The Ultimate UK Bucket List

Jeff and Zuzi standing at Durdle Door with the stone arch and beach behind them. Cover image for UK Bucket List

The UK may be small but it’s packed full of incredible things to do and once in a lifetime events! If you want to see the absolute best of what this country has to offer then you’ll definitely want to add these experiences to your UK bucket list!

Even though I grew up in the UK, I always preferred travelling to far-off destinations. But recently I’ve started exploring the country around me and I’ve been lucky enough to have some amazing experiences right in my own backyard!

I’ve picked out some of the best experiences for you below so make sure you add them to your UK bucket list if you haven’t already.

Rock Up At Stonehenge

Jeff and Zuzi stand in front of Stonehenge

Was Stonehenge an ancient burial ground, stone clock, calendar or place of spiritual healing? No one knows for sure. How was Stonehenge built? No one knows for sure!

What we do know is that these giant stone columns date back 5000 years and took nearly 1000 years to complete. Everything is just theories although there is evidence to suggest that Stonehenge was once used as a cemetery.

With nearly two million visitors every year you will need to book a time slot online to guarantee entry during peak times.

Read More | Visiting Stonehenge In England

See A West End Musical

Jeff and Zuzi in a theatre with The Lion King booklet

Seeing a West End musical is a must-do on your London bucket list!

London’s West End, along with New York’s Broadway, is thought to be the highest level of professional theatre in the world. Tickets can be expensive but you’re paying for one of the best experiences in the UK.

There are many long-running shows to see such as The Lion King, the Book Of Mormon and Wicked with new shows being added all the time.

Eat Fish & Chips By The Seaside

Two plates of battered fish and chips on a table with a couple of pints of lager

The most famous English food has to be fish and chips.

Maybe it’s the sea air or the thought of freshly caught fish. Whatever the reason, there’s just nothing quite like fish and chips by the seaside. With so many lovely seaside towns around the UK, you’ll never be too far from a ‘chippy’ by the coast.

Fresh fish, covered in batter and deep-fried along with a (huge) portion of chips. Served with mushy peas and a pint of beer. This an unmissable dish when visiting the UK!

Take A Spectacular Coastal Walk

Jeff lifts Zuzi with the Seven Sisters, which are a white cliff formation, in the background

The UK is blessed with over 11,000 miles of beautiful coast. Being a fairly small island means it doesn’t take long to reach the sea, so there’s no excuses not to add this to your UK bucket list!

There are numerous walks for those who enjoy spectacular scenery and fresh sea breeze. From the iconic White Cliffs of Dover in the south to the picturesque beaches in northern Scotland (yes, Scotland!) you’ll find beautiful coastline all up and down the country.

Watch A Premier League Football Match

Zuzi watching a football match in a crowded stadium

The English Premier League is the most watch football league (or soccer for our American friends) in the world.

There’s nothing like the atmosphere of a full stadium and watching the best players in the world (arguably) battle it out on the pitch. Top off the experience with a pint and pie at half time!

World-famous clubs such as Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United ply their trade in England and going to a game is on top of most fan’s UK bucket list when visiting these shores.

Take In The View At Durdle Door

Zuzi lies on the grass with Durdle door and the beach below

Formed around 10,000 years ago, the main attraction here is the iconic limestone arch. It’s probably one of the most famous arches in the world. When you’re done admiring the view it’s time to head down to the beach and enjoy the clear blue water.

If the beach isn’t your thing (seriously?) then why not try rock-pooling, coasteering or one of the many nature walks along the coast?

With so much to see and do around Durdle Door, this is surely one of the best places in the UK to visit.

See Some British Wildlife

The UK has some fascinating wildlife experiences and, being surrounded by water, there’s a good chance you’ll see some marine life out in the water.

There are around thirty different species of whale and dolphin living in the shores around the UK. Bottlenose dolphins are frequently spotted in northern Scotland and western Wales. And even the mighty humpback whale has started to visit these shores.

You likely bump into a grey seal too as well as several species of seabirds. The breeding season brings many seabirds to the UK including puffins, guillemots and Arctic Terns.

Explore An Historic British Castle

Jeff and Zuzi walk across a stone beach in front of Lindisfarne Castle

When the Normans conquered England at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, they brought with them the first proper castles!

Today, over 800 castles still remain in the UK. Some lie in ruins, in what is no more than a pile of stones while others are able to house royalty! Windsor Castle has been home to the British kings and queens for nearly 1000 years!

With so many beautiful castles to explore all over the country make sure you add one to your UK bucket today.

Enjoy A Pint At The Oldest Pub In England

Couple stand in front of the Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem pub

There’s nothing more British than having a pint at your local pub. So why not have one at the oldest pub in England?

Many claim to be the oldest pub in the land but one name always comes to mind – Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem in Nottingham. With a name like that, who’s going to forget it in a hurry?

The pub is said to have been established in 1189AD, although there is no documentation to confirm this. There is, however, evidence that the caves behind the pub were used for brewing beer when Nottingham Castle was being built in 1067!

