Must-know tips to ensure a hassle-free visit to the UK – A first-timer’s guide

The Buckingham Palace, the Royal Family, James Bond, inviting country pubs, rolling green mountains and real ales are the few things that instantly come to our mind when we think of the UK. Travelers flock to the United Kingdom in millions making it the world’s eighth biggest destination. Hence, if you’re planning a trip to the ‘Old Blighty’ for leisure or for business, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you on your way.

Check your passport and visa demands

Although nationals from various English-speaking nations don’t have any such visa requirements for traveling to the UK but you should still check your specific conditions before traveling. Depending on the country you originate from, you may use the tool of the UK government website to check your requirements for a UK tourist visa without which you’ll be denied entry to the country.

Things to See and Do in England

  • Visit the Buckingham Palace

Home to England’s Queen, Buckingham Palace is one of the most fascinating sights. The altering of guard’s duty occurs at 11:30 a.m. and if you wish to enter the palace, the admission fee is 37 GBP. However, there are discounts for students, seniors, groups and families.

  • Check out the town Brighton

Brighton is a small little town that is ideal for a short weekend trip. Brighton has abundance of boutiques, shops and well-lit cafes. The streets being narrow, it creates an intimate and cozy atmosphere for the pedestrians who walk around the lanes. The city is a famous destination for locals who reach there to relax on the beach, enjoy the sun tan and wander around the amusement rides.

  • Go to the Chatsworth House

This spectacular home, located in Derbyshire, was built in 1549 for the Duchess and Duke of Devonshire. Among the several splendid castles and houses all over the United Kingdom, the Chatsworth House is definitely the most astonishing one.

  • Be a guest at the Oxford University

There are multiple colleges within Oxford and each of them are equally worth praising. Though you may have to pay a few dollars to tour through the college campus but visiting the one that filmed Harry Potter will be a special experience, especially if you’re a Harry Potter fan. Oxford is one of the world’s oldest universities.

UK is expensive – Suggested budget ideas

There’s no doubt about the fact that England is expensive. Even when you’re on a shoestring budget, you’d still need around 50 GBP per day. With this amount, you could stay at hostel dorms, cook your meals on your own, use public transport, prefer buses over trains and reap benefit of the free sites of the nation.

However, on a luxury budget of around 318 GBP per day, you could stay at luxury hotels, shop around, have fancy meals, take private tours and not have to worry about train prices and do anything that you wish to do. So, if you’re someone who wants a luxurious holiday, you can have that in the UK.

The most important piece of suggestion to offer to someone traveling to the UK is to get proper travel insurance. Travel insurance safeguards you against injury, illness, cancellations and theft and takes care in case things go wrong.

Author Bio:

Susan Noel is an experienced content writer. She is associated with many renowned travel blogs as a guest author where she shares her valuable travel tips with the audience.

8 of the Best Beaches in the UK for a Weekend Break

It’s easy to dismiss the UK shores in favour of the turquoise waters of Europe or Asia, but if you look closer to home, you’ll find countless gorgeous bays to while away your time. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best beaches in the UK, perfect for a sunny weekend away. And with transport links across the UK making them so easy to reach, there’s no excuse not to get booking.

Blackpool Sands, Devon

A far cry from the bright lights and ballroom dancing of the Lancashire town, Blackpool Sands is actually a beautiful stretch of beach in South Devon. Country meets coast as you drive through an expanse of pine trees to reach the shingle bay, which boasts the clearest blue waters for dipping your toes. There are sand pits, a bathing raft and water sports equipment to hire, so it’s easy to spend hours here.

Good to Know: You’ll have to leave the dog at home if you’re visiting.

Durdle Door, Dorset

On the Jurassic Coast sits Durdle Door – a limestone arch between St Oswald’s Bay and Man O’War Cove. Both are beautiful beaches that never get crowded thanks to the several hundred cliff steps you’ll need to descend to reach them. But worry not – every step is worth it for these sheltered, peaceful bays with crystal-clear waters.

