11 places to visit in Great Britain (besides London)

Oxford, England - places to visit in Great Britain

Great Britain features an array of lively cities and beautiful countryside vistas. With the perfect combination of new and old, England, Scotland, and Wales has a lot to offer world travelers. There are countless places to visit in Great Britain whether you’re looking for history, architecture, culture, nightlife, food, or natural beauty.

Millions of overseas visitors travel to Great Britain every year. Because of the sprawling train system, it’s easy to travel to different regions across the nation. Additionally, many of the top places to visit in Great Britain are walkable, making it simple and affordable to get around.

Some overseas travelers seem to focus too much on only visiting London. There is so much to see and explore all over Britain, so let your travels take you outside of the capital of the United Kingdom. Add other interesting destinations to your itinerary like these 11 places to visit in Great Britain.

Bath

Situated in the rolling countryside of South West England, Bath is most known for its hot springs and Georgian architecture. For nearly 2,000 years, people have traveled there for the wonders of the thermal water. Bath is a charming city to explore on foot, featuring scenic parks, gardens, and a scenic path along the Kennet and Avon Canal. Also, this beautiful British city was once home to Jane Austen, and she said it perfectly, “Oh, who can ever be tired of Bath?”

Related Article: A walking guide through Bath, UK

Bath, England - places to visit in Great Britain

Brighton

Brighton, a seaside city on the south coast of England, is almost directly due south of London. The charming city features a shingle beach, bohemian vibe, and is vibrant and artsy. Brighton’s waterfront is highlighted by two piers that have become iconic sites of the city, including one that closed in 1975 and is collapsing into the sea. Additionally, one of the biggest attractions is the beautiful Royal Pavilion, which was built as a seaside palace for King George IV.

Brighton, England - places to visit in Great Britain

Bristol

Located in South West England, Bristol is a city pulsing with life through its art scene, beautiful architecture, and unique neighborhoods. Laid out for walkers and bikers, the city streets are enjoyable to explore on foot. In addition to music venues, you’ll constantly come across trendy cafes and unique stores and boutiques. The symbol of the city is the Clifton Suspension Bridge spanning Avon Gorge. Also, Bristol even hosts an annual international balloon festival, which is the largest of its kind in Europe. It’s a four-day fiesta and is free to attend.

Related Article: Photo Essay: Colorful Bristol, UK 

Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, England - places to visit in Great Britain

Cotswolds

Known as the walking capital of England, the Cotswolds is highlighted by green rolling hills, sweeping countryside views, and charming towns. It’s the place to go for beautiful meandering walks. Covering 790 square miles, the Cotswolds stretches from Warwickshire and Worcestershire down through Gloucestershire, Somerset, and Wiltshire. It’s the largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales and the second biggest protected landscape in England.

The Cotswolds in England - places to visit in Great Britain

Edinburgh

The capital of Scotland features a medieval Old Town, Georgian New Town, and a castle looming over the hilly city. Located in central eastern Scotland, Edinburgh has to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, begging you to explore its streets on foot. You can walk up Arthur’s Seat for magnificent views of the city and its surroundings. Edinburgh is also a haven for Harry Potter fans. J.K. Rowling was influenced greatly by the city after moving to Scotland. You can even visit the coffee shop, the Elephant House, where she began writing the series.

Edinburgh Castle in Scotland - places to visit in Great Britain

Glasgow

As the largest city in Scotland, Glasgow is a buzzing destination highlighted by lots of shopping, beautiful architecture, and interesting museums and galleries. The nightlife is diverse, making it easy to find anything that fits your taste from a cozy bar to a thumping late-night club. Additionally, Glasgow’s food scene has really flourished in the past few years. And the West End is where many of the city’s top restaurants and pubs are located. Because of Glasgow’s unique accent, try to pick up on the local’s slang and pronunciations.

Glasgow, Scotland - places to visit in Great Britain

Lake District National Park

As England’s largest national park, the Lake District National Park is one of the best places to visit for outdoor adventures. Walk, run, cycle, watch wildlife, kayak, swim, or even catch a boat – there are endless ways to explore this scenic park.  Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017, the Lake District National Park features 16 lakes and 3,105 kilometers of walking and hiking trails and is home to England’s deepest lake and highest mountain.

Related Article: Add a new UNESCO World Heritage Site to your bucket list – England’s Lake District National Park

Lake District National Park - places to visit in Great Britain

Leeds

Leeds is situated in northern England and features a diverse culture, top-notch museums and galleries, thriving nightlife scene, and beautiful parks. The Leeds and Liverpool Canal features a scenic path for a relaxing walk or bike ride. It’s the longest canal built in Britain as a single waterway. The peaceful surroundings make you feel as though you couldn’t be in the third largest city in the UK. Another point in Leeds favor is its close proximity to the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. On top of that, Leeds has a strong film culture, hosting an international film festival every year in November.

Leeds, England - places to visit in Great Britain

Liverpool

A maritime city located in North West England, Liverpool played a big role in the growth of the British Empire as a major commercial port and hub of immigration. A centerpiece of the city’s famous waterfront features three landmarks known as the Three Graces. Known as the hometown of The Beatles, you can learn more about the Fab Four at the museum The Beatles Story, visit Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields, see the homes where the band members grew up, and visit the Cavern Club, where the band famously performed. Additionally, Liverpool has seven free museums and thriving cultural and nightlife scenes.

Three Graces in Liverpool, England - places to visit in Great Britain

Manchester

Known as the birthplace of the industrial revolution, Manchester, located in North West England, is a lively city with booming food, music, and nightlife scenes. To indulge in all this city has to offer, visit the museums, theaters, sporting events, and shopping districts. In addition, the Northern Quarter is a neighborhood featuring trendy restaurants and bars, independent shops, and street art and galleries.

Related Article: Five highlights from a weekend in Manchester, UK

Manchester, England - places to visit in Great Britain

Oxford

Full of history and beauty, Oxford is home to buildings over 1,000 years old and the oldest university in the world. Because of its large student population, the city really has a young feel and studious atmosphere. Located in central southern England, Oxford features charming cobblestone streets and is known as the city of dreaming spires. Right in the city centre is the tranquil Oxford Canal. It’s the perfect place for a relaxing walk away from the bustle of university students.

Oxford, England - places to visit in Great Britain

Great Britain has many wonderful places to visit from small towns and big cities to scenic national parks. With so many options, it can be hard to decide where to travel to when visiting this nation. As a result of numerous trips and now living in England, my British bucket list keeps getting longer and longer, including York, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Dartmoor National Park, and the Peak District. What are your favorite places to visit in Great Britain? Where would you like to visit?

11 places to visit in Great Britain (besides London)

1 Comment

  1. I would add Cambridge! I’m a little biased as its my home town, but its a lovely growing city, with the river Cam, punting, lots of lovely architecture (I imagine somewhat akin to Oxford, along with the young student vibe you mentioned) and lots of free museums and exhibits to visit. And its only 45 mins from London via train.

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