Home to more than 60 million people, the U.K is the first stop on any European road trip. Its capital, London, is perhaps one of the most famous cities on the planet and has a population of eight million. Enclosed by the North Sea on its North side, the Atlantic Ocean to the West, the U.K is also a main point of travel to other must-see European countries like Iceland and Norway.
Fancy a British break away with the family? Perhaps you are headed to the United Kingdom on a business trip and want to see what this territory has to offer? Whatever you desires for discovering the sovereign state, don’t do it without first familiarizing yourself with the top U.K. destinations.
Below, we have cleverly compiled a list of the top 10 attractions in all 4 countries in the United Kingdom that you need to see on your travels.
It is the birthplace of Shakespeare and has evolved into a multicultural country with a thriving economy. Here’s what you need to see during your trip to England:
- Tower of London – Formerly the Fortress and Royal Palace of Her Majesty, the historical Tower of London sits on the northern banks of the River Thames.
- Big Ben – Book your flights from Dublin to London through Expedia if you want to see Ireland first, but do not miss Big Ben! Why would you? The clock tower was built way back in 1859 and its Gothic Revival architecture is incredibly intricately designed.
- Buckingham Palace – Another major attraction in London is where the UK’s sovereigns had officially resided since 1837. The Queen makes frequent appearances inside the palace for events. Public tours of the State Rooms open every summer.
- Hyde Park – Located in Central London is this Grade I-registered park, which is the biggest park of four that make up Kensington Palace’s verdant entrance.
- Stonehenge – Standing tall at 13 feet and stretching 7 feet in width are the stones that form this wonder of the world. Visit to walk on the land where Neolithic ancestors once walked.
- Hadrian’s Wall – Also known as the Roman Wall, this ancient structure was built as a defensive fortification when emperor Hadrian was the Roman emperor (117-138).
- Peak District – Located in central England is this wildlife-rich national park. It is most well-known for its stepping stones in White Peak. If you enjoy hiking, venture up to the highest point at Kinder Scout.
- Roman Baths – The remaining fragments of the Temple of Aquae Sulis are housed inside this well-preserved Roman site. A hot spring feeds the Roman baths.
- North York Moors – Molded by nature, this flourishing national park is a place for hiking and sightseeing at ruined Whitby Abbey.
- Eden Project – An educational center and eco park, the spectacular domes at this park contain thousands of plants from all corners of the globe.
Hiker’s and nature lovers are overwhelmed by the beauty of Wales, which sits in Great Britain’s southwestern segment. When you venture to this coastal country, visit the following top destinations :
- Snowdonia – Reach Mount Snowdon’s summit on a train journey along the Snowdon Mountain Railway when you visit this sublime regional park.
- Cardiff Castle – A medieval castle in the capital of Wales, this 11th-century structure was constructed by Norman invaders.
- Hafod Estate – A landscaped estate enclosed by trees, Hafod Uchtryd was formerly used as a hunting lodge. The drive to the estate is considered one of the 10 most scenic drives in the world, according to the Automobile Association.
- Devils Bridge – Watch as the water crashes down to a wooded gorge at this tourist attraction in Pontarfynach. Legend has it the Devil was the creator of this bridge!
- Brecon Beacons National Park – Come rain or shine, this national park is perfect for wandering amidst fresh water springs, waterfalls and various tree species. Consider it Wales’ version of Pandora – remember, that extraordinary tree-filled planet on the movie Avatar? It might not be as colorful as Pandora, but it’s certainly as enchanting.
- Caernarfon Castle – A medieval fortress that is maintained by the Welsh Government, this huge structure dominates the scene from across the River Seiont.
- Portmeirion – Based in a Gwynedd, North Wales is this village. It seems a little out of place in Wales, since it was designed to replicate the architectural style of a traditional Italian village!
- Pembrokeshire Coast – Spend a day breathing in the fresh British air as you explore this coastal region, which claimed its title as a National Park in 1952.
- Anglesey – An adventure to this sandy island in Wales will require a journey along the Menai Suspension Bridge and the Britannia Bridge.
- Llechwedd Slate Caverns – An underground attraction in Snowdonia, this historic deep mine is open for public tours. When you leave, you’ll have increased your understanding of the area’s sate quarrying history.
The northernmost part of the U.K. is home to Scotland. Arguably one of the most beautiful countries on the planet, it features iconic castles, lush green valleys, large lakes and the following attractions:
- Loch Ness – The freshwater abyss that is, according to legend, home to the Loch Ness Monster, this freshwater loch covers an area of 56.4 km².
- Edinburgh Castle – This iconic tourist attraction in Scotland stands on top of an extinct volcano!
- Ben Nevis – A pony track and hiking paradise, Ben Nevis is the tallest mountain in the British Isles at a height of 4,411 feet above sea level.
- Urquhart Castle – With ruins dating back to the 14th and 16th centuries, history lovers will not want to miss a visit to this former ancient battle ground.
- Arthur’s Seat – You may not be able to drive to the summit of this high-rising mountain peak, but you can hike to the top, which is 251 meters!
- Museum of Scotland – Interested in art, design, science, technology, fashion or nature? Inside this museum, you can explore collections that cover absolutely everything!
- Mary King’s Close – Step back in time as you walk through the underground streets and spaces that make up this ancient close in Edinburgh’s Old Town.
- Glenfinnan Viaduct – Steam trains leave a white trail of smoke that creates a stark contrast against the greenery enclosing this West Highland Line railway viaduct.
- Scottish National Gallery – A neoclassical structure that first opened in 1859, this national art gallery was designed by William Henry Playfair.
- National War Museum – This Edinburgh-based museum tells the story of Scotland’s former battles with its display of military artifacts.
A country filled with Christian and Celtic monuments that give visitors a glimpse into its past, Northern Ireland’s landscape merges glacial valleys with ancient landmarks. The following destinations should be included on your travel itinerary:
- Giant’s Causeway – An ancient volcanic eruption led to the creation of this distinctively shaped attraction, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Botanic Gardens – Open to the public, this 28-acre park is a vibrant landscape of herb-fringed gardens, trees and a bright red rose garden.
- Ulster Museum – Learn about Egyptian mummies, dinosaurs, art, natural sciences and a whole lot more inside this museum, which displays artifacts over an area of 8,000 square metres.
- Tollymore Forest Park – Established in 1955 as Northern Ireland’s first state forest park, Tollymore Forest Park contains wildlife such as red squirrels, wild deer and woodpeckers amidst a green scene of birch, Oak, beech and giant redwood trees.
- Titanic Belfast – The iceberg-struck ship’s story is told inside this maritime heritage attraction, from the very beginning of her construction to her sinking in 1912.
- Enniskillen Castle – More than 600 years ago, this 16th-century castle was built alongside the River Erne in County Fermanagh. Visit to browse military memorabilia and to walk around the ancient courtyard.
- Old Bushmills Distillery – Ireland’s oldest operating distillery has been producing Bushmills whiskey for over 400 years.
- Castlewellan Forest Park – Walk around this national park with water on one side and a variation of tree species on the other! The various types of trees come from Asia, Australasia, and North and South America.
- Slieve Donard – Covering six acres of private land, this resort and spa is based close to the ocean at the foot of the Mountains of Mourne.
- Anne’s Cathedral – You may have heard of this attraction being called Belfast Cathedral. It exhibits Hiberno-Romanesque style architecture and is a Church of Ireland cathedral.
So no matter where you end up going, you are sure to fall in love with the U.K. So look up some packing tips and set up your travel plans because you’re going to eventually knock each and every one of these amazing destinations off of your list.