Britain has always been a tourist draw. Boasting of a lot of different and varied things that fulfils the fascination for every kind of traveller, visiting Britain is definitely a top destination on umpteen bucket lists.
Did you know that UK’s tourism industry is worth 9 per cent of GDP and supports 10 per cent of all jobs? Yes, that’s how popular Britain is! With VisitBritain turning 50 years old this year, there are loads of reasons to book a ticket to visit. All we are doing is giving you a nudge!
History for the ages
Britain’s history is long and varied. For a history lover, a trip to Britain would be incomplete without seeing the Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London (don’t miss out on the Crown Jewels on display inside) in the capital, the ancient wonder of the Stonehenge in Wiltshire just a few hours outside of London, the Windsor Castle in Berkshire, and the Roman Baths in but where else, Bath. What if we told you there’s a whole lot more, hiding in plain sight?
When in England, make sure to stop by the University of Oxford. Spectacular architecture aside, it has been a centre of learning since 1096 and its list of famous alumni is long. Did you know there’s a college there which is also a cathedral? Yes, the only kind in the world really. Close by are the Cotswold villages, often called the prettiest part of England. For a trip, make sure your camera battery is fully charged because you’ll end up with too many picture-postcard shots, we guarantee. The Edinburgh Castle is another must-visit for history lovers. Located on the Castle Rock, archeologists have established human occupation at the location since the Iron Age. Another call out to heritage enthusiasts would be to definitely head to Wales where there are more castles per head than anywhere else in the world. The abbeys are another aspect to visit—Rievaulx, Westminister and Tintern Abbeys are rich with history, waiting for you.
Haven for nature lovers
Britain is a haven for nature lovers. From idyllic sanctuaries to legendary lochs, pretty gardens to fairytale-like coasts, you must travel to Britain for a taste. And who can forget the beauty of the countryside, right? Brighton is a beloved destination for seaside jaunts, with amusements on offer for the entire family. How about heading to the Seven Sisters cliffs for the quintessential British coast view? We’d also suggest checking out the 70-odd islands that make up the Orkneys for great coastal views.
A great way to discover Britain’s natural beauty is on road trips. Take the A82 from Glasgow to the Scottish Highlands, passing Loch Lomond and then heading to Glencoe, passing Fort William (the tallest mountain in Britain), and finally arriving at Loch Ness (where the monster resides), this road trip is epic. If a road trip isn’t your cup of tea, walk or cycle along the various tracks found across the nation. We suggest you cycle along meadows and green pastures in the Yorkshire Dales for a bit of natural heaven. Nature lovers must also visit at least one, if not two, of the 15 National Parks in Britain. They boast of some of the most inspiring landscapes. Our pick: the Peak District. The nation’s oldest National Park with a diverse landscape, stunning moorland and limestone caves; it is much visited for a reason. Did you know that the landscape had inspired Jane Austen?
Reel and real
If you’ve been charmed by the magical world of Harry Potter, Britain MUST be on your bucket list. Start your homage at the Elephant House in Edinburgh where J.K. Rowling wrote her stories before going on a magical ride around the country to the franchise’s filming spots. Durham Castle, the Warner Bros Studio, the Glenfinnan Viaduct, Shell Cottage, Gloucester, even Oxford—it’s a magical world indeed.
But did you know that a host of your favourite films and television shows have been shot in Britain? Who can forget Hugh Grant’s travel book store in Notting Hill in the namesake film where he meets and falls in love with Julia Roberts? Sherlock Holmes trapezes around London solving crimes; Alan Turing breaks codes at Bletchley Park; Liz Bennet’s Mr Darcy’s home is at Chatsworth House; and Hichclere Castle’s dramatic impression made us fall in love with Downtown Abbey (among other things). Game of Thrones, Atonement, Chariots of Fire, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Kingsman and Goldfinger, among a host of others have also been shot at in Britain. Which film/TV trail will YOU go on?
Not only fish & chips
We’ve all heard of fish and chips but what if we told you there’s a lot more to food in Britain than that? Be it a dainty afternoon tea or grub at a traditional pub, and some delectable regional delicacies, Britain’s food scene is the stuff dreams are made of. Food markets around the nation should be your first stop. Quirky to traditional, zingy cheese to rare-breed burgers, food markets serve the freshest and tastiest grub. Be it London’s Borough Market or Edinburgh’s Farmers’ Market, you will leave with a full tummy sampling one dish after the other.
Britain has a host of regional delicacies to offer—cream tea in Devon, Cornish pasty in Cornwall, haggis in Scotland, cheeses in Cheshire, seafood near the coasts (but, obviously), and whiskeys, a lot of unique ones we must add. Go on a whiskey trail or head to one distillery to learn the makings of the world’s favourite drink. Pubs in Britain are found in every nook and corner. With a rise of monasteries in the Middle Ages, ancient alehouses, too, emerged and today, many of them claim to be the oldest one in operation. However, according to the Guiness Book of World Records, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in St Albans was established in 795. So, if you like your pint with a side of history, St Albans is a must visit along with Skirrid Inn (Abergavenny), Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem (Nottingham), The Man and Scythe (Bolton), The Old Ferryboat (Holywell), The Sheep Heid Inn (Edinburgh) and The Clachan Inn (near Loch Lomond). And to top off a food experience in Britain, you must go for an afternoon tea. Think hot scones, clotted cream, finger sandwiches, tarts and cakes with tea; it’s straight out of an Enid Blyton book, isn’t it? With the afternoon tea gaining popularity with locals and tourists, plenty of hotels, inns and restaurants offer it, along with variations and fusions. Pick the one you feel suits you best!
And not just these, but Britain has a ton to offer tourists: shopping; sports (think Lord’s and Old Trafford); and festivals celebrating music, tattoos and literature among others. So, which reason will you pick to head to Britain for your next holiday?
See visitbritain.com for more
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