United Kingdom:Top 10 Stunning Sights of the British Isles

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A country that has long been a focal point in global history, the United Kingdom offers a wide range of fascinating attractions, from its plethora of historic buildings to the scenic rolling hills of the English countryside and dramatic mountain scenery in the Scottish Highlands. Here are ten places you shouldn't miss out on a trip to the majestic island of Britain.

1. Buckingham Palace (London)

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The residence and public headquarters for the British monarch, this huge impressive structure is often used by the royals for special occasions such as state visits and other events like garden parties and banquets. Along with viewing the beautiful neoclassical facade of the building, the Victoria Memorial is another impressive sight to see with its gilded goddess of victory crowning the top. Make sure to visit in the morning at 11:00 when you can see the changing of the guard ceremony.

2. Tower Bridge (London)

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One of the most iconic landmarks in the city of London. this colossal stone structure was built at the end of the 19th century to cross the River Thames in the city center. The two neo-Gothic towers that support the bridge are fascinating feats of architecture and has helped propel the structure to become one of the most famous and recognizable bridges in the world. The bridge is fully accessible and apart from the views over the river and surrounding city, those without a fear of heights can check out the glass walkway at the top.

3. Stonehenge (Amesbury)

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As one of the oldest structures in the history of mankind, Stonehenge is a fascinating example of prehistoric civilization, believed to date back to over 5000 years ago. A couple of hours drive from the center of London, Stonehenge is a great option for a day trip from the capital, with tours and buses leaving regularly throughout the day.

4. Isle of Skye (Scotland)

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Home to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the UK, the Isle of Skye is an easy side trip for anyone visiting the iconic Highlands of Scotland. The island is famous for its dramatic rocky landscape perfect for hiking along with its lovely, quaint seaside towns. As it's connected to the mainland by a bridge, many people choose to visit the island as a day trip, however we'd recommend staying for at least one night. The island is quite large and some of the best sights there are quite far from the crossing in the south.

5. Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament (London)

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Probably the most famous of all the landmarks in the city, Big Ben has always been a prominent feature of London since its construction in 1859. Along with the adjacent Palace of Westminster or more commonly the Houses of Parliament, the complex offers some of the most stunning architecture in the world. Unfortunately as the tower is currently scheduled for renovations until 2021, tours of the building have been cancelled. However you can still book a tour for the Houses of Parliament on days when Parliament is not in session.

6. Oxford

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One of the most picturesque cities in the UK, Oxford is home to a number of stunning feats of architecture including the prestigious University of Oxford. The city makes for a great day trip from the busy, sprawling metropolis of London and takes just over an hour by train from the center. Apart from walking around exploring the picturesque architecture in the University of Oxford, make sure to visit Oxford Castle and one of the many museums dotted around the town. If you have a few hours still to kill considering checking out the nearby Blenheim Palace, a huge, spectacular mansion built over 300 years ago.

7. Edinburgh (Scotland)

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Arguably one of the prettiest cities in the United Kingdom, Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and the perfect gateway for exploring into the UK's scenic north. As one of the most iconic castles in the country, Edinburgh Castle dominates the city's skyline and offers stunning views over the historic old town and its surroundings. For an equally as breathtaking view, make sure to head over to Arthur's Seat, an easy hike to the east of the city, from where you can see all over the sprawl of the city.

8. Bibury (Gloucestershire)

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A picture-perfect example of Britain's quaint countryside villages, Bibury is located in the Cotswolds, a beautiful range of rolling hills and picturesque villages just south of the Midlands. The area is best explored by car to drive between the different villages and scenic parts of the countryside as public transport is virtually non-existent and difficult to navigate for first-time travelers.

9. Windsor Castle (Windsor)

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Windsor Castle is a very famous castle and the biggest inhabited castle ever built. This huge structure with its high towers creates a historical atmosphere for its visitors. If you plan to visit here from March-October, be aware that opening time is 09.30 – 17.30, while visiting there from November – February, you will be allowed to enter the Castle between the hours of 09.45 – 16.15.

10. Snowdonia National Park (Wales)

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A series of dramatic peaks, valleys and elevated lakes, Snowdonia contains some of the best scenery and hiking spots in the United Kingdom, easily rivaling its mountainous cousin, the Highlands of Scotland. Home to Mount Snowdon, the highest peak outside of Scotland in the UK, the mountain is a much more family-friendly peak with the mountain railway taking visitors all the way to the top without the need for strenuous climbing. Those who do decide to trek up to the top however are rewarded with stunning views each step of the way.

Conclusion

Although many of the most iconic sights of the UK can be found in London, as you leave the capital you'll soon notice there's so much more to Britain than the sprawling metropolis. Some of the most picturesque sights in the country are found in the British countryside and numerous national parks that are dotted around the country. Be aware that the weather around the islands can be quite unpredictable and change at a moments notice. As a country notorious for the seemingly constant drizzle of rain, don't let it ruin your trip by being unprepared for such weather.

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