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Things To Do in the United Kingdom

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Dive into Shakespeare, dive shipwrecks off Scotland, dive into a vibrant street market, or dive into a plate of hand-dived scallops - whatever you enjoy on vacation, there's loads to see and do in England, Scotland and Wales.

The UK is small but packed with variety. It has brilliant white cliffs, gentle rolling countryside, remote rugged mountains and coasts, windswept fells, timeless islands, quaint villages, ancient market towns and vibrant cities. Here you'll find information, advice and inspiration about all kinds of places to go and things to do in the United Kingdom.

  1. Best Bets for First Time Visitors To the UK
  2. Free Things To Do in the UK
  3. UK Day Trips- Short Easy Away Days from London
  4. Royalty
  5. Movie Britain
  6. Historic Homes and Stately Mansions
  7. Shopping
  8. Food and Drink
  9. Special Outings and Unusual Experiences
  1. Festivals and Seasonal Events
  2. Arts and Entertainment
  3. Family Fun
  4. Museums, Exhibitions and Galleries
  5. Gardens and Garden Shows
  6. Sports
  7. The Great Outdoors
  8. Nudism

Best Bets for First Time Visitors To the UK

Royal Pavilion, Brighton

There are so many different things to see and do in the United Kingdom. Where do you begin? If you've never been to the UK before - or you've never ventured beyond London - deciding where to go can seem overwhelming. Relax - it's pretty hard to make a mistake because there is something cool to do wherever you end up in England, Scotland and Wales. But, to get you started, here are a few of my own top picks and must-sees.

Free Things To Do in the UK

Castlerigg Stone Circle

Vacation fun in the UK doesn't have to cost a bundle. In fact, it doesn't really have to cost a penny. All of Britain's national museums - not just the ones in London - are free for everyone, every day. There's free access to most of the countryside too - for recreation, birdwatching, kite flying, you name it. These ideas and resources should steer you toward more than enough activities to fill a long vacation or loads of fine days out. Take public transportation and you won't even have to worry about the cost of petrol.

UK Day Trips- Short Easy Away Days from London

The Town House in Ightham Kent

The UK is a small country linked together by rail connections that make it easy to get just about anywhere in a few hours. And if you plan long enough ahead to take advantage of cheap advance fares, rail travel is also cheap. Get yourself to London and then enrich your visit with day trips to some of England's most interesting cities, towns and attractions.

Royalty

Queen Elizabeth II at the State Opening of Parliament

Love them or hate them, Britain's Royals are impossible to ignore. Here's where you can satisfy your curiosity about Royal homes and palaces, find out how to attend annual Royal events, see Royal exhibitions and keep up with the comings and going of Britain's Royal Family, past and present.

Movie Britain

Keira Knightley as The Duchess

England's film technicians, its prop and wardrobe makers, special effects people and animators are well known to Hollywood film makers, who flock here work with the unsung heroes of the movie and television businesses. The UK also has magnificent, romantic scenery, castles, cloisters and fine old country houses. You've probably seen many of them on film already. Why not follow the trail of your favorite movies around the UK?

Historic Homes and Stately Mansions

courtesy of britainonview.com

Treasures, fabulous grounds, amazing collections and even menageries. Visiting UK's historic homes, palaces and mansions offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the rich and famous of the past - and sometimes the present.

Shopping

Mulberry Bags

Napoleon called Britain a nation of shopkeepers. He probably meant it as an insult but, hey, it's a fair cop, Guv. The UK has some fabulous places to shop - for everything from cutting edge fashion to comforting classics. And the best part is you don't have to stay in London to find serious shop hound territory. So, get ready to whip out that plastic.

Food and Drink

©Ferne Arfin

There's a lot more than fish and chips on British tables these days. Raise a glass in a traditional pub, dine out in grand style, sample ethnic cuisines from the length and breadth of the British Commonwealth or bring the taste of Britain to your own kitchen with traditional recipes to try.

Special Outings and Unusual Experiences

Indian War Elephant

Sometimes you just want to do something a little different, hard to categorize, unique. The UK has loads of places and experiences like that - from murderous little villages and ghostly galleries to coastal forages for wild food, elephants in full suits of armor and journeys alongside Postman Pat.

Festivals and Seasonal Events

Chelsea Flower Show,©Ferne Arfin

Plan your trip to take in one of the hundreds of festivals and special events that take place all over Britain. From celebrations of ancient traditions, to huge opera, theatre and rock festivals, something special is happening somewhere in England, Scotland, Wales and the Offshore Islands just about every day of the year.

Arts and Entertainment

Shakespeare Bust on Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon

The UK has something for culture vultures of every persuasion. Theatre, literature, music and the visual arts are important elements of daily life in England, Scotland and Wales. Whether you're into Shakespearean theatre, Beatles nostalgia or indie music clubbing; the paintings of Old Masters or the latest art brat's unmade bed, you're bound to find your kind of entertainment amidst so much Great British creativity.

Family Fun

Sea Lion and Pup at Longleat

If you're heading for the UK, don't leave the kids at home. There's plenty to do for the whole family, including animal parks that are SO MUCH FUN, great family accommodations, family friendly walking and cycling vacations, Viking centers and loads more.

Museums, Exhibitions and Galleries

The UK has hundreds of outstanding museums. Whatever your interest - fine art, applied art, science, history, arms and armor, costumes, furniture, music and musical instruments, and more - there's bound to be several a world class museum collections in the United Kingdom.

Gardens and Garden Shows

Orchids at Chelsea 2007 - Massed display at McBean's Orchids

English cottage gardens and the 18th century landscapes of Inigo Jones are justifiably famous all over the world. In the past, British horticulturalists traveled around the world to bring back rare and exotic specimens that would thrive in the UK's unique climates and microclimates. The gardens they created are bursting with pleasures to enjoy throughout the year and full of ideas to take home.

Sports

Sailing on the Solent During Cowes Week

No true Brit ever let a little wet weather stand in the way of a day out sailing - or a football match for that matter. The British are a sporty bunch and there is plenty to enjoy as a spectator or a participant - regattas, tennis matches, famous horse races and horse shows; cycling, riding, skiing, even surfing. Pack your sporty gear and get moving.

The Great Outdoors

The Lake District - Stone Wall Meanders Over a Mountain Pass

From the countryside to the coasts, the landscapes, national parks and beaches of the United Kingdom are wonderful places to explore throughout the year and in all kinds of weather.

Nudism

Broad, Deserted Holkham Sands

Find nude beaches and learn about nude beach etiquette and nudity laws in Britain.

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