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!
Scotland has the advantage of having some of the most picturesque views and landscapes in the western world. From Loch Assynt and Ardvreck Castle in Inverness to the American Monument on the Oa Peninsula in Islay. Places to astound and amaze. All of this helps sell Scotland as one of the best destinations for breaks and trips. Romantic breaks in Scotland are incredibly popular due to the stunning landscape.
One of these magnificent destinations to visit on a romantic break is Islay. It is well known as the Queen of the Hebrides. Renowned for dramatic views and glowing sunsets, Islay has a whole host of destinations for a romantic break, such as the beautiful Islay Cottages. The Museum of Islay Life has also proved a hit for those seeking some relief, as this quaint little museum has the history of Islay encapsulated in a charming setting that will surely melt anyone’s heart.
Islay is not the only home of great romantic breaks in Scotland. Edinburgh also has a wonderful range of destinations and attractions like Parliament House Hotel. Situated just a few minutes away from Waverly Station, at the foot of Calton Hill, sits this high-end, 3-star, homely Scottish hotel. This affordable Edinburgh hotel enjoys a Bistro for breakfast and dinner as well a snug, off the main lounge.
Flirting in Fife
Fife also has some of the best romantic destinations in Scotland. The Balbirnie House among them, situated amongst 400 acres of rolling parkland in the heart of Fife. Balbirnie House caters to all romantic needs by having in-room treatments. Get massages and aromatherapy, all within the comfort, privacy and security of your own room. Balbirnie pictures itself as a “home away from home” in the village of Markinch in the heart of Fife.
It wouldn’t be a romantic break without a dosage of culture. St Andrews Cathedral is minutes away from Balbirnie House, and should deliver than in buckets. This ruined building still has some of Scotland’s most profound and fine architecture to date. From steep spires and intricate stone work, St. Andrews Cathedral is a must for any romantic stroll.
A visit north
Lastly Inverness features some of Scotland’s most fabulous features and destinations. Culloden House claims “to bring history to life”. At the time of the Jacobite uprising in 1745-46, Bonnie Prince Charlie used Culloden House as his home and battle headquarters. This was sadly just before that fateful battle on Culloden Moor, so that claim really does have some meaning.
The 40-acre estate includes seasonal bluebell and rhododendron walks, open parkland, bicycle paths into Culloden forest, a croquet lawn, tennis court, duck pond, and a small herd of shaggy-haired Highland cattle. All of this really should encapsulate Inverness’s spirit, heritage and culture whilst still being brimmed full of romance for yourself and your loved one.
If you’re looking to get a piece of Scottish culture and history make sure you go to Tomatin Distillery, where some of the best rated whisky in Scotland is distilled, a surely perfect trip for anyone you hold close.
Romantic Breaks in Scotland
Visiting any of these destinations should is a treat on its own. Visiting them with a partner only increases the fun! To find out more about booking romantic breaks in Scotland, why not head on over to our blog on tips for booking luxury hotels!
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.
Mother’s Day is a special time of year. It’s when we go out of our way to let Mum know how much she is valued. Flowers and a card saying ‘Mum you’re so special’ is a great start. But we at Best UK Hotels want to give you some ideas on how to tell her just how important she really is.
Saying thank you to Mum
The traditional afternoon tea has enjoyed a revival in recent years. It is without question one of the most refined ways to celebrate Mother’s Day. From crystal glasses of bubbly, to fine china tea cups, afternoon tea is the best way to have a little pampered heart-to-heart. With afternoon tea a prominent pastime in Edinburgh, there is a selection of locations almost as wide as the sandwich flavours. All waiting for you, your mother, and the gossip.
Mother’s Day in Spring
For those who want to make something special for their Mum head along to the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh. Take in the new spring views and stroll around all the beauty and wonder this natural exhibit has to offer. On Mother’s Day, they offer the most quirky and fun alternatives to a Mother’s Day bouquet, all freshly picked and created, there in the gardens. With a restaurant too, it is easy to see how this walk can quickly turn into a full day out.
Pampering Mother’s Day
Of course, nothing says “I love you Mum” like a hotel getaway. Parliament House Hotel in Edinburgh regularly offers the perfect Mother’s Day retreat that is sure to have you in the good books for the rest of the year. Make the most of beautiful Edinburgh this Mother’s Day or any day with a gift voucher. Spoil her with dinner on the first night, as well as with a gift voucher for afternoon tea and bubbles at Frederick Street based tea room, Eteaket.
