The United Kingdom is made up of 4 countries with fascinating sights to see and things to do. From steamship trains to the London Eye, this will be an unforgettable journey. The UK, rich in history and culture, is the perfect backdrop to experience jaw-dropping sites from unique angles. Whether you’re in England, North Wales, Scotland, or Northern Ireland, you’ll find offer a variety of experiences for any type of traveler. Choosing the ones to jot down on your list can be a chore, so we’re giving you a head start with our personal favorites. Here are 10 of the best weekend getaways in the UK.
Royals, Rock & Roll, and Sky Views of London
You could spend weeks in London, but a weekend getaway is plenty of time to sample the best of this buzzing city. While you’re here, you’ll certainly want to visit Buckingham Palace. Stay for the changing of the guards, and don’t be shy to stand beside one of them for a selfie. If you wait a bit longer, you might even see the queen herself pass by along with her entourage of corgis. More interested in rock royalty? Head for Abbey Road. Even if you’re not a fan of the Beatles, you’ll still definitely want to take a picture of yourself on the iconic crosswalk. Then, get a bird’s-eye view of the metropolis the London Eye. See Big Ben, the Tower Bridge, and more from above.
Ancient Aliens in Salisbury
Did aliens really visit Earth eons ago? Head down to Salisbury and fire up your curiosity when you visit Stonehenge. No-one knows how this mystical stone circle was built but theories abound. Were they erected by druids? Or aliens? Find answers at the visitor center, which hosts an exhibit all about Stonehenge, featuring archeological relics from the site.
What better way to experience British royalty than to visit one of the monarchy’s best-loved castles? Windsor Castle in Windsor aptly showcases the United Kingdom’s regal side. The gardens are lush and green, while the castle’s interiors are pure opulence. Travel by car, train, or even by the Royal Windsor Steam Express. Hopping on this traditional British steam train is like taking a trip back in time.
Art and Enchantment in Glasgow
Head north to Scotland to explore the city of Glasgow. The vibrant street art scene here means the city is more like an open-air gallery. Stroll past historic murals and cutting edge urban art while you discover the city. If you’ve ever been intrigued by one of the greatest mythical monsters in history, then don’t miss the chance to visit Loch Ness, a stone’s throw from the city. Enjoy the scenery by the shore or hop on a boat to see if you can spot the famous monster in the loch’s depths.
Castles Galore in Edinburgh
If you want to experience history at its most fascinating, make for Edinburgh. This picturesque city is studded with castles, palaces, fortresses, and more. Head to the Royal Deeside Area and see Castle Fraser. Make sure you leave time to stroll through the castle’s 18th century walled garden. If you travel towards Nairn, stop off at Brodie Castle known for its unusual plasterwork and amazing collection of art. Make your way to Loch Leven to experience the fairy-tale beauty of Lochleven Castle, built on an island in the middle of the loch.
Island Adventures in Cornwall
Think of the UK and you probably don’t think of beachy, tropical getaways. But Cornwall, in the south, is a slice of sandy paradise for sun-lovers. St Ives is the perfect base for exploring this beachy region. From charming St Ives sail way to the Scilly Isles to see how rustic European charms blend with tropical island vibes. Island-hop between St Mary’s, New Grimsby, and St. Martin’s. Looking for serious surf? Fistral Beach on the northern Cornish coast is the place to be. Bring your surfboards and conquer the waves or put on your snorkeling gear and paddle in the shallow waters.
From Manchester, you’ll be able to visit an eclectic range of natural attractions. If you’re looking for beautiful mountaintops and scenic gorges, the Peak district is the place to be. Climb the Peak district’s towering hills to experience panoramic views of flat valleys and rugged mountains. For a taste of village charm, visit the little community of Betws-Y-Coed or head to Conwy to visit the historic walled market. Don’t forget to visit Conwy Castle while you’re there. Its imposing stature makes it hard to miss. Don’t forget to spend some time in Manchester itself, to enjoy all the sights the city has to offer. A local tour will let you discover the best restaurants, bars, shops, and hotspots.
Shop and dine in Leeds
A visit to the city of Leeds promises an exciting urban adventure, especially for shopaholics! Visit the Victoria Leeds shopping complex for a uniquely local boutique-browsing experience. What’s interesting about Victoria Leeds aside from the various shops inside is the beautiful architecture of the entire complex. Look up and you’ll be amazed at the stained walled glass canopy that covers the building. Look down and awe at the magnificent use of mosaic and marble that cover the walkways. With beautiful architecture both inside and outside, Victoria Leeds itself is a magnificent work of art. Still, within downtown Leeds, you can explore the local pub scene and discover great brews and specialty restaurants.
Derry – Winter is Coming
Are you a fan of Game of Thrones? Then there’s a lot in store for you in Derry. Visit some of the most stunning filming locations for the hit TV show here and experience the world of Westeros all over again. Remember that episode where Melisandre burned the seven idols? Head to the Dragonstone Beach to relive the iconic moments. Ever wondered about the place where Theon and Euron were born? That’s in Ballintoy Harbor. For a truly immersive Game of Thrones experience, test your fear of heights at the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. Other exciting and familiar destinations include Giant’s Causeway and the Dark Hedges. Not a Game of Thrones fan? That’s okay. The natural beauty of Derry will certainly leave you enchanted all the same.
Urban Adventures in Belfast
Belfast is fascinating however you choose to explore it. But there might be no better way to explore the city’s sights and uncover its secrets than from an iconic double-decker bus. Nab a window seat, sit back, and relax as you cruise around the city. Speaking of cruising, you’ll get to see the birthplace of the RMS Titanic at the Titanic Quarter. Want to see castles? You’ll also be taken to Cavehill Country Park where you’ll see the stunning Belfast Castle. How about seeing the seat of North Ireland’s assembly? Keep your eyes open as you pass by the Parliament Building. With so many interesting destinations to cover, you’ll want to take this trip twice.