Good to Know: Families might want to head to Lulworth Cove instead as it’s more accessible and has facilities nearby.

Sennen Cove, Cornwall

Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins at Cornwall’s stunning Sennen Cove, which is just around the corner from Land’s End. Head down the hill from the old fishing village of Sennen and you’ll find golden sands lapped by rolling blue waves. Make sure you bring your board if surfing’s your thing – conditions are often perfect.

Good to Know: There’s a small harbour with a lifeboat station and art galleries – great if it’s a bit cloudy.

Walberswick, Suffolk

You’ve probably heard of Southwold, but Walberswick is its wilder, quieter neighbour on the Suffolk coast. To the south of the River Blyth’s mouth, it’s a short stroll from the village and its amenities, making it a very easy choice for a weekend away. The long sand and shingle beach is surrounded by dramatic heathland and backed by grassy dunes. It’s a popular crabbing spot and even held The British Open Crabbing Championship – until the village couldn’t cope with the influx of visitors.

Good to Know: If you fancy popping to Southwold, take the five-minute row-boat ferry across the river.

Whitstable, Kent

Whitstable’s trendy pebble bay is backed by quirky beach huts and countless oyster bars (heading to Whitstable and not eating Oysters is akin to arriving in Italy and saying no to pizza). Weatherboard cottages and fishing boats add to the British seaside charm and you’ll never be short of pubs, cafes and shops should the sun be hiding.

Good to Know: Looking for lunch? Head to Elliott’s at No.1 Harbour Street, or book into Michelin-starred pub The Sportsman.

South Bay, Scarborough

The large, sandy beach at South Bay is popular with families thanks to its great facilities and child-friendly amenities. This picturesque spot is home to plenty of attractions to keep you busy, including amusements, cafes, restaurants and seaside stalls. At the south end of the beach is the historic Spa, which hosts live entertainment.

Good to Know: Don’t miss out on a trip to Scarborough Castle, which separates South Bay from North Bay.

Seilebost Beach, Isle of Harris, Scotland

It’s easy to see why Seilebost beach, to the south of Luskentyre Bay, was once voted one of the top 10 beaches in the world. Be sure to bring your camera as the stretch of sand and pristine, turquoise waters with sweeping views make for spectacular photos. Access isn’t the easiest, but you’ll be rewarded with stunning serenity.

Good to Know: There is the possibility of quicksand in the area, so avoid walking in the wet sand at low tide.

Three Cliffs Bay, Swansea, Wales

Three Cliffs Bay may sit on one of Britain’s most striking shorelines, but it still manages to be quiet all year round. This is mainly down to the challenging walk across the dunes to reach it. Past the rugged limestone cliffs sits the dramatic stretch of sandy coast popular with horse riders. The crumbling remains of Pennard Castle that overlook the bay give the area a wonderfully remote, forgotten atmosphere.

Good to Know: Don’t be fooled by the bay’s beauty – it can be dangerous, with strong tides and currents at all times.

London on a budget: 4 tips to help you along

It’s a wildly popular destination but unfortunately, London also happens to be one of the more expensive getaways out there. This doesn’t just apply to tourists either (in actual fact, it’s no longer one of the most expensive cities for travel).

As well as tourists, residents are also feeling the pinch. We constantly hear about the high rents and house prices but rather than stating the obvious, today’s post is all about unearthing some tips which can help you save money in your day-to-day life in the capital.

Granted, there might only be four suggestions, but take these on-board and see if you can apply any further methods on top to help you along your way.

Entertainment CAN be free

There is a common misconception in London that everything must cost money. As it turns out, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Sure, you can venture to the West End and visit the many theatres. Unfortunately, unless you happen to grab a late ticket, this will cost you.

