Stunning Bath is a beautiful city situated in the southern county of Somerset.
Since Roman times it has been a place where people come to relax. Visit the ruins of the original Roman baths, then bathe in the thermal springs at the exclusive Thermae Spa.
The city is compact enough to explore on foot, making it a pleasant place to stroll around whilst discovering local independent shops, cafes and restaurants.
It’s a very beautiful city packed full of stunning buildings to enjoy, including the impressive abbey which was rebuilt in the 16th century but dates back to the 7th.
The architecture in Bath is a delight, with a distinctive regency feel. It seems that every turn reveals a new gem. The Georgian style buildings were built using the honey-yellow coloured bath stone, which can be seen in famous landmarks such as the Crescent, Pulteney Bridge, the Pump Room and the Circle.
If you like culture, you’ll love Bath’s range of museums and galleries. The city hosts regular festivals and events over the year, so it seems there’s always something interesting going on.
There’s plenty to do around Bath too, with Stonehenge and the Avebury stone circles within reach. For a family day out the safari park and house at Longleat, home of the flamboyant Marquis of Bath is a popular choice.
Majestic London - the Vibrant Capital of the UK
The nation’s capital is full of sights and attractions and is a must see for visitors.
From the splendour of the Queen’s residence, Buckingham Palace to the secret markets and hideaways of old London town, there is much to see in this bustling, historic city.
Many of London’s sights can be seen by taking a stroll or cruise along the River Thames, such as the impressive St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye, and the iconic Tower Bridge. You’ll also find the Houses of Parliament with its famous clock tower, Big Ben.
London is also a very modern city, with striking skyscrapers like the Shard and the so called “Walkie-Talkie” building dominating the skyline.
London is full of world-class restaurants, delightful cafes and some of the best pubs in the world. If you love shopping London is unparalleled, with numerous independent shops, bustling Oxford Street, and the world famous Harrods store.
There are plenty of must-see museums and art galleries in London, such as the Natural History Museum, Science Museum, V&A Museum, and the Tate Gallery to name just a few. No matter what you’re interested in, there’s something for you.
When you’ve finished exploring museums and art galleries, there’s still more to see out in the city - Trafalgar Square and Nelson’s Column, Marble Arch, Downing Street, Covent Garden, Afternoon Tea at Claridge’s, numerous parks and hidden parks to explore…
Just outside London there’s Windsor Castle, Eton, Hampton Court, Kew Gardens and plenty more.
What’s for certain is that you’ll never be stuck for something to do in London, and you’ll always wish you had more time to see everything.
The Scenic Spires of Oxford
The University city of Oxford is one of the most scenic in the UK and should be on every visitor’s itinerary.
The University itself is one of the oldest seats of learning in the world, dating back to the 12th century. It is made up of 39 colleges, some of which date back to medieval times. Each has its own distinctive character and style and it’s possible to visit many whilst strolling around the city centre. If you’ve ever watched Inspector Morse you may recognise many of them from the series.
You can also discover the University’s famous Bodleian library, one of the oldest and largest in the world, housing over 12 million items.
Oxford does a great job of blending the old and the new, and there are many excellent cafes, restaurants, shops and bars to be found nestled alongside and sometimes within historic buildings. You can take a leisurely walk down by the river, and maybe pass the afternoon slowly punting downstream.
Located in Oxford are some of the best museums in the country, such as Pitt Rivers, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Museum of the History of Science. However, the most famous museum is the Ashmolean, which exhibits art and archaeological artifacts. It’s well worth a visit.
Near Oxford you’ll also find Blenheim Palace, birthplace and ancestral home of Winston Churchill. It’s worth making the short trip to visit this stately home, which is still the home of the Duke of Marlborough.
“All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances and one man in his time plays many parts.” As You Like It
Take a trip back in time to discover the hometown of famous playwright and poet William Shakespeare. This picturesque town is bursting with charm, with many historical buildings and an enchanting centre.
You can visit Shakespeare’s birthplace and take a tour to learn more about his early life and the world he grew up in. After that, you can continue your journey into history with a visit to Anne Hathaway’s cottage to see where romance blossomed between Shakespeare and his wife. This is also a good spot to stop for a traditional English cream tea before checking out the gift shop and heading into the town.
