London – the capital of culture
It won’t be an exaggeration to say that London is an absolute must when you are visiting the United Kingdom. Not only it is the capital city of England but also the third biggest (by population) European city.
Such an amount of citizens means that London is quite packed at times and it is good to plan ahead. However, a very well organized public transport and information availability makes getting through the city a breeze. Getting the Oyster travelcard is highly advised, especially because it can be used in most means of transport, saves your time and money. Should you feel the need to take some rest from the urban atmosphere you can easily get to Richmond, Hampstead Heath, or The Regent’s Park within an hour.
There are multiple paths you can follow when you are already in London, but beware that even a couple of months might not suffice to see everything. That should not be a problem as there are multiple local travelling agencies specializing in showing you around. There are multiple travel themes to choose from too. Are you a Harry Potter fan, or maybe would like to follow a more traditional Jack the Ripper trail? There is literally everything covered. Actually, there’s so much it might even come as a challenge to choose anything. Don’t worry, there is help, Get Your Guide offers a very comprehensive choice of things to do in London.
Glasgow – energetic, edgy, and progressive
With a flair for contemporary art and one of the most acclaimed civic art collections, much of which is free to visit, Glasgow is another pin you should put on your UK map. You will be astonished to experience the mixture of some of the UK’s best-preserved Victorian architecture and murals like nowhere else.
Glasgow is a city where architecture and design meet in a clash of tradition and progress. From the heart of the city centre elegant streets and Victorian buildings bring pleasure to your eyes. Thanks to the great impact of Charles Rennie Mackintosh – architect and designer – the city seems rejuvenated and bold. Moreover, the celebrated contemporary art collection is accessible not only indoors, as you can follow the mural trail known worldwide. Bear in mind that you might get lost in Glasgow’s diverse and vibrant music scene. It is no surprise that it’s the UK’s first UNESCO City of Music. There are loads of cosy pubs with musicians gathered to play, open-air gigs, or even the legendary Barrowland Ballroom.
As if it was not enough, Glasgow is known as the Dear Green Place in Gaelic. No surprise here, it’s stunning scenery consists of expansive country parks, woodland walks and the tranquil Forth and Clyde Canal. Yet again, Get Your Guide might come in handy to make good use of the time you spend in Glasgow.
Edinburgh – seamlessly blending old and new
Being the capital city of Scotland seems enough to put visiting Edinburgh on your to-do list. But, that can be said about any capital city. Edinburgh, however, has earned its fame and is currently UK’s second-most visited tourist destination. It is a centre of education, with many international students living here year-round and a cultural phenomenon hosting the world’s largest annual international arts festival – Fringe.
Graced with over 4500 heritage-listed buildings Edinburgh is certainly one of the most beautiful cities on Earth. The city’s Old Town brings back memories of medieval merchants, poets, and craftsmen. Blending in nicely, with its Georgian architecture, is the New Town shining with the glory of the Scottish Enlightenment. To experience its full panorama you would have to climb to Arthur’s Seat, the city’s highest hill. Exploring Edinburgh is, however, an experience on its own, as there are multiple surprises and ghastly stories being forever engraved within the walls of those old buildings. Often there are informational plaques sharing facts omitted by general tour guides, leaving you in awe of the passage of time is captured within the city limits.
Similar to London, Edinburgh offers many thematical tours accessible through local travel agencies. There are really only two things to consider: for how long and what time of year are you going to visit Edinburgh. If you want to experience Fringe, August is your bet. If, however, you would like to wander through misty evenings then choose April or May. Also, remember to plan ahead with Get Your Guide.
Belfast – truly authentic Irish experience
Famous for being the birthplace of the Titanic, Belfast has now fully risen to its travel-worthy status. Surprisingly enough, the city is one of the oldest, with its history stretching back to the Bronze Age. It has come to its heights during the 19th century when it became a naval port and a shipbuilding centre.
Being a capital of Northern Ireland has proven to be a challenge for Belfast, as it is mostly associated with Bloody Sunday events and political conflict. However, it seems that now these events serve as inspiration for contemporary art, especially murals, which grace the city walls. Bear in mind, these can be quite thought-provoking. Belfast is also a down-to-earth kind of city with numerous pubs full of locals with stories to share. The long history is visible not only in city structure and travel guides but a well-preserved architecture with dozens of heritage-listed buildings. It has been depicted in the highly popular TV shows – Game of Thrones. Now, you can actually get the full experience and explore the filming locations with the Game of Thrones tour.
Should you decide to visit Belfast, there are numerous attractions to see. Starting with St George’s Market and Victoria Square in the city centre to Titanic Quater or Belfast Castle on the outskirts.
Manchester – it thinks today what the World thinks tomorrow
Known as the city of firsts, Manchester is a sight to behold for all kinds of travellers and tourists. It should not be omitted on your journey to the UK. With a Town Hall built to rival the great buildings of London and numerous venues rich in industrial history, Manchester provides experiences like no other city.
Not often a city can brag about having a history stretching to Roman times and being the birthplace of revolutionizing inventions and discoveries. Manchester can do that with ease, given it played a vital role in starting the Industrial Revolution. Not to mention Ernest Rutherford who was the first human to split the atom, here at the University of Manchester. What makes it a great destination is, however, the inventive and rapid growth of the city’s wealth after the Industrial Revolution, which resulted in a very interesting architectural development, taking inspiration from across the ages. Here, you can see a clash of warehouses and mills, monuments, museums, and galleries.
Whether you choose The Manchester Museum, John Rylands Library or a tour to the football club stadium and museum, you just cannot miss visiting Manchester.
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