THE BEST UK DESTINATIONS YOU MUST VISIT NOW
UK destinations, especially for nationals can sometimes go overlooked in favour for international alternatives, however the island has an incredible amount to offer, Think some of the richest regal history in the world, the Jurassic coastline and a contrast in landscapes from rugged to plains to the romanticism of the coast. There are even hidden gems only known to a handful as well as plenty of adventures to be had not a million miles away from home benefitting the planet and it’s on-going debate of survival and resources in the future.
UK destinations are some of the most charming and quaint in the world, used as filming locations and the backdrop of documentaries, maybe now is the time to compile a bucket list of UK destinations and celebrating their fineness?
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- UK Destinations to add to your Bucketlist.
- Village UK Destinations
- Wales UK Destinations
- Scotland UK Destinations
- England UK Destinations
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UK Destinations to add to your Bucketlist.
Village UK Destinations
Bisbrooke (A small village straddling an ironstone ridge between two brooks as the name suggests) is the complete epitome of an English village, located in the county of Rutland in the East Midlands. It was once the property of the Sheriff of Rutland, Edward Andrews but Today Bisbrooke is a sleepy, almost French-accented, small village surrounded by varying hues of lush green hills. At the centre of the village is the Parish Church, St John the Baptist, dating back to 1871 in it’s present state, with the tower being completed in 1914 and being given Grade II listing in 1955. A circus family lives in the village and an elephant once walked the main road through Bisbrooke.
Related Article: A Pretty Village in Rutland
Another dreamy village in the county of Rutland, Seaton is more understated with a population of around 250 having a classic mix of thatched and stoned cottages. Many of the cottages are quaint holidays lets for those wanting to explore the adjoining countryside.
The Village Hall is the epicentre of Village life with a whole host of activities being hosted here as well as the local country pub, The George and Dragon’ so if you fancy a country drive, you can pop in for a bite to eat and a quench thirsting beverage with friendly service. Meet the friendly locals, hear their stories and get a feeling of this little community.
Related Article: Introducing Seaton: A Village in Rutland
Harringworth is the prettiest village located in East Northamptonshire very close to the border of the county of Rutland. As you enter the village one of the dominating structures that overwhelms you is the Welland Viaduct, amidst the backdrop of lush green countryside. It stretches nearly three quarters of a mile and has 82 arches, measuring 70 feet high. It was built in the times of the steam train to carry the former Midland railway across the picturesque Welland Valley and the enchanting waters and meadows of the River Welland. The village is also home to a pub, a cute outdoor bicycle cafe named Spokes during the summer months and a craft store.
Related Article: Harringoworth: A Village in Northamptonshire
Tucked away in the impressive county of Rutland, Exton is the epitome of quintessential chocolate box houses and it has been deemed one of the most beautiful villages in Rutland. It’s easy to see why. It has a traditional village green standing at the heart of its community with a pretty scattering of stoned cottages, which date back 300 years. Also on the village green is Exton’s, local watering hole, The Fox & Hounds.
The local hall is steeped in history and much of the land and rental housing belong to the estate. Exton Hall is principally the private home of Viscount Campden, his wife and their three children. The estate is also used as a wedding venue, private functions, as a filming location, farming land and shooting. UK Destinations villages don’t come better than this little find in Rutland.
Related Article: Exton: A Quintessentially English Village in Rutland
Entering via the large wrought iron gates of Tissington is rather like stepping back into time. Drive down an avenue of 200 year old lime trees and at the end be met by the village. On first glimpse, you will see the well manicured communal spaces and gardens of the villagers and limestone cottages from storybooks. The landscape is peppered with huge old trees, grass verges and stone work delivering an air of calm and relaxation but yet not over engineered and created by nature. The village is predominantly managed by the Fitzherbert family (since the reign of Queen Elizabeth I) who reside in the elegant Jacobean Manor, surrounded by a walled garden, known as Tissington Hall. Tissington is a great place to use as a base to explore the close-by Derbyshire Dales. It also has a number of restaurants, cafes and a quaint village sweet and ice-cream shop.
