Whether you’re visiting the UK or looking for inspiration, to help you decide what to do with your time we’ve put together a list of things to do in the UK that are sure to keep you busy for months to come.
8. Explore the Beautiful Countryside
The UK is renowned for its picturesque rural landscapes, ancient woodlands, and rolling hills, and it couldn’t be easier to get out there and enjoy it, regardless of where you’re living.
Whether it’s the heathlands of the New Forest in southern England, the mountainous Brecon Beacons in South Wales, the world-famous Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, or the historic Scottish Highlands, exploring is an absolute must. Many find that putting on their hiking gear and finding a trail is the best way to enjoy the countryside, but there are also some great cycle routes to make the most of.
But it doesn’t have to just be these well-trodden routes you visit; even if you’re a city-dweller, it’s likely you’re only a short journey away from unspoilt scenic landscapes just waiting to be explored on a warm summer’s day.
The UK has a network of rivers, canals, and countryside tracks connecting a plethora of rural towns and villages, giving you the perfect excuse to stop off for a bite to eat at a quaint café or an idyllic rural pub. These same rural towns and villages are also a great holiday destination, if you fancy getting away for a long weekend or active holiday.
Some of our favourite places for exploring the UK countryside:
Dartmoor – heather covered moorland between Exeter and Plymouth.
Exmoor – moorland and ancient woodland, with cliffs that plunge into the Bristol Channel.
Lake District – England’s largest National Park, which includes deep lakes and England’s highest mountain; Scafell Pike. Situated in the north of England.
New Forest – ancient woodlands and open heathland, home to grazing ponies, cows and pigs. To the west of Southampton.
North York Moors – open moors, a scenic coastline, and traditional fishing villages. Located roughly between York and Middlesbrough.
Peak District – dramatic heather moorland hills, limestone dales and beautiful rivers. Situated between Manchester and Sheffield.
Pembrokeshire Coast – 620 sq km of cliffs, beaches, harbours and coves. Located in south-west Wales.
Brecon Beacons – mountains, moorland and unique geology. Situated in south Wales.
Snowdonia – a dramatic mountain range, including the highest mountain in Wales; Snowdon. Charming villages, steep gorges and waterfalls. Located in north-west Wales.
Giant’s Causeway – around 40,000 interlocking basalt columns; a geological wonder, and home to a wealth of history. Located on the northern coast of Northern Ireland.
The Highlands – a sparsely populated, mountainous and historic region of Scotland. Located to the north-west of the country.
Loch Lomond – dramatic mountainous landscape, with some fantastic views across water. Great for climbing and hillwalking. Located to the north of Glasgow.
Isle of Skye – known for its rugged landscape, quaint villages and medieval castles. Connected to Scotland’s north-west coast by bridge.
Do you have a favourite area of countryside in the UK? Let us know in the comments at the end of the article.
7. Go to a Festival
Every year, hundreds of thousands of music lovers descend on festivals of their choice. Whether you’re into rock, dance, or pop music, there really is something for everyone. Here are some of our favourites:
The UK’s most famous festival, Glastonbury, is a five day festival which takes place in Somerset. Since the 1970s it has seen many great rock and pop artists headlining, including David Bowie, Radiohead, Adele and Beyoncé. It’s held every year except for “fallow years”, which are usually taken at five year intervals; 2018 is a fallow year.
A four day event held in the south of England, which includes music predominantly from the indie and dance genres. It was traditionally held on the Isle of Wight, but has recently relocated to Dorset. It’s well known for its fancy dress theme, and in 2010 a new world record was set when 55,000 festival-goers turned up in costume!
Reading & Leeds Festivals
A pair of rock festivals that take place simultaneously each year. Reading Festival has taken place since the 1970s, and Leeds Festival since the late 1990s. Headliners have included Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Guns N’ Roses, Oasis, and Nirvana.
Lovebox is a two-day festival, which has now relocated to Gunnersbury Park, London. It has been running since 2002 and includes music from the electronic, dance, and hip-hop genres. As well as the music, you will also find circus acts, cabaret, and elaborately decorated stages!
