7.11.19

5 Things To Do If You Visit The UK



When you travel to a country that blends thousands of years of history with a vibrant modern culture (and a great deal of natural beauty), you can't see and do it all. But choosing a range of options that gives you a bit of everything is possible, and a sampling of the UK will help you feel like you got a taste of what the country's like as a whole. 

With that in mind, here are five things to work into your itinerary if you're visiting the UK. They don't cover everything, but they'll give you a good feel for what it's all about! 

1. Tour The Lake District


The Lake District makes up a section of the northern part of England, where tiny towns welcome you to explore the stunning lakes and mountains along the coast. There are plenty of activities on the water, as well as walking trails, festivals, campgrounds, and family activities. You'll want to spend a little bit of time in one of those little towns, and perhaps have a pint or two with the locals, but for the most part a tour of the Lake District is all about nature. This is as beautiful a natural treasure as any in Europe, and frankly it's surprising it isn't better known than it is internationally. 

2. See The Castles


The UK is full of old stone castles, and to look upon most of them up close is just about enough to give you goosebumps. The various castles date back to different periods in history, and are thus in all sorts of varying states of repair. You can travel back in time at places like Leeds Castle or Hampton Court Palace (Henry VIII's residence in Richmond-upon-Thames). Or you can head to London to visit Buckingham Place or Windsor Castle for a taste of the more modern version of royal living - though it's not as if you're avoiding history at these places. Windsor Castle is in fact the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world. You can tell the Queen's home if her flag is flying overhead! 

It's also worth checking out smaller, more scattered castles like Herstmonceux Castle in Sussex, Dover Castle on the coast, or Hever Castle (Anne Boleyn's famous abode). And even these examples only just scratch the surface of all that a UK castle tour can entail. 

3. Try A Live Casino


In recent years, the UK's extensive slot gaming options online, as well as some full-fledged internet casinos, have altered the reputation of the country's casino culture. People today tend to think of the internet options first, and the brick-and-mortar options second. For travelers though, this should be reversed, because some of the real casinos around the country are a lot of fun. 

Many UK casinos are open 24/7, so they're great places to go when everything else closes (particularly given that some of the best pubs tend to close fairly early compared to bars in other countries). Genting Club Sheffield (as well as sister locations in Birmingham and Fountain Park), and Casino Leo in Liverpool are excellent options to try. And London also has several excellent casinos, with the Hippodrome being perhaps the most unique and noteworthy. 

4. Do A Pub Crawl


The UK is famous for its pubs, including some very old ones. You'll never be able to visit them all, but if you try some pub crawls, you may get the chance to visit a few of them in one go. Some notable historic sites are The Bingley Arms in Leeds (which dates back possibly as far as 905 AD) and Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, snug under the rock Nottingham Castle sits on. The latter, supposedly, dates back to 1189- the very year Richard the Lionheart became king!  

These historical options are incredible to see. Though if you'd rather have an easier time organizing a crawl, there are recommended routes already mapped out for you in most major cities around the UK. With a quick search you can find various crawls that other travelers have enjoyed before you. 

5. Go Hiking Or Cycling


You'll find some of the most beautiful countryside and coastline in the world in England, and it's well worth lacing up some durable boots and throwing on a jacket to explore. From the Settle Circular up in Yorkshire to the Cornwall coast and The Camel Trail, or even just through the Cotswolds west of London, cycling trips are ideal for adults and families alike. You can also try walking tours in cities like Oxford and Cambridge, where a leisurely pace allows you to absorb the history of those historic towns.

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