“Would you like to adventure now, or shall we have our tea first?” asked Peter Pan in J. M. Barrie’s wonderful novel. We love the thoroughly English idea of having tea alongside our adventures, so we’ve decided to share 100 great experiences you can have right here in the UK.
Our fair isles are packed with inspiring sights and adventures which prove that you don’t always need to venture across the seas to have amazing travel experiences. Here’s part one of our inspiring series…
For amazing views across the capital’s iconic skyline, you can’t beat the London Eye. The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey… see all the sights from the finest observation wheel in the world.
Fancy exploring the largest indoor rainforest in the world? Head to the Eden Project in Cornwall. The awe-inspiring domes are home to thousands of plant and animal species, and are a wonderfully interactive way for us to explore our relationship with the natural world. Ideal for kids and grown-ups alike.
Visit Zip World in Wales for the world’s fastest zip wire ride (and Europe’s longest). If you’re looking for a real thrill on your holidays, there’s no better place.
The childhood home of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s ill-fated second wife, Hever Castle in Kent is a treasure trove of history. Its oldest parts date back to the 13th century, but further additions were made in the Tudor periods and throughout the 20th century. As you walk around its hallowed halls and grand rooms you’ll find fireplaces, mahogany panelling and maybe even a few ghosts from the castle’s turbulent history.
At Cadbury World, you’ll discover the secrets behind the making of the country’s favourite chocolate. From fun 3D videos to afternoon tea and treats in the Cadbury café, it’s great fun for all the family. The generous offerings of free chocolate will win over even the grumpiest grown-ups!
With 1,300 years of history to discover, Gloucester Cathedral is a fascinating building to explore. Imposing architecture, gruesome gargoyles and a library filled with texts dating back to the 11th century are just some of its attractions.
The Stone of Destiny awaits visitors to Edinburgh Castle, along with great halls, the (sometimes bloodthirsty) history of Scottish kings and queens and a whole array of special events that are sure to make each visit an exciting one.
From terrifying Jurassic Park-style dinosaur models to a life-size replica of a blue whale, you’ll see more fascinating sights during a day at the Natural History Museum than you thought possible. Entry is completely free, but you’ll have such a memorable day it’ll be difficult to resist making a donation on your way out.
The Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, the city of dreaming spires, welcomes lovers of history. Its museum programme is packed with interesting talks, after-hours tours, workshops and exciting exhibitions running throughout the year. Borrow one of the museum’s family backpacks crammed with activities to keep your gang entertained as you learn.
Giant kaleidoscopes, rooftop telescopes, 3D holograms and optical toys… Edinburgh’s Camera Obscura is an exciting visual playground which has been delighting visitors since 1853. Housed in a Victorian tower with wonderful views across the city, it’s a mysterious place to explore the magic of light.
Is there anywhere better than the sumptuous surroundings of the Royal Opera House for high brow entertainment? From the operas of Puccini and Wagner to romantic ballets, there is something truly special about the experiences this grand Covent Garden palace of performance has to offer.
Calling all science lovers! Glasgow Science Centre was built with you in mind. Journey through the solar system in the digital fulldome planetarium, experience three floors of hands-on science in the ‘Science Mall’ and stock up on souvenirs, gadgets and gizmos from the shop. It’s an all-singing, all-dancing scientific spectacular that’s sure to inspire the whole family. Don’t forget to go to the very top of Glasgow Tower to gaze out over the city’s impressive skyline.
Thespians, thespians… wherefore art thou, thespians? If you love all things theatre, Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre is certainly worth a look. Current productions include the classic King Lear, but the theatre also hosts world premieres of new plays to showcase upcoming talent. Over the coming months, expect ‘Nothing’ (adapted from the Janne Teller novel) and the two-man musical show ‘Am I Dead Yet?’
Snap a selfie with all your favourite celebrities, from the Queen to pop royalty One Direction. Don’t forget to sit down on the sofa with George Clooney, either!
Britannia sailed more than 1,000,000 miles over 40 years as she transported the Royal family across the Commonwealth. Visit the bridge, the sumptuous state apartments and the crew’s quarters before taking tea in the Royal Deck Tea Room.
As home of Manchester City Football Club, The Etihad Stadium is a physical celebration of the beautiful game. Football aficionados will love it, obviously, but there’s enough to entertain and amaze the less committed footie fan, too. Why not try the ‘Legends’ tour and be escorted by a famous club player before sitting down to a tasty lunch in one of the stadium’s Platinum boxes?
A day spent on a Dorset beach might turn up all sorts of surprises… hidden coves, splashing waves and fossils millions of years in the making. Stroll along the beach with your spade and conduct your own dig: who knows what you’ll discover. This area is a winner for childhood summer holidays, with the perfect combination of sun, sea, sand and excitement.
Lying beside the River Kelvin, the Glasgow Botanic Gardens are the northern rival to London’s Kew Gardens. The mesmerising roof of the Kibble Palace will leave you open-mouthed. Designed by eccentric John Kibble (the only man to ever cycle across Loch Long after attaching floats to his bicycle), the spectacular glasshouse is now home to hundreds of plant species. This wonderfully relaxing yet invigorating attraction is a must when you’re in Glasgow.
Escape the busy city streets and head for the Chiltern Hills for an operatic experience with a difference. The Garsington Opera on the Wormsley estate (less than an hour’s drive from London) features Tchaikovsky’s ‘Eugene Onegin’, Mozart’s ‘Idomeneo’ and ‘Haydn’s The Creation’ in its upcoming programme. Artistic beauty on-stage meets idyllic countryside and makes for some of the most memorable performances of these masterpieces.
An ever-changing programme of drama, music and dance awaits visitors to the Leeds Grand Theatre. It’s the top spot in Leeds to take in a show, so why not see what’s on and plan a visit? Or if you’re already heading to Leeds, add an evening’s entertainment to your itinerary. You won’t regret it.
Maybe your favourite act is on stage. Or perhaps you’re looking for evening entertainment while you’re in the city? Either way, the Manchester Arena is a top spot. From dance troupe Diversity to prize boxing fights, their programme is a list of the best acts in show business.
It’s hard to imagine a more dramatic backdrop to an opera performance than the semi-ruined house of Grange Park. Expect an eclectic mix of performances from Verdi’s Don Carlo to Lionel Bart’s Oliver! The theatre itself is sumptuous and elegant in the tradition of the Grand Opera, with chandeliers and plush red seating, but Grange Park Opera’s vision is to attract more of the younger generation to experience this art form. Why not try it out?
A slower pace of life, scenery that soothes the soul and the red squirrel: is it any wonder that the Lake District has proved so enduringly popular? Let this unspoilt landscape inspire you, from the charms of Beatrix Potter to the calm waters of the lakes. It worked for Wordsworth…
Soaring ceilings, kaleidoscopic stained glass and angelic singing… Westminster Abbey has witnessed nearly a thousand years of history including every coronation since 1066 and 17 royal weddings. From prime ministers to poets, you’ll find the final resting places of many an illustrious figure as you tour the abbey’s quiet aisles and chapels.
Take a leaf out of the Georgian society handbook and visit Bath, where the gentry of centuries past gathered to take the waters. The city’s architecture is truly spectacular, with pleasing facades at every turn. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a Jane Austen novel.