However, there are alternatives. Some people will just head to see street performers, but an even better option is to tap into the museums. The vast majority in the UK are free yet contain some of the world’s most prized and important assets. In fact, if you can get there one evening, you’ll find that there are regularly exhibitions held which are also open to the public free of charge.

Be shrewd with your public transport choices

One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of people living in London make is taking too much advantage of the fantastic transport links. We all know how impressive these travel systems are and they are undisputedly some of the best in the world.

However, it’s not always necessary. Sometimes, it’s almost as quick to walk between stations, while before jumping in a taxi you should really ask yourself if you fancy being charged through the nose for sitting in traffic.

Chances are, you don’t, and this is a monumental way to save money.

Take advantage of the markets

It might be very tourist-focused from one respect, but from another London still retains its local roots. There are countless local markets and this presents your chance to shine. Granted, you won’t be able to venture into an Oxford Street store and barter with the shop assistant, but on a market store (almost) anything goes. This is where you don’t always have to pay full price and you can come away with some bargains.

Make the most from being in the travel hub

Let’s end with something of a bonus suggestion. London has a ridiculous number of airports, and this presents some fantastic opportunities. You have the pick of the tickets when it comes to European travel and as long as you’re not too picky, you can jump on a plane for the same price as jumping on a National Express for a couple of hours. Make sure you make the most of this as if you are to ever move away from the capital, this bonus tends to evaporate.

What to expect when you venture outside London

For some tourists, it’s non-negotiable. Their trip must be devoted to London and there are absolutely no arguments.

For others, it’s about getting outside the Big Smoke. It’s about traveling like a local (yes, that cliché we have become so used to hearing over the years) and finding out what makes the UK tick. While you might see glimpses of this in the capital, when you are trying to juggle Madame Tussauds one day and Big Ben the next, the whole trip tends to be a Trip Advisor bucket list activity.

As such, escaping London can be quite exciting. There are also some things that you should prepare yourself for, which we will now mull over through the course of this post.

Transport isn’t as reliable (or cheap)

One of the great advantages of London is its immense transport system. Few would disagree that it is one of the best of its kind in the world.

Unfortunately, there is no other location in the country which competes with this. This starts to become blatantly obvious as you attempt to leave the capital, with trains not as frequent – and sometimes costly. To combat these issues, check the timetables frequently, but also book in advance. This latter point is crucial and if you can book your trains weeks ahead of your trip, you can save huge sums of money in a heartbeat.

Everything else is considerably cheaper

On the plus side, you’ll find that your costs dwindle significantly as soon as you venture beyond the famous M25.

Whether you find attractions in Basingstoke, or at the opposite end of the country, hotel prices compared to London are an absolute snip.

Then, there are the general day-to-day costs. While you may still find some attractions which are premium priced, on the whole your days will be far less expensive. Taxis will be cheaper, and restaurants will be as well – you’ll notice that your pocket is much fuller than it ever has been after a UK getaway.

Not everywhere is “tourist friendly”

A degree of caution must be exercised with the term “tourist friendly”. After all, we’re by no means suggesting that some areas are unfriendly, but they just might not be able to provide the support that alternatives are able to.

For example, for foreign tourists at least, they might not be able to speak the language. Or, they might not have people who understand the culture that some visitors bring. It’s at this point visitors must accept these changes and appreciate that whilst rewarding, turning outside of London can sometimes bring its difficulties.

Other areas operate on different schedules

It’s not quite the city that never sleeps, but it certainly has later opening hours than most destinations in the UK. In some areas, it’s not uncommon for the stores to close at 5pm, and some restaurants to follow on shortly after. Naturally, this is completely different to London and other parts of Europe, where dining and shopping times typically venture deep into the night.

Savour the natural beauty of the UK with Regatta

The natural beauty in the UK ranges from stunning dramatic castles to breath-taking sceneries. A vacation in the UK is undeniably  the best way to reward yourself.

