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United Kingdom Travel Guide, Tours & Things to Do

Planning a holiday in fabulous Great Britain? Get inspired on the Top Oz Tours and Travel Ideas website. We go way beyond Oz! Our United Kingdom travel guide is packed with tips for getting the most from your trip.

United Kingdom travel guide
United Kingdom travel guide: Big Ben, London

There’s no denying the magic of the United Kingdom as a travel destination, or that sense of belonging that many Aussies experience on British soil.

It’s what makes so many Australian travellers return to the UK time and time again — and no matter how many times you visit, there’s always more to discover. Immerse yourself in centuries of rich history, marvel at the world’s most impressive collections of fine art and antiquities, explore traditional villages seemingly lost in time, and soak up the impossible beauty of landscapes like the Scottish Highlands, North York Moors, and Cornish coast.

Your holiday will almost certainly begin in London — one of the greatest cities on the planet, and a trove of historical and cultural attractions. Many of the capital’s top museums and galleries are free of charge to enter — including the British Museum, Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, The National Gallery, Tate Britain, Tate Modern, and Saatchi Gallery. The National Portrait Gallery exhibits portraits of politicians, actors, sports stars, and royalty, and will interest all ages.


England tours

England Tours, Activities & Attractions


While you could be tempted to spend your entire holiday in London, there’s much more to experience in greater England and Wales. Think fairy-tale castles, whimsical villages, bustling market towns, soaring cathedrals, ornate stately homes, idyllic countryside, and crashing coastline. Don’t miss seeing the quintessential seaside city of Brighton, the medieval mayhem of York, the architectural opulence of Oxford, and the bustling birthplace of the bard — Stratford-upon-Avon.

United Kingdom travel guide
Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon. Image: Bigstock

There’ll be even more demands made on your time up in Scotland. Visit captivating capital Edinburgh and working class stronghold/turned cultural hub Glasgow. Explore the magnificent Highlands, cruise on enigmatic mirror-like lochs, and sample a ‘wee dram’ of each region’s best drop. And if you’re game, tuck into a serving of haggis at least once during your stay!

Top ten things to do in the United Kingdom

Across the North Channel in Northern Ireland, Belfast is taking its place as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. Now’s the time to visit — before everyone else catches on!

Use this United Kingdom travel guide to access destination information, and find tours and guided experiences. Enjoy your holiday!


Great Britain travel ideas

Save $100pp on United Kingdom Multi-Day Tours


United Kingdom travel tips

1. Only got a limited amount of time to get to know a new city? Our Big Five City Guides can help. We break each destination down into culture, history, dining, shopping and relaxation must-sees and dos. Access our city guides here.

2. Check the Australian Government’s Smart Traveller website for travel advisories about your chosen destination.

3. Earlybird airfares to London and other European destinations are generally released in Australia around September and October for the following year. The cheapest times to fly are the shoulder seasons — around April/May and October/November. Avoid peak seasons, school holidays and Christmas/New Year if you can.

United Kingdom travel guide
United Kingdom travel guide: York, England

4. While London is a year round destination, hotel prices can be significantly higher in summer. The shoulder seasons of spring and autumn can be good times to travel. Hotel prices are lower and the main tourist attractions are less crowded. The tourist-class hotels clustered around Marylebone, Paddington, Kensington and Earls Court are generally fairly small by Australians standards. For additional space, consider apartment-style accommodation where possible or staying outside central London but within easy reach of public transport. There are now a number of websites devoted to short-term lets of private homes, which may be worth considering.

5. Transport in the United Kingdom is excellent and reasonably affordable. Obtain an Oyster Card on arrival in London to access the Underground as well as buses and the over ground rail network within the capital. There are five airports that service London and while all have good public transport links, Heathrow is the most convenient in terms of access to the centre. Domestic flights within the UK can be very reasonably priced, while intercity rail services are fast and efficient. Self-drive holidays are also a popular way to explore the English countryside, with its myriad of historic small towns and picturesque villages.

