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The best of United Kingdom
Made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, it is no surprise that the best things to do in the UK are varied and fascinating. You’ll find different dialects, ancient Celtic languages and unique communities, traditions, myths and legends. There are surfer havens and soft, sandy beaches, rugged rock formations, punishing mountain climbs and deep, glassy lochs all waiting to be discovered. While rural spots promise lush, verdant greenery, ancient woodland, utter silence and nights so dark you can see all the stars, the UK’s towns and cities – Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh, Belfast, Oxford, York and London, among others – are home to buzzing nightlife, striking modern architecture, historical landmarks and incredible celebrations of culture. Planning a trip this year? Here are the best places to visit in the UK in 2019. Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere, or find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world.
UPDATE, OCT 2020: We’re working hard to be accurate – but these are unusual times, so please always check before heading out. We’re big fans of city living. But, after the year we’ve had, everyone needs a change of scenery or a slower pace every now and again. Enter these cosy (and actually really cool) cabins in the UK countryside. The architectural wonders range from rustic log cabins and luxury woodland shacks to a eco-friendly huts. Whether you’re looking for a luxe retreat, want to get back to basics or fancy swerving the rest of humanity for a while, an escape to one of these hideaways is just the ticket. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in the UK
No need to answer the doorbell this Halloween. Trick-or-treating has been cancelled, and when we think about this year’s potential costume choices, plus the amount of hand san we’d get through, we’re frankly glad. You know what can’t be cancelled, though? The undead. Ghosts, ghouls, apparitions, silkies, kelpies, goblins and sprites don’t give a damn about which tier their haunting grounds are in. Whether you believe in all that or not, these strange sites around the UK will give you a severe case of the creeps. RECOMMENDED: Mythical places in the UK
Graveyard rambles don’t have to be all gloomy. Sure, those vast expanses of crooked headstones may mark the harsh passage of death across the land. But it is to our detriment that we don’t appreciate them as places of celebration – of life and of love. So argues Scottish author Peter Ross in his new book ‘A Tomb With a View’, in which he tours the UK’s most picturesque graveyards and homes in on the ‘stories and glories’ of the ordinary folk buried beneath the tombstones. He also shines a spotlight on those taphophiles (tomb-lovers), himself included, who can’t get enough of cemeteries, funerals, graves and everything they’ve come to signify in a world where ‘morbid obsessions’ are the norm. ‘I hope that, despite the subject matter, people actually feel uplifted,’ he says. Graveyards are also a great way to understand Britain, he adds. And in this way, the book could be used as a travel guide of sorts; a funereal path across the country’s recent history. As Halloween approaches, we asked Ross to pick out six cemeteries across the UK that will win visitors over to the idea that burial grounds can be both beautiful and celebratory places. Here are his choices. Please visit respectfully. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the most beautiful places to visit in the UK
The arrival of autumn in the UK is no reason to despair. Sure, it makes our almost entirely alfresco social lives a little trickier to maintain but we can make it work. There are crisp bright mornings, cosy evenings and pubs with open fires to look forward to. Not forgetting great swathes of yellow, orange and brown leaves to admire. Mid-to-late-October is the best time to see autumn leaves in the UK, and these parks and woodlands are about to become the most scenic spots for super-wholesome, socially distanced strolls. See ya on the other side, summer. RECOMMENDED: The best autumn day trips from London
If there’s one thing we all need, it’s a holiday. And, after lockdown, the first thing we want to do is get behind the wheel. While we usually prefer the more eco-friendly option of travelling by train, road trips feel like the perfect post-lockdown escape, thanks to the fact that you’re able to easily social distance from others, all while exploring the country’s incredible landscapes. So here are seven of the best road trips in the UK, complete with estimated driving times, assuming you’re stopping off for multiple nights and taking the time to hike, wild swim and immerse yourself in these stunning surroundings. RECOMMENDED: Travelling in a campervan? Here are cool campervan-friendly campsites in the UK.
