The best UK places to see this year. New ideas for travel planning

By Anna Veselova-SolovoniukJan 24, 2024 09:50 AMUK
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The best UK places to see this year. New ideas for travel planning
Adventures in different parts of the UK. Source: Photographer Bittermuir/Pixabay

Planning an entire year's worth of experiences is the first step to success. You need to think through your desires, match them to your budget and put a specific timeframe on your goal. Our list of the best things to do and see in the UK includes cycling tours, canoeing routes, cultural immersion and, even, aerial adventures. When planning a trip to the UK check out our list to find new and exciting ideas for traveling around the country.

The best UK places to see this year. New ideas for travel planning
Catch 1,000 waves an hour on land in Edinburgh already this year. Source: https://www.lostshore.com/

1. Surfing on land in Edinburgh

When planning your travels in the UK for this fall, put Lost Shore Surf Resort on your list on your fridge. This resort is for surfboard training and fun. The location opens in the fall (September) near Edinburgh. You will be able to feel the roll of 1000 waves per hour, of varying complexity and intensity. That is, you will have the opportunity to make friends with surfing for the first time, as well as to pump up your skills as a professional.

Just imagine a 160-meter lake in the middle of a 60-acre park. There's a lot to do and a lot of fun to be had. You can stay in 22 cabins and capsules, which, of course, must be booked in advance. Food courts, as without them, seasonal market, themed stores, restaurants with qualified chefs and even a spa - everything to make your beginning of autumn not seem boring and ordinary. The great news is that surf lessons, use of the heated locker rooms, and all surfing gear from suit to board are included in your lodging fee. Grab the family on a trip and paddle out this fall in Ratho, 9 miles from Edinburgh.

The best UK places to see this year. New ideas for travel planning
Barbie's exclusive accessories and outfits on display in London. Source: https://designmuseum.org/

2. Barbie exhibition in London

The pink boom continues. Already this year, the Design Museum in London will celebrate the 65th anniversary of the famous and popular doll. The celebration is planned in terms of an exhibition that will showcase the evolution of the toy and the brand itself.

Mattel Inc, the California-based company that represents Barbie has even granted access to the archives to allow the museum to showcase the artifacts and documents stored there. You will be able to see rare and exclusive furnishings for Barbie's homes, rare clothing and many accessories that you are unlikely to buy anywhere else.

The date of the exhibition has already been set, it will take place from July 5 to February 23, 2025, but you should keep an eye on the ticket prices and their availability in order not to miss the unique opportunity.

3. The Time Machine in Beamish, County Durham

If you've ever been to the Living History Museum, or heard about this project, then you know that this is the place to visit in the UK to experience the beauty and appreciate the labor.

Get caught up in the Golden Age of Cinema with the recreated picture house in Beamish. Visit the 1950s movie theater, check out the barbershop or stores where every detail is carefully selected and planned so that your mind starts to get confused as to what year you are in. The vintage music booth will help you dive even deeper into the atmosphere emitting long ago tunes and songs.

The Georgian exhibit has also been added to the tavern and now you can taste the era. You will be served Georgian food in ceramic dishes and you will measure the wine with horns, as is the Georgian custom.

Those who want to continue their experience of the era can stay in the farmhouses and cottages, which keep up with the general idea and maintain the atmosphere of the recreated years.

You can plan such experiences now by purchasing season tickets, which are valid for a whole year: £24.95 adult, £15.45 child, £63.50 for a family of four.

The best UK places to see this year. New ideas for travel planning
Botticelli's painting of Venus and Mars is closer than you thought. Source: https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/

4. The National Gallery is getting closer to you

The National Gallery has decided to mark its 200th anniversary this year with a real journey around the UK. Putting 12 of its most famous paintings in its 'suitcase', the gallery is planning 12 iconic stops and one of them could be right in your town, or at least a neighboring town. One of the world-famous paintings, whether it's Constable's "Telecas with Hay" or Monet's "Pond with Lilies" will choose one "residence" for a certain period of time. A minor spoiler: Northern Ireland will be visited by Caravaggio's "Dinner at Emmaus" and Liverpool is preparing to welcome Velázquez's "Venus Rokeby". The landmark opening of the exhibitions in each of the lucky cities will take place on the same day - May 10. The opening will be accompanied by various events that will make the event large and interesting, dynamic and approaching the climax.

The best UK places to see this year. New ideas for travel planning
Adventures at the height of the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. Source: https://www.wru.wales/

5. Straight to the skies in Cardiff

Rugby fans didn't see this twist coming. The Principality Stadium in Cardiff is set to become a field for extreme athletes who are not afraid of heights this spring. The unique attraction will be made possible by leading aerial adventure experts Wire & Sky, who have developed the Scale ride for the stadium and its fans. Just imagine the view from the top of the stadium, where you will be lifted up and brought down. You'll be able to take in the view of the pitch and see the best panorama of the Cardiff skyline. Getting ready for the event will help you with a great camera and monitoring tickets, which are not yet on sale. Register online so you don't miss out.