Related Article: Introducing the Picturesque Village of Tissington
The delightful village of Rockingham is located on the border of Northamptonshire and Leicestershire and north of Corby on the edge of the beautiful Welland Valley. Inhabited by only around 110 people it has all the necessities that a small village would desire including a beautiful church, local shop, tea rooms, a pub, village hall, a bed and breakfast and a castle accompanied by stunning gardens! Rockingham is the perfect base for a weekend break or a perfect day trip destination that will leave you reeling to return with its chocolate box houses and warm local welcome. Oh and Clarke Gable and Charles Dickens have said to have passed through Rockingham….sold?!
Related Article: A Beautiful Weekend Village Escape in Rockingham
Lavenham, located in the heart of the stunning Suffolk countryside, is considered to be Britain’s best preserved medieval village and one of Suffolk’s most important wool towns. Medieval charm can be found at every turn with timber framed buildings lining the narrow streets and lanes leading up to the impressive market place. There is a rich history to discover – Lavenham was the 14th richest town in Tudor England thanks to its famous Lavenham Blue broadcloth.
Over 300 buildings are listed as being of architectural and historic interest, including the beautiful and stately church of St Peter and St Paul, The Guildhall, Little Hall, and De Vere House to name but a few.
Today Lavenham is a thriving village with a strong community spirit. It is a hub of independent boutique shops and galleries, fantastic restaurants, chic hotels and luxury holiday cottages, plenty of cafes and pubs, and has a full diary of events and activities for locals and visitors alike.
Be sure to stay at The Swan Hotel in Lavenham, quite the village constitution and perfect for a weekend UK getaway.
Wales UK Destinations
Pembrokeshire lies on the most westerly fringe of the UK in South Wales where the sea meets on three sides of the shore, with magnificent, secluded bays and incredible rock formations, lending formidable landscapes.
The area is protected by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park featuring 186 miles of meandering trail consisting of coves, harbours, over 50 beaches through traditional fishing villages and towns.
Places to add to your Itinerary:
- Cwm Deri Vineyard
- Carew Narberth
- Bosherton Lily Ponds
- St Govan’s Chapel
- Tenby & Tenby North Beach
- Sprinkle Haven Beach
- Barafundle Bay
- Broad Haven South Beach
- Broad Haven North Beach
- Freshwater West Beach
- Little Haven
- St. David’s
Swansea Bay & The Gower Peninsula
Swansea County and city are located in South Wales and comprises of Swansea Bay, The Gower Peninsula, Langland Bay and The Mumbles, collectively, covering some 380 kilometres of land surrounded by one of the most beautiful coastlines imaginable. Think rugged coastal vistas, city vibes and old Victorian fishing villages.
It’s hard to imagine that Swansea only occupies 2% of Wales but that just adds to its unique offerings making it more attractive and exciting to visit. Swansea is Wale’s Cultural City and home to the UK’s first area of outstanding natural beauty, known as The Gower Peninsula. Whatever your travel style includes, there is something here for everyone! Luxury hotels, delicious foodie spots, walks along the rugged coastline, discovering hidden bays and pristine award-winning beaches to hair-raising activities for the adventure lovers! A plethora of local galleries for the art-lovers, and coffee stops serving the famous Gower coffee. Expect to be wooed by Swansea Bays castles and caves that form it’s magnificent heritage.
Scotland UK Destinations
Scotland’s most iconic and richly cultured city is a must for anyone visiting Scotland. So much to see and do from the Queens special palace of Holyrood to energetic activities such as climbing Arthur’s seat as well as the plethora of walks. The gastro scene is absolutely knockout, with a number of fine dining and traditional Scottish cuisine being served up and then there’s the whiskey tasting! Surrounded by hills and glorious scenery, Edinburgh is a photographers dream. Just outside the city centre, you’ll find Turkish baths and the city’s seaside to a breathtaking sculpture park full to art.
Glasgow, Scotland’s second largest city and the UK’s fourth was previously known for its more industrial, grainy side but in recent years has reformed itself into a cultural hub with a creative side. It’s even managed to win some accolades such as UNESCO city of Music, European city of Culture in 1990. It’s a city that combines beautiful architecture from old tenements, sandstone ornate corning to more modern structures.
