The Office of National Statistics, has named the UK cities most visited by international visitors. You’d expect London to be number one and Edinburgh, coming in at number two isn’t much of a shock either. But some of the other destinations in the UK Top 4 list may surprise you.
While Yorkshire is awash with great little market towns, York is arguably the best of the bunch. This great historic city combines cobbled streets with little boutiques, delicious tea rooms (the Fat Rascal at Betty’s is a must) and cultural delights including York Minster and the Jorvik Viking Centre which is perfect for kids. And don’t miss The Shambles, York’s most famous street, which boasts some of the best medieval architecture still around. From your York base, take a trip out to the Yorkshire Dales for hiking trails through rugged scenery and sample some exemplary local ales in cosy country pubs.
Cambridge is one of the most famous university cities in the world, a group of over 30 individual colleges with medieval buildings of stone, timber and brick, clad in ivy and built around quiet courtyards and cloisters. The walking tour of this beautiful city will reveal many of its oldest colleges such as St Catherine’s, Clare, Corpus Christi, Gonville, Caius, Trinity, St John’s and the magnificent King’s College with its impressive chapel. Other well known sights include Senate House – where students graduate, the River Cam – busy with punts and rowing boats, the church of the Holy Sepulchre – the famous round church, one of only four in the country, Parker’s Piece and Great St Mary’s where entrance is included to the tower for great views over the University and the low lying meadowland of Cambridgeshire and the Fens.
According to many travel experts, check Days Out South West for example, Bristol is one of the UK’s most visited cities and it’s not hard to see why. With endless international festivals, one of the largest and most diverse shopping destinations on offer as well as many major city attractions all situated within easy walking distance in the UK’s Green city; Bristol is the capital of the West of England. It’s a city where the streets are filled with public art, performance and life. Every quarter of the city is different and diverse from Nelson Street and Stokes Croft where you can see the street art from the world’s leading artists, Cabot Circus with everything from the high end to the high street that main stream fashion has to offer. Bristol’s famous Independent Spirit for creativity does not stop at street art, but also includes film makers, festivals, fashion boutiques and multimedia.
Hannah Hastings in her article on The Blighty Traveller argues that a visit to Brighton would not be complete without a visit to its famous Victorian Pier; this festive destination keeps you entertained with a fairground, arcade halls, restaurants and bars. During warmer months, you can enjoy spiced gingerbread on the balcony overlooking the restored Regency-era gardens. Brighton also hosts several festivals and is less than an hour from London by train. It has trendy nightclubs with its vibrant club scene, as well as relaxing tour guided trips and quaint little cafés for older generations.
So next time you’re planning a city break, why not enjoy one of the above cities, and experience something new and unique in every single one.