40 Of The Best Days Out In The UK.

UK union flag England staycation

There has never been a better time to explore the UK, with staycations becoming increasingly popular and the host of iconic attractions the UK has to offer, there is absolutely no reason not to explore the diversity of the United Kingdom. Not everyone has the time to take a weekend break or a longer staycation though, sometimes you just want a day out, and here are 40 of the best options for days out in the UK!

It should go without saying that to take a day trip you would need to be relatively local to these attractions, and there is nothing wrong at all in turning any of them into a weekend break or a staycation either, but if you are just looking for some of the best options for days out or day trips in the UK, look no further!

Harry Potter Studio Tour, Hertfordshire.

The Harry Potter Studio Tour is quite simply one of England’s premier tourist attractions and rivals anything available in Universal Studios or any other premier tourist attraction around the world. This huge tour gives you a glimpse into the detail that was put into the making of the films as it allows you to tour the actual sets and see the props and special effects used. I can’t stress enough how amazing this tour is, and it is fantastic value for money too, I’ve been at least half a dozen times now over the years and it changes all the time to keep things fresh. I need to go back because they’ve added the Gringotts bank since I was there last! It is an easy train ride from London to Leavesden and the Warner Brothers bus picks you up right outside the train station to take you to the studio. Book ahead though, as tickets can sell out quickly, especially in the holidays. There is no need to stay with the tour either, which is aimed primarily at children, you can break off at any time and explore at your own leisure. Quick tip, the bookings are arranged into slots, morning, afternoon and evening, but once you are in you can stay as long as you like so book the morning slot and stay all day! Any fan of Harry Potter should check out Platform 9 and 3/4 at London’s Kings Cross Station too!

Getting here:

Base yourself anywhere in London, there are coach tours from various central London locations that take you there and back to fit in with the time slots of the tour. Alternatively a much better option is to take the train from London Euston to Watford Junction, and then get the Harry Potter shuttle bus from directly outside the station to the studio that leaves every 20 minutes.

Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds.

This museum displays not only the national collection of England’s arms and armour from the dark ages onwards, but has an unmatched collection from around the world. I’ve trained in and used weapons my whole life and for me this is my Louvre, their collection of hand forged katana’s my Mona Lisa! For anyone interested in the art, beauty and history of arms and armour, this is an absolute must see.

Getting here:

Leeds is easily accessible by train from Manchester, Sheffield and many other surrounding hubs in less than an hour. From the train station it is a short 20 minute walk, ten minute bus ride or 5 minutes by uber or taxi which is probably the best option).

Highclere Castle, Hampshire.

Highclere Castle is one of the finest country houses in England. Built in the Jacobethan style in the 19th Century and surrounded by curated grounds designed by Capability Brown in the 18th Century. In and of itself the castle is a great day out but it is best known as the setting for the blockbuster TV series Downton Abbey. There are almost 300 staterooms and ballrooms in the castle saloon and guided tours can take you through some of the rooms actually used as sets in the series. Even more impressive for history lovers is the Egyptian exhibition which houses treasures from the 5th Earl of Carnarvon’s discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb.

Getting here:

Basing yourself in nearby London, the closest train station to Highclere Castle is Newbury, so you can catch a regular train from Paddington station to Newbury and then from there catch a taxi. There is no taxi rank or nearby public transport to the castle so you will have to call a taxi or Uber to pick you up when you are ready to leave.

Chester Zoo, Cheshire.

Ethical zoos responsible tourism

One of England’s largest Zoo’s, Chester Zoo is located in Cheshire and is easily accessible from Chester, Liverpool or Manchester. It has suffered a series of catastrophic disasters lately, first with a huge fire and then almost complete closure after the heavy handed lockdown, but it is bouncing back hard and it is important to support the zoo for all the conservation work it does. With new enclosures now open for the lemurs and the lions and an upcoming adjoining hotel, Chester Zoo has and continues to change and get bigger and better all the time! It can be pretty expensive for just one visit though but if you plan on visiting more than once in a year it can be worth paying a little extra for an annual pass.