Regatta is dedicated to helping you make your trips in the UK a memorable experience worth cherishing, and one that is a cheaper alternative to a European break. Check out some of the spots they’ve highlighted on their interactive map as an alternate destination or take a look at the places listed here.

The following is a list of five marvelous tourist attraction spots in the UK

Windsor – This historic town is a short train ride west of London. Its lovely Thames-side setting and the many medieval half-timbered buildings along its quaint old cobblestone laneways attract tourists from all over the world. It houses the spectacular Windsor Castle, the world’s largest inhabited castle; Windsor also houses Legoland Windsor, a fun family resort set on 150 acres of parkland close to the town centre and Royal Ascot, the UK’s most famous horse-racing venue.

Medieval York- One of northern England’s most popular tourist destinations, the medieval city of York, harbours one of the country’s most magnificent cathedrals. The country’s largest medieval church, York Minster, also the ancient City Walls, which stretch almost five kilometres around the old medieval city centre and offer excellent views over The Shambles, a narrow 14th-century roadway, famous for being the inspiration for Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley thanks to its fine old timber-framed buildings, many of which hang over the street below.

Liverpool and Manchester- When visiting Manchester, one must visit Castlefield, popular for its well-preserved Victorian houses, canals, and Roman ruins. Manchester Cathedral and the historic Town Hall, Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester Art Gallery and Chinatown are other attractions.

Liverpool, an hour’s journey by train, offers cultural excitement because of its association with the Beatles. Music fans are drawn here for the numerous walking tours and bus tours of Beatles sites, such as The Beatles Story in the renovated Albert Docks area; the famous Cavern Club, where the band made its debut in 1961; as well as the former homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Besides this, there are many historic buildings, lovely gardens, parks and museums and world-class art galleries.

Canterbury – Only an hour’s train ride from central London, Canterbury has attracted pilgrims for more than 1,500 years, ever since St. Augustine first started converting pagan Anglo Saxons to Christianity here in AD 597. Its famous attraction is Canterbury Cathedral (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), home of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Canterbury Roman Museum, built around the remains of an original Roman townhouse and its unique mosaic are the signatures of the city.

Cardiff – Cardiff offers a full spread of all the fun experience imaginable. The Cardiff Castle located in the middle of the city and built on the ruins of an ancient Roman fort; the old Victorian shopping arcades; the Cardiff Bay now home to numerous fine restaurants, theatres, galleries and shopping arcades on the lovely Mermaid Quay make up some of the brilliant activities you can enjoy in this friendly capital.

Your Guide to Navigating London’s Attractions

London is a vibrant multicultural metropolis. There is a contrast between the historic sights and the vibrant cultural scene. This makes it a thrilling experience to visit London. It also offers an amazing shopping experience. It also includes unlimited sights and vibrant culture for every traveler.

If you have never been to London and you’re contemplating whether a day tour within the city is worth it, here are some famous tourist spots that may help you decide:

  • Covent Garden: Covent Garden is considered to be one of the most famous areas in the city due to its theaters. Neal Street is a haven for shoe lovers with its range of shoe shops.
  • SoHo: It is a lively and thrilling area of the city that houses an impressive array of cafes. It also houses blues and jazz bars, and the core of the gay scene in London.
  • Kensington and Chelsea: This community is home to a few of the posh shops and affluent citizens in London. It also houses Notting Hill, which has become a famous neighborhood.
  • Camden: This is famous for being the area where hippies and punks tread the streets together. It is home to a lively mix of music venues, markets, tattoo parlors, restaurants, and boutiques.
  • London City: This is about one square mile in area. It is close to the largest skyscrapers and business districts in London.
  • Westminster: This includes sights like the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace. People can visit the British Government through the House of Commons Strangers’ Gallery.
  • Shoreditch: This is best known as London’s trendy East End design center. It offers great vintage shopping, street art, nightlife, and awesome food.

