I recently uploaded a post about the top 30 things on my Asia travel bucket list. Writing and researching for that post was so fun that I thought I’d get started on another. But this time, I’ll be focusing on exploring my own backyard. Instead of just concentrating on what’s on my UK bucket list, I thought I’d mix it up and offer a few of my own suggestions too. So in this post I’ll be giving you 10 UK bucket list recommendations, along with 10 things I’d love to do myself.
UK Bucket List: 10 Things I’d Recommend
1. Brighton Pier
Brighton is the seaside location with something for everyone. The quaint lanes, diverse communities, eccentric shops, and of course the beach. A short escape to Brighton was the last trip away I took before lockdown officially began. We spent nearly a whole day just on the pier alone! They have doughnuts and fish & chips for sale, tonnes of arcade games, and several rides and attractions at the very end.
I’ve always been a sucker for the 2p machines, I literally can’t help myself. My favourite thing about the machines on Brighton Pier is that you can win tickets from them. My boyfriend actually won the ‘jackpot’, meaning we had to stand there looking totally embarrassed as we waited for our 800 tickets to make their way out the machine.
2. Explore the Cotswolds
These enchanting little towns and villages will make you feel like you’ve been transported back in time. With its picturesque rolling hills and abundance of natural beauty, it’s the perfect place to get lost in nature.
In September this year, my sisters and I went away for a couple of nights to the Cotswolds region. It was so relaxing to just go on long walks and explore the charming historic villages. Then we’d spend the evenings chatting, watching movies and drinking wine in the adorable stone cottage we found on AirBnB.
3. Camping in Cornwall
What I’ve always loved about these camping trips has been the sense of adventure. My extended family are quite outdoorsy, so getting to the best beaches would involve long walks and climbing down steep coastal paths.
Cornwall is a beautiful destination that makes for an idyllic UK getaway, whether you have only three days or two weeks. Depending on the weather you get, you can feel like you’re on a tropical holiday with the burning sun, sandy beaches, and clear blue waters.
4. Escape to a Solent Fort
If you’re looking for some out-of-the-ordinary accommodation, then how about your own island? The Solent Forts are a couple of hotels off the coast of Portsmouth, South England. In December 2017, my Aunt had a glamorous party for her 60th birthday. To celebrate, she invited all the family and her friends to spend the weekend with her on No Man’s Fort.
It was such a memorable weekend, the hotel/island had hot tubs and a firepit on the roof terrace; a treasure hunt across the whole hotel; a laser-tag battle in the stony maze of a basement; a cabaret-themed bar; and a wine cave. Although it’s not the cheapest accommodation option, it definitely makes for a special weekend away.
5. Caving in Wales
Back in 2014, my brother and I went off on a full-day excursion, leaving my parents to relax for a while. The excursion we chose turned out to be one of the most adventurous and fun days out I can remember. We went on a caving exploration trip!
I’d highly recommend this for anyone looking for a unique day out. We did all sorts of things from crawling; abseiling inside the cave; and climbing up rocks and even a waterfall that was in the old mine.
6. Warner Bros Studio Tour
This truly makes for a magical day out. You can tour the set of one of the most famous and successful movie franchises in the world. With many iconic photo opportunities and tonnes of insider knowledge to learn, this definitely had to make my list!
They often have exhibitions going on at the studios, including their famous ‘Hogwarts in the Snow’ that runs every year. When we visited in February 2020, the exhibition they had at the time was all about the art department. We got to see (and meet!) those responsible for designing and creating some of the most memorable props and model sets that brought the Harry Potter films to life.
7. Cruise along the river in a canal boat
This family minibreak back in 2010 really stands out for me when people ask me about unique trips. The five of us piled into a canal boat and cruised through the countryside of Worcestershire. It was an amazing getaway and certainly one that I would recommend everyone tries.
You can pull up alongside the river bank to stretch your legs and explore, and wander down to the nearest river-side English pubs for dinner. If you’d rather cook for yourself, the barges come with their own kitchen facilities so that’s still an option. This experience will give you all the slow-moving, chilled-out vibes that most people are looking for in a minibreak.
8. Blackpool Pleasure Beach & Illuminations
Blackpool was once one of the most popular holiday destinations amongst Brits. But as international travel became more and more affordable and accessible, Blackpool has fallen off the grid a little bit. Granted, it’s not quite as nice as it once was, but it still has the seaside, the Pleasure Beach, and of course, the illuminations.
