There’s no place like home… and in this case, I’ve got to agree! Britain is a stunner of an island that’s brought to the world the joys of crumpets, afternoon tea and the Spice Girls. Whats not to love! 😉 

Us Brits are proud of our no-so-little island; from the beauty of the Cotswolds, the magnificence of Edinburgh to the quaint charm of Tenby in beautiful Wales.

There are so many beautiful places to visit on your British road trip that it can be hard to single out which ones you absolute have to see. Here are the key places you have to include when exploring the breadth and depths of Britain. 

Some are easy to get to, others a little more difficult but all make for the  perfect place way to explore the uniqueness of our wonderful island!

Road Trip Plan Britain

1.) London

Being A Tourist In My Own City - London! (14)

London has to be included.. from its many delicious food markets, beautiful sights to it’s well kept secret spots, London has it all! Spend a few day exploring the many free things to do in the city to experience London for less.

2.) Stonehenge

32 Breathtaking Wonders Of The World You Have To See!!! (22)This world-famous sight is a must see whilst driving west from London. Only 2 hours from the city centre, Stonehenge is a perfect place to learn about our long and rich history! Weekends can get very busy, so consider heading to Stonehenge early in the morning or an hour before closing.

3.) Bath

14 Cities Outside of London That You Need To Visit In The UK! (40)Nestled in the South West of England, Bath is one of Britain’s most picturesque cities to visit. Take a day out of your road trip to explore its Roman baths, the natural springs and the Royal Crescent.

4.) Brighton

14 Cities Outside of London That You Need To Visit In The UK! (36)

One of Britain’s most iconic south coast places, Brighton is a brilliant city to explore – especially on a sunny day! Only 1 hour from Central London, Brighton’s Royal Pavilion, its quaint lanes and its Victorian Pier make for a perfect day of exploring a unique English seaside city. Grab a deck chair and a “99” whilst enjoying a little British Sunshine! 🙂

Also, don’t forget to include the must-do experiences on your stop in Brighton.

5.) Windsor

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Windsor is home to one of the most iconic Royal residences after Buckingham Palace! Windsor Castle is a must-see sight when exploring Britain. Only 30 minutes from Heathrow airport, it can even be a perfect place to explore on a long stop over between flights.

6.) The Cotswolds

3 Neighbouring Villages & Towns You Need To Visit In The Cotswolds, England  (1)

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The rolling hills, picturesque town and beautiful history makes this area of outstanding natural beauty a perfect place to explore over a day or two. Whist visiting the Cotswolds, don’t forget to include these impressive places and perhaps even stay in a historic Royal home!

7.) Edinburgh

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The capital city of Scotland is, hands down, one of my favourite cities to explore in Britain! Spend a few days discovering the old town as well as its new town. Take some time to go for a jaunt along Princes Street and visit its world famous castle that sits on an extinct volcano!

There’s so much to see and do whilst in the city! Take a look at some of the best experiences to have in Edinburgh and its unique bars and restaurants to visit.

If you want to keep costs lower, here’s how to spend 24 hours for free in the city for some helpful tips.

8.) Bristol

Gothic Bristol, Vintage Cameras, Dinosaurs And Trolls! (27)     Bristol Uncovered: The Mild Mild West And The Best Italian Outside Of Italy! (7)Bristol Uncovered: The Mild Mild West And The Best Italian Outside Of Italy! (11) Bristol Uncovered: The Mild Mild West And The Best Italian Outside Of Italy! (15) Bristol Uncovered: The Mild Mild West And The Best Italian Outside Of Italy! (17)

Bristol has a thriving art scene, with one of its most (in)famous artists being Banksy, who recently created Dismaland close by. Although this was a temporary exhibition, you can still see so many of Banksy’s famous works dotted around Bristol. Explore its wonderful history and take in Bristol’s thriving art scene!

9.) Glasgow

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There’s always a lot of rivalry around which is the ‘best’ Scottish city, especially between Glaswegians and Edinburghians (is that correct)? Take a wander arounds its many beautiful sights whilst on your British road trip.

10.) York

20 Essential Places You Must Include On Your British Road Trip (3)

This ancient city is steeped in a rich history. Head to the Jorvik Viking Centre, York Castle and York Minster to see some of its most impressive sights!

11.) Cambridge

The University of Cambridge, Graduation, Senate House, Cambridge, England (24) 14 Cities Outside of London That You Need To Visit In The UK! (29) 14 Cities Outside of London That You Need To Visit In The UK! (30)

The college rivalry between Oxford and Cambridge is, well, unrivalled! Take a wander around the beautiful grounds of the University (King’s College chapel is a must-see) whilst exploring the charm of Cambridge. Don’t forget to try your hands at punting too!

12.) Liverpool

14 Cities Outside of London That You Need To Visit In The UK! (14)

Liverpool is famed for its music heritage and beautiful city-centre. Take a tour of some of the main sights but save some energy for the night – that’s when the city comes alive! Enjoy the thousands of live music venues, bars and buskers that line the city’s streets!

13.) Newcastle

14 Cities Outside of London That You Need To Visit In The UK! (9)

This northern city is one of Britain’s best-kept secrets to visit! Once an industrial powerhouse, Newcastle has been redeveloped into one of the country’s most fun cities to visit. Take a wander through its bustling city streets and make note to stop to see the Angel of the North!

14.) White Cliffs of Dover

20 Essential Places You Must Include On Your British Road Trip (2)

Not too far from Brighton, the White Cliffs of Dover are a perfect place to explore the natural beauty of our island. Take a wander across the many coastal paths that criss cross this area of outstanding natural beauty.