Glasgow has it all in terms of museums, quirky shops, music venues, local hidden gems and a trendy dining scene. Glasgow is a city whose potentional is completely under-rated and needs to be at the forefront of any Scottish itinerary, after-all it is known to be the gateway to Loch Lomond.
The Trossachs & Loch Lomand
Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is celebrated for the scenic quality of its landscapes and highly valued for its rich natural and cultural heritage. Here are a few things that make the National Park special
The landscape includes lochs, coastlines, forests and the contrasts where the highlands and lowlands meet. The heritage here is steeped in history including ruined castles, charming towns and villages and even archaeological discoveries.
Some of the best ways to discover is by driving through the winding roads or simply taking one of the many boat trips out into the lochs to get up close and personal with nature.
The East Neuk of Fife
The Neuk is the Scottish reference to Nook and comprises of the eastern and coastal parts of the Kingdom of Fife. Think the famous St. Andrews town with its world-renowned golf course as well as West Sands, its beautiful sandy beach. The area consists of some stunning coastal locations such as Crail, Anstruther, Elie, Earlsferry, Pittenweem and St Monan’s, all linked via a coastal path. For a perfect stay, rent a holiday cottage and enjoy the slow pace of village life with plenty of micro businesses and local catch of the day, it’s definitely a location with all the relaxing vibes and picture perfect fishing villages.
Located in the beautiful Highlands of Perthshire, Pitlochry has plenty of outdoor pursuits to see you entertained from hikes, quad biking, cycling to golf. But if that doesn’t take your fancy, I guarantee the woodlands and landscapes of the Hermitage will. Breathtaking scenery, legends and a waterfall. There’s always the Blair Atholl Distillery for a spot of whiskey tasting and the Atholl Palace Museum as well as plenty of foodie spots to eat your way through the delicious locally sourced nosh.
Related Article: Saorsa 1875: The UK’s First Vegan Hotel
England UK Destinations
Leicester is the city well known for the discovery of the last Plantagenet King, Richard III’s remains and now his last resting place, the underdogs of football who won the premiership league in 2016, the world class Leicester Tigers Rugby Club and not to mention it’s connection to many playwrights, most notable being Sue Townsend and Joe Orton and then there’s it’s links with the great David Attenborough!
Leicester, or the once Roman city of Ratae Corieltauvorum, well…. there really isn’t anywhere quite like it. The immersive mix of cultures, the food, the diversity and surroundings are simply like no other. It is a city that is completely captivating and inspiring and also home to be-lavie.
Leicester’s surrounding countryside, has many ruins to visit which have been lovingly restored by English Heritage. Opting for annual affordable membership is a great way to see more of these historical places throughout the country.
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The delightful county of Norfolk located in East Anglia, has long been a hot spot for holidays and weekend getaways and it’s apparent to see why. Norfolk is like fine wine, it has the best of everything. Imagine long stretches of never-ending sandy beaches synonymous of Australia, lush green forests, vistas of picturesque countryside scenes with quaint villages, lavender fields, fish and chips on harbour surrounded by colourful shipping boats, not to mention some of the best award-winning gastro pubs and fine dining establishments in the country. It’s also a place that you will never run out of discovering more and more, leaving you reeling for another visit. You get the wine analogy now right?! Oh and if you don’t like the country bumpkin life, there’s the gorgeous and oldest preserved medieval city of Norwich to discover.
Norfolk is also home to a few National Trust points of interest, having membership means you don’t. have to pay anything further for parking, making the option to get membership pretty attractive, especially for families.
Places to add to your itinerary
- Kings Lynn
- Holkham Beach
- Brancaster Beach
- Morston Quay
- Burnham Market
- Norfolk Lavender, Heacham
Located in East Anglia in the county of Norfolk, lies the UK’s most complete medieval city dating back over 1000 years featuring over 1,500 historic buildings within it’s walls and 33 medieval churches (more than any other in Northern Europe). Norwich is small enough to wander by foot and makes the perfect weekend getaway with plenty of culture, arts, antique shopping, a wonderful foodie scene, riverside walks and ivy fronted Georgian houses in it’s stunning Cathedral Quarter. Hidden gems galore to be discovered just walking the winding cobble-stone streets of the likes of Elm Hill, or taking in the views of the city, or scanning the independents shops and Victorian arcades.
