Last year’s travel implications gave me the opportunity to explore some long-awaited destinations on my 2020 UK Bucket List and it gave me ample time to explore the beauty of places on my doorstep here at home in the United Kingdom.
I am currently reviewing my UK Bucket List 2021 with the intention of exploring the best places to visit in the UK, after all, as it stands at the moment it doesn’t look like I’ll be travelling anywhere else this year!
As a UK based travel blogger, one of the things I am most guilty of is not exploring my own country. Until now! Anyone else guilty of this?
There are so many beautiful places to visit in the UK to add to your British Bucket List. Whether you want to enjoy a blissful beach break to Brighton, walk York’s medieval street The Shambles, do a Harry Potter tour of London, explore the vast Dorset Jurassic Coast or simply want to book a boutique stay in Bedfordshire; there is no time like the present and there are plenty of things to do in the UK.
Whilst it may seem like yesterday, we were welcoming 2020 and setting down our new year’s resolutions, one thing that really stands out in my travel journals and previous two resolution posts is how I want to explore more of the UK. I certainly got to do more of this in 2020 as it interrupted all other travel plans, but without this, I wouldn’t be able to share all the places in this post!
Whilst exploring more of the UK is a fairly broad goal, I have narrowed a few UK bucket list 2021 locations down in particular. If I write them down, it will be sure to happen right?!
Check out some of my UK Bucket List Places – the places I want to visit in the UK and some of my favourite places in the UK I can’t wait to return to.
The Best Places to Visit in the UK
Steeped in history, I’ve always been intrigued by York’s cobbled streets and ancient city walls. Ghost stories and Gothic architecture come hand-in-hand in York and, I wanted to see York’s very own Diagon Alley, before tucking into a Yorkshire pud of course!
I did this and more on my girls weekend in York – Did I mention York has the best brunch spots?!
I adored my time in York, if you haven’t visited, it really is a top bucket list place to visit in the UK.
I already want to revisit York to experience the festive York Christmas market, as it is rumoured to be the best Christmas market to visit in the UK. I also want to discover the Yorkshire Coast, explore the abbeys and uncover the intrigue of Whitby and other towns lining the coast.
I loved visiting York so much that I had to explore more of Yorkshire and in Autumn 2020 I got to do just that! If you like uncovering British history and want to explore many of Yorkshire’s abbeys and castles, it’s worth getting English Heritage Membership to gain free entry into many historical sites.
Here are some places worth noting if you plan to visit Yorkshire:
Scarborough is England’s oldest seaside town and it hasn’t lost its charm today. Whilst you can still find the arcades, fish n chips and fairground rides associated with many seaside towns in the UK, there is more to Scarborough than that.
Scarborough’s North Bay has some hidden gems including Peasholm Park (an oriental inspired garden), colourful beach huts and Scarborough Castle (an English Heritage site).
I stayed at The Sands Scarborough during my time exploring Yorkshire and you can find out more about these luxury beach-side apartments and Scarborough’s hidden gems in the blog post: Seaside Escape to The Sands Scarborough.
Robin Hood’s Bay
Robin Hood’s Bay is a small fishing village, which is said to have gained its name after the legendary Robin Hood fought off some pirates and returned the loot to the poor people residing in the village.
As you drive into Robin Hood’s Bay (don’t try to drive to the bottom) you are greeted by the most spectacular views of the craggy cliffs and charming village. It’s a great place to soak up the scenery in Yorkshire and take some nice holiday snaps. A beautiful place to enjoy some fish n chips whilst enjoying the view.
My absolute favourite place to visit during my time in Whitby was without a doubt, Whitby.
Steeped in history, Whitby has become a Gothic Graceland inspiring Bram Stoker’s Dracula with its dramatic abbey and spooky St Mary’s Church. The quaint harbour and beautiful blue flag beach in Whitby are overlooked by the intriguing romantic ruins of the Abbey and St Mary’s Church, aptly painting a vivid picture into Whitby’s past.
Yorkshire is the perfect pitstop and place to stay if you are planning a road trip to Scotland, which is exactly what we did and brings me onto the next destination.
Before 2020, I had never visited Scotland.
However, seeing pictures of Edinburgh’s landscape peppered in autumn hues from other Travel Bloggers’ posts in 2019 inspired me to visit and top of my list was Edinburgh and The Highlands. I wanted to explore Edinburgh Castle and sit on Arthur’s Seat (I’ll need to after that hike), whilst taking in the breathtaking landscape.
But, most of all I want to see the bridge and steam train that inspired J.K. Rowling and perhaps pretend for a moment that I’m not a muggle and I too can be chosen for Hogwarts!
| Read: Harry Potter Inspiration in Porto |
Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance during my trip to do a Scotland road trip or visit The Highlands, but I loved my time in Edinburgh and I can’t wait to return.
Edinburgh is a very charming and walkable city with plenty of free things to do, pretty gardens and cute brunch spots. I’ll be sharing more about Edinburgh in some upcoming blog posts, but let’s just say it’s a must for your 2021 UK Bucket List!
From Jane Austen to historic Roman history, is it any wonder why Bath is on my British bucket list?!
A Roman’s love for good food, wine and an overall lavish lifestyle is not something to be underestimated. I’d love to experience the torchlit visit to The Roman Baths, followed by dinner and a stay in a lavish boutique hotel. Oh, and if there is someone to feed me grapes, that would be good too!
Bath has long been considered the spa capital of Britain and I want in!
The Cotswolds is one of my absolute favourites in the UK, but, I’m always guilty of visiting the same place, Painswick (I love it there, ok!) If you’ve read my blog post about my stay at The Painswick I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s dreamy!
