There’s plenty more to these isles than London and Windsor Castle. Not that there’s anything wrong with the capital city and its attractions; it’s just that people often see a few sights in London and think they have the sense of what the British Isles (excluding the Republic of Ireland) have to offer. As luck (or detailed preparation) would have it, we have an abundance of spectacular homes dotted around the country… if the UK is indeed a country? OK, a quick search has revealed that it is a country with four countries inside it. Well, anything that complex has to be beautiful, right? So, we at the Plum Guide will take you everywhere from the Cotswolds and Cornwall to Edinburgh and the Lake District in search of the most beautiful places in the UK.
Since you’re probably arriving via one of those London airports that are nowhere near London, we thought we’d start with one of the capital’s nearest beautiful regions. The Cotswolds makes for an idyllic weekend getaway, although you could spend weeks wandering up and down the undulating green terrain and beside waterways. Stay at one of our cosy Cotswolds holiday cottages across this vast area and revel in the quaint village centres, with their medieval thatched façades and friendly ambiance. Marvel at the historic ruins and visit some of the most iconic landmarks in the UK, from Blenheim Palace and Sudeley Castle to Hidcote and the Broadway Tower. You could even take a short trip to Bath, and follow in the footsteps of the likes of writer Jane Austen (time to finally write that novel you’ve been meaning to start). The Roman Baths make for a fascinating look a couple of millennia into the past… your kids will crack all the usual jokes about how they’re even older than you. Leave them in the bathhouse and see how they get on.
Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, UK
The British coast is surprisingly pretty, which means we had to include Cornwall on our list of beautiful places in the UK. Yaaar, here be pirates. That’s probably extremely offensive, so we’d like to take this moment to apologise to pirates. And the people of Cornwall, who are also known for their excellent pasties and the fish and chips. That said, you could always check out the Pirate’s Quest Newquay to learn a little about the history of smugglers (the politically correct term) in this area and how the Cornish accent became the go-to impression for Hollywood pirates. Since you’re in Newquay, get your surf on (learn to surf) and enjoy the views from the exclusive Samphire Restaurant.
Edinburgh is just ridiculously gorgeous, so we simply couldn't miss it off our list of beautiful places in the UK. If you can bear being this far north, get up there – although don’t go asking people for fried mars bars, as they may be offended: it’s more of a Glasgow tradition. We wouldn’t recommend too much of that, by the way, as it’ll take years off your life expectancy. Ruddy tasty though. Anyway, the Royal Mile is made up of historic edifices with old-world frontages and awnings. All manner of boutiques and independent stores can be found within. Embark on a scary ghost tour and climb to the hill overlooking the city centre for the Edinburgh Castle. Snap photos of the view to show off to the folks back home.
The Ross Fountain, Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh
We can’t provide you with a stay in the castle, but we can do the next best thing – take a look at our glorious homes that are fit for royalty.
The Lake District
If it was enough to inspire Wordsworth and Coleridge, as well as the wonderful Beatrix Potter, then it should be enough to wheedle that first book out of you (if the Jane Austen haunt in the form of the Roman Baths down south wasn’t enough of a muse). In fact you’ll find the World of Beatrix Potter on the side of the famous Windermere Lake. Hike through the forest and take a boat out on the water for stunning views. We have all sorts of cabins and upscale houses in the Lake District that’ll suit your needs.
If you’re looking for something a little more challenging, hike up the mound of Scafell Pike or get those limbs warmed up on a trip to the peaks of Helvellyn.