UK's top 10 most popular attractions for 2019 according to TripAdvisor - Mirror Online

Introduction

Welcome to our exploration of the United Kingdom’s most popular tourist attractions. From historic landmarks to natural wonders, the UK offers a diverse range of experiences for travelers from around the world. In this blog post, we will take you on a virtual tour of some of the iconic destinations that draw visitors year-round. Join us as we uncover the rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and cultural treasures that make the UK a must-visit destination.

The Tower of London

19 Best Places to Visit in the UK | PlanetWare

The Tower of London, often simply referred to as “The Tower,” is one of the most iconic and historically significant landmarks in the United Kingdom. Situated on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, this fortress has a rich and varied history that spans over 1,000 years. It has served many purposes throughout its existence, including as a royal palace, prison, and treasury. Today, it stands as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit attraction for tourists.

Key Highlights:

  • White Tower: The central core of the Tower of London, known as the White Tower, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078. It’s an impressive example of Norman military architecture and houses the Royal Armouries.
  • Crown Jewels: The Tower is home to the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. Visitors can view these dazzling treasures, including the Imperial State Crown, the Sovereign’s Sceptre, and the Cullinan Diamond.
  • Yeoman Warders (Beefeaters): Meet the Yeoman Warders, also known as Beefeaters, who serve as the Tower’s ceremonial guardians. They offer guided tours filled with history, legends, and anecdotes.
  • The Ravens: The legend says that if the ravens ever leave the Tower, the monarchy will fall. You can see these majestic birds in the Tower’s grounds.

Visiting Information:

Location: The Tower of London, London, EC3N 4AB
Opening Hours: Open daily, typically from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM (hours may vary, check the official website for updates).
Admission: Admission fees apply; discounts available for children, seniors, and families. Check the official website for current ticket prices.

Exploring the Tower of London is a captivating journey through British history, offering a glimpse into the lives of monarchs, prisoners, and the guardians of this ancient fortress. Don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in the stories and secrets that this iconic attraction has to offer.

Stonehenge

Stonehenge is a world-famous prehistoric monument located in the English county of Wiltshire, approximately 8 miles north of Salisbury. This ancient site has baffled archaeologists, historians, and tourists for centuries, thanks to its enigmatic stone circle formation. Stonehenge is not just a collection of rocks; it’s a testament to the engineering and astronomical knowledge of its builders, who constructed it over 4,000 years ago.

Key Features:

  • The Stone Circle: The central feature of Stonehenge is its iconic stone circle composed of massive upright stones known as sarsens, topped by horizontal lintel stones. These stones weigh up to 50 tons each.
  • Heel Stone and Avenue: The Heel Stone stands outside the main circle and aligns with the sunrise during the summer solstice. It marks the starting point of the Avenue, a processional path that leads to the circle.
  • Ancient Burials: Archaeological excavations have revealed evidence of ancient burials around Stonehenge. This suggests that it may have been used as a burial site or a place of worship.

Historical Significance:

Stonehenge’s purpose remains a subject of debate, but it is widely believed to have served as an astronomical observatory or a religious site. Its alignment with solstices and other celestial events indicates its importance in tracking the movements of the sun and moon.

Visiting Information:

Location: Stonehenge, Wiltshire, SP4 7DE
Opening Hours: Open year-round, with varying hours depending on the season. It’s advisable to check the official website for up-to-date information.
Admission: Admission fees apply; discounts available for children, seniors, and families. Advance booking is recommended.

Visiting Stonehenge is a mesmerizing experience that allows you to connect with the mysteries of the past. As you stand amidst the towering stones, you can’t help but wonder about the ancient civilizations that erected this remarkable monument and the secrets it holds about their beliefs and knowledge.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace, located in the heart of London, is not only the official residence of the British monarch but also a symbol of the British monarchy itself. This iconic building has a rich history dating back to the early 18th century and is a must-visit destination for tourists from around the world.

Key Highlights:

  • Changing of the Guard: Witness the famous Changing of the Guard ceremony, a traditional display of British pageantry. It usually takes place daily during the summer months and every other day during the rest of the year.
  • State Rooms: Explore the State Rooms during the summer months when they are open to the public. These lavishly decorated rooms are used by the royal family for official ceremonies and events.
  • The Grand Ballroom: Admire the opulent Grand Ballroom, often used for state banquets and official receptions. Its stunning chandeliers and artwork are a sight to behold.

