|The UK (or United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as it’s formally known!) is formed of four nations: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and each of these has their own fairly unique identity and different tourist attractions.
England is the home of the capital of the UK, London, which in itself is a major tourist attraction. There are countless things to see and do in the capital city including major sights, museums and shopping.
There are many other popular cities and towns across the country. Oxford is a favourite with visitors due to its history and world’s most famous university. Stratford-Upon-Avon is another popular one, being the birthplace of Shakespeare, and if you want to experience quaint, traditional English villages there are many scattered around.
Across the rest of England there are various places that you won’t want to miss. Stonehenge is on many peoples lists of must-sees. This spectacular man-made stone formation has been the subject of much debate over the years as to who actually built it and what it was built for.
One of England’s most popular tourist attractions is the Eden Project. This is situated in Cornwall in the West Country. Built on the site of an old quarry, this is as much a bio-diversity project as a tourist attraction. A series of giant bio-domes hold botanical gardens including a rainforest.
If you’re in this part of the country you should also visit the city of Bath. Famous for its Roman Baths and Georgian architecture this is definitely worth a visit.
England has some beautiful and stunning scenery and has nine National Parks and 35 designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The National Parks include the Peak District and the Lake District in the north and Dartmoor and Exmoor in the south west.
Wales also has three National Parks: Snowdonia, the Pembrokeshire Coast and the Brecon Beacons which are popular with visitors, though Wales’s capital city is also becoming increasingly popular with visitors. Cardiff has been quite a boom town over the last decade and is a good place for shopping and entertainment in particular.
Scotland has much tourist appeal too. It has outstanding scenery: mountains, forests and lakes (or lochs) in particular as well as the capital city, Edinburgh, with its castle, and towns like St. Andrews – home of the world-famous St. Andrews Old Course Golf Course and the university. Many visitors want to see Loch Ness in case they happen upon the Loch Ness Monster! Though whether you see Nessie or not there are many other Lochs plus historic castles, such as Blair Atholl which are worth visiting too.
Northern Ireland is the only state which is separated from the mainland and although it has had a troubled past, the country has seen an amazing turnaround in the last five or so years. It’s now becoming a very popular tourist destination as visitors realize the attractiveness of the capital city, Belfast, and there is also some spectacular scenery here too.
The Giant’s Causeway is about 60 miles (96km) north of Belfast, on the coast. The landscape here was formed as the result of an ancient volcanic eruption and the area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.