The UK is packed with history, culture, and excitement. It’s hardly surprising, then, that once you start writing out a bucket list of things to see and do here, it can end up becoming quite long! Not that this is a problem — it just means more adventures to take and memories to make!
We don’t want to keep you all day, so we won’t try and present a comprehensive list of bucket list locations in the UK. Rather, we will look at some of the most popular that our guides hear about from people on our walking tours of UK cities.
At Invisible Cities, we train people who have experienced homelessness to become tour guides of the city they call home. This allows us to showcase everything these places have to offer while helping someone realise the potential they momentarily lost sight of.
For more information about what we do and the tours we provide, please contact us.
For now, let’s focus on just a handful of our picks for the UK’s best bucket list destinations.
Soak Up Centuries of History on York’s Shambles
There are many reasons to take walking tours in York, but there’s no denying that the Shambles is one of the city’s primary attractions.
The Shambles is one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval shopping streets. Dating back to the 14th century, there are still signs of what life was like all those years ago.
For example, some properties on the street still have exterior wooden shelves — a remnant of a time when butchers served cuts of meat from open windows. What’s more, the street was built narrow by design. The leaning buildings protected the raw meat from direct sunlight.
Today, the Shambles still carries the same picturesque aesthetic as it did centuries ago. But the independent boutiques, cheerful cafes, and sweet shops make it a much more pleasant place to visit.
And if the weather takes a turn for the worse during your trip, we know plenty of things to do in York on a rainy day.
Get a Comedy Kick at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the world’s largest festival dedicated to the arts. And while it’s achieved legendary status today, it has far more modest roots dating back to the Edinburgh International Festival.
In 1947, eight theatre groups arrived at the festival unannounced. With all the main venues booked with officially sanctioned events, these groups dispersed into smaller places around the city — and the Edinburgh ‘fringe’ festival was born.
The festival takes place throughout the month of August every year. Artists from around the world have open access to perform, making Scotland’s capital city a global centre for creativity and expression.
With tens of thousands of performances taking place throughout the month, Edinburgh in August has become a fixture on many UK bucket lists.
At Invisible Cities, we’d love to show you even more of the city beyond the festival. Our walking tours in Edinburgh are the perfect way to see its landmarks and learn its history.
Visit Stonehenge and Marvel at Britain’s Most Famous Prehistoric Monument
We could hardly leave Stonehenge off this list, could we? It isn’t just an iconic British site, it’s recognised around the world.
The monument is an incredible testament to human creativity, imagination, and ingenuity. As you follow in the footsteps of prehistoric people, you sample the truly unforgettable atmosphere that lingers over the Stone Circle.
And there are many reasons for this ambience.
The outer ring of vertical sarsen stones each has an approximate weight of 25 tons, a height of 13 feet (4 metres), and a width of 7 feet (2.1m). These are then topped with horizontal lintel stones — and don’t forget the internal ring of bluestones too!
Added to this, construction took place between 3000 BC and 2000 BC, and the site sits in alignment with the winter solstice sunset and the summer solstice sunrise.
The more you learn about Stonehenge, the more amazing it becomes.
Feel the Thrill of a Premier League Football Match in Manchester
We’re not taking sides on this one! There are numerous cities to take in a Premier League football match, from London to Liverpool. However, for many fans, Manchester still tops the bucket list.
Whether you’re drawn to City at the Etihad Stadium or United at Old Trafford, there’s never a bad time to experience the pace and passion of the world’s best football league.
And after the full-time whistle, the rest of the city is ready to explore. There are so many interesting and fun things to do in Manchester! As a powerhouse city in the Industrial Revolution, and with a rich music tradition beyond compare, Manchester overflows with art, culture, and creativity.
With so much to discover beneath the surface, Manchester walking tours are essential for the full experience.
Climb to the Top of London’s Iconic St Paul’s Cathedral
We couldn’t round off this bucket list without a stop in London. England’s capital city has must-see sites at every turn, but we’ve chosen St Paul’s Cathedral.
Having dominated London’s skyline for more than 300 years, and standing at 365 feet (111 metres) tall, St Paul’s has long been a symbol of the city. In fact, as recently as 1963, it was still London’s tallest building.
From the depths of the cathedral’s crypt to the spectacular views from the Stone and Golden Galleries, a journey through St Paul’s Cathedral is as rewarding as it is awe-inspiring.
Get to Know UK Cities Better with Our Award-Winning Walking Tours
The above barely makes a dent in most bucket lists of UK locations, but it’s a start! The Roman Baths in Bath, punting in Cambridge, Hadrian’s Wall, the Brecon Beacons, Giant’s Causeway, Loch Ness — the list, quite literally, goes on.
At Invisible Cities, we see this as a good thing. Our country has so much history to explore and plenty of art and culture to enjoy in the here and now.
As you venture out across the UK, don’t miss an opportunity to dig deeper into the cities you visit.
Our walking tours in UK cities are different. Each of the talented, experienced tour guides at Invisible Cities has experienced social disadvantage or homelessness in their lives. They have seen their cities from many more angles than your average guide, adding unique dimensions to their insights.
To learn more about what we do, or to contact our team directly, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.