Norwich river view
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The 15 best places to visit in the UK in 2024

From charming seaside spots to bustling cities, weโ€™ve got all the staycation inspo you need right here

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For all the bucket list places around the world, it can be easy to forget that we actually have some pretty amazing places to explore right here on our doorstep. Sure, the British weather can have a mind of its own and train travel can leave a lot to be desired, but if you’re willing to put up with all of that, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what there is to discover. 

From quaint coastal towns with trailblazing restaurants and bustling cities with an edge of their own, to gorgeous islands that feel nothing like the UK, these are the parts of the country that should hands-down be on your staycation wishlist for next year. These places have thriving food, drink and arts scenes, they’re home to exciting new openings and they have plenty of big events for you to scribble into your calendar, pronto. 

Thinking of planning a holiday a little closer to home next year? By sifting through all of the hottest launches for next year and using our expert knowledge of cultural scenes around the country, Time Out’s UK team has curated the very best British destinations for you to plan a trip to in 2024. And the best part? You can visit most of them easily, cheaply and without having to catch a flight. Time to get booking!

RECOMMENDED:
๐Ÿ“ The best things to do in the UK
๐Ÿ–๏ธ The best seaside towns in the UK
๐Ÿ˜๏ธ The best Airbnbs in the UK

Where to visit in the UK in 2024

1. Bristol

Should we really be surprised that (apparently) everyone is moving to Bristol? Its cultural scene is just as exciting as London’s, but it’s still only a short coach journey away; it has picture-perfect streets and bustling, diverse nightlife. And in 2024, its arts offering is only getting better. A musical adaptation of the 2006 film ‘Starter for Ten’ is coming to the renowned Old Vic theatre from February 29 to March 30, while DIASPORA!, a brand new festival showcasing BIPOC global ethnic majority artists – across theatre, dance, music, visual and digital arts, as well as poetry and spoken word – is launching in May. Undershed, a new immersive gallery, is on track to launch in Spring, and Boxhall – a street food, beer and events space by the same people who behind London’s Boxpark – will also open its doors.  

The perfect day Start with grabbing a coffee from Clifton Coffee Roasters before pottering around Gloucester Road and perusing the many shops (it’s the largest strip of independent retailers in Europe). Then, hop on a Bristol Ferry water bus tour to see the city from the water. Finally, feast on a dinner of Spanish small plates at Bravas (or check out one of the city’s other excellent restaurants), before heading out to rave the night away at one of the many DIY-style clubs

Plan your trip The 2024 edition of Bristol’s newest music festival, Forwards, takes place on August 31 and September 1. 2023 headliners included Aphex Twin, Erykah Badu and Raye.

๐Ÿ“ The best things to do in Bristol
๐Ÿด The best restaurants in Bristol

2. Hull

Hull became a surprising capital for the UK’s LGBTQ+ community in 2023. From Monroe’s to Unit 49 and Cherry’s – named after the late ‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race’ star Cherry Valentine – an influx of new gay bars and clubs means Hull’s new Freedom Quarter is slowly growing its ecosystem of queer-friendly spaces. As well as its thriving LGBTQ+ scene, in 2017 the East Yorkshire city was also named the city of culture. It’s got The Deep, an enormous aquarium with 3000 species, a picturesque old town which survived the city’s relentless WWII bombings, and lots of up and coming indie art galleries like Ground and Artlink. Don’t sleep on Hull.

The perfect day Get your caffeine fix at Still. by Two Gingers Coffee before having a wonder around Hull’s charming old town or pottering in the shops at Hepworth’s Arcade. After that, head to indie events space Ground to check out whatever arty happenings they have on. Finally, stop for a pint at Ye Olde White Hart before heading to one of the infamous 13-hour parties (yes, really) at Gate No. 5.

Plan your visit Pride in Hull will take place on July 29, 2024. 

