Main Claire's Itchy Feet logo

The UK Travel Guide

Welcome to this comprehensive UK travel guide, where I’ll take you on a journey through the stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture of The UK

We may not have the best weather, or the best food in Europe, but there are so many other reasons to visit the UK with this comprehensive UK travel guide. Firstly it’s full to the brim with history.

I don’t think I ever really appreciated just how much history I was constantly surrounded by in the UK. From Historic Bath to The Jurassic Coast. Stone Henge to The Beatles to some of the best things to do in Cambridge too. Oh and let’s not forget about Harry Potter and Outlander!

But what I really miss is visiting various UK destinations for Christmas and the Great British outdoors. And yes, of course, visit London, then get on a train, bus, or go on a UK road trip using our travel guides UK.

In this UK travel guide, I’m going to share everything you will need to plan the perfect trip to the UK, including where to go, what to eat, and of course, what to pack!

uk travel guide,best months to visit england,travel guides uk

Pin For Later

Travel Guide to the UK
The Complete Guide to the United Kingdom

Top 10 Things to Do in The United Kingdom

Click for place guides

UK  Placeholder

Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 

Best UK Tours: Click here to check out the top UK tours
Best UK Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in UK
Best UK Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in UK

Two red telephone booths in front of a ferris wheel in London, a must-see for UK travelers.

United Kingdom Itineraries

Where to go In United Kingdom

1. London

UK travel guide won’t be complete without London. It’s where most people start their UK adventure after all! Spend at least a few days exploring the historic capital and don’t forget to get some great Instagram pictures!

2. Liverpool

The other big city you should explore if you’re wondering where to go in United Kingdom as part of your 10 days in England itinerary is Liverpool, the birthplace of the Beatles and home to the best Football team in the UK… yes, it’s also my home town so I’m totally biased.

But here in Liverpool, you will find some of the friendliest people, a buzzing music scene, and a lot of cultural activities (like museums and galleries) with free entrance, making it a great britain travel destination.

3. York

York is often skipped over by people visiting the UK. There are so many things to do in York according to my travel guides UK, so please don’t skip it! It’s such a beautiful city full of history, plus it’s surrounded by beautiful landscapes so getting there is very pleasant. 

4. Bath

Bath is the UK’s only UNESCO city,  as our UK travel guides will tell you. The whole city is a UNESCO site thanks to the buildings all being built in the same style. Plus they have the Roman baths there. Although you can’t take a dip in the actual Roman baths, there is a delightful spa!

5. Edinburgh

In your trip to United Kingdom, please know that there is much more to Scotland than just Edinburgh. Don’t miss visiting here when in the UK. And if you have some extra time then I strongly recommend a trip to Dumfries and Galloway.

6. The Gower (Wales)

Cardiff is cool, and Swansea is meh (I lived there for 4 years so I can say that), but if you want to see Wales in all its beauty, go to the Gower. 

My UK travel blog will guide you to this hidden gem. You can stay in the Mumbles and drive out for the day, or take your tent and go camping in the summer.

7. Cornwall

I love Cornwall. I find myself binge-watching Poldark once a year, just so I can travel there in my mind. This United Kingdom travel guide will show you why it is breathtakingly beautiful. No really, the wind up on those rugged Cornish cliffs will quite literally take your breath away!

8. Devon

If you are going to Cornwall, you must also go to Devon, and pay a little visit to Plymouth on your way through. As well as the beautiful beaches, you also have Dartmoor moors and of course Exeter. Check out this travel blog UK to discover more about these fantastic destinations.

9. Brighton

Brighton is a famous seaside town in the Uk, which will definitely be included in this UK travel guide. But it’s also a cultural melting pot filled with some of the UK’s hottest artists from all disciplines.

You can discover Brighton when you wonder where to go in the United Kingdom with a short train ride from London and there are so many things to do in Brighton. Take a walk on the pier with some fish and chips and don’t forget to get an icecream!

10. The Lake District

When I was a child this is where we would go on family vacations, making it one of my great britain travel destinations.

Normally camping or staying ina caravan somewhere. Kendle mint cake, visiting Beatrice Potters house, Lake Windomear and Ambleside. You can check my full Lake District UK travel blog here.

Ah, so many memories. please go and visit this beautiful place, and don’t forget your hiking boots!

uk travel Guide Information

General Information

The United Kingdom, island country located off the northwestern coast of mainland Europe.