Getting here:

Chester Zoo is easily reachable from nearby Liverpool, Chester or any surrounding hubs. If travelling by bus the Number 1 service from Chester is regular from Chester bus exchange. From Liverpool there is the Number 1 service or the X1 express bus service from Liverpool bus station. Both services drop and pick up right outside the main entrance. You can also get the train to Chester from anywhere and the X1 bus service will pick you up from the station and take you the rest of the way.

Shrewsbury Prison, Shropshire.

England’s very own entry on the worlds most famous dark tourism sites, Shrewsbury prison is so much more than just a fascinating insight into a working prison. The prison is an essential part of the darker side of UK heritage and offers a unique glimpse into prison life from the late 18th Century. You can explore Victorian prison wings that were still in use up until its closure in 2013, descend into Georgian cells and listen to tales and stories from the ex prison guard tour guides that will tell you the dark history of all those who were sentenced to death by hanging in these walls. It isn’t all doom and gloom though, as the prison also offers axe throwing and escape rooms, you can go ghostbusting on a very unique ghost hunting tour and if you have ever wanted to try out your very own prison break, there is no better place to do it than an actual prison!

Getting here:

There are a lot of coach tours offering trips to the prison from the surrounding areas but the best way to get here is by train. You can catch the train to Shrewsbury train station from anywhere, the prison is located just across the Dana bridge from the station.

Windsor Castle, Berkshire.

Windsor Castle is Britain’s crowning achievement as far as ancient fortresses are concerned. The oldest castle in the world that is still inhabited by the royal family, it is the official residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and has been home to English Royalty for over 1000 years. You can tell if the Queen is in residence if the Royal Standard is flying from the round tower.

Although it is still used as a Royal residence and military barracks, and holds state ceremonies and events regularly, visitors can still explore parts of the castle including the state rooms when not in use, a variety of museum collections including a suit of armour worn by Henry VIII and of course the Royal Chapel itself which anyone will recognise if they have seen a royal wedding. The changing of the guard is a popular tourist attraction too. Tours officially recommend 2 to 3 hours, but you can easily spend a full day here if Royal history is your thing.

Getting here:

Basing yourself in London, most hotels, accommodations and tour agencies in the city offer package coach tours here, but the easiest way is probably by train or even better, by bus. You can catch the train from central London to Windsor and Eton Central and then take a taxi or Uber from there, or alternatively you can catch the Green Line 702 service from Greenline Coach station (near to Victoria station) in London.

Tour companies operate excursions to Windsor Castle from many London hotels. For details, please ask your hotel concierge.

Alton Towers, Staffordshire.

Since the sad demise of my childhood favourite Camelot, Alton Towers is the premier theme park in the UK. Built on the former country estate of the Earl of Shrewsbury in Staffordshire, the park still retains a lot of the former historical grandeur of the estate, with a few added extras such as Nemesis, Air and Oblivion, not to mention the UK’s first wooden rollercoaster to be built in decades (and one of the best rides in the park), the Wicker Man. Entry costs on their own are really steep though, but there are almost year round offers with a lot of brands such as Cadbury’s for 2 for 1 deals, so if you keep an eye out for those it makes it a great deal.

Getting here:

There are three main train stations near Alton Towers: Stoke-on-Trent, Uttoxeter and Derby. There isn’t that much difference between them (5 or 10 miles, give or take) so which one you choose will depend on where you are coming from. There is a shuttle bus for hotel guests but most people will have to get a taxi from there.

There is a daily bus service from Stafford or Uttoxeter. The x41 service runs daily from Stafford train station at approximately 0925 hours every morning and calls at Uttoxeter on the way. There are only two return buses, the X41 departs Alton Towers at 15.45 (to Uttoxeter only) and 17.30 (to Stafford, via Uttoxeter).

Blackpool Zoo, Lancashire.

Ethical zoos responsible tourism Michael Huxley

As they say at Blackpool Zoo, they are like other zoo’s only more fun! Located in the seaside resort of Blackpool in Lancashire, the zoo is relatively small and can easily be walked around in a morning or an afternoon, but that doesn’t make it any less of an awesome day out! Home to over 1,350 animals from all over the world the enclosures and enrichment programmes here are world class and the zoo has had some significant investment in these areas over the years, and like most zoo’s they contribute to a wide variety of conservation programmes, which is reason enough to support them!

