Heads up! We’re working hard to be accurate – but these are unusual times, so please always check before heading out.
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.
Now the Prime Minister has set out a lockdown exit plan, it won’t be long until we can get out and explore all the UK has to offer. Day trips in England may be allowed from March 29, when the nationwide ‘stay-at-home’ order is lifted. It will be possible to stay overnight in self-catered accommodation from April 12, and on May 17 hotels, hostels and B&Bs should also be able to open again.
This means it’s time to start planning visits to rural spots promising lush, verdant greenery, ancient woodland, utter silence and nights so dark you can see all the stars, and to the UK’s towns and cities – Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh, Belfast, Oxford, York and London, among others – home to striking modern architecture, historical landmarks and incredible celebrations of culture. Plus, with shops, bars, pubs and restaurants all due to be open again before summer is in full swing, hopefully, we’ll be able to embrace everything the UK’s cities have to offer.
Planning a trip this year? Here are the best places to visit in the UK in 2021.
Please note: Travel from England to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is currently not allowed. Overnight stays are currently not allowed. Facilities and businesses in the towns and villages we mention will be closed at the moment. Government advice is to avoid public transport so don’t travel by train or bus. Please be mindful of the people who live locally. Check whether car parks are open before you set off and adhere to social distancing guidelines when visiting.
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.