Plan Your Sightseeing Adventures with Our list of the Best Places to Visit in the UK(2020)

Plan Your Sightseeing Adventures with Our list of the Best Places to Visit in the UK(2020)

The United Kingdom is a beautiful place with lots to offer and if you're visiting the UK anytime soon, check out these 10 amazing places we have recommended in this article that you should definitely pay a visit to!

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About United Kingdom (UK)

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or the United Kingdom (UK) in short, is made up of 4 constituent countries – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is situated to the northwest of continental Europe and has a landmass of about 2,42,000 sq. km. with a population of approximately 65 million.

The United Kingdom has a long and eventful history – it has been inhabited for thousands of years since the Ice Age. UK played an important role in the scientific and industrial revolutions down the ages and was the major power responsible for the defeat of Germany in World War-II. Today, the United Kingdom is a parliamentary democracy, a constitutional monarchy and without doubt one of the greatest powers on the planet.

UK is a country that is packed with history, culture, traditions, fine arts, fashion, unique culinary experiences, bustling urban centres, beautiful countryside, seaside towns, national parks and so much more. UK is ranked the 10th most popular destination in the world and witnesses almost 37 million international tourist arrivals every year. UK is extremely popular with Indian tourists (remember the impact Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge – DDLJ had on the entire country?) and over 500,000 Indians visit the country every year.

UK is home to the Beatles, Shakespeare, Stonehenge, the universities of Oxford and Cambridge (remember the dictionaries we have been using since childhood?), Isaac Newton, Stephen Hawking, Manchester United and so many other global icons. The British culture is full of interesting traditions, folk music, old tales and stories and delightful food. Some of the most popular not-to-be-missed British dishes which will warm your soul and fill your stomach are – fish and chips, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, Lancashire hotpot, Cornish pasties, shepherd’s pie and (believe it or not!) chicken tikka masala is one of the most popular dishes in UK for over a decade.

Weather in UK

The unpredictable nature of UK’s weather is legendary, and it is common to experience damp, rainy and ever-changing weather. The United Kingdom is situated in the higher mid latitudes and enjoys temperate oceanic climate. You can visit UK all year round however the summer months (June – August) are the most popular time to visit UK as the weather is relatively drier and the country experiences longer and warmer days with the maximum temperature hovering around 30°C – 32°C. This is also the time when major outdoor events like the Wimbledon, Royal Ascot horse-racing and the Glastonbury Festival are organised. UK is however most beautiful in spring (end-March to early-June) when the spring flowers are in full bloom across the country and in autumn (September to November) when the leaves change colour and the rural landscape becomes brown, red and pink. The winter season (November to March) witnesses occasional snow in the mountainous region in the north however the major urban centres are completely operational. Winter temperatures are known to dip to -10°C occasionally.

No matter at what time of the year you plan to visit UK, it is always advisable to carry waterproofing, warm clothes and sunscreen with you, due to the frequent and unpredictable changes in the weather.

10 Best Places in UK

1. London

London, the capital of the UK is situated on the banks of the River Thames and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. It is a complete tourist destination that has everything to offer from palaces, historical monuments, museums, art galleries, theatre, shopping, dining, iconic landmarks, film studios and so much more. Even a month would not be enough to explore London completely. Some of the top tourist attractions which you should not miss in London are:

  • Tower of London and Tower Bridge: The Tower of London is located adjacent to the spectacular Tower Bridge, on the banks of River Thames. The Tower of London is one of the most important monuments in UK. It is a former prison, royal palace, arsenal, jewel house and a place of execution. It houses the White Tower, built in 1078 A.D., which displays the armour, weaponry and the breath-taking Crown Jewels among many other exhibits. The Tower of London is spread over 18 acres and will need some time to be explored fully.

  • The London Eye: Rising 135 meters into the sky, the London Eye is the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel. It has 32 glass pods and a rotation takes approximately 30 minutes which allows you to soak in all the iconic landmarks of London including the Houses of Parliament and the Big Ben. Don’t forget to watch the London Eye 4D Experience (which comes free with every ticket) – a 4-minute multi-sensory experience that gives some perspective of London.

