Looking for culture, activities, attractions, entertainment, the insider knowledge on the best places to eat and drink, or do you simply want to shop 'til you drop? Our expert local guides are here to help you plan your time away. So, what will you do?
- Bognor Regis
- Bury St. Edmunds
- Fort William
- Great Yarmouth
- Hemel Hempstead
- High Wycombe
- Kings Lynn
- Milton Keynes
- St. Albans
- St. Andrews
- St. Austell
With world-class theatre in the West End and historic landmarks fit for royalty, there’s no shortage of fun and exciting things to do in London. From Buckingham Palace to Big Ben, there’s plenty of items you’ll be able to tick off your travel bucket list. In fact there’s so much to see, it’s hard to know what to do first.
From the atmospheric old town, to the elegant Georgian new town, Edinburgh is waiting to be explored. Discover Edinburgh Castle, party at the Hogmanay celebrations, and explore the many listed buildings. And with more Michelin-starred restaurants than any city outside London, Scotland’s capital is a foodie paradise.
The unofficial capital of the north and one of the most exciting cities in the UK, Manchester is bursting with activities and attractions. It’s home to some of Britain’s biggest musical legends, famous landmarks (Old Trafford, or The Etihad), a cool arts and culture scene and world-famous sports.
Brimming with the energy you find in university towns, Leeds deserves its reputation as the ‘Knightsbridge of the North’. Whether it's music, theatre or a host of sporting attractions, if you think it's grim up North, stay at one of our Leeds hotels and you’ll discover it’s anything but.
Perched on the edge of the River Tyne, Newcastle has a proud industrial heritage, cutting edge contemporary art, superb shopping and legendary nightlife. The city is packed full of attractions, bustling markets and great places to eat, you’ll always find cultural diversity in Newcastle.
The northern city of York has a big story to tell. A medieval marvel, modern shopping hub and a treasure trove of pubs serving proper Yorkshire grub. From fascinating museums and archaeological wonders to shopping all tastes and hunting for ghosts - finding things to see won’t be a problem.
Preston exploded in popularity during the Industrial Revolution, becoming a Victorian powerhouse centred around textiles. Factor in its football team and bustling entertainment, nightlife and eating out options, and you’ll never be left wondering what to do in Preston.
East Midlands’ largest city has hit the headlines thanks to Leicester City’s enthralling underdog story and the discovery and reburial of King Richard III at Leicester Cathedral. There’s plenty to like about the city that brought us the Attenborough brothers and Walkers crisps.
A beguiling mix of the old and new, Chester continues to grow on you long after you visit. With 2,000 years of history, the city’s Roman walls are the best preserved in the UK. And thanks to new developments, the city has some of the best attractions in the north west.
Home to the UK’s only polar bears, Roman walls, medieval castles and a lively food and nightlife scene, you won’t be left wondering what to do in Doncaster. Sports fans can enjoy Doncaster Racecourse and Doncaster Rovers Belles, one of the UK’s most successful female football teams.
There must be something in the water - how else could one city produce a constant stream of musical and artistic talent? Then there’s Bristol’s illustrious maritime and ecological legacy, the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the many places to indulge in a craft ale, or cider, or two.
The market town of Bedford dates back to Medieval times and winds its way around the Great Ouse river. You’ll also find Victorian-era shopping arcades, collections of watercolours, a range of festivals and annual events, plus some impressive live music and theatre spaces.
Solihull has one of the best food scenes in the region with a number of great restaurants where you’ll have a meal to remember. Our guide delves into all of the exciting activities and attractions, including the excellent Touchwood shopping centre and the National Motorcycle Museum.
Blending history with a modern day sensibility, Gloucester acts as a gateway to the river Severn and the stunning Cotswolds. It has an amazing cultural heritage from the centuries-old pubs to fine-dining restaurants. That history is balanced with the modern touch of the Gloucester Quays.
Once defined by its Roman heritage, the river-front Theatre and Art Gallery has given the city a cultural focus, while the Newport Velodrome and Riverfront Arts Centre offers sport and entertaiment. With lots of Newports across the world, we think this one is the best.
Milton Keynes guide
There’s a lot to love about Britain’s most successful new town. Superb places to eat and go out at night, plus plenty of green spaces means it’s perfect for exploring. It has state of the art facilities, including the Xscape arena and visitor attraction Bletchley Park is just up the road.
For a small city with a big heritage, Exeter provides a host of attractions ensuring you’ll never be left wondering what to do. Cue an alluring foodie scene, scenic outdoor activities and a variety of stage and screen entertainment with plenty of options for when the sun goes down.
You’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere with as much history as Oxford. Home to the oldest museum in the world, the oldest English-language university and castles, you could spend days discovering the city’s heritage. Plus there's cool cafés, fine-dining restaurantsand markets.
