Top attractions in the UK

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Welcome to the United Kingdom, a land of famous novelist William Shakespeare and The Rolling Stones, one of the most famous rock bands in the world. The UK has long been one of the top tourist destinations for travelers from Europe.   

When you mention the United Kingdom, many think of Big Ben, Cambridge and Oxford Universities, Edinburgh Castle, or other world-popular attractions. But Britain offers so much more with its rich cultural heritage, historic sites, and breathtaking scenery.

Many outstanding museums such as the Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Museum, and the National Gallery hide beautiful paintings and other artworks that will mesmerize you.

Beautifully preserved estates are also high on everyone’s list. Centuries-old castles will enchant you with their timeless beauty, such as the must-visit Windsor Castle, the royal residence in Berkshire, and Warwick Castle, near Birmingham.

Yes, you can also visit well-known historical sites like Tower Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey in London, and Stonehenge and Avebury stone circles in Wiltshire.

But, on the list of UK top attractions and popular tourist destinations, in recent years, along with historical places, there are also exciting theme parks related to popular culture and other attractions you may miss. That’s why we’re here with our list of top 10 unusual attractions. So, let’s begin.

Harry Potter themed alley in the UK
Harry Potter themed alley in the UK

1. Explore the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Welcome to the fascinating world of magic. The Warner Brothers Studio is just an hour’s train ride from central London. And an entire world from kids’ fantasy is hidden in it.

If you’re a fan of Harry Potter movies, you’ll be impressed with a tour of the set. You can see masks and costumes used by your favorite characters. Stroll along the cobblestone Diagon Alley, take a peek at Dumbledore’s office, and see the Great Hall live.

You can also see the Hogwarts Express train, an incredibly faithful model of Hogwarts Castle, and learn interesting details about using special effects during filming.

After 4 hours of an exciting tour of the studio, buy some themed goodies in the souvenir shop to remember this magical world.

Enjoy the London Bridge
Enjoy the London Bridge

2. Enjoy a Main Attraction in the UK With Panoramic Sightseeing of Lovely London

With 3 million visitors a year, the London Eye or Millennium Wheel is one of the most popular tourist attractions in London and the UK. This grandiose observation wheel with 32 glass capsules is located in the city center, on the banks of the River Thames and across from the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.

The London Eye makes a full circle in 30 minutes, which is just enough time to enjoy the 360-degree landscape. The view of London landmarks like Buckingham Palace or the Tower of London from the height of 135 meters is fascinating!

We recommend visiting during the sunset because the play of colors in the sky will make this ride an unforgettable experience!

Curious about unusual places in the UK? From a wizard's paradise to artificial rainforests, here's 15 interesting attractions in the UK.

3. Peek into the Mysterious Underground City

Most tourists in the Scottish capital visit Edinburgh Castle, Royal Botanic Gardens, and The Royal Mile. But are you ready to discover the dark side of beautiful Edinburgh?

At the end of the 18th century, an underground city was built under the South Bridge, with tunnels and numerous rooms. Local traders used the premises as a warehouse until they were flooded and abandoned.

Still, Edinburgh Vaults got new residents. The poorest people settled there. They lived in dark and crumbly rooms. The underground city was used both for illegal gambling and as an illegal whiskey distillery.

The system of underground tunnels was abandoned during the 19th century and rediscovered only 30-40 years ago. The tunnels have been cleared of rubbish, arranged, and lit. Today, local guides organize tours for all interested visitors who are not afraid to peek into the hidden corners of Edinburgh.

4. Daring Expedition of Conquering O2 Arena

O2 Arena is one of the most-visited concert halls in the world. It is located on the banks of the River Thames in southeast London. In addition to music events, it also hosted the Olympic Games, tennis tournaments, and other exciting events.

This time we are not taking you to a concert, but to an exciting adventure of climbing to the roof of the O2 Arena!

With a special suit, short training, and guide instructions, you will embark on an expedition to conquer the 52-meters high platform on the top of the O2 Arena. In an hour, during this journey, you can experience London from a completely unusual perspective.

There are daytime, a sunset, and a night tour. Each tour has its charm, as evidenced by 100,000 people who bravely board this adventure every year. 

If you want to surprise your loved one for an anniversary or birthday, you can do so at the top of the O2 Arena. Guides will be delighted to bring a bottle of champagne to create beautiful memories that you can take home from London.

Liverpool Football Club
Liverpool Football Club

5. Feel the Spirit of English Football

Back in 1884, the Anfield Stadium was built in Liverpool. As the home of one of the most successful clubs in football history, it has become a cult place for millions of Liverpool fans from all over the world.

Before going out on the field in front of 50,000 fans who sing the club anthem “You’ll never walk alone”, the football players go through a tunnel where they touch the “This is Anfield” sign for good luck.

You can do the same as part of the LFC Museum and Stadium Tour. You can also have the chance to peek into the dressing room, where the players prepare before the game.

The tour of the stadium lasts 70-90 minutes. A memorable experience is a view from the upper ranks of the Main Stand on the stadium as well as on the city. 