What to do in London

Visit the Wilton Music Hall

It is a magnificent building considered to be one of the world’s oldest. This music hall features a broad range of events like theater and classical music. It also includes comedy and cabaret, all in a unique atmosphere.

Visit the British Library and museums

London’s cultural icons are highlighted in many free museums. The British Museum holds world-renowned exhibits. The Tate Modern displays the finest of British and International Modern Art. The British Library has some reading rooms that have large collections of books. There’s always something new to be found. This is because of the frequent modification of exhibitions.

East London street art

Banksy is the most popular street art export in Britain. There are also several street art pieces across East London. These include Christiaan Nagel’s signature mushroom sculptures. You can also schedule your travel in time for the London Art Fair if you love art.

Shopping

Shoreditch has a fair proportion of coffee shops and eccentric fashion designers. This is to compliment the shopping scene. It is because it has developed a reputation as the birthplace of London’s retro boutiques. Oxford Street draws most visitors searching for souvenirs. Harrod’s is a world-class shopping sight. Thus, you should visit it when you are in London.

Visit the Thames River

Thames is an important part of the history of the city. Its Clipper boats take visitors through the Tower Bridge. They can also go to the historic sites and to the Canary Wharf’s iconic commercial district.

Warner Brothers Studio tour

For fans of the Harry Potter series, it is a must to visit this site. This tour takes guests from Dumbledore’s office to the Diagon Alley shops. It also takes them to a few popular locations shown in the Harry Potter movie.

Market tour

Borough Market has a lot of great food options and is the most renowned market. Some fantastic markets include the Portobello Market in Notting Hill. There is also the Old Spitalfields Market in East London. Here you will find everything like clothing, antiques, and food.

London is undeniably one of the majestic places to see. If you’re visiting anytime soon, make sure you have the right tools so you won’t have problems in navigating and to be able to make the most out of your travels.

Why You Should Visit Colchester

Photo by George Gastin. License: CC BY-SA 3.0

Britain’s oldest recorded city and a market town with a rich history, some of Britain’s landmark events have taken place in Colchester.

A must-see for history fanatics, Colchester was founded by the Romans and was at one point the capital of Roman Britain. Today, visitors can enjoy exploring the oldest Roman ruins in the country, as well as Balkerne Gate, the largest surviving Roman Gateway in Britain. But what else does this fascinating town have to offer? Keep reading to find out.

Yet more historical discoveries can be made with a visit to the Roman Circus, Britain’s only known Roman chariot racing track, where you can access free indoor and outdoor displays as well as a guided tour.

Who doesn’t love a good castle? Colchester’s will not disappoint – it is, after all, England’s largest surviving Norman keep – bigger than the Tower of London! In previous years, it’s been a royal residence, a prison and an air-raid shelter, and now retains its glory as a museum. Here, you can take a tour of the 2000-year old vaults, go up on the castle roof and view interactive displays such as building a Norman archway, dressing up as an Iron Age Briton and steering a Roman chariot.

For lovers of the great outdoors, the Grade II listed Castle Park spans 11 hectares, is home to award-winning horticulture and is a great place to visit on a sunny day, be it for a picnic, games with the family or simply a nice walk. Offering stunning views, this is a great place for little ones, with a boating lake, play area, café and even friendly squirrels!

Another great family day out is Colchester Zoo. With over 270 species set in 60 acres of beautiful parkland, you can watch gorgeous animals from across the world roaming around, being fed and even see a training session with their keepers. Best of all, Colchester Zoo offers you the chance to feed the elephants and walk through a 24-metre tunnel where you can see sealions swimming overhead!

Overall, Colchester is a lovely town complete with hidden gems, including a modern arts centre and secret gardens, and it’s no wonder it’s so popular with visitors from near and far.

In Colchester, you’ll never be far away from beautiful landscapes, stunning architecture and rich culture – so book your visit now.

If you’re interested in security services in Colchester, check out Stage Security, a leading SIA security company that can provide a bespoke solution tailored to your requirements.