Colchester is the oldest recorded town in Britain with more than 2,000 years of history. There are landmarks and attractions from every era, the most popular being the magnificent Colchester Castle. It’s got thriving theatres, as well as some top-class restaurants and cafés.
Sit on sandy beaches, explore exquisite countryside and revel in the wonders of the Jurassic Coast. Poole is brimming with history and has become a bustling destination with great bars, restaurants, cafés, shops, museums and a fantastic quayside area that’s ripe for exploring.
Maybe best known for its three-day music festival, there’s another side to Reading worth exploring that includes some amazing live music venues and an incredible eight-sided theatre. It's one of the largest towns in the UK more bars, pubs and clubs than you could shake a cocktail stick at.
The historic market town of Swindon is a perfect blend of history and modernity. With grand country parks, theatres, art galleries and several outstanding museums covering everything from the region’s rich railway heritage to the rise of computers, you won’t be left wondering what to do.
Bath is one of the most picturesque cities in the country with incredible examples of Georgian architecture – like the Royal Crescent and The Circus. And there are places like the gloriously gothic Bath Abbey, and Roman Baths – meaning you’ll never be left wondering what to do.
Cheltenham is home to the best festivals, which attract everyone from literature lovers to horse-racing fanatics. Sudeley Castle provides one of the best days out in England. Cheltenham also boasts a fantastic food scene with dishes concocted from the finest Cotswold produce.
Huddled at the edge of the Lake District and within touching distance of the Scottish border, in Carlisle you’ll find the distinguished charm of a city close to some of the country’s most marked history. When it comes to what to do in Carlisle, you won’t be disappointed.
Home to the steepest shopping street you’ll ever drag yourself up and the country’s first ever Christmas market. We delve into its famous tourist attractions – the cathedral, castle and Steep Hill – but to give you a bit of local flavour, we’ll include tips on the restaurants and pubs.
A sporting powerhouse, a cultural beacon and home to a notorious, albeit mythical do-gooder in green tights, Nottingham is truly one of our favourite cities. Drink a fine ale in one of the sandstone caverns in the oldest pub in Britain or dine at some truly inventive restaurants.
The home of one of the oldest universities in the world, this iconic city boasts stunning historic buildings and a vibrant cultural scene, meaning you’re never left wondering what to do. Plus, with a wide range of high-class restaurants on offer, you won't be short of places to eat either.
Hailed as one of the UK’s first modern tourist resorts, Weymouth has a regal past as the once-summer residence of King George III. Since then, holidaymakers have been attracted by the mild climate, shallow waters and Weymouth Beach’s long arc of golden sands that has since become the number one beach in the UK.
Eastbourne has pretty much everything you’d want from a coastal town, and then some. The town is littered with historic buildings, including a stunning Napoleonic fort and the truly iconic Beachy Head lighthouse, while the Grand Parade that handsomely separates the beach from the town is full of prime Victorian-era architecture.
Ipswich has historically been a prosperous trading port with settlements dating back to Roman times. Today, you’ll find that the historic waterfront of industrial docks has become a hub of activity, with restaurants, bars, cafés and art spaces lining the marina, with attractive Tudor buildings across the town and a beautiful collection of artwork at the Wolsey Art Gallery.
Dundee is a hub of culture, art, theatre and history. Discover dangerous voyages to Antarctica, tour some truly impressive historical buildings and feast at a host of delicious restaurants guaranteed to feed your senses and with stunning views out over the Firth of Tay.
Thanks to its rich maritime history, stunning waterfront and globally important harbour, Plymouth has every right to call itself Britain’s Ocean City. Much of the city was destroyed during the Plymouth Blitz of World War II, so it now offers a unique blend of historic buildings and modern developments
Home to our most northern hotels, Inverness is the gateway to the stunning Scottish Highlands, a truly mystical and magical area. From whisky distilleries galore to the fabled Loch Ness monster, Inverness is the largest city in the north and also, according to a recent survey, the happiest!
Situated on the south coast, Brighton is a major UK city with a unique blend of culture and heritage. Our local guide will take you through the best places to eat and drink, as well as outlining the most popular entertainment venues, cultural landmarks, attractions, shopping destinations and activities, so you’ll never be left wondering what to do in Brighton.
A historic coastal city that’s given the world some incredible authors including Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Rudyard Kipling, Portsmouth is a fascinating blend of history and culture, of museums and modern-day entertainment. The cultural and event scene is dominated by the New Theatre Royal and the Guildhall.
As the city with a church for every Sunday of the year and a pub for every day, Norwich boasts bags of history but blends it with some of the best nightlife in East Anglia. From the Middle Ages through to the Industrial Revolution, Norwich was the second largest city in the country behind the capital and it’s home to some of the finest examples of Norman architecture in the country, paid for by the city’s booming textiles and pottery industries.
One of the UK’s major ports, this south-coast city is famed for its maritime heritage. However, when you delve deeper into Southampton’s history and culture, you will find it has much more to offer, such as medieval buildings, legendary theatres and famous sporting arenas.