History and Significance:

Buckingham Palace became the official royal residence in 1837 when Queen Victoria ascended to the throne. The palace has since been at the center of many historic events, including royal weddings and celebrations. It also serves as the backdrop for numerous royal ceremonies and official functions.

Visiting Information:

Location: Buckingham Palace, London, SW1A 1AA
Opening Hours: The State Rooms are usually open to the public during the summer months (July to September). The rest of the year, you can witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony. Check the official website for detailed schedules.
Admission: Admission fees apply for the State Rooms. There may be different ticket options available, including guided tours.

Visiting Buckingham Palace allows you to immerse yourself in the grandeur and history of the British monarchy. Whether you’re watching the Changing of the Guard or exploring the magnificent State Rooms, you’ll be captivated by the elegance and tradition that this palace represents.

The British Museum

The British Museum, located in the heart of London, is one of the world’s oldest and most renowned cultural institutions. Founded in 1753, it houses a vast and diverse collection of art, antiquities, and historical artifacts from around the globe. This museum is not only a treasure trove of human history but also a testament to the richness of human civilization.

Key Highlights:

  • The Rosetta Stone: Marvel at the Rosetta Stone, one of the museum’s most famous artifacts. This ancient inscribed stone played a crucial role in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs.
  • The Elgin Marbles: Admire the Elgin Marbles, a collection of classical Greek marble sculptures that once adorned the Parthenon temple in Athens.
  • Egyptian Mummies: Explore the Egyptian galleries and discover an impressive collection of mummies, sarcophagi, and other ancient Egyptian artifacts.
  • The Great Court: Visit the Great Court, a stunning glass-covered space at the heart of the museum. It’s a perfect spot to relax and appreciate the museum’s architecture.

History and Significance:

The British Museum’s collection spans over two million years of history and covers a wide range of cultures and civilizations. It has played a pivotal role in advancing the study of archaeology and anthropology. The museum’s commitment to free public access to its collections has made it a global cultural hub.

Visiting Information:

Location: The British Museum, London, WC1B 3DG
Opening Hours: The museum is typically open daily, with varying hours. It’s best to check the official website for the most up-to-date information on opening hours and any temporary closures.
Admission: General admission to the museum is free. However, special exhibitions may have admission fees. Donations are encouraged to support the museum’s work.

Exploring The British Museum is like taking a journey through the ages, with treasures from every corner of the world. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an art lover, or simply curious about the diversity of human culture, a visit to this institution promises an enriching and enlightening experience.

The Giant’s Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway is a natural wonder located on the coast of County Antrim in Northern Ireland. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is renowned for its unique and surreal landscape of interlocking hexagonal basalt columns. The causeway’s geological formations and legends surrounding its origin make it a captivating destination for nature lovers and curious travelers.

Key Features:

  • Basalt Columns: The most striking feature of the Giant’s Causeway is the hexagonal basalt columns that form stepping stones leading from the cliffs into the sea. These columns were created by volcanic activity millions of years ago.
  • The Giant’s Boot: Among the columns, you’ll find peculiar formations such as the “Giant’s Boot” and the “Organ.” These natural sculptures add to the allure of the site.
  • The Causeway Coast: The causeway is part of a stunning coastal area with breathtaking views of the North Atlantic Ocean. It’s an excellent place for hiking and exploring the rugged coastline.

Legend of Finn McCool:

The Giant’s Causeway is steeped in legend. According to Irish folklore, the causeway was built by the giant Finn McCool as a path to reach Scotland. He intended to challenge the Scottish giant, Benandonner. The story adds a mythical dimension to this already remarkable natural wonder.

Visiting Information:

Location: The Giant’s Causeway, Bushmills, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Opening Hours: The site is open year-round, with varying hours depending on the season. It’s recommended to check the official website for the most current information.
Admission: Admission fees apply, with discounts for children and families. Visitors can choose from various ticket options, including guided tours.

A visit to the Giant’s Causeway is a journey into a geological wonderland, where nature’s artistry takes center stage. Whether you’re interested in the science behind the basalt columns or the mythical tales that surround them, the causeway promises an unforgettable experience in a breathtaking coastal setting.

