Most of us suffer from wanderlust: the strong desire to travel and breathe the air of new places.
We yearn to expand our mind, indulge in new experiences and taste, smell and see unfamiliar territory. We long to break out of our comfort zones and dive into a world where new beginnings and marvellous discoveries await us. The thrill of experiencing things you have never experienced before and the opportunity to lay your eyes on brand new sights is what drives one’s deep desire to hop on a plane and visit a faraway land.
While there are many extraordinary places to visit, there’s one in particular that ticks every box in terms of exciting things to do, see and experience. It’s a remarkable destination better known as the United Kingdom. The land of fairytale-like palaces, impeccable structures, forward-thinking fashion, fine English delicacies and extraordinary experiences. Boasting some of the world’s most famous cities and being home to the great English countryside, it’s no wonder it’s one of the most popular places to visit on earth. The United Kingdom ignites a spark deep within as the world comes alive in the vibrant city streets that are paved with glamorous stores, awe-inspiring art galleries and creative people. The rolling hills of the countryside, however, offer tranquillity and peace of mind, amidst the enchanting, gothic castles and lush green fields. Yes, the UK spans much wider than just the city of London (believe it or not), and you should do yourself a favour, and venture out into the little less common areas of the ‘Kingdom’. You’ll be blown away by the unique landscapes, the incredible architecture and the long list of things to do.
Planning your trip to the United Kingdom requires some careful thought and planning. While you’re eager to tick off every tourist attraction, historical hot-spot and remarkable restaurant (in which there are many), you should remind yourself that this list is going to be pretty much never-ending. The UK is filled with must-see locations and must-do activities and fitting them all in will be close to impossible. But, there are some things you should not leave the UK without doing. We’re talking about unusual activities that tickle the fancy of adrenaline junkies, thrill seekers, history enthusiasts, Instagram gurus and all those that want to experience authentic British culture. You don’t want to be the traveller that follows the crowd and has all the same pictures and shares all the same experiences as every other visitor. The aim is to see the unconventional side to one of the world’s most famous destinations and get down to its core. After all, that’s what travelling is about: it’s pushing your boundaries, signing up to new things and venturing into the unknown with an open mind and adventurous spirit. We’re not saying you shouldn’t visit all the usual attractions, we’re just saying you should consider some of these fantastic activities, too. In our must-do activity guide to the UK, we’re certain you’ll experience a journey that’s nothing short of authentic, fun and exciting!
For the Fun Seekers
Travelling is not just about visiting the tourist attractions, shopping up a storm and indulging in good food. It’s also about having fun and trying something new! Even if you’ve played paintball before, the UK seems to have some of the best paintball zones in the world and you don’t want to miss out on the thrill and excitement they offer. Think of game zones that sport props pulled right off the set of famous movies and courses that are tucked away in enchanting locations. Let your hair down, meet new people and try your hand at the exhilarating activity, better known as paintball!
The London Dungeon
The London Dungeon is an unusual tourist attraction situated on the South Bank of the city. It’s a ‘dungeon’ where visitors buckle up on an exhilarating (and sometimes scary) ride that travels through various historical events that are showcased in a humorous way, with the help of actors and special effects. It’s exceptionally entertaining as it contains the perfect mix of adrenaline and humour. It’s an attraction that’s ‘off the beaten track’ but still offers visitors a true London-like experience.
For the Culture Cats
Musical Heritage Tour through the Streets of London
Some of the most famous musicians of all time, called London home. The fascinating ‘Sex Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll’ tour, takes visitors on an exciting trip past the homes and playgrounds of some of the world’s biggest musical legends, such as Amy Winehouse, John Lennon and Queen. This 3-hour tour leaves no stone unturned, as they journey through the towns that influenced various musical genres, and even stops over at the studio where the Rolling Stones cut their first single. It’s an awakening experience that offers visitors further insights into the lives and influential elements that not only shaped music but shaped the world.
Visit the Alternative Town of Camden
The town of Camden is a fusion of eclectic energies and creative flair. With stores that sell Doc Martins and punk/gothic clothing, tattoo parlours on almost every corner, and bustling markets and bars, it’s a town that’s alive with character and originality. The alternative folk have turned this town into a colourful, ‘arty’ hub, which attracts tourists who are eager to see and experience a ‘different’ side to London. Be sure to visit the Camden Market, the eclectic jazz cafes and the sidewalk bars – which often saw the likes of Amy Winehouse walk through its doors. Camden was Amy Winehouse’s ‘neck of the woods’, and she often visited and performed at some of the local hangouts scattered across the town.
For the Instagram Addicts
Notting Hill, London
Notting Hill is a gorgeous little town that’s home to one of London’s most famous (and most Instagrammed) streets. The street, better known as ‘Portobello’, is adorned with colour as the quaint apartments are painted in rainbow hues. The street looks like a scene right out of a chick-flick film, as the homes are so perfectly ‘manicured’ and painted in pretty candy colours. This is not the only reason to visit this cute neighbourhood – there are also opportunities to shop for curios and snacks at the street-market just off Portobello Street.
Regent street is a vibrant stretch of road, which can be best described as every girl’s dream shopping location. With a multitude of amazing stores and bursting with energy, the street is the perfect place to snap some shots of London. Think of red buses, phone booths, beautiful buildings and people aplenty. It’s an experience in itself even if you’re not there to shop – although, you’re going to be tempted!
For the History Enthusiasts
If you take an interest in historical monuments and find the past fascinating, the famous Stonehenge monument should feature on your UK to-do list. The prehistoric monument is believed to have been constructed around 2500 BC and to this day we are yet to uncover the truth of how and why it was built, and more importantly by whom. For now, we can only speculate and trust the theories of industry professionals. Visiting this famous British landmark will certainly add a special touch to your travels, as it’s one of the most talked about monuments of all time, and you’ll be able to say; ‘I’ve been there, done that!’
The Edinburgh Castle’s existence dates back to the 12th Century and sits atop a hill called Castle Rock, which is, in fact, the remains of an ‘extinct’ volcano. It’s a breathtaking sight, as the gothic-inspired architecture and perfect location makes it look like something out of a fairytale. The castle is a significant feature in Edinburgh as it towers over the city and contains interesting stories of the past.
For the Nature Lovers
Puzzlewood Forest in Gloucestershire
The puzzlewood forest is a magical little paradise. It looks like you’ve stepped into another world, as you enter into a forest that’s closed-in with overgrown vegetation and delicate green shrubbery. This forest was the chosen location for some of the scenes of The Lord of the Rings and we’re not surprised! With its gorgeous wooden bridges, golden light that shines through the trees, and moss-covered giant rocks that pave out pathways that wind through the woods, it’s nothing short of mystical.
The Seven Sisters Cliffs in Sussex
The Seven Sisters is a series of cliffs, which meets the waters of the English Channel that lay at its foot. It’s another captivating sight in the United Kingdom, as the cliffs mark the edge of the countryside of East Sussex. Visitors come from near and far to marvel at the natural beauty and snap away in an attempt to capture the picturesque views.