Whatever you decide to do for Mother’s Day this year, we hope you have a great time!
Christmas in the United Kingdom is a big deal. We enjoy Christmas markets, festive festivals, and a seemingly endless supply of food and drink. It’s lucky for our waistlines that this holly-day comes but once a year!
But once all the decorations have been packed up and this year’s haul of presents are safely stowed away, the end-of-holiday hole is quickly filled with some post-Christmas January sales. As we head online and to the high street to make good on retailers’ January sales promises, it’s important to remember that booking Christmas in January pays off too.
Toasting the Bells in Edinburgh
Over winter, Edinburgh’s beautiful Princes Street is transformed into a labyrinth of markets, festivals, and family festivities. And while Christmas in Edinburgh is big, nothing compares to Hogmanay. From a torchlight procession down ancient cobbled streets, to one of the largest street parties in the world, there’s a reason this three-day New Year’s festival is on every travellers bucket list.
Tickets sell out fast. Thousands of people from around the world flock to Scotland’s vibrant capital each year to toast the bells and welcome in the New Year. And while you can always count on a few Christmas, Twixmas and Hogmanay deals leading up to December, accommodation in the heart of Edinburgh at a reasonable price is hard to come by. Booking early in January is a clever way to ensure you get the best rates. It also means you’ve got a visit to Edinburgh to look forward to all year!
Getting Jolly in London
Not to be outdone by their northern counterparts, Christmas in London is every bit as magical. Every year, one of the busiest cities in the world ditches the hustle and bustle of business as usual. In its place comes a Christmas season like no other. From outdoor ice rinks and London’s iconic Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. From dazzling lights to endless Christmas fairs and century-old traditions. Christmas in London always leaves everyone hungry for more.
So if you’re looking to stay in the UK next December, booking Christmas in January makes sense. It is the best way to ensure you get a great hotel deal. Enjoy your festive festivities!
When planning your next UK city break, there is no reason to leave your furry family behind. No matter your destination, the UK has a number of pet-friendly accommodation options that’ll bring out the animal in you. Enjoy long walks on the beach and scenic escapes, dog-friendly parks, pubs and cafes. It’s a dog eat dog world for anyone offering pet-friendly accommodation in the UK!
England: Barking Up The Right Tree
For centuries the English have worked hard to secure their reputation as fierce horse and dog lovers. And while it isn’t always easy to cart your horse around on holiday with you, the many pet friendly accommodation options throughout the country make up for any holiday horsey inconvenience.
Where to stay:
Forest Holidays understand just how important your dog is to you. It’s why they have a number of pet friendly cabins in forests across England and Scotland. Their cabins can accommodate up to 4 dogs in addition to their human companions. All they ask is that your dog is loved, well looked after, never locked up in your cabin and on a lead when you venture out into the forest.
Scotland: Taking The Highlands Highroad
The Scottish Highlands are synonymous with natural beauty and untamed wilderness. It’s not surprising then that this holiday destination offers a multitude of pet-friendly accommodation options.
Where to stay:
As one of the few carbon-neutral holiday destinations in the world, Eagle Brae is not only eco-friendly, they’re animal-friendly as well. Home to a number of Highland animals, it’s the perfect place to relax, unwind and reconnect with nature.
A very handy website to have up your sleeve in Scotland is Dugs n’ Pubs, which lets you know which pubs, cafes and other attractions you can bring your dog into.
Wales: Pet Friendly Holidays Are A Beach
With some of the prettiest beaches in the UK, the Welsh coastline isn’t just beautiful, it’s fun for the whole family too. With long sandy stretches, rolling dunes, crashing waves, cool rock pools and plenty of seagulls to chase, there’s no end to the fun you and your loving pet can get up to.
Where to stay:
Culver House has eight luxury apartments with beautiful balconies overlooking breath-taking sea views. With a blue flag beach on your doorstep, their pet-friendly accommodation makes them a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and their lovable critters.
The word ‘Scotland’ evokes images of a wild, untamed and ultimately gorgeous landscape. Lochs and glens abound and the ruins of old castles rest where they were built. Is it any wonder why Scotland is considered one of the most romantic places in the world? Of course, there are plenty of locations in the UK to choose from but if you’re after something truly special, then read on to find out more about stunning wedding venues in Scotland.
The southernmost island of Scotland, Islay, is looked at with a mixture of nostalgia and awe. Home to distilleries, wildlife, stunning views and of course, history. One such historic landmark is available for Weddings: Loch Finlaggan. Formerly the home to the Lords of the Isle, the Loch houses a set of ancient buildings that make the perfect backdrop for that special day. Your wedding should be historic, so why not include a part of Scottish lore?
