things to do in uk

Last Updated on: 1st July 2024, 10:37 am

Stepping onto British soil fills me with wonder and excitement. The United Kingdom is a blend of history, culture, and beauty. It has charmed visitors for centuries with its iconic cities, like London, and its wild Scottish landscapes.

Whether you love music, hiking, or reading, the UK has something for everyone. Picture yourself in Bristol, exploring art and enjoying music at events like Forwards. Or, stand amazed by the ancient mystery of Stonehenge.

The UK offers varied experiences. You can hike Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest peak, or get lost in Hay-on-Wye’s bookshops. Every place, from the Lake District to Edinburgh, is unique and inviting.

Let this guide introduce you to the wonders of the UK. Discover the fun of Notting Hill Carnival and the beauty of the Giant’s Causeway. Immerse yourself in the Beatles’ legacy in Liverpool. The UK is ready for you to explore. Discover the rich history and vibrant culture across the UK, from Bedford’s historic sites to the scenic beauty of Yorkshire.

Things to Do in UK

1. Pitch Up at a World-Famous Music Festival

Glastonbury Festival

Glastonbury is the UK’s grandest music bash. It sprawls each summer over Somerset, mixing mud, magic, and music. The festival lures with hippies, healing, and a variety of music that stretches from pop to reggae. It captures hearts with its vast array of activities, not just its epic line-up.

Getting a ticket to Glastonbury opens a door to an eye-opening world. Pack baby wipes – they’re a lifesaver. You’ll dive into a sea of people, witness incredible performances, and stumble on odd but fun things. Glastonbury is an adventure that stays in your memory for ages.

“Glastonbury is the best festival in the world. The scale, the variety, the spirit – it’s unparalleled.”

Are you new to festivals, or a seasoned goer? Glastonbury will win you over with its charm and surprises. So, don’t forget your wellies, pack light and get set for the summer event of a lifetime.

Glastonbury Festival

Conquer the UK’s Highest Peak

Lace up your boots for a thrilling adventure. Ben Nevis, the highest mainland mountain in Britain, stands at 1,345 metres. It is a must for any passionate hiker.

There are two routes. The Mountain Track is the favourite, good for all levels of ability. For a tougher challenge, try the Carn Mor Dearg Arête. This route demands more stamina and skills. It offers amazing views on a journey that can last more than ten hours.

Looking for a big challenge? The National Three Peaks Challenge is a tough adventure. It involves climbing the highest peaks in Wales, England, and Scotland in 24 hours. It’s a great test for any avid hiker.

Mountain Height (m) Location
Ben Nevis 1,345 Scotland
Snowdon 1,085 Wales
Scafell Pike 978 England
Pen Y Fan 886 Wales
Ingleborough 723 England

Conquering Ben Nevis or the Three Peaks Challenge will give you unforgettable memories. It will also grow your love for the stunning British mountains.

ben nevis

“Climbing is not something you are good at, it’s something you work at. It’s about the journey, not the destination.”

Get ready to explore the highest peaks of the UK. Adventure awaits the daring who love the outdoors. Let’s go hillwalking and discover what the UK has to offer.

2. Party All Weekend at Notting Hill Carnival

Europe’s Biggest Street Party

The Notting Hill Carnival celebrates the Caribbean culture of London. It’s the biggest festival in Europe. Happening every August bank holiday, it turns West London into a vibrant party.

About two million people are expected to join in 2024. So, it’s a top choice for summer visitors in the UK.

The event goes on for two days, with Sunday called “Family Day.” A three and a half miles long parade features bright costumes and lively floats. The street echoes with the music of steel drums and more.

Over 30 spots pump out music, keeping everyone dancing. Aside from that, you’ll find food from the Caribbean everywhere. This includes treats like Jamaican jerk chicken and Trinidadian roti.

As the festival starts, there’s an opening ceremony at 10 am on Sunday. This is followed by parades. The fun continues with J’Ouvert before sunrise on Sunday and the main parade on Monday.

Tickets are needed for certain parts, like joining the parade or going to afterparties. Although it’s free, you’ll experience the UK’s Caribbean culture in a vibrant way. For a cultural experience, visit Northampton’s arts scene or explore the historic attractions in Salisbury.

Notting Hill Carnival

“The Notting Hill Carnival is a true celebration of the UK’s Caribbean heritage. It’s a vibrant, colourful event that brings people of all backgrounds together for an unforgettable weekend of music, food, and cultural immersion.”

3. Explore the Giant’s Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway is a breathtaking spot in Northern Ireland. It’s made up of around 40,000 basalt columns that fit together like a puzzle. People have been amazed by this place for generations. It became Northern Ireland’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.

You can freely walk among the unique stone shapes at the Giant’s Causeway. There’s no barrier stopping you. See the famous Wishing Chair and other interesting rocks like the Camel and Giant’s Boot. You might wonder if these rocks tell a story of giants or volcanic eruptions millions of years ago.

