After living in the UK, for a couple of years, during my post graduation, if there’s one thing I learned about it, it is… traveling in the UK is easier due to its pretty compact size. You can drive all the way from London to Edinburgh in under eight hours on a good day. While that doesn’t make for a good day trip in itself (you’ll have spent the whole time driving), it does get to the point that wherever you may be staying in the UK, you’re probably only a short drive or train ride away from a whole different kind of attraction or destination.
In the post, I won’t be assuming one place or another as your “base” in the UK. Rather, I’ll just be looking at 10 great things to see and do around the country, many of which can be managed in a day trip from one area or another.
Hike Hadrian’s Wall
You won’t be able to hike the whole thing on a day trip—it’s about 150 miles long—but journeying to this ancient wall and hiking along even a small portion of its length can be an otherworldly experience. It’s a nice way to get some exercise and connect with the island’s history, though you may also want to organize the day to see some of the Roman museums that stand along the wall.
Take The Warner Bros. Studio Tour
If you’re not staying in London and you want a specific reason to venture into town, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour is as good as any. It’s fascinating for any film fan, but this is a particular draw for fans of the Harry Potter franchise, given that it shows and tells you a lot about how the magical movies were made. I’m not even one for this sort of tour ordinarily, but this one is special.
Stonehenge might just be the most legendary landmark in the UK, so naturally it belongs on the list. It’s the sort of thing that shocks you in person, even if you’ve seen it in a thousand pictures before. The scope and scale of the monument will blow you away when you see it in person, and the sense of history is incredible.
Check Out The Eden Project
When you think of the best countries in the world for green living, most of them are in Europe. Japan has made enormous strides in this area, and other countries around the world are also taking innovative steps. But it’s mostly the Scandinavian nations that are leading the way. The Eden Project is one indication that the UK is attempting to follow suit. It’s not a large-scale environmental effort, but it’s a celebrated attraction celebrating plants from around the world and contributing to the environmental education of visitors. The massive biomes housing plants and lighting up at night also just make it a beautiful sight to behold.
Play At London’s Empire Casino
Casinos don’t really seem like noteworthy attractions anymore. That’s because online casinos are getting more and more professional, and have now given birth to gaming apps with the best slot and card gaming experiences out there. There’s no need to visit a casino these days, but the Empire Casino in London is another good excuse to visit the city beyond general sightseeing. It’s a large, spectacular and luxurious venue that will make you feel like a true high roller, even if you aren’t gambling personally.
Catch A Soccer Match In Manchester
Truth be told, catching a soccer match anywhere in the UK can be an amazing experience. But if you want to see the best fans, the most historic venues, and often the best teams, Manchester is a nice city to aim for. Man City and Man United are consistently among the better teams in the English Premier League, and a ticket to either club’s match will undoubtedly enhance your trip. Visit historic stadiums like Manchester United’s Old Trafford to soak in the history of one of the world’s most famous teams.
Take A Cotswolds Balloon Ride
The UK is known for its beautiful expanses of land, and the Cotswolds in England represent the best of the best. This is a region full of rolling green hills, sprawling fields, and quaint villages filled with cottages, winding paths, and stone bridges over creeks. Any way you can find to tour the Cotswolds can make for an incredible experience, but a hot air balloon over the region is particularly special.
The University of Oxford might be the most historic school in the world. It may also be one of the more picturesque, which puts it right up there with the UK’s most famous landmarks as something to see on a day trip. Touring Oxford almost feels more like wandering through some kind of sprawling palace estate than visiting a college. Plus, if you take a guided tour, you’ll wind up learning quite a bit about the fascinating history of the school and some of its noteworthy alumni.
See The Lake District
Like the Cotswolds, the Lake District is among the most beautiful areas in a nation famous absolutely loaded with scenic sights. You can camp, hike, ride a bike, or even take a canoe or kayak out on the water. Simply seeing this gorgeous national park district in person is well worth however long the drive takes from where you’re staying.
Relax At The Blackpool Sands
If there’s one thing that’s decidedly underrated about traveling in the UK, it’s the beaches. The climate can be a little unforgiving for much of the year, but there are beautiful and unique coastal stretches all around the country. Blackpool Sands is one of the best beaches, and almost feels more like a Mediterranean getaway than a corner of England.