The United Kingdom attracted an extraordinary 41.7 million people to its shores in 2018. Perhaps it should come as no surprise; it is – after all – a place packed to the brim with incredible history, endless hidden adventures, and unforgettable experiences just waiting to be unearthed. From its endless coastlines, historic cities and incredible variety of landscapes, the UK has something for everyone. It’s a destination that’s on most travellers’ bucket lists, but how do you begin to narrow down all the things you could do? Well, I’ve put together a list of a magnificent seven uniquely UK bucket list experiences that I believe everyone should attempt to do in their lifetime. How many have you ticked off?
Seven uniquely UK bucket list experiences to do in our lifetime
1. Llyn Y Fan Fach, Wales
The Brecon Beacons National Park is a stunning wildness in Wales. It is surrounded by mountains and is often used by the SAS for training. The spellbinding lake of Llyn Y Fan Fach can be found in the heart of this incredible landscape. There is a wonderful four-mile walk that goes around in a loop, passing the incredible glacial formations that can be found here and allowing you to soak up the otherworldliness of this place.
2. Go stargazing on the Isle of Man
Off the coast of the north-west of England, in the Irish Sea, is the Isle of Man. This haven does not have the same level of light pollution that can be found on the mainland and that makes it a fantastic place for stargazers to visit. The island has an incredible 26 dark discovery sites, which are incredible places to study the stars from. On a clear night on the Isle of Man, you can see both the Milky Way and the Orion Nebula.
3. Visit Tresco Abbey Gardens, Isles of Scilly
The Isles of Scilly are some of the most remote parts of the United Kingdom. Located off the south-west of the mainland, they are an increasingly popular place to visit. Tresco Abbey is a stunning place to visit if you do make it to this delightful destination, with the unusually warm climate driven by the Gulf Stream, meaning the flora and fauna is as dramatic as anywhere you will find in the UK. Take your time and walk around the gardens, marvelling at the scarlet flame trees and the Canary Island palms. It’s truly magical!
4. Visit Roseland Peninsula, Cornwall
The North Cornwall coastline is full of tourist hotspots – such as the foodie town of Padstow and the historic town of St Ives. But if you venture off the beaten track and head south, you will find an area of outstanding natural beauty, in which the Roseland Peninsula stands out.
5. Pub crawl in the Cotswolds
There’s nothing quite as British as spending some time in the pub. The Cotswolds, situated in the south-west of England, is a study in rolling countryside, packed full of charming villages and lots and lots of pubs. The beer is excellent, and the welcome should be warm. Among the pubs, The Crown in Frampton Mansell is a good place to start, but The Plough Inn in Kelmscott is another fine establishment.
6. Dive at Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands
In the far north of the United Kingdom are the incredible Orkney Islands. And if you are keen to dive and enjoy exploring incredible marine wildlife, then this is the place to come. Scapa Flow is the best place to dive, with very clear water and plenty to see when you are down there. Dolphins, seals and whales have all been seen in the area.
7. Eat fish and chips in Whitby
Whitby, on the North Yorkshire coast, is a wonderful place. With the famous gothic abbey towering over the town itself – a place which inspired Bram Stoker’s famous novel, Dracula – there is a certain amount of drama to this charming seaside town. The winding streets are full of interesting shops, welcoming cafes and friendly street markets but if you come here there is one cuisine that stands out – fish and chips. The Magpie is perhaps the most famous fish and chip shop in town and one that consistently draws the crowds, but you will be spoilt for choice along the harbourside.
This is my UK bucket list. Do you have any other must-see places or must-do experiences in the United Kingdom you would like to share? Write it down in the comments.