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Despite being such a small island in comparison to so many others in Europe, the UK has a diverse selection of cultures and travel opportunities depending on where you choose to visit.

It’s no real surprise that London makes up almost half of all visits to the country, after-all, the city is home to some of the most important and iconic sights and sounds in the realm. However there are many other UK cities also worth visiting!

Here are some of the best UK cities worth visiting outside of the capital of London. You can of course include these before or after a visit to the iconic city.

The Best UK City Breaks Outside of London

Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh RF Scotland

Travelling north to Scotland, Edinburgh is the beautiful capital city of the northern realm. The city offers some stunning historical architecture, such as Edinburgh castle (you can take a virtual tour during the current pandemic), and plenty of other landmarks too.

A vibrant and bustling modern city, Edinburgh still operates out of buildings which date back to the early 20th century. Rubbing shoulders with medieval castles, monuments and manors, cobbled streets pave the route to private homes with Georgian facades – there’s a distinct Old World romance about Edinburgh.

If you’re tossing up over the best time to go, each summer brings the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which is one of the biggest arts festivals in the world. There are a massive range of comedians and comedy acts, and a ton of live music and other performance variations too.

During winter, Edinburgh sees a sprinkling of snow, and you’ll definitely need to rug up, though New Years brings another world famous event in the Hogmanay Festival. This is a massive street party with three days of events in the center of the city.

If you’re planning on Edinburgh for either festival we highly recommend sorting out your accommodation as soon as you can. The population of the city swells massively during each festival, and so it can be difficult to find somewhere to stay if wanting to go as a last-minute thing.

Liverpool, England

Liverpool RF

Home to the Beatles and the best football team in the world (we know that statement is subjective!), Liverpool is an incredible city worth visiting, both friendly and passionate.

No longer a city defined by a dingy, industrial reputation, Liverpool has been well and truly reborn as one of Northern England’s hottest destinations. 

While the city may have a manufacturing past, today, travelers from all over the world flock to Liverpool to experience an energetic hub of music, sport and art. Days are filled with museums, galleries, parks, and restaurants, and evenings offer an eclectic nightlife buzz.

The evolution of Liverpool into a thriving cultural hub is perhaps one of Britain’s greatest transformations. The city has truly re-invented itself into a modern city while preserving their maritime heritage.

With a massive surge in recent development, Liverpool is only getting better as a place to visit. According to RWinvest, a property investment company with offices in the heart of the city, it’s one of the most promising and exciting areas of the country for investors.

Manchester, England

Manchester Rf

Another northern powerhouse city, Manchester has been given the nickname of the UK’s second city, due to its grandiose scale, tourism draws, retail and leisure opportunities.

Many businesses and entrepreneurs are beginning to uproot their business from in and around London and into the north, and the city is even home to MediaCityUK, which is the hub for many of the country’s television channels and productions.

Again, if you’re a football fan, Manchester Utd. is perhaps one of the biggest globally recognised teams, and the city is known as the birthplace of the industrial revolution – it has a proud history in science, politics, music, arts and sport.

Manchester is a progressive city where you’ll find an endless array of incredible restaurants, bars, shops, museums, and galleries, while still being able to experience heritage throughout the city’s quaint market towns, traditional pubs and beautiful green spaces.

Glasgow, Scotland

Glasgow Scotland RF

We’re starting and finishing in Scotland today! The Gateway to the Scottish Highlands and Islands, and there-fore a perfect choice if you’re wanting to combine urban adventure with nature, Glasgow is a friendly, bustling town full of fascinating landmarks and buildings.

Much like Edinburgh, walking the streets allows you to marvel at imposing 19th-century buildings, Victorian and art nouveau architecture, and unique masterpieces of one of the city’s most celebrated sons, the legendary architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

A true melting pot of architecture and design, the “modern-day landscape of Glasgow has been very much shaped by the hands of some extremely talented Scottish architects from the past.”

Medieval cathedrals mix with modern concert halls, and the city is home to the largest terracotta fountain in the world. Many of the buildings are quite “distinctive in their appearance, being built of red sandstone, such as both the People’s Palace on Greendyke Street and the Charing Cross Mansions building on Sauchiehall Street.”

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


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