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Royal Places to Visit in the UK

Tuesday 25 April 2023

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If there’s one thing that helps the UK stand out among other countries around the world, it’s our royal history and modern monarchy. Exploring the royal history of the UK is one of the best ways to get acquainted with Britain, and there are plenty of locations to visit.

With the King’s Coronation just around the corner, there has never been a better time to dive into the UK’s royal history. As well as highlighting the best royal locations for days out, we have put together some suggestions of where to watch the Coronation on big screens around the country so you can celebrate in style. Discover the best places to watch the King’s Coronation in 2023, with CrossCountry.

Where to watch the Coronation

Before you catch up with the royal history of the UK, where can you get involved with the biggest royal event this century? This year, the King’s Coronation will be displayed live on big screens in several locations across the CrossCountry network. Find out where your nearest Coronation watch-party is taking place.

  • Times Square, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Catch a train to Newcastle station, followed by a 4-minute walk to Times Square.
  • Bristol Cathedral, Bristol: From Bristol Temple Meads, you can walk to Bristol Cathedral in roughly 22 minutes.
  • Lower Gardens, Bournemouth: Hop on board a CrossCountry train to Bournemouth station, then take a 15-minute bus to the screen in Lower Gardens.
  • Edinburgh city centre (exact location TBC): Make your way to Edinburgh Waverley station, followed by a short walk to the screen location.
  • Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester: Get involved with the Coronation celebrations in Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens. Take a train to Manchester Piccadilly and you can walk to the park in less than 10 minutes.
  • Cardiff Castle, Cardiff: From Cardiff Central station, you can get to Cardiff Castle’s big screen by walking for 12 minutes.
  • Ely Cathedral: Make your way to Ely station with CrossCountry, followed by a 13-minute walk to the Cathedral.

Whether you’re on a royal tour of the UK or looking for the best places to learn about British history, these are the best royal places to visit in the UK.

Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh

Situated at the end of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and overlooked by Arthur’s seat, the Palace of Holyroodhouse is a Scottish royal destination that cannot be missed. The Palace excellently brings together the historical intrigue surrounding English/Scottish tensions, with close associations to Mary, Queen of Scots and Bonnie Prince Charlie, as well as being the King’s official residence in Edinburgh. With permanent exhibitions on the royal histories of England and Scotland, and regularly refreshing exhibitions on global culture, royal jubilees and coronations, and more, there is plenty to learn and explore at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Nearest CrossCountry train station: Edinburgh Waverley

Palace of Holyroodhouse from above, with trees behind and a grass lawn in front

Windsor Castle, Windsor

No list of royal places to visit in the UK would be complete without a mention of Windsor Castle. Site of royal weddings, royal funerals, celebrations, banquets, and much more, there is a deep royal connection in the town of Windsor. A visit to Windsor Castle is a treat for adults and children alike, so why not go on a family day out and discover the thousand-year history of Windsor Castle? From William the Conqueror to Charles III, there is so much to learn and so much to see.

Nearest CrossCountry train station: Reading

Windsor Castle with a long path leading to the gate, lined with green trees and a plush lawn

Monmouth Castle, Wye Valley

A little bit different to the Palace of Holyroodhouse and Windsor Castle, Monmouth Castle is a site of ruins where once stood a magnificent castle with a fierce military and royal history. Founded in the 11th century by a Norman lord, the castle was built on a strategically important location on the border of Wales and England, as well as being situated on the crossing of two rivers. Visit Monmouth Castle to discover the part it played in King Henry V’s life – from being born in the castle, to fighting the rebellion led by Owain Glyndŵr, to the part Welsh armies played in the Hundred Year War.

Nearest CrossCountry station: Lydney

King Richard III Visitor Centre, Leicester

Where could be better to take in the Royal history of the UK than the site of an exciting royal archaeological discovery? When the remains of King Richard III were discovered in a car park in Leicester, the world was amazed to see history uncovered. The Visitor Centre in Leicester is dedicated to telling the story of the Plantagenet King as well as the story of the archaeological mission. An intriguing day out for families, couples, individuals, and schools, this is one of the UK’s most fascinating royal places to visit.

Nearest CrossCountry train station: Leicester

Leicester Cathedral with a statue of King Richard III in front

Highgrove Gardens, Gloucestershire

If you’re more interested in the recent history of the Windsors, you will love a visit to Highgrove Gardens. The house has been the private residence of King Charles III and the Queen Consort since the then-Prince’s first arrival in 1980. The personal connection with the King makes Highgrove one of the most important royal places in the UK today. The King’s personal touch can be seen in the gardens, to which he dedicated much of his life to curating, nurturing, and growing. With so many beautiful plants and flowers to see, why not visit this Summer?

Nearest CrossCountry train station: Gloucester

Kirby Hall, Northamptonshire

Step back in time with a visit to Kirby Hall, with stunningly beautiful grounds to explore and regal interior decoration to enjoy. Kirby Hall is one of England’s greatest Elizabethan houses, with close royal connections. Once home to the Lord Chancellor of Queen Elizabeth I, and playing host to royals over the years, a trip to Kirby Hall transports you to another era. There is no better place to get in touch with Britain’s royal history (or to feel inspired by lavish decorations!).

Nearest CrossCountry train station: Peterborough

The grand frontage of Kirby Hall, with a plush green lawn and blue sky

 

If you’re planning a trip to one of the UK’s royal locations, 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.

The UK is bursting with fun activities. Whether you’re visiting one of the best historical places in the UK, the best forests in the UK, or the best cinemas in the UK, you can always travel by train. CrossCountry has services running up and down the country to ensure you can get to the places you need to be.

Written by Julia

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