  • Buckingham Palace Tour: The official residence of the Queen is an epitome of grandeur and royalty. There are 775 rooms in the palace with 19 beautiful State Rooms, the Throne Room, the Grand Staircase and several exhibits. The Palace Tours are open only for a few weeks in the summer months. You can anyway watch the pomp and show of the Changing of the Guard which happens every day in June – July and on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays during August – May. The ceremony starts in the forecourt of the Buckingham Palace at 11:00 a.m.

  • Warner Bros. Studio Tour London The Making of Harry Potter: If you are a Harry Potter fan then there is no way you should miss out a tour of the studio where all the Harry Potter movies were produced. They will not only give you a behind-the-scenes perspective of the movies, but you can also stroll down Diagon Alley, order butterbeer and even ride your own broomstick!

  • Museums and Galleries: If you are a lover of history and arts, London has an extensive range of museums and art galleries to delight your senses. Notable among these are: British Museum, Tate Modern, National Gallery, National History Museum, Southbank Centre, Victoria and Albert Museum, Royal Academy of Arts and the Royal Museums Greenwich.

2. Edinburgh

Scotland’s capital city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in UK. Edinburgh is home to several historical buildings but is essentially famous for the Edinburgh Castle, a 13th century fortress looming over the city from a rock promontory. The castle is known for the One O’clock Salute, the Scottish Crown Jewels in the Royal Palace and the Stone of Destiny – used in the coronation of Scottish kings. Edinburgh is also famous for the Royal Botanical Garden, National Gallery of Scotland and the splendid Palace of Holyroodhouse on the old city’s Royal Mile. Arthur’s Seat is an imposing peak in Holyrood Park, great for enchanting views of the surrounding areas and Calton Hill is dotted with monuments and memorials of great historical significance. Checkout This is Edinburgh for everything you want to know about Edinburgh.

3. The Cotswold and Lake District

UK is blessed with natural beauty and Cotswold in one of the most photographed regions of UK. Situated to the west of London and covering an area of about 1,300 sq. km. in the counties of Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire, Cotswold is known for its golden stone and rolling hills, the “wolds”. You can experience the rural English life with small villages, towns, pastures, hills, meadows and numerous trails. You can explore castles, palaces, country houses and walk through breath-taking natural landscapes while enjoying the local cheeses, meats and drinks in the abundant pubs, inns and cafes in the region. To plan your itinerary in the Cotswold, visit here.

Just north of the Cotswold is England’s largest national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site – The Lake District National Park. Spread over 2,300 sq. km it has 3,100 km of trails and is home to 12 of the largest lakes in England and also Scafell Peak, which at 3,210 feet is the highest mountain in England. The region is known for picture perfect scenery and landscapes. You can explore the area walking, cycling, mountain climbing or just doing nothing and soaking in the natural beauty. Don’t forget to visit the small towns and villages in the area like Grasmere, Keswick and Bowness-on-Windermere and taking a boat ride on Lake Windermere and Ullswater. For more information, please visit Lake District National Park website.

4. Scottish Highlands

Take an overnight train from London and you will disembark fresh in Inverness in the morning, right in the heart of the Scottish Highlands – the rugged mountainous region in the north and north-western part of Scotland. Here you will witness uninterrupted mind-blowing natural landscapes and seascapes, dolphins in Chanonry Point and Loch Ness – known for UK’s most beautiful scenery. To know more about the history, culture and people of this region don’t forget to visit the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition and Urquhart Castle ruins at Loch Ness and the Inverness Castle, Inverness Museum and Art Gallery and St. Andrew’s Cathedral while in Inverness. The Scottish Highlands is also home to Ben Nevis which at 4,411 feet (1,345 m) is UK’s highest mountain. To know more about the Scottish Highlands visit here.

5. Stonehenge and Salisbury

Just 16 km north of Salisbury is perhaps the world’s most famous pre-historic monument and another UNESCO World Heritage Site – Stonehenge. From the first monument built almost 5,000 years ago to the unique stone circle constructed in the late Neolithic period around 2,500 B.C., Stonehenge has been a place of worship for more than 4,500 years. Walking around the megaliths you will be awestruck and amazed by the sheer magnificence, scale and ingenuity of the monument. The site issues timed tickets which should be booked well in advance. Don’t forget to visit the world-class visitor centre to know everything about the Stonehenge. During the normal hours you cannot go inside the circle, however you can book a special early morning or late evening access into the circle on the English Heritage website.

