The Ultimate UK Bucket List: 57 Dreamy Destinations
For the ultimate UK bucket list — here are all the destinations you need to know about!
When I moved to England, I decided that it was a good opportunity to discover more of the United Kingdom. The country has always attracted me, but still I’d only been to London, Newcastle and Edinburgh! A bit skimpy, right?
There is so much to see in the UK that I decided to make a round up. And the best part is that I made it together with my Facebook followers who also gave their tips! This is the ultimate UK bucket list– 57 dreamy places you should not miss.
The Ultimate UK Bucket List
I have divided the destinations roughly by geographic location :-)
Find the best hotels in Brighton here.
A cute little town with a historic centre and a UNESCO-listed cathedral. Try a tour here.
Find the best hotels in Canterbury here.
3. White Cliffs of Dover
There’s little more impressive than just sailing and seeing these towering cliffs rise up on the horizon, I guess. Book a tour to the White Cliffs and Canterbury here
4. Dover Castle
I’ve heard that there is not much to do in Dover, but this castle looks like how you imagine a castle to be: grandiose and impressive. It was used as a defensive site for possible attacks from the sea. Get tickets here
Find the best hotels in Dover here.
5. Bodiam Castle
How much more ‘castle’ can a castle get? This is a castle with its own ditch and drawbridge. It was built in the 14th century by a knight whose order had been given to protect the environment against a French attack.
Find the best hotels in Bodiam here.
Can’t have a UK bucket list without London. This is my favorite city ever, and I’ve written extensively about it. Here are some to get you started:
7. Arundel Castle
This is how I always imagined England to be: super chic. This castle was built during Christmas 1067. There are actually people living here: the family of the duke of Duke.
Find the best hotels in Arundel here.
8. Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is one of the houses of the royal family, who are here regularly. The Queen lives here on a parttime basis. The castle can be visited, but the village is also very cute. Get tickets here
Find the best hotels in Windsor here.
9. Highclere Castle
Fans of “Downton Abbey” will notice right away: this is where the series were filmed. I have not seen the series, but that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t want to go here anyway. What an extraordinary building! (Can you tell by now that I love castles?) Book a Downton Abbey tour here
Find the best hotels in Highclere here.
After London, Bath is the most tourist place in London and with a good reason: because it has Roman baths. It is one of the few places where you can admire Roman relics. (I’ve been there and LOVED the Roman Baths!) Book a walking tour here
Find the best hotels in Bath here.
Find the best hotels near Stonehenge here.
Cornwall is the South Western part of England, an area surrounded by rugged coastlines. It is a popular destination for locals. Book a 3-day private tour here
Find the best hotels in Cornwall here.
13. Scilly Islands
At about 27.96 miles from the tip of Cornwall, you will find the Scilly Islands. The archipelago consists of five inhabited and 140 uninhabited islands. The islands however have been in war with the Netherlands for 350 years, although in all those years not a single shot was fired.
Find the best hotels on one of the Scilly Islands here.
14. St. Michaels Mount
St. Michaels Mount is a tidal island, meaning that at high tide you must take the boat to get there. At low tide you can get to the island by foot. By the way, not to be confused with Mont St-Michel in France ;-) Book a tour here or a guided hiking tour here
Find the best hotels near St. Micheals Mount here.
15. Trerice Manor
Trerice Manor dates from the sixteenth century and is everything you expect from an English country house. Generations of nobility have lived there, and have undoubtedly strolled through the extensive gardens.
16. Tintagel Castle
Well, it’s a little more than a ruin, but that doesn’t make it less spectacular. The original castle was built in the thirteenth century, but was later completely decayed.
Find the best hotels near Tintagel Castle here.
Devon is a country with an ancient history, and its southern coast is also known as the English Riviera. Do with that knowledge what you want.
Find the best hotels in Devon here.
Dorset is east of Devon, and possibly has a more impressive coastline. It is a region that was led by many different peoples over the centuries, which doesn’t only makes the region beautiful, but also interesting.
Find the best hotels near Dorset here.
Everyone made me promise to visit York, so I won’t let me tell this for the eighteenth time. York is a county with a cute, cozy centre and a beautiful church. Book a cruise along River Ouse here
Find the best hotels in York here.
