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Best Places To Visit While Backpacking in the UK

The United Kingdom's varied landscapes, rich history, and diverse cultural experiences make it an ideal backpacking destination.

For the intrepid explorer, the UK offers many unique places and experiences. This guide will introduce some of the best places to visit when backpacking across the UK.

Top UK Destinations

Discover the Magic of London

Tower of London, one of the top tourist spots to see while backpacking in the UK (photo: Gavin Allanwood)
Tower of London (photo: Gavin Allanwood)

London, the capital city, is a must-visit. This cosmopolitan metropolis brims with famous landmarks like the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and the British Museum.

Art enthusiasts should head to the Tate Modern for contemporary art.

Literature lovers can embark on a nice tour of the top Harry Potter locations in London, like King's Cross Station and Leadenhall Market, which doubled as Diagon Alley in the films.

Don't miss out on London's vibrant food scene. Borough Market offers a myriad of international foods, while traditional pubs provide a taste of classic British cuisine like fish and chips.

Explore the University Towns of Oxford and Cambridge

A woman poses on a charming street in Oxford, England (photo: Lucia Hatalova)
Street in Oxford, England (photo: Lucia Hatalova)

No backpacking trip in the UK would be complete without a stop in Oxford and Cambridge, the homes of the oldest universities in the English-speaking world.

Wander around their ancient college buildings, admire the beautiful architecture, and soak up the scholarly atmosphere. In Cambridge, a punt down the River Cam is a quintessential experience.

Dive into History in Bath and York

Bath and York are famed for their historical significance and well-preserved architecture.

In Bath, the Roman Baths and the Royal Crescent offer glimpses into the city's Roman and Georgian past.

York, with its stunning Minster, the Shambles, and the city walls, provides a rich medieval experience.

Marvel at the Natural Beauty of the Lake District

For outdoor lovers, the Lake District National Park offers stunning landscapes with plenty of peaks, valleys, and, of course, lakes.

It's an excellent place for hiking, boating, and soaking up some of England's most breathtaking scenery.

Experience Scottish Culture in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Castle (photo: Jörg Angeli)
Edinburgh Castle (photo: Jörg Angeli)

Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, combines ancient and modern in a uniquely Scottish atmosphere.

From the historic Edinburgh Castle to the lively festivals, including the famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe, there's something to suit every traveler.

Visit the Coastal Towns of Cornwall

Cornwall, in the southwest of the UK, is renowned for its picturesque seaside towns, beautiful beaches, and delicious pasties.

Visit Penzance, St Ives, or the eco-haven of the Eden Project near St Austell.


Backpacking across the UK allows you to experience a diverse mix of vibrant cities, historical towns, and stunning natural landscapes.

From the bustling streets of London to the tranquil beauty of the Lake District, and the ancient charm of Edinburgh, the UK offers a wealth of experiences for the adventurous backpacker. 

Remember, this list is not exhaustive – one of the joys of backpacking is stumbling upon hidden gems and creating your own unique journey.

So pack your bags, lace up your boots, and embark on an unforgettable adventure.

With a spirit of discovery and an open heart, your UK backpacking experience will surely be filled with countless cherished memories.


This story is brought to you in partnership with Hellotickets.

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