Well connected to the capital yet much more than a London commuter town, the city of Chelmsford offers a bustling foodie scene, shopping hub and varied nightlife of sleek bars, live music and jam-packed theatre programmes. Nestled in the heart of the Essex countryside and along the River Can, it’s the perfect base to explore the delights of the great English outdoors.
The sandy beaches, world-class surf and laid-back attitude of Cornwall have long been attracting holiday goers from across the UK. It’s the home of the pasty, it’s the cider county, and it’s also got a vibrant food scene for you to sink your teeth into. Beyond the beauty of this beautiful stretch of coastline, and idyllic inland countryside, there’s a buzz to Cornwall that – when you know where to look – attracts visitors back time and time again.
To give you an idea of Basildon’s diversity, it’s the town that gave us the world-famous actress of ‘Carry On’ film fame Joan Sims, the sexy synth rockers Depeche Mode, and the bastion of British culture that is Bob the Builder. Our local guide is just as eclectic in places, especially when it comes to places to eat, and things to do during the day
The wonderful town of Kidderminster is the birthplace of the modern carpet industry, and Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant. That goes some way to giving you an idea of how varied a town Kidderminster is. During your stay take a trip back in time aboard the steam locomotives of the Severn Valley Railway.
A rejuvenated city once more the pride of the north, Hull has overcome its staid, industrial image and was recently named the UK City of Culture until 2020. With a thriving food and bar scene, a hat-trick of theatres and top-class sports teams, as well as an award-winning aquarium, the colossal Humber Bridge and a busy and buzzing waterfront.
Fort William guide
The outdoor capital of the UK, Fort William has so much to offer visitors. Whether it’s a quiet Loch-side walk or hair-raising white water rafting, tranquil forest cycling or world-class downhill mountain bike routes, there’s something for every traveller and tourist.
Nestled on the outskirts of Manchester, Bury is a vibrant market town with lots going on. With culinary delights such as The Clarence, award-winning pubs like The Eagle and Child, landmarks such as Peel Tower and sporting entertainment at Bury FC, our guide helps you plan the best way to spend your time.
This former mill town is home to over 260,000 ‘Boltonians’, a community famed for their friendliness and sense of humour, and epitomised by residents such as Peter Kay and Sara Cox. In one of the biggest towns in the country, you will find award-winning food and drinks establishments, a wide range of activities and attractions, and an entertainment scene featuring some brilliant live theatres and Bolton Wanderers football club.
St. Andrews guide
Famous for its golf course and its university – both of which are some of the oldest of their kind in the world – there’s a lot more to St Andrews than birdies and books. A gorgeous coastal town 30 miles from Edinburgh, it’s home to medieval streets, historic buildings, including the stunning cathedral and castle ruins, amazing North Sea beaches and some of the best bars, cafés, pubs and restaurants on the east coast of Scotland.
Famous for its castle, a striking medieval fortress built on volcanic cliffs overlooking the River Forth, Stirling has been at the heart of Scottish history for centuries. From the Old Jail to some of Scotland’s most historic pubs, The Old Town is alive with amazing sights and architecture, while the entertainment scene is buzzing thanks to cultural institutions such as the Albert Halls, Tolbooth and the Macroberts Art Centre.
If you’re wondering what to do in Wakefield, then you’ve come to the right place. The city has a fair few strings to its bow. It’s the birthplace of two of Britain’s most celebrated sculptors, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, it has a rich industrial heritage and is the home of the National Coal Mining Museum, but most notably of all, it’s the capital city of the Rhubarb Triangle.
With world-class golf, mile-after-mile of sandy beaches and the birthplace of renowned Scottish poet Robert Burns, Ayr is a bustling seaside town on the west coast of Scotland. There’s more to Ayr than just dozens of golf courses though, including the world-famous Royal Troon, some of the best beaches in the country and museums and monuments dedicated to Robert Burns.
Stockport was once a beacon of the hat making industry that exported to every corner of the globe and is now one of Greater Manchester’s most vibrant towns with plenty going on. If you find yourself captivated by the beauty of the industrial landmarks here, you won’t be the first. With world famous artist L.S Lowry featuring Stockport in one of his paintings, people have been drawn to this place throughout the years.
Newark is a bustling market town in the heart of the East Midlands. With a castle to explore, two fascinating museums, including the UK’s first dedicated English Civil War exhibition, one of the biggest and best antiques fairs in Europe and the mythical Sherwood Forest on its doorstep.
Nestled between the rolling Cotswolds and the Chiltern Hills you’ll find Aylesbury, the county town of Buckinghamshire. This ancient market town has bags full of history beneath its belt, which you can discover by ticking off the town’s excellent local museum and National Trust attractions.
Admittedly, this South Yorkshire town isn’t always the first place on people’s lists when they’re planning a trip to this corner of the country. Perhaps that’s doing Barnsley a disservice, though. For starters, the food scene isn’t the biggest, but there are a handful of restaurants that stand up to Yorkshire’s finest.
