The UK may be small, but it’s full of a variety of amazing places stretching right from John O’Groats to Lands End, Belfast to St Davids. It has a wealth of history, culture, wildlife and it’s own unique eccentricities.
Here are some of the most iconic sights that our small island has to offer.
Top Place to see in the UK
Stonehenge is a prehistoric stone circle and is believed to have been constructed around 3100BC. No one knows exactly what purpose it served, but it is thought to have been a centre of pagan worship.
The site is managed by English Heritage. The stone circle cannot be accessed during normal opening hours, although they do hold regular Stone Circle Access visits in the early morning and late evening.
Tower Bridge is one of London’s most recognisable landmarks and also one of the most famous bridges in the world.
Spanning the Thames, just next to the Tower of London, it was built in 1894 after 50 architects and designers entered a competition to design a new bridge for London.
Visitors can view London from the high-level walkways and access the Victorian Engine Rooms. You can also access the bridge lift schedule which shows times and dates when the bridge will rise for large vessels.
London Movie Tours
Harry Potter, Atonement and Notting Hill
Harry Potter London TourThere are lots of tour operators who can arrange special activities in London, but one of my favourites is DoSomethingDifferent.com. This company is a bit different because it not only offers the usual tours and experiences such as the London Duck Tour, and West End Theatre Tickets, but it also arranges movie tours including a Harry Potter London Tour, and Atonement Movie Tour and a Notting Hill Movie Tour.
One of the best country houses in the UK
The UK is dotted with a huge amount of exceptional country houses and castles, but one of the most beautiful is Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, home of the Duke & Duchess of Devonshire since 1549.
As well as housing one of Europe’s finest private art collections, the stately home also has a magical 101 acre garden, a farmyard and adventure playground. It’s free to visit the surrounding grounds. The 2005 movie version of Pride and Prejudice was filmed at Chatsworth, as was The Duchess. It is believed that Jane Austen based Pemberley on this stunning estate.
The biggest lake in England
Lake Windermere, in Cumbria is 2 miles long, one mile wide and 220 feet deep. It is the largest natural lake in England and is part of the Lake District National Park.
Although popular with tourists, the west shoreline is almost completely owned by the National Trust, which makes it a haven for wildlife.
This stunning landscape is also known for it’s connection with Beatrix Potter and Arthur Ransome.
Portmeirion – possibly the most eccentric village in the UK?
Portmeirion is a fanciful Italianate village situated on the North Wales Coast. Designed and constructed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1975, the village includes a hotel, holiday cottages, a teashop and restaurant.
Now it is perhaps known as the location for 60’s cult TV series The Prisoner and the home of Portmeirion Pottery.
The Giant’s Causeway
The Giant’s Causeway is a World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland.
The area is made up from about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns which were created after a volcanic eruption.
The name comes from the legend of Finn MacCool. The story goes that mythical Irish giant Finn built the causeway to get to Scotland and battle with a rival giant called Benandonner.
Dominated by Edinburgh Castle, the city is a hotbed of cultural pursuits.
It’s full of galleries and museums and hosts the biggest collection of arts festivals in the UK throughout July and August.
Edinburgh is also home to one of the largest New Year’s celebrations in the world, the famous Hogmanay.
Tresco Abbey Gardens
The Sub-Tropical Tresco Abbey Gardens, found in the Scilly Isles, are regarded by botanists as one of the most interesting and varied botanical experiments in the world.
Many of the plants would not stand a chance on the Cornish mainland, less than 30 miles away. Yet even in Winter more than 300 plants will be in flower. The garden is home to species from 80 countries, ranging from Brazil to New Zealand and Burma to South Africa.
Almost every British city has a stunning cathedral (bar 18), but York Minster is one of the most impressive.
It is the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe and is situated in York in Northern England. The present building was begun in about 1230 and completed in 1472.
The Eden Project
The Eden Project is one of the most exciting modern projects in the UK. The complex in Cornwall houses 100,000 plants in two giant transparent domes, each recreating different global climate conditions.
Situated in an abandoned clay pit, it is a testament to creative and scientific ingenuity.