It won’t be wrong to say that the UK is the only place in the entire world that bursts at the seams with places boasting extraordinary natural beauty, eye-catching buildings preserving a great deal of history, and awe-inspiring modern structures.
There are a lot of spectacular landmarks in the United Kingdom – from Mother Nature’s best bits to ancient monuments to ground-breaking feats of modern engineering-that are hard to miss on your trip to Britain.
Overwhelmed by the choices? Don’t worry, we have got you covered. Here we are jotting down forty of the most amazing landmarks in the United Kingdom to add to your list.
1. TOWER OF LONDON
We are starting with one of the UK’s top landmarks; the infamous Tower of London. Founded in 1066, this nearly 1,000 years old architectural feat features an imposing structure and many historic parts still standing, surrounded by the wardens guarding it day in and out and the menacing birds flying overhead, all creating a scenery together that is hard to beat.
Throughout the centuries, this historic building has served many purposes such as a royal residence, a records office, observatory, state prison, jewel house, armory, and also a zoo. Take a Yeoman Warder Tour or explore the crown jewels collection there.
2. BRITISH MUSEUM
Our next stop will take you through the entire history of human civilization. Yes, we are talking about the British Museum which is at the top of our landmarks in the United Kingdom list.
Plan to dedicate a whole day lurking around the museum and still a thousand artifacts will be left, unexplored. Founded in 1753, this most celebrated museum houses stunning architecture, a striking collection of over 8 million artifacts that traverse 2 million years of human history, awe-inspiring exhibitions, and some of the world’s most famous historical objects.
The best things to see at the British Museum are The Rosetta Stone, Katebet, Chantress of Amun, the Elgin Marbles, and Lewis Chessmen.
3. BIG BEN IN LONDON
Big Ben is another must-visit United Kingdom landmark. Famous for the massive bell and accuracy, Big Ben is present in the Elizabeth Tower located at the north end of the Houses of Parliament in Westminster.
Technically speaking, Big Ben is a name given to an iconic ‘Great Bell’ that weighs around 15.1 tons (13.7 metric tons). The clock is the UK’s cultural symbol boasting a mesmerizing view at night when the four clock faces are illuminated.
The tower is more than 96 meters high featuring 399 steps to the Ayrton Light at the very top of the tower and 334 steps to climb up to the belfry.
4. THE LONDON EYE
It is one of the most raved-about landmarks in the United Kingdom. It thrills its visitors with jaw-dropping views of the city, the unbeatable photo-op in London, and of course, a refreshing break from the urban hassle.
It is commonly called a Ferris wheel, which technically speaking, is quite a wrong term. London Eye is a cantilevered observation wheel.
From the top of the London Eye, you can see as far as 45 km of the town on a clear day. Each capsule weighs around 10 tons and is capacious enough to hold 25 people.
This thirty-minute one-of-a-lifetime experience is hard to miss.
5. STONEHENGE IN WILTSHIRE
Let’s hunt down some history powered by captivating scenery in UK landmarks. Located in Wiltshire England, Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument standing on Salisbury Plain.
This monument features an outer ring of vertical Sarsen standing stones, topped by connecting horizontal lintel stones.
Each standing stone weighs around 25 tons, is 13 feet tall, and is seven feet wide. This World Heritage Site helps its visitors to have an insight into Neolithic and Bronze Age ceremonial and mortuary practices.
No visitor is allowed to lean again, climb, touch, or stand against the stones or soil on the ground under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act.
6. BUCKINGHAM PALACE IN LONDON
Next in our list of landmarks in the United Kingdom, we are featuring Buckingham Palace, a symbolic architectural feat for London.
Is Buckingham Palace worth visiting? You bet. The tour is worth it and you will treat yourself to a unique experience for sure.
Allow yourself at least two to three hours to make the most of your visit as there is so much to see and do.
Take our advice, do explore The State Rooms, The Queen’s Gallery, The Royal Mews, The Household Cavalry Museum, Green Park, Clarence House, and Changing of the Guard. Don’t forget to put on your comfortable shoes!
7. TOWER BRIDGE IN LONDON
When we think of London, we think of London’s most striking bridge, Tower Bridge. All thanks to its lifting central sections and Neo-Gothic architecture, it is counted as one of the most sophisticated bascule bridges in the world.
Do plan a visit to the Tower Bridge Exhibition to have an exhilarating experience of walking on its infamous Glass Floor to enjoy the spectacular view of the city below and most importantly of the River Thames (who knows, you get to witness the bridge being raised- a perfect Insta moment).
