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Top Ten Non-London Things to do in the UK

My Top Ten Non-London Things to do in the UK!

It can’t be denied that London is a fantastic city, one that you have to visit at least once in your lifetime and you’ll probably get home and start planning your next trip. London has always had a hold on me; it’s almost addictive. There’s a certain buzz that can’t be beaten, but enough about that, as this is a post for all things NOT London! Sorry LDN, I love you, but right now you aren’t taking center stage.

Non-London Things Cambridge
Cambridge – Non-London Things

In the UK there is an abundance of stunning cities to visit, views that will take your breath away, and cultural landmarks that sometimes get overlooked for the big smoke. Over the past couple of years, I’ve made an extra effort to explore my home country, rather than opting for my usual European city break.

It made me feel a little shocked at just how much I’ve been missing and how there is still so much to see despite living here for almost 24 years. Whether you’re based in the UK or considering your first trip here, I’ve rounded up some of my personal favorites that will hopefully enable you to plan your itinerary and maybe even re-think where you might stay!

1. Visit the Roman Baths: Bath

Roman Baths
Roman Baths

Bath captured my heart like no other, almost parallel to my love of London. There is such a rich history within Bath and plenty to do and see. Visit the famous Roman Baths, which are surprisingly central and reasonably priced.

They also provide a handy headset in various languages to support you through your self-guided tour. Among the boutiques, tea rooms, restaurants, and bars, there’s also the stunning Royal Crescent, a terrace of thirty Georgian-built buildings with a breathtaking view.

It’s only a short ten-minute walk from the center and worth it. Oh, and for fashion lovers, there’s also the Bath Fashion Museum. See, I told you, there is a lot to do here!

2. Discover The Lake District: Cumbria

Outdoorsy type? Then this is the destination for you. England’s largest national park is home to 12 of the largest lakes in England.

The Lake District photo by
The Lake District photo by

The views are almost unbeatable, and it’s not just hiking, there are plenty of other activities to get involved in, including various water sports, cycling, boating, and even a bit of rock climbing if you fancy it! Tune out from technology for a few days and experience nature up close and personal.

3. Go Punting in this University City: Cambridge

Cambridge Buildings
Cambridge Buildings

There’s always a bit of Cambridge vs. Oxford rivalry here in the UK, but as Cambridge is my home city, I have to go with it, of course! Call me biased, but it’s a truly fantastic city to spend a long weekend in.

Go punting down the river (well, if it’s good enough for David Beckham!), stroll around the world-famous University grounds, grab lunch in one of the many cafes and just take in the stunning architecture surrounding you. It’s an enchanting city that I’m so grateful to call home!

For punting, I would recommend Scudamore’s, as they’re reasonably priced and also very central to the city center, situated by the main bridge with a few local restaurants nearby (tip: La Margherita does the best pizza in the city).

4. Spend a Night at the Races: Newmarket

Newmarket Races photo by
Newmarket Races photo by

Are you feeling lucky? Located close to Cambridge, the Newmarket Races are part of British history. If you like to gamble (or watch other people gamble), then there’s a night of fun to be had here for you.

Book a package and make a real evening with a lovely three-course meal to get you started, followed by some winning!

5. Learn how to Surf: Cornwall

Cornwall – Non-London Things

Yes, you really can surf in the UK! We can’t necessarily guarantee any sunshine, mind you, but Cornwall (and Newquay in particular) are renowned for providing a good wave or two.

There are plenty of surf instructors and other activities to keep you occupied, plus Cornwall offers some truly stunning walks and views.

Afternoon tea at the Hedland is one of my favorite things to do, mainly because ‘The Witches’ was filmed there; any fellow 90s kids will hopefully feel my excitement with this. If not, you need to wise up on your 90s classics.

6. Visit a Christmas Market: Birmingham

Christmas Market
Christmas Market

Our answer to the German Christmas markets is good old Birmingham, situated in the midlands with good links to London. The city does put on a surprisingly authentic Christmas market, with plenty of stalls and lots of mulled wine and hot chocolate to warm your insides.

Situated just by the famous Bullring shopping center, this is a popular location for shoppers. There are also plenty of restaurants nearby, and Cadbury’s World for any chocoholics out there.

7. Explore Historic Sights: York

York is a history buffs dream, with plenty of museums displaying York’s rich and historic culture, but it’s not all museums if this isn’t your thing.

Wander down the Shambles, visit quaint boutiques housed in buildings that date back as far as the fourteenth century, and stop for afternoon tea in the famous Betty’s Tea room!

Trust me on this; the cakes are out of this world. The York Dungeon is a fun attraction for kids and adults who pretend they’re still kids (ahem, guilty).

8. Get your Hiking Boots on The Brecon Beacons

The Brecon Beacons
The Brecon Beacons

If tourist attractions aren’t your thing and you want to escape normality, Wales is an excellent place to clear your head. The Brecon Beacons is a mountain range in Wales that offers pure tranquillity and lots of good photo opportunities as the area is a national dark zone!

There are plenty of trails to choose from and local pubs to cozy up in after a long and tiring walk (you will definitely need a well-earned beer!). The Three Horseshoes Inn at Groesffordd offers lovely food using local produce!

9. Visit Scotland: Edinburgh


I’ve chosen Edinburgh as it’s the only location (so far) that I’ve personally visited in Scotland. It’s a gorgeous city, split into a medieval-looking side and then the more elegant Georgian New Town. In August, there’s the exciting yearly Edinburgh Fringe Festival, with a buzz throughout the city that you can’t beat.

Edinburgh Castle, located at the top of the Royal Mile, is a stunning landmark and a must-see if you’re visiting the city. There are plenty of sightseeing tours, too, so you can really make the most of your time here and (just about!) squeeze everything in.

10. Experience Nightlife: Manchester


Manchester is a vibrant and buzzing city offering plenty to do for those who like to party. There are endless bars and clubs to enjoy a night out in one of the UK’s hottest cities. Or if a civilized meal is more your thing, enjoy a curry on the aptly named ‘curry mile’!

The Manchester Museum offers much to see, with a fantastic exhibition set in a tomb-like setting, showcasing ancient Egyptian artifacts. The museum is actually home to no less than twenty mummies! Eeek!

These Non-London Things you can do in the UK and locations are talking from my personal experience, so I’m sure there are still lots of unique places I’m still yet to discover! If you have any tips or suggestions, I’d love to hear them; please leave me a comment or tweet me @tillyjayne_!

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Written by Tilly-Jayne Kidman

Tilly is a travel enthusiast and freelance marketer for The Bedford Lodge Hotel. She blogs part time on her own blog covering everything from her style, to her latest adventures! Follow Tilly on twitter @tillyjayne_.

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