Cities to Visit in the UK: My Top 3 Weekend Getaways

I can’t believe it’s already been over four months since I moved to England! Holy tea-cake. I feel like I haven’t settled in here completely. Leicester and England are still new to me. It’s just different if you’re supposed to live, work, and study somewhere compared to traveling somewhere. In a way it’s a lot harder because you need to adapt to all those little things and find new friends and find the way to the dentist. But at the end of the day I’m sure I won’t regret studying abroad. Even if it hasn’t always been easy all the time, overall, it’s been a good experience and I’ve discovered some lovely places along the way. And this is exactly what this post will be about: my top three UK weekend getaways (so far). Find out which cities to visit in the UK!

Traveling on a student’s budget and managing the time for traveling in between all those university assignments can be hard but I try to make it happen. If you want to hear some tips on how to balance your studies and traveling you can click right here. As I mentioned in this article, I try to do at least one weekend trip to a city in the UK to discover as much as possible while I’m here.

I’ve already been to ten different places so far and out of those I want to present you my top three travel destinations for a weekend getaway (or a day trip, if you prefer that). This list does not include London because I think everyone knows a lot about London already (but if you want you can read my article on it here). As I’m still here for a few more months this list will probably grow and change but, nevertheless, I wanted to give you a first impression of my favourite cities to visit in the UK.

BATH

I am going to start this guide on which cities to visit in the UK with this little city in the south-west of England where I recently visited a friend of mine. Bath is best known for its Roman-built baths and is just a very lovely little city to spend a few days in. Besides walking through the old town and enjoying the Georgian architecture, you should definitely walk up a small hill to Alexandra Park. From there you have a great panoramic view over the city which is always worth it. It’s also only around 20 minutes or so to walk up, so perfect for everyone.


Like it? Pin it!

A first impression of my favourite cities to visit in the UK, including Bath, Bristol and Leeds and some inspiration on what to do there.          A first impression of my favourite cities to visit in the UK, including Bath, Bristol and Leeds and some inspiration on what to do there.

What Wikipedia tells us about Bath:
  1. The city became a spa around AD 60 when the Romans built baths and a temple in the valley of the River Avon.
  2. Bath is popular for its Georgian architecture including sites like the Royal Crescent and Circus.
  3. There is a fake castle in Bathampton overlooking the city of Bath. It was built in 1762 for a guy called Ralph Allen to improve the view from his townhouse in Bath.
  4.  Jane Austen lived in Bath in the early 19th century.
What else is there to do in Bath?

As you may well know by now I’m a big fan of independent coffee shops and little corner shops to stroll through. Bath is just the perfect place for that. I want to recommend two places we’ve been to: The first one is a coffee shop called Cascara which recently opened its doors. It was a really cute little place and they have some great coffee and juices. The second one is a pub called The Boater. They offer various craft beers if you’re into that and it’s just a nice English pub. They also have a garden / outside seating overlooking the river Avon which I imagine being a great place to hang out during summer. If you want to read more about the Roman Baths you can check out this article by Mary from The World Is A Book.

BRISTOL

Bristol was another city I really enjoyed visiting and falls definitely in the category of “Top Cities to Visit in the UK”. I met up with an old friend and we explored the city for a day, although I think you can definitely spend more time there. There are loads of things to do in Bristol, it’s the tenth biggest city in the UK. Basically, we just walked around the old town for an afternoon. If you want to have a more detailed plan on what do to in Bristol you can check out the blog of Lily Doughball she writes a lot about Bristol on her fashion and lifestyle blog. My friend told me that the city is famous for its festivals, so make sure to check out if there are any upcoming events if you visit this part of the UK.

Panoramic view of Bristol from the Cabot Tower, cities to visit in the UK

Panoramic view of Bristol from the Cabot Tower

There are two things you shouldn’t miss while in Bristol. First, definitely walk through the St Nicholas Market in the city centre of Bristol. The market buildings are home to many independent retailers. I’m sure you’ll find some unique presents there or just have some of the amazing food they’re selling there. Second, another thing I recommend is climbing up the Cabot Tower which offers you a great view over the city (oh my, I can see a pattern here – I’m always up for a good panoramic view of a city). It’s free.

LEEDS

Storytime: What happens if a female travel blogger decides to do couchsurfing in Leeds? She finds another female travel blogger to host her for the weekend. Once she’s there and knocks on the door, a third female travel blogger opens it because she’s also couchsurfing there. The world is a small place. I probably liked Leeds so much just because of this little fact – but no, just kidding, the city has a lot to offer and deserves a place on the list of “Cities to Visit in the UK”!

I loved the old buildings and all the independent shops. I think Leeds really knows how to embrace tradition and modernity and you can really see that in its architecture. Leeds is definitely a “young” city because it has the fourth largest student population in the UK. You’ll always find a place to hang out in the evening or go on a party if you want to hit the dancefloor.

Leeds Corn Exchange cities to visit in the UK

Leeds Corn Exchange

What is there to do in Leeds? I spend at least three hours browsing through the Corn Exchange – home to innovative and creative retailers. The building itself is worth a visit as it is a Grade 1 listed Victorian building. I also spend a lot of time in some of the museums Leeds has to offer. I especially enjoyed the Leeds City Museum and the Leeds Art Gallery. Entrance is free.

EDIT: A few months later, I’ve also been to York & Sheffield, which are really beautiful cities in England as well. I also traveled to Wales, which is just stunning!


Do you have any recommendations for weekend travel destinations in the UK? What are your favourite cities to visit in the UK? Let me know in the comments below!

1,339 Comments