The visit to the Tower Bridge Exhibition costs a ticket but Pedestrians can walk across the Tower Bridge for free.
8. EDINBURGH CASTLE
Next UK’s most famous landmark is Edinburgh Castle. Located in the capital city of Scotland, this historic fortress dominates the skyline of Edinburgh.
In present times, the castle serves as the Scottish National War Memorial, a setting for state ceremonies, official entertaining, and a military station.
The infamous Crown Jewels (the Honours of Scotland), the Stone of Destiny, and the Edinburgh Military Tattoo are also well-preserved inside the castle.
This iconic landmark is worth visiting as it preserves a long and important history in its collection of buildings. No one actually lives in the castle today but it has been home to many residents over years.
9. ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL
Now we will highlight the largest and most famous of London’s many churches, St. Paul’s Cathedral. It is also known as the ‘parish church of the British Commonwealth’ and is held by the seat of the Bishop of London.
Sitting on the highest point of London on Ludgate Hill, this angelic cathedral welcomes visitors with a vast dome and an awe-inspiring interior.
It also gives the tourists a chance to marvel at its history, the rich work, and the worship that is held on all of the five levels. Don’t forget to explore the new exhibition called The Great of the 1920s there while you are enjoying the best landmarks in the United Kingdom.
10. GIANT’S CAUSEWAY OF NORTHERN IRELAND
Giant’s Causeway came into being as a result of an ancient volcanic fissure eruption featuring 40,000 interlocking basalt columns.
Located on the north coast of Northern Ireland in County Antrim, it attracts some 300,000 tourists annually.
Being a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986, this site is blissful with its scenic beauty. It is also now part of UK historical landmarks.
11. THE COTSWOLDS – COTSWOLDS AONB
Next up in our list of must-see UK landmarks is a rural area present in south-central England housing sections of six counties out of which Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire are quite popular.
We are talking about the Cotswolds. You will love its panoramic views while your stay at this absolutely lovely place. Cotswolds is all about the lush green countryside, rolling hills, the sound of farm animals in a nearby field, great outdoors, and fresh air.
You will find numerous photogenic villages and endless nature trails to explore. You will have the most unforgettable holiday in such a stunning natural backdrop.
12. PALACE OF WESTMINSTER
Here we are listing other landmarks in the United Kingdom known for their impressive architectural feat that is a must-see while on a London Break – the Palace of Westminster or commonly known as the Houses of Parliament.
Boasting a gothic style, this building is where the House of Commons and the House of Lords meet. The only times when you can visit this place are during July and August on Saturdays only.
The sumptuous facade has been accentuated with 1,200 rooms, 11 courtyards, and 2,1 miles of corridors, the statues of the English kings reflected in the Thames, gilded pinnacles, and a breath-taking panorama.
The southwestern part of the Palace houses the ever-famous Victoria Tower and Big Ben is on the north side of the Palace.
13. WINDSOR CASTLE IN BERKSHIRE
Located in the English county of Berkshire at Windsor, Windsor Castle is one of the most beautiful landmarks in the United Kingdom.
Windsor Castle is a royal residence that is known to be Her Majesty’s favorite. The grounds at the Windsor Palace spread over a total of 13 acres and are home to pine tree forests, horse stables, ponds, and fruit and vegetable gardens.
Visitors are allowed to witness the changing of the guard from the open parts of the palace. From the Inner Hall, visitors can view Queen Mary’s Doll’s House, State Apartments, and Semi-State Rooms.
Unlike many other historic sites open to the public, the trip to the castle is fully functional.
14. LOCH NESS SCOTLAND
Here is another famous UK landmark that pulls the tourists with its captivating beauty, Loch Ness Scotland. Loch Ness is a large, deep, freshwater lake extending approximately 37 kilometers southwest of Inverness.
Legends have associated Loch Ness with some engaging tales of cryptozoological Loch Ness monster sightings, affectionately named “Nessie”.
Loch Ness Center and Exhibition do a better job of keeping these century-old tales alive with the displays relating to the history of the surrounding area and that of the famous beastie.
It is a perfect destination all year round for all ages with stunning scenery, hiking options, trails, waterfalls, and more.
15. THE SHARD IN SOUTHWARK, LONDON
Built as London Bridge Tower and now known as Shard London Bridge or the Shard of Glass, this mesmerizing skyscraper houses 72 stories and is a marvelous architectural masterpiece designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano.
