Travelling around the United Kingdom

Travelling around the United Kingdom
2nd August 2023 Stories

Travelling around the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is made up of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and all 4 places are home to beautiful scenery and exciting activities that make them great travel destinations.

Starting off with England, the biggest country out of the four accounting for just over half of the total area of the United Kingdom. This means, that England has a variety of destinations to travel to which all give a different experience. For example, London or Birmingham for a city break or Cornwall for a more coastal destination.

London in the capital of England and the most well-known and popular part of the United Kingdom. London Is best known for being the home to the royal family, it’s famous landmarks such as Big Ben and the Buckingham Palace as well as its museums and galleries. In 2022 the most visited tourist attraction in London was the National History Museum with 4.7 million visitors, and it is free to enter! London is full of attractions and activities and city passes can be bought to plan them all in, which could save you money. However, I suggest putting aside a day to just stroll around the city, there’s so much to see. One of my favourite things to do whilst visiting the Capital is just wondering around, popping into shops, going through the parks and different areas of London such as convent gardens and Soho.

I think the most efficient way to visit London is by staying outside of the city centre such as in Hemel Hempstead. This is because the accommodation prices are a lot more cost effective, it sits outside the congestion zone meaning no charges for driving into the city and there are very convenient trains into king’s cross station. For example, Premier inn prices in Hemel Hempstead are around £35 per night but in City Central of London are around £59.

One of my favourite destinations in England is Whitby, a seaside town in Yorkshire. Whitby has so much to offer from its cobbled streets in the coastal town, the working harbour, the beach and award-winning fish and chips. Not only this but Whitby has a very interesting history linked to Captain James Cook, the British Explorer, the famous Whitby Jet and Dracula. Some of the best attractions and things to do in Whitby include climbing the 199 steps which lead to picturesque views of the seaside town and Whitby Abbey, which you can go inside for £14 per person. Also, taking one of the boat trips available to see the harbour from a different perspective, and if you’re lucky some seals and dolphins, or just relaxing by sitting on the beach with an ice cream or strolling around the independent shops and visiting the arcade.

Top tips for travelling in England:

  • When visiting London, stay in accommodation outside of the city centre for a more cost-effective trip.
  • Use the trains and Tube lines to travel around London for cheap, easy travel.
  • Visit Whitby on the weekend of 27th to 29th October or 26th to 28th April for Whitby’s Goth Weekends to see the Gothic costumes and music festivals.
  • Taste some of the country’s best fish and chips for lunch from one of the award-winning chippies in Whitby town.


Scotland is the country covering the northern third of the island and is the second largest country in the UK. The capital city of Scotland is Edinburgh which lies on the east coast and is also the most visited part by tourists with 4 million people visiting every year, but there are many beautiful places in Scotland to visit.

Starting with Edinburgh, the city holds a lot of history so can be a destination for an educational and fun trip.  The ‘Old Town area of Edinburgh is famous for its cobbled streets, unusual landscape and medieval architecture and is the oldest part of the city, so it has many historical sites to see such as the Royal Mile. The Royal Mile runs through the Old Town and at the top is Edinburgh Castle, the biggest tourist attraction of the Country. Visited 1.3 million times in 2022, Edinburgh Castle has lots of things to see and do so anyone can have a good time. You can see a display of the oldest crown jewels in Britain in the Crown room, look around the national war museum, watch and listen to the firing of the one o clock gun which is fired every day at 1 pm and get a fantastic view of the rest of city by standing at the Half Moon Battery. The castle is open from 9:30 till 6 pm and offers a variety of ways to see the castle such as, a guided audio tour, itineraries to follow or an afternoon tea experience so you can visit in the best way suited for you.

Carrying on down the Royal Mile, there’s still so much to see and do, including other historical sites such as St Giles Cathedral but also so many museums, the Scottish storytelling centre and many amazing food and drink outlets. Edinburgh has more restaurants per head than any other city in the UK outside of London and has a range of traditional Scottish pubs and bars to sample the country’s cuisine and enjoy a whole range of food and drinks, so an amazing destination for any foodies!

