UNITED KINGDOM Holidays

LONDON

London is a city crackling with the energy of a centre of world finance; filled with the magic of a town ruled by the on-going twists of a millennium of monarchy; charmingly cluttered by centuries of piece-by-piece hoisting skywards of grand palaces, historic monuments and quirky skyscrapers; a city bustling with English good-natured humour – and a buzzing international community of unparalleled diversity. There's so much to do and see, it's difficult to know where to start. Head to Trafalgar Square, where all the roads lead outwards to one of London's many star attractions. Then under the shadow of Nelson's Column, simply pick a road at random. Head west, and you pass through the leafy glades of St. James’s Park, bringing you straight into the heart of London's pomp and ceremony – the Mall, Horse Guards Parade and Buckingham Palace. For a dose of culture, head to the British Museum. Then on to the centre of Great Britain's ancient democracy – Westminster, with the Houses of Parliament and the towering charm of Big Ben. Here is where London's oldest abbey quietly sits in an elegant repose – Westminster Abbey – a church where royals get married and the great and good of the kingdom are buried. Cross Westminster Bridge to the London Eye, where you can see the city from a different perspective. Head north from Trafalgar Square and you're quickly in the entertainment capital of the eastern hemisphere, the West End. Here you can shop-til-you-drop along Oxford Street, pick up a souvenir at Covent Garden's charming markets, and then give the town 'a spin', at one of its many theatres and playhouses. And if you decide instead to take the route eastwards, you're in for a cultural treat. At the Southbank Centre, Royal Festival Hall and the Royal National Theatre, the capital's finest art, dance, drama and music is performed by national companies of repute. And this is also here where the industrial monolith of the Tate Modern pokes the banner of modern art into the sky. Keep heading east and you'll come to a reminder of medieval London, the Tower of London, which lies back north across the river, over Tower Bridge. This is where the kings and queens of England kept their enemies. It now houses splendid collections of armour and swords, as well as many cruel devices of torture and torment. The story of London doesn't stop there – further east towards the sea are the old docklands of the East End, now split between crowded London squares, towering towers of finance and trendy lanes of alternative art. As is the case across all of London, the beauty of this city lies in its apparent casual chaos, its wonderful contradictions – and its timeless stories.

CAERNARFON

Caernarfon is a Royal town in Gwynedd, North-West Wales. Caernarfon is famous for its breathtaking castle and as a stronghold of the Welsh language. The castle and fortified complex is recognised on UNESCO's World Heritage List as one of the finest examples of late 13th century and early 14th century military architecture in Europe. It is one of the best places in the world to hear a living Celtic language, with 85.6% of the local population speaking Welsh. Caernarfon provides a good base for visiting other places of interest in North Wales. A few miles’ drive from Caernarfon is Snowdonia National Park which plays host to the highest mountain in Wales, and Anglesey, home of Beaumaris Castle, the last and largest of the castles to be built by King Edward I in Wales. Other nearby places worth visiting include: Conwy, Llandudno, the Isle of Anglesey, Bangor, and the castle at Harlech. Mighty Caernarfon is possibly the most famous of Wales's castles. Its sheer scale and commanding presence easily set it apart from the rest, and to this day, still trumpet in no uncertain terms the intention of its builder Edward I. Begun in 1283 as the definitive chapter in his conquest of Wales, Caernarfon was constructed not only as a military stronghold but also as a seat of government and royal palace. The castle's majestic persona is no architectural accident: it was designed to echo the walls of Constantinople, the imperial power of Rome and the dream castle, 'the fairest that ever man saw', of Welsh myth and legend. After all these years Caernarfon's immense strength remains unchanged. Standing at the mouth of the Seiont river, the fortress (with its unique polygonal towers, intimidating battlements and colour banded masonry) dominates the walled town also founded by Edward I. Caernarfon's symbolic status was emphasized when Edward made sure that his son, the first English Prince of Wales, was born here in 1284. In 1969, the castle gained worldwide fame as the setting for the Investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales. History comes alive at Caernarfon in so many ways - along the lofty wall walks, beneath the twin-towered gatehouse and within imaginative exhibitions located within the towers. The castle also houses the Regimental Museum of the Royal Welch Fusiliers, Wales's oldest regiment. Caernarfon's position of pre-eminence in historic rankings is recognized in its status as a World Heritage inscribed site.

BATH

Looking for a beautiful and unique destination to enjoy the perfect city break? Wanting somewhere that’s brimming with things to do, a fantastic city centre, where you can shop until you drop but also relax and unwind? Then welcome to Bath, a city so beautiful and special that it has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Independent, creative, unique and stylish, Bath is the only place in the UK where you can bathe in naturally hot spa water and original roman style baths, making it the ultimate spa break destination for thousands of years. Whether you fancy a romantic short break, a fun family holiday, an indulgent foodie getaway or an exciting day out on the bus or train, Bath is guaranteed to delight. Discover England’s most complete Georgian architecture, iconic visitor attractions such as stonehenge and longleat safari park, great boutique shopping, fantastic nightlife, fabulous festivals and a remarkable range of restaurants, bars and cafés. As the official visitor information website for Bath and the surrounding area, we at Bath Tourism Plus are excited to welcome you to our special city. We hope you will find everything you need here to make the very most of your visit and ensure it’s as enjoyable as possible. Our expert local knowledge provides inspiration and ideas on the very best way to spend your visit - from local events and popular restaurants to the best pubs, action packed activities and great special offers too. Why not start planning your visit today? Take a look at our what's on section or browse our range of free guides, including easily downloadable maps, parking advice and city audio tours to help you make the most of your stay. If you’re looking for a luxury spa retreat, boutique hotel, cosy bed & breakfast or a homely self-catering property, we offer the biggest choice. Search over 250 accommodation options in Bath and find your perfect place to stay. Whenever you visit, you are sure to fall in love with Bath... so dive in!

