The United Kingdom is known for many things. Exquisite tea, greasy spoon cafes and saying sorry a lot, to name a few. However, if you’re on your first trip to the UK, then it’s hard to narrow down so many of the incredible attractions to visit during your stay. Thankfully, here at Best UK Hotels, we’re on hand to give you a little guidance. So without further ado, we present 5 extraordinary UK attractions you have to visit!
5) The Forbidden Corner – North Yorkshire
You could be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped onto the set of Labyrinth but tucked away in a nook of North Yorkshire lays the Forbidden Corner. A maze swarming with puzzles, timorous beasties and surprises round every corner, this is a true delight to experience with the family.
One of the UK’s best loved and best known attractions; the British Museum is a must-visit for anybody taking a trip to the UK’s capital. Packed full of thousands of exhibits, artefacts and works of art, account for a full day to explore this British gem.
It is what it says on the paint tin. Head on down to one of the UK’s Diggerland theme parks and drive a real JCB! Fancy yourself as a construction genius? Perhaps you just want to dig a big hole. We’ve heard it’s very therapeutic.
You could be forgiven for thinking you had arrived at an historical reconstruction, but the town of Culross really is a pocket of history frozen in time. So enjoy the ambience of this quaint little town and enjoy an authentic Scottish day out.
And remember that, for some reason, you pronounce it pronounced “coo-riss”, not “cul-ross”. You’re welcome!
So, you want to visit Inverness? Do you think you’ve seen everything there is to see? It’s debatable if you haven’t visited these two of Inverness’ best kept secrets! There is an abundance of things to see and places to visit in Inverness but the grandeur of these specific hidden gems can not be replicated and they certainly can’t be outdone. So what is hiding amongst all the things to see in Inverness that we might have missed? Here are two of Inverness’ best kept secrets you will kick yourself for having missed!
Achnagairn Castle is one of the many castles located near Inverness. Recently restored by Perfect Manors, the castle features an extraordinary ornate ballroom as well as individually designed boutique bedrooms to make even the most seasoned traveller’s heart soar. The castle hosts 18 spectacular and individually styled bedrooms, some twins and others are double. This is the perfect wedding venue for those wanting an elegant and beautiful wedding their guests are going to talk about for years to come.
The Adams Room – Kingsmills Hotel
This isn’t a hotel room, no. But this stunning room can be hired out for meetings, meals and everything in between. Kingsmills offer you a professional experience with friendly service from the staff regardless of whether you’re there for a night or just an hour in their Adams room.
But what makes the Adams room really special? It is the fact that this very room once played host to the great Scottish poet, Rabbie Burns!
The room seats between 18 and 35 guests. The Adams room is great for both small businesses and corporates, bringing you a stunning yet comfortable environment for the marriage of like-minds in the 18th century hotel venue. Some of the décor like the grand fireplace and the stucco ceiling. The hotel is centrally located which is brilliant for people coming from any direction be it further in the Highlands or as far south as London. The venue offers free parking too!
Inverness’ Best Kept Secrets
Now that’s a secret worth sharing! The only question that is left to stand is which of Inverness’ best kept secrets will you visit first?
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is a major attraction to thousands of people each year. It’s so popular, you may want to start planning your trip early in the year. There are always loads of great comedians to look out for at the Fringe Festival. Here is a helpful guide on some of the best ones in recent years that you might be lucky enough to catch yourself.
Star of the Last Leg, Adam Hills, is a Fringe Festival favourite. His recent show, Clown Heart, was an hour long production, promised to not disappoint. His work is renowned for being witty and hilarious and he has even been praised by The Scotsman – “’If you cannot enjoy Adam Hills you cannot have a pulse’.
Next up is I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here Now presenter, Rob Beckett, who regularly plays at the Pleasance Dome. Rob’s incredibly smiley and energetic performances should not be missed so make sure you look out for him at the Fringe.
Comedian and frequent Celebrity Juice guest Chris Ramsay will also be back at the Fringe Festival and he’s “All Growed Up”. Defined as “Stand up gold” by the Guardian, Chris’s tickets sell quickly.
“Comedy genius’ (Daily Mirror) Lee Nelson will be playing at the Pleasance Courtyard this August. Although he is new to the comedy scene, Lee has been celebrated by critics for his modern style of performance. Qualiteeee!
If you’re looking for a familiar face at the Fringe Never Mind The Buzzcock’ funny man Phil Jupitus often plays at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Phil is always worth a ticket.
