When you’re living and working in the UK, obviously you won’t be spending all your hours working. There’s also your downtime to consider, and what better way to make the most of your time in Blighty than by exploring the towns and countryside of the UK? With Europe just a stone’s throw away (almost), there’s a whole host of fun stuff to do and amazing sites to see right on the doorstep.
The UK is a pretty cultured place, let’s be honest. There are a whole bunch of incredible museums and galleries right up and down the UK – many of them completely free of charge. In London alone, you’ll find the V&A, Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, Tate Modern and British Museum. Perfect places to spend a rainy day soaking up art and history all at once.
Town and country
The countryside and small towns and villages of the British Isles are charming and breath-taking, and often in very easy reach of cities. From the dramatic Cornish coastline and Northern Ireland’s Giants Causeway, to the villages of the Cotswolds, the cobbled lanes of Oxford, and the far-flung beauty of the Outer Hebrides, you’re never too far from some truly idyllic scenery. Travelling by train will take you everywhere in the UK.
The UK is an ancient nation. You’ll find monuments, ruins, castles all over the land. Edinburgh’s ancient volcano, Arthur’s Seat, is impressive, while (maybe) King Arthur’s castle can be visited in Tintagel, Cornwall. For Neolithic wonder, don’t forget a visit to Stonehenge, or the lesser known 5,000-year-old site of Skara Brae in the Orkney Isles, Scotland.
Speaking of summer, once June rolls around, the UK makes the most of warmer weather as Brits come out to play in a long line of summer festivals and musical events. There’s London’s celebration of Caribbean culture with the Notting Hill Carnival (late August), and of course, the Edinburgh Festival and the Fringe are among the many festivals taking place throughout the UK. The music festivals are almost endless: Glastonbury takes place in June, but there’s also Green Man, Latitude, and Bestival to name just a few.
Hop on the Eurostar
This high-speed international rail service plunges under the sea from London to Paris, making daytrips and weekends away in the French capital a breeze, but that’s not all. Eurostar services also reach as far north as Belgium and the Netherlands, terminating in Amsterdam. The Eurostar also run all the way down to Marseille, with a branch line to Lyon, too, and stops along the way. French Riviera, here we come.
Jet off somewhere sunny
The UK isn’t famed for its warm weather, but don’t fret – a slice of sun, sea and sand is just a short flight away. Low-cost airlines fly regularly from London and other UK airports to summer hotspots around the Mediterranean. You could leave work, jump on a plane, and be in sunny Spain, a luxe Greek island, or on a Game of Thrones tour in Dubrovnik in a matter of hours. Europe is your oyster.
Thanks to Nick Page for the photo.