๐Ÿ“ The best things to do in Hull

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India Lawrence
Contributing writer
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3. Isles of Scilly

A lot of people say that the Isles of Scilly are the British version of the Caribbean – and you know what? We’d totally agree. This stunning archipelago off the coast of Cornwall is largely unspoilt, with white stretches of sandy beaches, turquoise waters and plenty of opportunities to go island hopping and dolphin spotting. But there’s more, too: head to the local museum to immerse yourself in the islanders’ deep sense of culture and tradition, sink yourself silly on local ales at seaside pubs or indulge your sense of adventure by snorkelling over the many under-the-sea shipwrecks. Bliss. 

The perfect day Travel to the islands by Skybus from Land’s End – it only takes 20 minutes, and there’s a gorgeous view. Once you arrive, make your way over to St Mary’s Riding Centre to take in the stunning scenery on horse-back. If that’s not your thing, hire bikes and explore the coastal trails of St. Mary’s islands before taking a transfer boat to St. Agnes to visit the Turks Head for a hearty pub lunch made using local ingredients. Once your food goes down? It has to be time for a swim.

Plan your trip The Isle of Scilly food festival is a ten-day celebration of local provenance taking place in September, with mouth-watering events like beach BBQs and vineyard tours.

๐Ÿ“ The best places to visit in Cornwall

4. London

Ah, good old London. No matter how many times you’ve visited or how long you’ve lived there, you’ll always find new things to discover in the capital. There are a tonne of new restaurants to feast at, all sorts of gorgeous hotel openings and plenty of fresh cultural things to do. Most notably, in 2024, you can dance at Drumsheds, the mammoth warehouse club housed in a former IKEA, catch a blockbuster exhibition – like Yoko Ono at the Tate Modern or The World of Tim Burton at the Design Museum – and see epic new West End performances (Mean Girls, anyone?).

The perfect day For lunch, grab a delicious loaded sandwich at Dom’s Subs on Hackney Road for (or treat yourself to a boujee meal out at Morito), before perusing the cute independent shops on Columbia Road and gawking over the even cuter animals at Hackney City Farm. Head over to Soho for a late-afternoon pint at the iconic French House, then round off your day with a delicious pre-theatre dinner at the newly opened Forza Wine at the National Theatre, before catching a play. 

Plan your trip Book tickets to see the stage adaptation of Studio Ghibli’s ‘Spirited Away’, taking place at the London Coliseum from April 30 until August 24.

๐Ÿ“ The best things to do in London
๐Ÿด The best restaurants in London

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Chiara Wilkinson
Features Editor, UK
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5. Belfast

The Norn Iron capital is criminally underrated. If you’re yet to discover its welcoming warmth and cultural vibrance, 2024 is the year to change that. Over the next twelve months Belfast has mega ambitions to deliver its biggest ever cultural celebration via a project dubbed ‘Belfast 2024’. Set around the theme of ‘People, Place and Planet’, the whopping programme of 24 large-scale commissions and over 200 events, workshops and activities includes a collaboration with the Eden Project, a guerilla gardening scheme aimed at rewilding the peace walls in the west of the city and an immersive music showcase celebrating Belfast’s contemporary Black culture.

The perfect day Begin with a wholesome morning stroll through the Botanic Gardens, followed by a hefty brunch at Output. Then wander through the parliament buildings at Stormont and the monumental Titanic Belfast museum. In the evening, find your way to The Muddlers Club hidden within the historic back streets of the Cathedral Quarter, or if you’d rather eat in, order from cult favourite Mexican place Boojums. Round off the evening by grabbing a pint accompanied by some banging live music at the Dirty Onion.

Plan your trip The cultural celebrations kick off from March and will run through to November. Make sure to be in the city on March 17 for an ‘enhanced’ edition of St Patrick’s Day shindigs.

๐Ÿ“ The best things to do in Belfast

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Amy Houghton
Contributing writer

6. St Andrews

Forgive us for including two Scottish seaside towns in this list (see: number 14), but it’s a good excuse to plan a road trip, right? A coastal gem in the Kingdom of Fife, St Andrews is home to an ancient university, three stunning beaches, botanic gardens, multiple pubs, a famous golf course and not much else. But it’s also beautiful, extremely walkable and very peaceful, and if you’re after a bit more action, it’s also close enough to Dundee to plan a day trip to the renowned V&A museum. St Andrews has also been tipped to be a hit set-jetting destination for 2024 with the town featuring heavily in the final season of ‘The Crown’, thanks to it to being where Prince William met Kate Middleton while at university. Fans, come this way.

