Nowhere in Britain is more than 75 miles (120km) from the coast so there is every opportunity to get some sea air. Find the hidden sandy coves of Cornwall, island-hop in Scotland, enjoy all the fun of the fair in traditional British seaside resorts, or hit the rugged Welsh coast for exhilarating adventure sports.
Encompassing 4 nations – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – means the UK has 4 capital cities to explore. London with its world-famous landmarks, beautiful Edinburgh centred round its hilltop fortress, buzzing, castle-filled Cardiff, and history-rich Belfast. You’ve got plenty to discover…
Britain’s cathedrals are among the most spectacular buildings in the world. Soaring medieval towers, intricate stonework and dazzling stained-glass windows were all crafted hundreds of years ago and yet still look magnificent today. Hear your echo in the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, be amazed how York Minster survived lightning strikes, and see why Harry Potter was filmed at Durham Cathedral.
From impressively ancient heritage to slick, modern life, Britain’s cities have a lot to offer. Climb the tower of a medieval cathedral, wander through characterful street markets, delve into world-famous museums and galleries, or simply pull up a chair in a buzzing pub or a cosy café and soak up the atmosphere.
Steeped in history and full of finery, art, unique objects and incredible craftsmanship, the royal family's famous houses across the UK are truly magnificent. You’ll discover the history of the royal family, how and where they grew up and get a taste of what life as a royal is like.
Palaces, castles, stately homes and modest town houses – there are so many to nose round across the UK. You could see where your favourite writer sat at their desk; sweep around the estate as if you owned the place; see where a queen slept; or recreate your favourite Downton Abbey scene in a grand drawing room.
In Britain you can find those iconic department stores of every shopper’s dreams – snazzy Harrods, beautiful Liberty, and the Queen’s grocer – Fortnum & Mason. Head to London’s Savile Row to find the country’s finest tailors or Glasgow’s Style Mile for more shops than you could ever desire.
Britain’s castles and palaces have played an active role in the history of the Royal Family, and many are used by the Royals to this day. See if the Queen is in at Buckingham Palace or Balmoral Castle, watch your head at the Tower of London, and take in the views from Edinburgh Castle.
Mmm…afternoon tea – finger sandwiches, dainty cakes and delights, not forgetting a large pot of fresh tea. You can tuck into this quintessentially British experience in all manner of beautiful locations around the UK – high class hotels, vintage tea rooms and stately manor houses. Just remember to stick that little finger out as you sip your tea!
Woodland walks, classical follies, brilliant blooms and great estates. Explore some of the world's greatest parks and gardens for a taste of everything from elegance to romance, geometric layouts to topiary and plenty of Capability Brown. You can walk in the grassy footsteps of historic figures from Winston Churchill to Anne Boleyn, and many more besides.
If you want to see some of the most impressive and diverse examples of architecture in the world, Great Britain is your place. The UK packs in a wide range of architectural styles, from Roman to 21st century contemporary. You will discover that each region has its own unique styles and you can see buildings and engineering that are icons in the international history of architecture.
Reach new heights in the mist-cloaked mountains of the Lake District, Snowdonia or the Scottish Highlands. Stick to gentler pursuits in the picture-perfect rolling hills of the Cotswolds. Get lost in extensive forests. Or stride out along bracing cliff-tops. Britain’s natural landscapes have it all.
The possibilities are endless in Britain for things to do and see and keep everyone entertained. Across the country you can explore hidey-holes in ancient castles, climb aboard famous ships, laugh and scream at world-leading theme parks, walk down Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley, or come face-to-face with a Viking.
Whether it’s the world-famous department stores of Selfridges, Harrods and Liberty, or characterful shopping districts like London’s Carnaby Street and Glasgow’s Style Mile. Or maybe you fancy browsing specialist boutiques in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter or the quirky stalls that line Brighton’s Lanes. You will find gorgeous goodies everywhere across the UK.
Some of Britain’s markets have been around for centuries so have a good rummage among beautiful historic surroundings. Some markets specialise in antiques, others in flowers. But all over the country you can wander stalls and find vintage clothes, homewares, retro trinkets, or fashion by up-and-coming designers.
Britain's boasts 15 spectacular National Parks across its diverse landscapes. Hike in the mountains of Scotland, camp wild on windswept Dartmoor, or explore the charming villages of the Peak District or Yorkshire Dales. In Snowdonia you can climb the highest peak in England and Wales, or in Northumberland stride out alongside Hadrian’s Wall.
Explore Britain’s delicious culinary offerings through its vibrant food festivals around the country. From freshly caught seafood to crumbly cheese, and from chillies to garlic, our festivals take food seriously. And don’t forget to celebrate our home-grown drinks: golden whiskies and refreshing ales.
Beer, ale, cider, and wine – all drinks that are made in Britain. Every region boasts its own traditional real ales, each with its own flavour. Vineyards flourish along the sunny south coast of England, where you can sample award-winning wines and even stay among the beautiful scenery. Delicious cider comes from West Country apples – hop on a bicycle and follow the Cider Route!
In Britain’s magnificent museums – many of which are free – you can see where your imagination takes you. Kids can get hands-on in the Science Museum; dinosaurs come to life at the Natural History Museum; the largest railway museum in the world is in York; or see outstanding collections of art all over the country.