Getting here:

Blackpool zoo is just an easy 2 miles inland from the famous North and Central Pier, so you can easily walk or catch a taxi or Uber if you are basing yourself in Blackpool. Alternatively the number 20 bus service runs through Blackpool to the zoo regularly. If you aren’t basing yourself in Blackpool you can easily catch the train from anywhere. There are two train stations in Blackpool, North and South. Blackpool North is the closest to the zoo at just three miles and you can easily catch a taxi or Uber from there, but if you miss that station and end up in Blackpool South don’t worry, it’s only an extra few miles in the taxi.

Blists Hill Victorian Town, Shropshire.

One of ten museums in the World Heritage Site of Ironbridge Gorge, Blists Hill Victorian town is an ideal day out. Recreating the sights, sounds and smells of a 19th Century Victorian town at the birth of the industrial revolution this town is tailor made to capture a specific period of Shropshire’s history. Having just discovered this amazing attraction relatively recently it has quickly become a firm favourite! Take a step back in time and enjoy the workshops with the ironmaster and traditional candlemaker, enjoy the quaint old fashioned shops and learn about the lives and livelihoods of a time long past.

Getting here:

If you are coming by bus there are limited services from Bridgnorth, Shrewsbury and Telford. The Number 4 bus from Telford Town stops at Madeley, a 20 minute walk from Blists Hill Victorian Town. This is the closest bus to use if visiting Blists Hill.

By train, Telford Central railway station is about 6 miles north of the Ironbridge Gorge. Local bus services and taxis are available outside the station.

Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Warwickshire.

Stratford Upon Avon is a medieval market town with a whole smorgasbord of historical attractions from Anne Hathaway’s cottage to Tudor world, but Shakespeare’s Birthplace is the jewel in the crown. The restored 16th-century half-timbered house situated in Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, is believed to be where William Shakespeare was born in 1564 and spent his childhood years. It is now a small museum open to the public and owned by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. If you are a lover of history or literature you cannot miss this quintessentially British attraction!

Getting here:

Basing yourself in Stratford upon Avon makes it ideal to visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace as it is a comfortable walk to most of the Shakespeare Trust attractions.

If you are coming in by train, Stratford Upon Avon train station is served by major rail hubs around Birmingham and is an easy ten minute walk from the town centre.

Gower Coast Adventures, the Gower.

Responsible dolphin spotting on the Gower coast, Wales

Based on the picturesque Oxwich bay Marina, Gower Coast adventures run daily tours across the stunning and rugged coast of the Gower. Taking off on the ‘sea serpent’, a ten foot long RIB, you can get up close with playful pods of dolphins, sealions and countless bird and marine life.

Getting here:

The trip departure point and booking office is at Oxwich Bay, a large beach roughly half way along the south coast of the Gower peninular, Swansea. There are buses that run from Swansea city centre all the way to Rhossili at the end of the Gower peninsular, some of these go via Oxwich. The bus stop just outside Oxwich beach car park is Oxwich Cross. The nearest train station to Oxwich Bay is Gowerton or Swansea.

Warwick Castle, Warwickshire.

Built by William the Conqueror in 1068, just two years after the fateful battle of Hastings we all learned about at school, Warwick Castle is a medieval motte and bailey castle that was rebuilt in stone in the 12th Century and was the site of some of England’s most significant military history through to the 17th Century. Today it is one of my favourite attractions in the UK. The castle fulfils everyone’s childhood dream of exploring medieval castles and playing at being a knight or a princess, with a knight’s village and daily shows ideal for a day trip. If you do want to stay overnight, and there is a lot to keep you occupied for more than one day, there are ideal option to glamp in the grounds or even stay in the castle itself!

Getting here:

There are a lot of direct coaches and excursions from London to Warwick castle but the best way to get here is by train. Warwick Station is approximately one mile from the Castle, an easy ten to fifteen minute walk or a short taxi ride away. There is a direct train service from London Marylebone or Birmingham Snow Hill.

