25 of the best places to visit in the UK | CNN (2023)


From vibrant, culturally rich cities to peaceful areas of outstanding natural beauty, the UK is an incredibly diverse country.destinyfor travelers.

Here is our selection of 25 of the best places to visit inEngland,Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland:

Isles of Scilly

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The Isles of Scilly have arguably the best sunsets in the UK.

Situated 25 miles from the tip of Cornwall, this Atlantic archipelago of islands and islets has the look and feel of a tropical paradise, but with a bucolic English sensibility.

The main island of St. Mary's is home to winding roads and stunning beaches, while tiny Bryher offers arguably the best sunset views in the entire country and has just one hotel: Hell Bay.

Tresco Abbey Gardens easily surpasses any mainland property in variety and color, while a boat trip to the uninhabited islands of Samson or St. Helen offers the chance to see seals and seabirds up close.

Hell Bay Hotel, Bryher, Sorlinga Islands, TR23 0PR; +44 (0)1720 422947

Norwich, Norfolk

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Norwich Quay no rio Wensum.

With 31 surviving medieval churches, a spectacular cathedral whose spire makes an excellent nesting ground for peregrine falcons, and cobblestone streets lined with spectacular buildings dating back to the 12th century, Norwich is an easily overlooked historic gem.

Road signs proclaim this "a beautiful city" and for good reason.

The pubs are among the best in England, with the charming Adam and Eve dating back to 1249.

And with an annual arts festival taking place every May, its modern cultural offerings make it much more than a museum piece.

Adam and Eve, 17 Bishopsgate, Norwich NR3 1RZ; +44(0)1603 667423

Walberswick and the Suffolk Coast

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Chic Southwold on the Suffolk coast.

Walberswick's village green, ruined church and seaside location make it one of the best spots in this corner of eastern England.

Beloved by artists and writers including Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Esther Freud, thanks to its changing light and relative isolation, the village is surrounded by over 1,000 acres of protected moorland and moorland, perfect for long walks and is home to St. I listed Church.

Head along the coast to elegant Southwold or watch the gray waves wash ashore as the sun rises.

St Andrew's Church, Walberswick IP18 6UY

Hadrian's Wall, Northumberland

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Hadrian's Wall was once the frontier of the Roman Empire.

The former northern frontier of the Roman Empire, Hadrian's Wall is arguably the greatest historical monument in a country blessed with spectacular castles, cathedrals and ruins.

Stretching across England, its central section is the most striking, the wall running up and down steep hills.

Day trippers should head to the preserved forts at Housesteads and Vindolanda.

Those with more time can follow the 135km National Trail, running along the Newcastle Wall to the Solway Firth.

Fortaleza romana Housesteads, Bardon Mill, Hexham NE47 6NW; +44 (0)1434 344363

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Winchester, Hampshire

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Winchester Cathedral is the longest of its kind in Europe.

Home to a 13th-century replica of King Arthur's legendary round table, Winchester is a place where history is inevitable.

In addition to the aforementioned table, its Great Hall houses artifacts from Winchester Castle (which no longer exists), while the nearby Winchester Cathedral is the longest of its kind in Europe.

Stroll along the cobbled streets past the famous Winchester College and along the River Itchen for a rustic English experience like no other.

The town is also filled with well-preserved Georgian buildings, such as the original Hotel du Vin, which dates back to 1715.

Hotel du Vin, Calle Southgate, Winchester SO23 9EF; +44 (0)1962 896329

the somerset levels

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Somerset Levels: An ancient landscape.

Somerset's air levels are unlike anywhere else in the UK.

Crisscrossed by abandoned rivers, ditches and canals, the plains offer misty views of the Mendip Hills to the east and the Quantocks to the west, while the slightest rise in elevation gives rise to ancient settlements such as Glastonbury.

Its aquatic habitat makes it a mecca for birds, including sea urchins and kingfishers, and the bird sanctuary of Ham Wall Nature Reserve is crucial habitat.

