From fishing village to one of the liveliest cities in the country, Brighton combines a laidback atmosphere with a rich cultural scene. Its iconic Victorian pier by the sea is a local hangout, with several bars, restaurants and the famous amusement park over the ocean. It’s impossible not to be impressed by the extravagant architecture of the Royal Pavilion, an old palace of King George IV.
Famous for being home to two of the most important universities in the world, these towns, which have been rivals for over 800 years, have a lot in common: the university atmosphere, the buildings made of stone, the streets filled with bikes, the illustrious alumni... In Cambridge, the King’s College building, with its imposing Gothic chapel, and the punting tours on the River Cam are the main attractions. In Oxford, fans of the Harry Potter saga will have a blast: the halls of the Christ Church College and the Bodleian Library served as locations for the movies.
Located about 25 miles [40 km] from London, Windsor Castle, with its stone walls and grandiose halls, has over 1,000 years of history. It’s the oldest castle still in use in Europe – and one of Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite official residences. The place is also home to a precious collection, which includes Queen Mary’s Doll’s House, paintings, statues and other items from the Royal Collection.
Almost at the border with Scotland, the county of Cumbria is home to England’s largest national park – a veritable refuge with mountains, valleys, scenic roads, villages with a medieval atmosphere and, of course, lakes. There you’ll find Scafell Pike and Windermere Lake, the largest mountain and the largest lake in England, respectively. It’s no coincidence that the beauty of its surroundings attracted several writers in search of inspiration in the 19th century, including Beatrix Potter, the author of classic children’s books.
Surrounded by mountains, beaches and lakes, Snowdonia National Park is located in a region rife with lovely natural landscapes which is home to villages that seem straight out of fairy tales. Going to the top of Snowdon, one of the highest mountains in Britain, is one of the most popular activities in the area. Visitors can hike to its summit, at an altitude of 3,560 feet [1,085 m], or take the Snowdon Mountain Railway.
Separated by 155 miles [250 km], Scotland’s two main postcard sights are a fascinating portrait of the country. Walking the streets in the capital is like taking a trip back to medieval times (Edinburgh Castle won’t let you forget this), but with the comfort of a modern metropolis. Meanwhile, the immensity of the Highlands, a region dotted with mountains and woodlands, amazes visitors with its wild landscapes that have inspired many folk tales – the famous Loch Ness and its “feared” monster are there.
This city was founded almost 2,000 years ago, when the Romans built bath complexes with hot springs that can be visited to this day (you just can’t bathe anymore). However, Bath is also quite famous for an illustrious resident: it was here that writer Jane Austen wrote part of her work, including the classic Pride and Prejudice, inspired by the aristocracy that frequented the locale in the 19th century.
Centuries have passed and there are still many unanswered questions and mystery surrounding Stonehenge. Little is known about the mysterious circle of giant stones located over 87 miles [140 km] from London. However, it’s estimated that it was built some 5,000 years ago, according to the movements of the Sun. The visitor center tries to solve this prehistoric enigma, with a permanent exhibition of other artifacts found in the region, and also provides explanations about the monument.
It’s impossible to talk about Liverpool and not immediately remember its most famous sons: the Beatles. The quartet started their career there and there are several attractions scattered throughout the city that recount the group’s trajectory, like the Cavern Club, the bar where they performed for the first time. The port city also shows its original vocation at the Albert Dock, which dates from the 19th century and is now home to museums, recreation areas and restaurants.
The birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and of several rock bands, like the Smiths and Oasis: this is Manchester, a city rife with contrasts located in the north of the country. In addition to music, soccer is another passion that makes residents proud – the Manchester United stadium is one of the city’s main attractions. With a vibrant cultural scene, there’s no lack of museums and galleries in Manchester, like The Lowry, with its modern architecture, and the interesting Museum of Science and Industry.