Despite its relatively small size, the UK is packed full of amazing things to do and memorable sights. With its iconic landmarks, breathtaking coastal scenery, unique culture and rich history, the British Isles are the perfect places to visit for any type of holiday.
However, there are certain things that you simply have to see when you visit; essential, must-see places and landmarks that leave a lasting impression on visitors and showcase the best the UK has to offer.
For first-time visitors, the best way to see these locations is often on a day tour from London that visits multiple sites in one day. These guided tours take the stress out of travelling in a new country, include an expert tour guide and include entrances to the sights and attractions you will visit.
‘Big Ben’ (the Elizabeth Tower, Palace of Westminster)
Crossing Westminster Bridge for the first time and seeing that iconic, world-famous clock face is a moment that you’ll never forget. Instantly recognisable all over the world, ‘Big Ben’ is synonymous with the UK and one of the country’s most recognisable landmarks.
The UNESCO World Heritage site at Stonehenge is without a doubt one of the world’s most recognisable landmarks. Built more than 5,500 years ago, visitors come from all over the world to experience this magnificent place and attempt to uncover the truth behind its mysterious origins.
The Natural History Museum
Located in one of London’s most striking examples of Romanesque architecture, the Natural History Museum’s enormous collection includes botanical items, animals, relics from archaeological digs and over half a million rocks and minerals. Famed for its expansive collection of dinosaur skeletons, entrance to the museum is free to all visitors. Expect to spend the best part of a day here wandering around its vast collections.
Spiritual and ancestral home of the British monarchy for more than 900 years, Windsor Castle is the official residence of the Queen. Visit St George’s Chapel, the site where HRH Prince Harry married Meghan Markle in 2018, and walk around some of the most lavishly decorated state apartments in the country.
The Roman Baths & City of Bath
Originally built by the Roman’s who arrived in Britain more than 2,000 years ago as a place of relaxation and well-being, these ancient public baths sit on the site of the UK’s only natural thermal hot spring. The beautiful city of Bath is in itself a fantastic place to visit steeped in thousands of years of history where the ancient world meets modern Britain.
The National Gallery
Visited by more than 5 million people every year, the National Gallery in London houses works by some of history’s finest artists – Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Turner, Van Gogh, Cezanne amongst plenty of others. With more than 2,300 pieces including artwork and sculptures, it’s easy to spend an entire day here. Did we mention it is totally free to enter from point of entry to exit?
The Jurassic Coast
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, this 96-mile stretch of rugged coastline with spectacular views is one of the most beautiful areas of the UK – perfect for those looking to head outdoors. Lined by dramatic cliffs and soaring sea stacks, the coastline spans more than 185 million years of geological history.
A historic fortress that dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh in Scotland from its position atop Castle Rock, Edinburgh Castle is the most important castle in Scotland with a history that stretches back 3,000 years. Built on top of an ancient extinct volcano, in its long history, the castle has been used as a royal residence, military garrison and a jail.
Visit one of the most prestigious universities in the world. With the Fitzwilliam Museum, King’s College, the Corpus Clock and canal punting, Cambridge is full of enriching heritage experiences that will keep you smiling (and your camera snapping!) all day.
The Lake District
This beautiful national park is worth a visit not just for the stunning views, but also for the huge range of outdoor activities you can do here. If you’re looking for somewhere to go hiking, canoeing, climbing, cycling, or just about anything else you can think of, you can do it here amidst the surroundings of one of the UK’s most beautiful national parks.