Where to begin? London is not just the biggest and best tourist destination in the UK, it’s one of the best in the world too. Oozing history, culture, prestige, style, and everything else in between, this city should not be missed. Shop til you drop on Oxford street, stuff yourself silly with fish and chips, catch a West End show, get a glimpse of the Queen at Buckingham Palace, hear Big Ben chime at noon – the list is endless!
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Dover is a local government district in Kent, England. Dover is its administrative centre. It was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of the boroughs of Deal, Dover, and Sandwich along with Dover Rural District and most of Eastry Rural District.
Often overlooked by tourists, Bristol is most definitely worth your time, at least as a base for exploring the West Country while avoiding the costly accommodation of other cities such as Bath. This city’s claim to fame is two of renowned engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s works; the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the SS Great Britain. There are plenty of other things to do too, including a zoo, aquarium, museums and exhibitions.
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The only island city in the UK, Portsmouth is a pretty and historically significant port that was one of the most important military bases in England. It has a particularly rich naval heritage, and a visit to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, with several historic ships, is a must. The futuristic Spinnaker Tower is the place to go for sweeping views of the harbour, while history buffs should check out the Southsea Castle, dating from 1544.
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Plymouth is a seaside city situated on one of the world’s most impressive natural harbours. A pleasant place to spend a few days, this city has a huge navy presence and is one of the biggest naval bases in Western Europe; a cursory glance at the Royal William Yard will confirm this. A local landmark is Smeaton’s Tower, where Sir Francis Drake set off from to fight the Spanish Armada. The Barbican is the historic heart of town, filled with craft shops and cafes.
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The historical city of Bath dates from Roman times and is world famous for its hot springs; the only place in Britain where you can indulge in natural hot springs. As well as the many public baths and the original, 2,000 year old Roman Baths, there are also many exquisite examples of Georgian architecture – the sweeping Royal Crescent is unmissable. There are many leafy parks to lounge in once you’ve finished with the baths too.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Newcastle is home to some of the best nightlife in the UK, as well as a diverse population with a rich heritage and an even richer accents. Founded as a Roman port some 2,000 years ago, one must see attraction is Hardrian’s Wall, built by the Romans to defend their colony against Pictish tribes. Another well known monument is the Angel of the North, an iconic roadside sculpture. In the city itself, Grainger Town is the picturesque medieval heart of the city.
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The Viking city of York is one of the most popular destinations in the UK outside of London, and for good reason. The daunting and dazzling York Minster is one of England’s biggest and finest cathedrals, the Jorvik Viking Centre lets you dive head first into medieval Viking life, and there’s a whole host of other activities to keep you busy for days. If you have time, check out York Dungeons, York Maze, Clifford’s Tower, York Castle Museum, and the National Railway Museum.
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Oxford is known the world over as the home of one of the best, universities in the world. Five minutes here is enough to enchant someone, and several days could easily be spent wandering around awe-struck by the beautiful architecture. Just some of the many worthy things you should add to your sightseeing list are the impressive Bodleian Library and fascinating Ashmolean Museum, and the stunning Christ Church and Magdalen Colleges, used as locations for several films, including Harry Potter.
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The pristine town of Windsor with its stunning medieval castle is still regularly visited by the Queen and the royal family, who use the castle as their private residence away from London. The nearby Eton College is where many of the family members (as well as the best of the best of British society) are educated, and both are simply stunning complexes to wander around. Windsor is surrounded by typically English rolling countryside, just begging to be explored.
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