Ahhh London. The ever talked about populous cities situated west of Europe in Great Britain; a hub of European culture. And now, thanks to budget airlines, a quick and cheap flight away from the States. Don’t get me wrong, London is amazing and I immensely enjoyed all three days that I spent there. From seeing a show on the West End to sipping champagne on the London Eye, and not to mention the infamous Borough Market. Housing some of the best restaurants and bars the world has to offer. London is definitely worth the visit. But, should it trump all of the other places in Great Britain?
To me, London is just another city. A spectacular city, but one that I have seen time and time again. Is it really much different from New York City, Los Angeles, or Seattle? It wasn’t until I visited other places in Great Britain; eight to be exact, that I realized the gem of the country isn’t necessarily London. And although London gets most of the attention, I would argue that these five cities also stand a chance to be at the top of the list. And at the very least… deserve a visit.
Why Bath over London? – While Bath is much smaller than its neighbor to the east, it is packed full of history! Founded in the 7thcentury the entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The only other city in the entire world to get this recognition is Venice, Italy. It’s small enough to get a feel for the entire city in just a few short days but big enough that it keeps you entertained. Learn about how Romans influenced this city by visiting the infamous Baths. Or take a day trip to Stonehenge, Glastonbury, or Wells.
Why York over London? – While York is also smaller than its neighbor to the south it is packed full of character. A place that inspired Diagon Alley in the infamous Harry Potter series can definitely hold its own to the vastness of London. York gives you a feeling that you’re in a far off land, a place that somehow manages to transport you back to the dark ages. Spend your days walking the walls or hiding out in York Minster. Every inch of this town is waiting to be explored.
Why Edinburgh over London? – The age-old argument of England versus Scotland. Both capitals of wondrous countries, Edinburgh and London are the same… but different. The biggest difference, to me, is that in Edinburgh you feel like you’ve actually left America and you’re on foreign soil. Walking the streets you notice the heavy Scottish accents and men in kilts playing bagpipes. You get to experience the hustle and bustle of the Royal Mile, but also the quietness of Leith Water Walkway. Most everything in the city can be accessed by foot.
4. Oxford, England
Why Oxford over London? – Approximately 60 miles northwest of London, Oxford is one of the fastest-growing cities in the UK. Offering more than its infamous campus, University of Oxford, which dates back to the 12thcentury; Oxford is bustling with young adults. And with them comes lively bars, restaurants, and streets!
Why Cotswolds over London? – The Cotswolds is vastly different than London. Quiet, small, and relaxing. Besides both occupying the same country, I see little similarities between the two. While it’s cozy and quiet, it doesn’t make it less than. The Cotswolds is bursting with charm and beauty. Whether you’re driving through the villages or staring at the thatched cottages, there is beauty everywhere you turn. Plus you get a true taste of the English countryside.
So while London is great, there are many more places to be discovered outside the city. Next time you plan a trip to Great Britain, think outside the box.