The Best British Vacation Destination for Every Type of Traveller
Travel is incredibly powerful for a number of reasons: it sparks our creativity, recharges our weary mind, teaches us history—and sometimes, if we’re really lucky—transforms our life. But what separates a mind-blowing vacation from a humdrum holiday isn’t a fancy price tag, it’s choosing a destination that aligns with our personality. To help you take the trip of a lifetime, we’ve gathered up some ideas to inspire you (and some tips to take out the guesswork) for every type of traveller.
If Gothic cathedrals and stately homes set your history-loving heart a flutter, then a stop in England’s buzzing capitol, London, is a must. Home to four UNESCO World Heritage sites—Westminster Abbey, Maritime Greenwich, Royal Botanic Gardens, and the Tower of London—each offers a unique glimpse into Britain’s rich heritage and unique architecture. For a more interactive history lesson, take a one-hour train ride to Cambridge and embark on a chauffeured punting tour down the River Cam to see the city’s famous landmarks like the Bridge of Sighs, King’s College Chapel, and the Wren Library.
For bibliophiles, the only thing better than getting lost in a good book is getting lost in a town literally full of books. Let us introduce, Hay-on-Wye. Overflowing with more than two dozen bookshops, most of which sell second-hand and speciality titles, this small market town in Wales is a haven for bookworms. During late spring, the sleepy town with a population hovering around 1,500 comes alive with visitors for Britain’s best known literary celebration, the Hay Festival (this year’s event runs May 27-June 4). Bill Clinton famously called it “The Woodstock of the mind” when he attended in 2011.
Throw caution to the wind and set off on 195 miles of winding roads along the Causeway Coastal Route in Northern Ireland, where you’ll spot out-of-this-world natural rock formations, like the red basalt columns of the Giant’s Causeway. Formed by a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago, the columns have inspired many myths and legends—the most popular story is that it was built by a giant called Finn McCool as a way to get to Scotland.
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but eternal beauty… that’s in Scotland. For centuries, women have woken up early on May 1 to climb Arthur’s Seat—an extinct volcano at the centre of Holyrood Park in Edinburgh—to wash their faces in the dew as the sun rises. Why? It’s supposed to guarantee eternal beauty. But that’s not the only reason to hike to this scenic lookout (don’t worry, it only takes 45 minutes to reach the top). Prepare to be mesmerised by sweeping views of castles and crescents that stretch all the way to the Highlands. Don’t forget your camera!
Venture down to the hidden world of Gough’s Cave in Cheddar Gorge, less than an hour’s drive from Bristol. Fun fact: cheddar cheese is still matured here, just as it was more than 100 years ago. Get ready to be captivated by dramatic columns, sharp spikes, and dreamy reflective pools found deep beneath the earth’s surface. To make the cave’s quirks come alive—and hear the fascinating tale of its Ice Age creation, Stone Age occupation, and Victorian exploration—be sure to pick up an audio guide before you head down.