Backpacking in the UK on a Gap Year

Countries  »  United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is a country filled with busy cities the likes of London, Edinburgh, and Manchester, the picturesque mountains and valleys of Wales, the lochs of Scotland, and the lush countryside and bar crawls of Northern Ireland. There's so much to do while backpacking in the UK that you'll be thankful everything is just a short distance away.

Oxford, England

The cities

Laahndon! *Ahem* Excuse me. London. Yes, quite. One of the finest cities in the world, packed with world famous attractions like Big Ben, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, St Paul's Cathedral, and a whole host more. There's world-class shopping in Oxford Street and Covent Garden, the quirky markets at Camden and Spitalfields, and restaurants for all tastes wherever you go. This magnificent city should be on any gap year itinerary ever written.

But there are so many other cities worth making time for! Oxford, Cambridge, and York are beautiful historical cities to wander around, Bath is just ludicrously beautiful, and if you're up for a journey north Edinburgh is just waiting to take your breath away (by filling your mouth with whisky and haggis). The only downside is that cities can hurt the wallet.

Snowdonia, Wales, UK

The scenery

Welcome to England's green and pleasant land! It's green. And pleasant. You can go into the countryside almost anywhere for rolling hills and rabbit-dotted meadows, but most impressive is the Lake District, packed with dramatic visas and epic hiking trails. You could also visit the expansive Yorkshire Dales, or climb the beginner-sized mountains of Snowdon in Wales or Ben Nevis in Scotland.

The UK also has miles of stunning coastline, from the sunny and technicolour Cornish coast to the rugged cliffs of John O'Groats, and the alien landscape-like sight of the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. 

You also shouldn't miss the Unesco World Heritage site of Stone Henge, in Wiltshire. Believed to have been built from 2000 BC to 3000 BC, this circle of standing stones has become an archaeological wonder and is definitely worth a visit if you’re into your history.

The Giant's Causeway, Ireland

It might not seem like a typical backpacker destination, but the UK quickly proves itself a must-see destination.