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Five Must-See Places in the UK in 2012

16 February 2012 One Comment

In terms of welcoming visitors to its shores, 2012 is a huge year for the UK as the world focuses on London for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, which take place in the summer. Of course, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have beautiful landscape, world famous festivals, landmark buildings and ancient ruins and all are easily accessible by rental cars, bus, coach, train or ferry.

Here are five must-see places in 2012.

Edinburgh

Scotland’s capital city is an amazing sight at any time of year. Edinburgh Castle dominates the skyline, perched on top of the volcanic Castle Rock and in the streets below are centuries of history locked into classical buildings and monuments. Museums and galleries exhibit the country’s artistic heritage and Scottish food and hospitality are second to none, check out haggis and ‘neeps’ for a taste of tradition. The Edinburgh Festival takes over the entire city in August, for a three-week extravaganza of entertainment with classical music, theatre, comedy and the visually spectacular Military Tattoo.

Stonehenge

Deep in the heart of rural Wiltshire stands this astounding ancient monument, a World Heritage Site that is home to the mysterious prehistoric stone monoliths that have stood as enigmatic guardians for thousands of years. The gigantic sarsen stones and the smaller bluestones hold their secrets well. Theories abound, was it a temple of the sun, a gigantic calendar or maybe a burial site or healing center? However it is looked at, this site from the dawn of civilization leaves more questions than it gives answers.

York

Step back in time and experience the fascinating history of this ancient walled city in the north of England. Founded by the Romans over 2,000 years ago, York still has many elements of its Roman, Viking and Medieval history to explore. York Minister is the largest Gothic cathedral in Europe and an architectural wonder. Explore real history at the Jorvik Viking Centre, the museum that changed the way visitors approach archaeology, thanks to its recreation of a Viking city; then walk the narrow cobbled streets of York packed with restaurants, coffee shops and specialist gift shops.

Giant’s Causeway

Skip across the water to Northern Ireland and find out why the world has always talked about a warm Irish welcome. On the north coast of County Antrim is the Giant’s Causeway, a unique geological feature and a World Heritage site, with some 40,000 naturally formed hexagonal columns of basalt forming stepping-stones down to the sea. Thought to have been formed around 50-60 million years ago, legend has it that the causeway was built by the mythological hero Finn McCool as a pathway across the sea to fight a Scottish giant, Benandonner.

Stratford-upon-Avon

Olde England comes to life in the heart of this Warwickshire town, the birthplace of the Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare. In 2012 the World Shakespeare Festival celebrates the life and works of the world’s best-known playwright with dozens of performances and explorations of the plays, linking up with theatres and festivals across the country. The town is easily reached by rental cars, trains or coaches.


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One Comment »

  • KN said:

    I’d love to see the Stonehenge someday… and the English countryside!

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