The biggest city in Scotland and the third biggest in the UK, Glasgow really is a vibrant metropolis (despite what their biggest rivals – Edinburgh residents – may say). Once the centre of the UK’s industrial revolution, Glasgow is now brimming with world class museums, art galleries, and architecture both old and new. It’s also got a booming music scene, and you shouldn’t leave without checking out at least one live venue.
Stay at The Grand Central Hotel or Similar:
Known as the ‘Gateway to the Isles’, Oban is a seaside town on Scotland’s western coast. Regarded as the seafood capital of the country, it’s a true foodie heaven (and not bad for whisky fans either). Use the town as a base to explore the isles by boat, or check out some of the local attractions; McCaig’s Tower offers stunning views, and there are a handful of other historical castles and museums in the area too.
Stay at Oban Bay Hotel or Similar:
The largest of the Hebrides, the Isle of Skye is awe-inspiring and enchanting. Spend lazy afternoons wandering through quaint seaside villages like Broadford, Kyleakin, or the island’s capital Portree. Get in touch with nature on some exhilarating hill walks – look out for the Old Man of Storr and the Quirang, rock formations straight from the pages of a fantasy novel. Neist Point lighthouse, the Fairy Glen, and MacLeod’s Maidens (the highest cliffs in the UK), are also well worth checking out.
Stay at Skeaboast Hotel or Similar:
Marketed as the ‘Gateway to the Highlands’, Inverness is a picturesque town on the banks of the river Ness. There are many walks to take along the leafy river bank, leading up to the magnificent Inverness castle and beyond to the Ness islands or the Calendonian Canal towpath. Golfing, cycling, and watersports are popular activities, and this town is also home to the biggest myth of all; the Loch Ness Monster. Go searching if you dare!
Stay at Culloden House or Similar:
A small town a short distance from Perth, Pitlochry shouldn’t be overlooked. The charming Pitlochry church and quaint buildings of the town make for a pleasant afternoon stroll, or you can visit the spectacular Falls of Bruar or the Pitlochry Dam and Salmon Ladder. Top it off with a visit to Scotland’s smallest distillery and try some Edradour single malt whisky. Ben Vrackie, a mountain topping 840m, is also nearby for any hikers.
Stay at Atholl Palace Hotel or Similar
This stunning medieval city is the jewel in Scotland’s crown, and ever popular with visitors. Edinburgh Castle sits right in the centre on top of a craggy hill overlooking everything below, with Greyfriars Kirkyard and Mary King’s Close providing plenty more insights into this city’s spooky, creepy history. The Edinburgh arts festival in August is one of the best in the world and not to be missed.
Stay at Haymarket Hotel or Similar
Windermere is the main tourist town for those exploring the South Lakes of the Lakes District. Windermere lake is the biggest in England, and offers plenty of opportunities for watersports, sailing, cruising, or just strolling by the banks. An essential activity is a lazy boat cruise on the lake, especially if the weather is working in your favour.
Stay at Cumbria Grand Hotel or Similar:
The historic and dazzling town of Chester dates back to Romano-British times, and is surrounded by ancient Roman walls. Its medieval town centre is little changed on the outside, and is sure to keep your camera clicking all day. One of the great military bases for the Romans, it also has an ancient amphitheatre and gardens. The winding riverside promenade of The Groves, the multitude of irresistible shops, and the sprawling Grosvenor Park are also must sees.
Stay at Brook Mollington Banastre Hotel & Spa or Similar:
During the Victorian era, roads on the Great Orme were still fairly primitive and the steep slopes prevented all but the most sure footed from reaching the summit. Llandudno was fast becoming a very popular tourist resort, so it wasn’t long before local businessmen latched on to the idea of a cable tramway. Llandudno is Wales’s largest resort, uniquely situated between the Great and Little Ormes with two wonderful beaches, the award winning North Shore and the quiet, sand duned West Shore.
Viewed as the unofficial capital of northern England, Manchester is a sprawling city with something for everyone. This multicultural metropolis has whole districts dedicated to different ethnicities, including the biggest Chinatown in England and the ‘Curry Mile’, a lengthy street with wall-to-wall sari shops and curry restaurants. Castlefield houses the older historical and cultural quarter, and it goes without saying that a trip to Old Trafford should be top of your list.
Stay at Double Tree by Hilton Manchester Piccadilly or Similar: