This UK tourist guide is designed for both British and overseas visitors who want to know more about what there is to see and do in some of Britain’s finest tourist destinations.
Time to reconsider the UK
For overseas tourists, the United Kingdom is traditionally composed of a mere handful of famous destinations: London, Edinburgh, Bath, Oxford. And for the British themselves, a holiday in Britain was what you did when you couldn’t afford to travel abroad.
But now the face of British tourism is changing. Thanks to low-cost airlines, a foreign holiday is now in almost any Briton’s reach. A holiday in Britain, then, has become a choice rather than a last resort. As local travellers become more selective, UK resorts are revamping their images to compete for visitors. As well as traditional chips on the seafront, towns offer an increasing range of alternative and unusual attractions.
At the same time as British travellers are becoming more selective, overseas visitors are taking advantage of the possibilities offered by regional destinations, and the fashion for travelling off the beaten track is growing.
Charming cliches abound – the black-and-white pub, the village cricket match, colourful Carnaby Street – but it can be worth taking a closer look. The pub on the village green might turn out to offer fine cuisine and an extensive wine list. And few could deny London’s status at the cutting edge of cool, while the city is closely followed – and occasionally eclipsed – by other leading UK cities such as Manchester and Glasgow. From mountain-hiking to dancing all night: there’s not much you can’t do in Britain. And part of the fun is the juxtaposition of possibilities: old and new, local and international, traditional and innovative.
By all means enjoy a fine Devon cream tea – it’s one of England’s pleasures. But don’t forget to take a look at some of the other faces of our island.