The perfect day Line your stomach with a delicious fry up from Northpoint (which claims, like many places in town, to be where ‘Will met Kate’). Then, you’ll probably want to go for a lofty beach walk on West Sands, where ‘Chariots of Fire’ was filmed, before returning to town for some fresh fish and chips from Cromar’s (if the weather allows, eat them on another nearby beach: Castle Sands). In the evening, catch a local show at The Byre Theatre or sink some pints at one of the town’s many pubs: Aikman’s and Brew Co. are very good choices.

Plan your trip Visit in July: most of the students will have left for the summer and you might actually get to enjoy the beach with some sun.

๐Ÿ“ The essential guide to Scotland

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7. Lewes

‘Like a box of toys under a great amphitheatre of chalk hills... on the whole it is set down better than any town I have seen in England’: so said William Morris about Lewes in the 1800s. The sloping Sussex town has been a favoured haunt of artsy progressives, not least Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell and the rest of the bohemian Bloomsbury set. In 2023, it gained a brand new cultural space in the form of Charleston in Lewes (head here in the new year to catch the ‘Bring No Clothes: Bloomsbury and Fashion’ exhibition, closing March 3). There’s more, too: as you wonder Lewes’ charming wonky streets you’ll stumble past the former home of Anne of Cleves, Lewes Castle, a hodgepodge of artisan stores and delicious foodie spots – as well as the most bonkers pub in the UK, the Lewes Arms.

The perfect day Take the brand new Sussex Art Shuttle and travel a short distance outside of town to see Charleston Farmhouse, before heading back for a veggie burger at Bun and Bean and a pastry dessert from Flint Owl Bakery. Spend the afternoon learning about the history of the castle and Lewes Priory, then browse the independent shops in The Needlemakers. Finish with a meal and a movie at Depot.

Plan your trip The stunning Glyndebourne Opera House is hosting a festival of world class opera from May 16 to August 25, while the incredible extravaganza that is Lewes Bonfire Night is taking place around November 5.

๐Ÿ“ The best things to do in Lewes

8. Newcastle

There’s plenty to shout about in Newcastle (and not just the nightlife, though we love that too). The city’s food scene already had a pretty good reputation, but new openings in 2023 have really seen it thrive, like natural wine and pizza spot Bawn and new brunch spot Cafeteria: a sort of posh style greasy spoon, which seem to be all the range now. Pair this with a load of great galleries and pubs, the legendary Wylam Brewery and Tyneside Cinema and seriously reasonable prices and you’ve got a cracking weekend away. Or you might just want to pack up and move there. It happens. 

The perfect day Grab a coffee (with a view) at La Verne Vintage, before walking waterside and over the Quayside bridge. Head to the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and wander through whatever exhibition is on, before heading to the very top floor for fantastic views over the city. Then head to Ouseburn, Newcastle’s coolest neighbourhood, and grab a pint and a banging vegan lunch at The Ship Inn. If you’ve got an itching for more art, check out the Biscuit Factory next door. After a few more pints, hit up World Headquarters for a night on the Toon. 

Plan your trip The Newcastle Fringe 2024 will run from July 18 to 29. Catch shows at the very cool Northern Stage as well as a number of pubs. 

๐Ÿ“ The best things to do in Newcastle

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Ella Doyle
Guides Editor
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9. Falmouth

Falmouth has always been Cornwall’s cooler town. Home to Exeter and Falmouth university campuses, student life here has brought a bit of vibrancy and edge to the quiet cobbled streets – but there’s always been a glaring gap when it came to the question of nightlife. Recently, though – thanks to new music venue The Cornish Bank – its late night credentials have shot up. From Klub Nos Lowen, a cult folk music night, to up and coming indie bands, this spot is the ideal place to absorb some of the county’s best culture.