Comedians to look out for at the Fringe this year
This is our top five pick of comedians to look out for at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe! For more information on venue and ticket purchases make sure you visit their website.
Everybody should have their own slice of luxury, without it breaking the bank. Believe it or not, you don’t have to spend excessive cash to experience the best of luxury hospitality. Most high-end hotels have brilliant special offers all year round! There’s almost always something happening somewhere, no matter the time of year!
Booking luxury holidays and hotels can be confusing – especially with so many online travel agents! But, by booking direct, hotels will often offer additional incentives such as a free glass of wine. We look at some of the best hotels to book with in the world.
The Dunstane – Edinburgh, Scotland
If you’re going to visit Edinburgh, you may as well do it in style. The Dunstane is a boutique hotel that boasts some serious style. With its simple online booking engine, you can book your stay and pay in minutes! The hotel also is home to one of the best restaurants in the UK, known as the Ba’ Bar. This hotel has 4 stars, although some would argue with its excellent service and design perks such as bathroom heated floors, that the quality excels its official rating.
Parliament House Hotel – Edinburgh, Scotland
Parliament House Hotel, Edinburgh, is a fusion of Jacobean and Georgian buildings that make up the 53 bedroom hotel. Its grandeur has no limits, maintaining period features, creating a truly authentic experience for guests who stay. Don’t be put off by the period features though – Parliament House Hotel is equipped with all the contemporary amenities that are expected with city centre hotels.
Borgo Egnazia – Puglia, Italy
Taking a trip to Italy? Seeking the ultimate celebrity experience? Borgo Egnazia is your hotel! Many high-end clients and celebrities have stayed at Borgo Egnazia. It’s no small wonder that celebrities are known to return with the destination boasting a castle-like structure and 28 luxury villas. Did we mention the golf course and the worldwide award winning spa? If these aren’t reasons to book now, what is? This destination is on the pricier side of luxury hotels, but provides the ultimate relaxation experience. There is no place quite like Borgo Egnazia.
Castle Leslie – Monaghan, Ireland
This 1000 acre estate has everything you want, from team-building exercises to equestrian tracks and riding lessons. The castle was completed in 1871 by Sir John Leslie. The grounds of the castle were the venue for the marriage of Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills. Ireland is possibly one of the friendliest countries in Europe and the castle delivers a rich sense of freshness, open air and luxury comfort without being overwhelming. To top this off, you can even take a tour of the castle and its grounds on their website too!
Booking Luxury Hotels
Each hotel has its own deals throughout the year and luxury hotels often offer exclusive discounts and packages inclusive of local attractions, meaning that spending a little more often means saving more too!
Just remember, when booking luxury hotels, book direct to potentially receive additional perks!
It’s shouldn’t come as any surprise that Scotland is regularly chosen for a filming location for TV, indie and big Hollywood films. With its outstanding scenery, it looks amazing on-screen. But to have found as many filming spots as we have in Scotland almost knocked us off our seats. We’ve narrowed down our favourites to the top 10 Scottish film locations so you can visit the backdrops of your favourite films!
Monty Python and the Holy Grail – 1975
Firstly, this film is very silly. However, it is also brilliantly funny and looks fantastic. A lot of it was filmed in Scotland, including at Doune Castle. And it is also where the best insult ever created was shouted from: ” Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!”
Chariots of Fire – 1981
The opening scene for Chariots of Fire was actually filmed on the West Sands beach on the coast of St. Andrews. This beach was chosen specifically for its stunning aesthetics and Highland feel. COme and run barefoot yourself!
Braveheart – 1995
Aspects of this epic film, which will never get old, were filmed in the stunning landscapes throughout and near Glen Nevis and Loch Leven. The backdrop was chosen specially for this Oscar-winning film by Mel Gibson. If you want to find out about the real William Wallace, then take a trip to the Wallace Monument in Stirling.
Trainspotting – 1996
Got a lust for life? This disturbing yet brilliant movie was partially filmed in Edinburgh’s famous location Princes Street as well as Calton Road. But Edinburgh wasn’t the only lucky place to be picked for this film though, Glasgow and Rannoch Moor were also chosen.
Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets – 2002
This was the first of the movies in the series to exhibit the stunning scenery around and the body of Glenfinnan Viaduct in the Scottish Highlands. You can take a train across yourself and pretend you are heading to Hogwarts (although your actual destination will be just as stunning).