While we’re on the topic, another theme park recommendation for the UK would have to be Thorpe Park; especially at Halloween time when they have their ‘Fright Night’ celebrations.
9. White Cliffs of Dover
This iconic landmark is famous for symbolising home and wartime defence. There’s so much history to take in if you’re visiting this destination. With France just 21 miles away, the White Cliffs were at the forefront of both World Wars as our soldiers defended our country. You can also pop into Dover Castle while you’re there to look around one of the England’s largest castles, whilst immersing yourself in it’s history.
This seaside town in the north of Wales is perfect for a short getaway. If you love ‘Alice in Wonderland’, then you can explore the frequent holiday destination of the real girl (Alice Liddell) who was the inspiration behind Lewis Carroll’s famous book character.
With beaches on both sides of this town, cable cars that you take you to the top of the Great Orme, and the Alice in Wonderland character trail, it’s unlikely you’ll get bored.
UK Bucket Lis: 10 Things I’d Love To Do
1. Hiking in the Lake District
This national park in northwest England is full of natural beauty and outdoor activities to try. Some of these activities could include hiking (obviously); cycling; boat rides; canyoning; climbing/abseiling; and exploring the quaint little villages in the region.
The Lake District could make for the perfect getaway if you’re looking for something refreshing, perhaps adventurous, and surrounded by nature.
2. Titanic Museum, Belfast
One of the most famous yet tragic events that occured at the beginning of the 20th century would have to be the sinking of this ‘unsinkable’ ship. Although it set sail from Southampton, UK, it was actually built in Belfast, Northern Ireland. With thanks to special effects, journey into the past and experience this majestic ship in all it’s glory.
3. Ride on a steam train through the English countryside
You’ll often see this come up on many of those ‘gift an experience’ websites, but with good reason. What a lovely way to enjoy an afternoon, drinking tea and taking in the gorgeous English countryside. I for one would be more than happy to receive this as a gift haha! Dotted all over the country, the experiences can range from just an hour or two in length to perhaps even including an overnight stay as well.
4. Search for the Loch Ness Monster
One of Scotland’s greatest mysteries. The mythical creature of ‘Nessie’ was supposedly first spotted in the sixth century. Take a boat ride over the crystal waters of this lake to try to spot her for yourself, and it’s unlikely you’ll be disappointed by the scenery along the way.
5. Stay in a treehouse in the New Forest
I love researching into unique accommodation options. One which I’ve not been able to do yet but have always wanted to, would have to be staying in a treehouse. As silly as it may sound, this is something I’d love to be able to check off my UK bucket list.
I think this would be particularly wonderful in the New Forest because the scenery would be stunning, and you’d get all the cosy cabin vibes.
6. Cadbury World
Every child’s ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory’ dreams would come true with a visit to Cadbury’s World. Situated in Birmingham, England, visitors can learn about the history of Cadbury, the chocolate-making process, with an abundance of free tester treats along the way.
7. Take a road trip along the Causeway Coastal Route in Northern Ireland
This coastal feature is made up of 40,000 basalt stone columns, and was formed following an ancient volcanic eruption. For a beautiful road trip full of stunning scenery and walking routes, the Causeway Coastal route sounds amazing.
8. Enjoy a getaway to Portmeirion
Who wouldn’t want to visit this gorgeous little town in North Wales? With it’s Italian-renaissance style design and lots of quirky shops and cafes, it sounds like a beautiful destination.
9. Drink cocktails in The Lost Caves
These might be a bit of a mission to find, but once you do it sounds like such a unique experience. Nottingham’s oldest hotel, The Old George (now called the Mercure Hotel), has seen the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and Charles Dickins. Underneath this hotel, however, a series of medieval caves have been adapted into a quaint and cosy bar, making for a fascinating drinking spot.
10. Edinburgh Castle
The final item on this UK bucket list would have to be Edinburgh Castle. This historic fortress sits proudly on the Castle Rock at the top of Edinburgh city, the capital of Scotland. My sister has been lucky enough to visit Edinburgh on a few occasions and tells me how great it is; so I’d love the chance to go and experience the history for myself.
If you enjoyed this UK bucket list, check out my Asia travel bucket list here: https://www.emgoingplaces.com/2020/11/my-asia-travel-bucket-list-30-things-id-love-to-do/