International travel is still off the cards for me, and it will be for the foreseeable future. I know we can travel now, and there are tonnes of health and safety measures in place to minimise the risk of transmitting Covid-19, but personally, I just don’t want to risk it right now. And so, I figured I would make the most of the opportunity and explore my own back yard. There are tonnes of places to visit and things to do in the UK that I’ve just never done. And so I thought I’d share an A-Z list of things you can be doing in the UK to explore our rugged coastlines and countryside to rediscover the beauty of our little island.
A – All Aboard!
There are so many amazing train rides you can do throughout the UK. From picturesque tours through the British Countryside on an old steam train, to a quick dash up the coast for a day out, taking the train is a great option to see the most of the UK!
B – Baker Street
221B Baker Street to be exact. If you find yourself in London, why not head to the home of Sherlock Holmes and see if there’s a mystery to be solved…
C – Coastlines
I might be biased, but the UK has some of the most dramatic coastlines you will ever see. From the iconic white cliffs of Dover, to the pristine beaches off the North Sea, no matter where you travel to there will be some spectacular views waiting for you, and some incredible stories of shipwrecks, invasions and victories that will make your jaw drop.
D – Dracula
Whitby, North Yorkshire is famously known as being the home of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. No matter what time of year you visit, this small fishing town will be packed with people flocking to the impressive Abbey and breath-taking sea views.
E – Eye Spy
The London Eye is one of the most visited attractions in England’s capitals. I feel like no trip to London is complete without a turn on the eye – it’s almost a right of passage!
F – Fish and Chips
I feel like no one quite does fish and chips like us Brits do. There’s nothing better than sitting on a breezy beach, devouring some delicious fish and chips and just taking in the views – you get bonus points if you find a chippy still wrapping their food in old newspapers! (and if you do, they will taste 1000x better!)
G – Giant’s Causeway
Over in Northern Ireland is the stunning Giant’s Causeway. The columns were created by the rapid cooling of lava upon contact with the sea, leaving the remarkable hexagonal stones you see today. If you head on a tour to the Giant’s Causeway from Belfast you’ll learn all about the legend of Irish warrior Finn McCool and the Scottish giant Benandonner. It’s definitely a tale you’ll remember!
H – Hogwarts
Harry Potter will forever be my favourite series of books. And if you’re a Harry Potter fan, there are hundreds of spots which were the inspiration for JK Rowling’s writings, as well as filming locations for the 8 films. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was filmed at multiple locations across the British Isles, including Alnwick Castle, Durham Cathedral, Lacock Abbey (Wiltshire) and Clachaig Gully (Glencoe, Scotland).
I – Ice Cream
Keeping with my apparent coastline theme in this post, if you’re heading to a beach (especially in the North of England), make sure you pick up a lemon top ice cream or a 99 flake.
J – Jesters and Jousting
It’s a known fact that the UK has some of the most impressive castles in the world. And many run live performances and activities including jousting or jester lessons. Warwick Castle is definitely one of the top Castle’s to visit!
K – Kayaking
The UK has some of the most beautiful inland and coastal waters, and they are perfect spots for kayaking. So if outdoor adventures are your thing, make sure you do your research!
L – Live Music
The UK’s music industry is incredible. From independent artists to household names, watching live music is a great way to spend an evening in any city you might find yourself in!
M – Museums
If you’re in London, the British Museum is arguably one of the best museums you could visit. Not only is it free entry, but you can easily spend an entire day here so its a perfect place to visit on a rainy day! With that being said, I’d highly recommend getting there early as the queues soon build!
N – National Parks
Whether you’re in the Lake District, the Brecon Beacons or have ventured all the way up to Loch Lomond, chances are you’re not far from a National Park. Why not go for a hike, take a picnic and admire all the incredible scenery, wildlife and flora you can spot.
O – Oliver Twist
Charles Dickens’ famous novel is set in London and features some of the most well known locations in the city as well as some hidden gems – why not see how many you can find?