Edinburgh Castle

Perched majestically atop an extinct volcano, Edinburgh Castle is an iconic symbol of Scotland’s capital city. This historic fortress has witnessed centuries of history and played a central role in the nation’s heritage. Today, it stands as one of Scotland’s most popular tourist attractions, offering visitors a glimpse into the past and breathtaking views of the city.

Key Highlights:

  • The Crown Jewels: Edinburgh Castle is home to the Honours of Scotland, which include the Crown, Sceptre, and Sword of State. Visitors can view these priceless royal treasures.
  • The Stone of Destiny: Discover the Stone of Destiny, a symbol of Scottish monarchy, and learn about its history and significance.
  • The Great Hall: Explore the Great Hall, a grand medieval hall that houses an impressive collection of weapons and armor, including the famous “Mons Meg” cannon.
  • The One O’Clock Gun: Experience the firing of the One O’Clock Gun, a tradition that dates back to 1861 and still occurs daily (except Sundays).

History and Significance:

Edinburgh Castle has a storied history, with records of human habitation on the site dating back to at least the Iron Age. It has served as a royal residence, military stronghold, and symbol of Scottish power. The castle played a pivotal role in various historical events, including the Wars of Scottish Independence and the Jacobite uprisings.

Visiting Information:

Location: Edinburgh Castle, Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NG, Scotland
Opening Hours: The castle is open year-round, with varying hours depending on the season. Be sure to check the official website for the most up-to-date information on opening hours and any special events.
Admission: Admission fees apply, with discounts available for children, seniors, and families. You can purchase tickets online or at the castle’s entrance.

Edinburgh Castle offers a captivating journey through Scotland’s history, from its medieval past to its modern-day significance. Whether you’re interested in the Crown Jewels, the military history, or the panoramic views of Edinburgh, a visit to this iconic fortress is a must for anyone exploring the city.

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle, nestled in the picturesque town of Windsor in Berkshire, England, is not only the oldest but also the largest inhabited castle in the world. It has been a royal residence for over 1,000 years, making it a living symbol of British history and monarchy. A visit to Windsor Castle offers a glimpse into royal life, rich history, and stunning architecture.

Key Highlights:

  • State Apartments: Explore the State Apartments, which are lavishly decorated and used by the Queen for official events. Admire artworks by renowned artists and the opulent St. George’s Hall.
  • St. George’s Chapel: Visit St. George’s Chapel, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture and the final resting place of numerous monarchs, including King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
  • Changing of the Guard: Witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony, a colorful and traditional display of British pageantry that takes place on certain days, weather permitting.
  • The Round Tower: Marvel at the Round Tower, an iconic part of the castle’s skyline. It offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

History and Significance:

Windsor Castle’s history dates back to the 11th century when it was built by William the Conqueror. Over the centuries, it has served as a royal residence, military fortress, and symbol of British royalty. The castle has witnessed numerous historic events, including the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215.

Visiting Information:

Location: Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1NJ, England
Opening Hours: The castle is usually open to visitors from Tuesday to Sunday, with varying hours depending on the season. Check the official website for the most up-to-date information on opening hours and closures due to royal events.
Admission: Admission fees apply, with discounts available for children, seniors, and families. Tickets can be purchased online or at the castle’s entrance.

Windsor Castle stands as a testament to British monarchy and history, offering an immersive experience for visitors. Whether you’re exploring the grand State Apartments, admiring the architectural beauty of St. George’s Chapel, or simply taking in the breathtaking views from the Round Tower, a visit to Windsor Castle is an unforgettable journey through time.

The Lake District

The Lake District, located in the northwest of England, is a stunning and serene natural landscape renowned for its picturesque lakes, lush valleys, and rugged mountains. It is England’s largest national park and has captivated artists, poets, and nature enthusiasts for centuries. A visit to the Lake District promises breathtaking scenery and outdoor adventures.