There are plenty of small independent shops and cafes in the town centre, as well as a great selection of pubs and restaurants. It’s easy to while away a pleasant couple of hours leisurely browsing them as you slowly stroll down to where the River Avon meanders through town.
Down by the river you’ll find the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, home of the esteemed Royal Shakespeare Company. If you’d like to take in a performance of one of Bard's plays, this is the place to do it.
Walk a little further along the river and you’ll come to the Church of the Holy Trinity. This quiet, unassuming place is where you’ll find Shakespeare’s resting place. It’s a pleasant place to escape the bustle of the town and contemplate the bard’s contribution to the world.
“Let us find a time of peace” Henry IV Pt1
Edinburgh - Scotland’s Mesmerising Capital
With its majestic castle looming above it, Edinburgh is a delightfully scenic city and well worth a visit.
With a medieval Old Town and a Georgian New Town, Edinburgh successfully blends its rich history with a modern and vibrant attitude.
Dating back to the 12th Century, the imposing castle dominates the skyline and houses the Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny, a rectangular block that was traditionally used to crown Scottish monarchs.
A good way to spend an afternoon is to walk down the Royal Mile, taking time to admire the buildings and explore the many shops, cafes and bars, along the way. St Giles Cathedral in particular is worth a stop. At the other end of the Royal Mile you’ll find the Palace of Holyrood, with the Scottish Parliament opposite. Both offer tours if you’d like to learn more about them.
Later, you can dive into the cobbled streets and winding alleys of the Old Town to explore - who knows what hidden gems you might discover tucked away down one of its narrow lanes.
Edinburgh is famous for its Fringe Festival - the largest arts and culture festival in the world. In 2018 there were 56,796 performances of 3,548 shows in over 300 venues. If you plan to visit in August you can see the city at its busiest and most vibrant.
Stunning Scotland - Land of Mountains, Glens and Islands
Discover the highlands and islands of Scotland and experience some of the most magical scenery the UK has to offer.
From the sparse beauty of the barren mountains, to the deep blue of the lochs and channels of coastal Scotland, the landscapes here will regularly leave you breathless.
Take winding roads that cut through gorgeous glens and mountain passes, and enjoy some of the best views in the world. Stop along the way at friendly villages and towns to savour tasty food (you must try the Scottish delicacy, haggis), and maybe a dram or two of the local whisky.
If you enjoy fishing then you’ll love the salmon filled rivers in the scottish countryside, catching the perfect specimen from mountain rivers framed by magnificent mountains.
There are many enchanting lochs in Scotland, with Loch Ness being the most famous. Who knows, maybe you’ll even spot Nessie the Loch Ness monster if you’re lucky! Other scenic highlights include the sublime falls in Glencoe Valley, Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest peak, and numerous historic sites like ruined castles dotted across the countryside.
Whisky lovers will love the organised tours offered by various distilleries. Learn more about the “water of life” and enjoy the varied tastes each one offers.
The West Highland Railway line, considered to be one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world, offers spectacular views of the Scottish countryside - Harry Potter fans will recognise it as the Hogwarts Express.
Captivating York - A City Rich in History
With its Roman and Viking roots, York is an enchanting city packed full of history and charm. Its streets are packed with plenty of hidden gems - shops, cafes, restaurants and bars, ready to entice you inside and welcome you warmly.
Wander down the Shambles, a narrow cobblestone street where butchers once used to display their wares. Some of the timber framed overhanging buildings date back to the 14th Century. The street is claimed to be the inspiration for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and it’s easy to see why when you walk along it.
The medieval treasure of York Minster is a cathedral that has been at the centre of religious life in York since the 7th century. It is admired for its handcrafted stone and magnificent stained glass.
Other highlights in York include Clifford’s Tower, which is all that remains of the old York Castle, the National Rail Museum (ideal for steam enthusiasts), and the Jorvic Centre, a museum that immerses you into life in Viking times. The York Castle Museum and the York Dungeon provide further insight into life in the past.
Art lovers will enjoy a trip to the York Art Gallery, where you can see works by Turner, Lowrey, and Hockney.
Shrouded in mystery, the circle at Stonehenge has been inspiring awe and wonder for thousands of years.
Nobody knows who first erected these majestic stones but estimates suggest the site was first constructed between 3000BC and 2000BC.