The Da Vinci Code – 2006
Dan Brown’s bestseller saw Tom Hanks run all around the world looking for the Holy Grail. He took it a bit more seriously than Monty Python at least. But what he didn’t bet on was coming to the bottom of the mystery at Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian, near Edinburgh. This 15th century chapel is a stunning piece of work, and is open to the public. So get your cryptex ready, we’re going in!
Prometheus – 2012
Filmed in Skye, parts of this film show off the island’s stunning landscaped, fresh skies, natural shining waters and Cullin Mountains. The landscape and scenery help to add to the mysterious tone of the movie.
Skyfall – 2012
The James Bond film producers have a history of choosing iconic locations for the production of these popular movies. So it was no surprise to us when Scotland’s Glencoe was chosen for scenery in the film. Having been chosen for the Bond blockbuster is without a doubt the seal of approval for Scotland as one of the best places to film for scenery.
World War Z – 2013
Brad Pitt brought out the screaming fan girl (and boy) inside all of us when he came to shoot in Glasgow’s city centre: George Square (turned into Philadelphia Square.) Not only was the film shot in Glasgow, but open auditions for extras were held at the local Caledonian University campus just minutes walk from the filming location.
Outlander – 2014
This hugely popular time-travel romance/fantasy television series has been built from the best-selling novels by Diana Gabaldon. The entire series was filmed throughout Scotland. And what does it have in common with Monty Python and the Holy Grail? Well, it also features Doune Castle, just 9 miles from Stirling.
Avengers: Infininty War & Avengers: Endgame – 2018 & 2019
Finally, two of the biggest films of all time decided they could only tell their huge story by using some of Scotland as a setting. In Marvel’s Infinity War, you will recognise large parts of Edinburgh’s Old Town, including the Royal Mile, Cockburn Street and even Waverley train station.
In Endgame, the scenery switches east towards the beautiful coastal village of St. Abbs. From henceforth, this shall be called New Asgard! This is where Thor and his people lay down roots. It is a gorgeous place to visit, as is all along this stretch of coastline, not far from Edinburgh.
Visiting Top Scottish Film Locations
A great place to stay whilst exploring Edinburgh is Parliament House Hotel. It’s just a few minutes’ walk from all these Marvel(ous) city centre locations, and with great public transport links too.
If you are heading north for some Outlander experiences, then the Kingsmills Hotel and Ness Walk both offer fantastic accommodation and advice on where to see locations. If you are heading to Fife to see the amazing beach at St. Andrews, then we recommend trying Elderburn Lodges, a five-star, family friendly option that makes you feel at home.
So don’t miss out, come and see your favourite movie locations in real life! Have we missed out your favourite filming location? Let us know!
Scotland – a country known for its world-class scenery, memorable music scene and of course, eclectic cuisine. Haggis, whisky and square sausage, anyone? If you are planning a trip to Scotland, why not take our ultimate Scottish road trip?
Kick things off in the Kingdom of Fife
The first port of call for anybody new to Scotland is a trip to the beautiful east coast. Pop on down to the proclaimed home of golf, St. Andrews and play on world-famous courses. Head on over to Anstruther or as the locals call it, “Ainster”) for a true delight of a fish supper from the award-winning Anstruther Fish Bar.
Explore the ruins of the battle grounds of Culloden, unfurl the myth of the Loch Ness monster and embrace the stunning Scottish scenery on offer. Are you a fan of Scotch Whisky? Why not take a Speyside Whisky tour? Indulge in having your very own Whisky tour-guide-come-chauffeur and spend the day having a true Whisky adventure sampling all the best distilleries Speyside has to offer.
No trip to Scotland would be complete without a trip to the scenic Outer Hebrides. Visit the Isle of Islay and immerse yourself in the serene tranquillity and natural wild beauty that the island offers. Take an opportunity to sample the peaty malts of Islay, or set off for some island hopping across to Jura and other neighbouring lands. And make sure you have a taste of freshly cooked pizza from Peatzeria.
Finish off in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh. Explore this UNESCO heritage site and unravel Scottish history with a trip to Edinburgh Castle, visit the spooky underground city vaults and discover the site of the Covenanters Prison – widely regarded as the world’s first concentration camp. Finish off with a bit of souvenir shopping and head on over to Edinburgh’s Grassmarket to snap up a vintage bargain or two.
Planning your Scottish road trip can be a lengthy task – especially considering how many fantastic attractions there are! Why not visit some of our previous suggestions to help get your creative juices flowing.
Planning an escape away this autumn but not sure where to go? Don’t worry, here at Best UK Hotels we have it covered. Pick one of our top three destinations listed below and get planning your next big UK city break.