The perfect day Start with a paddle at Gyllyngvase Beach, then warm yourself up with a coffee at Gylly beach cafe. Then check out the independent boutiques and galleries on the high street. (Shout out to Mirri Damer jewellery and Wild Pony vintage.) After grabbing some grub from Harbour Lights fish and chips, head to Chain Locker for a harbourside pint before moseying on to a gig at The Cornish Bank. If you have time, pop in to Beerwolf too, a charming pub/bookshop.

Plan your visit The annual worm charming championship (you read that right) takes place in late May every year. The Sea Shanty Festival takes place on June 14 to 16 2024, and Falmouth Week, an extravaganza of music, sailing and local culture, takes place on August 9 to 18.

๐Ÿ“ The best things to do in Falmouth

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India Lawrence
Contributing writer

10. Manchester

Manchester never fails to serve up a cultural banquet. After a huge year that saw the launch of Factory International at Aviva Studios, the rescue of grassroots gig venue, The Snug, and the long-awaited reopening of Manchester Museum, 2024 is set to be another big one. The star of the show will be the huge, innovative Co-op Live which is opening in April, backed by Bruce Springsteen and Harry Styles and already has the likes of Liam Gallagher and Oilvia Rodrigo lined up to perform. And in much-anticipated news for its food scene, L’Enclume chef Tom Barnes is opening his first solo restaurant, Skof, in the Noma district in spring.

The perfect day Swing by Idle Hands to fuel up on carbs and caffeine before perusing around the Northern Quarter’s indie shops (don’t miss Queer Lit or the Craft and Design Centre). Pick from a huge range of edible options at Mackie Mayor for lunch (or head to the Michelin-starred Where The Light Gets In, for something special) then use the new Visit Manchester Pass to check out the National Football Museum and take a craft beer tour of the city. End with a tipple and live music at YES.

Plan your trip Head up some time between October 23 and 27 to catch the Worldwide Music Expo, which is set to attract over 2,600 big guns from the global music industry.

๐Ÿ“ The best things to do in Manchester
๐Ÿด The best restaurants in Manchester

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11. Ramsgate

Last year it was all about Margate, but now, another neighbour has joined Kent’s roster of cosy, culture-filled seaside towns that everyone’s getting obsessed with. Enter: Ramsgate, a walkable gem with a hell of a lot of character. Check out one of its locally-run galleries and studios (including Level 11, specialising in dog pics), and don’t miss filling up at one of its new food offerings: this year, bar/restaurant Seabird arrived on the scene, as well as new monthly pop-up Catch at the Camden Arms, serving up a delightful seafood set menu. Oh, and the world’s biggest Wetherspoons is here. You heard us. 

The perfect day Pull up at Ramsgate Station and stroll towards the seafront, stopping at The Modern Boulangerie on Harbour Street for brunch and a ridiculously good cinnamon roll. Take a coffee to go and spend time checking out Ramsgate’s indie shops, from the records at Vinyl Head to the pottery, books and glass at Island Vintage. Head to the harbour and head out on a seal-spotting boat trip, before grabbing a sunset pint at the Royal Harbour Brasserie. Finally, warm up with pub grub at The Bedford Inn (top tip: you can rent a room at their brand-new hotel too). 

Plan your trip Go when it’s sunny and try to catch the town’s International Film Festival in June or the Festival of Sound in August. 

๐Ÿ“ The best things to do in Ramsgate

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Ella Doyle
Guides Editor

12. Norwich

Hugged by the marshes and woodlands of Broads National Park, Norwich brings the ancient to the contemporary — from its cobbled alleyways and two dazzling cathedrals to the modern exhibitions at the Sainsbury Centre and its Michelin-star prowess. In summer 2024, Norwich Castle (which was apparently one of Europe’s most important mediaeval fortresses) is set to reveal the results of a mighty £15m revamp, due to include redecorated rooms and the restoration of its 12th century Norman keep. As the self-proclaimed ‘City of Stories’ and England’s first UNESCO City of LIterature, you’ll be enchanted by Norwich’s tale.