Salisbury is a medieval city with timeless beauty and a captivating history which has been welcoming travellers since 1227 A.D. At the centre of the city is the Salisbury Cathedral, one of UK’s most famous cathedrals. In the Salisbury Cathedral you will find the best preserved of the 4 original Magna Carta manuscripts dating back to 1215 A.D. Don’t forget to visit beautiful attractions like Arundells, Mompesson House, The Rifles Military Museum and Salisbury Museum which are all in close vicinity of the cathedral. Visit here.

6. Bath

Bath is a small yet extremely popular city, south-west of London just 1½ hour train trip from London. Built around the hot springs during the Roman era, Bath has been a wellness destination for over 2,000 years. The hot waters (at 46.5°C) with as many as 43 minerals have tremendous healing powers. The ancient Roman Baths and the ultramodern Thermae Bath Spa are a tremendous attraction for tourists. Bath is also famous for its Georgian Architecture townhouses which line up along the magnificent curved Royal Crescent. No.1, Royal Crescent has been converted into a museum and gives you insight into the living and lifestyle during the Georgian times. The entire city of Bath is a World Heritage Site. Visit here.

7. Windsor

Just an hour away west of London, is the beautiful town of Windsor situated on the banks of the River Thames. Windsor is known for the spectacular Windsor Castle whose construction was started by William the Conqueror in 1078 A.D. Windsor Castle is the summer retreat of the British royalty for more than 1,000 years and is the largest and oldest inhabited castle in the world. It is also the perfect setting for some of the most stunning royal weddings. Windsor Castle also has beautiful manicured gardens which are almost 10 km long. While in Windsor, you can also enjoy the Legoland Windsor Resort theme park and visit the Ascot Racecourse – the venue for the Royal Ascot every June. Visit here.

8. York

York is a madieval walled city in north-east England midway between London and Edinburgh and a short 2-hour train journey from London. York founded by the Romans has ancient Viking heritage too – York, then known as “Jorvik” was the capital of the Viking territory. York is famously known because of York Minster – one of the largest cathedrals in Northern Europe and also one of the most beautiful gothic cathedrals in the world. Built in the 13th century York Minster has beautifully crafted stained-glass windows and richly decorated interiors. York is surrounded by the City Walls which stretches for almost 5 km around the city centre on which you can walk and get a mesmerising view of the city and the surroundings. York is also home to 50 world-class museums including the National Railway Museum and the country’s best racecourse. Visit here.

9. Cambridge and Oxford

The Cambridge and Oxford universities established in the 12th and 13th centuries are among the 4 oldest universities in the world. Their centuries old rivalry for being considered the top institution in the country is truly legendary. Oxford lies north-west of London while Cambridge is due north of London with a travelling time of about an hour. Cambridge has the largest collection of preserved historical buildings situated in close vicinity of Cambridge University’s 31 colleges. In addition to the beautiful college grounds, the town centre is equally noteworthy. Oxford University has 38 colleges and each college has a quadrangle, inner courtyards, chapels, libraries and student accommodation. While in Oxford you can view the stunning landscape of the nearby areas from the Carfax Tower and also take a stroll down the town’s High Street.

10. Canterbury

Canterbury is a beautiful cathedral city in Kent, an hour’s train ride away from London, in the southeast of England. Canterbury has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries and its iconic landmark – the Canterbury Cathedral was started in 597 A.D. The Canterbury Cathedral, a World Heritage Site, is the headquarter of the Church of England and home of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The cathedral has intricately carved exteriors and stunning and magnificent interiors. The highlight of the cathedral is the choir with statues of 6 English Kings and the 12th century Miracle Windows depicting scenes from the life of murdered Archbishop Thomas Becket. Other not-to-be-missed destinations in Canterbury are The Canterbury Tales Visitor Attraction which depicts the life and times of Geoffrey Chaucer (the Father of English Literature) and the Canterbury Roman Museum. Visit here.

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From our editorial team

Why Visit UK?

The UK has everything you would want to visit - palaces, museums, libraries, beautiful villages, landscapes, lakes, and whatnot. If you are visiting Europe, don't forget to visit this amazing place and absorb its magic. Take a good amount of time for this as it has a lot to offer. Plan a good itinerary and visit as many different places as you can. Most all, try visiting the Royal Palace, click lots of photos and make lots of memories.