London is the place that most people choose to visit on their first trip to the UK. It makes sense, as it’s the capital and there’s plenty to see and do there. It’s where you can find many of the most famous landmarks, from Buckingham Palace to more modern sights like the London Eye. Plus, you can discover free museums, endless places to eat, and lots of shopping. However, there’s a lot more to see in the UK outside of London. It’s made up of four different countries, each of which has its charms. If you’re thinking of touring the UK, here are some of the other cities that you won’t want to miss out on.
If you want to start in the south of England, Brighton is a great pick. This seaside city is known for its bohemian feel. It’s a good place to visit in the summer, but you don’t need sunny weather to enjoy yourself there. It’s also not too far from London, easy to reach by train, coach or car, making it an excellent pick for a day trip if you’re staying in the capital. Its eye-catching Royal Pavilion, a former royal residence, it’s a must-see, and the pier also offers plenty of fun. Don’t forget to have fish and chips while you’re by the sea.
Bath is sometimes called Bath Spa and is famed for its Roman baths. This quaint city in the southwest of England is a wonderful choice for anyone looking for history. As well as the Roman baths, you can also explore the city’s connection to Jane Austen or visit a museum. It’s also, naturally, a good place for a wellbeing break. While you can’t bathe at the Roman baths (although you can visit them), there are modern spas for you to visit, whether you stay at a hotel or get a day pass for a spa.
As you head further north in England, one of the most popular cities to visit is Liverpool – partly because it’s the home of The Beatles. But apart from making sure you get your Abbey Road photo, you will discover that there’s a lot more to Liverpool. Get ready to learn some Scouse – Merseyside and Liverpool accents and dialect that are like no other. You can discover the history of the city, from its maritime past to its strong connection with music. The Albert Dock is a great place to start your Liverpool adventure, offering architecture, museums, eateries, and more.
Not far from Liverpool, you will find Manchester, another city famed for its music scene. Home to bands such as Oasis, The Stone Roses, The Smiths and, more recently, Everything Everything, you can find some fantastic live music venues. If you’re looking for other experiences, Manchester also has a great food scene, and it’s a good place for culture and the arts. The tram system makes it easy to get around, so you can explore the wider city and not just the city centre.
Edinburgh is by far the most popular city to visit in Scotland. The Scottish capital is particularly busy in August when people come for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Edinburgh International Festival, which run all month. Even if you’re not visiting in the summer, you can discover plenty of arts and culture to enjoy all year. Edinburgh is also a fantastic city for history lovers, and history or ghost tours are one of the activities on offer. Edinburgh Castle is always worth a visit too, and you can enjoy shopping, excellent pubs, delicious food, and friendly people too.
Glasgow is the slightly-less refined Scottish cousin to Edinburgh. It’s not seen to be anywhere near as posh as Edinburgh is, but that also makes it more affordable. It also won’t short-change you on culture and is a very creative city. Some might even see it as a livelier place than Edinburgh, with a great nightlife, and you can visit in August without the extremely high prices and very busy streets. You can still find lots of things to do and great places to eat and drink. Glasgow has its own festivals too, although they might not be on the same scale as those in Edinburgh.
The Welsh capital is another city that’s definitely worth a visit. One of the great things about the city is that you can find Cardiff Castle right in the city centre. Other ways to explore the city’s history are available too, including the National Museum of Wales and other excellent museums. For a smaller city, it still has a good nightlife scene, as well as good restaurants covering a range of cuisines. For shopping, you have a choice between the St Davids shopping centre or exploring the arcades, where you can find shops and cafes hidden away.
Another Welsh city, St Davids is the smallest city in the UK. Part of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the coastal city is ideal if you’re looking for somewhere quiet to get away. It might be a city, but it’s the perfect base to explore the outdoors. You could take a boat trip or enjoy some outdoor activities, whether you go kayaking, hiking or something else. Renting a holiday cottage in St Davids will allow you some time to explore the local arts and crafts, visit museums and galleries, and enjoy the food and drink on offer in the area too.
The capital of Northern Ireland isn’t to be missed on your trip to the UK, either. While it’s not on the UK mainland, it’s not difficult to get to. You can fly, or you could take a ferry from Liverpool, or from Cairnryan in Scotland. The city is the birthplace of the Titanic, and learning about it at the Titanic Belfast Experience is one option for something to do. For something unusual, there’s the Crumlin Gaol museum, which you can tour. The Botanic Gardens also offer a wonderful day out.
London has a lot to offer, but it’s not the only place to see in the UK. Other cities can be just as fun, and you might even find one that you prefer.