When I tell Americans that I’m British, a staggering amount of replies go something like: “Nice! Which part of London are you from?” I’m not sure if they assume most Brits are from the capital, or if they actually think London and the United Kingdom are the same thing. Either way, they’re quite wrong. (And I’m from Manchester, anyway.)
Sure, London’s the poster boy, but there’s much, much more to the UK -- from sandy coves in Cornwall and cutesy cottages in the Cotswolds, to the gritty charm of the northern cities and the rugged beauty of Scotland. So next time you’re plotting a trip across the pond, branch out from Big Ben. We’ve created five custom itineraries so you can explore the very best that this big beautiful island has to offer.
Each one is designed for a 10-day trip, which we figure is the sweet spot if you’re hoping to maximize five vacation days with a weekend on either side -- time it around a public holiday, if you can, and you’ve got room to be flexible. (Here’s how to travel Europe in the same way). Aim to fly into the airport closest to your starting point (not necessarily London!), but how you get around is up to you -- trains and buses cover almost everywhere, but we Brits appreciate the freedom of a good old fashioned road trip same as you.
1. Olde School England: London, Stonehenge, Bath/Bristol, The Cotswolds, Stratford-upon-Avon, Oxford, Cambridge
2. Scottish Highlands & Islands: Edinburgh, Stirling, St. Andrews, Ben Nevis, Isle of Skye, Loch Lomond, Glasgow
3. Northern Soul: Manchester, Liverpool, Lake District, Newcastle, Yorkshire
4. Wild Wild Wales: Chester, Snowdonia, Pembrokeshire, Brecon Beacons, Hay-on-Wye, Peak District
5. Southern Sands: London, Brighton, Isle of Wight, Cornwall, Devon