News inspiration Everything you need to know about where to go and what to see in the UK

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Everything you need to know about where to go and what to see in the UK

We can't all jet set halfway across the world every time we need a break. Sometimes we just need a long weekend that won't take much organising, something to keep the kids entertained during half term holidays, or a last minute weekend getaway to recharge with fine food and some retail therapy. So, if you need a break but don't have the biggest budget, stay at home and explore some of these wonderful places right here in the UK.

Ok, let’s start with the basics…

What is the UK?

You think you might know, but best to swot up just in case you’re hoping of finding any information here on the Republic of Ireland (although we’ve included a brief section at the bottom of this page in case you fancy hopping across the sea). For those of you who don’t live in the UK but fancy exploring these fair isles, here’s a quick geography lesson. And if you need another guide, then take a look at our rules for being British.

Full English breakfast

Quick the sun is out! But where’s the nearest beach?

It’s true, usually the sunshine doesn’t show when there’s any sign of bank holidays or when you’ve booked time of work – it rarely makes an appearance in summer if we’re honest. But these beautiful beaches can be enjoyed come rain or shine, although best not get in the water when the thermometer dips below zero!

10 of the best beaches in the UK

From pebble beaches and soaring white cliffs, to swathes of golden sands that look like something straight from the Med, here are 10 of the UK’s best beaches for you to bum around on.

Beach in the UK, a pier and sunbathers

The best beaches in Wales

Honey-coloured sands, dramatic coastal hikes and thrill-a-minute watersports: find out where to swim, surf and sink your toes into the sand in Cymru, with our guide to their top beaches.

Top 10 coastal spots in Scotland

Everyone heads to the Highlands, but Scotland’s got plenty of coast to explore too. In fact, it’s where you’ll find 10% of Europe’s coastline and more than 800 islands – so go check it out!

Scottish coastline

Oh wait, it’s raining again, now what should we do?

Take shelter in one of these top attractions in the UK

The British Museum, the London Eye, Belfast’s Titanic – all of these iconic UK attractions provide welcome shelter from the weather, and they’re pretty interesting places to visit too! Although you might want to skip Stonehenge off this list…

London Eye and Somerset House

Have fun without spending any money and find free things to do

Whether you’re waiting for the rain to stop, wondering what to do on a bank holiday, or looking for a wallet-friendly day out, this essential guide is a reminder that the best things in life really are free.

Start drinking in one of the UK’s best craft beer pubs

This is the UK of course! And the pub is a great British institution, the heart of local community, the place where we love to meet friends or unwind after a long week. So find the best boozers int he land with this list.

Try one of the UK's famous ales

Got the kids in tow? Here are some family friendly trips ideas to keep everyone happy…

Half term holidays made easy: fun places to visit with children that won’t cost a fortune

"I’m booooooored!" Worried this will be the battle cry of this half term break? Arm yourself with our guide to Britain’s best family activities and we reckon you’ll hear nothing of the sort.

National Gallery, London

The best ideas for family holidays in the UK that are fun AND affordable

Want a family holiday that won’t require a bank loan? There’s no need to fly thousands of miles for a short family holiday, not when there are plenty of great (cheaper) times to be had in the UK, as the days get longer and, fingers crossed, the weather begins to warm up this spring. Here’s our pick of the best.

The UK’s best holiday cottages for families

We’ve all got an image of the idyllic holiday cottage in our minds: ultra-modern and filled with hip design details, thatched and decked out with roses, or front-row views of the seaside and a roaring log fire. Here’s our pick of the best self-catering cottages in the UK – book now before they fill up for the summer!

White holiday cottage in the UK

I want some fresh air, where should I go?

Take a hike on one of these top trails around the country

Want to climb a mountain? Fancy staring down a steep granite ridge or skirting a gritstone cliff? Or perhaps you’d prefer a coastal walk atop brilliant white cliffs or above the crashing surf on a series of tunnels and bridges? The UK has it all – and plenty more besides.

Countryside
Want to climb a mountain? Fancy staring down a steep granite ridge or skirting a gritston)

Stop and smell the roses in the UK’s prettiest parks that you probably didn’t even know existed

Find out how to get to the best public gardens, including Kew Gardens and Harrogate’s Harlow Carr. Discover Scotland’s tropical west coast gardens in Argyll and Galloway and see where you should be spending sunnier weather here in the UK.