Bognor Regis guide
One of the sunniest places in the UK, it’s not hard to see why so many people have fallen in love with Bognor Regis over the years. There's plenty of wide, expansive beaches, an arts and culture scene crafted by the Victorian boom and a modern day approach to al fresco eating and drinking.
Did you know the Queen spent her 86th birthday here in Newbury, watching her horses from the Royal Box of Newbury Racecourse, one of the finest grounds in the UK? Or that Newbury has two Michelin Star restaurants up its sleeve? Or that Downton Abbey was filmed at the stunning Highclere Castle estate just a few miles away?
Crewe is one of the few places to be named after its railway station, instead of vice versa. That’s because, before the trains arrived, it used to be a village of 70-odd people. The station, Crewe, is Old Welsh for ‘crossing’ and highlights the excellent connections it has with the rest of the country.
Paignton is undoubtedly one of the jewels in the Cornish crown. An Instagram-perfect town with several golden beaches, a stylish harbour and a bustling town-centre packed with bars, cafés, restaurants, high street brands and independent outlets, it’s one of our favourite south coast resorts.
A bustling market town known locally as Queen of the South (also, handily, the name of its football club), Dumfries is a small but active town bursting with entertainment and activities. From historic castles that have helped shape Scottish history to the Robert Burns Centre with a fascinating museum dedicated to the famous Scottish author.
Nestled on the border of England and Wales, the picturesque town of Ross-on-Wye is the birthplace of British tourism. For centuries, the town has welcomed visitors wanting to soak up the stunning views of the Wye Valley. The local landscape inspired Wordsworth, Coleridge, Alexander Pope and countless other poets and writers.
The compact town centre is a great place to start exploring. Home to the ornate 14th-century Minster and the even older Roche Abbey, you’ll also find Clifton Park, a sprawling park packed with sports pitches, a water splash zone, playground and gardens alive with flowers, fruits and vegetables.
The historic town of Skipton is, officially, The Gateway to the Dales. It’s one of the most picturesque places in Yorkshire, with historic canals and waterways flowing through the town. Here in God’s Own Country it goes without saying that the surrounding scenery is absolutely stunning.
A town that bloomed from a population of 2,000 to over 80,000 during the industrial revolution, Walsall has a history as a hotbed of industry, notably its leather making skills. And those continue to this day, as the town still makes leather handbags for the Royal Family, while the fascinating Walsall Leather Museum charts the growth and importance of the industry on the town.
Just 15 miles from London, Watford sprang to life after the Industrial Revolution and is now a fully fledged destination in its own right in the modern day. With sprawling shopping malls, over 40 parks and gardens, a magical Harry Potter World experience, several outstanding theatres and live music venues, a Premier League football team plus a thriving food and nightlife scene, the town has plenty to offer.
Tucked away between the big cities of Liverpool and Manchester, Wigan is a large town with a lot to shout about. Its proud population of ‘Wiganers’, which includes famous names such as Sir Ian McKellen and the late George Formby, have recently been declared the happiest people in Greater Manchester.
Kendal is the gateway to the Lake District and a truly wonderful town teeming with history, culture and personality. If you’re visiting for the walking, hiking, biking and boating in the Lake District, Kendal is the perfect base in the north-west, packed full with cafés, bars, pubs, restaurants and coffee shop.
Salford is one of the most up-and-coming cities in the UK, with developments such as MediaCityUK and Salford Quays spearheading the influx of development in the area. However, it may surprise you to find out that 60% of the 37 square miles of this city is made up of green space, such as countryside, parks and leafy canal trails.
Surrounded by the spectacular scenery of the south Pennines, Huddersfield is perfectly located for anyone interested in making the most of the great outdoors. But this bustling market town, located halfway between Leeds and Manchester, has plenty of other strings to its bow.
Croydon is a vibrant town in South London with a rich musical culture. Home to The BRIT School, icons such as Amy Winehouse, Adele and Leona Lewis have all spent their formative years here. That creative culture is reflected in a number of the towns restaurants, bars, attractions and entertainment spots.
Tucked away in a picturesque corner of Wiltshire County, with the stunning Cotswolds Area of Natural Beauty on its doorstep, and a rich history which goes back to the Roman times, Chippenham is one of the great market towns of the South West, and a wonderful place to visit.
Make your way to Minehead if you want to see beauty in the great outdoors. This corner of Somerset marks the beginning of the South West Coast Path which loops its way around Cornwall and Devon for more than 600 miles to Poole Harbour in Dorset. It’s one of the great walks of the world.
Let’s start with some fascinating facts about Redditch: it was once responsible for creating 90% of the world’s needles at its peak while at various times it’s dominated the fishing tackle and spring industries. Perhaps it’s most interesting – and relevant fact – is that it became a model for modern new towns in the 1960s.