Whilst it was originally used as a burial site, there’s no doubt that over the centuries the site has had religious and spiritual significance, attracting people from far and wide during festivals and other significant dates.
The stones are aligned to the stars and match up with the position of the sun for the Summer and Winter solstices.
Many of Stonehenge’s secrets may never be revealed, but that’s part of the magic of this awe-inspiring, mystical site.
West Country (Devon & Cornwall)
The Wild and Rugged West Country
With its scenic fishing villages, rugged coastline, and wild, magical moors the South West of England is an attractive destination.
The moorlands here are barren yet breathtakingly beautiful. Dartmoor is a haunting place, with its ancient inns and legends of ghostly appearances. Fans of the TV series Poldark will appreciate a trip to Bodmin Moor and other local sites where it was filmed.
Charming seaside towns such as St Ives and Padstow are great places to visit whilst exploring the area. You’ll find plenty of great pubs and restaurants and get the chance to enjoy some of the best fish and chips in the country.
The west country is dotted with charming old cottages and scenic villages, whilst attractive coastlines are always only a short distance away.
The largest city in the area is Plymouth, an up and coming destination attracting many visitors each year. It is from here that the Mayflower departed in 1620, taking the first Pilgrims across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World. There is a museum in the city dedicated to their story.
The Idyllic Scilly Isles
Further on from the tip of Lands End, this enchanting archipelago off the South West of England is a real hidden gem.
There are five inhabited islands, each with its own unique character. Warmed by the Gulf Stream, the islands enjoy a mild, even sub-tropical climate.
These delightful isles are covered in heathland and ringed by gorgeous sandy beaches and clear blue sea. With numerous beaches and coves to explore, bronze age sites to discover and excellent food at friendly pubs and restaurants to enjoy, you won’t be stuck for ideas here.
Visitors to the islands enjoy the slower pace of life. Things are simpler and more gentle here, so it’s easy to relax and just enjoy the beautiful surroundings. The islands are ideal for walking and local guides can show you the best paths and help you discover the local wildlife.
Alternatively you can always borrow a kayak, boat or windsurf and explore by sea instead.
After spending time on the islands soaking up the relaxed atmosphere you’ll feel refreshed and ready to continue your trip.
Cambridge and the Fens
Historic University and Haunting Marshland
There is a stark, haunting beauty to the Fens, a swathe of flat marshland in the east of England. The rolling mists slowly unfurl over the watery landscape. Somewhere nearby the call of the elusive corncrake pierces the eerie quiet. The low-lying marshes and waterways of the fens make an ideal habitat for birds and other wildlife.
The University city of Cambridge makes a great starting point from which to explore the area. Founded in 1231, the university is one of the oldest and most famous in the world. It’s 31 colleges are dotted across the city and many buildings date back to the 14th and 15th centuries. It’s a wonderfully scenic city to explore on foot, or even by taking a leisurely punt down the river Cam.
As you travel across the Fens, it seems the never-ending flatness of the landscape stretches to the horizon. Then, just when you’re least expecting it, a picturesque town or village suddenly looms into view.
The impressive Cathedral in the town of Ely dates back to 1083 and is well worth a stop as you explore the area. The famous racecourse at Newmarket is also nearby if you’d like to take in a race.
On the edge of the Fens you’ll find the royal retreat of Sandringham. Since 1862 four generations of monarchs have enjoyed Sandrigham as their private residence. Today it is still much loved by Her Majesty the Queen, who enjoys spending time there.
Stunning Island Beauty
At the edge of the Atlantic, on the western edge of Scotland lie the Outer Hebrides, a range of interconnected islands with a character all of their own.
With white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and stunning picturesque backdrops the Outer Hebrides are a delight. The breathtaking beauty of the islands never fails to make an impression.
The islands are the perfect place to go if you’re looking for some peace and relaxation. Take a walk or go cycling to enjoy the scenery and keep an eye out for the wildlife. If you’re lucky you’ll spot red deer, otters or majestic golden eagles.
Off the coast, keep an eye open for porpoises, whales, sharks, and dolphins. Organised whale and dolphin watching tours will take you out to sea to get a better look.
There’s always plenty to do, so why not try your hand at kayaking, golf, fishing, horse riding, surfing or one of the many other activities available on the islands.
