Now that travel between America and Europe is free and flowing, the tourism industry is swinging back into full steam. The UK has long been one of Americans’ favorite travel destinations, and the autumn season is a wonderful time to go — think foliage to rival New England’s and cozy pubs galore. And London isn’t the only option for those looking to head overseas. Here are five of our very favorite British destinations.
1. Lake District
Northern England doesn’t get nearly as much attention as it should — and that’s a shame because it’s home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes south of Scotland. If you’re a fan of hiking, cozy pubs with mountain views, or cute villages nestled into cozy lakes, the Lake District is the place for you. We’d recommend Keswick or Grasmere as your launchpad.
Looking for storybook villages and rolling hills full of sheep? A fairytale landscape is less than two hours from London. The Cotswolds are a protected area boasting incredible natural scenery, dotted with tiny towns like Broadway, Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold, and Burford.
Up north is one of the UK’s biggest cities and interesting cultural spots. While it may not have the best weather, Manchester is home to incredible shopping, restaurants and cafes, music and nightlife venues. You’ll quickly understand why it’s referred to as the capital of the north.
People often make the mistake of overlooking Wales as a destination, but this tiny country has plenty to offer by way of rolling fields, mountains, seaside towns and vibrant culture. Cardiff, the capital, has everything you could want from a big city while being only a hop, skip and a jump to incredible scenery. If you’re traveling with nature and city lovers, make Cardiff your first stop.
When it comes to Scottish cities, many people think first of Edinburgh, but Glasgow is a hidden gem. Historically working class and a center for industry, Glasgow has seen a Renaissance in recent years. Think: natural wine bars, a thriving student scene and friendly locals.