The Only United Kingdom Bucket List You Will EVER Need (Maybe, I actually don’t know that for a fact)
Welcome to the ultimate UK bucket list 2018 (and beyond)!!
If you’re looking for some amazing things to do in the UK (aka the United Kingdom), then this is the place for you!
As you could have guessed, I am not from the United Kingdom and honestly, have absolutely no idea about cool and unusual things to do in the UK.
I outsourced this post and asked some of my fave ladies about all the fun things to do in England. Well actually, the whole of the United Kingdom really.
No, I swear:
I may not know much but I do know that the UK consists of more than just England.
You gotta throw in some in some love for Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland too (woot).
So sit down and relax for a spell, or two!
Because we’re about to bust open this United Kingdom bucket list and reveal some of the 10 best places to visit in the UK!
And don’t be shy!
You can add any of these places to your general, things to do in 2018 bucket list!
1. Isle of Arran in Scotland
With almost 800 islands:
There is no shortage of fun things to do in Scotland. But there is just no way that visitors can experience them all, or see all the top things to do in Scotland for that matter.
A few larger islands, like the Isle of Skye, attract most of the tourists in the area. As a result, smaller islands are often overlooked and become some of the most incredible non-touristy things to do in Scotland.
My favorite of Scotland’s many islands is the Isle of Arran, located just off the west coast of Scotland.
Simply catch a train to the ferry from Glasgow; a ferry ride that will take a mere hour.
But what makes Arran special?
With 60 miles of coastline, a distillery, a cheese store and lots of lovely villages to explore, there is no shortage of things to see and do here.
I’ve visited almost every year since I was a child and I still find something new to explore every time I’m there.
While the main town of Brodick, is quite lovely, I also recommend meandering through Blackwaterfoot, located just on the other side of the island. Not only is this town quieter but it is right near some excellent hiking trails (some of the great free things to do in Scotland).
2. Arundel in Sussex, England
Looking for fun things to do in England?
Why not check out Arundel? This small Sussex town is nestled in the South Downs of England; a place where you can live out all of your Game of Thrones inspired fantasies (No, not killing people, or turning into an ice zombie, or doing unspeakable things to your twin. Because that would be wrong)!
And Guess What?
Located just an hour south of London by train (London is awesome too. I love to visit London with the London Pass), this charming town is easy to visit and has so much to offer travelers (why you need to add this bad boy to your list of 100 things to do in England).
Between a medieval castle, a cozy bookshop, a quaint river to stroll along, antique shops to peruse, and a fine selection of restaurants and pubs, the only problem is finding enough time to see it all (That’s why you need to add this place to your “top things to do in England” list).
Arundel has a cozy lake that rests at the base of a series of seemingly endless green hills; a place that is perfect for hiking, cycling, and feeding cute yet demanding ducks.
Looking for more to do?
After you’ve done all that, head over to the local brewery and grab a flagon of their finest, homemade ale. You can excitedly slosh it around as you regale your group with tales of your latest and greatest conquests.
And believe it or not:
Arundel has been voted the most relaxing town in Europe.
You’ll return home feeling refreshed and revitalized since this quintessentially English village is quiet, unspoiled and thoroughly charming!
3. Pergola and Hill Gardens, England
By: Josy Austin of A Walk and a Lark
The gorgeous Pergola and Hill Gardens are hidden between Hampstead Heath and Golders Hill Park. The pergolas are elegant wooden structures that completely line one side of the gardens.
Each section of the garden is adorned with an assortment of beautiful vines and flowers that make this an absolutely stunning place to behold.
But there’s more!
On the other side of the gardens, there are formal, manicured flower beds that surround a lovely square pond; the perfect place for an afternoon picnic.
There is a walkway between the two gardens that provides visitors with some gorgeous views of the Northern parts of London.
If you visit during the Spring (One of the great things to do in England in Spring):
The pergolas will be covered in a stunning assortment of purple wisteria and pink roses that are just beginning to bloom; an exquisite Instagram spot that smells even better than it looks!
The easiest way to reach the gardens?