A two-day annual festival which has been held in Manchester since 2010, and music genres include indie, dance, electronic, and hip-hop. Previous acts have included Calvin Harris, Snoop Dogg, Jess Glynne, and George Ezra.
6. Activity Days and Adrenaline Sports
If you’re looking to do something a bit out of the ordinary, there are a wide range of activity days and adrenaline sports available all across the country.
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or complete beginner, there are plenty of places across the UK to go surfing. Whilst most of the coastline receives good swell, there are surfing hotspots such as Cornwall in south-west England, Gower in Wales, and Thurso East in Scotland. In many areas you will be able to hire surfboards so don’t worry if you haven’t got the kit, and be sure to wear a wetsuit as it can get a bit nippy out there!
Hot Air Ballooning
There’s no better way of exploring the UK countryside by air, and hot air ballooning provides a captivating and relaxing way of doing so. You will be thousands of feet in the air, giving you unprecedented views of the beautiful landscape, and the serenity of this experience is something you and your friends will never forget.
Skydiving & Indoor Skydiving
Have you ever wanted to jump out of a plane? Skydiving is probably the ultimate activity for the adrenaline junkie, and there are companies offering this experience all across the country for less than you might think. If you can’t quite bring yourself to jump out of a plane but still want the thrill of freefall then there’s also indoor skydiving to consider. It makes for an excellent day out with your friends, and you can rest assured there will be an indoor skydiving centre in a nearby town or city.
White Water Rafting
If it’s going to be a rainy weekend (which it often is), you’re going to get wet anyway… right? White water rafting is one of the most hair-raising ways to have fun on water, so what better way to terrify your friends than to get them together in a raft to help you take on some of the most awe-inspiring rapids in the UK?!
A craze that has swept the nation in recent years; a zorb is giant inflatable ball which is pushed down a hill… with you inside! The ball can reach speeds of up to 30mph, and experiences are offered at various locations around the UK.
These are just a few of our suggestions that have been put forward by MovedTo members, but there are a whole host of other activities available across the UK too.
5. Visit a Theme Park
UK theme parks boast some of the best rides in Europe, so what better way to spend a fun-filled day out with family or friends? There is something for everyone, and the parks are updated every year to include the latest exhilarating attractions. Here are some of our favourites:
Alton Towers is located in Staffordshire, and incorporates a theme park, water park, and also a hotel complex. The park is home to seven major rollercoasters, and attracts around two million visitors per year. Rollercoasters include Oblivion, Nemesis and The Smiler.
Situated just 20 miles from London, Thorpe Park offers some of the most breath-taking rides in the UK. Major attractions include one of the tallest water rides in Europe; Tidal Wave, and the fastest accelerating coaster in Europe; Stealth.
A family-orientated theme park, with rides aimed at families with children under 11 years old. As well as the rides, there is also a Lego model village, various educational attractions, and impressive models made from Lego bricks.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
This historic amusement park is located in Lancashire and was first opened in 1896, and is one of the most highly rated tourist attractions in the UK. The park incorporates over 100 rides and attractions, including the Big One, which is the UK’s tallest rollercoaster at 213ft.
Located in Hampshire, this family theme park has been growing in popularity in recent years, and has been voted the number one theme park in the UK on Trip Advisor. It’s also home to over 70 rides and Peppa Pig World, which is a favourite with young children.
4. Soak up the Sun at one of the UK’s Best Beaches
The UK isn’t renowned for great weather, but when we are blessed with a sunny day you can rest assured many people will be making the journey to their nearest beach to soak up the rays, and we thoroughly recommend you give it a go too!
If the weather forecast is good and you live near a thriving seaside town, such as Bournemouth or Weston-Super-Mare, we recommend you head down as early as possible, as the beaches can get packed pretty quickly. And it’s not all sunbathing and swimming; at many beaches you’ll find amusement arcades, plenty of entertainment, and maybe even a pier to visit!
If you’re looking for a quieter day out, then there are plenty of unspoilt and less touristy beaches for you to visit too. Wales, for example, has some absolutely stunning natural beaches, with many regularly featuring in lists of the top beaches in the world, and it’s not hard to see why. The white sands and picturesque scenery make them popular with swimmers, walkers, and sunbathers alike.
