Up until a “penny drop moment” last year, we’d been so obsessed with the idea of trying to see as much of the world as possible (outside of the UK)  that we’d completely overlooked what was in our own “back garden”. The UK is a treasure trove of amazing sights to see, things to do and even arguably, foods to eat.

From that point onwards however, we’ve actively looked out for new experiences to be had, right here at home! We’ll cut to the chase shall we and cover over some unique experiences that you can have right here in the Great British countryside.

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FIRST THINGS FIRST – WHERE TO STAY?

This is an easy one – www.holidaycottages.co.uk have the most comprehensive list of the best cottages across the UK (they have 5 star rated cottages) and better still, they allows dogs, friends, family, friends who look like dogs (I believe we all look like one dog or the other), cats… essentially, anyone looking to enjoy a decent getaway pretty much anywhere in the countryside, to stay somewhere brilliant and have a great time while they’re at it.

All booked? Now let’s move on to the experiences…

 

1.) Go zip-lining down Mount Snowdon.

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Mount Snowdon is the tallest mountain in England and Wales and the zip-line here is also the longest in Europe. The views are stunning from the top and get even better as you zip past the mountain and the stunning British scenery. Then there’s also the adrenaline rush that comes with zip-lining too. 🙂

2.) Go hot air ballooning across the British countryside.

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While it’s great to rent a little cottage somewhere and an absolutely must-do, you also need to put on your wellies and get lost in the countryside, there’s no better way to get the best view of the British countryside than from high up in a hot air balloon. The view is definitely unparalleled and one that you’ll remember for quite some time to come.

 

3.) Visit a little bit of Italy in Wales – Portmeirion.

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The journey here on the train is rather scenic to start with and you can even stop off at Harlech castle, which although is impressive in it’s own rights, you still need to say farewell to and finally end up at Portmeirion. Portmeirion was built over 50 years in the style of a traditional Italian village and is an impressive place to spend a day in. It’s even got it’s own cute beach to go with the beautiful colourful houses.

4.) Travel aboard the Hogwarts Express.

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The real train from the Harry Potter movies (along with the route) is actually the Jacobite Express which travels along some of the most scenic routes in not only Scotland but across all of the UK. It also has pit stops in some of the most beautiful places in Scotland and is definitely worth exploring in the UK.

5.) See Puffins, Seals, Whales and eat the best fish and chips in all the land.

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Seriously, it’s so good that William and Kate (yes, the very same Royal couple) used to head out here during their St Andrews days (as did Camilla when she visited) – actually, come to think of it, so did Tom Hanks (whose daughter studied at St Andrews) and Robert De Niro. Celebrities aside though, when you head over to Anstruther, you’ll understand what all the hype is about.

Now in Anstruther, you can catch a boat to Isle of May where you’ll have the opportunity to see one of the UK’s most prized birds – the Puffin, amongst grey seals, the odd Minke whales and many other beautiful birds. Definitely a magnificent day out in Scotland.

6.) Experience the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

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This is the exception on the list as it’s actually city based but I just couldn’t resist putting this in there. This month long event in Edinburgh is definitely one of a kind. It’s the biggest arts festival in the world and it’s one the most exciting places to be in the UK come summer-time. Edinburgh comes alive (though price of accommodation sky-rockets) and all the best comedians, actors and performers roam the Scottish capital just to make sure you have a brilliant time!

7.) Visit the UK’s ‘tropical’ Islands – The Isles of Scilly.

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This set of islands off the coast of Cornwall are like a little slice of the Caribbean in the UK. The clear blue waters, beautiful scenery and fantastic weather make this a must visit in the UK. (See our posts on the Isles of Scilly here for more details).

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  • All of these sound magnificent! Although I might chicken out on that zipline at the last minute, lol.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      I know what you mean. When my friend first told me about it, I wasn’t sure but I’ve warmed up to the idea now. It does look pretty high though. Hehe!

  • I definitely need to get my butt on the Jacobite Express!

    http://abigailalicex.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It’s so worth it! It’s one of the prettiest train journeys in the world!

  • MissLilly

    wow such a good collection!!! There’s a few I haven’t done yet, but for example looking forward to return to Snowden, as we went on the storm weekend (the one before Frank). Likewise for Lake District. Love Edinburgh, also need to get back there and dying to do the Hogwarts express journey in Scotland!!!! I find the UK a gorgeous place, so green and beautiful

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Sounds cool! Did you hike up Snowdon or drive?

      • MissLilly

        Drive only. We could barely get out of the car because of the strong winds

        • HandLuggageOnly

          Wow! It must have been so windy! Good idea staying in the car! 🙂

  • great ideas! I’d love to do them all apart from zip line!!:) and tea! You forgot about tea:)

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks! Haha! I didn’t forget about tea. In the UK, I think tea is more of an “essential”! ? 🙂

  • This is my new UK bucket list! 🙂 Amazing to have so many phenomenal experiences on our doorstep.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yay! So glad you like it Christine. You’ll have to let us know what you get up to and if you enjoyed it! So excited to hear about your experience 🙂

      Lloyd x