During my last visit to Painswick, I did also enjoy tucking into the food at the Stroud Farmers Market and I really want to explore more of The Cotswolds.
The quaint villages are full of character and each have their own tales about famous residents, which have more often than not, inspired books, poetry and films. If you are looking for a pretty place to visit in the UK, The Cotswolds is it!
The Cotswolds is a place where you really do feel like you’ve fallen down a rabbit hole straight into a fairytale.
Another place I have “technically” visited before is the Lake District. In an act of spontaneity, I signed myself up to the blogger, Where’s Mollie Global Travellers Group trip to the Lake District. A weekend filled with adventure, I paddle-boarded, kayaked, hiked (blood, sweat and tears) and made a few friends along the way. I adored seeing the Lakes for the first time and the absolutely beautiful scenery. Windermere is lovely from what I could see on my brief visit and now I want to explore more of the Lake District.
Adventure activities aside, The Lake District also has plenty of charming cottages with open fires and accommodation with hot tubs for those who just want to enjoy a relaxing break.
Whilst Ireland is fairly broad, I’ve only ever visited Dublin in the Republic of Ireland, so I have all of Ireland to explore!
I really want to do a road trip around Ireland to explore Ireland’s coastal areas and some Irish Game of Thrones hotspots! As I saw some Game of Thrones filming locations in Dubrovnik, it’s only right I see them in Ireland too! Of course, that would mean visiting Northern Ireland as well as the Republic of Ireland, a challenge I’m willing to accept.
I want to discover Giant’s Causeway, the Cliffs of Moher and explore Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way.
I have been really drawn to scenic destinations over the past year, and driving around Iceland’s Golden Circle route really took my breath away. I can’t think of a better place nearby to enjoy a scenic coastal road trip and Ireland is top of my list!
Stratford Upon Avon
It’s no UK Bucket List without a trip to my beloved Stratford-Upon-Avon to Shakespeare’s birthplace and where his iconic plays were written. One of the greatest love stories took place in Stratford-Upon-Avon, and no, I’m not talking about Romeo & Juliet. Stratford-Upon-Avon is a place close to my heart as it’s where Adam proposed and we got engaged! Read about my engagement in Stratford-Upon-Avon and about the many reasons to visit.
It doesn’t feel right that I have never visited Manchester, one of England’s most iconic cities. I grew up watching Manchester United…ahem…David Beckham play, listening to Oasis and Take That. Manchester is a place that holds on to its heritage, despite being a bustling city and, seeing the togetherness, camaraderie and spirit come alive at the One Love Manchester concert inspires me to see what the city is all about. Manchester’s street art scene looks great too and this is another reason why I’d like to visit.
In addition, it would be great to explore Manchester and share my experience to perhaps inspire others visiting the UK to visit Manchester rather than London.
There are so many beautiful places to visit in Kent, from the Seven Sisters Cliffs, Canterbury Cathedral, charming village of Wye, beautiful beaches such as Camber Sands and fun seaside towns such as Whitstable and Margate.
On my UK Bucket List 2020 was Hever Castle in Kent, which was Anne Boleyn’s childhood home. Visiting in the Summer months enables you to truly appreciate the varieties of wildflowers adorning the grounds, enjoy a picnic and imagine how Hever Castle looked during the Tudor reign.
After all the excitement of seeing the footballers in action, why not head to nearby Cheshire for a spot of relaxation? Whether you are wanting to book a spa day in Cheshire or you are after some retail therapy at Cheshire Oaks Shopping Centre; there’s plenty of relaxation to be had away from the hustle and bustle of Manchester. For fun, check out the many things to do in Chester – If I’m not admiring Chester Cathedral, you’re likely to find me checking out my favourite animals at Chester Zoo (I love the tv series!)
Cornwall is one place in England where you can actually experience a taste of the mediterranean from the UK and for this reason alone, will always be the top of my UK bucket list!
My first encounter of Cornwall was when I was invited to stay at the aptly named, The Cornwall Hotel. A very beautiful boutique hotel, I must add (my favourite kind!)
| Read: Europe’s Best Boutique Hotels |
And, I was so glad I did. I honestly could not believe I hadn’t visited Cornwall before. From Cornwall’s beautiful beaches, cute coastal towns and cliff-carved Theatre (The Minack is a must), there is so much to see in Cornwall! For all your Cornwall inspiration, read my Perfect Southern Cornwall Road Trip Itinerary for 3 Days in Cornwall!
Three days in Cornwall felt like I had been away for two weeks and I’ve been twice more since my first visit last year. I’m already yearning to return and I know I’m kinda cheating by adding Cornwall, but I feel like I have barely scratched the surface and I want more!
Sat between the ragged rocks watching the wildflowers blow in the sea breeze, overlooking a blend of deep blue and unbelievable turquoise waters, I really felt a real sense of being. It occurred to me I didn’t need to hop on a plane to a foreign destination all the time, when I have such beauty on my doorstep (give or take a 5 hour drive…)
It’s no British bucket list without going to London Guv’nor! From The Tower of London, St Paul’s Cathedral, Camden Market to Buckingham Palace! There is so much to see in London and I want to see it all!
London is steeped in history but also has a fantastic street art and foodie scene. Where are your favourite places to visit in London?
UK Bucket List 2021 – What are your bucket list places in the UK?
So, there you have it my British Bucket List 2021 of places to visit in the UK. What places are on your UK bucket list this year?
Read more of my England posts:
If you have any tips or recommendations for these destinations I would be very grateful, let me know below 🙂
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