Once the capital of Scotland, Dunfermline is packed full of history and culture – you only have to look at the Abbey & Palace, the resting ground for Robert Bruce (minus his heart), alongside seven of Scotland’s other kings, to see the importance the town once had.
The rest of the planet is playing catch up with the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Opposite the Isle of Dogs, this wonderful part of London is home to the Royal Observatory, where you can walk the Meridian Line marking longitude zero and the point from which the rest of the world measures their time.
St. Albans guide
One of the smaller British cities, with a population just over 50,000, St Albans has an amazing heritage stretching back to the Roman and Medieval era. You can discover the city’s fascinating history for yourself at Verulamium Park which retraces the city’s Roman footsteps, as well as the stunning cathedral.
Hemel Hempstead guide
Despite Hemel Hempstead being one of Britain’s post-WWII new towns, it has heaps more history than you might expect. The Hertfordshire town dates back to the 8th century and has given the world famous names like Roger Moore and Pigwidgeon – the famous fictional owl of Harry Potter celebre.
Enjoy your time in Horsham with the help of our local guide to this pretty market town of West Sussex. There’s beauty at every turn in this wonderful part of the country. To the north you can delve into the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, go west and explore the South Downs National Park, or east there’s the High Wealds and the Kent Downs.
Welcome to the city of dreams, the former curry capital of Britain, the epicentre of the Industrial Revolution, the wool capital of the world, the birthplace of the Bronte sisters, the hometown of David Hockney, the city of Seabrook crisps, one of the oldest concert halls in Europe, and the inaugural UNESCO City of Film; welcome to Bradford.
It’s hard to sum up Llandudno, so broad is the Welsh town’s history. Initially a mining town that dated back to the early Stone Age, the town was transformed into a Victorian seaside resort in 1847 making the most of Llandudno’s huge bay, sandy beaches and the dominating presence of Great Orme, a towering limestone headland that rises out of the Irish Sea.
Wind the clocks back a decade, and you’ll find Altrincham was a sleepy town with a scary amount of empty shops and a population that went elsewhere for pretty much anything. Fast forward to the present, and you’d be forgiven for thinking we’d confused Altrincham for a different town entirely.
A market town steeped in history, Arundel is a real jewel on the West Sussex coast. While the jaw-dropping castle and cathedral might be the main tourist attractions, there’s plenty to enjoy in this charming town nestled on the banks of the River Arun just a few miles from the south coast.
Best known for its world-famous music festival, there’s much more to Glastonbury than big bands and rock ’n’ roll. Doused in spirituality, the town is a popular year-round tourist destination thanks to its healing waters, the imposing Glastonbury Tor and its fascinating Abbey.
A short drive from both Edinburgh and Glasgow, this large town in the Forth Valley brilliantly blends history and modernism. On the one hand, it’s a region blessed with historic castles, lovingly restored stately homes and some incredible Roman ruins, including the Antonine Wall, while on the other, it’s created forward-thinking works of art (the magnificent Kelpies) and a world-class rotating boat lift system.
It’s no surprise that Shrewsbury gets named one of the happiest places to live in the UK. Nestled in a nook of the River Severn, the historic ‘Town of Flowers’ offers photo opportunities at every turn. Plus, with over 1,000 years of history to its name – much of it intertwined with the castle and abbey – there’s plenty of fascinating days out, too.
Samuel Johnson, Lichfield’s most famous son, and the most esteemed critic in the history of English literature, described his hometown as the ‘City of Philosophers’. Lichfield has raised an uncanny number of England’s great thinkers. There must be something about the city’s Georgian architecture and pretty Staffordshire scenery that leads its people to lofty thoughts.
The most easterly town in England, Lowestoft is the quintessential seaside resort, having marketed itself as the Sunrise Coast for decades. There are plenty of wide, sandy beaches popular during summer and the Claremont Pier includes a range of cafés, bars, a roller skating rink and an arcade.
Truro – a name derived from the Cornish term ‘Tri-veru’, meaning ‘three rivers’ – is Cornwall’s only city. It acts as a hub for the county and boasts some of its best dining and leisure facilities, as well as a selection of fantastic nearby activities and landmarks, so you’ll never be left wondering what to do in Truro.
Nestled on the banks of the River Severn, West Midlands’ Worcester has everything you could want from a city with a stunning medieval Cathedral, a rich vein of history illustrated by some outstanding museums and galleries and well-preserved buildings stretching back centuries.
Surrounded by the wide open spaces of Lincolnshire, there’s plenty to enjoy in Boston if you’re a fan of the Great Outdoors. As well as enjoying the view from the famous Stump or spotting birdlife, you can admire the town’s interesting medieval buildings or sample fresh local veg from its historic market.
From the West Yorkshire town that gave the world Ed Sheeran, Toffee Crisps and Rolos comes a local guide chock-a-block with good eating, top drinking, quality days out, and excellent evening entertainment. Halifax may play a supporting role to Leeds and Bradford, but it’s home to some of the top attractions in the county.
