Summer Trips to the UK: Some Tips to Get Off the Beaten Track

So you are thinking of somewhere unusual to spend your time outside major European destinations this summer. In this case, it is likely that Italy, France or Spain are not at the top of your list.

My first suggestion for travellers like you would be to think of all the UK has to offer and aim for more than the usual weekend trip to London. Sure, there is no reason to avoid London on your British summer trip, but it is worth venturing further West and North to see all this often underrated destination has to offer.

For a start, it will make sense to use London as a departure point given that it is connected to all major American airports as well as many European destinations with low-cost flights. Sure, you may have already visited the usual City, Westminster and Oxford Circus haunts as well as glossier ones such as Harley Street and Piccadilly.

Cafe in Brixton Village

This is a good enough reason why this time you should try to consider the London suburbs instead. Explore the vibrant area of Brixton and its Caribbean heritage, venture West to discover the peacefulness of Richmond or go North for the quintessentially British area of Highgate with Hampstead Heath and its fantastic views over London.

After three to four of days in the Big Smoke, I recommend heading out by train knowing that all major destinations in England will be less than a four-hour ride away.

Clifton Suspension Bridge Bristol

First, consider Bristol and its artsy background. The city is a must-see not only for the thriving pub and music scene but also for the street art influence that has revolutionised it over recent years. This is where from one day to the next you will be able to see new influential graffiti from the likes of Banksy appear around town. Bristolians are a friendly lot and the city is easily walkable, so you will easily feel at home around here.

Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester

From there, the North-West is also close by with Liverpool and Manchester being two must-sees for different reasons. Liverpool is the city of the Beatles with spectacular views over river Mersey and the Irish sea, whereas Manchester is proud of its industrial past and owes much of its recent fortunes to a buzzing art scene. What’s more, true Northeners always speak their minds, and know how to welcome a traveller.

Finally, why not take the chance to explore some magic scenery around the Lake District, which happens to be the wettest place in England but also one of the country’s largest national park, the most scenic and fascinating. A trip here is a fairytale experience that all hiking aficionados will hardly forget. Who knows, after your visit you may want to never head back to London and take your return flight.

This entry was posted in UK on by .

About Karen Bryan

Hello, I'm Karen Bryan, I created Europe a la Carte in 2002 to highlight the best places to visit in Europe with travel tips, photos and no fluff reviews. I’m also an artist; my artworks are often inspired by my travels