The top seven things to do in the UK focus on how to ensure you truly experience the key cities and sites during your UK trip.
Whether adventurous and eager to experience the breadth of various countries or interested in taking it slow to indulge in the culture of a single city, the UK presents opportunities for travelers to embrace the historic and bask in scenic wonders at your own pace, always finding another treasure along the way.
With many activities and must-see destinations to choose from, the following experiences in the United Kingdom can reveal the spirit, cultures, and beauty of England, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland.
From the intrigue of a circle of stones to the birthplace of one of the greatest playwrights of all time, spending some time exploring sites and cities is truly enhanced by the fascinating stories that monuments, memorials, and museums have to share with visitors.
They may be simple landmarks, such as the Peter Pan statue, or grand gestures as seen by the Walter Scott Memorial, but each monument shares a story of battles won or lost, on the battlefield or within.
Compelling architecture invites curious minds to explore ancient remnants and gorgeous buildings that house stories of a rich past that blend nicely with modern charm.
Highlights: Stonehenge, England • Walter Scott Memorial, Scotland • Tower of London, England • Six Bells Mining Disaster Monument, Wales • Sentry Hill House, Northern Ireland
The one thing you can be sure of is that if you enjoy hiking, simply strolling down nature’s pathways, or cycling through forests, the UK has a destination for every active traveler. Breathtaking scenery splashes mountains and hills, surrounds lochs and lakes to compliment villages and seaside escapes.
Discover the magic of the Scottish Highlands as you travel past the mighty mountains, cruise on lochs, or walk charming beaches. Venture to unveil waterfalls and lush moors, and drive a scenic pass to find forests and cliffs. There is no doubt that many roads in the stunning UK lead to picture-perfect memories.
Highlights: Scottish Highlands, Scotland • Abergwesyn Pass, Wales • Yorkshire Dales, England • County Down and County Antrim, Northern Ireland • Cornwall, England
Bask in the mirror-like waters that rest peacefully among lush landscapes and forests or nestle just outside quaint villages and towns. Find popular destinations in which to spend time relaxing on the shorelines or taking a boat ride at sunset.
Enjoy thrilling possibilities like water skiing, kayaking, and sailing, or simply wander through the quaint ambiance of a collection of towns. With over 30,000 lochs and 40,000 lakes in the United Kingdom, it is easy to find your ideal inlet or refreshing retreat.
Highlights: Loch Lomond, Scotland • Inverness, Scotland • Windermere Lake, England • Loch Neagh, Northern Ireland • Keeper’s Pond, Wales
Travel by train is magical as it evokes a sense of glamour and discovery.
Whether using a rail journey to get from one destination to another or as part of your adventure, routes in the UK offer luxury inside and beauty outside the train cars as you find dramatic scenery that transitions from villages to countryside to mountain marvels.
Step aboard steam-train greats, explore the Scottish Highlands, follow rolling Welsh hills, or simply relax aboard your passenger train traveling from England and Scotland.
Highlights: Royal Scotsman • British Pullman • Grand Hibernian • Jacobite Steam Train • Northern Belle
You don’t have to go too far to find a magical castle, magnificent palace, or masterful abbey when traveling through the UK. Witness images of royalty, find choreographed soldiers marching to change guard, witness the stunning architecture and history of abbeys in the cities and countryside to find ruins and strong walls fully intact.
Castles offer visitors great history lessons, with artifacts and art donning walls and walkways, manicured gardens as spectacular as the castle’s interior, and open views to the surroundings that provide their own intriguing story.
Highlights: Windsor Castle, England • Inch Abbey, Northern Ireland • Neath Abbey, Wales • Buckingham Palace, England • Westminster Abbey, England • Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Picture quaint towns dressed in Victorian architecture or painted with vibrant colors that contrast perfectly against the beige or white, sandy beaches, framed by the greens and blues of the sea.
In the UK, you can bask in wonderful beach escapes set on the edge of a village square, find small boats bobbing in the water, or discover long, secluded stretches of private coastline inviting you to play. From pristine havens for bathers to dramatic backdrops of cliffs and coves, you can enjoy a resort-style experience or a small piece of paradise on the UK coastline.
Highlights: St Ives Beach, England • Benone Beach, Northern Ireland • Barafundle Bay, Wales • Aberdeen Beach, Scotland • Bournemouth, England
It is whiskey in Ireland and whisky in Scotland, and no matter how you spell it, understanding the making of it and savoring the rich flavors of single Irish malt or a smooth nip of Scotch is a delightful experience.
Visit distilleries to gain knowledge of the process from start to finish, learn fascinating facts about the rich history of the craft, and enjoy a tasting at the end of your experience.
Some locations will require you to venture across the water or travel through seemingly faraway lands to add layers of adventure to your experience. You may even find surprising whisky production in England, where several distilleries add to the diverse landscape.
Highlights: Glenfiddich Distillery, Scotland • Highland Park, Scotland • Old Bushmills Distillery, Northern Ireland • The Echlinville Distillery, Northern Ireland • Spirit of Yorkshire, England
There is no shortage in the number of adventurous, breathtaking, and fascinating things you can do when visiting the UK.
Piecing a few of them together makes for a fantastic and unforgettable overall experience. Spend time learning from historical sites, unwind on the beach or in the countryside, and discover the uniqueness of all four countries as you dare to explore.
Take a look at our UK Tours to learn more about how to plan your perfect experience tailored to your interests and goals.