The visit to the museum lasts about 30 minutes. During that time, you can have the opportunity to learn the story about club legends and see trophies from the glorious history of Liverpool football club – 6 European and 19 English champion titles.

6. Visit Another Top Attraction in the UK at the Historic Castle in the Heart of London

Did you know that the Tower of London was built a thousand years ago?

It is located in central London, on the banks of the River Thames. The tower is part of a fortress built in the 11th century by King William the Conqueror, which served as a royal palace.

Later, authorities turned the Tower of London into a prison, which housed prominent prisoners from the aristocratic ranks.

In Jewel House, one of the fort blocks, with a guided tour, you can see the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, with diamonds, sapphires, and other valuables. The crown of Queen Elizabeth II is kept in a glass case, and a group of elite guards makes sure the crown is safe.

Due to its great cultural and historical significance, the Tower of London has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Capture the best sights of the UK
Capture the best sights of the UK

7. Discover the Connection Between Belfast and the Largest Naval Disaster

Did you know that the famous ship Titanic was built in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland? On its first and only voyage in 1912, from Southampton to New York, the largest passenger ship of the time, the Titanic, hit an iceberg. The ship suffered enormous damage that led to a rapid sinking to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

About 1,500 people died on that occasion. In memory of this tragedy, during the 100th Anniversary in 2012, the Titanic Belfast Museum was opened.

In 9 galleries, you can get to know the rich maritime heritage of this city. You can see how the design and construction of the Titanic went, what the rooms with the engines looked like, as well as what the passenger cabins, salons, and restaurants were like.

You can find out how the tragedy happened and how the evacuation of 700 passengers and crew members by lifeboats looked like. You can also have the opportunity to visit the SS Nomadic ship near the museum, which was used to service the Titanic.

The Titanic Museum
The Titanic Museum

8. Uncover the Natural Beauty of the Scottish Highlands

Are you ready for the most beautiful British adventure as an unusual attraction in the UK? As part of a one-day tour from Edinburgh, you can experience the magical beauties of northern Scotland.

Guides will drive you through the beautiful landscapes of the Glencoe valley. Enjoy the greenery, hills, and mountain peaks created by glaciers and volcanic eruptions.

The unreal beauty of these landscapes was the scenography for shooting numerous films, from Harry Potter to James Bond. 

The guides can tell you exciting stories about the history and culture of Scotland’s Highlands. You can also visit the ruins of Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness, a huge lake known for the legend of the monster Nessie, which hides in its depths.

Complete this unforgettable journey by discovering the village of Fort Augustus, the city of Inverness, and the wonderful Cairngorms National Park.

9. Join the Top Attractions in the UK With the Wondrous World of Beatles

In the sixties of the last century, the Beatles roamed the world music scene. “Hey, Jude,” “A day in the life,” and “Yesterday” are just some of the hits of the most popular band in the history of pop-rock music.

As part of the Liverpool City and Beatles Open Bus Tours, you can even visit the houses where Paul McCartney and John Lennon grew up.

Strawberry Field and Penny Lane are places where you can get off the bus to take photos. By visiting important places in the Beatles’ history, you can better understand where the band got their inspiration for the songs from.

You will also have a unique opportunity to visit The Cavern Club, where the Beatles performed for the first time. Guides will also take you to see the city landmarks like Liverpool Cathedral, the UNESCO World Heritage Waterfront, the Royal Albert Docks, and Chinatown.

The Eden Project

10. Explore an Incredible Artificial Rain Forest

Cornwall is an area in the southwest of England, known as a favorite holiday destination with beautiful beaches and exciting facilities for the whole family.

The biggest tourist attraction is the Eden Project, an eco-park with educational facilities. The largest greenhouse in the world is located under the domes of futuristic design. Each dome has a different microclimate.

The tropical and Mediterranean climate provides ideal conditions for the growth of more than a million plants worldwide, such as bananas, cocoa, bamboo, olives, etc.

Children will be delighted with the wooden tower they can climb. You can also explore outdoor gardens, walk over the suspension bridge, enjoy the sounds of waterfalls, or have a ride on the fastest zip line in England.

Book This Trip to See Unusual Attractions in the UK

Ready to explore one of the most exciting Attractions in the UK? Start planning your trip with hotel or VRBO accommodations, local UK restaurant recommendations, best places to shop and more through TripAdvisor and Travelocity. Use OMIO Travel Partner to book the best plane, train and car rental options in the UK.

Be sure to book some of these interesting and fun activities in the UK through GetYourGuide. Check out expert-led tours, food tastings, pub crawls, family activities, skip-the-line tickets and more here.

Author Bio: Based in Serbia in Europe, Marija Stojanovic Petkovski worked as a journalist but realized writing about the most beautiful places in the world is something that inspires her. She is sure that a pint of good craft beer perfectly accompanies a tasty home-made lasagne. In her spare time, she enjoys playing with her children and spending time outdoors with her family. 

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