To this amazing landmark in the United Kingdom entry to the Shard is free (you will be paying for the food and drinks at eateries).
The sights that you can see from the top of the Shard are Tower Bridge, the London Eye, Big Ben, the Tower of London, and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
16. THE ROMAN BATHS
To explore this one of the most exhilarating landmarks in the UK, you will have to get to the city of Bath, Somerset, England where there resides a well-preserved thermae known as the Roman Baths.
It is where most of the Romans living in the city used to get every day to clean up and socialize.
It is a great place to stop over before journeying into the Cotswolds. But take our advice, don’t even think of swimming there as the water in the Baths now is green and dirty.
17. OXFORD STREET
Why not indulge in some retail therapy while on a quest of discovering famous UK landmarks?
Let’s get on Oxford Street and treat yourself to an unrivaled shopping experience. We are talking about a major road in the West End of London, sitting in the City of Westminster.
It is one of London’s busiest shopping streets featuring luxe boutiques and high-end brands such as Zara, Topshop, House of Fraser, Debenhams, and the flagship store of Marks and Spencer’s.
18. VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM
Next to include in your UK itinerary is the world’s largest museum of applied and decorative arts and design and a house to the permanent collection of over 2.27 million objects, the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Residing on Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, it is necessary to devote at least two hours to exploring a single theme landmark in the United Kingdom. However, if you are on a limited-time tour, it will be wise to target 1 or 2 major themes of the Museum only and leave the rest for some other time.
What you must not miss are Constable’s paintings, the Jewellery and Fashion galleries, Raphael’s cartoons, and Dale Chihuly’s chandelier.
19. PALACE OF HOLYROODHOUSE
Let’s explore another royal residency, The Palace of Holyroodhouse or also known to the locals as Holyrood Palace of Holyroodhouse.
It is one of the top landmarks of the UK and the official royal residence of Queen Elizabeth II, the British monarch in Scotland. It houses lovely grounds to stroll through, rooms full of furniture, a cafe serving scrumptious cakes, and a quality gift shop.
20. ROYAL BOTANIC GARDENS, KEW
Royal Botanic Gardens where the amazing powers of plants and fungi are discovered. These gardens are serving as an educational institution, an internationally significant botanical research center, and a non-departmental public body in the United Kingdom being run by the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs.
This stunning sanctuary is also included among the best landmarks in the United Kingdom which lies less than 30 minutes from central London. Entry to the garden is free with a few exceptions for special events.
It takes around three hours to explore the whole length of these mesmerizing gardens. If you have enough time, do plan to spend a complete day amongst the green surroundings.
21. URQUHART CASTLE, SCOTLAND
While on your London getaway, here is another UK’s most enticing landmark that you must explore, the Urquhart Castle in Scotland.
It is a ruin that sits beside Loch Ness in the Highlands of Scotland. What’s special about this castle is that it depicts a lively history that started when the English took it under during the invasion of Edward I in 1296. Moreover, its towering gatehouse was deliberately blown up to keep it from any military stronghold in 1692.
For an entry, the visit to the castle must be booked in advance. Select your visit date and time carefully.
22. DARTMOOR NATIONAL PARK
Let’s get close to nature. Put your sneakers on and get to the Dartmoor National Park. This vast moorland stands in the county of Devon, in southwest England is one of the most famous landmarks of the UK.
This craggy landscape is defined by wetlands and tors, forests, and rivers where Dartmoor ponies and rare wildlife roam.
The area is dotted with spellbinding trails, abandoned medieval farmhouses, Bronze Age stone circles, villages, deep river valleys, and Dartmoor Prison.
23. HAMPTON COURT PALACE
Here we present another interesting landmark in the UK, Hampton Court Palace. Standing tall 12 miles southwest and upstream of central London on the River Thames, it acquires a position of being a Grade I listed royal palace in London.
This place is a must to visit as it has in store a lot of attractions for a history buff or a foodie or an appreciator of gardens/architecture such as Tudor and Neo-Classical architecture, splendid paintings, and lots of history, from Cardinal Wolsey and Henry VIII to William and Mary.
It takes around three hours to stroll through Hampton Court Palace’s world-famous gardens, featuring 750 acres of Parkland and 60 acres of spectacular formal gardens, all set around the river Thames.
24. LONDON BRIDGE
The song ‘London Bridge is falling down’ echoes in one’s ears when we think about London Bridge.
In 1968, McCulloch bought the iconic London Bridge and moved it to Arizona aiming to create a tourist attraction in the desert. Nowadays, Tower Bridge is mistaken for London Bridge.