Have A Punt In Cambridge

Zuzi sits on the front of the boat in Cambridge with the Bridge of Sighs in the background

The University of Cambridge is one of the top institutes in the world. Some of history’s leading minds attended the university, including Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking and… Borat!

Cambridge itself is a beautiful city full of old college buildings, fantastic architecture and plenty of green space. One of the best ways to see it all is to enjoy a nice punt along the River Cam.

Punting is basically using a long pole to push the boat off the bottom of the river. Take a relaxing punting tour to learn some history with a glass of Pimm’s. Just don’t leave until you’ve had a try at punting yourself!

Visit The Edge Of England At Land’s End

Jeff and Zuzi stand on the Land's End's signpost at Land's End

Land’s End is the most westerly part of England and is now one of the most famous landmarks in the country.

Everyone comes here to see the famous signpost but Land’s End is more than these pieces of painted wood. Take one of the cliff-top trails either side of the signpost and you’ll be able to enjoy stunning coastal views of the Celtic Sea and the English Channel.

Celebrate Hogmanay In Scotland

Feature image for A Short Guide To Hogmanay. Jeff holding Zuzi at the Princess Street party in Edinburgh

One of the biggest and best New Year’s Eve celebrations is the Hogmanay festival in Edinburgh. It’s not just one of the biggest in the UK but it’s one of the biggest, and most famous, in the whole world.

Revellers from all over the world gather in the Scottish capital to bring in the new year. The party along Princess Street sees around 75,000 people attending with DJs, live bands and street performers.

Edinburgh castle is the setting for one of the most spectacular fireworks displays you’ll ever see! Then, it’s the traditional singing (or mumbling) of Auld Lang Syne in one of the most unforgettable bucket list experiences you can have in the UK.

Read More | A Short Guide To Hogmanay

Climb The Highest Point in Wales

Jeff and Zuzi sit on top of a snow capped Mount Snowdon

Standing at 1,085 metre above sea level is Mount Snowdon in Wales. It may not be the tallest in the UK (that title goes to Ben Nevis in Scotland) but it’s one of the most popular and probably the most visited in the country.

There are six routes to the summit and some are suitable for children and even dogs. There’s also a train that takes you straight to the visitor centre where you can visit the Summit Cafe & Gift Shop.

Those attempting the hike will be treated to unbelievable views but do not take this mountain lightly. While the majority of visits are trouble free, only the experienced should attempt a summit in snow or bad weather (unless you’re idiots like ourselves!)

This is where Sir Edmund Hillary trained to become the first man to summit Mount Everest after all!

Soar Down The World’s Fastest Zipline

Person strapped in and about to go down zip line with view of quarry below

Located on the edge of Snowdonia National Park is a unique experience for adrenaline junkies visiting the UK.

Velocity is the fastest in the world and the longest in Europe! Depending on your weight and wind conditions, you can reach 100mph (160km/h) or more. Just make try to make sure you appreciate the view before you set off!

The whole experience lasts around two hours and there is a restaurant and viewing area for those who don’t want to participate.

Discover Game Of Thrones In Northern Ireland

Jeff walking down a road with trees either side. A must on your UK Bucket List

Are there any Game Of Thrones fans out there? Only joking, I know you all love the show!

During the eight years of filming, the show was taken to many stunning locations including Malta, Iceland, Morocco and Croatia. But did you know that most of the HBO television series was filmed in Northern Ireland?

There are around 25 filming locations around Northern Ireland, including Castle Ward (Winterfell) and the Dark Hedges (the King’s Road.)

It’s easy to self-drive around Northern Ireland but fans may enjoy taking one of the dedicated Game of Thrones tours. They may even let you dress up as your favourite character!

Enjoy The Best Pint Of Guinness In Dublin

Image of the Guinness Harp at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin

The Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland, was once part of the actual brewery, which is located just around the corner. Today it offers visitors a chance to discover the history of the famous stout as you walk through the many interactive rooms.

The highlight for many visitors comes at the end when you arrive at the Gravity Bar on the top floor. You’ll be served a perfectly chilled pint of Guinness while admiring the panoramic views of Dublin below.

Although Ireland isn’t technically a part of the UK, it’s pretty close. If you don’t visit the factory while you’re on these shores then you’ll be disappointed that you didn’t get to sample the best pint Guinness in the world!

Did You Know There Were So Many Bucket List Ideas In The UK?

Like a lot of people who travel, I never appreciated the country I was living in until recently.

Whilst I do love travelling around the world, I’ve also discovered that I enjoy exploring the many parts of my home country. I never knew I could have so many cool experiences right here in the UK.

I’m so fortunate that, because I live here, I can see and do many of these amazing these things on a weekend break or a day trip. I’m already looking forward to discovering more of this beautiful, diverse country.

Has this list inspired you to see more of the UK? Maybe you’ve had an awesome UK experience that you’d like to add to the list? Let me know in the comments below.

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