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The United Kingdom is a giant jigsaw puzzle. And it is made not from just the four pieces of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but thousands and thousands of tiny fragments, from the shimmering White Cliffs of Dover to the wild splendour of the Scottish Highlands, and from the jagged shards of Snowdonia National Park to the stone forest that is the Giant’s Causeway. This is a beautiful country, both in nature and personality, and how well you understand it will depend on how many of its pieces you slot together: the longer you stay, the clearer the bigger picture will become.
The capital cities are bursting with life and activity, from the vibrant riverside paths of London’s South Bank to the relaxed atmosphere of Cardiff Bay, and from the jolly crowds at the Edinburgh Festival to the rambunctious, Guinness swilling locals in the pubs of Belfast.
But, there’s far more to discover outside the big cities. Explore the glorious British countryside and its landmarks with a brisk walk in the Brecon Beacons, a jaunt along the Fife Coastal Path, a journey to the Giant’s Causeway or a day trip to Stone Henge. Delve into history in Derry, admire the gardens at Powis Castle, follow the Speyside Malt Whisky Trail or take a Roman bath in Bath.
Bask in the splendour of Brighton’s Royal Pavilion, hit the waves on Cornwall’s beaches, relax in the afternoon sun in Tenby or hit the shops in the centre of Glasgow. And, if you feel peckish after all that exploring, there’s plenty to choose from; from Michelin stars to fish and chips, cream teas to Welsh rarebit, Irish stew to haggis, neeps and tatties. Dig into a hearty plate of bangers and mash, help yourself to a Glamorgan sausage, take a bite of some Scottish shortbread or sit down for a traditional Sunday roast, with all the trimmings.
"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page" - Saint Augustine