The United Kingdom is a beautiful country with a long and storied history.

As such, there are no small number of amazing places to visit when traveling to the Sceptered Isle, and the challenge is not listing ten places to visit in the UK – it’s only listing ten places. 

That said, there are certain sights and landmarks that should be at the top of anyone’s bucket list.

And we’ve made it our business to narrow the playing field to the ten most absolutely essential places to visit when in the UK. 

Without further ado, then – here are the ten best places to visit in the UK. 


1. London, England

Tower Bridge London
The Tower Bridge in London is a popular tourist destination

London is, of course, the biggest tourist draw to the UK – and with good reason. Its streets are dripping with character and history, and you could spend a month here without running out of things to see. 

Top of the list ought to be Westminster where you will find the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey. Walk across Westminster Bridge and you’ll find the famous London Eye.

Lovers of the monarchy should take a trip to Buckingham Palace. And history and art lovers should explore the British Museum and the National Gallery, both are free by the way.

You could also visit the Tower Bridge and the adjoining Tower of London, which has housed many a criminal over the years. A guided “Jack the Ripper” tour around Whitechapel is great for curious minds and Halloween travelers.

We could write a thousand posts on things to do in and around London, but take it from us – the list is long and endlessly fascinating. 

2. Edinburgh, Scotland  

Victoria Street in Edinburgh
Victoria Street is one of the most photographed spots in Edinburgh

The Scottish capital of Edinburgh isn’t merely a “Scottish London” – it’s a remarkable city in its own right, and well worth a visit if you manage to make it north of Hadrian’s Wall. 

Edinburgh positively overflows with amazing activities and places for tourists to enjoy. And some of these places are free including the National Museum of Scotland and the Royal Botanical Gardens.

The famous Edinburgh Castle – and its 3,000 years of history – requires a small entrance fee of £19.50, if you book online. Just make sure to plan ahead and go early to avoid the crowds.

Victoria Street in Old Town Edinburgh is also another favorite tourist destination. Lined with quirky shops and cute cafes, this street is said to be the inspiration for Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley. Join a free walking tour to discover all the secrets and myths of this magical city.

There’s no end to the sights and sounds that visitors can enjoy when in the Scottish capital.

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3. Bath, England 

Roman Baths in Bath, UK
2000-year-old Roman Baths in Bath, UK

This Somerset city is, London notwithstanding, one of the biggest tourist draws in the UK.

The reason for this is simple: it’s jaw-droppingly beautiful and houses some of the oldest extant Roman baths in the world. In addition, the city has the UK’s only natural thermal hot springs. Keep in mind that tickets to explore the Roman Baths are £26 on weekdays and £28 on weekends.

Beyond the titular baths, Bath is a marvel in itself. It’s the only city in the UK designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in toto.

Jane Austen lived in the city for a long while, and you can explore her life at the Jane Austen Centre. It’s also the perfect place just to enjoy a stroll and take in the remarkable World-Heritage architecture. 

4. Stonehenge, England 

Stonehenge UK
Stonehenge, a stone circle built about 5,000 years ago

Not far from Bath is this world-famous 5,000-year-old druidic stone circle. Stonehenge is one of the UK’s most enduring landmarks and an instantly recognizable English icon. 

Visiting the modern-day complex in which Stonehenge is housed is not simply a case of walking up to the stone circle and getting a selfie. It’s an entire day out in of itself, with plenty to see and do. 

There is, for instance, the “Stonehenge Exhibition”, which displays over 250 archeological treasures recovered from the vicinity of the stone circle.

There is also the chance to see the remains of a local man dating back 5,500 years. Plus, inspect a forensic reconstruction of what he looked like. 

Is Stonehenge worth visiting? Absolutely yes! Just make sure to plan ahead and get your tickets online to get 10% off. Stonehenge tickets for adults cost around £26.30 and £16.30 for children 5-17 years old.

5. York, England 

The Shambles in York, UK
The Shambles in York is one of the most visited medieval places in the UK

As one of the most charming cities in the whole of the UK, York should be on the list of anybody who visits the country. 

York is the county capital of (you guessed it) the historic county of Yorkshire, famed for its long-running war with neighboring Lancaster. It’s also known for its medieval city walls, some of which date back to Roman times.

It’s renowned for its historic links with invading Viking raiders, and it has a center named “Jorvik” (the Viking name for York) dedicated to them. 

In addition, no trip to York is complete without a stroll around The Shambles – a historic cobblestoned street and one of the finest preserved medieval districts in all of England. 

The Shambles is another place that supposedly inspired Diagon Alley, the quirky street from the Harry Potter books and movies. Lined with chocolate stores, cute cafes, and Harry Potter gift shops, the Shambles will evoke your senses.

