Composed of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom has long been a favorite European tourist destination for many because of its beautiful countryside, historic cities, topnotch museums and outstanding theaters. From medieval castles to stately mansions and the awe-inspiring scenery of the Lake District and the Scottish Highlands, there is a diverse set of places to visit in the UK.
London is a fascinating city laden with history, filled with museums and art galleries, beautiful green parks, fantastic shopping and dining, a vibrant theatre scene, and, of course, royalty. London is truly a city that has it all. The changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace is a not-to-be-missed experience, as is watching the minutes tick away at Big Ben, probably the world’s most famous clock. Another London must is riding a double-decker bus across Tower Bridge over the Thames River.
2. Scottish Highlands
The Scottish Highlands is the rugged northern and northwestern portion of Scotland. This is the Scotland conjured up by visions of tartan, kilts, lochs and Braveheart. The area is very sparsely populated, with many mountain ranges dominating the region, and includes the highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis. Among its most popular attractions is Eilean Donan Castle, a real picture postcard castle and Loch Ness, Scotland’s most famous lakes.
One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is composed of earthworks surrounding a circular setting of large standing stones in south west England. It is also home to some of the most important Neolithic and Bronze Age finds and structures in the UK, and contains some 200 scheduled monuments. From about 2500BC, Neolithic and Bronze Age man started to bring Bluestones and Sarsen stones from Wales and the Marlborough Downs. It was not until 1600BC that Stonehenge came to be completed.
Cambridge is a charming English city located on the River Cam just north of London. As the home to one of the world’s top universities, the University of Cambridge, it has all of the cultural and entertainment options you might expect from a college town. The King’s College Chapel, situated along the River Cam, is considered a fine example of perpendicular Gothic architecture and is one of the most visited sights in the city.
5. Lake District
Located in north west England in the county of Cumbria, the Lake District is the second largest National Park in the UK. The main attractions are the lakes, mountains and hills carved by glacial erosion and providing dramatic and inspiring scenery. It is England’s premier destination for hiking and climbing. Among the most popular places to visit in the United Kingdom, the park is visited by about 14 million tourists each year.
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