Must-see historical places in the UK

There are tons of absolutely breathtaking things to see and do in the UK, most of which have significant historical background and are stories in themselves ready to be told. So, for your next trip to the UK, let them do it! In reality, planning such an important trip and finding items worth seeing can be quite tricky. Then we are here to help you! Check out our top must-see historic places in the UK!

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

An essential part of everything trips to scotlandEdinburgh Castle, is the most visited destination in Scotland and is among the top five in the whole of the UK.

The emblematic fortress belongs to both the new and old parts of the cities; Edinburgh Castle is the defender of the nation and an impressive Renaissance building to say the least! The fortress perched on Castle Rock has been a royal residence since at least the reign of David I in the 12th century. Since then, the castle had to overcome and managed to overcome many dramatic events and changes, which is quite natural, since it is the most important fortress in the country.

Visit it to learn about its history, the royal buildings and chambers and, of course, the Scottish regalia, also known as the Honors of Scotland.

Edinburgh Castle

Stonehenge, Wiltshire

For true history buffs, a trip to Wiltshire in England is an absolute must – there’s this grand and mighty prehistoric monument that will blow your mind!

Consisting of an outer ring of vertical sarsen standing stones, topped by joined horizontal rocks, the unit remains a mystery, although there is strong speculation from archaeologists. They believe that Stonehenge was built between 3000 and 2000 BC, probably as a burial place. There is also evidence that it was originally built in Wales and moved to England years later.

Stonehenge is considered one of Britain’s cultural and historical icons, one of the few representing the Neolithic and Bronze Age. The monument is an absolute must! If you need help navigating our suggested locations, trust Great Britain trains.

Crumlin Road Jail, Belfast

Now let’s head to Northern Ireland. One of the most important historic landmarks here, Crumlin Road Gaol, is a former prison and the only remaining prison from the Victorian era. If you are enthusiastic about authentic historic sites and a bit shocking in their stories, the prison is a must visit.

Here you will learn about executions, former inmates, hunger strikes, riots, escapes and other gruesome details of life in Crumlin Road Jail.

The Environment Agency of Northern Ireland has declared it an A-list building and one of the best preserved landmarks in the country. Although you may find its exterior quite unremarkable at first sight, there is something about it that clearly shows that it is a prison. Dark walls and dark corners paint an intimidating picture, scary enough to harbor dangerous criminals.

Although considered a European Alcatraz, Crumlin Road Prison has seen several successful escapes, so if you want to know how and when, book a trip!

Stirling Castle, Scotland

Another for your Travel to Scotland! First and foremost, Stirling Castle offers you some of the most stunning scenery and surroundings you have ever seen! One of the largest and most important castles in the country, Stirling is surrounded by three steep cliffs and sits on Castle Hill. So, if anything else, enjoy the vast greenery and natural beauty of it all!

However, Stirling Castle is so important because of its historical role in the development of Scotland. Until the union with England, the fortress was one of the most frequented residences of the royal family, serving as both a palace and an indestructible citadel. Additionally, several Scottish kings and queens were crowned here, including Mary, Queen of Scots in the 16th century.

Interestingly, Castle Hill, the base of Stirling, was formed and modified by glaciation and is probably around 350 million years old. So we suggest you take a tour, preferably a guided one, and learn all there is to know about the iconic Stirling Castle.

Stirling Castle

Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire

Now back to England. The most extensive monastic ruin in the country, Fountains Abbey is the best preserved Cistercian monastery in England. Founded in the 12th century, it functioned successfully for 407 years until the sudden dissolution of all monasteries in 1539, as ordered by Henry VIII.

In 1938 Studley Royal Park, including the ruins of Fountains Abbey, was purchased by the National Trust and has since been managed by English Heritage.

But, long before that, and even before its dissolution in the 16th century, the abbey had to face many challenges. In the late 13th century, it became financially unstable due to inconsistent sales of the then wool crop; soon after, he was harshly criticized by Archbishop John le Romeyn, commenting on his dire physical condition. But that’s nothing compared to what followed. The disasters continued into the 14th century when northern England was invaded by the Scots and culminated in the Black Death of 1348-1349.

Fortunately, Fountains Abbey was rebuilt and opened as an exhibition space in 2000, which now gives you access to these magnificent UNESCO-recognized sites.

Fountains Abbey

Windsor Castle, Berkshire

An obvious choice in the list, but still a must mention. The oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world was the home of the British Royal Family for over 1000 years, beginning with Henry I in the 12th century and remaining the official residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Contrary to popular belief, the castle was never more than a home or a sumptuous residence frequented by the royal family on vacation. Instead, it is a veritable fortress built to protect and resist attack, which it did in the 13th century when Baron Wars took place. In fact, to this day you can see evidence of battle hidden within the walls of Windsor.

In fact, no trip to the UK would be complete without visiting the castle. Knowing how important the British Royal Family is to Europeans, not to mention the most important organ in England’s history, it remains solidly one of the historical must-haves on our list.

The size and architecture of the castle is truly stunning, so even looking around will be an experience. However, we suggest that you first purchase the tickets for an interior tour to learn more about the kings and queens of Great Britain, their family history and the story of England, without forgetting to take a look. look at their royal chambers and their complex and sumptuous places. Don’t forget that you must book your tickets in advance!

windsor castle

Titanic Belfast, Northern Ireland

An instantly recognizable name, the much publicized and widely acclaimed Titanic was first built in Belfast, not London as many believe! So naturally there’s an extensive museum to commemorate what was supposed to be the most remarkable voyage of all time, but turned into a disaster in 1912.

Exactly one hundred years after the demise of the Titanic, Northern Ireland has blessed its visitors with the museum, featuring nine interactive galleries, features and other exhibits. Also, if you like industrial history and shipbuilding, the museum is for you!

You can even live out your Titanic dream by visiting the SS Nomadic, the world’s last lifeboat used to rescue passengers from sinking. Walk on the bridge, and travel 100 years back; just try to imagine what it was like, in a moment of complete desperation.

Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire

During World War II, Bletchley Park was England’s most important decoding centre, a place of geniuses and war heroes and large numbers of workers trying to decode German messages and stop the war.

Besides the fascinating historical heritage, Bletchley Park is a magnificent site to behold. The mansion was built in the 19th century, blending features of Victorian Gothic, Tudor and Dutch Baroque styles.

Discover the fascinating stories of what was once a top secret mission that helped shorten the war by years and save millions of lives. More importantly, the enigma and Lorenz ciphers have been deciphered by a team of codebreakers, mathematicians and cryptanalysts.

The top secret missions that took place in Bletchley Park are shown and depicted in various Hollywood movies, you may already know that. However, naturally not everything shown on TV is accurate, so the best way for you to find out more about its real meaning and what really happened here is to travel in Buckinghamshire and explore on your own.

Bletchley Park

Now that you know more about the most important historical sites in the UK, your trip is bound to be amazing. So be attentive and enjoy it as much as you can. History, as they say, is useful to the modern traveler. So, dear traveler, get ready and have fun!


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Patrick F. Williams