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The Best Ways To Explore The UK

11 Jul 2024 | travel & explore

(collaborative post)

The United Kingdom has an enormous amount to offer the average tourist. Here, you’ll find sprawling countryside, spectacular coastlines, and richly historied cities and landmarks.

You’ll get a very different perspective on the country, depending on how you decide to travel through it. If you’re planning a holiday in the UK, whether you’re coming from abroad, or you’re a permanent resident of these islands, then it pays to think about how you’ll be getting around.

How to explore the country

There are many ways to explore the UK, some take in the beautiful surroundings at a slower pace, whilst others allow you to maximise areas explored. Read on to learn the different methods of travel to suit every budget.

Cycling holiday

If you’re looking for a workout, then it’s hard to beat cycling. You’ll spend all day pedalling, and you’ll gain access to parts of the country that would otherwise be inaccessible. The road system in the UK isn’t built for motorists and cyclists to peacefully coexist, but if you pick the right specialised cycling holidays in the UK, you’ll be spending more time on beautiful countryside trails than you will on busy roads.

Travelling in a motorhome or campervan

A motorhome provides a few considerable advantages. First, they tend to be much cheaper to stay in than fixed accommodation. This applies particularly if you’re willing to invest in your own motorhome. You’ll be able to tow it to wherever you’d like, and enjoy parts of the country that might be inaccessible to everyone else.

You might, on the other hand, miss out on many of the luxuries you get from a hotel. It’s therefore worth looking at the site you’ll be staying at, and working out exactly what’s on offer. There’s nothing that will make you appreciate a hot shower more than a few nights without one!

Driving and staying in different accommodation

If you want to experience different parts of the country, then sampling a selection of hotels and B&Bs, as part of a longer tour, is more than worthwhile. Make a list of the places you’d like to visit in a given region, and make a road trip of it. You’ll probably spend more money, here – but this might be justified by the level of luxury you end up living with.

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Walking holiday

If you’d like to explore the more remote corners of the country, then you’ll need to go hiking. You can think of this as a more leisurely alternative to the cycling holiday. You won’t need anywhere near as much equipment, but a decent pair of walking boots is indispensable. Wherever you are in the country, the chances are that you’ll be within driving distance of an amazing trail. But certain parts of the country, like the Lake District and the Highlands of Scotland, hold even greater appeal for would-be hikers.

Taking the train

The UK rail system offers a romantic appeal that’s difficult to replicate, with the chance to travel between changing sceneries in only a matter of hours. You’ll be able to travel between major cities, as well as more remote locations, and if you are a real train enthusiast the Caledonian Sleeper offers overnight train journeys from London to Scotland. The train is expensive, and, in terms of features and reliability, it’s some way short of the equivalent in mainland Europe. Even so, it’s worth considering!

Exploring the waterways

One often overlooked method of exploring the UK is by its extensive network of canals and rivers. A narrowboat holiday offers a unique and leisurely way to see the countryside from a different perspective. The canal systems in the UK are some of the most historic in the world, and navigating them can feel like a step back in time. You’ll have the opportunity to pass through charming villages, moor up near historic sites, and even experience the workings of old canal locks. It’s a slower pace of travel, perfect for those looking to unwind and appreciate the serene beauty of the UK’s waterways.

Public transport options

While the train is a popular choice, it’s not the only public transport option available. Buses and coaches can be a cost-effective way to travel, especially for those on a budget. Companies like National Express and Megabus offer routes that cover much of the country, providing an affordable alternative to rail travel. Local bus services can also help you reach smaller towns and rural areas that trains might not serve. It’s worth researching the best routes and passes, as some regions offer discounts for tourists.

Flying domestically

For those short on time or looking to travel between the more distant parts of the UK, domestic flights can be a convenient option. Airlines like British Airways and easyJet operate numerous flights between major cities such as London, Edinburgh, Belfast, and Cardiff. While flying might not offer the scenic views of train or road travel, it can significantly cut down on travel time, allowing you to maximise your holiday experience.

Boat and ferry services

The UK’s island geography means that boats and ferries are also an essential part of its transport network. Ferries connect the mainland to islands such as the Isle of Wight, the Hebrides, and the Isles of Scilly, providing an adventurous start to your exploration of these beautiful locales. These services can also offer stunning sea views and the chance to spot marine wildlife, adding an extra dimension to your journey.

In conclusion, there are myriad ways to explore the UK, each offering its own unique experience and benefits. Whether you prefer the independence of driving, the physical challenge of cycling or walking, the relaxation of a canal boat, or the efficiency of trains and flights, there’s a perfect method of travel for every type of traveller. Plan according to your preferences, budget, and the specific regions you wish to explore, and you’re sure to have an unforgettable adventure.

This post was published in collaboration with a content partner. The article is meant to inspire you how to live a slow, simple, soulful and sustainable lifestyle and may contain (affiliate) links to articles, websites or products/services that may be of interest to you.

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