RSPB Ham Wall Nature Reserve, Meare, Ashcott, Glastonbury BA6 9SX

Dungeness, Kent

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On the outskirts of England, Dungeness feels like another world.

The only designated wilderness spot in the UK, Dungeness is completely unique.

Situated on the Kent coast, its windswept beaches and inland nature reserve, along with great skies and sea breezes, make it the perfect place to spend an afternoon breathing in the freshest air imaginable.

The seaside village of the same name is something of a time warp, with a miniature railway transporting passengers along the coast to the town of Hythe.

Grasmere e Rydal Water, Lake District

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Grasmere's Dove Cottage was the home of the poet William Wordsworth.

England's Lake District has such a variety of beautiful landscapes that visiting just one doesn't do it justice.

The town of Grasmere and nearby Rydal Water are perhaps the best places to start.

This is the Lake District of the Romantic poet William Wordsworth (his Dove Cottage is just outside the village of Grasmere), full of moors, deciduous forests and crystal clear waters.

Rydal Water is the smallest lake in the area, perfect for wild swimming in summer, with a path skirting its banks offering an easy introduction to walking.

Grasmere is home to excellent pubs and hotels, as well as the Sam Read Bookseller, a fabulous bookshop for stocking maps and mountain literature.

Bookseller Sam Read, Casa Broadgate, Grasmere, LA22 9SY; +44 (0)15394 35374

Hull, East Yorkshire

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The port city of Hull is home to classic English architecture.

UK City of Culture in 2017, Hull has gone from being largely ignored to taking center stage.

Its Old Town has some of the best-preserved Georgian and Edwardian architecture in the country, while culturally the city continues to innovate.

The Humber Street Gallery showcases cutting-edge modern art by local artists and thetruck theaterhosts new and traveling productions.

Humber Street Gallery, 64 Humber Street, casco HU1 1TU


25 of the best places to visit in the UK | CNN (10)

The rain sometimes comes down hard in Manchester, but it's far from dull.

Cities in the north of England are often unfairly grouped together, but there is a distinction between Leeds, Bradford, Liverpool and Manchester that makes them worth visiting.

It is the latter, however, who is the big hitter.

The vibrant Northern Quarter is great for shopping, whether you're looking for vintage clothes or the latest Piccadilly Records albums, while places like Bridgewater Hall, Home and Albert Hall make it the place to be for culture vultures.

Forget complaints about wet weather, Manchester is the real deal.

piccadilly records, Oldham Street, Manchester M1 1JR; +44 (0)161 839 8008

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Standedge Tunnel e Huddersfield Narrow Canal, Yorkshire

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Narrow boats ply the waters of the Standedge Tunnel.

Britain's industrial heritage isn't just found in its cities.

On the edge of a spectacular desolate marsh, the beautiful Huddersfield Narrow Canal leads down to Standedge, the deepest, longest and highest canal tunnel in the country.

Inaugurated in 1811, the 5,000-meter tunnel served to transport goods and materials.

Today, visitors can take two-hour organized walks the entire way, soaking up the area's proud history.

An excellent visitor center and quaint pubs like the Riverhead Brewery Tap near Marsden make it all the more worthwhile.

Riverhead Brewery Tap, 2 Peel Street, Marsden, Huddersfield HD7 6BR; +44 (0)1484 841270

Borda de Stanage, Peak District

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Stanage Edge in the Peak District is a popular spot for walking.

Renowned among climbers and loved by walkers, Stanage Edge is one of the most popular spots in the Peak District.

On a clear day, the views are glorious, encompassing Dark Peak and Hope Valley.

In summer, you'll have a long day of walking, while winter brings moods and charm, not to mention fewer visitors to break the silence.

Walk from the nearby town of Hathersage which is home to a large outdoor heated swimming pool that stays warm on the coldest of days.

Piscina Hathersage,Oddfellows Road, Hathersage S32 1DU; +44 (0)1433 650843

The Hornog Mountains and Barmouth, Wales

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Barmouth in Mid Wales: Great sea views.

