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Travel and Teach in the UK-Discover our Top 9 must see destinations to visit outside of London

Whilst living in the UK many Canadian teachers are obsessed with one thing: LONDON.

Don’t get me wrong, London is amazing BUT the UK has so much more to offer. Personally, I found that after a long week in school, there was nothing better than getting out and about in the British countryside.

There are spectacular architectural designs, historical buildings, castles, and peaceful, natural beauty that will take your breath away. There are many beautiful places in the UK that are easily accessible and they make great weekend destinations to explore.  Being from rural Kent in England myself I can make some personal recommendations.

1. The Lake District

Also known as the Lakes or Lakeland, is a mountainous region in North West England. Well known for gorgeous lakes, landscapes, and exceptional natural beauty.  There are water sports and lots of walking trails. I went for a friends birthday in January, we hired an Air BnB house with a hot tub and cosied up in front of the wood fire. You could stay at Keswick or Ambleside at one of the many BnBs available. Depending on the seasonal, try the seasonal sunset dining, set in the very heart of the Lake District on Lade Windermere.

2. Cornwall

Now this is one of the few coastlines that can compete with the Australian beaches! At the tip of England’s southwest is this epic UK countryside. There are beaches that are actually SANDY!

Top spots include: St Ives, Port Isaac, Penzance and my personal favourite, St Michael’s Mount- a castle cut off by the tide and made into its own island. Take note of the tidal times and don’t end up like me, I started off paddling but was waist deep wading through the water trying to get back!

3. Hadrian’s Wall

This used to be the divide between Scotland and England and you can hike the length of it.  Even if you just go for a day, what remains of the old stone wall is something special to experience against the beautiful backdrops. I have hiked part of it and know many friends who have done the whole hike, stopping at the villages along the way to stay the night and fill up on some pub grub.  Others camped and carried their equipment as they went.

4. Dorset

I was born in Dorset and spent my early childhood enjoying the large portion of countryside that has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  Popular destinations in Dorset include: Lyme Regis, Weymouth (Jurassic skyline tower and Chesil Beach) and Poole with the sandbanks beaches and Brownsea Island.

5. Isle of White

This really special island off the south coast of England and somewhere I would save for a sunny day!  It has the best weather during the summer (you are practically in France) and there are beautiful beaches and typical British summertime vibes.  There is also an AMAZING music festival there every year, so hop on the ferry and book your ticket!

6. New Forest National Park

If you are an animal lover then this is the place for you.  I went for a week long camp and did hiking trails around the National Park.  The animals roam free and I saw wild boars, many birds of prey, and been in the middles of acres of open land where wild horses leaped through the hedges and soared over the hill tops.

7. Devon

Go to Torquay, a beautiful old fishing village turned popular summer time beach holiday spot.  And Dartmoor National Park where the Dartmoor Pony is a wild breed of pony that only lives there.

8. Yorkshire Dales

This is where you go for Castles!  There is very attractive scenery and a calm and peaceful atmosphere.  Popular for walking and mountain biking, so make sure you explore the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

9. Cotswolds

It is a destination in south central England blessed with outstanding natural beauty in almost every way. It has rolling hills, wildlife parks, calm towns and villages, and beautiful green-life. Visit Sudeley Castle, the Roman Baths and Blemheim Palace.

Finally, I wouldn’t be a true Brit if I didn’t recommend that you get a cream tea at every countryside destination on this list.  They are truly the most delicious treat you will experience, and they differ across the UK.  Most are made up of tea, sandwiches, scones and cake.  It sounds simple, but often the best things are.

I hope you get to see all of these on your UK teaching adventures.

Happy travels!

Gina Scott-Teacher and Teach in International Consultant