The UK is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with tens of millions of visitors each year. In 2022, tourism’s contribution to the United Kingdom GDP was worth approximately £214 billion. But since there are so many beautiful places to visit, deciding which ones you should see can be difficult.
It’s important to know what you want from your trip and what you expect to see and visit. If you plan on traveling with children, it can seem all the more challenging. But that’s not necessarily the case. Here are some of the most spectacular spots you should check out.
There are few places in Europe as spectacular as Scotland, with its lofty highlands, numerous islands, ample spots for hiking, unique cuisine and friendly locals. From beaches to mountains and hills, if you’re a lover of the natural world, there’s no way you could miss out on visiting Scotland. Make sure to check the Manchester Airport parking options beforehand to ensure your vehicle is safe for the duration of your trip.
Inverness, the capital of the highlands, is a city with ancient history dating back to the times of the Picts when it served as one of their main strongholds. Two crucial battles occurred nearby, one in the 11th century against Norway and the Battle of Culloden in the 18th century, the last of the Jacobite rising of 1745.
The Inverness Castle sitting on a cliff near the River Ness, is one of the most emblematic constructions in the city. Although the present one dates back to 1836, there’s been a castle at the site since 1057.
The Inverness Museum and Art Gallery offers various displays and is also a must-see for visitors. And if you want to do some shopping, try the Victorian Market, a 19th-century arcade filled with shops and eateries.
Edinburgh, as the capital city, is a must-visit. Although larger, it is still walkable, so you don’t have to worry about having to drive to explore its landscapes. The food scene is fantastic in Edinburgh, and you can find a wide selection of traditional and international dishes that your children are bound to love as well, even if they’re picky eaters.
Make time to visit the castles with your children. There are fifteen of them, and even if you weren’t a history lover before, you might become one after this trip. If you want to try something more out of the ordinary, visit the Garden of Cosmic Speculation in Holywood, a civil parish and village in Dumfriesshire.
The place is designed based on the fundamental principles of modern physics. There are five major areas that are connected by bridges and lakes. Fingal’s Cave, on the Isle of Staffa, has inspired many artists, including Pink Floyd and Jules Verne.
It’s easy to understand why if you see it yourself. The walls are made of hexagonal basalt columns, and a natural walkway just above the water allows tourists to explore the cave.
Northern Ireland, UK
Irish culture is known for its rich mythology and tales that captivate children and adults alike. So, when you head to Northern Ireland, you’ll most likely have high expectations and expect to see something extraordinary.
Well, you won’t be disappointed. Just prepare your trip in advance so you don’t forget to bring anything. Check the Stansted parking options beforehand to secure one of the affordable spots. You must be quick since the STN is the third-busiest airport in London.
The Belfast Botanic Gardens Palm House features a simple yet very clever design that protects the plants. It is painted white to prevent the greenery from becoming scorched.
The whitewash is removed around September, and visitors can see a wide selection of flowers, bushes and trees. The Belfast Botanic Gardens also feature sculptures and other works of art.
The Mussenden Temple modelled after the temple of Vesta in Rome, was created to serve as a library by the sea. While it had been unstable for years and threatening to collapse into the sea, it is now safe to visit.
Nearby, you can see Downhill House, a late 18th-century mansion and one of the most photographed landmarks in Northern Ireland. In St. George’s Market in Belfast, there’s the statue of Alec the Goose, a famous bird that was said to accompany the local children to school in the 1920s.
The Llechwedd Caverns Trampoline Park near Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd, will definitely catch your children’s attention. After all, it’s an underground playground located in a former slate mine.
Wales has been well-known for producing this material since ancient times when even the Romans used it for their buildings. Nowadays, it is aptly named the Bounce Below because it is a trampoline playground.
Moreover, to move between the trampolines, you must crawl through tunnels, go down giant slides or take an impressive spiral staircase. Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden is the United Kingdom’s only residential library, where you can sleep among the books.
The rooms are on the smaller side, meaning they’re also perfect if you’re looking to reproduce the cosy atmosphere of the home on your holiday. Guests can access the reading room until 10 p.m. and even take a book back to their room. This accommodation might be the perfect option if you want your children to read more.
You might also want to have a look at Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, the village with a comically long name that started as a publicity stunt. The English translation is “St. Mary’s Church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio near the red cave.”
If you enjoy visiting natural spots, you just need to step into Puzzlewood, a forest that seems to come straight from a fantasy novel. It was used as a filming location for popular series like Doctor Who and Merlin.
It is also said to have inspired Tolkien’s work, namely the forests of Mirkwood or Lothlorien. However, it isn’t just a hiking spot; there’s also a playground area, several picnic tables, and a café. There are also animals, including rabbits, goats, ponies, sheep, and donkeys.
The Natural History Museum of London is home to around eighty million species collected under a single roof. Children will be delighted to have a look at all the animals. And, of course, if your kids are Potterheads, there’s no way to miss visiting the numerous locations in England. It is also a wonderful place if you are a Beatles fan.
In the films, Duke Humfrey’s Library, dating back to the Late Middle Ages, is portrayed as an off-limits part of the Hogwarts Library. Alnwick Castle was the site of Quidditch lessons, Platform 9 ¾ can be visited at King’s Cross Station, and Leadenhall Market stands for Diagon Alley.
There are so many spots to visit in the UK when you travel with your family that you should create an itinerary beforehand to see as many places off your bucket list as possible.
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