P – Paddington Bear
Everyone’s favourite Peruvian Bear ventured all the way to London where he was found by the Brown family in London Paddington Station. Michael Bond’s books have been translated into over 30 languages, made into countless TV shows and cartoons and is now a major film! Why not head to Paddington Station and check out the sights Paddington would have seen!
Q – Queen
The Royal or the band, it’s really your pick.
If you’re a fan of the royal family, or just want to know more about the UK’s dramatic royal history, there are plenty of castle, museums and historical battlegrounds you can visit to learn more about the UK’s royal lineage.
The Battle of Bosworth is one of England’s defining battles, and is also one of my favourite historical sites to visit. Just 12 miles from Leicester and 3 miles from Market Bosworth, you can discover the final battle of the War of the Roses and how the battle changed the future of the country forever.
R – Rambling
If you’re an avid walker or hiker, there are thousands of incredible routes you can take – no matter which area of the UK you’re visiting, there will be a route for you. Rambling Man has some great tips, routes and equipment guides so you can make the most out of your time in the UK.
S – Stargazing
Kielder Water and Forest Park (Northumberland) is home to Kielder Observatory. And here you can spend an evening observing the skies and witnessing some of the most breathtaking constellations and night skies to ever pass over the UK.
T – Time for Tea
Us Brits love a cuppa. And if anything goes with a cuppa, it’s a scone. Afternoon Teas are a such a yummy treat to round off a day of retail therapy or sight seeing. If you’re in North Yorkshire, I’d highly recommend heading to Betty’s Tea Rooms – you know it’s going to be great when there’s queues right out the door!
U – Underwater Adventures
There’s so many amazing aquariums across the UK. But my favourite has to be The National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth – not only is it the largest aquarium in the UK with nearly 400 different species of marine fish, but it is also a registered charity promoting marine conservation!
V – Vikings
So the UK has been invaded a lot. In the 10th and 11th Centuries the Vikings set sail for English shores and transformed the country, and there are still plenty of places you can visit which are famous for being Viking settlements. In Northumbria you can head to Bamburgh Castle which overlooks the rugged coastline. The Castle was ransacked by the Vikings in 993AD! Bamburgh’s history doesn’t start and end with the Vikings though, it has been attacked by William the Conquerer, the Scots, and multiple English Kings. So if you’re a history buff this is a great place to visit!
W – Wreck Diving
The UK is one of the best spots for wreck diving. With shipwrecks scattering our Coastline, there is plenty waiting to be discovered. Devon and Cornwall are some of the best spots to go diving – not only do they have plenty of treasure waiting to be discovered, but they boast some of the best shoals and reefs you can spot off the English coast too!
X – Xtra time…
So I struggled a little with X. So please forgive me! But us Brits are sport nuts. Whether you’re a fan of footy, rugby union, tennis, golf or rugby league, there’s always a game going on somewhere. It’s the perfect way to spend an afternoon!
Y – York
York is without doubt one of my favourite cities. Whether you’re in to history, literature, chocolate, Harry Potter or nature, there’s something for you! And if you’re looking for something to do over the festive season, I love visiting York’s cobbled streets and taking in all the beautiful Christmas decorations!
Z – Zoo
We have some great zoos in the UK – some small, some big. But I thought I’d share my favourite two with you. Firstly, we have Edinburgh Zoo! I don’t know why I love it so much, I guess it just takes me back to being a kid and all the great memories I have of visiting Scotland, our family and of course Edinburgh Zoo. Plus they have pandas, so that is a win for me.
Our second zoo takes us down to Pembrokeshire and to Folly Farm. With over 120 acres of land, a day out at Folly Farm is definitely fun for the entire family. With play areas, a fairground, barn and zoo, there’s plenty to keep everyone occupied!
And there we have it. An A-Z list of things to do in the UK! I hope you find it helpful and as always, if you’ve been to any of these places let us know in the comments below!