Embarking on a journey to explore the charm of the North of England and the UK, but uncertain about which places to include in your itinerary?  From Northumberland, with its castles, landscapes, and architecture, to the charm and serenity of York, these are the best places to visit in the north of England and beyond. 

Northumberland

Nestled in the stunning landscapes of the UK, Northumberland is a region steeped in history, natural beauty, and charm. Boasting rugged coastlines, rolling countryside, and ancient castles, Northumberland offers a diverse range of attractions for visitors to explore.

One of the region's standout features is its coastline, home to sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs, and quaint fishing villages. Stroll along the picturesque Bamburgh Beach, explore the rocky coves of Seahouses, or visit the ruined Dunstanburgh Castle perched on a cliff overlooking the stunning ocean views.

Venture inland to explore Northumberland's rolling countryside, dotted with picturesque villages, historic market towns, and verdant landscapes. Outdoor enthusiasts can embark on scenic hikes along Hadrian's Wall Path, discover the enchanting woodlands of Kielder Forest Park, or enjoy a leisurely bike ride along the picturesque cycling routes of the Northumberland National Park.

If you're interested in learning about the region's history, Northumberland offers a wealth of attractions for you to discover. Explore the majestic Alnwick Castle, famed for its role in the Harry Potter films, and the atmospheric ruins of Lindisfarne Priory, an ancient monastery on Holy Island.

The Yorkshire Dales

The Yorkshire Dales is another fantastic destination to visit in the picturesque north of the UK. It's a region of unparalleled natural beauty, charming villages, and rich cultural heritage, making it an idyllic destination for those seeking a quintessential English countryside experience. Encompassing rolling hills, meandering rivers, and lush valleys, the Yorkshire Dales offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

One of the most enticing aspects of the Yorkshire Dales is its extensive network of scenic walking trails, which wind their way through breathtaking landscapes and offer stunning vistas at every turn. Embark on scenic strolls along the riverbanks, challenging hikes to the summit of towering peaks, or peaceful rambles through picturesque villages and meadows.

Aside from hiking, the Yorkshire Dales offers a plethora of outdoor activities to enjoy, including cycling along the scenic routes of the Yorkshire Dales Cycleway, rock climbing on the limestone crags of Malham Cove, or birdwatching in the tranquil surroundings of the Dales' nature reserves.

Don't miss visiting historic market towns, ancient castles, and charming villages to immerse in the local culture. Delve into the region's history at heritage sites such as Bolton Castle and Richmond Castle, or visit traditional pubs, farmers' markets, and artisan shops.

Solo travel in the Lake District

The Lake District

The Lake District is renowned for its stunning landscapes, pristine lakes, and rugged mountains, making it a must-visit when exploring the north of the UK. It has picturesque valleys, quaint villages, and shimmering lakes, offering a tranquil retreat amidst the hustle and bustle of modern life.

One of the highlights of your visit is hiking at the region's scenic walking trails, which meander through breathtaking scenery and offer panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. From short strolls along the shores of Lake Windermere to challenging hikes up the slopes of Scafell Pike, England's highest peak, there's something for every level of hiker to enjoy.

For those looking to explore the Lake District by rail, the region is easily accessible via the UK's extensive rail network. Thus, it is an ideal place for those enjoying rail breaks in the UK, with scenic journeys offering stunning countryside views. 

Aside from its outdoor pursuits, the Lake District is also known for offering a rich cultural heritage. Visit its historic market towns, stately homes, and cultural attractions to immerse in the local culture.

York

A city steeped in history, culture, and charm, York is an enticing destination in the north of the UK. With its medieval architecture, cobbled streets, and ancient city walls, York offers a captivating glimpse into the past while providing a vibrant atmosphere to explore.

One of the highlights of a visit to York is exploring its historic landmarks, including the iconic York Minster, one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe. Climb to the top of the Minster's towers for panoramic city views, explore its magnificent stained glass windows, or attend a choral concert or evensong.

In addition to its historic landmarks, York has a vibrant cultural scene, with museums, theatres, and art galleries showcasing the city's rich heritage and contemporary creativity. Explore the exhibits at the York Castle Museum, catch a performance at the York Theatre Royal, or admire contemporary art at the York Art Gallery.

Visit the Jorvik Viking Centre, where you can experience life in a Viking settlement through interactive exhibits and reconstructed streets. Stroll through the city's medieval streets, known as the Shambles, where you'll find timber-framed buildings housing quaint shops, cafes, and galleries.

Solo travel in Scotland

Scotland 

Technically Scotland isn't England but it is in the UK so if you're venturing beyond England, Scotland's breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture make it an extraordinary destination. From the rugged Highlands to the picturesque lochs and historic cities, Scotland offers a wealth of attractions to explore.

Scotland isn't just about its stunning landscapes and rich history; it also offers lavish experiences for those craving a bit of luxury with their relaxation. When it comes to staying in breathtaking mansions in the UK, Scotland boasts some of the most opulent and enchanting options you can imagine. Relax in opulent accommodations, indulge in fine dining, and enjoy impeccable service amidst the grandeur of historic estates.

One of Scotland's most iconic attractions is its stunning natural beauty, encompassing majestic mountains, serene lochs, and picturesque glens. Embark on scenic drives along the North Coast 500, hike through the dramatic landscapes of the Cairngorms National Park or cruise along the legendary Loch Ness in search of the mythical monster.

For history enthusiasts, discover Scotland's rich heritage with visits to its ancient castles, historic sites, and traditional villages. Explore the imposing fortress of Edinburgh Castle, stroll through the cobbled streets of Stirling Old Town, or wander the medieval ruins of Urquhart Castle overlooking Loch Ness.

 

I hope that this article has given you some ideas of where to go in the north of the UK. There are so many places but in my opinion, these are some of the best. Happy travelling!