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6. Liverpool, England 

Any trip to the northwest of England wouldn’t be complete without visiting the port town of Liverpool – famed for, among other things, being the hometown of the Beatles. 

Matthews Street in Liverpool, birthplace of the Beatles
Walking around Matthews Street in Liverpool

And it’s the Fab Four that make for most of the tourism traffic to this fascinating city. Beatles fans can visit the Liverpool Beatles Museum, where they can immerse themselves in the band’s early journey and history.

Many Beatles aficionados also make the pilgrimage to the Cavern Club, where the Beatles played their first British gig. Though the original site is long gone, a replica pub sits not far from the site. 

But there’s more to Liverpool than a single band. The Albert Docks make for a striking afternoon walk, and its unique modern cathedral is a striking departure from traditional Catholic architecture.

Liverpool is a lively city, which is fun to walk around. Join a free walking tour to discover all of Liverpool’s hidden gems.

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7. Cornwall, England 

St Ives in Cromwell
St. Ives, a popular summer destination and one of the top places to visit in the UK

One of the most stunningly beautiful areas of the UK is, without a doubt, Cornwall. It’s a region of outstanding landscapes and seascapes. You could spend a month exploring its quaint fishing villages and beautiful beaches. 

Uniquely for the UK, Cornwall has a subtropical climate. This is due to its proximity to the Gulf Stream, which runs around the Cornish Peninsula and makes for some of the most beautiful weather in the country. It also ensures that Cornwall has some unique botanical features, like giant bamboo and naturally-grown pineapples. 

Looking for picture-perfect beaches and tropical relaxation? Look no further than St. Ives, located on the coast of the Celtic Sea. Known for its gorgeous sandy beaches, St. Ives is the perfect spot for a British seaside vacation.

Also, one of the most striking features of Cornwall is the open-air Minack Theatre. Here you can enjoy a performance of Macbeth against the striking backdrop of the Atlantic! 

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8. Caernarfon, Wales  

Caernarfon castle
13th-century Caernarfon Castle and the Menai Strait

The country of Wales is often overlooked when considering a visit to the UK. This is a mistake, as it’s home to some of the most beautiful scenery and medieval buildings in the whole of the country. 

One such place is Caernarfon. This stunning Welsh town is renowned for one thing more than anything else – its perfectly preserved 13th-century castle. The striking stone behemoth was commissioned by Edward I following his conquest of Wales and has stood there ever since.

In addition to Caernarfon Castle, there’s plenty to see and do around the town. Take a boat cruise and explore the Menai Strait, discover quaint restaurants and cafes, and visit some local vineyards and orchards.

Caernarfon also enjoys a few pretty cycling routes that will easily occupy an afternoon or two. 

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9. Northern Ireland

Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland

A trip that’s a little more logistically tricky – but still well worth doing – is Northern Ireland.

This lies across the Irish Sea, and so will necessitate a ferry or plane. But once across the water, you can enjoy the renowned beauty of the Emerald Isle. 

The popular TV show Game of Thrones did much of its filming in this rustic idyll. And lots of fans still flock to this island to see its breathtaking film locations.

In the far north, you’ll also find the incredible Giant’s Causeway stone columns. Legend has it that it was built by an Irish giant named Finn McCool to cross the Irish Sea and face his rival.

Finally, a trip to Belfast will give you insights into this region’s history and culture. Join a free walking tour to discover Belfast, its mysteries, and legends.

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10. Cheshire, England 

Tudor style houses in Chester, UK
Tudor-style houses in Chester, UK

If it’s the bucolic English countryside that you’re pining for, then you could do far worse than picturesque Cheshire, with its rolling green meadows and babbling brooks. 

The county capital of Chester is well worth a visit for Roman history buffs. There is a Roman amphitheater, a castle, and the captivating Chester Zoo, packed with exotic animals for the kids to enjoy. 

Nearby to Chester is the massive telescope complex Jodrell Bank. Here, guests can learn about the towering telescope used to peer into the depths of space, and even take a look themselves!

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From medieval castles to magical corners and tropical beaches, the UK has it all!

Use this list to start planning your trip and visit these 10 amazing places in the United Kingdom. Just be aware that there’s so much to explore and discover in England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, that one trip will never be enough.

Enjoy your journey!


Denisse Romero, author
Denisse Romero
About | + posts

Denisse is a global education and communications consultant, as well as the main person behind MacQuil. As an international mentor and frequent traveler, she enjoys sharing information to help anyone travel, study or work abroad.

Denisse holds a Master's in Management from GWU, a Master's in Education from Harvard University and an Executive Coaching Certificate from the University of Cambridge.

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