Holiday rentals in United Kingdom
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Your guide to United Kingdom
All About the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland may be geographically small, but this diverse collection of islands have rich, intertwined histories that stretch back thousands of years, taking in the Neolithic standing stones of Stonehenge, the 11th-century Warwick Castle, and spectacular Georgian architecture in Edinburgh and Bath. Take a scenic steam train ride through Scotland’s majestic landscape, hop on a boat to enjoy the peace and solitude of the Isles of Iona and Skye off the coast of Western Scotland, and follow the Wild Atlantic Way around the rugged Northern Irish coast, stopping off to explore the famous geometric rocks of Giant’s Causeway.
Outdoors enthusiasts are drawn to the surf at Cornish beaches, smooth sailing in the Lake District, and the mountains of Snowdonia National Park — the views can be enjoyed as you climb them, or from a seat on the Snowdon Mountain Railway — while lovers of architecture can admire the spa towns of Harrogate in Yorkshire and Bath in Somerset.
London’s mix of centuries-old buildings and cutting-edge architecture — from the 16th-century St James’s Palace and countless Victorian pubs to the vertiginous Shard skyscraper — contrasts with the thatched cottages and tiny pretty villages of the Cotswolds.
The best time to stay in a holiday rental in United Kingdom
The Gulf Stream means that the southwest of the country experiences milder and warmer conditions than much of the UK, while the North Sea cools the northeastern coast. London can be uncomfortably hot and humid at the height of summer, whereas the north of Scotland rarely experiences hot weather and can see heavy snowfall in the colder months. Outside of peak summer, rain is always a possibility, so bring your umbrella. Layers are the best policy here. If you’re keen to spend a lot of time outdoors, be prepared for rapid changes in weather conditions.
Rain or shine, major music festivals in Glastonbury, Reading, and London are cultural landmarks on the calendar. The Edinburgh Festival and its sister Fringe festival fill the streets with open-access shows, comedy performances, and live music throughout August. An annual championship brings two weeks of tennis frenzy to London from late June, while there’s a distinctly festive feel in the lead-up to Christmas and New Year, with streets lined with strings of fairy lights and decorated trees taking pride of place in town squares. Scotland has its very own way of celebrating: Hogmanay marks the turn of the new year with traditional dancing, processions lit by flaming torches, and a whole host of fireworks.
Top things to do in United Kingdom
The untamed green county of Northumberland is packed with medieval castles, Iron Age hillforts, and the largest Dark Sky Park in the UK, where there’s plenty of scope for awe-inspiring stargazing. Just off the coast, the tiny Farne Islands, an important wildlife sanctuary protected by the National Trust, are home to more than 100,000 puffins over the summer breeding months.
From Indian street food on Brick Lane to the fountains and swathes of lawn in Hyde Park and Regents Park, London is a patchwork of period architecture, global cuisine, and glittering high-rises. Borough Market offers open-air cafes, organic produce, and handmade pastries close to the banks of the Thames, while Spitalfields Market is home to record stalls, racks of vintage clothes, and quirky antiques, and Dalston Lane in Hackney forms the canvas for kaleidoscopic street art.
Adventure-seekers and wildlife watchers flock to the glorious peaks and valleys of the Brecon Beacons National Park in South Wales, near the English border. Mountain biking and pony trekking are popular, and you can go boating, fishing, or windsurfing on Llangorse Lake. In the southwest, the Gower Peninsula — the UK’s first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty — offers dramatic seascapes and carpets of wild heather. You’ll spot grey seals, porpoises, and dolphins here, and the sweeping shoreline of Rhossili Bay is a haven for surfers.