The best UK places to see this year. New ideas for travel planning
The fun nightlife of Paris in Toulouse-Lautrec's pictures in Bath. Source: https://www.victoriagal.org.uk/

6. Toulouse-Lautrec in Bath

Victoria Art Gallery has presented a new event for spring to give you exactly what to do in the UK. The exhibition "Toulouse-Lautrec and the Masters of Montmartre" will shed light on 30 paintings by the world-famous artist and show his first work for Moullen Rouge: a poster featuring cancan dancers from Mademoiselle Eglantine's troupe. The galleries will be complemented by paintings by other talented artists of the time.

You will be able to admire the Ruinart champagne advertising poster by Alphonse Mucha and Steinlein's Tournée du Chat Noir, discover Jules Chéret with his theater posters and admire Lautrec's posters in their entirety. Don't miss the chance so that you don't have to plan a trip to Belgium later.

The exhibition runs from April 26 to September 29 and tickets are on sale now: £10 for adults and £3.50 for children.

The best UK places to see this year. New ideas for travel planning
Keep an eye out for new site openings to continue your ''King Charles III'' journey. Source: https://www.gov.uk/

7. King Charles III's road along the coastline

This is a wonderful idea for an outdoor activity in the UK. If you are an avid two-wheeled or two-legged traveler part of the Charles III Trail may be familiar to you, but by the end of the year you will have a pleasant surprise the trail will be fully passable and manageable. You'll be able to cover the 2,700 miles from Bamburg to Boscastle.

Today only half of the route is ready, but new sections have been opened such as: Cumbria, Kente and Sussex. A section from Huntington via Sutton Bridge in Norfolk is nearing completion. The route will skirt marshes, beaches and conservation areas on the River Wash. That section is scheduled to open as early as March. This will be followed by areas on the Isle of Sheppey and an upgrade to an existing site near the Exmoor coast.

You'll be able to track the opening and status of the sites thanks to the UK government website.

8. Black Country Museum - living history, Dudley

A place in the UK that is definitely worth a visit several times a year. With novelties such as the main street of the Midlands fully recreated and alive, you'll not just get a whiff of another era, you'll be transported there with a good breeze. Setton's Music Shop will give you a taste of the sound of vinyl, while the E Shop will take you deeper into 50s fashion. Although it's a little scary to go back to paper savings books, the West Bromwich Building Society will show you that part of history too. Spring will bring another gift and an opportunity to explore the Black Country's working lives by visiting the foundry and brickyards. Well into the summer we will be treated to the addition of the Post Office, Halesowen and Hasbury Co-op and the Army and Navy Store.

Tickets are available now and can delight your whole family: £22.5 for adults, £11.45 for children under 14.

The best UK places to see this year. New ideas for travel planning
One of the galleries of a whisky distillery in Belfast. Source: https://visitbelfast.com/

9. Crumlin Road Prison Distillery, Belfast

You couldn't think of a better purpose for a former prison. In March, a whiskey distillery is set to open in the 19th-century building. A hefty £22million investment has made it possible to open a new tasting experience for amber connoisseurs. You'll have access to everything from production to the finished drink. You'll be able to be entertained by masterclasses, various themed tours and leave your savings replenished in your home bar.

However, the prison stories won't disappear, this part of the building's history will be preserved thanks to the themed tours that still take place within the walls of the former prison. If you're wondering what interesting things to see in the UK - this place could be a spectacular moment.

10. Yorkshire coast by bike

Take advantage of the circular route from Scarborough to plan an active trip around the UK with a bike tour. Plan your stops in advance for a comfortable rest.If you only need one day to restart you can use starting points for the trip such as: Whitby, Filey, Bridlington, Hornsea and Withersea, as well as the villages of Grosmont in North York Moors.

Use the Route YC companion website to make a more detailed plan. This opportunity will be available until January 31.

The best UK places to see this year. New ideas for travel planning
Water canoeing adventures in the Tweed Valley. Source: https://www.gotweedvalley.co.uk/

11. Canoeing in the Tweed Valley

One of the UK's must-see places to experience its rapids and twists and turns. This is the first official canoeing trail that you will be able to test out this spring. The trail includes a fairly laid-back section 30 miles long, so you don't have to worry if it's your first time. A scenic walk along the river in Britain, you can start in the village of Stobo and finish in Abbotsford, overlooking the former home of Sir Walter Scott. Along the route, you'll not only experience spectacular panoramic views, but you'll also be able to see some of the inhabitants of the local forests and water bodies.

By the end of January you will be able to put together a full itinerary, looking at possible camping stops and places to slow down with a paddle.

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