Top Things To See And Do In Liverpool

Source: Atanas Paskalev on Pixabay

The UK is easily one of the best places for travellers to explore – what with numerous amazing towns and cities to visit, deep and rich history to experience and a number of fantastic areas of natural beauty just waiting to be explored. If you haven’t been to the UK before though, you might be wondering which cities aside from London you should add to your must-see list. Liverpool is one such city that many travellers miss out on, but you really shouldn’t, especially if you’re a Beatles fan! Here is a short guide to Liverpool and how you can really make the city your own and truly experience the #VIPLiverpool lifestyle with all the top spots to see and experience around the city such as the top Liverpool ONE restaurants you need to check out when you’re stopping for a bite amid hours of sightseeing. 

The Beatles Story

Of course, what’s Liverpool without exploring the city’s most famous four – the Beatles. Hailing from Liverpool, the Beatles went onto worldwide success and fame and to this day are one of the most well known bands in history. The Beatles Story is an exciting and interactive exhibit located at Albert Dock that is touted as the place to see in Liverpool for any tourist – regardless of whether they like the Beatles or not. The whole exhibit goes from their inception, their career and fame and then also follows the lives and careers following the breakup of the band. A definite gem of Liverpool, and one that you shouldn’t miss. Bring your phone for some awesome photo opportunities in and around the exhibit. 

Liverpool ONE Shopping District

With over 150 shops and restaurants, Liverpool ONE is the top shopping area in the city. Located right in the heart of Liverpool, Liverpool ONE is a modern collection of all the best high street offerings from John Lewis to Claire’s and more. There are also numerous bespoke shops as well that you won’t find elsewhere. Liverpool ONE is more than just shopping and eating though – there are festivals and events that take place year round as well as touring exhibitions and even some museums on site. The Liverpool ONE restaurants are plentiful and provide excellent options for shoppers and  visitors that are looking for anything from a quick bite and coffee all the way up to posh meals with friends. You definitely won’t want to miss this shopping and dining experience.

Shiverpool and Other Tours

Liverpool is home to numerous tours that visitors can enjoy, allowing them to get up close and personal with some of the city’s best bits. Shiverpool takes visitors on a choice of three different tours, all in the city centre that feature the cathedrals, Albert Dock or the Auld City. Bookings in advance are recommended. Definitely a great way to explore some of the hidden back alley gems of the city, so be sure to bring your camera! Other tours that exist in the city include the Fab Four Beatles tour – a step back in time while you visit the childhood homes of John, Paul, Ringo and George. If you’re into the television show Peaky Blinders, you can also hop on a tour of the filming locations for a behind the scenes look at this historical TV drama.

So whether it’s your first or fiftieth time to the UK, be sure to add Liverpool to your list of places to check out on your next vacation to the British Isles. With so many unique things to see and do, as well as a hidden gem seemingly around every corner, you honestly won’t regret it. With so many things to see and do in Liverpool alone, you will wonder why you didn’t check out this northern gem before. So come to Liverpool – you honestly won’t regret it.

 

John Eilermann St Louis – Culture Changes For Americans in the UK

For John Eilermann St Louis, Missouri was his home for almost 35 years, a place where all of his family grew up and somewhere he expected to stay for the rest of his life. I was at a business convention in St Louis, Missouri around 4 years ago and got to talking to John. It quickly transpired that we were aiming to set up a very similar business and so we got to talking about making it a collective effort. The business went well and 2 years later John decided to move to the UK so that we could launch the business over there. Watching his adaption has been very humorous and this is what Americans are in for when they come to the UK.

Driving

In the USA, St Louis, Missouri included, the driving style is direct and borderline aggressive, if you want to switch lanes you switch, if you are trying to get out of a junction you just go and if you are waiting for someone to help you out, you’ll be waiting a long time. Here in the UK however, with the exception of big cities, driving is far easier. John was confused when people kept waving at him or allowing him to move lanes, the waves were in actual fact a thank you or an indication for him to move. John had to drastically tone down his driving style when he got here.