The perfect day Order your morning drink of choice at Strangers Coffee then stop by the city’s 900-year old market on Gentleman’s Walk to check out the organic produce and food stalls. Save room for dessert so that you can enjoy elevenses at Figbar then take in the magnificent architecture of Norwich Cathedral and check out the curiosities hiding within the antique shops on Elm Hill. Round it all off with dinner from Grosvenor Fish Bar.

Plan your trip A celebration of queer art and ideas, Queerfest Norwich is happening February 8 to 24.

๐Ÿ“ The best things to do in Norwich

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13. Alnmouth

For a tranquil seaside break in 2024, the tiny fishing village of Alnmouth on the border between Scotland and England is a solid bet. Think: wild, windswept walks, pastel-coloured fisherman’s cottages, freshly-caught fish and blissful peace and quiet. Three surrounding beaches make up part of Northumberland’s 40-mile long coastal path — which happens to be a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, recently renamed ‘National Landscapes’ – and as such, there’s a delightful cluster of wildlife to look out for, including adorable puffins and grey seals.

The perfect day Sit down for an A.M. coffee and fresh kippers on toast at Bistro23 before checking out Almouth’s cluster of independent stores like Scots of Alnmouth and Jane and Harry’s. Then stop by the Ferry Hut, a bitesize museum dedicated to the ferrymen of yesteryear. Spend the afternoon adventuring along the coastal path before indulging in a well-earned dinner at The Whittling House.

Plan your trip Alnmouth Arts Festival is happening on June 15 and 16, with more than 50 designers and craftspeople exhibiting their work in venues throughout the village.

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Amy Houghton
Contributing writer

14. Ullapool

A tiny village and port around 45 miles from Inverness in the Scottish Highlands, Ullapool is well situated for walkers and cyclists to get their dose of the great outdoors: explore the nearby Corrieshalloch Falls, scramble up Stac Pollaidh mountain or to hop on a ferry to the Outer Hebrides. But there’s more to this place than just hiking boots and anoraks. Ullapool also going under something of a cultural renaissance, with Scotland’s most remote club night bringing of-the-moment electronic DJs to the area and The Seafood Shack and new 3AA Rosette restaurant The Dipping Lugger attracting foodies from far and near. The town was recently chosen as one of Time Out’s most underrated travel destinations in Europe, so get down soon.

The perfect day Wrap up warm and drive over to the foot of Stac Pollaidh mountain, with its spectacular peak of Torridonian sandstone. Reward yourself with a packed lunch on the top after a two-hour climb, before heading home and warming up in The Ferry Boat Inn where you can enjoy a slap-up dinner with some of the freshest seafood you’ll ever eat.

Plan your trip The next Baile/Baile club nights take place on February 3 and March 2, showcasing some of Scotland’s most exciting DJ talent.

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Chiara Wilkinson
Features Editor, UK
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15. Wrexham

Who’d have thought a small Welsh city would have been taken over by Hollywood celebs and become the subject of an extremely popular Disney+ documentary? Wrexham, home to the formerly flailing football club Wrexham AFC, became one of the UK’s hottest tourist destinations after A-listers Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney bought the club in 2020. The city is also home to St Giles’s, one of the most stunning churches in Wales. Then there’s the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct – a huge 18-arched stone and cast iron structure carrying the Llangollen Canal across the River Dee – and two National Trust properties, Erddig Parkland and Chirk Castle. In 2024, the national Football Museum for Wales is also expected to open, with exhibitions on Welsh language communities, fan culture and LGBTQ+ experiences.

The perfect day Start the day at Aussi brunch spot Lot 11. After fueling yourself, you’re obviously going to want to check out The Racecourse, the stadium that’s home to Wrexham AFC. Then you’ll need to grab a pint at The Turf, the football team’s pub of choice. For the afternoon, hop in the car for a 20 minute drive to check out the gorgeous views from the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and surrounding World Heritage Site.

Plan your trip Wrexham Feast, an annual food and drink festival, takes place in late September.

๐Ÿ“ The best things to do in Wrexham

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