The Eden Project, Cornwall.

The Eden Project was originally built as a marker for the new Millennium in 1999, but is now considered to be one of Britain’s modern architectural wonders and is an absolute must see day out in the UK. The distinctive biomes have become famous worldwide and have a range of ecosystems to explore and wonder around, including the famous jungle canopy, as well as providing a focus on conservation education.

Getting here:

The nearest train station to the Eden Project is St Austell, which can be reached from Penryn in Cornwall, and is on the main London to Penzance line. From the train station catch the number 101 bus to the project.

Stonehenge, Wiltshire.

Stonehenge needs no introduction, England’s very own ancient wonder in all but name, this prehistoric monument and World Heritage Site is shrouded in myth and legend and still has archaeologists arguing over its true origins today. Based in Wiltshire, it is an easy day trip from either Amesbury or Salisbury. The stone circle itself is the main attraction but there are also limited stone circle experiences, a neolithic house exhibition and a visitors centre that holds a small museum and various exhibitions throughout the year. The summer and winter solstices are special times to visit but they do get busy!

Getting here:

The best way to get to Stonehenge is to get the train to Salisbury train station which is served by most major travel hubs around London and the Midlands. From there you can take a taxi or an Uber to take you the last 10 miles. If you are based in London you can also get one of the regular direct coaches from Victoria Coach Station, this takes about 2 hours and will drop you off in Amesbury, about 2 miles away.

Blue Planet Aquarium, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.

Once the largest aquarium in the UK, this marine and freshwater aquarium is still the largest in the North West. There are over 100 living displays in the aquarium including Europe’s largest collection of sharks which you can view inside the underwater shark tunnel. If you love marine life this is one of the best UK days out you can have, and even if you are ambivalent toward them, it is still a great and fascinating day and well worth a visit.

Getting here:

Blue Planet is easily reachable from most destinations in the north west, regular bus services run from Liverpool, Chester, Ellesmere Port, and North Wales to Blue Planet Aquarium and Cheshire Oaks, a retail park. The Stagecoach x1 service runs from Chester and it is the number 1 service from Liverpool..

If you are coming from further afield simply get the train to Ellesmere Port, about 2 miles away. You can easily get a taxi or Uber from there.

World Museum, Liverpool.

The World Museum in Liverpool is one of my favourite museums in the world, so much so that I actually used to bunk off school to come here and stare in awe at the Egyptology exhibition and the small display of Japanese Katana! (I think I’m old enough to admit that now!) Located in a Grade II listed building in the middle of the iconic William Brown conservation area of Liverpool, the World Museum is also part of the Liverpool Central Library and the famous St Georges Hall is across the road so a day here can be topped off by exploring the stunning architecture outside, but the real draw is the museum itself. Opening it’s doors in 1860, the museum is second only to the Natural History Museum in London and is one of the greatest museums in the world. Its Planetarium, the first in the UK outside of London, was opened in 1970, and the ground breaking Natural History Centre opened 17 years later and was the first hands on museum centre in the world, a model that has been imitated everywhere since then.

Getting here:

If you are based in Liverpool the World Museum is in the historic William Brown Conservation area, which you practically walk into as you exit Liverpool Lime Street train station or Queens square bus station. Both stations are well served by buses and trains coming from all over the country. Just look for the iconic St Georges Hall and the museum is behind that.

Southport Pier, Merseyside.

Southport Pier is a Grade II listed Victorian pier, the oldest iron pier in the country and a quintessential part of a traditional English seaside day trip. The longest pier in the UK at 1000 metres long, you can grab a cup of tea in the Pier Pavillion and look out over the famous Southport beach and it’s 22 miles of coastline, and on a good day pier offers views across the North West as far as Blackpool and the North Wales coastline. Then after a day on the beach you can take a few rides on the funfair at Southport Pleasureland and grab some traditional fish and chips.