In the heart of the garden of England, a short drive from the Kent Downs and to the south coast, Maidstone is right in the middle of the action. A historic town with a modern feel, Maidstone has everything from stunning medieval castles, leafy country parks and fascinating museums.
With strong connections to central London, and on the doorstep of the second busiest airport in the world, Hounslow has a lot going for it. But there’s a lot more to the London suburb than just its proximity to Heathrow Airport. With Kew Palace & Gardens a short drive away, you can be in the middle of one of the densest and diverse plant populations on earth.
High Wycombe guide
Nestling in the scenic surroundings of the Chiltern Hills, High Wycombe is a historic town which combines metropolitan sophistication with olde worlde charm. Considering how close it is to the M25, London’s orbital motorway, it retains much of its rural appeal.
Unfairly maligned as the host town in hit UK mockumentary sitcom The Office, Slough hasn’t always had the best reputation thanks to Ricky Gervais and his comedy chums but there are amazing attractions, days out, entertainment and culinary scene right on Slough’s doorstep.
While Tamworth has an enviable history, including one of the best-preserved Medieval motte-and-bailey castles, it’s the modern elements that provide some of the best activities and entertainment. The Snowdome is the UK’s first ever indoor snow centre while Drayton Manor Park is one of the UK’s best theme parks and zoos.
Ramsgate was one of Britain’s great seaside towns, enjoying its heyday during the 19th century. In recent times, Ramsgate has regained its status as one of the best resort towns in the country, along with the towns of Broadstairs and Margate also on the Thanet coast.
A Victorian spa town with roots back to the Bronze Age, Malvern is a hidden jewel in the West Midlands. The compact town centre is alive with history and sights alongside an impressive eating-out and pub scene, all set to the backdrop of the gorgeous Malvern Hills, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Worthing has come a long way since the 19th century when it was home to a hive of smugglers who used to battle it out with coastguards to bring their ill-gotten goods ashore. The West Sussex town has grown into a holiday destination in its own right and a worthy alternative to its nearby big brother, Brighton.
Loughborough might be best known as a university town and for its sporting heritage – it’s the home of several world-class sporting facilities – but the Midlands town is a bustling, lively hub with plenty of attractions. Leading the way is Queen’s Park in the centre of town, a leafy park home to the fascinating Charnwood Museum.
Romford gets mixed reviews, but as far as we’re concerned, it’s a great place to visit. It has some of the liveliest nightlife in Essex – which says a lot – and a food scene featuring some seriously tasty restaurants. There are a couple of theatres for you to choose from if you fancy a bit of culture, not to mention one of just two dog tracks left in London.
Nestled on the edge of the South Downs Hills, Farnham is a small but bustling town with a rich history stretching back to the Stone Age. The medieval Farnham Castle overlooks the charming town centre alive with cool cafes and coffee shops, traditional pubs, plenty of top-notch restaurants and several busy shopping streets.
Revel in the beauty of one of Britain’s quintessential seaside towns with a trip to the historic fishing village of Whitstable. Residents have been shucking sea-fresh oysters in these parts since Roman times. The town is famous for its native oysters, which can be found in nigh on every restaurant in town.
With its cobbled streets, large marina and proximity to the New Forest, Lymington is a real south-coast gem. The small seaside town is a haven for tourists and locals, with historic forts, classic car museums and sea water play parks a short distance from the town centre.
Nestled by the River Anton in the shadow of the North Sussex Downs, Andover is a lively commuter town located halfway between London and Exeter. The town’s location has proved crucial to its success. Firstly, as the perfect place to construct Medieval watermills and secondly as a stopping point for travellers between London and Exeter in the 18th century.
Brush shoulders with celebrities, sample the acclaimed food scene and pay a visit to the famous Tatton Park estate during your stay in beautiful Knutsford. The historic town sits on the edge of Cheshire’s Golden Triangle, between the Welsh mountains to the west and the Peak District to the east.
Once a village on the edge of London, Ealing was swallowed up in the 20th-century urban sprawl, becoming part of Greater London in 1965. Surprisingly, the community spirit lives on with much of the action centred around Ealing Broadway, Walpole Park and Ealing Common, each area alive with shops, bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants.
Literally meaning Weston-on-Sea, Weston-super-Mare grew from a collection of fishing villages into a leading Victorian resort. Thanks to its large tidal range which sees the Irish Sea cover over a mile of sand and mud flats, the area has some of the best beaches in the country including Brean Beach which is one of the longest in Europe.
Margate is one of Britain’s quintessential seaside resorts, with a great big beach with gorgeous golden sands, a harbour filled with pleasure boats and dinghies, a seafront promenade of attractions and the delicious aroma of fish and chips following you wherever you go.
