Planning a holiday can be tough, especially when deciding how to best divide your time up between multiple destinations.
The United Kingdom is one of the hardest in this regard, with so many fascinating and bucket list-worthy sights. To help, our expert Flight Centre consultant has prepared a one- and two-week UK itinerary for your family.
Focus on London's big sights and smaller day trips
Staying anywhere in London’s Zone 1 and 2 means you will have easy access to all the main sights. The city's tube, train and bus system is very user friendly and travelling with an Oyster card on public transport is your most economical option.
If possible buy a weekly ticket that covers all travel between your chosen zones. The City Mapper app will make it easy to plan journeys.
Start with a hop-on-hop-off bus that passes sights like Big Ben, Tower Bridge, the River Thames and the London Eye. Get acquainted with the city by visiting Trafalgar Square then get your bearings by exploring nearby Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus.
Take a stroll through Green Park to Buckingham Palace then head to high tea at Fortum and Masons.
For a spot of shopping, head to Carnaby Street, wander into Covent Garden, hit Oxford Street and visit the big name brands and heavyweight department stores of Harrods and Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge. Tonight, enjoy dinner and a show in the West End.
A day in Camden Town is a must, with Camden Stable markets offering a huge range of foods, arts, crafts and memorabilia. Do the famous Camden Pub Crawl, taking you to some awesome night life.
See East London like a local by taking the Alternative London Tour, starting at the famous Spitalfields Goat. The walking tour showcases the city's most distinctive graffiti art and gives an insight into local history, including Jack the Ripper.
Worth a look is Brick Lane, which is lined with curry houses and restaurant hawkers trying to outdo each other. Brick Lane comes alive on Sunday with multicultural food markets.
The Harry Potter Studios in Watford, a short train ride from Euston central, is worth the trip to see movie-making technology and costumes. You can even learn to fly a broomstick. Follow this with a tour of the Tower of London and gain an atmospheric insight into the city’s history.
Head out of the city to Windsor Castle or Hampton Court Palace, home to Henry the Eighth. Both are amazing historic royal residences. The Queens Head pub in Windsor is a good stop for refreshments. Prince Philip is known to occasionally pop in here to wet his whistle.
Spend your final day exploring the beautiful grounds of Hyde Park and Kensington Palace before savouring your last moments in a traditional English pub.
More UK holiday inspiration
See some of London but get out of town to the Lake District on a road trip
With ancient townships, quaint villages and rolling countryside, it’s easy to fill two weeks in the UK. London is definitely deserving of a little extra time and we recommend complementing the big-city stay with exploration of the less-visited Lake District, plus the amazing sites in the Cotswolds, Oxford, Bath and Edinburgh.
Start your two-week trip with a few nights in London. If you want to feel like a local, stay in Chelsea or Holland Park, while Victoria is a great, central location that makes navigation around the city easy.
You’ll want to see the main sites: Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guard. A hop-on-hop-off bus tour is a great way to check these out and get your city bearings.
Then spend a few hours exploring the British Museum, catching a show in the West End, or heading north to the eclectic Camden Market or south to the delicious Borough Market, packed with the city's best food stalls.
Head out of the capital and spend a night in Bath, a picturesque city that is a great antidote to London's bustle. Explore the ancient Roman Bathhouse in the heart of the city and wander beautiful streets.
Spend the remainder of the week meandering around the Cotswolds, which the British think of as England, complete with quaint villages, country pubs and beautiful scenery.
Spend a night in nearby Oxford. The tiny city is packed with stunning buildings and the wisdom of scholars past and present. From here, head north to the Lake District, one of England’s most beautiful national parks.
It’s worth spending a few days here. The area boasts scenic hiking opportunities and plenty of country pubs to provide warmth afterwards.
The Lake District inspired the work of author Beatrix Potter, who spent many holidays here in her youth and later settled here as an adult. Visitors can see her original illustrations at the gallery in her former home and follow in her footsteps on a country walk.
Finish the week by sampling a little of what Scotland has to offer with a stay in Edinburgh. The city sits below the impressive Edinburgh Castle and is home to great shopping and unique restaurants.
It is also close to some of the country’s best golf courses, where avid golfers can play a few rounds. If comedy, innovative theatre and great entertainment is your thing, plan to be here in August when the city hosts the famous Edinburgh Festival.
- Natasha Boyd, Travel Consultant, Flight Centre Livingston