15.) Durham

20 Essential Places You Must Include On Your British Road Trip (4)

Not too far from Newcastle, Durham is the perfect stop on your journey through the North of England. Don’t forget to explore Durham Castle and Cathedral.

16.) The Lake District

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The lake district is one of Britain’s most stunning areas to see. Rolling hills and vast lakes have created a landscape that’ll leave you impressed and inspired to keep exploring. Once you’ve visited the charming town of Windermere, head into the hills and enjoy the beauty of this region.

17.) Rye

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This small town in East Sussex is the perfect place for a relaxing stop, especially after a long drive.

18.) St. Ives

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No visit to Cornwall would be complete without a visit to St. Ives! This beautiful Cornish gem is a great place to relax, surf or even eat your weight in delicious Cornish Pasties! Yum! 🙂

19.) Scilly Isles

Kayaking in Bryher, Honesty Boxes and Tropical Island Hues... In Bryher Island, Isles of Scilly, UK (50) Kayaking in Bryher, Honesty Boxes and Tropical Island Hues... In Bryher Island, Isles of Scilly, UK (43) Kayaking in Bryher, Honesty Boxes and Tropical Island Hues... In Bryher Island, Isles of Scilly, UK (44)

Although you won’t be able to drive here, you can jump on a ferry direct from Cornwall. Spend a day or two exploring one of the most unique set of islands in the UK. Bathed in its own micro-climate, the Scilly Isles are a true little paradise!

Interested in planning a trip? Take a look at our complete 1 week itinerary to visit the stunning Isles of Scilly.


Breathtaking Places To Experience When Visiting Wales, Great Britain (13)

This pretty little fishing town is one of the quaintest in all of Wales. Explore its windy streets and colourful houses and grab yourself some local fish and chips – a true sea-side favourite!

Visiting Wales? Don’t forget to include the essential places and experiences during your visit! 

Image via 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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  • Super stoked to read this post – we’re moving to London in 6 months and can’t wait to get out and explore! Hopefully a few of these places will inform blog posts of our own.

    Keen for visiting Bristol!

  • Reading this post I was ever so proud to have ticked, ticked, ticked every one of these cities off my ‘been there done that’ list until I got past Edinburgh. 7 out of 20 isn’t terrible is it? *crickets chirping*

    Another winning and oh-so-helpful post because my boyfriend wants to show me around the UK (as preparation for my ‘Life In The UK’ test, haha) and now I have an easy list to reference for when I pick the next destination! x

    Jasiminne: Posh, Broke, & Bored

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Haha! @ crickets chirping!!!

      I swear that most Brits don’t even know all the answers to the ‘Life in the UK test’ – you’ll definitely ace it! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • There are so many awesome places in the united kingdom!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      There really are! 🙂

  • Natalia Cooke (The Petite Expl

    I would totally recommend Warwickshire to any history buff. Warwick Castle is an amazing medieval castle and still almost entirely intact, although it’s slightly commercial these days. Then ten minutes down the road you have the eerie ruins of Kenilworth Castle.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      You’re so right about Warwickshire! Such a beautiful area, Natalia 🙂

      Okay, now you’ve made our travel lust go into superdrive with Kenilworth Castle – we will have to visit ASAP

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I wish I could do them all! But I’ve already done London, Stonehenge, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cambridge, Bath and a lot of other places that aren’t on this list:)

    • HandLuggageOnly

      There’s always a next time right! 🙂

      Ah! You’ve already visited some epic places too Tanja! Did you enjoy Cambridge? We lived there for University – such a pretty place.

      Yaya & Lloyd xx

  • I’ve already done quite a few of these, and Edinburgh was probably the most beautiful place of them all, I was impressed by literally everything in the city. Brighton is one of my favourites too! I’d add Winchester to the list, because it is the cutest little city and the cathedral is beautiful! 🙂

    Julia xx

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Edinburgh really is a gem isn’t it! We lived in Edinburgh for 5 years and loved every second.

      Winchester is such a great idea too Julia! We’e going to have to visit 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • All of these places look like fabulous adventures! I’ve been to London (and loved it) but there are so many other places in the UK to visit! I can’t wait to get back over there!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yay! So glad you like them Rachel. Hope you get to come over and visit soon! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Jessica Fletcher

    Edinburgh and Bath have to be my favourites on this list and of course the big city, London! So many diverse places to visit in Britain that aren’t exposed enough, good job for portraying it in the light you are 🙂

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks so much Jessica. Edinburgh is stunning isn’t it… and Bath of course. So glad you like them as much as we do!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Tanya Noreen

    Edinburgh has been top of my list for so long its such a beautiful city!


    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yay! You’ll love it Tanya – such an incredible city. Do let us know if you go… happy to help with info, tips in any way we can. 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Great list. There is an almost never ending list of cute places you could visit. One of my personal favourites is Hay-On-Wye, a city of bookstores in Wales.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      That’s so true! The literary festival in Hay-On-Wye is one of the best in the world too. Love that place.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

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  • Klaudia

    Does anyone know the most beautiful road from Liverpool to Dover? Something where you can see lot of nice things just from the car?

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Hey Klaudia – it will mainly be a highway between Liverpool and Dover (with not too much to see) – though, if you considered the longer ‘a’ roads and some slight detours you could include a good few amazing places…

      … Windsor, Stonehenge, Oxford, Cambridge, London, Chester, The Cotswolds – these are all beautiful places to visit and roughly on your way.

      Hope that helps,

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

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