Getting here:

Southport is easily reached by any of the major train and bus stations in the North West, especially Liverpool and Preston. If you aren’t basing yourself in Southport itself one of the easiest ways is to go through Liverpool. From Queens square bus station in Liverpool take the number 47 bus service direct to Southport, this is painfully slow though. The quicker way is to get the direct train from Liverpool Central to Southport train station. From the bus or train station which are in the centre of town, the beach and the pier are just a short 5 or 10 minute walk away through the main shopping area.

Glengoyne Distillery Tour, Glasgow.

A whisky distillery tour is an absolute must when up in Scotland, and there are plenty to choose from for fans of this quintessentially Scottish drink, but Glengoyne distillery is one of the absolute best. With whisky being made here for over 200 years the story of the process is a fascinating one even if you aren’t a huge drinker like me! They offer a variety of tours of different lengths (and with different amounts of Whisky) so there is something here for everyone.

Getting here:

Basing yourself in Glasgow the X10 bus (destination Balfron) departs from Buchanan Bus Station in the centre of Glasgow and stops at the gates of Glengoyne.

Go Below Extreme, Snowdonia.

Go Below Extreme is the longest underground adventure playground in the world! Based in Betwys-Y-Coed in Snowdonia, North Wales this is a day out like no other, with five kilometres of abandoned mine tunnels to climb through, via ferrata and zipline across (including the world’s longest and deepest underground ziplines) and freefall down. Led by experienced instructors, this is a truly unique adventure like no other!

Getting here:

By car, from the large town of Blaenau Ffestiniog take the A496 south out of the town (you’ll start seeing brown signs for Tanygrisiau Station). Trains also run from Blaenau Ffestiniog and Porthmadog.

Barry Island, Vale of Glamorgan.

Gavin and Stacey Filming Locations Barry Island Whitmore Bay Beach

Follow in the footsteps of Pam and Mick and head for a day at the beach on Barry Island in Wales! With a picture perfect coastline, a family friendly beach, Nessa’s arcades and a funfair on the waterfront and plenty of traditional candyfloss and fish and chips on offer, you can’t beat a day on the beach at Barry Island!

Getting here:

Barry Train Station is really convenient for both Barry town and Barry island, so simply get the train down here from Cardiff. If you are coming from further afield you will probably have to switch trains at Cardiff but that isn’t too difficult. Once you get to Barry Island train station the beach is only a short walk away. And don’t worry, it’s not actually an island owned by a man called Barry!

Buckingham Palace, London.

Buckingham Palace is the residence and primary administrative centre of the Royal family of the United Kingdom and is one of the few working Royal palaces in existence today. A focal point for the British public for state occassions, Buckingham Palace is one of the UKs most famous tourist attractions and makes for an ideal day out. It is open to the public during the summer months where you can take guided and self guided tours to see the state rooms and treasures from the Royal collection. If you wait outside the gates after the tour you can even see the changing of the guard.

Getting here:

Buckingham Palace is situated within St James park. Westminster and Trafalgar Square are a pleasant walk across the park and the lake. Victoria Underground and Railway Station (Circle, District and Victoria Lines) is an easy 5-10 minutes’ walk passing the Royal Mews. You can also walk to Buckingham Palace from Hyde Park Corner or Green Park Underground Stations (both Piccadilly Lines) in 5 to 10 minutes.

Ulster Museum and Botanical Gardens.

The Ulster museum is the largest museum in Northern Ireland and part of a complex of four national museums. Set in the manicured botanical gardens it has entire collections of fine art, archaeology, ethnography, zoology, and more local exhibitions that showcase Irish history as well as the troubles in Belfast, and it is this that truly sets this museum apart and makes it a fascinating and educatioal day out.

Getting here:

The Ulster Museum is set in the middle of the superb Botanical Gardens in the south of Belfast, and is easily walkable to from Belfast City Centre. If you are getting the train it is a 10 minute walk from the Botanic Station on the Bangor to Portadown Rail Line, and has connections to Larne and Londonderry as well as for the cross-border service can be made in Belfast Central Station. You can also catch the bus from Donegall Square East, the bus stop is right outside the museum.

Kew Gardens, London.

