To coincide with the release of the updated Great Britain travel guide, the experts at Lonely Planet have provided us with Great Britain’s Top 5 experiences!
Mysterious and compelling, Stonehenge is Britain’s most iconic ancient site. People have been drawn to this myth-laden ring of bluestones for the last 5000 years, and we still don’t know quite why it was built. Most visitors get to gaze at the 50-tonne megaliths from behind the perimeter fence, but with enough planning you can book an early-morning or evening tour and walk around the inner ring. In the slanting sunlight, away from the crowds, it’s an ethereal place – an experience that stays with you.
Edinburgh is a city of many moods – famous for its festivals and especially lively in the summer. It’s also worth visiting out of season for sights such as the castle silhouetted against a blue spring sky with a yellow haze of daffodils misting the slopes below the esplanade; or on a chill December morning with the fog snagging the spires of the Old Town, the ancient streets and alleyways more mysterious than ever, rain on the cobblestones and a warm glow beckoning from the window of a pub.
Britain has many great cities, but Bath stands out as the belle of the ball. Thanks to the natural hot springs that bubble to the surface, the Romans built a health resort here. The waters were rediscovered in the 18th century, and Bath became the place to see and be seen in by British high society. Today, the stunning Georgian architecture of grand town houses and sweeping crescents (not to mention Roman remains, a beautiful cathedral and a cutting-edge 21st century spa) mean that Bath will demand your undivided attention.
4. Isle of Skye
Of all Scotland’s many islands, Skye is the most famous and best loved by visitors, thanks to a mix of history (the island’s link to Bonnie Prince Charlie is forever remembered by ‘The Skye Boat Song’), accessibility (the ferry from the mainland has been replaced by a bridge) and sheer beauty. With jagged mountains, velvet moors and towering sea cliffs, Skye’s scenery never fails to impress. And for those days when the mist comes in, there are plenty of castles and local museums to explore, and cosy pubs to enjoy.
5. England Coast Path
Britain’s epic, seemingly endless coastline is without doubt one of its major draws. With its white beaches, wind-blown cliffs, lonely lighthouses and craggy headlands, it’s a feast for the eyes – and it’s completely free for everyone to explore, thanks to a network of public coast paths. Trails already exist around the coastlines of Wales, Scotland and the South West, and in 2020 they’ll be joined by the new England Coast Path – which, at 2795 miles long, will be the longest anywhere in Europe.
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