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Your guide to United Kingdom
All About United Kingdom
A mix of thousands of years of tradition and forward-looking architecture, the United Kingdom offers vibrant cities and peaceful rolling countryside in equal measure. From the bustling streets of London and Belfast to the peaks and slopes of the Scottish Highlands, captivating cities and lush landscapes define the diversity of this unique island country. The United Kingdom, located off the northwest coast of the European mainland, comprises the component nations of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. London is its metropolitan epicenter, home to a strong literary and musical heritage, along with world-class museums like the National Gallery and sprawling parks like Regents Park and Hyde Park.
History is at your fingertips as you explore ancient castles and churches in the footsteps of Scotland’s clans in Edinburgh, while Wales’ Snowdonia National Park offers bucket-list-worthy hiking and majestic mountain views. The UK’s metropolises, medieval stone villages, and hidden coves have been immortalized in film, literature, and postcards, from the spectacular rock formations of Northern Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway to the surf-ready beaches of Devon and Cornwall in the southwest, where sun-seekers line the shores and feast on traditional fish and chips.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in United Kingdom?
The United Kingdom has a relatively temperate climate and doesn’t experience extremes between seasons. Springtime is a great time to visit, with the city parks and countryside in full bloom and a big rugby tournament taking place between England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, and Italy. Go back in time at the Highland Games, one-day events across Scotland from May to September built around traditional sports such as the tug o’ war and the caber toss, or take in the internationally renowned theater, comedy, and performing arts festival in Edinburgh throughout August. Cool, brisk fall days are ideal for countryside drives to enjoy the changing hues of the leaves in the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales. And around every November 5, bonfires and firework displays light up the night sky across the UK in celebration of Guy Fawkes Night, the failure of the Gunpowder Plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in the early 17th century. Whenever you visit, bring a waterproof layer — there are potential rain showers at any time of year.
What are the top things to do in United Kingdom?
London’s East End
A walk around the English capital’s winding eastern streets provides a taste of London’s international mix of cuisines and cultures. Starting at Aldgate East underground station, head along Commercial Street until you reach the centuries-old Spitalfields Market. Every day, the covered courtyard is packed with stalls selling antiques, crafts, handmade clothing, and records, as well as street food and snacks. There’s a monthly art market here too. Along Brick Lane, near Shoreditch High Street, you’ll find vintage clothing stores and quirky boutiques, fragrant curry houses, and large-scale street murals, as well as a Sunday flea market.
The Northern Lights in Scotland
Scotland is an excellent place to spot the Northern Lights. Fall and winter are the best seasons to visit, with long periods of darkness, little light pollution from nearby cities, and a high number of clear nights — ideal conditions for observing the majestic colors that light up the northern sky. While you can see the lights from anywhere in Scotland, Galloway Forest Park in the southwest, the Outer Hebrides, and northern Scotland offer the best chance of seeing the auroras.
Famous for its maritime history and grand Georgian buildings, Belfast combines easy access to the picturesque Wild Atlantic Way driving route and the ancient volcanic Giant’s Causeway with the buzz of the Linen District’s bars, eateries, and comedy clubs. You’ll also have plenty of chances to sample the produce of nearby breweries and distilleries. You can take in the city’s multitude of murals on foot or be guided by a local taxi driver — or explore art and history on a grander scale at the Ulster Museum.