Botanical gardens in Singapore

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kew gardens is one of the worlds leading botantical gardens, with over 50,000 plants, a lush tropical forest section, a treetop walkway and a calendar full of themed events, Kew gardens is a must see attraction for anyone. The rose garden alone has over 170 species of rose bushes and shrubs and the plant evolution exhibition puts a heavy emphasis on conservation education as much as enjoyment.

Getting here:

From central London there are numerous bus routes leaving from a variety of locations. Route 65 stops close to Lion Gate, Elizabeth Gate and Victoria Gate, route 391 stops near Kew Gardens station and Elizabeth Gate and routes 237 and 267 stop at Kew Bridge station. Kew Bridge station allows for overland trains from Waterloo train station. The easiest way is by tube, the district line takes you directly to Kew Gardens Station.

The Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool.

The Albert Dock, as it is more often known without it’s Royal charter prefix, is perhaps one of Liverpool’s most famous attractions. The crown jewel of the city’s famous dock area, it was opened in 1846 and has easy access to the World Heritage area of Liverpool’s famous waterfront buildings including the Royal Liver Building, and holds the Merseyside Maritime Museum, the Tate Modern, a whole bunch of bars and restaurants and even a few traditional street food stalls and of course an ice cream van!

Getting here:

If you are based in Liverpool simply walk through the main shopping and entertainment centre at Liverpool One and it is just across the road. Both train and bus stations in Liverpool are well served by buses and trains coming from all over the country.

Giants Causeway, County Antrim.

The Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland is a vast geological marvel, with thousands of huge basalt columns pushed up through the earth by ancient volcanic activity. Located in County Antrim on the north coast of Northern Ireland, you can walk to this stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site along the dramatic North Atlantic coastline and spot the natural rock formations that are so grand legends have sprung up around them.

Getting here:

Regular train services operate from Belfast or Londonderry to Coleraine, then change to bus connection Ulsterbus Service 172. The Giant’s Causeway and Visitor Centre is located on the B147 Causeway road.

Tintagel Castle, Cornwall.

Tintagel is so completely linked with the legends of King Arthur and the knights of the round tavble, you can spend days exploring Merlin’s Cave along the rugged but beautiful coastline, learn fact from fiction at the King Arthur exhibition at the tourism board visitor centre or wander round ancient medieval ruins and imagine where Lancelot met Genuivere, but it is Tintagel itself which has the most famous links to the Arthurian legends, as according to the 12th Century History of the Kings of Britain this was the place where Arthur himself was concieved and where Merlin led him away to fulfil his destiny.

Getting here:

The nearest town is Tintagel itself which is served by buses from Bude in the north and Wadebridge in the south. The castle is located on the coast and can be walked to from the town on the south west coastal path or along Glebe Cliff.

Loch Ness, Inverness.

This famous Loch is probably most famous for sightings of the mythical Nessie, or the Loch Ness Monster, and tourism around these parts has certainly taken advantage of that! But Loch Ness is far more than just stories of the monster, this deep, freshwater loch is one of the largest and stunning bodies of water in the Scottish highlands, and even if you don’t spot Nessie herself, you can still spend a peaceful day on or off the water here. Let’s face it though, you are all coming with camera in hand hoping your day will be the day she is spotted!

Getting here:

Loch Ness is served by plenty of regular tour buses that depart from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness, but if you want to get here yourself you are best to base yourself in Inverness itself, and then get a bus. The loch is just 13 miles away from Inverness and takes around 30 minutes on the bus. There are several buses every single day but remember that the last one going back to Inverness leaves at around 18.45, subject to change, so check before you go!

ZSL London Zoo, London.

London Zoo, or the Zoological Society of London is the worlds oldest scientific zoo. It isn’t my favourite zoo in the world, or even the UK, but it deserves a spot on this list for that single fact alone. Open since 1828 when it took in the animals of the horrific Tower of London Menagerie, it has been at the forefront of improving zoological science and conservation efforts since then. With over 600 species calling London Zoo home it is a perfect day out, and like all good zoos your money is helping to fund improvement and research too.

Getting here:

From central London the zoo is easily walkable, being less than a mile fom Camden, Kentish Town or Primrose Hill. The nearest Tube station is Camden town, and it is roughly a ten minute walk from there.

