The Ultimate UK Bucket list 2021

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UK bucket list travel is more popular than ever. We’ve all been embracing domestic travel, UK staycations and travelling within our own country more and more over recent years and it has made many people realise that the UK has a lot to offer!

So if you’re eager to explore more of the UK, whether that’s on your weekend or a longer holiday, this UK bucket list will help you plan your next UK getaway with plenty of bucket list places to visit, UK travel has never been more exciting!

With that in mind, here are some of the best suggestions for the best things to do in UK countries – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

This article is updated every year to help you plan and add to your list of places to visit in UK countries.

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UK Travel Bucket List: The Ultimate Guide

England 

The Lake District 

When you think about a British holiday, you may think of rugged countryside and beautiful scenery, the Lake District is the easy first choice.

The Lakes have large expanses of water perfect for boating and water sports, amazing walking trails suitable for all abilities and ages, and fabulous tourist hotspots including museums, famous literary attractions and quaint towns and villages.

Some of the market towns and villages are also home to little boutique stores, great cafes, and country pubs. There really is something for everyone here and if you are yet to go, it needs to be added to your bucket list, pronto!

Read more here about things to do in the Lake District.

bird flying low over water in the lake district
Lake District

Isles of Scilly

A completely different landscape but no less spectacular. If you visit the Isles of Scilly you could be forgiven for thinking you’re on a tropical island in the Maldives or on a beach in Greece, not the UK!

The Isles of Scilly are an archipelago off the Cornish coast made up of over 100 islands, although only 5 are inhabited. The Isles can be reached by boat or plane, usually from Cornwall.

The difficulty in getting there but the reward once you arrive is why the Scilly Isles should be on your summer bucket list, UK travel doesn’t get anymore surreal than this when you’re surrounded by white sandy beaches, turquoise blue water and subtropical plants.

There’s also plenty of history to explore, water sports, hiking trails and camping adventures, so there’s something for everyone even if you’re not a big fan of beaches!

Life feels simpler here, the pace is slower and it’s honestly like nowhere else you’ll visit in England.

Bath

Bath is one of the prettiest cities in the UK, and one that is perfect to be added to your UK travel bucket list.

There are a lot of references to Roman Britain, with the Roman Baths being a huge attraction that you need to explore while you are here as well as the stunning Bath Abbey and surrounding historic town.

The city itself has some incredible bars, restaurants, and shops for you to explore, as well as some of the most scenic beauty spots a city can offer, head up to Bath Skyline Park for amazing views of the city.

Bath is perfect for a day trip or weekend away and it’s right on the doorstep to Bristol and the Cotswolds.

tea rooms in bath with people sitting outside on tables
Bath Tea Rooms

Windsor

One of the main reasons to consider adding Windsor to your list is so that you can witness and explore the great Windsor Castle.

Often home to the Queen, and one of her favourite residences, it really is a spectacular place and you must experience the Long Walk to see the castle and its grounds in all their glory. So many people have Buckingham Palace on their list, but Windsor just has that regal appeal.

In Windsor itself, it is a beautiful town with plenty of other things to see and do while you are here with great cafes, shops and boutiques.

Cornwall

If you are looking for fabulous beaches then look no further than Cornwall. This is the ideal location for anyone who loves to be in the water.

Stunning white sands, epic waves in some fabulous locations, it is ideal whether you like to relax in the water or ride the waves and feel that adrenaline rush.

With beautiful areas to explore including popular locations like St. Ives or the quieter and beautiful scenes of Padstow, you are bound to find a lovely place to suit your needs. 

Don’t miss the quirky Minack Theatre or the cute town of Polperro as well as some of the famous stunning beaches like Porthcurno Beach.

It is definitely an area that needs to be added to your UK bucket list for sure. 

turquoise blue water of Cornwall UK
Tintagel – Cornwall

Peak District

One of the most beautiful places in Britain and also one of the most underrated! The Peak District is in Derbyshire in the East Midlands and is home to some of the deepest caves in the UK, incredible hikes, quaint villages and great food!