There were daily local walks (those little strolls that saved us during lockdown) and then there are these: world-class hiking routes that take in mountains, farmland, lakes, coastline and some of the most stunning scenery the United Kingdom has to offer. This autumn, we’ll be wearing in our new hiking boots on these routes, which wend through some of the country’s most incredible rural areas. Load up your rucksack with a tent and a multipack of plasters (or B&B hop) to tackle the entire length, or choose a smaller section for a day-long leg stretch. Either way, we’ll see you at the trail head. RECOMMENDED: The best places to visit in the UK in 2020
You can call it ‘sortumn’ or (if you really want to abuse the English language) ‘autummer’ but let’s just say it straight: we missed half of the sunny season this year, thanks to lockdown, so our appetite for UK breaks isn’t going to be dampened by falling temperatures or rotting leaves. We’ll be keeping those holiday vibes going for a good few months yet, and these cottages and cabins – which all still had autumn availability at the time of writing – are the places to do it. RECOMMENDED: The best places to visit in the UK
Ready to leave the city behind? After lockdown, planning a holiday in the UK seems like the easiest and less-likely-to-go-wrong option. And spending that holiday in a campervan feels genius. Not only can you easily social-distance and keep yourself to yourself, you can also explore as much of the UK as you fancy, from the sunny beaches along the south coast right up to the Scottish Highlands. Chances are you don’t have a camper parked handily outside your flat right now (if you do, can we borrow it please?) so here are three ways to get you started on a campervanning holiday in the UK. RECOMMENDED: The best places to visit in the UK this year
After the year we’ve all had, we’re more than deserving of a break from ‘normal’ life. But the minute holidays in the UK were officially allowed again, it felt like everywhere was already booked up. Didn’t reserve your dream coastal cottage, glamping tent or treehouse fast enough? No stress – there are actually still loads of amazing properties out there if you know where to look. Here are some of our faves, which, at the time of writing, still have availability between now and the end of October. (Because, seeing as lockdown kept us inside until July, we’re going to stretch ‘summer’ out as long as we can this year.) RECOMMENDED: The best places to visit in the UK this year
The UK is blessed with a helluva lot of pretty villages. We’ve got coastal fishing villages, ancient farming villages, villages that look like they haven’t changed in the last century (or four), villages that are just really lovely to look at. Unsurprisingly, some of the most attractive appeal to people who simply love to take photos. They then end up all over Instagram – which in turn inspires more people to go and enjoy the aesthetically-pleasing villages for themselves. It’s the circle of life, or something like that. Whatever your feelings about Instagram, there’s no denying these are a stunning bunch. Running in descending order, from most Instagrammed (according to the number of live hashtags associated with the destination) to least, here are the 16 most posted-about villages in the UK, from Mousehole in Cornwall to Grasmere in the Lake District. RECOMMENDED: The most Instagrammed villages in the world.
We’ve had a tough few months but, unlike Glasto, Carnival, the Fringe and almost every other event we were looking forward to this year, summer itself definitely isn’t cancelled. Holidays? They’re back, and it’s no surprise that, after months locked down, the urge to swap Blighty for somewhere new is strong. There’s zero need to brave the airport, or risk falling foul of Boris’s rapidly changing travel restrictions, though. Head to these distinctive UK places to find international vibes without having to remember where you left your passport. RECOMMENDED: The best places to visit in the UK this year
Thanks to lockdowns and travel restrictions, 2020 has become the year to holiday closer to home – and that shouldn’t feel like a compromise. There are countless reasons to stay in the UK. It might be small but, when it comes to amazing landscapes, world-class attractions and incredible history, the UK can’t be beaten. Plus, in an age when we’re so conscious of our own environmental impact, adventuring closer to home means swerving plane shame, too. As of July, hotels, campsites, cabins and treehouses (even these incredible holiday homes with swimming pools) all opened back up, so travelling around the country is back on the agenda. From remote islands to lush national parks, here’s your UK break bucket list for the second half of 2020. RECOMMENDED: The best weekend breaks from London
UPDATED JULY 2020. PLEASE NOTE: Campsites in Scotland are set to reopen on July 15 and in Wales on July 25. Want to spend some time getting back to nature at one of the best UK campsites? Then get your sleeping bag out of storage and dust off that two-man pop-up you’ve had since your first music festival. Not only is camping eco-friendly, it’s also affordable and you get to live and sleep in some of the wildest locations around the country. Whether you’re an outdoor-living enthusiast with all the gear, or a fair-weather glamper with no idea, we’ve scoured the UK to find the most beautiful and unusual sites to guarantee everyone’s a happy camper. Read on for 13 of the best UK campsites. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in the UK
If you’re almost constantly thinking about the trips you’re going to take as soon as lockdown lifts, we’re right there with you. Thankfully, holidays in the UK are back on the agenda, which means hotels, cabins, castles, treehouses and campsites in England are open again, with the rest of the UK set to follow suit in the next couple of weeks. So what will we do first? After months spent inside our homes, camping and campervanning holidays feel like the perfect post-lockdown break. Hire a van and you can keep yourself to yourself, bring all your own kit with you, socially distance with ease and, thanks to the fact your new home is on wheels, explore as much of the UK as you like. Oh, and you can also park up and spend the night in any one of these dreamy spots. Here are some of the coolest campervan-friendly campsites in the UK. PLEASE NOTE: Campsites in Scotland are set to open on July 15, and in Wales from July 25.
So you’re ready to escape the city for a much-needed post-lockdown break? Thanks to lockdowns and travel restrictions, holidaying in the UK has never looked so tempting. Camping, too, is having a bit of a moment, with people and their sleeping bags flocking to those wild open spaces in droves. It’s a nice idea, but if the thought of actually roughing it this summer makes you want to stockpile loo roll again, here’s an alternative. Forget about tent poles or trying to get your eight hours on the world’s thinnest ground mat, none of these ace places to go glamping – from pre-pitched canvas to yurts and safari tents – require you to pitch your own, or forgo an actual bed. Some even come with hot tubs. Stress-free summer hols, here we come. RECOMMENDED: Cool places to park your campervan in the UK