Key Attractions:

  • Lakes: Explore the numerous lakes that give the region its name, including Lake Windermere, Ullswater, and Coniston Water. You can go boating, kayaking, or simply enjoy the tranquil views.
  • Mountains: Hike or climb some of England’s highest peaks, such as Scafell Pike and Helvellyn. The challenging routes reward hikers with panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscapes.
  • Historic Villages: Visit charming villages like Ambleside, Grasmere, and Keswick, where you can explore quaint shops, enjoy local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the region’s rich history.
  • Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top: Discover the former home of renowned author and illustrator Beatrix Potter. Hill Top is a delightful museum showcasing her life and work, set in a beautiful farmhouse and garden.

Outdoor Activities:

The Lake District offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, cycling, fishing, and water sports. There are numerous trails and paths for walkers of all levels, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts.

Visiting Information:

Location: The Lake District, Cumbria, England
Best Time to Visit: The Lake District is a year-round destination. Summer (June to August) is popular for outdoor activities, while autumn (September to November) offers beautiful foliage. Winter (December to February) is ideal for a cozy retreat.
Accommodation: Choose from a variety of accommodations, including cozy B&Bs, cottages, and luxury hotels, many of which offer stunning views of the surrounding landscapes.

Exploring the Lake District is like stepping into a postcard-perfect world of natural beauty and tranquility. Whether you’re hiking through the fells, cruising on the lakes, or strolling through charming villages, the Lake District offers an unforgettable escape into the heart of England’s wilderness.

The Roman Baths

The Roman Baths, located in the historic city of Bath, England, are a remarkable testament to ancient Roman engineering and bathing culture. These well-preserved thermal baths date back to Roman times and continue to draw visitors from around the world who are fascinated by their history and unique architecture.

Key Features:

  • The Great Bath: Explore the heart of the Roman Baths, the Great Bath itself. This large, heated pool was the center of social life in ancient times and is surrounded by grand Roman architecture.
  • Roman Temple: Visit the Temple dedicated to the Roman goddess Sulis Minerva, after whom the city of Bath was named. It’s a place of worship and offerings from ancient times.
  • The Sacred Spring: Discover the Sacred Spring, the source of the thermal waters that have been revered for their healing properties for centuries.
  • Museum and Artifacts: Explore the museum within the complex, which houses a fascinating collection of Roman artifacts, including coins, jewelry, and sculptures.

History and Significance:

The Roman Baths date back to around 70 AD when the Romans constructed a bathing and socializing complex around the natural thermal spring. The Baths were not only a place for bathing but also a center for socializing, worship, and healing. Today, they provide a unique window into the past and the Roman way of life.

Visiting Information:

Location: The Roman Baths, Stall Street, Bath, BA1 1LZ, England
Opening Hours: The Roman Baths are open daily, with varying hours depending on the season. It’s recommended to check the official website for the most up-to-date information on opening hours and special events.
Admission: Admission fees apply, with discounts available for children, students, and seniors. Tickets can be purchased online or at the entrance.

A visit to the Roman Baths is like stepping back in time to the height of the Roman Empire. Whether you’re fascinated by ancient history, architectural marvels, or the healing properties of thermal waters, this historical site offers a captivating experience in the heart of Bath.

Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon, a charming market town in Warwickshire, England, is a place of historical significance and cultural richness. It is most famously known as the birthplace of William Shakespeare, one of the greatest playwrights in history. This picturesque town offers a blend of Shakespearean heritage, stunning architecture, and a scenic riverside setting.

Key Attractions:

  • Shakespeare’s Birthplace: Visit the house where William Shakespeare was born and grew up. Explore the rooms where the famous playwright spent his early years.
  • Anne Hathaway’s Cottage: Discover the charming cottage of Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare’s wife. This beautifully preserved thatched-roof house and its gardens provide a glimpse into 16th-century rural life.
  • Royal Shakespeare Theatre: Attend a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, one of the most renowned theaters in the world dedicated to Shakespeare’s works. It offers a vibrant theatrical experience.
  • Stratford-upon-Avon Canal: Stroll along the picturesque Stratford-upon-Avon Canal, where you can take a leisurely boat ride or simply enjoy a peaceful walk by the water.

Shakespearean Legacy:

Stratford-upon-Avon is synonymous with William Shakespeare, and his legacy is woven into the fabric of the town. From the annual Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations to the insightful exhibitions at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, you’ll find Shakespeare’s influence everywhere you go.