In this UK travel guides you will also discover the best time to visit United Kingdom. The United Kingdom comprises the whole of the island of Great Britain—which contains England, Wales, and Scotland—as well as the northern portion of the island of Ireland. The name Britain is sometimes used to refer to the United Kingdom as a whole.

The capital of the UK is London, which is one of the most popular & great britain travel and among the world’s leading commercial, financial, and cultural centers.

Other major cities include Birmingham, Liverpool, and Manchester in England, Belfast and Londonderry in Northern Ireland, Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland, and Swansea and Cardiff in Wales.

But the best of England can be found outside of its cities on days out in The Peak District, The Lakes, Cornwall, Buckinghamshire, and the Jurassic Coast, to name but a few.

Wondering when is the best months to visit England? For pleasant weather and a balance of activities, May to September is generally considered the best time.

The currency in the United Kingdom is the Pound sterling (GBP).

The dialing code of the United Kingdom is +44

The water is safe to drink from the tap in the UK and Ireland. This will come as a relief to those traveling on a budget, since bottled water is charged at a premium, especially in London. So ditch the plastic and get a reusable water bottle.

UK Accommodation

Many UK travel guides will tell you that accommodation in the UK isn’t particularly cheap, it’s similar to most of Europe. But if you are on a budget you can find decent hostels in most cities with kitchens. If you go to more rural places then it will be B&B’s (bed and breakfasts), or campsites! You can save yourself a lot of money outside of the cities if you bring a tent with you!

If you are going for the campsite option, check the best time to visit United Kingdom and you will need to bring your own tent or buy one as it’s not common to have tents for rent in most campsites. That said you can also look at caravans or chalets (like little cabins). I once stayed in a delightful Airbnb caravan in someone’s garden in rural Cornwall once, and it was wonderful!

Pretty much all accommodation on your trip to United Kingdom is on Airbnb, Hostel World, or, which makes it very easy to book.

For a bed in a dorm expect to pay £ 15 -25. If you want a private room in a dorm then you are looking at around £40. Or if you prefer to stay in a hotel expect to pay around £81 ($100 USD).

Food in The UK

Many travel guides UK can lead you to a lot of unique dining experiences, which is a must have during your great britain travel.

Food in the UK is good, mostly because so many people from other cultures have settled here and brought their food with them haha. No, but really, you won’t go hungry in your trip to United Kingdom, you probably just want to avoid eating too much traditional British Food as it’s often cooked in a lot of fat (lard) and not particularly healthy.

I wrote a whole post on food to eat when in the UK in this uk travel guides, but other than the more traditional British food, make sure you eat at least one British Indian curry while in the UK!

Best Things To Do In The United Kingdom

Regardless of many opinions on the best time to visit United Kingdom, There are so many great things to do in the UK during any season! But I’d say to make the most of your Great Britain travel you are going to need some hiking boots.

The UK may be cold and damp, but it’s also bloody beautiful, plus it has so many quaint little rural pubs (boozers as we like to call them) where you can always be guaranteed of a roaring fire in the winter and an ice cold cider in the summer.

Plus just before Christmas, the UK is full of Christmas markets, making it one of the best time to visit United Kingdom. It is always nice to wander around the London Christmas markets, which are always full of great food and interesting Christmas gifts. If you decide to escape London then take a look at this list of the best UK Christmas Markets and see if you can visit a few of them during your trip to United Kingdom.

If you enjoy hiking and wondering where to go in United Kingdom for a hike, you should check out Cornwall, Devon, The Lake District, The Welsh coast, Scotland, and the Yorkshire dales. There are other places too, but these are my personal favorite places in the UK. Also if you’re visiting for the adventure, don’t forget to check for the best months to visit England.

So other than hiking or bike riding on your trip to United Kingdom, it’s all about history and art. London is full of museums, but many of them you do have to pay for. However outside of London, in many places museums and art galleries are free of charge. Like in Liverpool or Manchester for example. There are also whole cities and towns steeped in history. Bath, York, and who could forget Stone Henge?

UK budget per day:

Backpackers Budget – $55 GBP

Accommodation: 20 GBP
Food: 15 GBP
Activities & Transport: 20 GBP

Mid Budget – 135 GBP

Accommodation: 65 GBP
Food: 35 GBP
Activities & Transport: 35 GBP

Luxury Budget – 255 GBP

Accommodation: 100 GBP
Food: 90 GBP
Activities & Transport: 65 GBP

Stonehenge is a must-visit destination in England, especially at sunset. Its mystical and ancient stones provide a mesmerizing sight in the tranquil English countryside. For top-notch travel experiences in the UK

United Kingdom Safety Advice

The UK is like most European countries. It’s relatively safe. Cities have more safety issues with pickpocketing and petty crime, plus around tourist hotspots you will need to look out for scammers.