United Kingdom travel guide
United Kingdom travel guide: Cotswolds, England

6. When it comes to attractions and sightseeing, there are many ways to enjoy your visit to London without breaking the bank. For a start, the permanent collections at many of the city’s top museums and galleries are free to enter and the official TKTS booth in Leicester Square offers discounted West End theatre tickets.

7. London is Europe’s shopping capital and there’s no shortage of opportunities across the city for a spot of retail therapy. Our London shopping guide is packed with tips for where to bag the best fashion buys.

United Kingdom travel guide
United Kingdom travel guide: Stonehenge, England. Image: Robert Koorenny

8. The standard of cuisine in the United Kingdom has improved dramatically in recent decades. Pub meals are still the tastiest and most affordable option for tourists, and most menus encompass the classics of traditional English fare. However, if you want to push the boat out on a fine dining experience, the sky’s the limit. Indian cuisine is very popular throughout the UK and sitting down to a good curry — washed down with a pint of beer — is a weekly ritual for many Brits. Pre-made sandwich bars abound across the United Kingdom and offer very affordable lunchtime eats.

9. The United Kingdom is generally a very safe travel destination. As always though, be open to experiences but be aware of your surroundings and personal safety — particularly in crowds, isolated neighbourhoods or on public transport late at night. If something feels wrong, it probably is. Trust your intuition!

United Kingdom travel essentials

You can book many aspects of your holiday on the Top Oz Tours & Travel Ideas website, including flights, hotels, car hire, travel insurance, and more. When you purchase a product or service using the following links from our partners, we receive a small commission. It does not affect the price you pay, and it enables us to continue to provide readers with amazing travel inspiration.

Flights

Compare airlines, flights, and fares in one place with Booking.com. They don’t charge any credit card fees and you can always see exactly what you’re paying for in the price breakdown. You can book one-way, round-trip, and multi-city flights, and change your travel dates with ease when you opt for a flexible ticket option (an additional cost applies). It all adds up to a great flight! Search for flights with Booking.com

Hotels

If you’re looking for a great deal on your next hotel or homestay, look no further than Booking.com. Their mission is to make travel affordable and accessible to more people, and to deliver seamless accommodation experiences that complement your holiday. Search for hotels and homestays with Booking.com

Car hire

Discover Cars is an award-winning (World Travel Awards) car rental comparison website, which helps customers find, compare, and hire cars at the most competitive prices globally. You’ll get access to meticulously maintained cars, 4WDs, and minibuses from the world’s leading brands, and at the best possible price. Search for hire cars with Discover Cars

Campervans & motorhomes

Make Jucy your first choice for campervan and motorhome hire. Since 2001, this progressive company has had a vision to be world-famous for enabling experience seekers to discover happiness on the road. The Jucy crew live and breathe their core values of passion, pride, family, and fun, and these values influence every one of their interactions with customers. They’re ready to help you find ‘your happy’! Search for campervans and motorhomes with Jucy

Day tours & experiences

Search and book day tours, guided experiences, and attraction tickets and passes worldwide with Top Oz Tours and Viator. There are no booking or credit card fees when you book through us, and you’ll have access to the widest choice of activities and most competitive prices. Browse day tours and experiences

Multi-day tours & trips

Travelling on an extended tour with a local guide is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the destination of your choice. Top Oz Tours has joined forced with Tour Radar to bring you a fabulous range of multi-day tours and trips from the world’s leading operators. Travel with like minded people and get the best possible price on the holiday of your dreams. Browse multi-day tours and trips

Travel insurance

World Nomads aims to be a part of every traveller’s journey by providing a reassuring range of travel insurance services. Travellers can buy insurance, extend their policy, and claim online, 24/7, on the road or from home. Travel insurance benefits include coverage for emergency medical and evacuation or repatriation, lost baggage, trip cancellation, and more than 150 adventure activities. Get an insurance costing from World Nomads

Do you have any tips to add to our United Kingdom travel guide? We would love to hear from you. Please send us a message.

The information contained in this guide is general in nature and does not constitute professional advice in any way. We make every effort to ensure this content is accurate, but we do not guarantee it. You should do your own research and seek the advice of professionals before acting or relying on any of the information provided in this guide.

Additional images: Bigstock

 

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