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Welcome to the UK

Uncover mystical prehistoric monuments, Roman remains, Anglo-Saxon hordes and castles galore. Explore vibrant and dazzlingly diverse cities with treasure-stuffed museums and striking modern architecture. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are all proudly different but together create a country crammed with history, culture and natural beauty.

Despite its size, the UK has diverse and dramatic landscapes: brooding peaks and moors, rolling fields, ancient woodlands, towering cliffs and golden beaches. There is so much to do and see, that it’s hard to know where to start. London, Oxford, York, Edinburgh and Bath should all be top of your list with their famous landmarks, cultural institutions and fantastic food scenes. As should Cornwall with its spectacular coastline while the dramatic beauty of Scotland needs to be explored to be believed.

It might have a rep for dreary weather but don’t be fooled. There’s plenty of good days and never a dull moment in the UK. Even if the weather does stop play, there’s always a cosy pub to shelter in.

The UK is great for

  • History
  • Art and architecture
  • Food
  • Coastal Walks
  • Activity Holidays

EXPLORE OUR HOTELS IN THE UK

uk fast facts

Official Language – English is the official language of the UK.

Time – GMT

Tourist Info – Visit www.visitbritain.com/gb/ for more information.

Capital – London is the capital city of England.

Currency – The currency used in the UK is Pound sterling (£).

Getting there – International flights go to all major cities with domestic flights to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newquay, Cornwall.

when to go?

The distinct seasons are the best thing about the UK’s climate. From dark, short winter days when temperatures often plunge below freezing to the long and languid sun-filled days of summer, the changes are dramatic. Spring is a lovely time to explore the coast and countryside with warmer days, spring flowers and blossom. Autumn can be both sunny and mild or wet and windy. The changing colours of the trees in parks and forests is a highlight.

what's on?

The UK is a multi-faith society with a multitude of religious celebrations. Christmas is the biggest annual event with a host of festivities taking place in the lead up, from light displays to festive markets and carol concerts. New Year’s Eve is widely celebrated. Known as Hogmanay in Scotland, Edinburgh has street parties, parades and firework displays.

Spring and summer bring music festivals galore, Pride and the Proms. Cornwall has a fine crop of food and drink festivals, while Falmouth Week brings sailing regattas and live music. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival makes the Scottish capital even more vibrant. The darker autumn days are lit up by Diwali celebrations and Bonfire Night. Some villages, including some in the West Country, host age-old celebrations with flaming barrels of tar.

the food & drink

Roast beef, bangers and mash, fish and chips and cream teas are mainstays of the UK kitchen. But the country has way more to offer beyond the obvious.

Britain is bursting with home-grown produce and regional delicacies from Cornish pasties, Melton Mowbray pork pies and haggis to Bara brith and Bakewell tarts. Typically, the countryside is the place for pubs with beer gardens, tearooms and farmers’ markets while towns and cities have the whole gamut from smart restaurants and stylish bars to ancient pubs and bustling street food markets.

Thanks to its mild climate, Cornwall is renowned for its fantastic produce from early season vegetables to delicious dairy and prime seafood. Buy fish fresh from the boat in higgledy-piggledy fishing harbours or feast on local delights in Michelin-starred eateries. A cream tea is a must in the West Country, as is a steaming Cornish pasty. Best enjoyed on a harbour wall but with a cup tea. (Keeping watch for pesky seagulls.)

Scotland’s larder is well stocked too from its revered Aberdeen Angus beef and wild game to its smoked salmon, Arbroath smokies and shellfish. A tour of its whisky distilleries gives a glimpse into the nation’s culture.

Away from traditional food you’ll find every cuisine going on most high streets: from Indian and Caribbean to French, Japanese and vegan.

The Historic sites

You don’t need to dig far to uncover a wealth of history in this island nation. In fact, long-buried treasures are resurfacing all the time. Step into the past at a host of world-leading museums, but better still get out and explore.

The coastline, cities and hills are studded with castles from Tintagel in Cornwall and Dover on the south coast to the 70-odd in Northumberland. Wales and Scotland are scattered with fortresses too – the mighty rock-top castles of Edinburgh and Stirling are a must-visit. Prehistoric henges and stone circles dot the land from the moors of Cornwall to the plains of Wiltshire and the isles of Scotland, swirling in mysteries. While Hadrian’s Wall and Bath’s Roman Baths are among the country’s well-preserved classical remains.

The ancient laneways of London, Oxford, York and Edinburgh are crammed with medieval wonders while Tudor mega mansions can be found around the countryside. Wandering around grand country piles and sprawling estates is a very British thing to do – and Cornwall has some beauties.

The Natural Wonders

Rolling meadows, craggy cliffs, wild moors and towering mountains, the UK is awash with wild expanses of nature. What’s more, these landscapes are steeped in legends and immortalised in the works of great artists and writers.

Head off on walking trails to waterfalls, spot wild ponies in rugged moorland and delve into tangles of ancient woodland.
The Lake District has England’s most dramatic scenery with its jagged mountains and deep lakes creating jaw-dropping scenes at every turn. Scotland is not short of drama either with its vast wildlife-rich forests, rushing rivers, mirrored lochs and brooding peaks.

With thousands of miles of coastline, the UK has brilliant beaches and spectacular rock formations too. Walk in the footsteps of giants at Northern Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway, go fossil hunting and gaze at sea-carved arches on the Jurassic Coast and walk along towering cliffs in Cornwall before heading down to sandy coves for a dip. Wherever you go, packing your walking boots is highly recommended.