The islands are also packed full of history, with museums, neolithic sites, medieval churches and more. The most famous site is the Calanais standing stones, a sacred stone circle dating from the late neolithic era.
The islands are dotted with top quality traditional pubs and restaurants. As you might expect, seafood is a particular speciality here. Somehow it seems to taste even better with the majestic island scenery as a backdrop.
The local culture has a distinctive Gaelic feel. The locals are warm and welcoming and happy to share their way of life with you. Who knows - maybe you’ll get invited to a traditional ceilidh!
The Celtic Country of Wales
With rugged coastlines, imposing mountains, and a vibrant capital city, Wales is a country in its own right and has a particular culture and history which is distinct from the rest of the UK.
The capital, Cardiff, is a lively, modern city on the south coast of the country. Cardiff Castle is rich in history and is a popular city centre attraction. The city is also home to the Welsh Assembly Government building the Senedd, numerous museums and an attractive waterfront docks area.
With hidden beaches and scenic views, the Welsh coastline is a stunningly beautiful area to explore. Along the way you’ll discover ruined castles, enchanting cottages, and pass through picturesque towns and villages.
The interior of Wales is also absolutely spectacular - with gorgeous valleys, impressive mountains and serene lakes and reservoirs. It’s a beautiful country offering many scenic delights to enjoy.
Snowdonia National Park is home to a soaring mountain range, including the country’s highest mountain, Snowdon. You can hike up the mountain in a few hours or, if you’d rather enjoy the breathtaking views from the top without the effort, the Snowdon Mountain Railway takes you to the summit on a steam train.
Other scenic highlights include Lake Vyrnwy, which is actually a reservoir, and Lake Bala, the largest natural lake in the country. You can canoe here, or even head up the nearby river to go rafting. The area around Bala is also a stronghold for the distinctive Welsh language and you’re likely to hear it spoken by the locals during your time here.
Wales is a friendly and welcoming country with some magnificent countryside and it’s well worth setting aside time to experience its unique character.
The Beatles and a City of Culture and Music
Perhaps most famous for being the home city of the Beatles, Liverpool is a popular tourist destination in the northwest of England.
Situated where the river Mersey meets the Irish sea, the city has a rich history and a proud maritime connection. From the 18th to the early 20th century, it was an important port, bustling with trade. It was also the place from which many UK and Irish citizens departed to start a new life in America.
Take a trip on a ferry across the Mersey, then head to the Pier Head area to see the Three Graces - the famous trio of old mercantile buildings, consisting of the Royal Liver Building, The Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool Building.
After that you can take a bus tour of the city and end up at The Cavern Club, which regularly hosted the Beatles during their early years. Beatles fans can also enjoy Fab Four themed tours around the city.
Lovers of culture will enjoy the many museums and art galleries the city has to offer. The Liverpool Museum, Maritime Museum and Walker Art Gallery are highlights amongst them.
After a hard day’s sightseeing, you’ll appreciate Liverpool’s wide range of restaurants serving mouth-watering dishes from across the world. With numerous pubs and bars to suit all tastes you’ll never go thirsty on a night out here either!
Cumbria and The Lake District
Rugged Mountains and Spectacular Lakes
The Lake District National Park is located in the county of Cumbria in northwest England.
Famous for it’s stunningly beautiful lakes and rugged mountains, it’s also where Beatrix Potter, creator of Peter Rabbit and other much loved characters lived. There are a few sites dedicated to her around the Ambleside area that make for an enjoyable visit.
If you like outdoor activities you’ll love the Lake District. Here you can walk, climb or boat surrounded by the marvellous countryside. If you’d rather just explore the area by car, don't worry - the views are just as amazing.
There are many picturesque villages and towns to visit in the area, such as Kendal (home of the famous mint-cake), Ambleside, and Keswick. Grasmere is also worth a trip - you can sample the famous gingerbread whilst taking in a trip to Dove Cottage, where William Wordsworth lived.
There are many famous lakes in the area, including Windermere, Derwentwater, and Coniston. It was at the latter that famed speed record breaker died in 1967 whilst attempting to beat the world water speed record in his Bluebird boat.
This beautiful part of England is a pleasure to visit and is sure to be a highly memorable part of your trip.