Our United Kingdom Itinerary
My friend Alicia, who writes a blog over at Sparkle Everywhere and I are planning a world tour! I can’t wait to get started. We had first planned to travel to all over Europe in a months time. After further thinking, we decided it would be better to stay in one place for two or three weeks. There is so much to see and we would be missing too many amazing things if we tried to go everywhere. We decided our trip will begin in the United Kingdom.
Both of us have already been to the UK before, but there were still some things we have not yet seen. There are so many beautiful things to see in this country and I know we won’t have time to see them all on just our one trip. We will need to travel here several times to see it all! I’ve started compiling a list of all the great places we want to see (in no particular order).
Great things to see in the United Kingdom
Stonehenge. Everyone has heard of Stonehenge. It is still a mystery why the stones are sitting in the way they are. I have not yet been to Stonehenge, but this is a must see!
Wiltshire Museum (about 25 miles away) includes a Stonehenge exhibit.
25 miles in the opposite direction lies the Salisbury Museum, which also includes a Stonehenge/Prehistory exhibit.
English-Heritage.org.uk offers a pass for overseas travelers to visit many of the historical sites in England including Stonehenge. Tickets are now priced at £30. for a one person 9-day pass. If you plan on seeing more than two sites on their list then buying this is worth it.
2. Scottish Highlands
Loch Ness is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Scotland. Everyone wants to see Nessie! Near Loch Ness, there are many things to see and do. Including visiting Urquhart Castle ruins.
I did get to see Urquhart Castle on my last trip to Scotland when I went with a Harry Potter tour group. It was fascinating to see. I love seeing all the old castle ruins and trying to image what it was like.
Another place to visit near Loch Ness is Falls of Foyers; which has a waterfall that is 140 feet (43 meters) tall!
Farigaig Forest is also on the south side of Loch Ness. It has walking trails that lead up to beautiful views of the Loch.
Clava Cairns is a 4,000-year-old Bronze age cemetery, which is not far from Loch Ness. It has free entry and it’s open all year.
The Knocknagael Boar Stone is a huge boulder that has a 1400-year-old drawing of a Boar on it. It’s currently located in Inverness.
Beauly Priory was a 13th-century priory where monks worshiped. This is about 12 miles from Inverness.
Glenfinnan Viaduct is an hour and a half drive from Falls of Foyers. I rode The Jacobite over the viaduct years ago when I attended a Harry Potter fan trip. I would love to go here and hike around and get some great photos this time.
There are so many places I want to see in London! I think we will need to spend a full week just in London!
Buckingham Palace – They only give tours for two months of the year while the queen is in Scotland and the 2-hour tour is a little over £21.
British museum – Free to get in. They have a huge collection of items to see, such as the Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies.
London Eye – One rotation takes about 30 min. The capsules are large enough to hold nearly 30 people.
Harry Potter Filming Locations I want to check out:
Kings Cross (Platform 9 3/4)
Leadenhall market (Diagon Alley)
Australia House – (Gringotts Bank)
Charing Cross Rd (Entrance to the Leaky Cauldron)
Tower of London – See the Crown Jewels- Get there early, because the line gets LONG! The Tower of London has a long history, including being London’s first zoo!
According to VisitBritian.com, the best afternoon tea is at Thames Foyer at the Savory.
4. English Channel
There are many places to visit the English Channel. We are going to visit it at Dover.
The White Cliffs of Dover reach up to 300 feet high! From the cliff, you can see France if the sky is clear.
Dover Castle has played an important part in keeping England safe since 1066. This is another place on the list for admission with the English Heritage membership.
At the Dover museum, there is a Bronze Age Boat Gallery.
There are four beaches at Dover. Called: Dover Harbour, Shakespeare Beach, Lydden Spout, and Abbot’s Cliff. Lydden Spout and Abbot’s Cliff are located below the cliffs. Abbot’s cliff is unofficially a nudist beach.
I have visited Edinburgh Castle once before on a Harry Potter Fan Trip, we had an amazing dinner there. A tour is available in the castle for £9.90.
Museum on the Mound sounds like an interesting museum. It is all about money and various things that has to do with money. And its free!
There is some mystery surrounding Gilmerton Cove. Gilmerton Cove tunnels have stumped archaeologists, they have been unable to determine who or why these man-made tunnels were dug.
Edinburgh is a great city to just walk around and see it all. I think we will spend much time walking around the city taking in the beauty.
6. City of Chester
The City of Chester was founded as a Roman fort in the 1st century! Not only is it beautiful it has such a rich history.
Chester Cathedral is over 1000 years old!
The Walls of Chester are beautiful stone walls. They started as a defense by the Romans in the 1st century, they were finished as they are today in the 12th century. Many of them have stairs so you can reach the top and take a walk. The city of Chester offers a 1.5 hour walking tour that costs about £7.
St. Augustine’s Abbey– 6th century Abbey. I’m excited to see this because of its age! – Included in English Heritage Pass.
Canterbury Heritage Museum’s building is over 600 years old!
Canterbury Westgate Tower once served as a cell for prisoners awaiting execution.
The Canterbury Cathedral, built in 592 and rebuilt in 1070, is still in use today.
One of the most ancient castles in England, Canterbury Norman Castle, was built in the late 11th century. By the 14th century it turned into a prison and by the 18th it became ruined.
8. Kilchurn Castle
Alicia saw a beautiful picture of Kilchurn Castle in a calendar. The image is so breathtaking it inspires us to visit. VisitBritian claims it as ‘Britain’s best kept secret’. Kilchurn is free to visit!
Kilchurn Castle is available by foot or boat and it is right at the edge of Loch Awe.
9. Giants Causeway
Giants Causeway is located in Northern Ireland. This is a natural wonder and amazing to look at. These are hexagonal shaped basalt rocks that form columns.
St Fagans National History Museum in Cardiff is an open air museum that has historic buildings and a living museum with workers doing traditional crafts. It is free to get in!
National Museum of Wales currently has an ‘Adventures in Archaeology’ through October that looks really interesting!
At Cardiff Castle, you can see part of a roman wall from the 1st century!! The idea of seeing something 2000 years old is so exciting! There is also a Norman keep that looks interesting. The price is £12 for entrance plus £3 for a tour.
11. Tintagel Castle
The Tintagel Castle – According to Geoffrey of Monmouth this was where King Arthur was conceived. This is another thing the English Heritage pass is good for.
The houses there were built sometime around the 5th-7th centuries and you can walk through them.
Down below the castle is a beach. When the tide is out you can explore a cave called “Merlin’s Cave“!
Do you know of other amazing places to see in the United Kingdom? Please comment below or send me an e-mail. I’d love to know about it before our trip!
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