York Minster, York.

The Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter in York, commonly known as York Minster, is one of the largest and most magnificent cathedrals in Europe and still holds its own as one of the worlds best examples of Gothic architecture. It’s name ‘Minster’ is down to its establishment in the Anglo Saxon period, but there are also remnants of both Viking and Roman history here too. You can spend the entire day here learning about the 2000 years of history and marvelling at the largest collection of medieval stained glass dating back to the 12th Century.

Getting here:

York Minster is a ten minute walk from York Railway Station which is serviced from any train station in the UK.

Temple Church, London.

Made famous by the Da Vinci Code, the Temple Church in London was already popular with those interesting in Templar lore and history. A small church located down a small street between Fleet Street and the Thames, it was the former headquarters of the Knights Templar themselves and was consecrated in 1185. Unlike most churches which have a cross shape, this is a round church that was common for Templar buildings. This is still a working church and should be respected as such, but visitors are still welcome to explore and admire the architecture, the medieval stonework and even the tombs of some of the Templar Knights themselves.

Getting here:

The nearest underground stations are Temple and Blackfriars stations on the Circle and District lines. From Blackfriars walk straight up Tudor street and you will find it at the end.

Tate Modern, Liverpool.

Liverpool travel tips

One of the many free attractions in Liverpool (with the occassional exception of a specific exhibition), the Tate modern is a must see day out for all fans of modern art, holding some of the best contemporary British and international art in the world.

Getting here:

The Tate Modern is right in the Albert Dock itself. Liverpool ONE Bus Station on Canning Street is directly opposite the Albert Dock. Route C4 also stops at the Albert Dock. Lime Street Station and Liverpool Central train station are both approximately a ten minute walk away through the main shopping area of the city.

Navan Centre And Fort, County Armagh.

The legendary Emain Macha (Navan Fort) is one of Ireland’s most famous archaeological sites. The Navan Centre is an amazing museum with exhibits and information that put a lot of context to the area itself and then shows you round a recreation of an Iron Age settlement. From April to September there are actors in period costume demonstrating life in the Iron Age settlement turning it into a large open air museum too.

Getting here:

The Navan Centre is two miles from Armagh City on the main A28.

Newcastle Cathedral, Newcastle.

Newcastle Anglican Cathedral is a defining part of Newcastle’s skyline and the daily tours give you a glimpse of the history, art and architecture behind this iconic building. You can take a self guided tour and it is worth doing this just to take your time appreciating the art, but take a guided one too, these volunteers have a wealth of knowledge that make your visit really special. Don’t miss your chance to climb the tower either, it’s a really tight squeeze for all but the smallest person but the views at the top are well worth the effort!

Getting here:

Newcastle Central Train Station is just five minutes’ walk from Newcastle Cathedral. The nearest bus stations are Monument Station and Central Station.

Kellie Castle And Gardens, Fife.

Kellie Castle is a striking and imposing castle that is well worth visiting just for the architecture alone. Dating from 1360 but with extensive 16th and 17th Century additions, you can spend the entire day exploring the castle and its grounds. Saved from ruin in the 19th century, most of the rooms are Victorian in design and can be explored on your own or part of a guided tour. The gardens are also worth exploring and if you bring a picnic they are almost a day out on their own!

Getting here:

From Fife, the numbers 95 and X60 pass by the castle.

Museum Of Science And Industry, Manchester.

Celebrating Manchesters industrial past, the museum of Science and History is a huge space devoted to all things science, technology and history, literally housing planes, trains and automobiles, and the building opens out onto half of what was the worlds first real train station, part of the Liverpool and Manchester railway which opened in 1830.

Getting here:

The nearest train station is Deansgate, which also connects to Manchester Piccadilly. It is an easy 10 minute walk from there. There is also a free city shuttle bus on route 1 and route 2.

The Glenlivet Distillery, Aberdeenshire.

You can’t visit Scotland without touring at least one Whisky distillery, and if you are going to do one it may as well be one of the most iconic whisky’s in Scotland, right? Set in the same dramatic glen that the whisky has been made in since 1824, and this interesting tour takes you through that history, the distilling process and even provides you with a few drams of the good stuff too!

