The results from the annual TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards 2013 are in – with some interesting results! Based on thousands of travellers’ reviews from around the world, these are the Top 10 UK destinations;
First up on the list is London, which needs no introduction after hosting last year’s stunning Olympic and Paralympic Games. With a wealth of modern architecture including the Shard, Millennium Dome and the London Eye, London is still buzzing. Cultural institutions (and must-sees) include Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and Downing Street. Throw in the specialist vintage markets, food festivals and quirky festivals such as Notting Hill Carnival and you’ve got the perfect UK city break in a nutshell.
The second most popular spot in the UK, according to TripAdvisor, is Manchester. The city is well known for its music scene which dominated the scene in the 1980s and 1980s – think Oasis, the Smiths, the Stone Roses, James… we could go on forever! Needless to say the musical legacy in Manchester is huge, with a plethora of nightclubs, intimate bars and music venues. The capital of the North also boasts 2 top flight Premiership football teams, masses of sports events and a thriving arts scene (don’t miss the Lowry Museum) and the buzzing Canal Street.
With a lively outlook that successfully manages to combine 19th century architecture with modern day culture, Glasgow is your gateway into Scotland. Trendy wine bars sit alongside traditional British pubs quite comfortably. Glasgow is well known for its arts and music scene and will host the 2014 Commonwealth Games which is sure to catapult its charm to an international audience.
Two words sum up Liverpool – the Beatles! Enough said! Check out the Beatles Museum and Paul McCartney’s childhood houses (Mendips and 20 Forthlin Road) as well as the treasure-trove of other cultural and heritage sites. Liverpool was the European Capital of Culture 2008 thanks to sites such as Liverpool Cathedral, St. George's Hall and the Merseyside Maritime Museum. And this year, one of the top museums in Europe, the museum of Liverpool, hosts the European museum of the year 2013 accolade.
The capital city of Northern Ireland has been voted fifth most favourite UK city, and rightly so. There’s a wealth of things to see and do such as exploring the sobering Crumlin Road Gaol, wandering the neoclassical City Hall and see the Titanic exhibit on display at the Cultra Manor Museum.
The contender for the best UK holiday beach resort was hotly contended with trendy Brighton and sumptuous Southwold vying for the title. But Blackpool has won the mantle and its unique traditional atmosphere continues to win hearts, young and old. The family friendly resort is famous for its looming tower and Pleasure Beach Amusement Park – ride the Big One if your dare! Families will love the Blackpool Tower Dungeon and adults will enjoy a night out at the Tower Ballroom.
Slap bang in the center of England is Birmingham, which dates back to the sixth century. There’s plenty going on all year round. Check out the Old Masters exhibitions at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, explore the finest remaining Jacobean house in England at the 17th century Aston Hall and try hiking and mountain biking in the Lickey Hills Country Park. Explore the Gas Street Basin Canal network, pictured above.
Located in the very south west of the UK is the laidback seaside resort town of Torquay in Devon. With palm lined beaches and a mild climate, Torquay feels almost Mediterranean. Bring the whole family and discover Kents Cavern and the intriguing Babbacombe Model Village.
This pretty seaside town is the top pick in Wales. Travellers can either walk or take the tram up to Great Orme for a spectacular view out over the Irish Sea. Discover what local life was like in World War II at the Home Front Museum and support the RSPB Conwy Nature Reserve. Expect Rhossili Bay in south Wales to make an appearance on this list next year following its honour as one of the best beaches in the world!
The former industrial city of Bristol has evolved into a real British cultural gem. Past glories as a shipbuilding superpower can be seen at the Brunel Museum. Marvel at the Clifton Suspension Bridge which is a testament to the engineering genius of Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1836. Cultural highlights include the Cabot Tower, Bristol City Docks and pretty Blaise Hamlet village.