An idea for a more adventurous trip is the North Coast of Scotland and travelling along the North Coast 500 which is a 516-mile scenic route and makes the ultimate road trip, taking 5 to 7 days! The adventure can be done by car, motor home, bike or even walking and starts in the northern city of Inverness. Inverness is a busy city with lots to explore and sits on the bank of the river ness which gives its name to Loch Ness, where an old tradition is to hunt for the world-famous loch ness monster, or you can take a hike up to Craig Phadrig an enjoyable walk through the forest.  The 516-mile route takes you through lots of other beautiful places of Scotland with a variety of things to do, such as visiting the pretty seaside villages in Shandwick, going to the most northerly point of Caithness where it is possible to see the northern lights, spotting nature along the way and at different nature reserves and tasting traditional Scottish whiskey at local breweries (only if you’re not driving!).
One of the most popular ways to visit Scotland is by camping due to its natural beauty and so much to do outdoors. Wild camping is also legal in Scotland, unlike England, meaning you can pretty much camp wherever you like and tailor your stay to what type of atmosphere you are looking for. However, there are also so many nice campsites and caravan parks around the country which offer a great place to rest. If you’re looking for greenery and being surrounded by trees and nature a highly recommended caravan park is Blair Drummond caravan park which is close to the Loch Lomond national park. This caravan park is suitable for tents, caravans and motorhomes and allows for glamping in one of their Shepards huts. If you’re looking to camp at an activity-filled caravan park, great for families and children, Haven Craig Tara Holiday Park is a great option. The park is located near Glasgow and offers a waterpark, golf, playgrounds and areas to do crafts as well as being near the beach.

Top tips for travelling around Scotland:

  • There are so many Festivals across the year in Edinburgh, plan a visit at a time when one is taking place to experience a unique celebration.
  • To see the Northern Lights in Caithness visit between December to February.
  • Try traditional Scottish food and drink to get a real taste of the country, these include Cullen skink, haggis, black pudding and whisky.


Wales is in southwest Great Britain and takes around 4hrs and 45 Minutes by car from London. Wales is known for its stunning coastline, famous Snowdonia national park, the distinctive Welsh language and Celtic culture.

A highlight of Wales is a trip to Snowdonia which can be just for a day trip or made into a full holiday as camping can be done in one of the many campsites surrounding the national park. Mount Snowdon is Wales highest peak, it sits in the Snowdonia national park which also has the largest lake in Wales and is visited by nearly 4 million people every year. A visit to Snowdonia isn’t just for the hikers who are eager to reach the top of the mountain, but it can be a nice relaxing destination to visit too. Fantastic scenery, lakes and coastline to relax by or take part in water activities, forests and local villages to explore, it can be a great place for anyone to enjoy the outdoors. For those less active, you can still experience the peak of the mountain without walking the ten or so miles, there is a railway to the top which takes 60 minutes to the summit but has a 30-minute stopover at Haford Eryri, the UK’s highest visitor centre. Whereas hiking to the top takes around 5 to 7 hours!

One of Wales best kept secrets is the coastal and seaside destinations it has to offer, for a beach holiday and that feel like you’re abroad feeling. Destinations include New Quay Beach, the harbour resort of Tenby or Portmeirion. Portmeirion village is on the northwest coast of Wales and its beautiful houses and gardens were designed inspired by Italy and its pastel colours. It offers stunning coastal walks and guided tours to learn about its famous architecture, as well as places to relax like the Japanese Gardens. The village offers amazing accommodation, leisure facilities and many nice food and drink spots which give you the holiday feeling. The most recommended place to stay is in the Hotel Portmeirion which overlooks the sandy beaches, and the best food is at the Castle Cottage Inn restaurant and bar which has excellent quality.