If you’re planning an adventurous UK bucket list then you need to add the Peak District to your England bucket list.

Head up Mam Tor, WInnats Pass or Chrome Hill for stunning views, explore the vast cave network at Peak Cavern or Speedwell Cavern, visit the quaint towns of Castleton, Buxton or Bakewell.

Click here to plan your trip and see more things to do in the Peak District.

view of the green fields over the peak district in the UK with hiker in yellow jacket
Mam Tor, Peak District

Suffolk Coast

If you’re looking for UK summer getaways or beach holidays, look no further than adding the Suffolk Coast to your bucket list.

This beautiful stretch of the coast should be on everyone’s England bucket list thanks to its beautiful beaches, quaint seaside towns, great accommodation options and the opportunity to soak in some sun!

Don’t miss the fresh seafood and colourful beach huts in Southwold, or head to the quirky town of Thorpeness. Quaint villages like Orford, Walberswick or Dunwich make great options for country walks with a stop at a pub or two!

Click here to learn more about Southwold and plan your trip.

Walberswick, Suffolk

Northumberland

Most people associate sandy beaches with destinations in the south of England, but Northumberland is an underrated coastal gem in the north of England that needs to be on your UK bucket list.

The Northumberland Coast is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the UK, perfect to explore on your North England getaway.

Don’t miss the beautiful village of Bamburgh and Bamburgh Castle.

While Warkworth Beach and Amble are popular seaside spots.

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, don’t miss Alnwick. Scenes of the Harry Potter movies were filmed at Alnwick Castle.

Northumberland National Park is also on your doorstep here. Perfect for those who prefer an active holiday with plenty of walks and beautiful landscapes.

London 

Finally, if you haven’t already been, then the capital of England should definitely be on your bucket list.

London has so much to offer with plenty of attractions such as Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and things such as The London Eye. There are also less touristy spots such as Neal’s Yard, Camden Market, Borough Market, Greenwich, or Portobello Road Market.

There are some great shopping opportunities in London too in the area around Oxford Street, Regent Street or head to Shoreditch or Camden for more vintage and boutique options.

And of course while you are there you could watch a show on the famous West End, something that everyone should add to their London bucket list!

Don’t miss the brilliant free museums like the Natural History Museum or visiting the free rooftop viewing platform at the Sky Garden.

Don’t forget to add London at Christmas to your bucket list too – it’s a magical place to be during the holidays!

pink blossom tree and a red london bus in front of St Paul's Cathedral London UK bucket list
St Paul’s Cathedral

Scotland

The Scottish Highlands 

If you’re someone who’s more likely to be planning a UK adventure bucket list, then the Scottish Highlands are for you. It’s a huge area but it’s hard to pick just one part of it to see!

The Highlands are the perfect escape to the close to nature and Scotland is home to some of the most dramatic scenery in the UK. A Highlands road trip is one of those bucket list experiences, UK road travel doesn’t get more spectacular than this!

You can choose to drive the NC500, exploring the many villages and towns, travel to some of the Islands like the Isle of Skye, Mull or Lewis. Or you can stay somewhere off the beaten track and enjoy some peace and quiet, Scotland is home to many off-grid cabins and ecolodges to make your experience here totally unique.

It is one of the most popular places to visit in Scotland, but it is also an amazing location to add to your bucket list. 

steam train passing over a viaduct in scotland a bucket list item to see
Glenfinnan Viaduct, Scotland

Isle of Mull

In recent years, the Isle of Skye has been on everyone’s Scotland bucket list. Now there’s a new must-see Scottish Isle as people discover the Isle of Mull.

Mull has some of Scotland’s best beaches, don’t miss Langamull Beach or Calgary Bay.

The mysterious Fingal’s Cave is every photographer’s dream and is reminiscent of the unique rock formations at Giant’s Causeway. You can reach Fingal’s Cave on a boat trip from Mull.

The beautiful island of Iona is also well worth visiting, just off the Mull coast.

