Top 10 Must-See Places in the UK
By Elisabeth Heyde, London Internship Program, Summer
In honour of my last week in lovely London, I’ve created a list of the top ten must-see places that I’ve visited while studying abroad in the United Kingdom.
- Oxford University – Oxford University is full of history and pop culture. Oxford University is the third oldest university in the world after the University of Bologna in Italy and the Sorbonne in France. For Harry Potter fans, be sure to check out New College where Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire shot the scene where Malfoy gets turned into a ferret. Also, check out Christ Church College, which served as the set for the Great Hall of Hogwarts.
- Bath, Somerset – Bath was one of my favourite excursions. The Romans Baths are historically illuminating and interesting to see. If you have an interest in fashion, the Bath Fashion Museum is also worth checking out. A trip to Bath can also be easily paired with a stop at Stonehenge.
- Brighton, East Sussex – Brighton is an interesting and fun town to visit. Attractions include the Brighton Pier and Beach. You can also visit the Royal Pavilion which was built by King George IV in a combination of Asian styles giving it a different look from typical English style castles.
- Canterbury, Kent – Canterbury is a fun town to visit. While in Canterbury you can take a canal tour, visit the famous cathedral from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, or visit the ruins of Canterbury Castle.
- Hampton Court – Hampton Court was one of my favourite places in the UK. Located a short way out of London, it is the former home of kings such as Henry VIII and William III. The castle is split into two parts and half is decorated as it was in the time of Henry VIII and half is decorated as it was in the time of William VIII. While touring the castle, you can see recreations of the rooms both monarchs lived in and watch staff dressed in costume demonstrate how people of the time cooked and did other activities. The gardens are exceptionally beautiful.
In London, make sure to check out:
- Victoria and Albert Museum – The Victoria and Albert Museum is one of the largest museums in the world. There are several exhibits such as paintings, theatre, fashion, European history, architecture and more.
- A play on the West End – London is well known for theatre and there are always multiple shows being performed on the West End. Currently, you can see Wicked, The Lion King, Aladdin, Queen Anne, Matilda, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, An American in Paris, Hamlet and a lot more. While in the area, check out Covent Gardens or Leicester Square.
- The Tower of London – The Tower of London is an old castle, military fort and prison dating back hundreds of years. Today, it houses exhibition such as the Crown Jewels. If you get lucky, you might see a re-enactment of a famous battle break out on the lawn.
- Westminster Abbey and Parliament – Westminster Abbey is historically and architecturally fascinating. It was the burial site of royals such as Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots and, in the poets’ corner, famous writers such as Lewis Carroll and Oscar Wilde. In the same square is Parliament, which can be toured, and Elizabeth Tower which houses the famous bell, Big Ben. Just across the Thames River is the London Eye, a Ferris wheel that gives you a great view of London.
- Buckingham Palace – Buckingham Palace is an official residence of the Queen located near Green Park and Hyde Park. It is only open to visitors during certain parts of the year so make sure to check online. We toured the official State Rooms where there was an exhibition of gifts Queen Elizabeth II has received throughout the years as queen. The surrounding gardens are lovely as well.
Of course, these are only a few of the great opportunities London and the United Kingdom have to offer. London is a wonderful city and it’s been such a pleasure living here this summer.
Elisabeth is a student at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is blogging from her summer abroad with the London Internship Program, Summer program, in London, England.