UK Bucket List: The Best Places to Visit in the UK

From rolling hills to historic buildings, iconic landmarks and world-renowned museums, there are so many beautiful places to visit in the UK so it’s a shame that most tourists only visit the capital, London.

There is SO much more to see in the UK. Despite it’s reputation for unpredictable and rainy weather, the UK boasts some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.

The abundance of rain contributes to the lush green landscapes while the rich history and lovely gardens add to the charm. Plus a warm cup of tea is never far away!

So, if you’re planning your next UK trip, check out my list of the top 10 must-see destinations.

The Top 10 Best Places to Visit in the UK

Despite it’s small size, the UK is a diverse country which includes the nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

So whether you’re looking for a thrilling city adventure, a relaxing weekend in the countryside, or to explore quaint historic villages, you can easily find the perfect UK getaway.

Here’s my top 10 recommendations.

Contents hide 1The Top 10 Best Places to Visit in the UK 1.1London 1.2Edinburgh 1.3The Scottish Highlands 1.4Bath and The West Country 1.5The Lake District 1.6Manchester and Liverpool 1.7Cornwall 1.8Jurassic Coast 1.9Belfast and Causeway Coast 1.10Wales and Snowdonia National Park 2Final thoughts on the best places to visit in the UK


Palace of Westminster, London

London is undoubtedly the one of the best cities to visit in the UK and the place to go if you’re seeking world-famous attractions on your UK trip.

Central London has many iconic areas, streets and famous landmarks, including Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, and Hyde Park. Of course, this is also where you will find the River Thames and perhaps London’s most iconic landmark, Big Ben.

The capital city is also home to several world-class art galleries and museums, most of which are free to enter, including The National Gallery, Tate Modern, and The British Museum. Aside from the cultural scene, there are endless historic sites like Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London and Westminster Abbey.

Harry Potter fans will also want to head to Warner Bros just outside of London for a special walk-through exhibition of the making of the much-loved book and film series. And if you have more than a few days here, take a day trip to Windsor Castle, where the British royal family resides.

With numerous stations and fast rail connections, it’s quick and easy to get to some of the best places to visit in England by taking a day trip from London. From the scenic university towns of Oxford or Cambridge, the hip seaside city of Brighton or the famous Canterbury Cathedral and the White Cliffs of Dover, there’s no shortage of interesting places to visit near London.

You can even take the Eurostar train over to Europe and do a day trip to Paris or Amsterdam from London.


Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK, adored for its rich history, cobblestone streets, and cosy pubs.

One of the top attractions here is Edinburgh Castle, built on an extinct volcano, 443 feet above sea level. Arthur’s Seat is another famous site, an 822 feet high peak of which you can climb to the top for expansive views of this beautiful city.

The best time to visit this historic city is in August when the weather is warmer and the city comes alive for the Edinburgh festival.

The Scottish Highlands

Scottish highlands

Rugged, untouched, and rural, the Scottish Highlands attract nature lovers looking to escape the crowds and get off the beaten track to explore some of Britain’s most stunning landscapes. This mountainous region boasts dramatic landscapes, romantic castles, and Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis.

Of course, it is also home to one of the most famous places in the UK, Loch Ness. This 37-kilometre freshwater loch has a world-famous legend, as the Loch Ness Monster, affectionately known as Nessie, is believed to reside within the waters here.

Bath and The West Country

Pulteney Weir, Bath

Bath is one of the most picturesque towns in the UK and a top-rated tourist destination for history buffs. It is home to the famous Roman baths and other historic landmarks like Bath Abbey and Pulteney Bridge. A more modern attraction here is Thermae, Britain’s original natural thermal spa with a rooftop pool overlooking a stunning skyline view.

If you are heading to the west country, why not make a road trip out of it. See ancient and mysterious Stonehenge on the way and visit the trendy city of Bristol nearby. Also explore the charming Cotswolds, one of the most beautiful places in the UK, and see the the birthplace of William Shakespeare in Stratford upon Avon.

