and historic literary associations. Market towns such as Kendal, Ambleside and Keswick on scenic Derwentwater are bases for exploring the area and home to traditional inns, galleries of local art and outdoor equipment shops.
Whitby is a seaside town that rests along the North Yorkshire coast at the mouth of the River Esk in the United Kingdom. Whitby visitors will find that Whitby possesses uniquely diverse claims to fame. The well-known explorer Captain James Cook began his famous sailing adventures here. Legendary writer Bram Stoker experienced a stroke of genius in Whitby when he first conceived the idea for his classic novel Dracula.
The town also has continued fame for its reputation as one of the UK’s primary fishing ports and tourist destinations.
Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire
On the banks of the river Wharfe in the Yorkshire Dales, this country estate is the Yorkshire home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. Visitors are drawn to the breathtaking countryside and impeccably well-maintained site. The surfaced paths along the riverside and through the ancient woodlands, offer walks to suit all ages and abilities, all year round. Visitors are invited to explore the Priory Ruins which stands proudly on the banks of the Wharfe and discover how it might have been in the thriving Priory Church. This is one of our favourite places in the Dales and should definitely make your list of places to see in England before you die.
Popular with both the English themselves and visitors from all over the world, the Cotswolds are well-known for gentle hillsides (‘wolds’), sleepy villages and for being so ‘typically English’.
There are famous cities such as Bath, well-known beautiful towns like Cheltenham and hundreds of delightful villages such as Burford and Castle Combe. Above all, the local honey-coloured limestone, used for everything from the stone floors in the houses to the tiles on the roof, has ensured that the area has a magical uniformity of architecture making it one of the best place to see in England before you die.
Devon is a county in southwest England. It encompasses sandy beaches, fossil cliffs, medieval towns and moorland national parks. The English Riviera is a series of picturesque, south-coast harbour towns including Torquay, Paignton and Brixham. The South West Coast Path follows the coastline, taking in the towering cliffs of the northern Exmoor Coast and rock formations on the fossil-rich southern Jurassic Coast.
Brighton is an English seaside resort town. About an hour south of London by train, it’s a popular day-trip destination. Its broad shingle beach is backed by amusement arcades and Regency-era buildings. Brighton Pier, in the central waterfront section, opened in 1899 and now has rides and food kiosks. The town is also known for its nightlife, attracting many hen and stag parties, arts scene, shopping and festivals.
In the city that inspired great minds from Charles Darwin to Stephen Hawking, you’ll find one of the world’s oldest universities, the 1871 Gothic- revival All Saints Church and the gardens favoured by 17th-century poet John Milton. Cambridge is also home to ADC Theatre, the oldest university playhouse in England.
The Eden Project, Cornwall
Here, massive Biomes housing the largest rainforest in captivity, stunning plants, exhibitions and stories serve as a backdrop to our striking contemporary gardens, summer concerts and exciting year-round family events
Windsor Castle, Windsor
Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. It has been the family home of British kings and queens for almost 1,000 years. It is an official residence of Her Majesty The Queen, whose standard flies from the Round Tower when she is in residence.
The British Museum, London
The British Museum is dedicated to human history, art and culture, and is located in the Bloomsbury area of London.
Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire
Stratford-upon-Avon, a medieval market town in England’s West Midlands, is the 16th-century birthplace of William Shakespeare. Possibly the most famous writer in the English language.
Big Ben, London
Big Ben is actually the name of the clock, not the tower it sits in, this is called St Stephens Tower.
Edinburgh is Scotland’s compact, hilly capital. It has a medieval Old Town and elegant Georgian New Town with gardens and neoclassical buildings. Looming over the city is Edinburgh Castle, home to Scotland’s crown jewels and the Stone of Destiny, used in the coronation of Scottish rulers. Arthur’s Seat is an imposing peak in Holyrood Park with sweeping views, and Calton Hill is topped with monuments and memorials.
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, 2 miles west of Amesbury and 8 miles north of Salisbury.
Snowdonia is a region in northwest Wales concentrated around the mountains and glaciers of massive Snowdonia National Park. The park’s historic Snowdon Mountain Railway climbs to the summit of Wales’s highest mountain, Mount Snowdon, offering views across the sea to Ireland. The park is also home to an extensive network of trails, over 100 lakes and craggy peaks like Cedar Idris and Tryfan.
Bath is a town set in the rolling countryside of southwest England, known for its natural hot springs and 18th-century Georgian architecture. Honey-coloured Bath stone has been used extensively in the town’s architecture, including at Bath Abbey, noted for its fan-vaulting, tower and large stained-glass windows. The museum at the site of the original Roman-era Baths includes The Great Bath, statues and a temple.
Hampton Court Palace, Surrey
Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace in the town of East Molesey, Richmond upon Thames, Greater London, England, 11.7 miles south-west and upstream of central London on the River Thames.
Ben Nevis, Scottish Highlands
Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles, located in Scotland. Standing at 1,345 metres (4,411 ft) above sea level, it is located at the western end of the Grampian Mountains in the Lochaber area of the Scottish Highlands, close to the town of Fort William.
Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
The Giant’s Causeway is an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. It is also known as Clochán an Aifir or Clochán na bhFomhórach in Irish and the Giant’s Causey in Ulster-Scots
Borough Market, London
Borough Market is a wholesale and retail food market in Southwark, Central London, England. It is one of the largest and oldest food markets in London. In 2014, it celebrated its 1,000th birthday.
Isle of Skye, Scotland
The Isle of Skye, connected to Scotland’s northwest coast by bridge, is known for its rugged landscapes, picturesque fishing villages and medieval castles. The largest island in the Inner Hebrides archipelago, it has an indented coastline of peninsulas and narrow lochs, radiating out from a mountainous interior. The town of Portree, a base for exploring the island, features harbourside pubs and boutiques.
If that hasn’t whet your whistle for a trip to the UK then we don’t know what will!