When visiting the UK most tourists will head for famous landmarks and attractions. Time is often spent visiting places such as Buckingham Palace, The Natural History Museum, Big Ben and getting Billy Elliot tickets in London and perhaps Stonehenge or Bournemouth beach if heading down to the South coast. Whilst these attractions are part of the UK’s history and heritage and most definitely shouldn’t be ignored, there is a lot to be said for heading off the beaten track a little more and discovering for yourself the quintessentially British way of life.
Suggestions for getting to know the real Great Britain:
Stray a little way outside central London and there are a whole host of interesting London neighbourhoods to explore. Try heading slightly west to Little Venice and having a walk along the canal or visit Notting Hill on a quieter weekday and explore the area, not forgetting to drop into the fantastic Museum of Brands and Packaging. Here you will learn about British consumer culture and see how advertising and British brands have changed from Victorian times to the present day.
One of the prettiest areas in the Home Counties just outside London to visit is the Chiltern hills in Buckinghamshire. The village of Turville was the home of British sitcom The Vicar of Dibley and it has been used many times since for film and TV location shooting including the filming of Goodnight Mr Tom and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (the windmill from the film overlooks the village). Try the Bull and Butcher pub for real ales and some great British food.
South West England
Avoid the crowded Brighton and Bournemouth beaches in the South East and head to Devon or Cornwall in the South West for beautiful unspoilt beaches. Try finding Lantic Bay in Cornwall, 2 miles East of Fowey and Polruan and you may be lucky enough to even have the place to yourself. Access to the beaches at Lantic Bay can be steep and the sea in this bay can be dangerous to swim in but for pure white sands and stunning scenery off the usual tourist route Lantic Bay can’t be beaten. Whilst in Cornwall you must have a traditional British cream tea or afternoon tea. If you are near Fowey visiting Lantic bay then for an elegant treat have afternoon tea at Fowey Hall or for something a little more low key try the quirky 15th century tearooms The Dwelling House.
Get active and spend time outdoors in Wales visiting the Snowdonia National Park and the Cambrian coastline. Walk in and around Snowdonia, visit Llechwedd Slate Caverns and learn about the Welsh history of mining plus travel on the scenic Cambrian coast railway and take in the spectacular views of the Welsh countryside and coast.