The United Kingdom is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and has long been one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. The country's allure has a lot to do with its diverse landscape and rich cultural heritage. The best places to visit in the UK include everything from beautifully preserved country estates and castles, to the many world-class art galleries and museums.

However, one of the greatest joys of vacationing in the UK is how easy it is to explore this wonderful and diverse country. Thanks to its size - the UK could easily fit into Texas (with the extra space) - you can take a place in cities like London or Liverpool and take a train, bus or ferry to explore other areas.

From the nation's capital, all it takes is a 90-minute train ride to get to beautiful Salisbury, and a short bus ride or tour from here will take you to Stonehenge, one of the country's most popular attractions. And if you want to commute between the Scottish cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, a one-hour train ride will deposit you in the heart of either city.

Plan your sightseeing adventures with our list of the best places to visit in the UK.

1- Edinburgh: Scotland's Capital

Edinburgh Scotland's Capital

The capital, Edinburgh, is one of Scotland's most attractive cities, and is also one of the most visited destinations in the United Kingdom. Edinburgh is known for its many well-preserved historic buildings, and is perhaps best known as the home of the majestic Edinburgh Castle.

Perched above the Old Town on a rocky outcrop, this 13th-century royal castle includes highlights such as the famous One O'Clock Salute, held daily at Half Moon Battery, as well as the Scottish Crown Jewels at the Royal Palace. Also worth visiting are the Scottish National War Memorial and the famous Stone of Destiny (Stone Stone), which were only returned to Scotland after being held for 700 years in London.

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2- London: The UK's All-in-One Destination

While it is possible to plan a trip to the UK without visiting London, it is certainly not recommended. The sprawling capital of the nation has plenty of attractions to keep you busy. For those interested in learning more about the rich history of the United Kingdom, one of the top things to do in London is to visit the Tower of London. Next to the stunning Tower Bridge on the banks of the Thames, this former palace and prison boasts such highlights as the famous 1,000-year-old White Tower, with its splendid displays of armor and weapons, and the House of Jewels, home to the Crown Jewels.

Fans of Britain's royal family will want to head to Buckingham Palace, London's royal home since the time of Queen Victoria. Here, you can enjoy the colorful splendor of the Changing of the Guard or even take a tour of the State Palace's rooms.

3- Medieval Salisbury and Ancient Stonehenge

One of the oldest World Heritage Sites in the world, Stonehenge has been a place of pilgrimage for more than 4,500 years. It was previously believed to have been constructed as a place of worship, but nowadays, the crowds are made up of tourists who are drawn to the sheer size of this remarkable monument to humanity's creativity.

It is a sprawling site, covering an area of ​​more than 20 square kilometers and featuring a state-of-the-art visitor center. Here, you can get a fascinating look at not only the construction of Stonehenge, but its history since then.

4- Roman-Era Bath

Despite being one of the UK's smallest cities, Bath makes up for its compact size with plenty of things to see and do. Named after the famous Roman baths, this beautiful city has drawn visitors to its healing waters for more than 2,000 years.

Flowing from three hot springs, known to be made up of 43 different minerals, its healing properties then travel up to 3,048 meters at a rate of 275,000 gallons per day, before leaking out at a steady 46.5°C. While it's not possible to bathe in the original Roman baths, a number of nearby spas - most notably the superb Thermae Bath - offer guests a chance to soak up the city's famous waters.

5- Wonderful Windsor

Conveniently located just a short train ride west of London, the historic city of Windsor offers plenty of fun things to do for tourists. In addition to its beautiful setting beside the River Thames and the many medieval half-timbered buildings along its attractive old cobbled lanes, it is also home to the magnificent Castle of Windsor, the most famous of the UK's royal castles.

This grand old castle served as the summer residence of the British monarchy for over a thousand years. Started by William the Conqueror in 1078, it is the largest inhabited castle in the world. Highlights include the gorgeous State Apartments which contain the Queen's Gallery and dining hall, each with exquisitely painted ceilings and wood carvings, and St.

As you fill up on these historic buildings, be sure to also spend some time exploring the large and beautiful castle grounds, which are about 10 kilometers long. You'll enjoy some truly unforgettable panoramic views of Windsor and its castle.

6- Medieval York and its Minster

Medieval York and its Minster

One of the most popular tourist destinations in northern England, the medieval city of York, long the ecclesiastical capital of the Church of England, boasts one of the finest cathedrals in the country. York Minster, the country's largest medieval church, can trace its roots back to the spread of Christianity in the 3rd century, although the present-day splendid Gothic structure was built nearly 1,000 years later.

Highlights of the tour include the chance to see the 14th-century stained-glass windows, as well as the rich interiors of the choir and north wing. Also worth a visit is the crypt, which contains parts of the original 11th-century chapel on which the cathedral now stands.

Other landmarks worth exploring are the old city walls, which stretch nearly five kilometers around the old medieval city centre. Along the way, you'll enjoy excellent views of The Shambles, a narrow 14th-century road known for its beautiful old wooden buildings, many of which hang over the street below. It is also an area known for its many restaurants and tea rooms, as well as many shops and galleries.

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7- Canterbury

Visit historic Canterbury in Kent, and you'll soon discover why this beautiful city continues to attract UK visitors. An hour by train from central London (or just minutes from the EuroTunnel), Canterbury has been a magnet for pilgrims for more than 1,500 years, ever since Saint Augustine began converting Anglo-Saxon paganism here in AD 597.

The city's most famous landmark is Canterbury Cathedral, home to the Archbishop of Canterbury. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this stunning cathedral offers plenty to see, from the intricately carved construction from the outside to the gorgeous interior, most notably the beautiful choir with its statues of six English kings. Also of note are the magnificent 12th-century miracle windows depicting scenes from the life of the murdered Archbishop Thomas Becket.

Afterwards, be sure to take some time to wander the pedestrian area of ​​Old City Canterbury with its many historic timber-framed buildings and preservations, particularly along Mercery Lane.