Getting here:

The distillery is a little hard to get to and is located in Ballindaloch. The nearest train stations from Aberdeen are Keith and Aviemore, and you can get a taxi from there.

Glasgow Science Centre, Glasgow.

Glasgow Science centre has 3 main attractions based around science and technology, the interactive Science Mall, the Planetarium and the show stage. Much of the museum itself is family orientated but they have specific adult only evenings with sci-fi film screenings, live demonstrations and lectures.

Getting here:

The Exhibition Centre train station is located on the Argyle Line with regular services running from Glasgow Central. There is a covered walkway from the station directly to the SEC.

Beamish Open Air Museum, County Durham.

Beamish open air museum is a fantastic open air time capsule that gives visitors a glimpse into what life was like in the North East at the start of the Industrial Revolution. Spread out over 300 acres there are a ton of different painstakingly reconstructed sections dating from 1840 to the 1940s, and you can explore everything from a turn of the century farmhouse to a north eastern pit mining village. A ride on the steam powered carousel and train is an absolute must.

Getting here:

You can get to Beamish Museum by train and bus. The nearest train station is Chester Le Street which has trains running to it from Newcastle and Durham, and then there are regular buses that go directly to the museum itself from outside the station.

Western Approaches Museum, Liverpool.

Set in a former WWII secret bunker, the Western Approaches is now a museum chronicling the work of Western Approaches Command, the HQ responsible for winning the battle of the Atlantic and ending the German U Boat menace. The museum consists of faithfully restored rooms housing artefacts from when the command centre was in active use and the command centre has to be seen to be believed!

Getting here:

If you are based in Liverpool the museum is just a short 5 minute walk around the corner from Moorfields train station, which is itself just a short walk from the central Lime Street train station.

Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh.

Dynamic Earth is a unique and spectacular interactive museum that tells the story of the planet earth itself. With a 4D space and time adventure, a journey through the catastrophic forces that shape our planet and a huge 3D showdome, this is a real unique day out.

Getting here.

Dynamic Earth is an easy 15 minute walk from Edinburgh train station, just opposite the Scottish Parliament on Holyrood road. There is a bus stop right outside and the number 35 or 6 buses stop outside.

The UK is a full of awesome days out and these are just a few of my favourites. Have you been anywhere that you think should be on the list? Let me know in the comments below!

Did you enjoy this article? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below or on my Facebook or Twitter pages and please feel free to share it with any or all of the social media buttons. If you want to get more great backpacking tips, advice and inspiration, please subscribe to updates via email in the box to your right.

Related Articldes

A 48 Hour City Break In Manchester, England.

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Fall In Love With Liverpool On A 48 Hour City Break.

Is Backpacking Just About Travelling The World?

Scotland.

The Best UK Staycation Ideas For An Ideal Summer Break.

Wales.

Why You Should Make Shropshire Your Next Staycation Destination.

Michael Huxley is a published author, professional adventurer and founder of the travel website, Bemused Backpacker. He has spent the last twenty years travelling to over 100 countries on almost every continent, slowly building Bemused Backpacker into a successful business after leaving a former career in emergency nursing and travel medicine, and continues to travel the world on numerous adventures every year.

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14 comments on “40 Of The Best Days Out In The UK.
  1. Thanks for sharing. I hope to someday make it to the UK

  2. Yvonne says:

    I haven’t even been to half of these! It just shows how much you don’t appreciate what is on your own doorstep. I’ll have to get cracking on.

  3. Mary says:

    What about Blackpool tower?

  4. Tom says:

    This brings back so many memories! Alton Towers and Blackpool zoo! I havent been their since I was a kid! Love this!

  5. Bill Taylor. says:

    Amazing, well done on promoting so many local UK attractions, this is needed so badly at the moment with the rona shutting everything down. I just hope some of these are still open in a year or two!

  6. Queen Bee says:

    What an amazing few months you have had. And busy too! So many of these I have still not seen either.

  7. Barry Letts says:

    Love that you included the Leeds Armoury in this list. Such an underrated place.

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