Portions

When I first met John in St. Louis, Missouri his love of coffee was clear to see, and he would regularly be walking around with a liter of the stuff from a local cafe. This was indicative of the portion sizes in many parts of the US, something which doesn’t happen in the UK. In fact here we are pretty reserved in terms of our portions and this was something which took a while for John to get used to. He would often think that he’d ordered a starter by accident, because his main was seemingly ‘far too small’.

Apologies

What was hilarious to watch in his first few weeks here was his bemused face when people apologized to him. This is a serial disorder in the UK and people will apologize for just about everything, regardless of whether or not it was their fault. John crashed his shopping cart into someone and they apologized to him, he was stunned into silence and then curiously asked me what the hell was going on!

Tipping

The tipping culture in the UK is pretty non-existent, unless someone has gone above and beyond during your service. Needless to say that it cost John quite a bit of money before he managed to get his head around this idea. The biggest difference between the US and the UK in this respect is that the waiters in the UK are paid far better than in the US, thus negating the need to always tip.

Top Places To Check Out In The UK

Are you looking for something truly awesome for this summer’s holidays with your partner, family, kids or friends? Whether you live in the UK or somewhere else, a trip to old Blighty never goes awry, with so much to see, do and great deals to be had on hotels, car hires and more. The whole country is awash with amazing experiences to be had, but what are some do not miss places? Check out this handy guide to helping plan your summer UK travel itinerary.

Source: Unsplash

London

Easily one of the best places to start in the UK is the city of London. Home to so many things to see and do you might need to come back for round two, it’s a city that never sleeps and always seems to have something going on. Whether you explore solo or join one of the many amazing tours of London that are available, you’re sure to have a great time. Top notch locations for any visit to the capital include Covent Garden market, the Tower of London, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, the London Dungeon, and don’t forget that almost all of the museums in London are free. Add to this the enormous collection of restaurants, bars and nightclubs and you have the perfect place to start any trip.

Brighton

Not far from London, on the southern coast, is the small city of Brighton. This cute seaside town is known perhaps the best for its famous ‘Brighton Pier’, the UK’s take on California’s Santa Monica pier, but with a distinctly British flavour that includes penny arcades, the popular ‘Brighton Rock’ candy and a few fairground style rides and amusements. The city itself is a wonderful place to explore with tiny backstreets, hidden gems of restaurants and pubs and a vibrant night scene. The Brighton Pavilion, also known as the Royal Pavilion, a former royal residence, is a perfect way to spend an afternoon, wandering through its impressive halls and gardens. Hotels and accommodation in Brighton can vary from basic and budget friendly to lavish and luxurious with seaside views. What do you fancy?

Wiltshire and Somerset

If you like cider, beautiful country lanes and unique historical points of interest, you won’t want to miss Wiltshire and Somerset. Easily done in a day or two, these two counties are about an hour and a half to two hours from London by train, although renting a car is advisable if you want to get out of the main cities of Salisbury and Bath. Salisbury is home to the impressive Salisbury Cathedral, which also houses one of the last remaining original copies of the Magna Carta as well as some truly unique pubs and points of interest such as the Poultry Cross, Old Sarum and of course, Stonehenge is a short drive away (although you can take the Stonehenge tour bus which departs regularly from Salisbury station).

Somerset is similar and is a hilly, beautiful area with many villages you don’t want to miss including Wells and Glastonbury. Bath is the main city with its gorgeous Bath Stone architecture, the Roman Baths and the impressive Thermae spa, giving visitors the opportunity to bathe in the same waters as the Romans.

So what are you waiting for? Come check out the UK – or if you live there, take this opportunity to explore your own unique, engaging and impressive backyard. You honestly won’t regret it!