Mid Wales isn't the easiest part of the UK to get to, but those who do venture here are lucky enough to be treated to sweeping sea views, towering mountains and a sense of endless space.

The seaside resort of Barmouth, with its estuary, railway bridge and wide sandy beach, is a great place for adventures in the nearby hills or medieval fortresses such as Harlech Castle, built by Edward I during his invasion of Wales.

Found in the southern part of Snowdonia, the rhinos are ripe for exploration, their roads are less traveled than the more popular national park routes to the north.

harlech castle, Harlech, Gales LL46 2YH

Rhossili Bay, Gower Peninsula

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Rhossili beach: one of the best stretches of sand in Europe.

South Wales is wonderful, its beaches and hills are some of the best in Europe, not to mention the UK.

Rhossili Beach on the Gower Peninsula is regularly praised as one of the best stretches of sand, and with good reason.

Its three miles of unspoilt coastline are loved by surfers and swimmers alike, while walkers wander along the cliffs, enjoying views of Worms Head and the Atlantic waves.

Visitors can take in stunning views of Rhossili from the comfort of a bar at The Worm's Head Hotel, which is a four-minute walk from the beach.

O Hotel Wormhead, Rhossili, Gower SA3 1PP; +44 (0)1792 390512

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The Cairngorms, Scotland

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Loch Muick lies within Scotland's beautiful Cairngorms National Park.

Scotland's Cairngorms are arguably the last remaining truly wild place in the UK.

In winter, these hills lie under meters of windswept snow.

In summer, long days and warm sunshine make it the perfect spot for outdoor hiking and camping.

While adventurers head into the hills for multi-day walks, those looking for a more leisurely trip should head to Loch an Eilein, a ruined castle on a central island, for postcard views and a chance to see red squirrels from close.

Lago Ellin, Highland, PH22 1QT


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Glasgow is one of the UK's best destinations for a city break.

Glasgow is easy to miss, such is Edinburgh's charm.

But Scotland's biggest city easily matches the capital when it comes to architecture, art and culture.

The extensive Kelvingrove Art Gallery is world class, the West End shops and bars are the perfect place to spend a relaxing afternoon.

With a thriving music scene and great restaurants like the award-winning Stravaigin, it's arguably one of the country's best destinations for a city break.

Stravaigan, 28 Gibson Street, Glasgow, G12 8NX, +44 (0)141 334 2665

Shetland, Scotland

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The Shetland Islands are the northernmost territory of the United Kingdom.

The northernmost part of the UK can be reached by plane or ferry from mainland Scotland, with planning required, especially to reach the northern Isle of Unst.

However, such effort is rewarded with views of rugged landscapes, plus the chance to see orcas hunting seals off the coast in summer, or the majestic Northern Lights dancing across the sky in winter.

The islands are also home to fascinating prehistoric sites such as the Stanydale Temple, as well as pristine beaches, ready for a day of relaxation when the weather calms down.

Templo Stanydale, Around Bixter, Continent, Shetland

Galloway Forest Park, Scotland

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The Forest of Galloway is home to Britain's only dark-sky park.

Away from the light pollution of cities, Galloway Forest Park is the UK's first Dark Sky Park.

Head here when the light fades on a clear day to see over 7,000 stars and planets, and that's just with the naked eye.

Bring a telescope and things get even more spectacular. Three visitor centers offer information on the constellations on display, with dedicated viewing platforms making it easy for novices and die-hard astronomers alike to glimpse the celestial wonders.

clatteringshaws visitor center,Queen's Road, DG7 3SQ

New Forest, Hampshire

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The New Forest is home to the largest concentration of ancient trees in Western Europe.

For a country once covered in trees, England's forests are relatively limited today.

The New Forest is perhaps the best in the country and is believed to be home to the largest concentration of old or veteran trees in Western Europe, with around 1000 in the entire National Park.

