Planning a trip to the UK can sometimes be an overwhelming task. There is so much to do and so much to see, the UK is packed with great heritage, remarkable landscapes and cultural attractions. For the older traveller, there are many perfect destinations that offer either a relaxing holiday or opportunities to enjoy a range of gentle activities.
Scotland is a relatively small country compared to others within Europe, and because of this there are plenty of transport links the allow you to see a lot thing within a short space of time.
The Highlands is one of the first that we recommend, as it’s surrounded by spectacular views and picturesque moments. Take the West Highland Line, which is a trainline connecting up Glasgow, Oban, Fort William, and more. On your journey, you’ll see rugged mountains, rich greenery and other scenes that you’d only spot in the countryside.
You can also journey by sea, and visit Moray Firth. Here, you will be in the vicinity of around 130 bottle nose dolphins — there are many boat trips that take you out to sea to get closer and snap the perfect photograph. Other wildlife you might spot include seals, whales and porpoises!
If you do visit Scotland, then ensure to stop by Edinburgh, the capital. From visiting the zoo to exploring the old streets, there’s so much to see and do — it’s guaranteed to be a trip to remember. If possible, coincide your trip with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August, this is the largest arts and culture festival in the world.
The Northern Irish Coast
Situated, close to Belfast, the North Irish Coast has so much to offer and is worth the visit. For travelling or accommodations, it would be best to stay in Belfast – the city has a well-organised transport system, going in and out of the city, and it’s not too far from the sights that you’ll want to see.
First to highlight, would be the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. First built by fisherman in 1755 to connect the mainland to a tiny island, the rope bridge is suspended around 30 metres above sea level and is famous for its scenic views and ability to get those hearts racing. If you feel like doing something a bit daring, this one’s for you. It’s close to the Giant’s Causeway too — another popular site for Irish tourists. Situated on the coast, this attraction is the result of an ancient volcanic eruption although there is a legend that argues it was built by an Irish giant as a way to reach a Scottish giant ahead of a fight.
The Dark Hedges is also near the coast, which you may have heard it was featured in the hit TV series, Game of Thrones. It is an avenue of Beech trees that date back to the 18th century and make an amazing backdrop for a walk in the country or some memorable photos.
The Lake District
A chosen destination for many UK residents, The Lake District is to great location to escape the big cities, offering many views, walks and relaxation.
The destination plays host to many country shows and festivals that are held throughout the year, making your trip extra special. These include farmers’ markets, food markets and unique film festivals, so there’s certainly something for all hobbies. You don’t have to venture far to see other interesting attractions too such as glassblowing and diamond wheel cutting – you wouldn’t see that just anywhere! Or, take a trip to the Lakes working distillery and see how whisky, gin and vodka are produced on-site.
You can find many different walking trails at The Lake District, that are suitable for different abilities and time scales. Why not take a picnic up one of the mountains and enjoy the views below with a cup of tea and a sandwich? You can take boat rides across the lakes to see the landscape from a different viewpoint.
The Cotswolds stretches across six counties in the South West of England. It is the birthplace of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and where Beatrix Potter took inspiration for her third book ‘The Tailor of Gloucester’. The area is well-known for the abundance of quaint villages and thatch-roof cottages.
There are many enchanting stately homes and castles, sitting amongst the villages. One of these is Sudeley Castle, which was once famously owned by Henry VIII’s last wife Katherine Parr — the late Queen of England is now buried on the grounds and you can visit where she lies. Rodmarton Manor is another house — its architecture is more than impressive, and all materials used to build the home were regionally sourced and handcrafted by craftsmen in the area.
You will also find a range of trails being offered here too, for all you outdoor enthusiasts. There are walks for all abilities, with shorter detours available, and you’re never far from a small village where you can pause for a bite to eat.
If you struggle to decide which village that you’d like to visit, then consider walking The Cotswolds Way National Trail. This rolls over 102 miles and weaves between the hills. You are able to walk the entire way —stopping off for overnight stays at various villages to rest your legs.
Sitting on the south-western tip of England, Cornwall is a great location that attracts the UK’s hottest climate. With that, people head to the beaches to sunbathe, and there are also charming fishing villages such as Fowey and Falmouth and a town famous for its surf beaches, St Ives.
The largest World Heritage Site in the UK is situated in Cornwall and offers travellers a historical tour through a collection of ten places that represent Cornish Mining. You can tour through Carnglaze Slate Caverns which is made up of three huge caverns that played a part in Cornwall’s slate mining industry. There is also Morwellham Quay which will take you back to the Victorian era with a copper mine, working farm, railway and museum.
If you visit Cornwall, then you mustn’t miss out on the popular attraction that is the Eden Project. It is made up of two biomes, one of which simulates a rainforest environment and the other, a Mediterranean climate. You can therefore see flora of all shapes and sizes that wouldn’t usually be found in England. There are elevated pathways which allow you to walk among the treetops and a waterfall that cascades through the rainforest — made of the rain water that falls on the biome.
Of course, you can also take a trip out at sea, and embark on a voyage to St Michael’s Mount – a rocky island off the coast of Cornwall. If you have an appreciation for gardens, this is an ideal place as there is a cliff-side garden with a range of blossoms and herbs to see.
As you can see, the UK hosts many attractions that shouldn’t be missed. There are opportunities for everything from adrenaline-pumping activities to brisk walks amongst the countryside — take your pick!