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There's so much to see and do in London, it's easy to be overwhelmed. Major sights like the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace are on most visitors' itineraries, but no matter what your interests, you'll probably find something here. Art lovers should make a beeline for the National Gallery and the Tate Modern. If military history's your thing, don't miss the Cabinet War Rooms. Finally, forget everything you've heard about bland, mushy British food—the restaurant scene here is fabulous.
Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital city, renowned for its heritage, culture and festivals.
Take a long walk around the centre to explore the World Heritage Sites of the Old Town and New Town, as well as all the area’s museums and galleries. Then stop for a delicious meal made from fresh Scottish produce before heading out to take in one of Edinburgh’s many events — including the famous summer festivals of culture, or the Winter Festivals of music, light and ceilidhs.
The Jersey shore looks a little bit different in the Channel Islands. No Snookis here—instead, the partying of choice is the annual Battle of Flowers, a sweet-smelling carnival that culminates in the Moonlight Parade. Kayakers, surfers, divers and sailors will find plenty to love about Jersey’s active watersports scene, and adrenaline junkies will (cliff) jump for a coasteering tour of the caves, cliffs and crags. A day of shopping and café-hopping in St. Helier is an excellent dose of cultural retail therapy.
This popular resort town is located just a mile from Windermere Lake, the largest lake in Europe and alleged home of more than one peculiar sea creature. If we've scared you out of skiing, boating and fishing in Windermere Lake, there's always horseback riding and golf. Or you can explore the lake from the safety of a ferryboat, which regularly takes passengers from Hawkshead to Bownes.
Liverpool's fortunes have been inextricably tied to shipping. Imports and exports, such as sugar, spice and tobacco, however, pale to insignificance for most visitors, compared with Liverpool's most famous export of all, the Beatles. It's no surprise that the city's most popular attractions are Fab Four-related, but in addition to reliving the hysteria at the Beatles Story Experience and Paul's childhood home, catch local buses to visit Albert Dock's stores, Liverpool Cathedral and Walker Art Gallery.
The star attractions of the area around Keswick are of course the Skiddaw Mountains and beautiful Derwentwater. Sports enthusiasts should plan their holiday for the month of May to take part in the Keswick Mountain Festival. If you are not a climber, you can enjoy the public parks, swimming pools and gardens of Keswick. For evening entertainment try the Theatre by the Lake or the cinema. Keswick has a superb choice of eateries that cater to all tastes.
Plan on giving your feet a workout in York, a historic walled city about two hours north of London by rail. The compact riverside locale is packed with attractions, including the biggest Gothic medieval cathedral north of the Alps, the Jorvik Viking Centre and the Yorkshire Museum, which brims over with sculpture, jewelry and fossils from the area. Visit Clifford's Tower, built by William the Conqueror in 1069, for the one-two punch of history and great city views.
As Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow is famed for its culture, shopping and people. Spend your day exploring a wide range of fascinating free museums and galleries, enjoying the UK’s best shopping outside of London, and taking advantage of tips from friendly local people on the city’s hidden gems — then choose from 130+ weekly musical events for a special night out. Glasgow is also the perfect base for exploring more of Scotland, with great connections to the Highlands and the islands.
The Isle of Wight is the perfect place to enjoy some peace, quiet and natural beauty. Except perhaps in the summer, when the Isle of Wight Festival draws visitors from all over the world. In 1970, the Festival was the largest rock-music event ever held. It was called Britain's Woodstock and featured Jimi Hendrix and The Who. (Not so much peace or quiet that week.) The island is also known for its world-famous sailing and lovely resorts, where people have been holiday-making since Victorian times.
A stroll through historic Bath is like visiting an open-air museum. About 5000 buildings have achieved notice for their architectural merit, from the Roman Baths to the magnificent Abbey and the collection of Georgian homes known as The Circus. Follow in the footsteps of Jane Austen with a visit to her elegant townhouse, now an exhibition space in her honour, and the Assembly Rooms where she once attended society events. After a long day of walking, soak in the natural hot waters of the Thermae Bath Spa.