It's remarkable how often "UK tourism" is boiled down to "London tourism" in conversation. This is nothing against London because, all things considered, it's one of the most fascinating, beautiful, and enjoyable cities in the world. In other words, it makes for a wonderful vacation. However, to narrow the UK down to London when looking at trip ideas is to ignore some of the truly wonderful events and attractions elsewhere in the region.
So to help you diversify your UK travel experience, here are five outstanding events and attractions to enjoy outside of London.
The Lake District
If you've never been to the UK, it's likely that you have some images in your mind of rolling green hills and the sort of dramatic scenery that inspired fantasy novels throughout the 20th century. The Lake District is precisely where you'll find these landscapes. Located primarily in Cumbria, in northwest England, the Lake District features gorgeous, glacier-formed hills, valleys and lakes, and is a popular destination for camping, hiking, and climbing. Visit the national park website for specific information on where to camp and what to do.
London tends to be the main hub for fans of football, and plays host to some of England's best teams, as well as the annual FA Cup Final. However, it doesn't get much more entertaining (or much more distinctly British) than a trip to Manchester for a local match. Manchester United is one of the best teams, historically, in the UK, but rival Manchester City is currently at the top of English football, which makes for a bitter match-up for the foreseeable future. Just be prepared for an intense environment!
The Cheltenham Festival
For a calmer, but still enjoyable, festive sports experience you should consider a trip to the Cheltenham Festival. It's held every March just a short distance outside of London and fans of the event get into the experience in a number of ways, with perhaps the most entertaining being to bet on outcomes. If you're one of those folks, you can find the latest updates and betting odds on competitors at the Bet Fair online sports exchange, where you can place a wager or two on the event to make it more personal. Additionally, many fans take the opportunity to display some bold fashion trends, as Cheltenham is known for having a fashion-minded focus.
This is a slightly more vague idea, but it's nonetheless one of the most exciting ways to enjoy the UK. Frankly, everything you've heard about the area's castles is probably, if anything, an understatement. The nation is teeming with gorgeous and dramatic castles, many of which were built centuries ago. Touring a castle region is an experience unlike any other. The tricky part, though, is picking a specific region to tour. Visit Britain has a nice rundown of various regions and specifically notes Wales as the best destination in terms of the sheer number of castles to visit.
Isle Of Wight Music Festival
The Isle Of Wight itself makes for a very enjoyable visit. Its own county, the island is located just off the southern coast of England in the English Channel. However, its annual music festival provides additional reason to travel there, as arguably the marquee arts festival in the UK. Set for June 12-15 this year, the music festival already has an outstanding lineup featuring the likes of Kings Of Leon and Red Hot Chili Peppers, with The Guardian recently reporting that Fall Out Boy has been added to the mix. It's always a wonderful occasion, and the island isn't far from some great southern UK summer destinations to stay at.