3. Visit London
Whether it’s London you’ve moved to or another town or city in the UK, you’ll want to check out all the hotspots in our capital.
Standing at 443ft, the London Eye is Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel. It offers visitors a bird’s eye view of London inside capsules which hold up to 25 people each. One full rotation takes about half an hour, so there is plenty of time to take in the breath-taking views of the city, with visibility up to 40km on a clear day
The Shard is London’s tallest building, standing at over 1000ft high. There are breath-taking views from its observation, giving astonishing 360 degree views of the city. There are also a handful of restaurants and bars at The Shard, if you fancy dining and drinking in style!
London’s West End
Famous for its superb shopping, top-class restaurants, and of course it’s world-renowned theatre district. The vibrant atmosphere around Covent Garden and Leicester Square provides an enjoyable evening out for all ages.
Tower of London
Dating back nearly 1000 years, this historic castle has a rich and fascinating history. Well known to have held many a prisoner over the years, you’ll soon be bought up to speed on some of the pretty horrific medieval torture techniques that went down here, along with your fair share of ghost stories.
As one of the current residences of the Queen herself, Buckingham Palace is a symbol of Britain and the Royal Family. Constructed at the start of the 18th Century, Buckingham Palace now hosts a variety of events and ceremonies, and is often the centrepiece during national celebrations.
2. Visit a National Trust Place of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty
The National Trust is a conservation organisation operating in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which looks after some truly beautiful buildings and scenery. The trust has traditionally focused on country houses, but also incorporates historic landscapes, monuments and castles.
There will often be a small charge for visiting National Trust properties, but you’ll get in for free if you join their membership scheme. They have over four million members, and venues make for a pleasant, affordable and educational day out, whether you’re with family or friends.
There are hundreds of potential sites for you to visit, and you can see what’s in your local area by checking the National Trust’s interactive map.
Scotland has its own independent national trust, the National Trust for Scotland, and you can check out their website for ideas of places to visit here.
1. Go to a Sporting Event
The UK has some fantastic sporting talent, and there’s never an event too far away.
Football – The Premier League
England and Wales is home to the Premier League, perhaps the most famous football league in the world. International superstars play for many of the top teams, and with matches being played most weekends there’s always a great opportunity to see them play.
Tennis – Wimbledon
London is home to the oldest tennis tournament in the world; Wimbledon, which has been played since 1877. A quintessentially British affair, with a strict dress code for competitors and strawberries and cream served to the exuberant fans. The competition takes place once per year, and is so popular that you’ll have to enter a ballot to be in with a chance of getting tickets!
Rugby – The Six Nations
If rugby is your sport then there are always plenty of domestic rugby league and rugby union games being played most weekends in cities all across the UK, but perhaps one of the best known international competitions is the Six Nations. The competition is between England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Italy, and was first devised in 1883 when it was just the Home Nations. The home advantage alternates each year so not every game is played in the UK, but there will still be a number of games for you to attend.
Cricket – One Day Internationals & Twenty/20
It’s well known that cricket test matches last for days, so if you want to experience a taste of cricket without taking the week off work, we’d recommend going along to a One Day International or a Twenty/20. Numerous One Day Internationals are played each year, and Twenty/20 matches are played both internationally and domestically. Although the action is sometimes slow, the fans at cricket games always manage to have a good time, with fancy dress, singing, and plenty of beer usually on the cards!
Horse racing has long been a popular sport in the UK, and nowadays many of the big events are attracting a younger crowd. You don’t have to be an expert gambler to attend, and the events often include entertainment once the racing has concluded for the day. Be sure to check the dress code before you attend!
These are just a few examples, but whatever your sporting passion, you’re bound to find an event local to you.
Things To Do In The UK
This concludes our ideas of things to do in the UK. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or prefer a quiet countryside walk, we hope there’s something in this list that inspires you. Whatever you decide to do, be sure to make the most of it!
Have any other ideas for things to do in the UK? Let others know by leaving a comment below: