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No destination quite captivates American travelers quite like the United Kingdom. The country’s rich history gathers moss at every corner. The best places to visit in the United Kingdom include cathedrals, towers, forts, stone henges, and castles - each painting a picture of life in centuries-long past.
We get this one all the time. The easiest way to remember the difference is to know that Great Britain is the official collective name of England, Scotland, and Wales (and their associated islands). Great Britain does not include Northern Ireland. When referring to the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland is included.
Visit the United Kingdom today, and you'll find that even the cuisine has undergone a renaissance. The old stereotype of British cooking is finished, and today’s vacationers are treated to exceptional cuisine and nourished with farm-to-table meals highlighting harvests from the field, forest, and sea.
When it comes to a trip to England, you're going to want to visit a few key cities, and London is a great place to start. You'll get to see the famous Big Ben, Tower Bridge, and the Houses of Parliament. Make sure you get the chance to catch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. You'll also want to visit Windsor to see Windsor Palace, Yorkshire in Northern England to explore York - one of England's oldest cities, the seaside town of Bristol, and all along the coast in Cornwall.The Best Places to Visit in England
When it comes to cities in Scotland, you're going to want to visit Edinburgh. Compact and hilly, Scotland’s capital delights visitors with its kaleidoscope of history and architecture. Wander the mystical, medieval Old Town and the elegant Georgian New Town, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Edinburgh Castle dominates the skyline, overlooking the Castle Esplanade, site of the famous Edinburgh Tattoo, and the Royal Mile, a thriving street descending to the Palace of Holyroodhouse - the Queen's official residence in Edinburgh and the home of Scottish royal history. Of course, you'll also want to visit cities in the Highlands and on the Islands of Scotland as well. Keep reading for more sites to see in the UK.The Best Things to Do in Scotland
While in Wales, you must visit Cardiff Castle. Built over 2,000 years ago, surrounded by beautiful parklands, you'll hardly know you're in the bustling capital. The castle was once a Roman fort, then a Norman fortress, and continues today to be an extraordinary example of the Victorian Gothic style. Another must in Wales is Principality Stadium, formerly known as Millenium Stadium, and home to Welsh rugby. Principality Stadium is thought to be one of the most iconic stadiums in the world with its fully retractable roof, which creates one of the world’s largest indoor arenas.
You'll also want to visit Brecon Beacons National Park. Keep reading to learn why...
Visit England and Scotland to explore vibrant cities, coastal towns, cathedrals, towers, forts, stone henges, and castlesGreat Britain Tours
Northern Ireland's capital city of Belfast offers visitors a deep look at the history of the area and its current progress. While there, the Titanic Belfast Museum is a must-see as well as the Victorian dome of the Botanic Gardens. You’ll also want to visit the City Hall, Queen's University, and the Parliament Building at Stormont. You'll also want to stop in Derry, or Londonderry, the second-largest city in Northern Ireland. Known for its intact 17th-century surrounding wall that includes seven gates, it remains the only completely walled city in Ireland.Best Places to Visit in Ireland
Travel beyond London for vacations in the Scottish Highlands, the English countryside, Northern Ireland, or Wales. Venture to Northern Ireland and visit Belfast, Londonderry, and the legendary Giant’s Causeway. Or, visit Gothic Cardiff and Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales. No matter your choice of destination, you're sure to be enchanted by the region's high culture, picturesque villages, and gorgeous scenery.
Delve into the history of the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe and pay a visit to the ancient stone circle at Stonehenge. Built sometime around 3000 BC, Stonehenge is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and probably England’s most famous monument. Travel through the scenic landscapes of Wiltshire, to see the mysterious monolithic stone circle that rises from the Salisbury Plain.
A geological masterpiece created by the cooling of lava that burst through the earth's crust millions of years ago, Giant's Causeway might be as famous as the bright greens of Ireland. As a result of the ancient volcanic eruption, 40,000 basalt columns still rise out of Ireland's wild Atlantic coastline. A Unesco World Heritage Site since 1986, the collection of columns is thought by locals to be the 8th Wonder of the World.
Visit the United Kingdom and travel through England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern IrelandAll UK Tours
The rugged north of Scotland glistens with stark natural beauty. The heart of clan culture, the Loch Ness Monster, and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, the Scottish Highlands are full of history and romance. Witness the rugged rural life of three centuries past, as revealed at the Highland Folk Museum. Step back in time, learn of the Jacobite rising on a walk through Inverness, and be moved by the tragic battlefield of Culloden. The imposing Cairngorm Mountains and the windswept summit of Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles (4411 feet), strike awe in all those who travel through.
Join the Wood family at their 15th-century farm on the shores of Loch Ard in the Highlands for a home-cooked Scottish lunch, tales of Rob Roy, and a few foot-tapping ceilidh tunes...THE TRIP TO TAKE
Go “over the sea to Skye” as Bonnie Prince Charlie once did after his defeat at the Battle of Culloden Moor. Known for its rugged landscapes and locals, the island is also famous for its fishing villages and medieval castles. A world-class destination for wildlife watching, Skye offers visitors a chance to see otters, seals, whales, dolphins, and red deer. For bird watches, check off the highly sought-after White-Tailed Sea Eagle on a visit to the Isle of Skye.
If you're a history buff, you'll want to travel to the mystical Orkney islands to see the remains of the Neolithic Skara Brae village, which were previously lost for millennia.
The dazzling landscape of the mountainous Lake District has inspired literary icons of the likes of William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter for centuries. Lake District National Park, England’s largest national park, is the focal point of this lush quilt of forests, lakes, and peaks. Visitors come for hiking, scenic drives, and the celebrated local mutton, lamb, and Cumberland pork sausage.
A mountain range in South Wales, it is little surprise this striking location is a chosen destination for so many hikers and nature enthusiasts. With mountains and moorland, standing stones and castles has a rich and varied mythology and culture. Its old red sandstone cliffs hold a variety of plant life, including roseroot, green spleenwort, and rue-leaved saxifrages, while its range of fauna includes otters, herons, kingfishers, and the soaring red kite, which is the national bird of Wales.
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Email Sign-up Travel Credit: Receive a $125 per person ($250 per couple) discount toward your first tour (operated by Trafalgar or Insight Vacations) when you sign up for GET emails; valid for each full-paying adult who signs up with a unique email address. Valid for new bookings only made through December 31, 2023 for travel through December 31, 2023; full payment is due within three days of booking. Discount is not combinable with any other discount or offer, including our GETAWAY Deals, Limited Time Offers, AARP member discount, Past Traveler discount or Multiple Trip discounts. Offer cannot be booked online. Savings not valid on all itineraries and/or departure dates, are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice. Offer excludes Edinburgh Tattoo and Floriade departures. GET reserves the right to validate bookings and will remove any additional offers added online that are not combinable. Other conditions may apply.