by Ellen Curham
‘Brexit’ has been the world on everyone’s lips lately since the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Who knows what will happen with borders in the coming months but if you’ve always wanted to explore more of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, now is the time to do it!
We’ve compiled some of the best places in the UK to visit. This group of countries has some of the coolest cities in Europe as well as some absolutely breathtaking scenery. Whether you agree with the decision to leave the EU or not, let these spots the UK be on your travel bucket list this summer.
City life in London
It’s an obvious choice, but everybody needs to visit London at least once in their life. Yes it’s huge and can take hours to get from one part to the next despite the tube’s efficiency but it’s one of Europe’s cultural and financial capitals and is rich in history.
Make sure to visit Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Westminster buildings if architecture is your thing. For museums, The British Museum has some fascinating ancient artefacts while the Tate Modern boasts some of the best artworks in recent history.
London is also known for its amazing food scene from Michelin Star restaurants in Mayfair to delicious street food in Camden. And make sure you don’t call it an early night after your meal as you’ll find some of the UK’s top bars and nightclubs in this capital city.
Where to stay? Wombats City Hostel is within walking distance of the Tower of London and a couple of Tube stations making it an ideal central location for those wanting to check out as much of the city as possible.
Surfing in Cornwall
This little peninsula is the UK’s most southerly point and a surfer’s paradise. Lined with beautifully rugged beaches, you’ll find England’s best waves here.
It’s also a hub for creatives and environmentalists. The Eden Project is one of the UK’s top attractions. As the world’s largest greenhouse, these futuristic-looking domes host a variety of plants and vegetation and exhibitions teach guests about conservatism—plus a very cool hostel.
Lastly, don’t forget to try a Cornish Pasty when you’re here; the traditional short crust pastry is filled with meat and veg and is one of England’s national dishes.
Where to stay? YHA Penzance is a recently refurbished mansion. It’s the perfect place to kick back and relax after a day of surfing.
Hiking in Snowdonia
Wales is a dream for walkers and hikers. This little country boasts some big mountains and Snowdonia National Park is the place to head to in order to explore them.
Snowden is the highest mountain in the region at a mighty 3,560ft but there are trails for all levels of ability that go through famous valleys and along rugged coasts. And if you don’t feel like walking you can travel the Snowden Mountain Railway and check out the museums dedicated to the country’s industry along the way.
Where to stay? Totters in Caernarfon is nestled alongside the town’s castle walls and is the perfect base for trips into Snowdonia National Park. Travelling in a group? You can also rent an entire house for your stay!
Enjoy exploring Edinburgh
It’s hard not to be charmed by Scotland’s capital. Whether you want to be wowed by castles or relax in a quaint little café, it makes for an awesome UK getaway.
Explore the alleyways of the medieval Old Town and check out the surprisingly modern Parliament building before heading to the top of Arthur’s Seat to take it all in from above. Later in the day, grab a tea at the Elephant House Café, which is where JK Rowling wrote the Harry Potter books. Make sure to check out the fan graffiti in the toilets!
Edinburgh has also embraced the craft beer movements and you’ll find artisanal pints in places like The Bow Bar, The Hanging Bat, Guildford Arms and Holyrood 9a. Then, seeing as you are in the home of the Fringe Festival, head to a comedy club like The Stand for a hilarious way to finish off your night.
Where to stay? The Baxter gives a new meaning to the word hostel, offering a boutique experience in the heart of the city.
Natural beauty in County Antrim
Country Antrim is the jewel of Northern Ireland that has unrivalled scenery. The main attraction is, of course, The Giant’s Causeway, a striking natural basalt rock formation. Nearby you’ll also find the Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge for those brave enough to cross it!
It is Antrim’s stunning landscapes that make it the perfect location for the HBO series Game of Thrones. Fans of the show should check out Game of Thrones Tours that take you to the famous filming spots around County Antrim before heading to the lively city of Belfast for the night.
Where to stay? Chimney Corner Hotel is close to the airport and a short drive from the incredible Antrim scenery.