OXFORD

Let the “city of dreaming spires” enchant you with its 1,500 listed buildings from every major period of British architectural history from the 11th century onwards. Built in striking honey-coloured limestone, the city centre looks like something out of a fairy-tale. No wonder Oxford is a firm favourite of film makers from all over the world, and has inspired countless famous writers over the centuries. Oxford, the ‘city of dreaming spires’ is steeped in a rich and fascinating history. Famous for its prestigious Oxford University, the city is home to its 38 colleges whereby many notable scholars have emerged. The Radcliffe Camera, Bodleian Library and Bridge of Sighs make up just a few of the famous picturesque buildings of Oxford. Its charming scenery has been the inspiration for many, including Lewis Carroll and J.R.R Tolkien. There are also many recognisable scenes from popular films such as Harry Potter and TV series like Inspector Morse. There are many fascinating Oxford tourism hotspots like; museums, many of which are free – so take advantage of everything Oxford has to offer. If it’s sunny then why not go punting or take a relaxing river cruise? Climb to the top of one of Oxford’s towers and witness the breath-taking views for yourself. For the perfect city break, why not stay in some of the accommodation available at the heart of Oxford's city centre. From the city of Dreaming Spires - Oxford to the wondrous countryside of Oxfordshire, there are so many fantastic places of interest in Oxford for all the family. Whether you are a culture vulture visiting our historical Oxford attractions such as Britain's Greatest palace - Blenheim Palace, Christ Church college or the Ashmolean Museum or indulging in a spot of retail therapy at Bicester Village - we can provide an array of activities for all year round. Wondering what to do in Oxfordshire? Things to do in Oxfordshire offer so many choices like country walks, cycling, sailing or even punting, there are activities to suit everyone and every kind of budget. If you are looking for that relaxing break, Oxfordshire has all the ingredients needed. The idyllic villages located in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds offer some of the most stunning scenes. You could also look at places to stay such as one of our finest hotels with state of the art Gyms and Spa facilities, or go for a round of golf and enjoy the breath taking views. Come and see all the famous TV and film locations and follow in the footsteps of Harry Potter - experience a taste of magic! With all these, and so many more activities and tourist attractions in Oxford and surrounding areas to be explored you will be spoilt for choice.

YORK

Rich in ancient history, romantic ambience and fun activities, York is the perfect holiday destination for couples, families and groups. Renowned for its exquisite architecture, tangle of quaint cobbled streets, iconic York Minster and wealth of visitor attractions, York is a flourishing city, just two hours by train from London. Delve into the city's vibrant café culture, take time out to enjoy some of the country's most talented street entertainers or simply watch the world go by while sipping a drink by the river. Visitors to York can enjoy hundreds of attractions, museums, historic buildings, tours, shops, restaurants and bars within the compact walled city. You’re never far from an awe inspiring moment. Find and book York breaks, holidays and get aways from the excellent range of hotels, B&Bs and self-catering accommodation. There is plenty of York tourist information available on attractions, events, tickets and maps from our official Visitor Information Centre which will help you get the very most from your stay in our beautiful city. What’s more, the official sightseeing card ‘York Pass’ will save you money at 30 top attractions and over 40 shops and restaurants. The ancient capital of Yorkshire is York, one of the great cities of the medieval world. Still encircled by its ancient walls, the city is dominated by the soaring pinnacles of York Minster, the finest Gothic church in northern Europe. From narrow streets, lively with chic cafes and specialist shops, to trips on its tree-lined river, York is a treasure house with a superb choice of museums and galleries. York is one of the world's most fascinating cities with surviving evidence from the different cultures that have ruled the area. York began as a fortress, built in AD71 by the Roman 9th Legion for a campaign against the Brigantes tribe. It grew into an important city, then known as Eboracum. Constantine the Great, who later founded Constantinople, was made Roman Emperor here in AD306 .It was the Vikings, who gave York its name, derived from Jorvik or Yorwik.

CARDIFF

Cardiff is the capital of Wales in the United Kingdom. Although it had a reputation of being an industrial city, Cardiff has changed dramatically in recent decades. It is now a lively and modern capital city, gaining popularity with tourists interested in its history and in Welsh culture and is quickly becoming one of the United Kingdom's tourism hot spots. Summer is by far the best time to visit as the city hosts large festivals with al fresco dining and drinking becoming ever more popular due to large areas of pedestrianisation. The city centre has seen huge development over the last decade and is now considered one of the top ten shopping destinations in the United Kingdom. Cardiff is a very green city, having the most green space per person in the UK, and this is complemented by Bute Park which sits in the heart of the city. It has a reputation as a city of castles, having 5 different castles within its surroundings. The city's core population stands at roughly 345,000, with 860,000 living in the larger urban area. It seems strange that a place with such a vivid past is best known as Europe’s youngest capital city. But that’s just one of the unexpected things about Cardiff that makes a visit essential. The foundations of the castle date back to 50AD, and the imposing building walled with elaborate gargoyles is a 19th century gothic fantasy. It was created by renowned architect William Burges for the third Marquis of Bute, who was reputedly the richest man in the world at the time. It’s a monument to eccentricity that should be on your must-see list. Cardiff has more green space than any other city in Europe, per head of population. The Taff Trail makes the most of former rail routes, towpaths and tramways, allowing you to walk or cycle from Cardiff Bay through 2000 acres of parkland, all the way to the moorland of the Brecon Beacons, if you really need some extra miles to work off that Sunday lunch. Very few international sports arenas occupy a plot of land in a city centre, but this remarkable stadium really is a sight to behold both inside and out. International rugby and football is played here, as well as a variety of the other sports events and major live music concerts.