There’s a reason why the UK is one of the most visited countries in the world. It’s overflowing with history and culture, and with fast, modern, and comfortable transport links, it’s easy to visit all the top attractions. But, with so much to see and do right on your doorstep, it can be difficult to choose where to go next. Here are just a few places we recommend you visit in the UK.
United, Oasis, and Coronation Street. Manchester is a city brimming with history and culture – so much so that it’s dubbed the ‘Capital of the North’. If you’re looking for a culture hit, Manchester has it all; two world-renowned football clubs, museums, art galleries, and a bustling music scene offer too much to see in just one day.
Make sure you do a tour of Old Trafford, home to Manchester United, and The John Rylands Library to get a taste of what life in Manchester is like today compared with hundreds of years ago.
In between your culture tour you have to experience the shopping, food, and drink on offer in this iconic city. Shopping in Manchester offers something for all tastes and budgets, from the high-end retailers along King Street to the independent stores that line the Northern Quarter.
If you find time to take a break, you’ll discover a range of chain and independent bars and restaurants dotted around the city. Be sure to explore everything that one of the most exciting food and drink destinations in the UK has to offer.
Our tip: On a sunny day, head to Sinclair’s Oyster Bar on Shambles Square – the perfect place to stop for a bite and a drink after shopping in the Arndale.
Scotland’s capital is a bustling blend of culture, internationally famed food and drink, and shopping. If you’re visiting this summer, you might just make it in time to attend the famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival for three weeks’ worth of laughs and gags.
Sample the city’s music scene at some great live venues played in by some of Scotland’s most successful artists. If you get tired of the many museums and galleries Edinburgh has to offer, don’t forget there’s a plethora of countryside walks dotted in and around the city – one of the many free things to do.
Fashionistas love Edinburgh, which is why it’s known as the ‘Paris of the North’. From high-end fashion to boutique independents, Scotland’s capital has it all. Your best bet is to start off at Princes Street for your high street favourites, followed by George Street if you’re a lover of luxury.
What better way to top it all off than by indulging in some of the local cuisine? Scotland is renowned for deep fried Mars bars, haggis, and whisky, so be sure to sample everything you can.
Our tip: Our favourite restaurant is The Kitchin, run by TV chef Tom Kitchin. It’s a bit on the pricey side, but well worth it.
Leeds is the pride of Yorkshire, and it’s easy to see why. The UK’s third-largest city is a cultural and economic hub, making it a powerhouse of the North.
It’s home to some of the best-known British sports teams and venues, from Leeds United to Headingley. If art is you cup of Yorkshire tea, you’ll find it in abundance here; stop by Leeds Art Gallery and The Henry Moore Institute for international and local exhibitions. As with most cities, there’s a strong music scene in Leeds, with some of the UK’s most famous venues housed in the ‘Capital of the North’ (yes, there are several).
But most travel to Leeds for its wide variety of shopping, restaurants, and bars. When shopping in Leeds, your first port of call should be Trinity Leeds, home to all of your favourite retail brands. The Corn Exchange offers a more independent experience, while the historic Kirkgate Market is the place to find local gifts and produce.
Locals will tell you their city is the best to grab a curry, and you won’t find many better than Bundobust. Or, if you’re on the hunt to find the best burger the UK has to offer, the ‘hidden’ underground restaurant and bar of Almost Famous may make you reconsider your list.
Home to one of the world’s most famous universities, Oxford is a city overflowing with history and culture. Just wandering the narrow, cobbled streets is enough to send you back in time, but museums like the Oxford Museum of Natural History and Pitt Rivers Museum describe the weird and wonderful history of this sleepy city.
A trip to the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’ wouldn’t be the same without a punting experience during the day. Finish your night off at the New Theatre, Oxford Playhouse, or one of the many other theatres the city has to offer.
While many visit for the history, don’t forget Oxford’s underrated shopping, food, and drink scene. Most of your high street favourites are concentrated around Cornmarket and Queen Street, while independent stores are dotted around for gifts you can’t find anywhere else.
In line with the city’s forward-thinking, its restaurants and bars span all culinary needs. An abundance of vegan-friendly restaurants line Oxford’s streets, and you’ll find all manner of cuisine to choose from. For a great meal and an even better view, head to the rooftop restaurant at Ashmolean.
Our tip: Pitt Rivers Museum is a collection of weird and wonderful items from the city’s past, and well worth a visit.
It may be known as the ‘Steel City’, but there’s far more to Sheffield than the nickname suggests. It’s a city of art and creativity, represented by its many – the new Heart of the City renovation project being home to some of the most innovative architecture and art in the UK.
Weston Park Museum, one of the city’s most-visited attractions, features an extensive collection that spans social, global, and natural history. And don’t miss out on Sheffield’s famous walks and hikes, suitable any time of the year.
Sheffield’s culinary scene is as modern as its architecture, with high-end and chain spots for all cuisines and dietary preferences.(There’s been a recent uplift in vegan restaurants across the city.) To dine away from the hustle and bustle, be sure to try out The Hidden Gem, which is true to its name.
For your shopping needs, find national and international retailers at Meadowhall shopping centre, or head to the Devonshire Quarter for independent stores selling gifts you won’t find anywhere else.
Birmingham is the UK’s second-largest city, and as such has so much offer for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a break with the family or a romantic trip for two, there’s a lot to see and do in the ‘City of a Thousand Trades’.
You can spend all day exploring everything Theatreland has to offer, from the UK’s busiest theatre to the country’s oldest working cinema. For those with a sweet tooth, Cadbury World is a must, taking you out into the quaint village of Bourneville.
The Jewellery Quarter is where you’ll find the weird and wonderful of Birmingham’s culture scene, including The Pen Museum (trust us, it’s anything but mundane).The nationally recognised Bullring houses the retail chains, but if you take a wander over to the Great Western Arcade or Jewellery Quarter, you’ll find them filled with smaller local stores.
Whilst you’re in the latter, you might want to stop for a drink and a bite to eat, and you’ll be flooded with options. The Rose Villa Tavern sits at the heart of Brum’s independent scene, serving great food and quality drinks. But Birmingham’s all about the curries, many of which you can find spaced out across the Balti triangle.
Whichever destination you choose to visit, don’t forget to book an Advance ticket via our website or our Train Tickets app. You can also find information on how to get cheaper train tickets via our special offers page. If you need more information, you can contact us here.