But out in the rural areas and small towns the crime risk decreases.

Whatever you do though make sure you have some sold travel insurance before traveling abroad. I wrote a whole post on the best backpacking insurance and you can read it here.

United Kingdom Money Saving Tips

As you browse many travel guides UK, you will realize that things in the UK can get expensive quickly! But there are some ways you can cut costs. The main things that are going to eat into your budget are transport and accommodation, which can get particularly expensive in the UK. A train from London to Liverpool can be 4 times as expensive as a flight to Spain sometimes!

Bring a tent

If you are planning to get out in rural England camping will save you a lot of money, also make sure to check the best months to visit england before your camp!

Make sure you have a waterproof tent and a decent sleeping bag. If you can splurge for a camping stove and a pot to cook with that will also save you a lot of money on food. Or look out for campsites with kitchens.

Use Couchsurfer

Using couchsurfer is pretty common in the UK. When I had my own place I was on there and had several cool people come and stay with me. Not only will it save you money, but most hosts are happy to offer advice about things to do in their town or city too.

Look Out For Hostels With Kitchens

If you want to save money by cooking for yourself then I would strongly suggest checking before booking.

Save money on accommodation using Worldpackers

It’s not expensive to join and if you join through my link and use the discount code in this blog post you get some money off… you’re welcome!

Eat In Pubs

If you do want to eat out while in the UK then in general eating in pubs rather than restaurants is generally cheaper, plus you can often get deals if there are two of you, and before 6pm you ill often find ‘early bird’ menus where meals are discounted. The pub food isn’t always the best quality in the cities, but in the rural areas, often this food is great quality and locally sourced.

Book Your Transport in Advance

Here’s the thing. No one really wants to book their whole backpacking journey months in advance. However, having a well-planned UK travel guide can really help. In the UK it really is the only way to save money, and I’m talking a lot of money here! Last time I was home I tried to book a train from London to Liverpool. Normal cost £300.

Book it a month in advance on an off-peak train and I paid £40 for a 1st class ticket, a standard would have been £30 but I was feeling Boujee AF. Trains are by far the best way to travel in your trip to United Kingdom, but if you don’t want to book too far in advance then you can also get some great deals on the National Express and MegaBus.

The only downside is that it oftern takes a lot longer than the train, and it’s not as comfortable. Honestly, the buses in Colombia and Mexico are better than the ones in the UK!

Don’t buy Bottled Water

Water is safe to drink directly from the tap, so be sure to bring a good water bottle with you.

United Kingdom Packing Advice

Wondering what to pack in this UK Travel guide? I got you. I’ve done a full blog post outlining everything you need to pack for the United Kingdom depending on the season.

The Complete Packing List For London (and the UK)

Or you can just skip ahead and download my free packing list using the form below.

Quick Tip: View my full UK packing guide here including a downloadable checklist. And check out my UK packing guide here

Map of Accommodation in UK

Traveling in The United Kingdom

A man riding a bike on a busy street in London, a popular destination for travelers and featured in many UK travel guides.

The best way to travel around the UK is a mix of trains and cars. If you can book your trains in advance. Otherwise, bus and car.

When you’re considering the best time to visit the United Kingdom, take into account these transportation options for a smoother journey.

Trains in the UK

Trains are by far the best way to travel cross country in the UK. I can get from London to Liverpool in under 3 hours on a train. It would be double that to drive or take a bus. But the prices can also get insane! The trick is to book in advance and travel off-peak.

Don’t just expect to turn up at the train station and book a ticket on the next cross country train, unless you want your bank balance to take a bit hit. Even booking a few days in advance can make a big difference. Use one of the comparison sites to check the times and prices and then book the best price, these are normally at off-peak times when people don’t want to travel, like right in the middle of the day!

Buses in the UK

Buses are much cheaper in the UK than the trains, unless you get a good deal. So if you can’t find a good train or a good price then look for a bus. You can travel on the MegaBus for £1 on some journeys if you book in advance. So if time isn’t an issue for you and you need to make your £ stretch then take the bus!

