The United Kingdom is a tale of four countries – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. There are few places out there that offer as much history, culture and scenery as the UK does, considering its size. From the rolling moors of Yorkshire and the mysterious Scottish Highlands, to the beautiful beaches of Wales and the vibrant modern cities, the UK has something to offer everyone.
Due to its compact nature and good network of roads and motorways, travelling around the UK is easy and relatively cheap. One of the most convenient ways to explore the many sights and sounds is with UK car rental from Lynx Car Hire, the best way to find cheap car hire in the UK.
Our team have been out scouring the nation to bring you ten un-missable sights in the UK. Does your favourite UK attraction make our list? Leave a comment below!
Windsor, a short trip from London, is dominated by the crenelated towers of the historic Windsor Castle. The grand site, overlooking the River Thames, was chosen by William the Conqueror and has served as a fortress and Royal residence for over 900 years. Covering an area of 13 acres (excluding the grounds), it proudly claims the title of biggest inhabited castle in the world today.
See the Windsor Castle website for specific details of ceremonial events and opening times. Visitors can easily spend a whole day exploring. Look out for The State Apartments, Queen Mary’s Doll House, The Semi State Rooms and more.
Snowdonia National Park
Wales is an amazing country for hikers and there is no better place to start than the dramatic and unpredictable landscape of Snowdonia National Park. The highest peak in the range, Mount Snowdon, is 3,560 feet and offers stunning views over nearby deep glacial valleys carved by ice ages. As well as being a haven for serious hikers, Snowdonia is also popular with cyclists and those preferring more leisurely walks or activities like pony trekking.
The Iron Bridge
Crossing the River Severn in Shropshire, The Iron Bridge was opened in 1781 and was the first arch bridge in the world to be made of cast iron. Iron Bridge Gorge is popular with families and visitors today can enjoy ten award winning museums ranging from china and tile makers, to an entire reconstructed Victorian town.
The mysterious Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the 1980s and is without a doubt one of the most iconic sights in the UK. Nobody knows why it was built or who built it, but it has fascinated visitors and historians alike for centuries and will do so for many years to come. Stonehenge is now home to The Summer Solstice, a magical gathering that joins New Age Tribes with ordinary families, travellers and party people.
The Romans constructed Hadrian’s Wall across the north of England from Carlisle to Newcastle-upon-Tyne during the fall of the Roman Empire. Its primary purpose was to defend England from Picts invading from Scotland. Roughly around 73 miles of the original wall remains today, visitors can see and explore the ruins of fences, courtyards and stone barns. Vindolandia, a fort and settlement near to Hadrian’s Wall, is well worth a visit as is the nearby Roman Army Museum.
There are no sights in the UK that even come close to the enormous York Minster, classed as one of the seven wonders of Britain. Built between 1220 and 1472, it is the largest medieval Gothic cathedral in northern Europe and dominates the York skyline. The Great East Window can be found in the nave and is the biggest expanse of medieval stained glass in the world, and a truly amazing sight!
The Royal Pavilion
This impressive former royal residence, The Royal Pavilion in Brighton, was built for King George IV and was regularly used by his brother William IV and their niece Queen Victoria. Created by architect John Nash, the Pavilion was built on the Indo-Saracenic style (typically seen in India) and features extravagant Chinese influenced interiors made up of expensive fabrics, gilt and crystal.
Many consider William Shakespeare to be the greatest playwright of them all. His birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon is immersed in history and offers a lot to see and do. Shakespeare’s birthplace is one of the most visited landmarks in the UK; you can even see the actual room he was born in! See The Nash House, Hall’s Croft or The Mary Arden House – the home to Shakespeare’s mother, and then complete your visit by watching a play or two at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
Edinburgh Castle is located at the end of the Royal Mile and sits proudly the summit of Castle Rock. The fortress has dominated the skyline of Scotland’s capital for hundreds of years. Edinburgh Castle has had a variety of uses over the years including being a prison for sailors during the 18th and 19th centuries. Visitors can explore history on a guided tour or watch one of many costumed performer events held throughout the year.
The Roman Baths
The Roman Baths, in the UK city of Bath, are often considered to be the ancient world’s best preserved religious spa. Popular with tourists, the site features the Sacred Spring, the Roman Bath House and the Roman Temple (one of only two classical temples from Roman Britain), as well as a museum showcasing archaeological findings.