The Lake District

Derwent water, Lake district

The Lake District is located in northern England and is a must-visit if you want to witness some of the UK’s most outstanding natural beauty. As England’s largest national park, you can expect endless spectacular views of serene lakes, rugged mountains, and high moorlands – the very same landscapes that inspired famous Poets like Wordsworth.

Within the Lake District region are many picturesque villages with hotels housed in historic buildings where you can experience authentic English countryside life. Windermere, Ambleside and Grasmere are some of the most popular places to visit, Here’s some ideas on how to see the best of the Lake District in 4 days.

It is also one of the best places in the UK for hiking, with over 100 marked trails, many of which are suitable for beginners. If walking isn’t your thing, then one of the best ways to explore the UK countryside is on a horse riding holiday. This area is also home to some of the UK’s best yoga retreats.

If you’re in the north then why not combine visiting the Lake District with two of of the best cities to visit in the UK – Manchester and Liverpool.

Manchester and Liverpool

Royal Liver Building, Liverpool

Manchester is often on the UK bucket list for football fans as it is home to not one but two major premier league teams, Manchester City and Manchester United.

Manchester is also a vibrant city known for its bustling nightlife and world-class museums like the Manchester art gallery and the Science and Industry Museum.

A short train drive from Manchester is the maritime city of Liverpool, famous for it’s musical heritage as hometown of The Beatles, and also for its own football team. Here you can visit The Beatles Story museum, hang out at Royal Albert Dock and take a ferry cruise along the Mersey waterfront.


St Austell, Cornwall

Despite what you may think, there are some beautiful beaches in the UK, many of which you’ll find in Cornwall, a historic and beautiful county on the southwestern tip of England.

While it is a quiet part of the country with a low population, it is very popular with tourists. There is much to explore here, from long sandy beaches and hidden coves to quaint fishing villages to epic surf spots like Newquay.

Cornwall also has a rich culture and strong folk tradition. Thus, it is a wonderful place for history lovers as well as those looking to experience a traditional afternoon tea with the best-tasting scones and clotted cream.

Jurassic Coast

Durdle door, Dorset

If you’re heading to Cornwall, I highly recommend exploring the Jurassic Coast on the way. It’s one of the most stunning places in the country and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Explore the incredible beaches like Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, and enjoy a spot of fossil hunting while you’re at it. And if you’re interested in history, there are several historic ruins to check out, like the Corfe Castle, built in 1066.

Belfast and Causeway Coast

Giant’s causeway

If you want to immerse yourself in the rich culture and charm of Northern Ireland, visit the lively city of Belfast. There’s plenty to do during the day and night, with a perfect blend of modern nightlife and ancient history.

However, don’t miss out on the breathtaking beauty of the Causeway Coast, located just 61 miles away from Belfast. This Northern Ireland coastal region is home to the stunningly beautiful natural feature, Giant’s Causeway, featuring 40,000 interlocking basalt columns formed by a volcanic eruption.

Other must-see attractions in the area include the Carrick-a-Rede suspension rope bridge, Dunluce Castle, and the stunning Portrush Whiterocks Beach.

Wales and Snowdonia National Park

Conwy Castle, Wales

No list of the best places to visit in the UK would be complete without a mention of Wales. With majestic mountains, rolling countryside, quaint villages, historic castles and a picturesque coastline, Wales is another popular UK holiday destination.

The rugged and unspoilt landscapes of Wales are the main draw as it’s one of the most beautiful places to visit in the UK. Snowdonia National Park encompasses nine mountain ranges up to 3,000 feet (915m) high and is one of the best places to visit in North Wales.

Snowdonia is a haven for anyone into hiking or mountain biking. Aside from the breath taking mountains, Snowdonia boasts many steep river gorges, refreshing waterfalls and green valleys, making it a perfect nature break.

Final thoughts on the best places to visit in the UK

As you can see, the UK has many unique and exciting destinations and much more to offer than just London. Whether you visit a historic town, national park or seaside resort, you’ll surely have a glorious time, even if the skies are grey!

If you’re looking for more travel inspiration check out my other blogs:

  • The Best Places to Visit in Europe
  • The Best Places to Visit in the USA
  • The Best Places to Visit in Asia
  • The Best Places to Visit in Australia