England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – so many places to see. So much to visit and experience. From historic cities, ancients monuments, beautiful unspoilt countryside, mountains, lakes, rivers and coasts….thousands of islands, remote villages, legendary forests or famous seaside towns. The UK has all you could ever want.
So, I am going to go a little off the beaten track. To share a few places I love that are maybe not so familiar outside of Britain and are less visited by tourists when they come to our wonderful country.
So, while we all know about London, Oxford and Edinburgh, Stratford-upon-Avon let me share some of my highlights of the UK
- The Lake District
The highest mountains in England with beautiful, peaceful lakes, just a couple of hours north of Manchester. Dramatic scenery, fantastic walks, great food and an amazing place for a variety of outdoor activities. From sailing on the lakes, cycling some of the hardest climbs in Britain, mountain biking, hiking over the peaks – there is always something to do. Or you could just relax with a picnic by the lakes.
2. The Norfolk Broads
Norfolk is one of the most beautiful counties in England.. Located a couple of hours by train from London, it is home to the amazing Norfolk Broads. A vast inland waterway network or rivers and canals. Take a relaxing trip on the Broads and spot lots of birdlife and wildlife along the river banks, or venture to the coast and see the colonies of grey seals in the North Sea or lying on one of the endless sandy beaches.
3. The Jurassic Coast
Located along the south coast of England between Exmouth in Devon and Swanage in Dorset, the Jurassic coast is home to 185 million years of geology. Explore the beaches where cliffs have been eroded over millions of years and find fossils or possibly the bones of dinosaurs.
4. Snowdonia & Anglesey
A magical region of North Wales with amazing mountain landscapes, beautiful scenery, historic mines and industry. Breath taking views from the highest mountain in England Wales, Snowdon, are always worth the effort of a long climb up the mountain on a number of paths. Or you can take the train to the summit where there is a cafe. Just to the north is the island of Anglesey. The famous Menai bridge links the island to the mainland and has wonderful beaches and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.
Everyone goes to London, Oxford, Cambridge, Stratford upon Avon, Bath, Edinburgh. But what of the places that don’t get so much attention.
Well, Liverpool has to be a highlight of any visit. A city of history, architecture, music and culture. A city that has welcomed foreigners for centuries and has a unique accent and sense of fun. Meet a ‘scouser’ (someone from Liverpool) and you’ll be met with a funny, friendly person (but the accent takes a bit of getting used to). Home of the Beatles, the ferry across the River Mersey, Liverpool and Everton Football clubs, a vibrant music scene and nightlife, museums and art galleries and Liverpool is a great place to spend some time in.
6. Northern Ireland
Just over the water is Northern Ireland. A country that has sadly often been overlooked by visitors due to its political and social troubles in the past. With a peace agreement and stability in Northern Ireland more people have begun to realise what they had been missing. A country of warmth, kindness and welcome. Friendly people and a country of stunning landscapes, incredible geology (For example The Giant’s Causeway), fantastic beaches and lakes (or loughs as they are called in Northern Ireland), an energetic and interesting capital in Belfast, the Titanic Museum and the location for Game of Thrones. As well as some of the best food and top restaurants in the UK. Take a spectacular drive on the Causeway Coast Road and you will understand how incredible Northern Ireland is.
7. Glen Coe, Scotland
Glen Coe has to be one of the most spectacular, dramatic landscapes in the UK. A long valley between high sided mountains on either side a few hours north and west of Glasgow. The setting for the finale of James Bond Skyfall and a place that is quiet, rich with wildlife and a huge attraction for walkers, rocks climbers, cyclists and bird watchers. At the top of Glen Coe is the wild and rugged Rannoch Moor. Just make sure you bring lots of good clothing to keep out the cold and rain. But the sun does shine sometimes…. An absolutely beautiful place to visit.