As 2024 kicks off, it’s time to start planning your travels for the new year. Recently LNER, in conjunction with Southeastern, Visit Kent and King’s Cross, conducted a survey on the ‘top domestic destinations for British people’. And in 10 most popular UK attractions, Roman Baths Museum on tops.
It turns out that there is a ‘north-south divide’ in the UK! 31% of southern Brits have never been to Scotland, while 29% of northerners have never been to Devon and Cornwall, the southernmost part of the UK. 31% of British southerners have never been to Scotland, while 29% of northerners have never been to Devon and Cornwall, the southernmost part of the UK. But these never-before-explored destinations are on many people’s bucket lists as must-hit places for the future, so here’s a look at where all the UK locals are most keen to visit!
10. Land’s End, Cornwall
Land’s End, Cornwall’s southernmost point and the southernmost point in England, is known as the ‘end of the world’ on the Isle of England. The name “Tianya Haijiao” is the Chinese word for the end of the world, while the English word “Land’s End” directly translates to the end of the land. Although the name “Tianya Haijiao” may sound inhospitable, the scenery here is very pleasant in the summer. The Atlantic sea breezes blow against the craggy cliffs, which stretch as far as the eye can see, and the wide blue sea shimmers. This location was also used as fodder for Monument Valley’s Edge of Oblivion, for those of you who have played Monument Valley, does that ring a bell?
The iconic white plaque at the end of the world has also become a must-visit spot, and you can change your name, or a number or word with special meaning on the plaque to take a unique customised photo!
09. Ben Nevis, Fort William
At 1,345 metres above sea level, Mount Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in Scotland and the highest in the UK. A popular mountaineering destination, Ben Nevis attracts over 100,000 climbers every year. If you don’t have any mountaineering experience and just want to see the sights? Look no further than the Mountain Gondola, the UK’s only alpine gondola. At 650 metres, the crisp mountain air around you and the breathtaking views below you are like walking through the clouds – it’s breathtaking.
Nevis Range, close to Mount Ben Nevis, is also one of the UK’s leading ski resorts. With 20 kilometres of pistes, the highest altitude ski area in the UK, Nevis Range is a great way to unleash your passion for skiing in Scotland, without having to travel to Scandinavia and Switzerland!
08. Stonehenge, Salisbury
Stonehenge was one of the first sites in the UK to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This remarkable prehistoric site spans more than 4,500 years.
Located on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, this masterpiece of architectural engineering took hundreds of men and women to build, using the most primitive of tools and techniques, but to this day no one can say for sure who built it and for what reason. As a result, Stonehenge is classified as one of the world’s unsolved mysteries.
Every year on the summer and winter solstices, Stonehenge organises sunrise and sunset events for around 5,000 people, who meet the first rays of the rising sun on the longest and shortest days of daylight and experience the ancient devotion of praying for blessings day by day.
07. Jurassic Coast, Dorset
You may not know its name, but I’m sure you’ve seen pictures of it – the UK’s first UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site, the Jurassic Coast in Dorset.
Along 95 miles of coastline revealing 185 million years of earth’s history, the South West Coast Path runs along the Jurassic Coast and is a great way to see Dorset’s stunning landmarks and views of the coast from afar. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved in fossil hunting on the Jurassic Coast – you might even find a fossil of your own!
As well as fossils, the Jurassic Coast has stunning sandy beaches and pretty seaside towns, with rows of colourful cottages behind the beaches serving as holiday homes, as well as cafes, restaurants and pubs, making it the perfect seaside getaway whatever the weather.
06. Roman Baths Museum
The ancient British city of Bath shares its name with the word “bath,” and as the name suggests, “bathing” first originated in the city.
The Roman Baths Museum in Bath, in the centre of the city, was excavated in the 18th century, and the original site was used as a museum instead of a bath for the preservation of cultural relics. The museum is also home to Britain’s only thermal spring, which has been bubbling away for thousands of years and still spews out 1.27 million litres of naturally warm water, rich in many minerals, every day. It’s said that the hot springs, which were used by the Roman aristocracy, are known for their healing qualities and are known for their beautiful skin.
Nowadays, one can stand in the same position as the Roman Emperor in the Roman Baths Museum, and look around the entire baths with the most open view.
05. Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle is an important symbol of Scotland and Edinburgh. It sits on the granite summit of an extinct volcano in the city of Edinburgh. At an altitude of 120 metres above sea level, it has views across the city of Edinburgh. The view from the foot of the hill upwards is even more spectacular than that of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Harry Potter.
Most of the castle’s buildings were destroyed during the Lang Siege in the 16th century, but a few survived the siege, most notably St Margaret’s Chapel, built in the early 12th century. As well as being one of Scotland’s most popular attractions, Edinburgh Castle also plays a starring role in major festivals throughout the year, such as the Festival of Military Music and Christmas.
04. Lake District, Cumbria
The gentle Lake District is the birthplace of Wordsworth’s “Narcissus” and the fairy tale of Peter Rabbit. It is the birthplace of the fairy tale of Peter Rabbit. It has preserved the most pristine natural landscapes and the most traditional countryside culture in the UK; not only is there a beautiful and gentle lake, but there is also no lack of magnificent mountain colours that rise and fall.
Lake Windermere is located in the southernmost part of the Lake District and is 13 kilometres long. The best way to visit the lake is by boat. For those who don’t like boat rides, you can also visit Bowness, the closest town to Lake Windermere. This kind of leisurely life is exactly the meaning of travelling.
In addition to the gentle lake, the Lake District is dotted with large and small mountains, the most famous of which is Scafell Pike, located in the western part of the Lake District, 978 metres high, is the highest peak in England. Due to its steepness, complexity and inaccessibility, Scafell Pike remains peaceful even in the peak summer months, making it a popular destination for mountaineering enthusiasts.
03. Eden Project, Cornwall
From a distance, these giant glass domes (aka “biomes”) in a former quarry outside St Austell look like alien settlements and have been dubbed the “Eighth Wonder of the World”.
The botanically landscaped theme park, known as the Eden Project, consists of huge greenhouses containing thousands of plant species in neighbouring greenhouses, each mimicking a natural biome. The greenhouses consist of hundreds of hexagonal and pentagonal, expanded plastic units supported by steel frames. The largest of the greenhouses mimics a rainforest environment, the second a Mediterranean environment. This attraction also has an outside botanical garden which is home to many plants and wildlife.
“The Eden Project is a fun and educational attraction that combines entertainment, science and tourism, so it’s no wonder that since its official opening in 2001, it has been voted Britain’s favourite modern building and “Britain’s Best Leisure Attraction” for many years in a row.
02. The Scottish Highlands
The Scottish people like to call this area of high ground the Highlands, and the whole of the Highlands has a unique atmosphere, the landscape is difficult but magnificent, sparsely populated, so much so that most of the area is still pristine today. The rocks, mountains and terrain here are the products of the Ice Age and are very old, but they are also witness to the long and ancient history of the legend of Scotland.
Many people refer to the Scottish Highlands as the most picturesque region in Europe. Here are sparsely populated and are home to a number of mountain ranges, including mount Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the UK. This Highlands are one of the few remaining great wildernesses in Europe, and due to the lack of over-exploitation, the area still retains its pristine wilderness.
01. Loch Ness, Drumnadrochit
Always shrouded in mystery, Loch Ness is the largest freshwater lake in Britain. Its deep, cold, black waters were once searched for the Loch Ness Monster. Although in recent years there has been no sign of the monster, many people still come here hoping to catch a glimpse of the mysterious creature.
The scenery of the Loch Ness area is also quite outstanding, and is arguably one of the most beautiful loch attractions in the Scottish Highlands. The vast landscape of the northern highlands and the cold weather has given Loch Ness and the surrounding area a mysterious and rugged temperament, blue sky, mountains and rivers, lochs as one make people forget, if it is a foggy day, there is more like a fairyland of beauty.
For outdoor enthusiasts, the area around Loch Ness is also a hiking destination. The Loch Ness 360° Trail encircles the full circumference of Loch Ness for 80 miles and is one of Scotland’s leading trails and cycle paths, linking the Great Glen Trail with the South Loch Ness Trail, and takes around six days to complete. But it’s also friendly for novices and can be joined at any point to experience the outdoors of Loch Ness.
Which most popular UK attractions would you most like to hit in this year?
Source: LNER destinations & route map