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7 Of The Most Beautiful Cities To Visit In The UK This Summer Other Than London

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London has never been more popular with American travelers, and it’s one of the most searched-for vacation destinations this summer.

With more and more flight options connecting the U.S. to the U.K., there’s never been a better time to hop over the pond and explore the beauty and history that the countries of the United Kingdom offer. 

Woman backpack taking picture with smartphone of Bath City UK, United kingdom copy

While a visit to London is worthwhile for many reasons, the travel surge this year might mean higher accommodation prices (higher than normal London prices, if that’s even possible) and massive crowds at the popular attractions. 

Bristol Cityscape, natural colours

So this year, why not get creative and explore some of the other amazing cities that the U.K. has to offer?

The experts over at  Big 7 Travel have put together a very comprehensive list of the 50 most beautiful places to visit in the United Kingdom, with islands, small towns, cities, and regions to explore throughout England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. 

Famous The Shambles street in centre of city York England

Here Are 7 Of The Most Beautiful Cities To Visit In The UK This Summer Other Than London:

Bath 

In Southwest England, you can find the charming city of Bath, located in the county of Somerset (yes, like the cider). Bath has often been called the most beautiful town in Britain, and after a visit, you can see why.

With the River Avon running through it, Bath was founded by the Romans who were drawn to its natural hot springs. Using it as a spa in the 1st century AD, the city has since been turned into a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The city makes a good day trip from London, as it’s only about 90 minutes by train. Bath is small and easily explored on foot and is known for being a great shopping destination, in addition to the wellness and relaxing aspect of the baths and spas. 

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View of the Pulteney Bridge River Avon in Bath, England

York

One of the most iconic images from England has to be The Shambles, York’s tiny narrow twisting street with medieval buildings overhanging and leaning every which way.

While many think this remarkable street was used as the inspiration for Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley (and locals have gone to great lengths to capitalize on this), this is actually not true, and nor was it the filming location for the movies.

While the Shambles are one of York’s main draws, they tend to get quite crowded, so come early or plan to wait for the famous shops and photo spots. Aside from the Shambles, York has more pubs than you could ever cover in your lifetime (trust me, I’ve tried!)

The massively grand York Minster is one of the world's largest cathedrals and a must-visit. You can even explore the roof if you book a guided tour ahead of time.

The city of York, its medieval wall and the York Minster at sunset

Cambridge 

Another destination easily reachable by an hour or so train journey from London is the intellectual city of Cambridge. This picturesque town is all about the university, rightfully so, as it’s one of the world's most famous.

The river Cam is also a huge draw, and relaxing in your boat as the punters take you on a tour is a must-do. Enjoy the views and the history, and don't miss the river-bar boats, who gladly come up to you and mix your drinks right there.

There is nothing better than sipping a traditional Pimms while being chauffeured along the river, taking in the sights of Cambridge.

Beautiful view of college in Cambridge with people punting on river cam

Oxford 

The other university city in England, Oxford is reachable by an hour’s train journey from London, making it a perfect day trip if you don't fancy staying over and exploring some of the Harry Potter filming locations and attractions.

After wandering around the city and marveling at its iconic architecture, enjoy the city's pubs and dining scene.

A visit to Oxford is also perfect for pairing with a village tour of the stunning Cotswold, where you can explore some of the country homes of Britain’s mega-rich and famous. 

Cityscape of Oxford. England, Europe

Brighton 

You can find the seaside city of Brighton in East Sussex, located in southeastern England. Only about an hour from London on England’s super efficient train network, or those who are flying into London’s Gatwick Airport can reach it in about a half hour.

Brighton is known for being the LGBTQ+ capital of the U.K., and the inclusiveness and welcoming atmosphere of this beachy, laid-back city is one main draw for visitors. 

Brighton offers shopping, spas, and a great nightlife scene. The Royal Pavilion is worth a look to see its Eastern influence and make time to enjoy the world's oldest continuously running electric railway, the seafront Volk's Electric Railway.

Brighton pavilion at summer day

Edinburgh 

There is just so much to love about the Scottish capital city of Edinburgh, from the colorful Royal Mile to hiking up to Arthur’s Seat for the views.

Visitors in the summer do need to be aware of the city’s famous Fringe Festival, when music and comedy acts take over almost every venue in the city. While fun and enjoyable, this does make accommodation prices soar.

Edinburgh has direct flights to the U.S. if you don’t want to make the 5 hours train journey from London. 

Old town Edinburgh and Edinburgh castle in Scotland UK

Belfast

With direct flights now available from the United States, reaching this up-and-coming capital city in Northern Ireland has never been easier. Or, if you are adding it on after a London trip, the cities are connected via budget airlines with cheap and frequent flights.

Belfast is having a moment, and what was once a gritty industrial city is now blossoming into a cultural hub. The recently upgraded Titanic Quarter is a must-see, and there are plenty of pubs and street art to enjoy.

A visit to the famous Giant’s Causeway is easy from Belfast, and a quick train connection to Dublin also makes a great addition to this trip, not to mention it might make for a cheaper flight from the States.

City Hall of Belfast - Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Jen hinck

Monday 29th of May 2023

Just interested in travel and of course warnings.

Tom Rowlands

Sunday 14th of May 2023

Where are Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Glasgow, Leeds and Sheffield? They all deserve a mention!

Keith Binding

Saturday 13th of May 2023

Wales, not Whales. Whoops! 😀

Francis Williams

Friday 12th of May 2023

Yes! Jet Blue has to be the most efficent airline of the US, from my experience!