An A-Z of places to visit in the UK
12th April 2021
It won’t be long until we’re able to travel again, so we thought we’d help you plan your next UK adventure with a little A-Z of the UK.
Whether it’s by mini-bus, or coach, we’re here to help you plan your trip and champion the most eco-friendly form of road transport.
A is for Aberdeen
Aberdeen is a city with not one but two Old Towns. There’s Old Aberdeen and Footdee. Old Aberdeen is a photographer’s dream, with its cobbled streets, mature trees and 15th century fortified cathedral. Footdee – known locally as Fittie is a quirky fishing quarter at the water’s edge, with squares of tiny cottages. Whatever you’re after, Aberdeen has it all.
While you’re there, the surrounding areas of Aberdeenshire offer the opportunity to go hiking, riding, mountain-biking, gliding, skiing, snowboarding, kayaking, surfing, kiteboarding…the list is endless!
B is for Brighton
Brighton has long been a top destination for day trippers and staycationers. And with good reason. From the Brighton Palace Pier and the Royal Pavilion, the city is also home to a diverse array of things to see and do. There are many award-winning restaurants in Brighton, from classic fish and chips, to creative vegetarian restaurants and even a zero waste restaurant.
Brighton & Hove also makes a great base for exploring the stunning Sussex countryside including the South Downs National Park, a beautiful spot for cycling, hiking and other activities.
C is for Cambridge
Home to more Nobel Prize winners than any other city, Cambridge is brimming with discovery. From galleries showcasing an impressive range of art, a buzzing theatre and performance scene, and music venues aplenty, there’s something to keep everyone entertained in Cambridge.
When things are back to normal, there’s the world-famous Folk Festival, ever-popular Beer Festival and the family-friendly Big Weekend to look forward to as well.
D is for Derbyshire
We’ve gone quite broad with this one, and with good reason. There’s so much to see in Derbyshire, it deserves a post all on its own. But we’ll try to narrow it down…
The area is known and loved by many for its breath-taking views, bustling market towns and pretty villages, historic houses, famous attractions and hundreds of traditional events. Matlock is a hugely popular destination, with an abundance of antique shops, Riber castle in the distance and the River Derwent at your feet, it’s a relaxing town to visit.
Buxton is another favourite, offering some fantastic cafes, restaurants and places to stay. It’s also commonly cited as the ‘gateway to the Peak District’ so is a fantastic base from which to explore the rest of the region.
E is for Edinburgh
There’s no denying Edinburgh’s beauty, and there’s certainly a reason it’s one of the top tourism destinations in the UK. Its cobbled streets, colourful character and lively surroundings make it a city worth revisiting time and time again.
Enjoy a free ghost walk and discover the history behind Edinburgh, or pay a visit to Scotland’s number one visitor attraction – Edinburgh Castle. Stroll down the Royal Mile, delve into the city’s buzzing culinary scene, or spend a leisurely day at the city’s exciting new waterfront development.
However you choose to spend your time in the Scottish capital, it’s almost certainly a given that you’ll be planning your return before you’ve even left.
F is for Falmouth
Sun, sea and sand. What more is there to love? Falmouth is fast becoming one of the South West’s leading cultural destinations, and with good reason.
Known as the ‘Spirit of the Sea’, many notable sailing achievements have taken place in its waters; including Ellen Macarthur’s 2007 achievement of becoming the fastest person in the world to sail single handedly around it.
It’s not just the sea and sand which makes Falmouth such a great place to visit, though. Enjoy the diverse range of restaurants or head to the peaceful Queen Mary Gardens for some relaxing time away from the hustle and bustle of the seafront.
G is for Gloucester
Nestled between the Cotswolds and the Forest of Dean, Gloucester is an ideal location for those who love a blend of the great outdoors, and the buzz of a city, too. With history dating back to Roman times, the city’s many museums and attractions tell the story of those who have stood there before.
Enjoy the majestic and magnificent gothic cathedral which was the site of Henry III’s coronation and the final resting place of King Edwards II. The docks are great for shopping, food and drink, and sports fans will be spoilt for choice, with the local rugby and football stadiums, and the city of Cheltenham only ten minutes away by train.
H is for Harrogate
Set in the heart of North Yorkshire, Harrogate is a Victorian spa town with plenty of character and history. Whether you’re planning on spending the day, or using it as a base to explore the wider region, there’s plenty to keep you entertained.
The city of Harrogate is thriving with shops and eateries, and its spa heritage can be seen at almost every turn. But the thing that arguably makes Harrogate so distinctive is the vast open space that surrounds it. ‘The Stray’ consists of 200 acres of vast open, green space and is the perfect spot to enjoy an afternoon in the sun, with friends or family.
I is for Ilkley
This unassuming picturesque town situated in the Wharfe Valley is perhaps one of Yorkshire’s best kept secrets. A former spa town, the town is now known for its fresh air, moorland and beautiful countryside.