The Giant’s Causeway attracts many visitors to Northern Ireland. It’s close to the Bushmills Distillery and the Dark Hedges. The Dark Hedges is a famous tree-lined road from Game of Thrones. These places offer a great mix of nature and history.

“The Giant’s Causeway is a geological masterpiece, a testament to the power and beauty of the natural world.” – Lonely Planet

When at the Giant’s Causeway, you can hike, take a dip in the sea, or just enjoy the view. It’s a top choice in the UK for its beauty, history, and nearby sights. The Giant’s Causeway is a key destination when exploring Northern Ireland.

giant's causeway

4. Lose Yourself in a Town of Books

Hay-on-Wye, the World’s First Book Town

Hay-on-Wye is a must-visit for book lovers everywhere. It’s the world’s first book town. It’s known for its annual book festival. Famous names like Hillary Clinton and musicians Dua Lipa and Stormzy have been seen here. The town boasts over 30 bookshops, making it a dream for anyone who loves to read.

Richard Booth’s Bookshop is a highlight in Hay-on-Wye. It has three floors packed with both new and used books. If you love browsing for books, this is the place to be.

Besides books, Hay-on-Wye has much more to offer. The historic Hay Castle is getting a makeover but is closed this year. The Hay Bluff hike, nearby, offers amazing views of the Wye Valley from 677 metres up.

Fact Statistic
Number of Bookshops Around 30
Population of Hay-on-Wye Approximately 2,000
Length of Hay Bluff Hike 9.2 kilometers
Hay Festival Attendance Attracts thousands of visitors

A trip to Hay-on-Wye should be on every bookworm’s list. It’s the first book town in the world. With exciting book festivals, charming stores, and beautiful nature, this Welsh book town is perfect for those who love stories.

“Hay-on-Wye is a true mecca for book lovers, with its vast array of bookshops and annual literary festival that attracts visitors from all over the world.”

5. Discover the UK’s Breathtaking National Parks

The UK is known for its diverse countryside. It has everything from lush green hills to high mountain peaks. This beautiful landscape includes ancient woodlands, idyllic lakes, and moors full of character. Explore all 15 national parks to see the UK’s unique beauty. Each park has something special to offer.

Visit places like the Norfolk Broads for a flat landscape and Exmoor for wild, open spaces. Find drama in the Lake District and Snowdonia, with their tall peaks. Or experience the dark sky in Northumberland. The UK’s national parks cater to every type of traveller. You might find a peaceful spot, an exciting adventure, or a fun family holiday.

“The UK’s national parks are a true testament to the country’s natural beauty, offering a diverse array of landscapes that captivate the senses and nourish the soul.”

6. Unravel the Mysteries of Stonehenge

Stonehenge is a prehistoric stone circle on Salisbury Plain. It captivates millions every year. Yet, its true purpose and origin are still a mystery. Could it be a calendar, burial site, or for rituals? Some wonder if Merlin or giants built it. Or, if it’s linked to the supernatural or aliens.

Despite the unknowns, Stonehenge shows amazing ancient engineering and knowledge of the stars. Walking among the stones, you can think about ceremonies from long ago.

If you’re eager to learn more about Stonehenge, there are guided tours available. Some tours include visits to other UK prehistoric sites. Others offer a special view of Stonehenge at sunrise or sunset.

For history lovers, amateur archaeologists, or those who love UK ancient monuments, a visit to Stonehenge is a must. Being there, you’ll feel the weight of its history. It’s a chance to think about ancient mysteries that still captivate us today.

Tour Option Duration Price Inclusions
Stonehenge and Bath Guided Day Tour from London Approx. 5-6 hours £95 Admission to Stonehenge, guided tour of Bath
Stonehenge Special Inner Circle Access – Evening Approx. 3.5 hours £155 Private viewing of the inner circle, guided tour
Stonehenge Summer Solstice Tour Approx. 8 hours £70 Admission to Stonehenge, guided tour, overnight access during Summer Solstice
Private Tour: Windsor, Stonehenge and Bath Approx. 10 hours £1450 Admission to Stonehenge and Windsor Castle, guided tour of Bath, private transportation

No matter the tour, visiting Stonehenge is unforgettable. You’ll dive deep into the mysteries and beauty of this iconic UK archaeological wonder.

“Stonehenge continues to captivate and intrigue, drawing visitors from around the world to ponder its enduring mysteries.”

7. Walk in The Beatles’ Footsteps

Explore Liverpool, the Birthplace of the Fab Four

Liverpool, in the north-west of England, is famous as The Beatles’ birth city. Fans can journey through it, following where John, Paul, George, and Ringo became global stars.

Start by booking the Magical Mystery Tour. This guided trip visits The Beatles’ early spots, like the Cavern Club. You’ll also see John Lennon’s and Paul McCartney’s childhood homes, now National Trust sites.