Edinburgh is the inspiring capital of Scotland. Centuries of history meet a vibrant and beautiful setting. Whilst in Edinburgh, you’ll discover stunning scenery, creative architecture and mouth-watering food. From the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to Edinburgh Castle – you’ll never be short of things to see and do on your city break.
Edinburgh is known for its spooky history. We recommend visiting the Edinburgh Old Town – Edinburgh’s oldest neighbourhood – dating as far back as the medieval age. The Old Town’s small streets are lined with boutique shops, pubs and historical monuments.
Where to stay: Parliament House Hotel
Situated just minutes from Edinburgh’s bustling city centre and train station, Parliament House Hotel offers visitors a cosy welcome to the city. This affordable Edinburgh hotel offers the perfect Scottish experience. This 53 bedroom hotel combines modern-day luxuries with touches of history, like a Victorian elevator. So check out their special offers and remember the mantra of this blog – always book direct with the hotel!
There is just so much to see and do in London – the capital of the United Kingdom. If you’re not sure where to begin, then it can be completely overwhelming. Cut down your exhaustive list for a day of sightseeing around the city. Must-visit attractions include The Elizabeth Tower and Big Ben, the London Eye and Buckingham Palace. Rather helpfully, they are all within walking distance of each other! So if you’re a bit of a shopaholic, then head on down to the iconic Oxford Street for fashion shopping galore. For foodies, cream tea at Harrods simply cannot be missed.
Where to stay: Double Tree by Hilton (Victoria)
For a warm welcome and convenient location, the Double Tree by Hilton (Victoria) is a great choice. This hotel is just minutes away from the heart of the city, making it the perfect base if you’re planning to do some serious sightseeing. The hotel is ideal for easy access to central London and has great transportation links.
York, England is an up and coming destination. Having been voted Europe’s most favourite city in 2007, the city is home to Europe’s most visited street and has quickly evolved to become one of the UK’s most popular tourist destinations.
Visit the JORVIK Viking Centre, a fantastic local attraction, exhibiting artefacts over 1,000 years old. The National Railway Museum is also the largest of its kind in the word, and to add into the bargain, admission is completely free. Of course, this is just a snapshot of all the wonderful attractions York has to offer.
York is a beautiful place with a fascinating history. York was also regarded as one of the two capitals of Roman Britain. So, sounds like your cup of tea? Then book your visit today!
Where to stay: The Grand Hotel and Spa
The Grand is classed as a 5-star hotel and spa and is widely regarded as the finest in the area. With a century of history behind it, this luxury destination is an absolute must-visit for history buffs. The hotel is just five minutes’ walk from the city’s delightful maze of medieval streets as well as boutique shopping spots.
UK City Breaks – Which One Will You Choose?
No matter what UK city break you pick, we are positive that Edinburgh, York or London will not disappoint. There is so much to see and do, you will have to plan carefully to make sure you don’t miss out on anything. The only question is, what destination will you choose?
Are you planning to visit Scotland? Do you want to spot your favourite celebs and even chance a sly snap? The problem you have is you don’t know where to spot them! We’ve patched up that loophole in your celeb spotting plans with our celebrity hot spots in Scotland guide!
Celebrity Hot Spots – Glasgow – West End
Head over to Glasgow’s West End to spot celebs such as Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill. The actors of Jack and Victor from the Scottish television programme Still Game have been spotted in the West End of Glasgow through Ashton Lane. The comedic pair have been stopped and asked for autographs, photographs and even brief chats by fans.
Jade Lezar, the actress of Alana on television soap River City has also been spotted in the affluent West End. Jack Nicholson, the wacky actor from Hollywood hits such as Anger Management and The Shining has been spotted in Tinderbox on Byres Road.
Celebrity Hot Spots – Glasgow – City Centre
Many locals in Glasgow have spotted popular comedian Jimmy Carr walking down to Buchanan Street. The city centre of Glasgow is definitely a hotspot for spotting celebs, especially the key main streets such as Buchanan Street and Argyle Street. The House of Fraser is also a great place to spot celebrities shopping for their seasonal wardrobes. Michelle O’Brien was seen outside Blackfriars pub during the period of the Merchant City Festival. Anthony Costa (from pop group Blue) was also seen outside the Kings Theatre.
Spotting Celebrities in Glasgow
Glasgow is a buzzing city and a hotspot destination for many celebrities. With major venues such as the SSE Hydro and the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, there’s always a great chance of bumping into a major A-lister travelling around the city! Have we missed any celebrity hot spots? Share with us who you have spotted in the comments below