Grassy path leading through colourful flowers

Pedal power: 10 of the best bike routes in Yorkshire

Wolds, dales, moors, clifftops – the yawning expanse of Yorkshire has a super-abundance of superb cycling terrain. So channel your inner Wiggins, get on two wheels and get out there!

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What about the Queen, where does she hang out?

You’ll probably find Liz in one of these right royal residences

Here’s a guide to all the royal residences you can visit in the UK, from prestigious London palaces to Queen Victoria’s romantic retreats. Don’t forget a birthday care, Queen Elizabeth turned 90 this year!

Changing on the guard at Buckingham Palace

Or you could learn about her ancestors at one of the UK’s most charming castles

From imposing hilltop fortresses, visible from miles around, to stumpy relics of power hidden throughout the countryside, you’ll find castles here of all varieties from all corners of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Castle ruins on a hill by the sea

Is there life outside of London? There sure is!

16 of the UK’s top cities to visit in 2016

Seeking a city break? There’s no need to leave our shores, there are plenty of great British cities still to visit. Here’s our pick of the best 16 (note: London is included).

Albert Docks, Liverpool

Picture perfect: the prettiest villages in the UK

Village life; bowls on the green, quaint pubs, red phone boxes and Morris dancing in the village hall. It’s the quintessential English stereotype of country living in the UK. But there’s way more going on in this chocolate-box towns.

A village in the UK

15 of the best music festivals from around the UK

Ok, so there’s Reading, Leeds, Isle of Wight, Glastonbury, T in the Park and all the other major UK music festivals. But we’ve got some of the smaller ones you’ve probably never heard of. So do something different this summer and follow these sounds around the country.

I’ve seen this place on TV or in a film, haven’t I?

8 Scottish film locations for set-jetters

Scotland really loves the camera. And it’s safe to say that the camera loves Scotland – the jaw-dropping scenery features in dozens of iconic and cult films. Which ones do you recognise?

Harry Potter Bridge, Scotland

Downton Abbey Forever: 15 locations from the hit TV show

Take a tour of some of the TV show’s most memorable film locations – and help plan your pilgrimage to some of them.

How many of these incredible Poldark landscapes in Cornwall do you recognise?

Feasting on fresh seafood, sunbathing beside crystal waters and chancing upon romantic ruins: forget flying to the Caribbean or finding a far-flung exotic escape, just visit Cornwall!

Cornish coast

Your tips…

The most beautiful villages in the UK, voted for by you

Where do you love the most? Scotland’s picturesque villages, the quaint fishing ports in Cornwall, or the glittering film locations in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire?

Village harbour with colourful houses in a row

Readers’ tips: Britain’s best beaches

Not everyone loves Blackpool, but you’ve got to admit, there are some cracking beaches in the UK. Here are the nation’s favourite, as voted for by our readers.

Coast in the UK

What about Ireland?

There’s loads to do here too, and flights to Dublin or Cork are cheap. So if you get tired exploring the UK and fancy crossing the border into the Republic of Ireland you’ll find plenty of stunning landscapes and good value holiday inspiration, like this:

10 secret islands off the coast of Ireland you’ve probably never heard of

From angling and deep-sea fishing, to horse riding on deserted beaches or mountaineering along sheer cliffs; here’s the best of what’s on offer if you decide to venture offshore during your travels around Ireland.

Ireland

Ireland’s top attractions

Beyond the usual clichés about Guinness drinking and the ‘craic’, the real Ireland is an impossibly green patchwork of countryside knitting together ancient historic sites, world-class museums and epic coastline. Here are ten attractions well worth hopping over the Irish Sea for. (And yes, there will be Guinness.)

Giants' Causeway Ireland

5 scenic road trips around Ireland

Fancy a family holiday full of fairytale castles and fun adventures? Or would you prefer a weekend with no WiFi signal getting back to nature? With good road conditions and some great deals on car hire, the best way to explore Ireland is to rent you own ride and hit the road.

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Trees on a road in Ireland

Set for an adventure in the UK? Tell us your plans or, if you think we’ve missed something out then let us know what you’d like to read about in the comments section below – we may just pick your idea and turn it into our next feature!

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