Edinburgh

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and is a bustling city. The city has a lot to offer including a fabulous castle, plenty of museums and attractions, but the one thing it is famous for is the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. This takes place in August and is one of the largest Arts festivals. 

Even if you don’t want to attend the festival, at any time of the year Edinburgh can feel like a special place to be. The ideal location for couples and families to explore and experience someplace new. 

Make sure to visit the colourful Victoria Street and don’t miss the idyllic Dean Village tucked away in the city.

steps with a view of edinburgh castle
Edinburgh Castle at the Vennel

The Cairngorms

Avid skiers will already be aware of the Cairngorms as the best ski area to visit in the UK.

But throughout the year, the Cairngorms has so much to offer. 

In the winter, you can enjoy a ski trip, right here in the UK. In the warmer months, the mountains are great for walkers and outdoor enthusiasts.

The Cairngorms are also home to the UK’s only free-roaming herd of Reindeer, which you can visit at the Reindeer Centre!

The Cairngorms are where you can visit Balmoral, the summer home of the Royal Family.

autumnal colours over an old stone bridge in scotland
Cairngorms, Scotland

The Orkney Islands

Definitely an underrated UK destination and an amazing place to add to your bucket list things to do in the UK!

The Orkney Islands are home to some of the most amazing wildlife in the UK so if you are someone who loves to explore the countryside and be closer to nature, then this is a great place to explore. Whether it is puffins, whales, or seals you will find them on the coast of the Orkney Islands.

A great place to add to your list if you want the opportunity to see some incredible animals as well as nature.

The Orkney Islands are surprisingly reachable with flights from London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, Manchester and Bergen (in Norway!).

Wales

Anglesey 

Anglesey is an island off the coast of North Wales, although attached to the mainland by two bridges.

The island of Anglesey is ideal for family bucket list ideas in the UK because it’s a holiday destination that has something for everyone and is super family friendly with safe beaches, small towns and beautiful landscapes to enjoy.

But whether it is a couples escape or a family vacation, Anglesey is one of those places that will make you feel like you are abroad somewhere far away. With beautiful beaches and cute villages to explore, with country pubs and walks, there really is something for everyone.

It is one of the best places to enjoy some of the traditional seaside activities including exploring rock pools and crabbing on the pier.  

Discover more things to do in North Wales.

Pembrokeshire 

Pembrokeshire is an area in Wales that is home to some of the most incredible beaches and market towns. The Pembrokeshire Coast is often called one of the most beautiful in the world!

It’s the perfect location to explore if you are looking for that traditional seaside location but with dramatic landscapes, great hikes and plenty of nature and adventure to be had.

Think about adding locations such as Newport if you want something a little more upbeat, and Lydstep if you are hoping to embrace a beautiful beach. 

blue sea and rugged cliffs of Wales
Wales

Northern Ireland

Belfast

A place that has a fantastic mix of history, culture, good food, art, and beautiful scenery. Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland and gives you the ideal option for a city break as well as being a great base to explore some of the other areas in Northern Ireland. 

Visit the Titanic Belfast to learn about the amazing history of the Titanic as well as plenty of interactive displays and even a ride for all the family to experience.

Not far out the city you can enjoy the Gobbins Cliff Path for beautiful coastal views and further afield you also have iconic landmarks like Giants Causeway.

The Causeway Coast

Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast has an extremely high concentration of the most spectacular landmarks and bucket list destinations.

From the world famous Giant’s Causeway to the Carrick a Rede rope bridge and Ballintoy Harbour.

A Causeway Coast road trip is a must-do on your UK bucket list!

2021 Bucket List Ideas: UK

Hopefully, this has given you plenty of inspiration for some of the best places to visit in the United Kingdom and places you need to add to your UK bucket list. 

Keep a look out for more places added to this list and updates every year!

Pin this for later to help you plan your future trip!

Pinnable image with 9 images of various locations in the UK. Overlay text reads The Ultimate United Kingdom Bucket List

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