Welcome to the United Kingdom
Some say that this land of green, empire centric, creator of democracy is perhaps the most unusual, odd and curious place to visit on the planet. No wonder ….read on and see how you can spend less to do more at some of the sights and experiences we outline below.
The United Kingdom is one of the most popular tourist destinations due to its extensive range of shopping facilities, stunning architecture, traditional British charm and royal heritage. With a wide variety of hotels to choose from, there is something to suit all budgets and tastes, from basic hostels and cosy bed and breakfasts, to four-star chain hotels in the United Kingdom and five-star establishments.
Top Things about the United Kingdom
The UK has a range of fascinating landmarks, from castles and ancient churches to Stonehenge, Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. There are areas of lush greenery and countryside, mainly towards the south-west of England, as well as areas such as The Cotswolds. The UK boasts several locations of natural beauty, plus modern cities with all the amenities you could ever wish for, giving tourists the best of both worlds. Many National Parks are scattered around the country and are protected by laws that mean they must remain preserved in the best possible state.
The beaches are an enjoyable place to relax during the summer months and there are even some stunning coastlines to visit, such as the White Cliffs of Dover. Cornwall has a lot to offer to tourists wanting a tranquil holiday, with lots of countryside, beaches and quaint fishing villages. Surfing and boating is also possible in this area, while biking, hiking and other outdoor activities are aplenty. London is perfect for the city lover who enjoys shopping, clubbing, attending arts events, sightseeing, activities and much more. Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland is also well worth a visit, and is a long wall that used to separate England from Scotland, so there is a lot of history attached.
From an island off northwest Europe they came to conquer one-quarter of the world. The United Kingdom gave rise to the largest empire in history. It became the cradle of the industrial revolution and still wields a cultural influence vastly disproportionate to its size. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the countries that make up the UK, have emerged reinvigorated from years of conservatism and economic hardship, their cities and towns reinventing themselves as vibrant, modern and cosmopolitan cultural centres. Yet those visitors yearning for the traditional need not travel far for the historical comfort of ancient castles, stone circles, magnificent cathedrals or just a good old pub in which to wet the whistle.
Best Cities to Visit in the United Kingdom
From the windswept beauty of the Scottish highlands to the serenity of the Lake District, from the clash of ages in the Welsh capital to the all-consuming vitality of London, there is incredible variety to be found in a small geographic space. For every curious citizen of the former colonies, United Kingdom hotels await.
London is the top city to visit in the UK, attracting millions of tourists from around the world each year. There are so many different hotels to choose from, with something to suit all budgets. The city provides a comprehensive shopping experience from budget items and bargain deals to luxury designer brands and even antiques, arts and crafts in the many markets dotted around the area.
Visiting Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is highly recommended because of its stunning castle, beaches and shopping facilities. The tranquil country parks will especially make for a relaxing holiday, whilst the castles and monuments complete a perfect Scottish sightseeing experience. On the other side, it can be great for entertainment too, due to its comedy festivals and music concerts.
Whilst in Scotland, Glasgow is also worth a visit. It boasts some fabulous architecture and many educational museums and galleries for those who love to learn more about the local and national culture and history. A lot of opera and ballet performances also take place here, with it being home to the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Scottish Ballet and the Scottish Opera organisations, amongst several others. Shopping in Glasgow also has a lot to offer from market stalls and budget stores to high street chains and even luxury brands.
Along with London, Manchester is the place to go for clubbing, shopping and arts events. With lots of music gigs, comedy shows, festivals and a great nightlife, you will never get bored. Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Cardiff and Belfast are all other great cities to visit whilst in the country.
The UK offers all sorts of events, so if you are in the country whilst one of these is taking place, they are well worth considering.
Brighton and London Prides usually take place in the summer months on an annual basis and welcome any gay, lesbian and transgender communities to get together and celebrate. They often include a parade with lots of people dressing up, as well as other fun features.
The Chelsea Flower Show takes place in London every May and is an ideal event for nature lovers with an array of different flowers and plants to admire. Boat lovers can enjoy the Henley Royal Regatta rowing event in July, whilst Royal Ascot in June provides the chance to dress up and watch live horse races.
The country has a truly diverse range of cuisines on offer in every city, from Italian and Spanish to Indian and lots more. You can find almost any dish from around the world. Fine dining and top seafood restaurants are popular with the food connoisseur who likes to spend a bit more on their evening meals. Several Michelin star restaurants are available in London and other areas of the country.
Traditional British foods include fish and chips, pies and roast dinners, and of course drinks wise, beer houses and coffee shops are a top bet. Scottish dishes are sometimes quite unusual, with haggis being a famous one, as well as colcannon, crowdie, Scotch broth, bannocks, often all on the menu.
Other popular British dishes include cottage pie, shepherd’s pie, black pudding, bubble and squeak, English breakfast, bangers and mash, toad in the hole, Lancashire hot pot, Cumberland sausage and gammon steak with egg.
Culture in certain cities in the UK can vary from one to the other. In particular, the language in London is sometimes known as ‘Cockney slang’ with certain residents speaking in rhyming phrases, for example ‘apple and pears’ means ‘stairs’ while ‘Adam and Eve’ means ‘believe’. It can be quite funny to listen to.
Tea is a popular drink with many households and is drunk on a regular basis, while traditional British pubs offering local grub are common. Bonfire Night in November takes place every year and relates to Guy Fawkes attempting to blow up the Houses of Parliament many years ago. Bonfires are lit and fireworks set off around the country.
Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Stonehenge, Hadrian’s Wall, Windsor Castle, Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, The London Eye, Blackpool Tower, Brighton Pier and The White Cliffs of Dover are all popular British landmarks.
United Kingdom Hotels and Accommodation
Bed and breakfasts in the countryside can be a cosy way to spend your holiday in the UK. They are quite affordable, whilst when in a bustling city opting for a hostel can also cut down on costs - cheap hotels in the United Kingdom are also plentiful. You often share with other people in a hostel, but this can be a fun experience to meet new people. Various chain hotels and luxury accommodation in the United Kingdom can be found all over the country, particularly in London, so there is an option to suit any kind of tourist.
Getting around the UK
Driving between the big cities can involve long distances. Driving shorter distances out of the big cities can also be very rewarding especially for scenic drives. Either way United Kingdom represents some of the best scenic driving experiences in the World.
London to Edinburgh: 8 h 31 min (414.1 mi) via M6
London to Cardiff: 3 h 50 min (163.1 mi) via M4
London to Manchester: 5 h 12 min (217.2 mi) via M40 and M6
London to Oxford: 1 h 37 min (59.8 mi) via M40 and A40
Top Scenic Roads and Areas to Stay
The UK has probably the largest density of roads and most diverse scenery in the World for such a small country. A UK newspaper picked some of the best, but there are literally thousands more. Here are some of the one’s they picked:
A82 towards Glencoe, Scotland
A4069 Black Mountain Road, Powys Wales
Bealach na Bà (Pass of the Cattle), Ross and Cromarty Scotland
Hutton-Le-Hole, N Yorks, England
B4632 Cheltenham to Stratford, Cotswolds, England
A3055, Isle of Wight, England
Accommodation, driving and car rental
At Cheaperthanhotels and Cheaperthancars we have a wide range of car rental discounts at convenient locations and accommodation to meet all budgets and taste across the United Kingdom. We really do believe that the less you spend, the more you will have to do when you get there.
Your Cheaperthanhotels Team