Romantic, alluring, historic and perfect for nature- and animal-lovers, Thirsk is one of Yorkshire’s hidden gems. The small market town dates back centuries, with history at every turn including St Mary’s Church, Thirsk Museum and The World of James Herriot, which tells the tale of Thirsk’s most famous vet son.
The Gateshead skyline is dominated by some iconic silhouettes, including world-class venues, magnificent feats of architecture and one of the most famous sculptures on the planet. The Angel of the North watches over the town and welcomes you on the way to one of our Newcastle hotels.
A north-west town blessed with 22 miles of coastline looking out to the Irish Sea, Southport is a grand and historic seaside resort home to world-class golf courses, the oldest iron pier in the country, water parks, theme parks and an impressive independent nightlife and eating out scene.
High in the Peak District, the beautiful spa town of Buxton has been welcoming visitors with warm spring waters and wonderful attractions for centuries. The Regency town is a resplendent gateway to the Peak District National Park thanks to its impressive architecture and one of the finest Frank Matcham theatres in Britain.
Kings Lynn guide
The picturesque market town of King’s Lynn dates back to medieval times and features fantastic historic attractions such as Castle Rising and King’s Lynn Minster, which can take you on a history trip back to the 12th century. The town’s most famous nearby attraction, of course, is the Queen’s private residence, the stunning Sandringham House.
With famous comedy figures such as James Acaster and Hugh Dennis hailing from Kettering, you’d be forgiven for thinking you need a sense of humour to stay in the Northamptonshire town. The truth is it’s a great place to visit. Kettering is one of the fastest-growing towns in the UK.
It was nearby the town of Elgin where Macbeth defeated King Duncan in a battle immortalised by Shakespeare. That’s just the beginning of the fascinating history trip you can enjoy when exploring ancient Elgin, including the ruins of its impressive cathedral and Duffus Castle.
An essential London district, Clapham brilliantly blends the modern urban demands of inner-city life. The London Underground Zone 2 suburb is ripe for exploring, with bustling street markets, independent cafes and bars and several theatres, cinemas, art galleries and live music venues right on the doorstep.
Maidenhead might not leap out at you from a map of England, but delve into the history and culture of the region and you’ll soon fall in love with its charm. The Berkshire town 30-miles west of London is a Michelin-star hot spot, home to some of the UK’s best restaurants including several from Heston Blumenthal and the Roux family.
Hatfield is a town of two halves. It stems from the fact that Hatfield is one of Britain’s post-war new towns. The modern side of Hatfield is where you’ll find The Galleria, Hatfield’s excellent shopping centre, as well as some of our top restaurant recommendations and a couple of our favourite pubs.
As one of Cumbria’s biggest towns, Penrith is a popular spot for tourists to hang their hat whilst exploring the stunning scenery of the Lake District. There are nearby attractions like Ullswater, Aira Force, Hallin Fell and hundreds of more spots of natural beauty.
Newmarket is the front runner when it comes to all things horses, home to two of the best tracks in the UK, which host some of the biggest and best races in the world. That equine history is on show at the wonderful Palace House and the National Heritage Centre, while the racecourse comes alive on race day.
A historic commuter town – even when it was with horse and carts – Ilford has bloomed to become an important London suburb. Just 12 miles from the centre of London, Ilford is close enough to enjoy the city centre sights while offering plenty of its own, including some brilliant parks, forests and open spaces.
Famed for its pivotal role in the Industrial Revolution, Dudley is a town of rich heritage in the Black Country area of the West Midlands. Its boom, caused by the iron, coal and limestone industries it dominated, has in recent decades been matched by a gradual decline. However, don’t let that convince you that Dudley has nothing to offer its visitors.
The Furness peninsula, with its stunning coastline, unique islands and the mountains of the Lake District for a backdrop, makes for a stunning place to visit Britain. Barrow is neither fancy nor pretentious – it’s the “capital of blue-collar Britain” after all – but it quietly boasts plenty of brilliant attractions and things to do.
Huntingdon is most famous for being the birthplace of the infamous Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell. Trotsky thought he was a bourgeois revolutionary; Winston Churchill considered him a military dictator. Cromwell certainly split opinion, but the consensus on Huntingdon is cut and dried.
History buffs will love the compact city centre home to the imperious Lancaster Castle, the Ashton Memorial which provides stunning views across the Lake District and Williamson Park as well as the stunning Cathedral. Plus, the Lancaster City Museum is on hand to answer any and all questions about the region, dating back to the Roman invasion.
It’s not usually a compliment to say that a town is stuck in the past, but Tewkesbury – with its beautiful medieval, Tudor buildings and the sublime Tewkesbury Abbey – is one of the exceptions. Wander its streets, and it can feel like you’ve magically stepped back in time.
The medieval cathedral city of Salisbury is one of the UK’s tourist hot-spots. And it’s not hard to see why. The town centre is home to one of the most magnificent cathedrals in the UK, which also houses one of the best-preserved copies of the Magna Carta, dating back to the year 1215.