Driving in the UK

The very best way to really see the UK is in a car. Traveling from city to city is easy (but expensive) by train. But if you want to visit the rural areas of the UK without a car it’s going to be very difficult as the local transport in places like Cornwall or The Lake District can by unreliable and infrequent at the best of times.

With a car, you can explore till your heart’s content without having to worry about missing a bus or getting caught in the rain while waiting for said bus.

You could either rent a car for the whole time you are in the UK, or you could do a mix of taking a train, then renting a car to explore the new place.

Remember though, us brits drive on the wrong side of the road!

Flying in the UK

There are lots of budget airlines in the UK, so flying is an option. But generally flying domestically is more expensive than flying internationally. Plus the baggage charges will make your eyes water! But I’d always check Skyscanner, just in case!

Did You Get Insurance Yet?

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that you need to be prepared for anything!

The Insurance companies I personally recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single trip cover, annual multi trip cover, and long term travel cover.

Safety Wing is great value with monthly cover starting at $39. It’s super easy to use and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here where I go into detail about the companies. 

UK Travel Guide planning

🧳 Any recommendations on what I should pack for UK?

Yes! I have created a whole packing guide to UK which you can read here and you can also check out my packing list for UK on Amazon here.

🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m in UK?

I strongly recommend using Bookaway. You can book almost all transport in the major tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in UK?

I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide. They have a lot of options!

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are,, and Expedia They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack

The Best Time To Visit The United Kingdom

The United Kingdom can be visited at any time of year, as its climate is relatively temperate and, in general, doesn’t experience extremes during either summer or winter.

Overall, spring (late March to early June) and autumn (September to November) are the best times to visit, when it’s usually warm and dry. At these times you’ll see beautiful spring flowers or the leaves changing hue in autumn, and avoid the much busier summer period.

Winter (December to February) can also be an enjoyable time to visit. Although some attractions close in mountainous areas and in the north, where there’s likely to be snow, the main cities remain fully open and will be quieter for sightseeing. The highest temperatures are experienced in the summer, but these rarely rise above 30°C (86°F).

What to Read in The United Kingdom

Ultimate United Kingdom Travelist is a great companion on your trip to the UK. You can get it before your trip to help you plan out all of the best places to go. It’s a go to bucket list of the not to miss places to visit in the UK.

It’s full of beautiful photography and it goes much further than just the typical tourist traps and includes everything from coastal walks, music festivals, and hidden away pubs you must visit. 

If you are interested in learning more about the upper echelons of the British aristocracy then this book abut the life of Anne Glenconner is a great read.

She has long been at the center of the royal circle as a life long friend of the Queen and her sister. Her father was the Earl of Leicester and controlled one of the largest estates  in England. 

Sadly Anne turned out to be “the greatest disappointment” to her father and she was unable to inherit his great estate and instead make her own way in the world while surviving the vipers of court life! And interesting read to see how the ‘other half’ live.

The UK that you will see today is a product of the post WWII industrial revolution.

Nineteenth-century Britain experienced an unprecedented series of changes in the wake of the war. Cities grew fast and revolutions in transports, communication, science, and the way people lived happened in quick succession. 

Added to these changes was a growing skepticism of religion, a questioning of power resulting in political and social unrest.

In spite if these turbulent times Britain remained strong on a global level which saw it quickly rise as a global leader… this was of course before Brexit!

If you are looking for a light read to accompany yo on your UK vacation then Bridget Jones’s Diary is the perfect literary companion. Even if you have watched the movie, the book is soooo much better.

Us brits are legit obsessed with manners to a fault. Seriously we love nothing more that throwing as many please and thank you’s in to a sentence as we can make fit. And don’t even get me started with our obsession with apologizing for EVERYTHING! 

But our obsession doesn’t just stop there, there is so much more to British etiquette most of which will confuse the hell out of visitors from foreign lands. 

In this book you will get an illuminating insight in to all of the social rules we are governed by, from never putting your elbows on the table to holding open doors. But this book goes deeper and shines a light on where this crazy obsession with good manners comes from. Its a interesting and quirky must read.

Looking for a novel to sink your teeth into on those long cross country train journeys in the UK. White Teeth is it.

Set against London’ s racial and cultural tapestry, venturing across the former empire and into the past as it barrels toward the future, White Teeth revels in the ecstatic hodgepodge of modern life, flirting with disaster, confounding expectations, and embracing the comedy of daily existence.

Check out My travel books

UK Blog Posts