Hop on the 210 bus and get off at the Inverforth House stop.
The entrance can be a bit difficult to find so make sure and add a marker on google maps, just in case!
No dogs are not allowed in the gardens but you can still add this to your United Kingdom travel itinerary.
4. Hartland Quay, Devon, England
By: Bernadette Jackson of A Packed Life (Check her out on Facebook)
Gota bad case of sea fever strikes?
Then there’s only one beautifully wild place to go, Hartland Quay: one of the many United Kingdom travel destinations that you must visit.
Located in North Devon:
This rugged, coastal area is filled with maritime adventures, smugglers’ tales, and even ancient shipwrecks that are waiting to be explored.
While it may not be the easiest place to reach since it is a bit of a drive from the quaint estuary town of Barnstaple, the trip is totally worth it (one of the top England destinations).
To reach Hartland Quay:
Just drive down a series of narrow country lanes that are surrounded by hedges full of flowers and herds of livestock that sometimes create an impromptu traffic jam.
You’ll know you’re getting close when you see a lighthouse perched on the headland in the distance.
The hedges will fade away and you’ll catch a stunning glimpse of the rocky and rugged bay below. A steep switchback lane will then take you down to the Quay where you’ll find a small hotel, a maritime museum, and a rocky walkway that will lead you toward the headland and the cove.
On the way:
Stop and explore some of the tide pools, as well as all the sea creatures that call this place home.
Feel free to relax by the sea and enjoy the view of this wild, unfettered coastline
If you’re daring enough:
You can also brave a day of hang gliding and see this rustic natural beauty from the steep cliffs above.
5. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
By: Eva from Electric Blue Food (Check her out on Facebook)
Arguably one of Northern Ireland’s most iconic natural landmarks and located in County Antrim, about 100 Km from Belfast.
What’s the big deal?
Well, this coastal landscape has over 40,000 basalt columns that emerge from the sea and create a mesmerizing and totally unique natural landscape (a must see for anyone traveling in Northern Ireland).
Legend has it:
The columns are actually the remnants of a causeway (hence the name) that was built by the Irish giant, Finn McCool so that he could reach a rival giant in Scotland.
Science says that these columns are the result of a volcanic eruption that occurred nearly 60 million years ago.
Because the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast were both declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986, the area is protected and managed by the National Trust, and a kick-ass Northern Ireland things to do.
If you drive there Yourself:
You must pay to park at Giant’s Causeway; a fee that includes an audio guide, as well as access to the visitor center.
Visitors who arrive on foot (or by public transportation):
You can visit the Causeway for free since access is not restricted and you aren’t forced to pass through the visitor center.
Explore the nearby Dunluce Castle, the village of Bushmills (home of the Bushmills whiskey and its distillery), and two intriguing Game of Thrones filming locations (Ballintoy Harbour and Downhill beach).
6. Callanish Stones, Scotland
The Callanish Stones are located on Lewis and Harris, the largest island in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland.
Despite its name:
Lewis and Harris are, in fact, one island. The upper part of the island is known as Lewis and the lower part is known as, you guessed it, Harris.
And the stones?
They are located within the Lewis section of the island and are about 5,000 years old or 500 years older than Stonehenge. Like other standing stones in the UK, it is unknown why they were built.
Evidence shows that the stones line up with the sun and moon during seasonal solstices; an occurrence that may have helped farmers understand when the seasons were changing.
And these stones are pretty big!
The largest of the stones is the center stone, standing at 4.8 meters high or half the height of Stonehenge.
Unlike Stonehenge though:
Visitors can walk around and even touch the Callanish stones, a sight that has gained tremendous popularity since its appearance in the book and TV series, Outlander.
7. Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire, England
Little Moreton Hall:
This home is a National Trust property in south Cheshire, that is a true dream for anyone who loves history.
Where can you find it?
Located on A34, just south of Congleton and north of Stoke-on-Trent, this Tudor manor house represents the realities of middle-class life in the times of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.