Manchester is known for its friendly vibe and many bars and restaurants. I also have some friends living here. I really enjoyed my visit to this cozy, small city. Book a food tour here
Find the best hotels in Manchester here.
Heavily underrated, says guest blogger Wesley. And yes… it has my attention. I certainly want to give Liverpool a chance and see what there is to discover. Especially the harbour sounds like fun. Book a walking tour here
Find the best hotels in Liverpool here.
Leeds is a charming city between Manchester and York that’s too often overlook. Check here for all the best places to visit in Leeds!
For as long as I can remember the ancient English universities are on my wish list. The more grandiose and more English, the better. Cambridge also has gondolas, where you can go for an unique look at the city from the water. Too see how to do a day trip to Cambridge, check here.
Find the best hotels in Cambridge here.
24. Lake District
I’m a sucker for landscapes with mountains, hills and beautiful lakes. Give me a car for road trips, a camera for beautiful photos, great company and I am a happy person. Lake District is considered one of the most beautiful national parks of England. Book a tour of the ten lakes here
Find the best hotels near Lake District here.
Find the best hotels in Cotswolds here.
The other classical university, and possibly my favourite. The more dramatic, the better. It gives me a Harry Potter vibe (not crazy: there has been filmed for the movies). I absolutely loved my visit to this tiny town. Book a walking tour here
Find the best hotels in Oxford here.
27. Warwick Castle
Speaking of Harry Potter: this castle was also a film location for the movies, and is therefore worth a visit. The castle dates originally from the 11th century! Get a ticket here
Find the best hotels near Warwick castle here.
The fact I’ve already been here doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be on the list of must visits, because Newcastle really surprised me. I didn’t expect it to be so nice, but the city is full of atmosphere and good restaurants. Definitely a recommendation for the weekend.
Find the best hotels in Newcastle here.
29. Loch Ness
You have to experience that piece of folklore while you’re around, right? Scotland has a lot of lakes, such as Loch Ness, so at this point I want to put all the lakes in Scotland on the list. Book a cruise to Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle here
Find the best hotels near Loch Ness here.
30. Isle of Skye
An island near Scotland. Well… need I say more? Book a tour from Inverness here
Find the best hotels near Isle of Skye here.
31. Dunnottar Castle
Isn’t this castle just like the end of the world? It’s magical. Book a tour from Aberdeen here
I always hear that it loses the fight against little brother Edinburgh, but that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t like to visit the capital of Scotland. I’m curious how much I enjoy the city (because Edinburgh was one of my favourite cities). Book a whisky tour here and a city centre walking tour here
Find the best hotels in Glasgow here.
33. Culzean Castle
You don’t get more castle than this, I guess. Besides the castle you can also visit the beautiful castle gardens. You can even spend the night here! Get a ticket here
Find the best hotels near Culzean Castle here.
34. St. Andrews
Sometimes nothing tops an ancient ruin. It has something raw and rough, like people lived well. So well that nothing’s left. I like that. It also leaves plenty of room for your own imagination of what it may have looked like. Book a tour from Edinburgh here
Find the best hotels near St. Andrews here.
35. Eilean Donan Castle
Seen on every postcard of Scotland. And truly a bucket list destination. Book a tour to Eilean Donan Castle and the Isle of Skye from Inverness here
Find the best hotels near Eilean Donan Castle here.
……. (no words)
Find the best hotels near Glencoe here.
I once went completely unprepared to Edinburgh. I had seen some great pictures on Pinterest, it looked quite nice, I heard good stories, so I went. And holy moly, Edinburgh immediately became one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited. Check here for all the best things to do in Edinburgh!
Find the best hotels in Edinburgh here.
38. Scottish Highlands
So, Glencoe lies in the Scottish Highland, but I think that this region still deserves its own mention. Because let’s face it, isn’t this unearthly beautiful?
39. Jacobite Steam Train
The ‘real’ Harry Potter train rides in Scotland: how bucket list is that? Book a tour through the Highlands on the Jacobite Express here
Scotland is not only known for its impressive nature, but also for the many castles that the region counts. And as a real Disney fan you don’t hear me complaining. The city doesn’t only appear to have a nice vibe for students, it also can be a good start for your castle tour.