You can discover anything you want in the UK – world-famous sights like Abbey Road and Camden Market in London, or Paul McCartney’s former home and The Beatles Story in Liverpool. Or go on a tour and maybe you’ll find a little gem you’d never expect, like the world’s oldest record shop or even the secret location of your favourite album cover.
Did you ever wonder why Maleficent, the villain in Disney's Sleeping Beauty, was so cruel? Well this film starring Angelina Jolie tells her fantastic story. Filmed in a number of atmospheric British locations that you can visit such as the Ashridge Estate in Hertfordshire and Petsworth House in south England.
Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz and Rolling Stone Keith Richards hit the high seas to bring another swashbuckling tale to life. A number of the locations used were in Britain and range from stately homes to coastal cities, and even a university. Try and spot them all as you watch, then go visit them for yourself!
William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, revered throughout the world as ‘The Scottish Play’, is one of the most enduring tales of all time. The timeless tragedy of the great but flawed Macbeth, his ambitious lady, and their ruthless pursuit of power, continues to captivate audiences in this 2015 film version, shot on location in Scotland.
Monty Python’s comedy spoof about the adventures of King Arthur (Graham Chapman) and his knights is regularly hailed as one of the funniest films ever. Join Arthur and friends for a surreal and irreverent gallop through folklore at the British locations used for filming.
The movie based on the Victor Hugo novel and long-running stage musical, Les Misérables is a historic tale of struggle and defiance set in historical France. However, many of the key scenes were filmed in Britain – the Old Royal Naval College in London, Historic Dockyard Chatham and Pulteney Bridge Weir in Bath.
The popular 1994 film written by Richard Curtis follows a group of friends through 4 weddings and a funeral. The lovable main character is Charles, a charming but awkward Englishman, played by Hugh Grant, who is smitten by Carrie, an attractive American played by Andie MacDowell.
The 2008 film version of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited is an evocative tale of forbidden love and the loss of innocence told through the memoirs of Captain Charles Ryder (Matthew Goode) who is stationed at Brideshead Castle during World War II. You can find the filming locations in the UK at instantly recognisable Castle Howard, as well as Eltham Palace and Oakworth Station.
Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire tells the true story of two British athletes in the 1924 Olympics, one who faces prejudice for being Jewish, and one a devout Christian who must reconcile his faith with the demands of competition. The unforgettable opening sequence was shot at West Sands in St Andrews, Scotland.
Mel Gibson’s 1995 Academy Award-winning film Braveheart covers the potent story of Scotland’s most famous freedom fighter, William Wallace. The film showcases the sublime Highland landscape beautifully, and you can just imagine kilts, swords and plucky Highlanders as you stride out through the Scottish glens and mountains.
This classic movie centres on the burgeoning love of 2 people who meet by chance at a railway station. A beautifully subtle drama unfolds that examines the nature of love and what it means to do the ‘right thing’. You might find your own Brief Encounter at Carnforth Station where filming took place in 1945.
The Oscar-winning film Atonement is the epic adaption of English author Ian McEwan's novel of love, war and forgiveness. You can visit many of the spectacular filming locations, such as Stokesay Court that acts as the family’s house, and Seven Sisters cliffs and Redcar Beach where dramatic scenes were filmed.
The box office-breaking series of films, adapted from the bestselling JK Rowling novels, follow the adventures of teenage wizard Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends as they attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You can visit endless locations across the UK that were used for filming their magical world – from castles to cathedrals, and Victorian markets to the Warner Bros. Studios themselves.
Disney's Into the Woods tells the story of a witch who teaches important lessons to children’s characters including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and Jack and the Beanstalk. The all-star cast including Meryl Streep, James Corden, Emily Blunt and Anna Kendrick hit locations across Britain such as Dover Castle and Great Windsor Park.
The third film in the James Bond series (1964) sees Sean Connery’s suave spy battle Auric Goldfinger (Gert Fröbe), a gold smuggling golf cheat with an unhealthy interest in the Fort Knox gold depository. Recreate the golf game between 007 and the cheating Goldfinger at Stoke Park Golf Club in southern England.
Downton Abbey’s heady mix of aristocracy, expert tailoring and historical accuracy have made it one of the most highly rated British period dramas in history. Find its stunning locations across the UK, from Downton Abbey itself incarnated at Highclere Castle, to other stately homes and scenic spots. More tea, ma’am?
The landscape that inspired Thomas Hardy himself was used for filming the summer 2015 adaption starring Carey Mulligan as the protagonist Bathsheba and Matthias Schoenaerts as faithful and reliable Gabriel Oak. Stride across the cliffs of Dorset where he tended his sheep, take a swim off the Jurassic Coast where scenes were shot or wander round Claydon – the house that stood in for love rival William Boldwood's (played by Michael Sheen) house.
Kingsman: The Secret Service tells the story of a top secret spy organisation that recruits a promising young agent with Colin Firth playing the role of a suave, experienced spy. The Kingsman headquarters are disguised behind a tailor's shop on the exclusive Savile Row in London.
Romantic comedy meets time travel in this magical movie starring Rachel McAdams and Brit actors Domhnall Gleeson and Bill Nighy. Directed by Richard Curtis of Four Weddings and Notting Hill fame, About Time follows a family secret that will warm your heart. You too won’t be able to help but fall in love with the gorgeous film locations in London and Cornwall, which bring to life the film’s air of enchantment.