Glen Coe, the Highlands, Scotland. Photo by Chris Schoenbaum.
***Edinburgh, a dramatic and lively city. Edinburgh Pictures.
***The Highlands, spectacular landscapes, wilder and more dramatic than the Lake District, with mountains, glens and lochs make for magnificent walks if you can handle the erratic weather and summer midges (little, swarming mosquitoes).
**The Borders, tranquil pastoral country with delightful towns as well as Hadrian’s Wall on the English side.
**Stirling and the Trossachs, a compact and historic town with imposing castle.
*Glasgow, an industrial city recently reinvented as a wacky cultural destination with a fair number of extraordinary new buildings and fine museums.
*St Andrews, a coastal town with the famous old golf course.
Three Cliffs Bay, Gower Peninsula, Wales. Photo by Saffron Blaze.
The capital Cardiff is not a must-see place, except for the National Museum of Wales.
*Conwy, dominated by the marvellous Conwy Castle is one of the finest medieval fortified towns in Europe.
*Hay-on-Wye, has become the world’s biggest second-hand book towns.
**Llandudno, an attractive Victorian seaside resort, with fine sandy beach.
***Snowdonia National Park and mountain. A spectacular and popular area for superb climbing or hiking.
The Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Photo by Chmee2.
**The Giant’s Causeway, a spectacular volcanic rock formation of basalt columns along the Antrim Coast. A World Heritage Site.
There are masses of economical places to stay and prices can be kept low if you book well in advance and stick with modest hotels, enjoy Bed and Breakfast or self catering cottages; these are especially popular with families.
In the British spirit of innovation there are even agencies that organise group accommodation in the UK, renting entire large properties for extended family house parties or check here for good value UK Group Holidays in hotels.
Porthcurno beach in Cornwall, England.
Walking and Hiking: Numerous short walks and long distance footpaths surround most towns and often cross picturesque scenery in this walks-loving cluster of countries.
Climbing: There are many good climbing spots from the sea cliffs of the Dorset coast to Scotland’s Mt. Ben Nevis (1344m), Britain’s highest peak. See above link.
Biking: Hundreds of miles of dedicated bike/ walking tracks have been opened recently, as well as road routes. The Whitby to Scarborough Trailway, 20 miles along the edge of the North York Moors National Park, is one of the most spectacular routes.
Bird-watching: the Orkney Isles, Shetland Isles in Scotland, the Norfolk Broads and more.
Fishing: The Borders, Deeside in Scotland and shoals more.
Pony trekking: The Pembrokeshire Coast, Wales or the Pennines, England.
Skiing: Aviemore, Scotland, Britain’s biggest skiing centre.
Golfing: From the ancient, lunatic Edinburgh city centre Brunswick Links to St Andrews, there are more than 400 golf courses in Scotland, and not a few in the rest of the UK too.
Surfing: Yes, really, but you’ll need a wetsuit! Especially Cornwall – Newquay and Fistral beach are the best known – and North Devon (Atlantic/north-west coasts) plus also Wales and Scotland.
Nightlife & Entertainment: Regional cities such as London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle have wild and varied clubbing scenes, though provincial places tend to be extremely youth oriented.