The UK is made up of four countries – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - each of them with their own distinct cultures and places to explore.
From bustling cities to snow-capped mountains, rolling green hills to highlands and islands, the UK is beautiful and exploring is a must. Its relatively small size and good transport links mean that you can see a lot while you are here. Some of the highlights include:
The capital of England is the biggest city in the UK, and one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse cities in the world. From fascinating history and iconic buildings, to cutting-edge fashion, theatre and food, it’s easy to see why London is one of the most exciting and most visited cities on the planet.
Once at the heart of the industrial revolution, today northern cities like Manchester and Liverpool are best known for their famous football clubs and great nightlife. Outside the cities you’ll find impressive countryside, from the beauty of The Lake District, to the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales.
Known as The Midlands, this region is home to the UK’s second largest city, Birmingham, as well as its most famous universities, Oxford and Cambridge. Head out of the cities and find the picturesque villages of the Cotswolds and the charming Tudor town of Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace.
Remote sandy beaches make Southwest counties such as Dorset, Devon and Cornwall popular holiday destinations in the UK. The region’s main cities, Bath and Bristol offer vibrant alternatives to the tranquillity of the coast, offering fascinating history, as well as colourful music and arts scenes.
Noted for its gentle rolling countryside, the Southeast is home to the county of Kent, known as the ‘Garden of England’. The region’s seaside towns are also a big attraction, with Brighton, famous for its vintage shopping, colourful nightlife and laid-back beach living, one of the most renowned.
The UK’s northernmost country, Scotland is a stunning mix of wild beauty and buzzing cities. From the capital city Edinburgh, home to the iconic hilltop castle and the world’s biggest arts festival, to the mountain wilderness of the Highlands, and the miles of untouched beaches dotted along the coastline, Scotland has a lot to offer.
With three national parks – Snowdonia, the Pembrokeshire Coast and Brecon Beacons – covering twenty percent of Wales, it goes without saying that it’s home to some stunning landscapes. As well the mountain ranges, rugged coastline and historic capital Cardiff, Wales is equally famous for its distinctive Welsh language and love of sport.
Northern Ireland is a country renowned for its friendly people and natural beauty. In the capital Belfast, you’ll find a great mix of nightlife and history. Venture to more rural areas to see stunning coastline, including the Giant’s Causeway, the famous natural rock formation that has many a legend associated with it.