Find the best hotels in Aberdeen here.
41. Alnwick Castle
This is, after Windsor Castle, the largest inhabited castle in England, although the family only lives in a small part of it. The castle is open for visitors. Does it seem familiar to you? It was part of the Harry Potter movies! Get tickets here
Find the best hotels near Alnwick castle here
42. Lindisfarne Castle
This castle, shining epic on a small hill, dates back to the sixteenth century. I’m getting a huge Game of Thrones vibe when I see this, and I immediately imagine how the castle itself must have been used to defend against attacks from the sea.
The island Guernsey is located just off the French coast and is a popular holiday destination for Brits due to the milder climate and beautiful beaches.
Find the best hotels near Guernsey here.
This is the book town of Wales. Everywhere you’ll find bookstores and bookcases. Seems obvious that I should move here, right?
Find the best hotels in Hay-On Wye here.
45. St. Davids Cathedral
St. David is the patron saint of Wales and the cathedral is seen as the most impressive of Wales. It’s not hard to see why!
Find the best hotels near St Davids cathedral here.
46. Brecon Beacons National Park
A nature park in the east of Wales, with beautiful views and fields so green that your eyes almost hurt. Book a day tour from Cardiff here
Find the best hotels near Brecon Beacons National Park here.
Find the best hotels near Pembrokeshire here.
The capital of Wales! I don’t think it’s exactly the prettiest city, but I have heard good things about the night life :-) Book a local private tour here
Find the best hotels in Cardiff here.
49. St Fagans
An open air museum, fully furnished as how the people of Wales would have lived. I love these kinds of museums, so keep it coming!
I have no idea how to pronounce it, but it is seen as one of the best piers in the UK. I would like to spend a summer evening here.
Find the best hotels near Llandudno here.
51. Snowdonia & Mount Snowdon
Snowdonia (with the mountain Snowdonia as a literal highlight) is considered one of the most beautiful nature parks in the country. I can’t miss this!
Find the best hotels near Snowdonia and Mount Snowdon here.
I literally can’t get enough of cute villages, so Tenby must be on the list. This lovely coastal village lies in Wales.
Find the best hotels in Tenby here.
53. Powis Castle & Gardens
It’s funny how I can name so many castles and yet they all look different. This castle is famous for its beautiful gardens that are especially worth a visit in the spring and summer!
Find the best hotels near Powis Castle here.
Is it a theme park? Is it an Italian village? Nobody knows, and that is why this little village in Wales is so much fun!
Find the best hotels near Portmeirion here.
Of course we can’t forget Northern Ireland. Belfast is the capital of the country, so it’s a good start for any trip there! There’s so much to see in the Titanic’s birthplace from a museum about the infamous ocean liner to beautiful architecture, and more. Get tickets to the museum here and try a black taxi history tour here.
Find the best hotels in Belfast here.
56. Carrick-a-rede Ropeway Bridge
SO EXCITING. No, but seriously, it seems quite exciting to walk across this bridge with my fear of heights. The bridge is about 20 meters across and 30 meters high, and it connects Carrickarede island to the mainland. A gust of wind and whoosh, there goes Milou! But the view is worth it, I guess.
Find the best hotels near the Carrick-a-rede Rope-way Bridge here.
57. Giants Causeway
And last but not least– the Giants Causeway. A natural phenomenon of nearly 40,000 basalt columns that you really must have seen in Northern Ireland. But don’t do it when the wind is blowing too hard :-) Check out how to spend one day along the Causeway Coastal Route here.
Find the best hotels near Giants Causeway here.
Pfewww, that was a big blog post! I seriously spent days putting it together, haha!
Which UK bucket list destination have you already visited?
General Travel Tips
- For accommodation, I always check Airbnb or Booking.com for the best prices.
- If your insurance at home doesn’t cover travel, you may want to look into SafetyWing for an affordable option.
- I always recommend checking Get Your Guide for the best tours in Europe and Tiqets for specific attraction deals.