It’s a little-known fact that two Rolling Stones met and bonded over music at Dartford train station back in 1961, kick-starting the rock’n’roll revolution. Life in Dartford is a little more sedate than being in a rock band, but there’s still plenty to do! History buffs and nature lovers have lots to explore.
Corby flies a little under the radar, but when you consider that top-class attractions such as Rockingham Castle and Boughton House, it makes you wonder why the Northamptonshire new town doesn’t have a reputation for being a great staycation spot in the middle of the country.
Middlesbrough is iconic. It may only be a town, but the Riverside Stadium is a sporting Cathedral. It’s watched over by the giant towers of the famous Tees Transporter Bridge. In the heart of Middlesbrough, MIMA is a shimmering structure of glass and modern art. The North York Moors offer jaw-dropping views that stretch for an eternity.
Whether you come for 95 miles of jaw-dropping coastline filled with fossils, incredible geological formations and sandy beaches, or simply to take in the coastal towns and cities including Bournemouth, Weymouth, Lyme Regis and Poole, Dorset has something for everyone.
Situated in the heart of the Lancashire countryside, Burnley is a working-class town with strong links to the cities of Manchester and Leeds. Highly regarded for its contributions to manufacturing and aerospace, it was labelled the 'Most Enterprising Area in the UK' in 2013 by the UK government.
There’s a lot more to Enfield, the North London suburb, than just money literally coming out of the wall. The town is close to Epping Forest and the Lea Valley, two enormous areas packed with parks, cycle trails, nature reserves and London 2012 venues, including the Whitewater Centre and VeloPark.
Kent is one of the oldest counties in England and home 1,700 listed buildings, including some jaw-dropping castles: We’ve added Leeds and Dover Castles, but we could have added dozens more. Other sights to see include Dreamland, the quintessential English seaside funfair, the Turner Contemporary art gallery and some fantastic theatre and event spaces.
Few counties blend the old with the new like Essex. From the ancient Roman town of Colchester with its castle, cathedral and cobbled streets to Southend-on-Sea with its modern funfairs, theme parks and buzzing nightlife scene, the county is loaded with activities, attractions and entertainment. That diversity extends to the food and restaurant scene, with everything from simple-but-tasty fish shacks to fine dining with a contemporary twist.
Suffolk is home to some of the most picturesque landscapes in the country. It’s no wonder then that two of England’s most famous painters, Thomas Gainsborough and John Constable, hail from these eastern ends of England. And it boasts flagship nature reserves like RSPB Minsmere and sublime stretches of sand and shingle such as Dunwich Beach.
The capital of Northern Ireland gave the world the ill-fated Titanic, the mercurial George Best, and a vibrant bar scene responsible for millions of hangovers. During The Troubles of the 70s and 80s it was maligned as one of the most dangerous cities on the planet. But times have changed, now it’s one of the safest in the UK, and it’s building new reputations with Michelin Starred restaurants, top-class entertainment venues and one of the most popular tourist attractions on the planet, Titanic Belfast.
The second-largest city in Northern Ireland behind Belfast, Derry/Londonderry is a vibrant city that draws in tourists thanks to its history and culture. The old walled city within the centre of Derry/Londonderry is one of the finest in Europe, with the stunning Cathedral looming large over the banks of the River Foyle. Add to that a plethora of historical landmarks, such as Peace Bridge and Free Derry Corner, a fantastic array of food and drink venues, three theatres, the same number of shopping centres, two top-flight sports teams and a long list of great bars, pubs and clubs.
Variously known as the orchard and cathedral County, Armagh is a wonderfully balanced historic town that blends culture and tradition with forward-thinking, modern developments. It is also the ecclesiastical centre of Northern Ireland: make sure to check out St Patrick’s Cathedral, a gorgeous church with an intricate interior that shimmers with gold, mosaics and stained glass windows.
One of the largest towns in Essex, located just 90 minutes from the centre of London on the glorious Sunshine Coast, Clacton-on-Sea continues to be a leading UK holiday destination. A popular holiday destination during the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s, Clacton has moved with the times. As well as traditional attractions like its historic pier and miles of golden beaches, it now boasts a modern wakeboarding park, SeaQuarium and the three-storey Clacton Pavilion, home to restaurants, bars, a 5D cinema, bowling alleys and much more.
Whether you’re visiting popular attractions like Dublin Castle, enjoying top-rated activities in Dublin like exploring the Guinness Storehouse, or spending days out with the kids at Phoenix Park, you’ll find all kinds of fun things to do in Dublin throughout your city break.
Our local guides to cities in Germany
Looking for attractions, entertainment, great food or shopping? Our local guides to German cities are here to help.
Munich has so much more to offer than just Oktoberfest and FC Bayern Munich. This welcoming, cosmopolitan city in Southern Germany is brimming with cultural and culinary diversity. Tourists should expect a multi-faceted city with famous landmarks and top-quality attractions.