Unmissable UK travel experiences: From castles to causeways – how many have you done?

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The UK is spoilt for choice when it comes to staycation spots and days out, with everything from the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District to Scotland’s scenic North Coast 500 to explore. While many of us will visit a handful of these iconic places throughout our lives, new research has revealed that there are at least 40 must-see spots that simply can’t be missed. Whether you’re looking for culture, history, or a breath of fresh air in the great outdoors, there’s something for everyone on NatWest’s list of unmissable places to visit at least once. Read on to see how many you’ve already ticked off the list.

Exploring every corner of the UK is something many of us dream of, but how often do we actually take the time to do it?

According to research commissioned by NatWest, a staggering 84 percent of the nation admitted that there is a long list of places they have “yet to explore” across the country, but it’s not always as simple as packing up and heading off on a trip away.

With so much to see and often so little time to plan ahead, Express.co.uk reveals the top 40 places you need to visit, so you can focus on working through your British travel bucket list.


You don’t need to go abroad to enjoy the sun, sea and stunning landscapes this summer. Instead, why not enjoy everything that’s on offer right here in England?

For outdoor activities, why not try:

  • Seal spotting for common and grey seals at Blakeney Point Nature Reserve in Norfolk
  • Staying the night at the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park, where you can stargaze into England’s darkest skies
  • Learning bush craft and survival skills on a wilderness course in the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District
  • Basking in the early morning sunshine on the golden sands of Porthcurno Beach, Cornwall
  • Exploring the Puzzlewood in the Forest Of Dean, Gloucestershire – the landscape that inspired Tolkien’s ‘Middle Earth’

  • Swimming in the crystal-clear waters of Pentle Bay, Tresco, while exploring the white sandy shores on the Isles of Scilly
  • Looking upon 2,000 miles worth of rivers and canals while boating across the country
  • Hiking and camping in the vast Epping Forest in Essex
  • Enjoying nature with a ‘touch of luxury’ whilst glamping in the New Forest
  • Visiting Devon and Dorset’s stunning Jurassic Coast to discover prehistoric fossils
  • Breathing in the fresh sea air during a coastal hike along the Seven Sisters, Sussex
  • Cycling along a former railway line, the Tissington trail, in the Peak District
  • Going surfing on the 19 miles of coastline in North Devon
  • Hiring a traditional punt to sail under the Bridge of Sighs on the River Cam, Cambridge

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For culture and music, why not visit:

  • Birmingham’s Balti Triangle, the culinary birthplace of the famous ‘Balti’ for a uniquely British-Asian food experience
  • Somerset, to visit Glastonbury Festival – one of the greatest music events in the world
  • Downton Abbey at Highclere Castle in Hampshire
  • One of Kent’s famous vineyard’s to savour ‘world class’ English wines on a tour of the site
  • The Turner Contemporary Gallery in the trendy and kitsch seaside town of Margate, Kent
  • Devon and neighbouring Cornwall to taste-test a classic cream tea
  • Notting Hill to enjoy the yearly Carnival which celebrates the UK’s Caribbean history
  • Windsor Castle, Berkshire, to soak up everything regal and royal at the Queen’s main London residence
  • The Baltic Triangle for a warehouse party – the ‘thriving’ cultural hub of Liverpool
  • Manchester to dance the night away in one of the many gay bars lining Canal Street
  • London on Pride weekend join the parade as it goes through the capital
  • Thames at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London for a history fix
  • The Bridgnorth Cliff Railway – the oldest, steepest inland electric funicular railway in England


There’s plenty to do outdoors in Wales, including:

  • Taking a stroll around the picturesque and colourful Italian-style village of Portmeirion, Wales
  • Hiking up Mount Snowdon in the Snowdonia National Park – the highest mountain in England and Wales
  • Boarding down ‘The Big Dipper’ – Europe’s second largest sand dune, in Merthyr Mawr
  • Touring a former mine 300ft underground at the Big Pit National Coal Museum in Blaenavon
  • Coasteering cliffs, caves and rock pools in Pembrokeshire to soak up the beauty of the coast while getting an adrenaline rush


Tours and road trips are the best way to experience the unbelievable Scottish sights all at once.

Why not try:

  • Taking the ‘ultimate’ road trip on Scotland’s North Coast 500 to see spectacular wildlife, landscape and the imposing Dunrobin Castle
  • Taking a scenic drive from Glasgow to Fort William up the A82 for peak Scottish views
  • Joining a whiskey tasting tour at a Scottish distillery in Campbeltown, Highland, Islay, Lowland or Speyside
  • Hiring a kayak off the beautiful beaches of the Isle of Lewis

Northern Ireland

While there is plenty to see in Northern Ireland, the Giant’s Causeway simply can’t be missed.

Climb the basalt steps of the famous causeway in County Antrim for an experience to remember.

Be sure to book a walking gin tour through the iconic pubs and artisan distilleries in Belfast for the full Irish experience.

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