Make the year ahead one of the most exciting yet by filling it with new experiences and travelling to some of the UK’s most fascinating sites. Whether you’re drawn to ancient monuments, rolling countryside or cultural attractions, our pick of the top 10 places to visit in 2016 will give you an unrivalled insight into this historic nation.
Situated amidst the quintessential English countryside, Bath captivates visitors with its idyllic maze of streets leading onto attractive squares filled with ancient architecture. Wander beneath the stone arches of the city’s Roman Baths to find out why this hot spring town has held such a prominent position over the centuries.
Not only is Cambridge a city of immense beauty and heritage, but it’s also a vibrant cultural hub that benefits from an abundance of lush parks and the winding River Cam. From the springtime, Evan Evans guests will be able to join a new Cambridge and Bletchley Park tour, which includes a visit to St John’s College and the Bridge of Sighs. Guests can combine Cambridge with a tour of Oxford throughout the warmer months.
Walk through the atmospheric streets of this cathedral city as you make your way to Canterbury Cathedral. As one of the oldest cathedrals in England, founded in the year 597, the structure’s historic importance is reaffirmed by its status as a World Heritage Site. Showing evidence of many different eras in British history, the cathedral is an intriguing window into the country’s past.
Spend a day in Scotland by travelling to its magnificent capital city Edinburgh. Characterised by a hilltop castle that overlooks the bustling city below, Edinburgh is filled with historical sights, from the Medieval Old Town to the Georgian buildings of New Town and the renowned Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre.
To discover a different side to English history, spend a day in Liverpool. Whether exploring its important seafaring past or its role as an important arts and sports hub in more recent times, the city has many layers to uncover. Albert Dock is a good place to start, with a number of world-class museums and galleries to explore.
Made famous by its university – which was established in the 12th century – Oxford is dotted with significant historic sites and was even named ‘City of the Dreaming Spires’ by poet Matthew Arnold, perfectly reflecting the architecture that dominates its skyline. Here visitors can step into the world of Harry Potter at Christ Church College, where the famous movie was filmed.
Stratford upon Avon
Stratford upon Avon draws people in for its status as the birthplace of playwright William Shakespeare. Soak up the atmosphere of this medieval market town and visit the house in which Shakespeare was born, among other sites he would have frequented. The writer’s famous plays are performed in town, too.
With its charming villages tucked into verdant countryside, the Cotswolds are a picture-perfect pocket of the country to visit. And, when this is combined with Blenheim Palace, it’s an even more memorable experience. This grand country house is set on a sweeping estate of landscaped gardens, with magnificent state rooms to explore within the house itself.
The Lake District
While mainly attracting travellers for its pristine lakes and rugged mountains, the Lake District also has great historical significance with its medieval enclaves (such as Hawkshead village), and as the home of literary great, Beatrix Potter. In fact, this year marks the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s birth, making the Lake District one of the best places to visit in 2016.
As England’s most ancient and mysterious site, Stonehenge is unlike anywhere else you might visit in the UK and abroad; the prehistoric monument has given rise to so many stories and beliefs that it has become famous worldwide. A shuttle bus transports guests between the iconic stone circle and the monument’s insightful museum.
Header image: The Cotswolds © iStock / krzych-34