If you’re thinking of visiting Britain this summer, you’re probably thinking of heading to London which is a great choice but there’s so much more of the UK to explore than London. Indeed, London is a melting pot of cultures, ambition and tourism that creates a very unique and vibrant city which is great to visit but doesn’t necessarily provide a true taste of Britain.
If you’re thinking of studying in the UK, then London is the place you’ll most likely want to settle for a couple of years as there’s so much going on; but with the trend toward distance learning and the fact you can now even do an online mba degree, meaning you can live or travel anywhere in the world, it’s worth heading off the typical tourist trail and discovering more of the hidden gems around the UK.
Just two hours by train from London, York is a historic and beautiful chocolate box city that could be likened to Bruges; yet it isn’t overrun with tourists. York is a traditional, authentic and humble city that is more of a cosy town than a proper city. Also, if you were to hire a car, you’ll have easy access to a beautiful coastline and the unspoilt moorland of the Yorkshire Moors and Yorkshire Dales just a short drive away.
Bournemouth, similar to Brighton is a traditional English seaside town in the South of England that is easy to get to from London and unlike many seaside towns such as Blackpool and Weston Super Mare that have been left to decay, Bournemouth retains a relatively affluent and upmarket charm.
If you like London but wish to get out of the big city for a while, Bristol can be a fantastically friendly and welcoming alternative. It’s a university town that offers a pace of life where things are less hectic and chaotic than London; people have the time to chat and get to know you in a bar, for instance, as it’s less transient.
Matlock is one of several small towns within an area known as the Peak District. This area of natural beauty is a mecca for walkers and cyclists. Also, the Peak District is home to the UK’s best theme park, Alton Towers which is a great day out with some of the world’s most amazing roller coasters.
Birmingham, is a vibrant and multicultural city that is home to Cadbury World and the famous ‘balti’ dish. Birmingham is a great place for shopping with a relatively compact city centre that boasts almost all the top retail brands, both high end and low end, along with a varied nightlife scene.
- THE LAKE DISTRICT
The Lake District is one of the most beautiful places in the UK. Unfortunately, it does get a little wet up there, but if you don’t mind this then the best time to visit is at the beginning of Autumn when the leaves are turning red and gold. It’s a great place to spend a few days hiking and nestling next to a log fire in a cosy pub.
Liverpool is a warm and friendly city that retains its musical heritage and is known for being a great place for those interested in the arts. A word of warning, the accent is strong to the point you might feel they are speaking a different language, but the people are warm, welcoming, down to earth and very friendly.