Often visitors to the UK will fly into a London airport and not see much more than the capital. Ok, this may be a bit of a generalization but from people I’ve spoken it does apply to some visitors.
This is a bit sad as there is much more to the UK than London, and while the capital does have its attractions they tend to be centered around tourist sites, nightlife, restaurants and so on, and also tend to be very expensive.
I can’t criticize too much though as I have certainly been guilty of doing this myself when going to some countries. Amsterdam in the Netherlands, Copenhagen in Denmark and Krakow in Poland spring to mind. But you have to start somewhere and if you are only in a country for a couple of days this is sometimes all you can do.
If you are in a country a few weeks or more then there is less of an excuse, and in this article I’ll look at some places to visit in England outside London. There are a few articles on Scotland on the site and there are articles on North and South Wales on the site also. I haven’t made it to Northern Ireland yet.
If you enjoy more than urban, the National Parks of England offer beautiful countryside, lakes and mountains. There are 10 in England , the closest to London being the Norfolk Broads, Exmoor, the South Downs and the New Forest. Each has different draws, and if you head further north there is the Yorkshire Dales, the Peak District, Northumberland and the North York Moors.
In the south, Cornwall and Devon are beautiful counties with great coastlines, good for watersports. Glastonbury is on the way and could be a stopping off point.
The university towns of Oxford and Cambridge have magnificent college buildings to visit and Bath also in the south has heritage and culture to experience.
If you head further north the regional cities of Manchester, York and Liverpool are worth a visit. Manchester competes with Leeds and Sheffield for the premier city in the North and all three have their attractions.
On the east side of the country Lincoln and Durham are beautiful historic cities and further north Newcastle has a character of its own.
The UK excels for music, and through the spring to autumn there are many music festivals. Each has its own personality and you can choose one to match your musical interests.
If you are in London and don’t have much time, just catch the train to Brighton to see the British coast and experience the city’s bohemian vibes.
And do consider Scotland and Wales, they too have much to offer. Just make sure you make it outside the capital for at least a few days.
Image by Tomas Maltby, Flickr