Many people who visit the UK
only have one destination in mind: London. Ask any Brit and they'll cheekily
inform you that London, contrary to popular belief, is not representative of
the entire United Kingdom.
Instead, when you make your
grand visit to London, build in a side trip to one or more of these lovely
cities as well:
The county of Yorkshire
recently made Lonely Planet's list of top regions to visit in 2014. Make your
time there count by visiting the most beautiful town of all: York, built around
a beautiful old town and anchored by the York Minster, one of the world’s
largest Gothic cathedrals. York is also home to the Shambles, a narrow street
filled with shops, as well as a surprisingly rich Viking history.
Visit the York Minster for the Evensong service, even if you're not religious. The
choir of men and boys will spellbind you with their perfect harmonies within
the ideal acoustics of the cathedral.
Just over the border from
England and perched on top of the sea, Conwy makes a lovely afternoon getaway
to the beautiful Welsh landscape. Conwy – pronounced Conway – is most famous
for its eponymous castle, built in the 13th century to defend the
city and harbor and, today, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Have fish and chips at a harborside restaurant for lunch, and then visit the
world’s smallest house, reaching your hands outward and touching each wall.
Rome. Athens. Jerash and…
Chester. Believe it or not, the little town of Chester in northwest England, a
30-minute ride from Liverpool, is home to some of the best preserved Roman ruins
in the UK. But that's not all the city has to offer – it's also one of the most
beautiful Tudor towns in the UK; black and white buildings dominate the center,
protected by walls that you can walk along.
Dress up in your finest, pop on a fascinator, and attend the Chester Races,
cheering on your horses to victory with the crowd.
St. Andrews, Scotland
While St. Andrews might be
best known as the birthplace of golf, these days it might be more famous for
being where Prince William and his wife Kate met and fell in love. It couldn't
be a more beautiful setting, with Scotland’s trademark stone architecture,
ruins, and a seaside location with an endless stretch of white sand (incidentally,
where the beach running scene in Chariots
of Fire was filmed!).
you're a golf fan, don’t miss the chance to play the Old Course at St. Andrews,
one of the world's first golf courses, before tucking into a haggis lunch.
Bath is more of a city than a
town, but even though it's one of the larger urban centers in southern England,
it retains a friendly, small-town feel.
The Romans originally founded
Bath as a thermal spa, and the baths still exist to this day. Bath's Georgian
architecture is the perfect pairing with the ancient baths, and today the city
center itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Quintessential Experience: Climb
the 212 steps to the top of the Abbey Tower for views of the city from above, and
then relax with a soak in the thermal baths. In no time, you’ll see that the
Romans certainly knew what they were talking about.