Then, visit the Beatles Story exhibition for an immersive look at the band’s journey. Walk through their story, see rare items, and understand their cultural impact.

Next, see the Fab Four’s statues at the Pier Head. Enjoy the vibrant waterfront and imagine Liverpool in its music heyday. This walk celebrates a proud part of UK music heritage and UK pop culture.

Don’t miss Abbey Road Studios in London, where The Beatles made history. Take a photo on the famous zebra crossing, just like their album cover.

From visiting their childhood homes to seeing their statues, Liverpool offers much for Beatles fans. It’s a place that will thrill all music lovers, igniting their love for the beatles.

8. Catch Some Cornish Waves

Cornwall is a beautiful county in South West England. People worldwide come here for surfing. Its rugged coast and clear waters make it a surfers’ paradise.

The surfing hotspot is Newquay, known as the “surf capital of the UK.” It has over seven beaches. People of all surfing levels can enjoy spots like Fistral Beach or Towan Beach.

But, Cornwall’s surf scene is huge. Northern and southern coasts have spots like Gwithian and Perranporth. Here, big-wave surfers can challenge the Atlantic Ocean’s powerful swells.

Cornwall is also great for diving. Water clarity makes it perfect for seeing underwater life. From jewel anemones to bright corals, there’s a lot to discover.

Cold-water swimming is beneficial and refreshing. Cornwall’s Lansallos Cove and Nanjizal are ideal places. They offer great mental and physical health benefits.

If you love the sea, Cornwall is a must-visit place. Whether you surf, dive, or swim, Cornwall’s coasts are waiting. Come and make memories in this British paradise.

9. Explore Iconic Edinburgh

The Royal Mile and Beyond

Crowds fill Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. It’s the main link between Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace. Along with stores selling Nessie trinkets, you’ll see bagpipers and performers. There are also hidden gardens and reminders of Edinburgh’s old days.

Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, is full of history and culture. The famous Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace are must-sees. They highlight the UK’s rich history and cultural adventures.

Stroll down The Royal Mile to enjoy the local buzz. You can visit St Giles’ Cathedral with its detailed Gothic design. Or, go below ground to explore The Real Mary King’s Close. It’s a hidden gem showing Edinburgh’s past.

The city’s beauty goes beyond the Royal Mile. Go up Calton Hill for amazing views. Or head to The Meadows for green space, where locals love having picnics and fun.

For great scotland travel or UK city breaks, Edinburgh is perfect. It mixes old with new, offering you a memorable experience of UK culture and history. Enjoy outdoor adventures like cycling in the North York Moors, or take a peaceful walk along the Thames Path in Marlow.

“Edinburgh is a city of shifting light, of changing skies, of sudden vistas. A city so beautiful it breaks the heart again and again.”

– Alexander McCall Smith, Scottish author

Conclusion

This guide has shared top uk travel tips and more. It highlights the United Kingdom’s finest, from famous sites to less-known treasures. Whether you want vibrant music festivals, thrilling adventures, or cultural delights, the UK has it all.

While planning your incredible uk getaway, keep in mind the world’s changing. By 2030, more people will live in Africa, creating a bigger workforce. This means tourism must grow in a way that helps everyone.

Now, start planning your uk vacation ideas to enjoy the UK’s history, culture, and scenic views. Your trip will fill you with wonderful memories. You’ll also look forward to more uk leisure activities in the future.

FAQ

What are the top things to do in the UK?

There are lots to do in the UK that are amazing. You can see Big Ben or the Tower of London. Or enjoy music at Glastonbury. You could also hike a mountain like Ben Nevis. And see natural wonders such as the Giant’s Causeway.

What are some of the UK’s most famous music festivals?

Some of the world’s best music festivals are in the UK. Glastonbury is famous worldwide. It has music for everyone.

What are the best outdoor adventures in the UK?

The national parks in the UK are great for outdoor lovers. You can take on the Three Peaks Challenge. Or you can stroll through beautiful countryside. There are stunning views all around.

What are the top cultural events in the UK?

The UK is rich in cultural festivals. The Notting Hill Carnival stands out. It shows the UK’s link to the Caribbean. Plus, the Hay-on-Wye book festival is famous. It’s a great event for book lovers.

What are the must-see natural attractions in the UK?

There are many incredible natural spots in the UK. Stonehenge is one of them, very old and mysterious. The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland is awe-inspiring. Its rocks are like huge steps.

What are the top things to do in the UK’s cities?

In Liverpool, you can dive into music history at The Beatles’ birthplace. Edinburgh’s old streets are full of stories. The UK’s cities are alive with culture and fun. There’s always something to discover.

What are the best outdoor activities in the UK?

The UK’s nature is perfect for all kinds of outdoor fun. Try surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Lake District. There are 15 amazing national parks to explore. The adventure never ends.