Visiting Information:

Location: Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37, England
Best Time to Visit: Stratford-upon-Avon is a year-round destination. Summer (June to August) is popular for outdoor activities and festivals, while the holiday season (December) offers a festive atmosphere.
Accommodation: Choose from a variety of accommodations, including cozy inns, boutique hotels, and charming bed and breakfasts.

Stratford-upon-Avon is a town that celebrates its cultural heritage and natural beauty. Whether you’re a Shakespeare enthusiast, an architecture admirer, or simply seeking a tranquil escape, this historic town on the banks of the River Avon has something to offer every visitor.

Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon, a charming market town in Warwickshire, England, is a place of historical significance and cultural richness. It is most famously known as the birthplace of William Shakespeare, one of the greatest playwrights in history. This picturesque town offers a blend of Shakespearean heritage, stunning architecture, and a scenic riverside setting.

Key Attractions:

  • Shakespeare’s Birthplace: Visit the house where William Shakespeare was born and grew up. Explore the rooms where the famous playwright spent his early years.
  • Anne Hathaway’s Cottage: Discover the charming cottage of Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare’s wife. This beautifully preserved thatched-roof house and its gardens provide a glimpse into 16th-century rural life.
  • Royal Shakespeare Theatre: Attend a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, one of the most renowned theaters in the world dedicated to Shakespeare’s works. It offers a vibrant theatrical experience.
  • Stratford-upon-Avon Canal: Stroll along the picturesque Stratford-upon-Avon Canal, where you can take a leisurely boat ride or simply enjoy a peaceful walk by the water.

Shakespearean Legacy:

Stratford-upon-Avon is synonymous with William Shakespeare, and his legacy is woven into the fabric of the town. From the annual Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations to the insightful exhibitions at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, you’ll find Shakespeare’s influence everywhere you go.

Visiting Information:

Location: Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37, England
Best Time to Visit: Stratford-upon-Avon is a year-round destination. Summer (June to August) is popular for outdoor activities and festivals, while the holiday season (December) offers a festive atmosphere.
Accommodation: Choose from a variety of accommodations, including cozy inns, boutique hotels, and charming bed and breakfasts.

Stratford-upon-Avon is a town that celebrates its cultural heritage and natural beauty. Whether you’re a Shakespeare enthusiast, an architecture admirer, or simply seeking a tranquil escape, this historic town on the banks of the River Avon has something to offer every visitor.

Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon, a charming market town in Warwickshire, England, is a place of historical significance and cultural richness. It is most famously known as the birthplace of William Shakespeare, one of the greatest playwrights in history. This picturesque town offers a blend of Shakespearean heritage, stunning architecture, and a scenic riverside setting.

Key Attractions:

  • Shakespeare’s Birthplace: Visit the house where William Shakespeare was born and grew up. Explore the rooms where the famous playwright spent his early years.
  • Anne Hathaway’s Cottage: Discover the charming cottage of Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare’s wife. This beautifully preserved thatched-roof house and its gardens provide a glimpse into 16th-century rural life.
  • Royal Shakespeare Theatre: Attend a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, one of the most renowned theaters in the world dedicated to Shakespeare’s works. It offers a vibrant theatrical experience.
  • Stratford-upon-Avon Canal: Stroll along the picturesque Stratford-upon-Avon Canal, where you can take a leisurely boat ride or simply enjoy a peaceful walk by the water.

Shakespearean Legacy:

Stratford-upon-Avon is synonymous with William Shakespeare, and his legacy is woven into the fabric of the town. From the annual Shakespeare Birthday Celebrations to the insightful exhibitions at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, you’ll find Shakespeare’s influence everywhere you go.

Visiting Information:

Location: Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, CV37, England
Best Time to Visit: Stratford-upon-Avon is a year-round destination. Summer (June to August) is popular for outdoor activities and festivals, while the holiday season (December) offers a festive atmosphere.
Accommodation: Choose from a variety of accommodations, including cozy inns, boutique hotels, and charming bed and breakfasts.

Stratford-upon-Avon is a town that celebrates its cultural heritage and natural beauty. Whether you’re a Shakespeare enthusiast, an architecture admirer, or simply seeking a tranquil escape, this historic town on the banks of the River Avon has something to offer every visitor.

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