I think, one of the best ways to stay in Wales is to rent an Airbnb or cottage for a few days, especially for families. It allows you to fully tailor your stay from the property to the location so you can be near the attractions and places you want to see. For example, when I went to Wales, we rented a cottage in Betws-y-Coed to be near the Velocity 2 Zip line adventure park. Staying in a rental can be a better choice if you need the extra room, more appliances and amenities such as a cooker or microwave, have pets or children or if you want to feel like a local living there. Some of the most used websites to book cottages in Wales are and Darwin escapes for lodges in North Wales.

Top tips for travelling around Wales:

  • Take a hike or the railway to the summit of Snowdon to experiment the beautiful views from the highest point in Wales.
  • Take a guided tour of the Portmeirion Village to learn about the architecture that makes it such a beautiful visit
  • Rain in Wales is very common so ensure that you are prepared with an umbrella or waterproof clothing so you can still enjoy everything even if it does rain

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is in the northeast part of Ireland and is the smallest country in the United Kingdom with a population of 1.8 million. The national day of Northern Ireland is St Patricks Day, which is a day on the 17th of March commemorating the death day of Saint Patrick originally but now also celebrates Irish culture. The celebration involves parades, festivals and wearing green attire and is not just celebrated in Ireland but globally including in the United States, Canada and Australia.

Belfast is the capital city of Northern Ireland and can be a perfect city break. Belfast is famous for knowing how to party and a popular place to have fun is at the Cathedral Quarter. Cathedral Quarter is a maze of cobblestone streets and has a buzzing, creative atmosphere due to being filled with trendy bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants making it one of the best nightlife places in Belfast. The Quarter is also covered in colourful street art and has plenty of places for entertainment from live music and bands to interesting shows. You can also get creative yourself by taking part in some of the art and culture activities such as the MAC cultural hub where you can take part in workshops and art groups. One major attraction of the city is its connection with the Titanic, Belfast being where it was built in 1909. For people who are interested in learning about the Titanic and its history, a good place to visit is the Titanic Museum. The attraction tells the story of the Titanic from its construction to its launch as well as its tragic sinking and is all located at the Titanic slipways, the very place it was built. The museum is open from 9 am and is a self-guided tour so you can spend as long as you like in the museum, but the average time it takes to tour the museum is 1 and half to 2 and half hours.

Giants Causeway is another great attraction to visit when in Northern Ireland, it is over 40,000 basalt columns which formed over 60 million years ago and is now one of Ireland’s most treasured landmarks. The landmark is free to visit but a visitor experience ticket can be bought, for £13.50 for adults, which allows a guided tour to learn more about its history as well as access to the shop, café and exhibition. A visit to the columns can be a nice coastal walk with the opportunity to see many seabirds and wildlife including buzzards and oystercatchers, or visitors can travel there by the shuttle bus service that runs to the stone formation.  
Travelling to Northern Ireland is different than travelling to Scotland or Wales, due to not being able to just drive there. To get to Northern Ireland you can either go by air or sea, a plane from London takes around 1hr and 15 minutes or on the ferry can be caught from Liverpool to Belfast and takes around 8 hours. A point to remember is you won’t need a passport to enter Northern Ireland, but you will need some photo ID. By taking the ferry it means you can take your car, driving around Northern Ireland is an easy way to get around and the suggested way to have a flexible trip and explore at your own pace. If you’re visiting the more rural areas of Northern Ireland such as County Down, be careful of the narrow roads.  

Top tips for Travelling around Northern Ireland: 

  • Book a visitor’s experience to Giants Causeway to learn about the history of the columns and how they formed millions of years ago. 
  • Visit around the 17th of March to experience St Patricks Day to get a true feeling of Irish culture and take part in the celebrations. 
  • For a luxurious experience book afternoon tea at the Merchant Hotel to have a spot of food in the hotel’s expensive surroundings.  
  • Take the Titanic Trail in Belfast which is a walk along the water starting at the Titanic memorial gardens and ending in the Titanic Quarter.  

Written by Mia Lorriman