With the moor on its doorstep, Ilkley offers fantastic countryside walks for all abilities, and is also the perfect place to kick back and relax. Cosy up in one of the local pubs, or have a nosey around the plethora of independent shops, selling everything from gifts to vintage clothes and books. Oh, and there’s the famous Bettys Cafe and Tea Rooms to enjoy, too!
J is for John o’ Groats
John o’ Groats has become a major tourist attraction in the UK, but not because of it’s amazing attractions or its incredible eateries, but because of its location. Situated in the far North of Scotland, the town lies on Great Britain’s northeastern tip, and is popular with tourists as one end of the longest distance between two inhabited British points on the mainland, with Land’s End in Cornwall lying 876 miles southwest.
It’s become extremely popular with walkers, cyclists and motorcyclists as either the starting point or the end point to one of the longest point-to-point journeys that you can take in the UK. The John o’ Groats House Hotel was built on or near the site of Jan de Groot’s house, and was established in 1875. It has been described by Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant as “one of the UK’s most famous landmarks”
K is for King’s Lynn
There’s nowhere in Norfolk quite like King’s Lynn. Once one of England’s most important ports, King’s Lynn is now a vibrant town centre full of history and culture. Its maritime past is still very much evident, and you can spend the afternoon strolling down the river between cobbled lanes.
The Saturday Market Place and Tuesday Market Place are both stunning squares and are well worth a visit. Join a guided tour to find out more about the history of the town, or head on the self-guided Hanse Trail to learn more about the town’s Hanseatic history, and trading links with Europe. King’s Lynn is a history lovers dream, but there’s definitely something for everyone in this quintessentially English town.
L is for Liverpool
Home of the Beatles, the Mersey and Jürgen Klopp’s infamous reds, it’s safe to say that Liverpool has got a lot to shout about. Aside from its friendly inhabitants; the culture, energy and atmosphere you’ll receive in Liverpool will be enough to make you want to never leave.
Take a trip to the Beatle’s Story, enjoy a walking tour of the city or kick back and relax on Albert Dock. The city has an eclectic mix of bars, restaurants and nightclubs too, so you’ll be spoilt for choice once the evening comes. The city features the areas; Georgian Quarter, Ropewalks, Chinatown, Baltic Triangle, St George’s Quarter, Waterfront, Cavern Quarter and the Knowledge Quarter, and each has its own personality and character that will make you want to return to explore them all.
M is for Manchester
Known as the birthplace of the industrial revolution, Manchester has a proud history in everything from music and the arts, to sport. There’s so much to do in Manchester, you’ll struggle to narrow down your time there. Infamous for its football teams, you can take a tour of Old Trafford or the Etihad Stadium. Dive into the history of football at the National Football Museum, or take in some history at John Rylands Library or the Manchester Museum.
Manchester is a foodies paradise. With everything from top class street food to high end dining, there’s something for everyone here. And it wouldn’t be a trip to Manchester without exploring its incredible music scene. Check out Band on the Wall for a music experience like no other, or head to Manchester Ritz to see who’s playing a set that night. Commonly cited as England’s second city, this place has got it all.
N is for Newcastle
If you’re after a passionate city bursting with Northern pride, then look no further. There is a wealth of things to do and see in Newcastle, and its breathtaking architecture and astounding heritage is enough to highlight why this is a city worth visiting.
History aside, Newcastle is a buzzing nightlife destination, and is a top spot with those soon to be saying ‘I do’. Experience a night out on the Toon or enjoy a slightly quieter night at the theatre or live comedy event in one of its many event venues. Head a little further afield to experience the beautiful northern coastline and rugged countryside – a diverse city and region all wrapped up in one visit.
O is for Oxford
Home to one of the oldest and celebrated university cities in the world, Oxford offers so much more than just its highly successful university. A cultural city with an extensive history, Oxford is now a great place to relax and explore. Cinema buffs will enjoy spotting the locations often used as a backdrop to many TV programmes and films, from Inspector Morse to Harry Potter.
The city’s covered market is another top pick for Oxford, with its permanent stalls and shops, it’s a photographer’s dream.
P is for Plymouth
Known as Britain’s Ocean City, Plymouth is the home of breath-taking seaside views. Nestled between the South West coastline and the wild beauty of Dartmoor National Park, Plymouth is the perfect break away for nature lovers.
A short walk from the heart of the city is Plymouth Hoe which is a beautiful and broad vista that overlooks the Plymouth Sound. Home to many events throughout the year, it’s also one of the most popular spots to catch some rays. The Hoe is also home to the picture perfect red-and-white striped former lighthouse, the art-deco open-air swimming pool and Smeaton’s Tower.
However you choose to spend your time in Plymouth, you’re sure to leave feeling refreshed and revitalised.
Q is for Queensferry
Sitting on the shore, in the shadow of the Forth Bridges, South Queensferry is a picturesque town to the west of Edinburgh. Take a walk through the town’s streets and visit one of the many cafes and restaurants.
Admire the Forth Bridges from the main street or head out on a boat tour to travel under the Forth Bridge and explore the wildlife and history of the islands. You can even land on Inchcolm, which is home to both a 12th century abbey and the fascinating remnants of Second World War defences.
