The UK is highly underestimated as a place around which to base some fun, vibrant and enriching travel experiences. Sometimes when you have things on your doorstep they are easily ignored and it pays to remember that many people from far flung places around the world see a holiday to the UK as a once in a lifetime holiday. So, where to go?
One of England’s most important prehistoric sites, situated in Amesbury, Stonehenge is a remarkable monument to what could be achieved without machinery, simply with the will and belief to create a sacred monument as the armoury of the people involved in shifting these enormous stones. A visit during the Summer or Winter solstice will see you fraternising with druids and other devotees to the stones and their mystical aura and the visitor centre is well worth a look. You can choose to have an audio guide, which will enhance your experience.
No trip to the UK would be complete without a visit to England’s capital. Impossibly rich with history and dripping with atmosphere, London is one of those cities that needs several days even to begin to get a proper feel of the place, not to mention visit a small percentage of the amazing places that it has to offer. A visit to the south bank including the London Eye, the London Dungeon and the Florence Nightingale museum is well recommended as well as a trip to the Tate Modern, the beautiful and labyrinthine Natural History museum. Why not take in the alternative atmosphere of Camden Town, sample one of Notting Hill’s gastropubs and take a long walk in one of the city’s many stunning parks too? All of that is even before mentioning the possibility of going to a show, one of many gigs and sampling the diverse and wonderful night life.
The Cotswolds is an area that incorporates parts of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire and is replete with charming villages, with innumerable traditional pubs serving ales brewed in the local area. There are artisanal shops galore and a swathe of amazing walks to go on to help the beer go down! Burford is a beautiful place from which to base a stay and you could spend a whole trip driving around the antique shops – there are that many in the area. A lovely area for a relaxing weekend break.
The Inner Hebrides
While their location at the extreme North of Britain can be off-putting for some and the weather is about as reliable as a car made of jelly, there is so much beauty in the islands of the Inner Hebrides that it is well worth the journey. You can fly up to Glasgow and rent a car. The journey alone from there is an experience! You will be travelling between the islands by Ferries, most of which you can board with your car. Islay, Arran, Skye, Mull and Jura are all incredibly beautiful and just happen to be blessed with some of the finest whisky distilleries in the world. The whisky tours are unbelievably good value and the staff are more than happy to give you a sample of anything you are considering taking away with you! A walk on Machir Bay beach in Islay is absolutely breath-taking and if you can brave the cold, the sea is almost magically invigorating. As a reward head to Kilchomen distillery and sample their own Machir Bay whisky. It is uncanny just how much the smell of the whisky and your memories of the aroma of the special sea air will collide.