Tower Bridge is a combination of bascule and suspension bridge spanning over the River Thames close to the Tower of London.
25. LEEDS CASTLE
It won’t be wrong to call the UK the land of medieval castles as there are too many out there making the most of the landmarks in the United Kingdom that one must explore while being there.
Next, up on our list is Leeds Castle built on islands in a lake formed by the River Len in Kent, England. This glorious castle preserves 900 years of history and 500 acres of splendid grounds and gardens.
You cannot enter the grounds and castle for free. It takes around one to two hours to lurk around the castle and read about the history in the Castle and Gatehouse exhibition.
You will also be pleased to explore a Maze, Bird of Prey Centre, and Falconry Displays.
26. WARWICK CASTLE
Let’s explore another splendid castle – The Warwick Castle preserving one thousand years of jaw-dropping history as it has been a host to ancient myths, great battles, pampered princesses, and spellbinding tales having heroic knights.
This historic landmark in the United Kingdom features a wooden fort, an original masterpiece built by William the Conqueror in 1068.
This place is like a time capsule that takes you on a trip to its glorious past through re-enactment staff and entertaining shows and award-winning exhibits.
27. KENSINGTON PALACE AND ITS GARDENS
Are Kensington Palace and its gardens worth visiting? You bet! We mean what can be more joyous to wander the halls of expansive halls of a palace where several members of the Royal Family still live including Prince William and Kate Middleton.
You need to buy a ticket to enter the Palace but there is no fee for the Gardens or the adjacent Hyde Park or any of the Cafes and restaurants.
Two or maybe three hours are enough to spend glancing over all the different exhibits of this one-of-a-kind United Kingdom landmark.
Visitors can also participate in the “History Bites” talk held every day during which the visitors are educated on different subjects related to the palace-by-palace experts.
28. YORK MINSTER
We are including one of the world’s most magnificent cathedrals in our UK bucket list, the York Minster.
This massive cathedral is a vision of heaven on Earth featured through stained glass and stone also known as one of the top landmarks in the United Kingdom.
This sacred place has been drawing tourists’ attention for millennia but its history dates back 2,000 years to the birth of modern-day Christianity in Roman York.
Visitors are not charged any fees to pray or light candles or attend a service.
Further mention that there are multiple best photography spots at the Minster such as inside the Minster, The Nave, and Chapter House.
29. NATIONAL MUSEUM OF SCOTLAND
Developed in 2006, the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, Scotland is home to Scottish antiquities, the wonders of nature, art and design, science and technology, culture, and history.
It is quite a joyous method to explore Scotland’s glorious past if you are a history buff. The entry and the audio guides are for free like most museums in Edinburgh.
It is one of the top-ten UK landmarks that attract most tourists.
30. LEGOLAND WINDSOR
Traveling to the UK with family? Let us tell you about children’s heaven – Legoland Windsor. Take your children there and thank us later as they will have the time of their lives.
Legoland Windsor is a child-orientated theme park and resort in Windsor, Berkshire in England. Built in 1996 around the Lego toy system theme, it houses a fantastic variety of rides and attractions suitable for all ages.
That’s why we would recommend you to at least invest your whole day in one of the best landmarks in the United Kingdom to make the most of your trip.
Good news- no height requirements are there to explore fun-loaded attractions. However, do buy tickets for The Dragon Coaster. This gem is legitimately fun.
31. ROYAL OBSERVATORY GREENWICH
Now on our radar is an observatory situated on a hill in Greenwich Park in east London. The Royal Observatory overlooks the River Thames to the north.
You will find their numerous free interactive galleries which answer all the big questions regarding space, time, and the universe all within an hour or two.
This museum is a worth-visit place for sure and should be on your bucket list of must-see landmarks in the United Kingdom.
32. DUNNOTTAR CASTLE
While writing down about the famous landmarks in the UK, we cannot miss Dunnottar Castle.
Located upon a rocky headland on the North-eastern coast of Scotland, Dunnottar Castle holds the ruins of a ruined medieval fortress.
The legends say that this historic site was fortified in the Early Middle Ages. This castle was one of the locations that were used for the filming of Hamlet in 1990.
Not to forget to mention that the visitors have to cross a total of 219 steps from the parking to the main entrance.
33. DUNLUCE CASTLE
The now-ruined medieval castle, Dunluce Castle stands tall as a witness to a long and tumultuous history in Northern Ireland.