With wild ponies, vast moors, rugged coastlines and narrow streets easily explored by bike, this peaceful corner of southern England is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of London.

Situated on the edge of the National Park, the luxury Chewton Glen country house hotel serves as an ideal base for those interested in exploring the bush for a few days.

Chewton's Vale, Christchurch Road, New Milton, Hampshire, BH25 6QS; +44 (0)1425 275341

Wolds de Lincolnshire

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Lincolnshire Wolds is a Protected Area of ​​Outstanding Natural Beauty.

There are more famous landscapes in the UK, but the Lincolnshire Wolds, the highest part of eastern England between Kent and Yorkshire, has real charm.

Protected as an Area of ​​Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the rolling hills, gurgling streams and beautiful farmland are a haven for rare birds and wildlife such as the dartford warbler and wild gladiolus.

There are also great views of the Pennines and the east coast thanks to the flat landscape that surrounds it.

Meanwhile, the nearby Church of St. James, located on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds, has the tallest spire of any medieval parish church in the country.

Church of St. James, Louth, LN11 9ET

Colinas de Malvern, Herefordshire

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Malvern Hills offers some of the best walking routes in the UK.

For newcomers to the UK (and veterans too), it's possible to skip the counties that border England and Wales.

But with areas like The Malverns there really is no excuse. This range of hills offers some of the best hiking in the country.

While outdoor enthusiasts won't have a problem getting things done, the spa town of Great Malvern, with its classic Victorian architecture, antique shops and bookshops, means there's plenty to satisfy those who'd rather not take their hiking boots off.

Holy Island, Anglesey

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The cliffs around South Stack on Holy Island are home to puffins and peregrine falcons.

Wales' unforgiving landscapes and hidden corners make it a treasure for the intrepid.

However, while Snowdonia gets all the plaudits, the holy island of Lindisfarne, which lies just across the water from the Isle of Anglesey in the northwest, is a delight easily missed by those traveling here to catch the ferry to Ireland. .

The coastal path offers tremendous views out to sea and inland to the mountains of North Wales, while the bright white South Stack Lighthouse and surrounding cliffs are home to puffins and peregrine falcons.

You can see the nesting colony up close at the South Stack Cliffs Nature Reserve, managed byRSPB.

Reserva Natural South Stack Cliffs,Holyhead, LL65 1YH; +44 (0)1407 762100

Brecon Beacons, Gales

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The picturesque Lake Llangorse is located in the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Whether kayaking along rivers, scaling high peaks or eating some of the freshest local produce Wales has to offer, the Brecon Beacons have it all.

Yes, it can get wet, but this is the UK where rain is a way of life.

While other national parks can feel overcrowded, the Brecons offer something much more tranquil than their English counterparts, with views and towns to match.

Antrim Dales, Northern Ireland

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The Glens of Antrim has a starring role in "Game of Thrones".

The Nine Glens of Antrim descend from the Antrim Plateau to the Irish Sea.

You can hire a car and follow the winding coastal road, built in the 1830s, covering over 100 miles, with views of the hills and distant Scotland to captivate passengers.

Glenariff and nearby Slemish Mountain were used in the TV series 'Game of Thrones', meaning this part of Northern Ireland has seen a tourist boom in recent years.

The picturesque conservation village of Cushendun, a small seaside town located in the heart of the Antrim Coast, protected by the National Trust since 1954, is another highlight of the area.

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Giant's Causeway, Northern Ireland

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Battle Path: Giant's Causeway, Antrim, Northern Ireland.

The approximately 40,000 basalt columns of the Giant's Causeway are steeped in legend.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back 60 million years, they are believed to have been built by giant Finn McCool for a battle with a rival giant in Scotland.

Today, clifftop walks and an excellent visitor center bring the area to life, with beautiful scenery and world-class wildlife.

Giant's Causeway Visitor Experience, 44 Causeway Road, Bushmills BT57 8SU; +44 (0) 28 2073 1855

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