As April approaches, the UK begins to get warmer, and it is a great time to travel around and see the sights. For most, heading to London is at the top of the agenda; however, there are some more exciting things to discover outside the capital. England is really easy to travel by train or bus, and the pace of life is significantly slower than in the city.
1. Royal Ascot
With the weather changing comes the flat horse racing season. There are plenty of events to take advantage of during the summer, and The Royal Ascot is a particularly regal affair. With a strict dresscode and a royal guestlist, you’ll want to make sure that you’re the best dressed on the racecourse. Why not prepare for this by visiting the Grand National, arguably the most dramatic and exciting event of the horse racing season, which sees jockeys competing for one of the biggest titles in the sport. With huge fences to jump, it’s anyone’s guess as to who will win. Whilst most people pick their favourite to win by picking the name that jumps out first, you could always head to William Hill, who list all of their odds and form ahead of the meet.
Stonehenge is a National Heritage site and is known for its exquisite beauty. Located just outside of Salisbury, it has been at the epicentre of archeological debates for hundreds of years. There are loads of theories about how Stonehenge was built; carbon dating and archeological digs place the building of the magnificent structure as far back as 3000BC. Whilst it’s a great attraction to visit all year around, it’s at its most lively during the summer solstice when people venture to Stonehenge for the longest (and hopefully hottest) day of the year.
Located near enough to London that you could head there for a day trip, Brighton is a lively epicentre of music and art. Spend a day on the colourful pier with an ice cream in hand before heading down The Lanes, where you’ll find entertaining street artists and more than enough independent cafes and bars to lead you late into the evening. If the weather is on your side, hire some bikes and cycle down the coast, where you’ll be met with stunning views.
4. The Edinburgh Festival
Edinburgh is a great city to explore all year around. Take a walk up Arthur’s Seat if you fancy a hike, or get lost down the city’s many winding alleyways. For the whole of August, the entire city hosts a huge theatre and arts festival, which is home to some of the biggest names in comedy and also some lesser known acts looking to cut their teeth on some new material. There’s something for everyone at the festival, and if theatre isn’t your thing, you could always hang out in one of the many temporary beer gardens which pop up for the month. You might even spot a celebrity or two…
Whilst planning activities in the UK is always followed by ‘weather permitting’, you should make the most of a glimmer of sunshine and plan a spontaneous trip out of London. Wear shorts and take a mac, because it’s very likely to rain.