For accommodation during your stay on the island, Islay Cottages are offering a special Romantic Escape – just the treat for your wedding and subsequent honeymoon.
Scotland is a varied country. Ruins and modern houses abound and choosing between the traditional and the up-to-date can be tricky. That’s why we’re suggesting the best of both worlds. Located in Inverness, the stunning Achnagairn Castle has been called a ‘fairy-tale wedding venue’ before and was named number one in Harper’s Bazaar Magazine’s Best UK Wedding Venues category.
The castle itself features a grand ballroom that can host up to 260 people. It has 24 luxury bedrooms for guests and an option for more rooms in the lodges set up outside of it. Expansive grounds, individually decorated rooms and all the grandeur of a royal palace… It’s hard not to say ‘I do’ to Achnagairn!
There’s no need to fret if you’re still chasing ideas on just how your wedding should go. After all, perfection takes time and plenty of patience. If you’re really feeling stuck, have a read of a few examples: including a DIY wedding in an abbey that’s only accessible via boat!
The venue might be sorted, the wedding plans are underway but what about entertainment? Something romantic to listen to while you’re walking down the aisle or to dance along with during the reception. Fittingly named, Something Blue is a band based just inside of Glasgow that specializes in wedding entertainment. To learn more, or to have a taste of their talent, check out one of the videos up on the Something Blue site!
Organising a wedding can be a hard task, though it’s well worth it in the end. Hopefully these wedding venues in Scotland will give you a few ideas on how best to plan and arrange that lovely day. Your wedding should be perfect – so why settle for anything less?
There are countless spectacular Scottish waterfalls to see all over the country. These enchanting and powerful cascading waters are true wonders of nature. So, here are our some of the best waterfalls in Scotland. Be sure to soak up the views on your next visit.
Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye
The magical Fairy Pools are one of the top attractions on the island of Skye in the Inner Hebrides. Several waterfalls flow into these crystal-clear and icy-cold waters on the River Brittle, which are popular with wild swimmers. Are you brave enough to try it?
Falls of Foyers, Foyers
This spectacular waterfall drops 50 metres into the River Foyers, which leads to the famous Loch Ness. The Falls of Foyers are known in Gaelic as Eas na Smuide, meaning ‘the smoking falls’. And they inspired the great Robert Burns to pen a poem in 1787.
Plodda Falls, Tomich
Plodda Falls is one of the most dramatic waterfalls in the Highlands. Located close to the village of Tomich near Glen Affric, its waters plunge 46 metres into Abhainn Deabhag and then the River Glass. The magnificent Douglas Fir trees in this area are another highlight.
Steall Waterfall, Fort William
Below Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the UK, the stunning Steall Falls flows. Plunging 120 metres, it is one of the highest waterfalls in Scotland. There is a rope bridge across the river, where you can enjoy amazing views, if you’re daring enough to cross it.
Glenashdale Falls, Whiting Bay
The Glenashdale Falls, or Eas a’ Chrannaig in Gaelic, is a beautiful double-cascade near Whiting Bay and Holy Island on the Isle of Arran. Part of a scenic island tourist trail, this 40-metre waterfall is a spectacular highlight.
Rogie Falls, Contin
Rogie Falls is an impressive series of waterfalls on the Black River, near Contin in the Scottish Highlands. You can view the falls from a new suspension bridge across the river.
Corrieshalloch Gorge, Ullapool
There are several breathtaking waterfalls surging down the 40 metre-deep Corrieshalloch Gorge on the River Dorma in the north of Scotland. There is a fantastic viewing platform, where you can take in the splendour of this remarkable National Nature Reserve.
Grey Mare’s Tail, Moffat
Plummeting 60 metres into the valley below, the splendid Grey Mare’s Tail in the Moffat Hills is tall and thin. And it certainly does look like a mare’s tail. Climb the steep slopes of White Coomb hill for the best views.
Falls of Dochart, Killin
In Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, the Falls of Dochart run through the small town of Killin, at the western end of Loch Tay. You can enjoy stunning views of the falls from the bridge in the town.
Falls of Clyde, Lanark
And last but not least in our list of the best waterfalls in Scotland, we have the outstandingly beautiful Falls of Clyde. There is a Visitor Centre here and lots of Scottish wildlife to look out for, including badgers and otters.