R is for Ruthin
A surprising little town set in the Clwydian hills in the north east of Wales, Ruthin is layered with over 800 years of history and set in one of the most stunning landscapes in Britain. Its winding streets, and beautiful architecture may transport you back into another time.
Only 30 minutes from the coast to the north and the mountains of Snowdonia to the west, Ruthin is also the perfect base for exploring all that North Wales has to offer
S is for Southwold
Set on the Suffolk coast, many would argue that there is nowhere else quite like Southwold. Home of Adnams, take a tour of the brewery and distillery and taste their newest brews, or head to one of the town’s picturesque pubs to prop up the bar or enjoy a pint of Adnam’s finest in the beer garden.
With its sandy beach and beach hut-lined promenade, Southwold offers a relaxing environment for holidays and weekends away, as well as a thriving market town atmosphere. Take a stroll down to the harbour and get the ferry over to picturesque Walberswick or enjoy some quintessentially British fish and chips on the promenade.
T is for Trentham
Just a short journey away from Stoke-on-Trent, the Trentham Estate is home to some of the region’s best kept secrets.
Visit the award-winning, stunning Trentham Gardens, for shopping and eating out, and some peace and quiet! Indulge yourself at Trentham Shopping Village with shops, cafés, restaurants and the vast Trentham Garden Centre, it’s perfect for shopping. Families will enjoy Trentham’s Monkey Forest, and for those with energy still left to burn, there’s the region’s Treetop Adventures, too.
U is for Uttoxeter
Famed for its racecourse, there’s more to Uttoxeter than one might think. With no fewer than 65 listed buildings, this pretty East-Staffordshire town has plenty to offer. Its unspoilt cobbled centre, there’s a market in the square on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Don’t leave before trying one of Farmer Ray Sargeant’s huge pork pies – they’re incredibly delicious and worth the trip to Uttoxeter alone.
For those into their horse racing, it would be criminal not to visit Uttoxeter Race Course. Set in 110 acres of Staffordshire countryside, it plays host to regularly planned musical events and family days throughout the year.
V is for Ventnor
Ventnor lies in the South of the Isle of Wight and is a traditional seaside resort. Home to one of Britain’s most famous Victorian health resorts due to its unique microclimate, Ventnor has plenty of things to do both in the town and nearby.
Ventnor Beach is a great suntrap, and the sand and shingle beach is great for sunbathing and swimming. The beach huts that line the back of the beach are converted Victorian “bathing machines” and are available to hire, along with deckchairs. Visit the traditional arcade or explore the spectacular Cascade Gardens which run down the side of the cliff.
W is for Winchester
England’s ancient capital, Winchester, is a city steeped in history. Begin with the short climb up St Giles’ Hill for an overview of the city’s heritage – from the top you can trace the sweep of medieval and Georgian buildings, laid out according to the original Saxon street plan.
Explore the world-famous cathedral or take a tour of Winchester College to uncover its past and learn about its involvement in popular films today. Uncover the house where Jane Austen lived and wrote or head to one of the city’s famed local independents to grab a quick bite or gourmet meal.
X is for Exeter…
Ok we may have cheated a tad with this one, but that’s because there’s nowhere in the UK beginning with ‘X’. Exeter is as close as we could get and is a small city that packs a big punch. Vibrant and historically interesting, take a free Red Coat Guided Tour or uncover the city’s unique underground passages.
Explore the magnificent cathedral, or take a stroll down to the beautiful Quayside. Head to the West Quarter or the cobbled Gandy Street to discover a great mix of independent shops and boutiques, cafes and bars. Exeter is also home to the award-winning Royal Albert Memorial Museum where visitors can explore the city’s 2,000-year history under one roof!
Y is for York
Placed halfway between London and Edinburgh, York is a perfect central stop if you’re planning a mega UK tour. A city with Roman roots and a Viking past, ancient walls surround contemporary independent shops and vibrant eateries.
There are more attractions per square mile than any other destination in the UK, world-class museums you can explore, and a thriving cultural scene. From walking tours to picturesque river cruises, brewery tours to afternoon teas, luxurious spa treatments to eerie ghost walks, there’s something for everyone in York.
Z is for Zelah, Zennor or Zouch?
There are few places in the UK that begin with the letter ‘Z’, and certainly none with reason for a touristic visit. If you’re looking for somewhere to truly unwind, and where there are no distractions to speak of, Zelah, Zennor or Zouch might just do the trick!
So, that’s it! A snapshot of the UK summarised within the constraints of the alphabet. If you do choose to travel over the next few months, make sure you’re travelling safely and within the restrictions.
How we can help!
Travelling by coach is a great, cost-effective and environmentally friendly way of travelling to the UK’s must-see destinations. Whether you’re enjoying a family trip or a holiday with friends. At Coach Hire Comparison, we will put you in direct contact with coach hire suppliers and minibus hire suppliers. Whether you require an 8-seater minibus or 70-seater coach, we will find the best suppliers who can fulfil all your needs and requirements for the best price.