For Game of Thrones enthusiasts, here is the news- for Pyke Castle of House Greyjoy on Pyke Island, the exterior shots of Dunluce Castle were used.
This castle is sure to be visited to unveil hidden historical secrets spread throughout the castle and to indulge in the unique history of Dunluce.
The parking is free here. Don’t forget to visit the gift shop to buy some interesting books and posters from one of the top landmarks in the United Kingdom.
34. THE ROYAL PAVILION
Again, we have brought for you guys a Grade I listed former royal residence sitting with pride in Brighton, England- the Royal Pavilion, or as the locals call it-the Brighton Pavilion. It takes around three hours to go around the Royal Pavilion.
Originally built for King George IV as a seaside retreat, this splendid building features a mix of Regency grandeur with the Chinese and Indian visual styles.
Here is what you must see when you get into this beautiful landmark in the United Kingdom – The Banqueting Room, The Music Room, The Great Kitchen, and the Prince’s Treasure.
35. GREENWICH PARK
Here we are talking about the largest single green spaces in south-east London and a former hunting park in Greenwich- Greenwich Park.
This Royal Park of London is spread over 74 hectares and is also a part of the Greenwich World Heritage Site.
Pedestrians are always welcome to visit the park all year round. It opens at 6:00 am and is accessible by tube, bus, train, DLR and by boat too.
Not to forget that you don’t have to pay any fees for panoramic strolls and picnics under chestnut and oak trees. It is also one of the safest areas in Greenwich.
36. KELVINGROVE ART GALLERY AND MUSEUM
Here in the list of iconic landmarks in the United Kingdom, we bring you another iconic museum and art gallery residing in Glasgow, Scotland- Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
It is counted as one of Scotland’s most popular visitor attractions, which was reopened to the public back in 2006 after a three-year refurbishment break.
The best part is that this spectacular attraction is all for free and features 22 themed, state-of-the-art galleries housing a captivating collection of around 8000 objects.
Not to forget that these collections are internationally significant, wide-ranged, and extensive.
37. THE CONWY CASTLE
Located in North Wales, Conwy Castle is a fortification in Conwy built by Edward I, between 1283 and 1289 as a part of a wider project to create the walled town of Conwy.
Can you explore the 700-year-old castle towering over the whales’ picturesque skyline? Yes! You will love to go inside the mesmerizing castle which is one of the trendy landmarks in the United Kingdom.
It would be interesting to wander through various parts, climb the stairs, and dig the informative plaques. The Conwy itself is one of the most beautiful places in the whole UK.
38. DOVER CASTLE
Let’s explore another medieval castle located in Dover, Kent, England in our guide of landmarks in the United Kingdom.
Founded in the 11th century, this castle has been referred to as the “Key to England” due to its defensive significance throughout history.
This castle holds a tie with Windsor Castle to acquire the first position as the largest castle in England. Should you be visiting Dover Castle? Yes! It is quite an impressive landmark and most probably the only exciting attraction to explore in Dover.
It takes a maximum of four hours to stroll around the whole castle. The experience of walking along the cliffs of Dover is sure full of scenery, wonder, and amazement.
39. EILEAN DONAN ISLAND
We are taking you to a small tidal island floating in the western Highlands of Scotland- Eilean Donan.
It is the spot where three sea lochs meet- Loch Long, Loch Duich, and Loch Alsh. Eilean Donan is famous for the picturesque castle that we have frequently witnessed in photographs, film, and television.
This castle stands 1 kilometer from the village of Dornie and dominates the island. Eilean Donan Castle is an international figure and a captivating attraction.
Built upon an enigmatic pile of ruins, this engaging castle has also made a cameo in James Bond as the Scottish HQ of MI6, no less. For a unique holiday experience at a refreshing location, do book yourself a space in Eilean Donan Cottage and Eilean Donan Apartments.
40. ALTON TOWERS RESORT
We are ending our list of the best landmarks in the United Kingdom with Alton Towers Resort or as the locals call it, Alton Towers- a resort complex and theme park built in Staffordshire, England, near the village of Alton.
Spread over a beautiful stretch of 500 acres, Alton Towers Resort features Stargazing Pods, fantastically themed hotels, and an Enchanted Village along with the 40 world-class rides and attractions, spa, and mini-golf.
Age does not matter to treat oneself with that much sought-after adrenaline rush. You need to spend at least two days getting all of the good variety of rides.
So, these were some of the top landmarks in the United Kingdom. Pick your favorites and start planning your trip to the traditional English culture and beauty of the UK.
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