Everyone and their grandma have visited Stonehenge and the Palace of Westminster, though they are definitely worth a visit they are by no means the be all and end all. Take a detour off the standard tourist trail and see more of what the UK has to offer, from royal flights of fancy, to music history.
If you’re up in the North of England visiting Liverpool anyways why not head a bit higher and visit Hadrian’s Wall, which has been called “the most important monument built by the Romans in Britain” by English Heritage. The remains of the wall, which was begun in AD 122, was a military fortification which marked the edge of the Roman Empire. Today much of the wall is in ruins but enough remains to get a feel for the magnitude of the building project, which would have stretched along rugged countryside for 120km and was at places 6 metres wide and 3.5 metres tall! One of the best ways to experience the wall today is by foot, with a long distance footpath following the route for 135km. If that seems like a bit of a long walk for you don’t worry, there are forts and museums along the wall that are accessible by that most modern mode of transport, the car. If you’re looking for accommodation along Hadrian’s Wall why not consider a holiday cottage? No matter how many people you are travelling with there is a cottage out there for you – whether you’re looking for a large holiday cottage or a romantic cottage retreat for two.
The Eden Project
For a day out like no other, head to this garden playground in the Cornish countryside. Set in a disused Kaolinite pit are two massive bio-domes which are home to thousands of unusual plant species. You can spend the whole day lost wandering through the plants and learning about ecology and biodiversity, but there is so much more to see and do at this one of a kind attraction. The site regularly holds music and art events, including being part of the 2005 Live 8 concert. Take a trip outside of the capital into beautiful Cornwall and visit the Eden Project, it is sure to be unlike anywhere else you visit in the UK.
If music is your passion then don’t miss a trip to Liverpool, a city that has arguably had more influence on popular music than any other city in the world. Liverpool was home to The Beatles and it was here that their music was shaped. A trip to Liverpool isn’t complete without visiting the Cavern Club on Matthew Street. The Beatles played more than 292 shows here and today the Cavern still holds regular gigs showcasing up and coming local artists. If you need more Beatles history take a black taxi tour and visit sites around the city that were influential to the young band – Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, and the homes of young John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
The Royal Pavillion, Brighton
If you want to stay a bit closer to London then take a day trip to Brighton and visit this extravagant former royal residence. Don’t expect to visit a staid royal palace when you visit Brighton Pavilion though, unless it was a palace for the Raj you were expecting. The outside of the building was redesigned by John Nash between 1815 and 1822 for the famously extravagant King George IV. The extravagance doesn’t stop on the outside either, the interior of the building is said to house the most lavish chinoiserie interiors ever found in the UK. Today it looks like a riot of colour and pattern but in its day this was the playground of the rich and was at the height of style in the Regency. Queen Victoria found the residence too cramped and so it was sold in 1850 to the town of Brighton for £53,000. The spectacle of Brighton Pavillion is not to be missed and it’s only a short train ride from London.
There is so much more to see and do in the UK then just Big Ben and the Millennium Eye. Step off the tourist trail and visit some of the more unusual places in Britain, you won’t be disappointed.