Related Article A Guide to the Very Best of Norwich
The capital of England and the Big Smoke cannot be beaten, with its red buses, landmarks, galleries, history and the residence of HRH. With so many areas and boroughs to visit all different and full of diversity and culture, London is really up there. The foodie scene is immense as is the utterly incredible street art, oh and of course the hoe of the royals. Whether it’s regular tourist spots that you fancy, the Chelsea and Westminster vibes, a touch of Covent Garden splendidness or the hip vibes of Shoreditch, London is always most certainly a very good idea and one to be added to each UK visit and to be frequented by nationals at least a couple of times per year!
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Plymouth is a vibrant waterfront city packed full of attractions, activities, shopping, entertainment and sightseeing. Plymouth is surrounded by countryside and marine environment beyond.
There are well-known landmarks, historical sites and natural assets to explore across Plymouth’s many unique areas and districts. Wander the Barbican’s quaint cobbled quayside following in the Mayflower Pilgrims’ footsteps or visit the National Marine Aquarium with its deepwater fish tanks.
Sample Plymouth’s finest export at the Plymouth Gin Distillery or take a boat trip around the Sound from the Mayflower Steps. There’s more family fun to be had up on the Hoe where you can climb the iconic Smeaton’s Tower lighthouse, take the plunge at Tinside Lido, the restored Art Deco swimming pool or simply take in the panoramic view of busy boating activity from this stunning natural amphitheatre.
Further afield you can stroll round the many stately homes and gardens, get up close to some big cats at Dartmoor Zoological Park, or go for a hike or bike ride through the magnificent Dartmoor National Park.
Plymouth is also located at the mouth of the River Tamar, set in the UK’s youngest area of outstanding natural beauty. Unspoilt and still relatively unknown, the Tamar Valley retains it’s unique character and beauty. Take the Tamar Valley Train or a boat trip, it’s well worth exploring the surrounding area.
Visitors to Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City, can enjoy many days out with the whole family as some of the most popular attractions cater for all.
North Yorkshire Coast
The North Yorkshire coastline spans from the Tees to the Humber Estuaries. This beautiful but under-rated area (in my opinion) of coastline of UK destinations boasts a plethora of open spaces, fresh bracing sea air and is a haven for seafood lovers! It also offers some of the best coastal abodes and attractions, from historical and heritage sites, challenging activities for those who like to expel their energy, art-filled culture and sheer unadulterated relaxation with many secluded beaches and the mind-blowing towering cliffs, making this expansive stretch of land and sea, a UK destination that offers something for everyone.
Places to add to your itinerary
- Runswick Bay
- Robin Hood’s Bay
The city of Bath is steeped in almost 2000 years of history and a designated UNESCO World Heritage City. It’s easy to see why from the stunningly elegant crescents lined with decadent town houses surrounding a green synonymous with a period drama!
Visit the worl’ds oldest Roman Baths, the stunning abbey and climb the tower for fabulous views over city or take a stroll down to the Pultney Bridge. Bath is captivating, walk the streets to discover the range of restaurants on offer, and how about tea at the Pump Room with a view of the Roman baths? Check into one of the many classy hotels, have a dip in the rooftop Thermae Spa pool or scope out the markets, the choice is yours. Oh and literature fans, be sure to checkout The jane Austen centre to learn of her life works and tour in her footsteps!
Related Post: The Ultimate Weekend Guide to bath
Birmingham is the biggest city outside of London, and also the largest but one of the most popular UK destinations in the Midlands for shopping.. Due to this it draws the attention of a wide number of travellers from around the world. The heart and soul of this city really started with the industrial revolution, where scientific developments pushed the city to stardom. Birmingham has a variety of museums, parks and beautiful music halls. It is also a great place centrally in the country to meet with its great canal network as well as international airport, fancy hotels, great shopping and oh the Jewellery quarter. Try out some of the restaurants along the Brindley place with views over the canal and spend the day in this vibrant city which boasts a melting pot of cultures. A little like Leicester but on a larger scale.
UK destinations are some of the most unique in the world as seen through the lens of be-lavie. A UK destinations bucket list cannot be complete without visiting its enchanting villages, historical cities and clifftops leading down to iconic fishing villages.