Best destinations and cities to visit in The United Kingdom

Many people immediately consider London when they consider traveling to the UK. However, the UK is home to numerous stunning cities that are spread out widely.

All across the UK, there are wonderful sights and exciting places that you never knew existed. From the puffins that make their home on the Northumberland Coast to the ancient strongholds set in furthest Scotland, not to mention the glistening sandy shores of Devon and Cornwall, we’re absolutely spoilt for choice!

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Explore the length and breadth of island nation with stays in wonderful holiday cottages – our range of escapes varies from big group properties perfect for all the family plus a few friends, down to cozy romantic blowholes hidden in scenic UK locations.

Best 10 Cities to visit in The United Kingdom

I’ve gathered together our top 10 destinations and cities for you to discover and visit. Begin browsing this collection and start planning your next memorable UK getaway.

1. Cambridge

Cambridge is a vibrant, modern city with a colourful history that attracts visitors from around the world. There are shopping centres and markets, museums, parks and open spaces, and much more. And you'll be spoilt for choice of places to eat and drink, and places to stay.

History is woven into the medieval lanes and cloistered colleges of this free-wheeling university town. But now a perky batch of new arrivals are adding cocktail and coffee culture to the equation. Before your visit, see our pick of the best things to do in Cambridge. 

Where to stay: The smartest choice in town is The University Arms, a coaching inn that’s been artfully reimagined. 

2. London

London, England. Photographer: Pedro Szekely.

Apart from Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, London is famous for its status as one of the world's greatest cosmopolitan cities, with an incredible array of museums, shops, and restaurants. It's also known for its interesting history in regard to royalty, politics, arts, science, and architecture.

3. Glasgow

Glasgow - Scotland. Image source: Flickr/Ian Dick.

Glasgow is a city steeped in history and a great way to learn some fascinating facts is on a guided tour. There are lots of walking tours on offer, themed around everything from food and music to history and architecture.

This buzzy city has made the list for the fifth year in a row, beating neighbor and rival Edinburgh in 2022's list. Read The 20 best things to do in Glasgow to find out why.

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4. Edinburgh

Scotland’s beloved capital city is a breathtaking mix of Gothic buildings with a modernist twist. There’s so much art, beauty, and scenery to take in.

A little tour of the jewels in the crown of Scotland will surely interest you. Afterward, a quick stop at the Fringe Festival to get some bars is cool. As far as the landscape is concerned, go for a walk on Arthur’s Seat, you’ll have the best view of the city. Oh yeah, maybe you’ll be interested in tasting some pure malt scotch, which might be good for your taste buds.

Uncover dainty stores and bustling markets as you wander through winding streets. Marvel and enjoy jaw-dropping landmarks, like Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

And if possible, visit in the British summer, when Edinburgh hosts the largest arts festival in the world: Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

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5. Cardiff

Cardiff is widely regarded as being the city with the most castles in the world. The most famous amongst these is Cardiff Castle, which has stood for nearly 2,000 years at the heart of the city.

The Welsh capital may have begun its life as a Roman fort, but it's since become a bustling city. Where the fort once stood, Cardiff Castle has held court since the 11th century. It remains a central presence in the city, now full of lively art and music venues, hip boutiques, fun bars, and modern hotels. Even with so many new and exciting things to see, the National History Museum is still the most visited attraction in Wales. Don't be the only visitor who plays hooky!

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6. Manchester

One of the eye-catching landmarks in Manchester, the neo-Gothic town hall. Image credit:Jason Wong.

Both London and Manchester are cities rich in history, culture, and arts. Whilst London has long been renowned for its abundance of job opportunities and culture, Manchester's cheaper living costs and thriving job market are very favorable.

One of the friendliest cities in England is Manchester, thanks to its exuberant vibe and multicultural mix of residents. It's an easy city to find your way around, with plenty of bars and social spots where you will find yourself chatting with locals.

Vibrant Manchester is packed with excellent chefs, music, and culture. Grand libraries, street art, record shops, and galleries are among the best things to do in the city, while excellent restaurants in Manchester range from Korean cooking to donut shops via Spanish, Italian, Vietnamese, and Indian cuisine. 

7. Oxford

Oxford: High Street. Image source: Flickr/David Nicholls.

There are lots of great cities to explore in the UK, but one of my favorites is Oxford. I visited this amazing city many times so it's a city I'm familiar with. The architecture of the city is simply amazing, with historic college buildings, churches, and old shops giving so much character.

Northwest of London lies a charming, cozy city, home to the oldest university in the English-speaking world.

Oxford is an eclectic, cosmopolitan mix of tweed jackets, curious travelers, and students from all over the world, casting intrigued eyes over the various cultural attractions and modern art Oxford has to offer.

8. Liverpool

Liverpool's easy access from cities around England via train makes it an excellent weekend destination. A couple of days is ideal if you want to fit in a museum, soak up the grandeur of the Georgian Quarter and sample the city's buzzing nightlife.

Liverpool comes in eighth place on my list. The once-gritty city is now a capital of cool, where vintage shops, art galleries, and art venues inject a creative atmosphere into the streets.

9. Bristol

Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol. Image source: Flickr/Dunk 🐝.

Bristol is a beautiful British city that has transformed into one of the country’s most eccentric and exciting places and is very much the connecting hub of South West England.

Awe at the views over the Avon Gorge from the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Take a canal boat out onto the river.

And enjoy plenty of charming pubs, quirky music venues, and fun festivals in a city where arts, music, and innovation continue to thrive.

10. Birmingham

And although it's land-locked, Birmingham has a waterfront feel, thanks to its famous canals, which snake throughout the city, and the towpaths full of locals cycling and walking alongside. In fact, it has more kilometers of canals than Venice, and boat trips run up and down them, taking in its industrial history.

Birmingham has a temperate climate, with warm summers, cool winters, and moderate rainfall throughout the year. To have the best chance of warm, sunny weather, you should visit between June and August, when average temperatures peak in the low 70s F (low 20s C). Spring and fall can variously be lovely and warm or rather cold, but prices are cheaper at this time of year. Winter is often gray, cold, and wet.

Lots of things to do! So take a good week to visit everything or just to enjoy it. Between the Victoria Square, bull ring which a shopping center, high level gastronomy, the library of Birmingham with its original building, you will also be able to make your own chocolate, attend a soccer match, discover the nightlife in Digbeth and go on a pub crawl around Bindleyplace.


British cities have incredible histories, several dating back millennia. The decadent, striking architecture of various ages is diverse and gorgeous, while heavy investment is breathing life into areas in desperate need of renovation.

From the rugged landscape of the Scottish Highlands to the white-cliff coastline of southern England, there are so many beautiful places to see. Via plane, bus, train, and car, you can see so much of what the UK has to offer. From thrill-seekers to history buffs, families to couples, UK cities have something for everyone.

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