This house is a traditional half-timbered building that is constructed of wood and plaster, materials that have been warped over the centuries, giving the building an endearing, higgledy-piggledy look.
Built inside a moat and around a central courtyard:
The layout of this estate remains much the same as it was in Tudor times, giving visitors a fascinating look into the life of everyday people.
Even more interesting:
Original murals and reproduction linens are used to add a historic charm to this building; a charm that takes you straight back in time (But nothing beats the Elizabethan style indoor toilet which is no more than a hole with a wooden seat around it, carefully situated so that everything falls into the moat below!).
There are a traditional knot garden and tea room; both of which make perfect picnic spots for visitors.
And if that’s not enough:
Regular events are held also held here throughout the summer, with folk music, dancing and even Shakespearean plays (held in the central courtyard for the most authentic backdrop imaginable).
8. Newlands Corner, Surrey, England
By: Suzy Whittle of Suzy Stories
Right in the heart of the Surrey countryside is a place called Newlands Corner, a gorgeous area that is a short drive (or bike if you feel like a challenge!) from the county capital of Guildford and the nearby, quintessentially British village of Shere. While here, take in the luscious greenery of the leafy Home Counties, and meander through the town’s charming, historic streets, delighting in the quaint tea rooms, boutique stores, and pubs that can be found here.
At Newlands Corner, you can take a walk, go for a picnic, or admire the splendid views around the Surrey Hills; a sight that was first made famous, in the 1920s, as the location where famed writer Agatha Christie staged her own mysterious disappearance. Also, explore the nearby Silent Pool, a site that is associated with tragic legends of kings and drowned maids or, more recently, as the sight where Silent Pool Gin is made.
9. Dedham Vale in Essex, England
A trip to Dedham is like strolling through a stunning postcard.
The beautiful thatch-roof buildings, with charming flowers climbing up the walls, to the cute cafes and traditional English pubs, all epitomize the essence of a historic English village.
The River Stour wraps around Dedham, creating an excellent walking path between Dedham and nearby Flatford Mill.
If you’re feeling particularly energetic:
Hire a rowboat and marvel at the area’s rolling fields, meadows full of grazing cows, and picturesque bridges that traverse the river itself.
Once in Flatford Mill:
Be sure to visit the local art gallery and see the area in a different light.
Take some time to grab a slice of cake from the local cafe, and meander through the village’s charming cottages and picturesque gardens.
10. Chislehurst Caves
By: Claire Martin of Claries Footsteps (Check her out on Twitter)
Where in London can you find a place that has been home to ancient sacrifices and that has also saved thousands of lives?
Why, the Chislehurst Caves, of course!
And if you are a backpacking London then make sure to visit this stunning place; truly one of London’s most underrated attractions.
Located in the suburbs of London:
Chislehurst Caves are not actually caves but manmade tunnels that can be traced back to Saxon times when they were used for both animal and human (eek!) sacrifices.
The most intriguing part of the cave’s history is that they were used as London’s largest war shelter, accommodating up to 15,000 people.
A hospital, school, church and citizens advice bureau were all added to the caves, creating an underground city of sorts.
Once the war finally ended:
The caves quickly became a rock and roll concert venue, where legends such as David Bowie, Led Zepplin and The Who all played.
Want to Visit?
Just catch a train from central London to Chislehurst station. Once there, you can walk to the caves and pay £6 for a 50-minute tour.
This Concludes Any and All Efforts to Provide You with Useful Information About Some of the Best Attractions in the UK
As I Sit Here:
I am eating my feelings because there is no way I can afford to see ANY of these places any time soon.
Sob! Pass the foot tall ice cream cone would ya?
I know, I know. This is a total first world problem but I mean come on, how wicked awesome do some of these tourist sights in the UK look?
Glad You Agree:
After reading this, I started looking up flights and seeing when I might actually be able to fly to the United Kingdom and eat my feelings over Afternoon Tea.
That won’t be for a while since I have no trust fund to speak of.
You need to man, or woman up, and visit these places for me so that I can live vicariously through you.
Thanks for doing that for me! You’re the best!
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