Visitors love to explore the UK’s rich history, heritage and culture.Yet, there’s also another side to Britain that you might not know. A side that’s bursting with energy and promises you something different and undiscovered.
From London to Liverpool, Edinburgh to Brighton and from Cardiff to Cambridge, discover hidden treasures around the corner from our iconic landmarks. Britain’s cities are packed with stories and welcoming characters that bring these places to life. Urban spaces are full of wild places and exhilarating ways to enjoy them to make the most of time spent outdoors with a wide range of sustainable experiences.
For something unexpected, why not go sailing in a hot tub down the Thames in London or shop the world’s oldest record store in Cardiff? Take flight at the International Balloon Fiesta in Bristol, learn to climb at Alien Rock, inside a beautiful old vaulted church in Edinburgh, or test your mental and physical abilities at Bear Grylls Adventure in Birmingham.
2022 is the chance to reconnect with friends, meet friendly new people along the way and make up for lost time by exploring your freedom to savour different experiences every day. It is also about capturing the major events this year, set to be global tourism draws, including HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, 50th Pride in London, 75th Edinburgh Festivals and ‘Unboxed,’ the UK-wide celebration of creativity.
Here are more ways to see another side of Britain in 2022:
DIVERSE FOOD SCENE
Dining in London is taken to another level. Enjoy cocktails at Cahoots, situated in an old Tube station in London, and now a 1940s underground bar. Or grab a table in a double-decker bus with Bustronome. Afternoon tea has been given an update at the Kids Sci-Fi Tea at the The Ampersand and at the Peter Pan Afternoon Tea at Aqua Shard. Cruise the Thames with London Craft Beer Cruises and accredited Beer Sommeliers, enjoying the best in independent beer, artisanal food and other local drink produce while passing some of London’s most iconic sights from the water side.
Bath’s strong community feeling is clearly visible in the city’s hospitality options. Savouring Bath offers culinary tours where visitors can get to know local food heroes and some of their innovative creations. The restaurant The Pump Room works together with the charity Beyond Food, to support people at risk of homelessness with job opportunities. Bristol offers more than just regular dining experiences. Playing boardgames while enjoying locally sourced dishes is Chance & Counters’s speciality and at The Lanes signature hardshakes and pizza can be enjoyed while competing in a game of bowling or pool. The independent micro distillery Psychopump offers gin distilling classes where visitors can create their own gin by choosing from a wide range of botanicals.
If whisky is more your thing, there’s the new Johnnie Walker Experience in Edinburgh. Cold Town House serves the freshest beer in town, brewed in the in-house Microbrewery, the roof top offering one of the best views of Edinburgh Castle. The Jolly Botanist has created rare and experimental delights for demanding palates with its selections of gins, whiskeys and cocktails. Edinburgh’s finest cheeses are being wrapped up into a two-hour walking tour with the Edinburgh Cheese Crawl. In Glasgow, try the Dockyard Social, where the best street food traders serve a true taste of global comfort food. The Finnieston Bar & Restaurant serves up the very best in Scottish seafood and award-winning cocktails, champagnes and beers. At Cail Bruich the finest seasonal British produce is used to create a relaxed Michelin-starred dining experience in Glasgow’s West End. An hour north of Glasgow, Glengoyne Distillery produces whisky using renewable energy and their commitment to protect the beauty of the environment is visible throughout all their processes.
Liverpool is home to many independent restaurants and food stands. A great selection can be found at the Baltic Market where dishes from all over the world can be tasted. At Mowgli Street Food authentic flavourful Indian dishes are served, Barnacle’s chefs create delights out of seasonal and local produce and guests at Alma de Cuba can enjoy Caribbean flair in a redeveloped church. According to Conde Nast Traveller, Birmingham is one of the best cities to visit for foodies in 2022 due its high number of Michelin starred restaurants. Adam’s and Purnells, both contemporary British fine dining restaurant serving modern dishes, as well as Opheem an Indian fine dining spot, are all located right in the city centre. Delicious and beloved Balti curry was invented in Birmingham offering award-winning city centre restaurants to authentic family-run establishments in the Balti Triangle. And a world of chocolate delights can be uncovered at Cadbury World. The immersive experience teaches visitors how the confectionery is made, with the tour ending in the biggest Cadbury shop in the world. A chocoholic delight!
DIDN’T KNOW I COULD DO THAT
An unmissable tour for Bridgeton lovers, there’s a two-hour tour through Bath’s beautiful and historic streets, while taking in the sights and stories from Bridgeton’s filming. Points of interest to look out for include the Featheringtons house, Madame Delacroix’s shop and Lady Danbury’s house. For fans of Peaky Blinders, this tour is the perfect opportunity to explore film locations both within the city of Liverpool and further afield, or take it to the next level with the Peaky Blinders Live Escape Game located in the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, where teams are challenged to infiltrate the world of the Peaky Blinders gangs in order to escape.
The Skyliner Street Art Tour is led by lover of honest and alternative tourism Hayley Flynn, also the UK’s first and only City Curator for National Trust. Having been described as “anti-tours”, the Skyliner tours around Manchester’s Northern Quarter aims to look at the alternative side of the city, not only seeking to reveal new things about the city, but to empower those on their tours with a sense that a city is a place created by those who live and work within it. The Banksy Walking Tour gives visitors a chance to visit the iconic art work around the city Banksy calls home, as well as a few, secret works for fans to spot. The world-famous artist has made sure his own city has not missed out on his talent, with works appearing around locations which would have been part of his childhood, making for a great self-guided walking tour. Art lovers will want to check out Birmingham’s Digbeth neighbourhood, popular with street artists for decades. This self-guided walk shows visitors some of the longest-standing graffiti artists of Birmingham starting at Moor St train station. There are plenty of cafes and bars along the way.
Visitors can step out of the city bustle and breathe deeply in The University of Oxford’s Botanic Gardens, the oldest botanic garden in Great Britain. Founded in 1621, the grounds now host sessions to bring participants back in touch with their mind and body while reconnecting with nature. Visitors can try one of their aromatherapy meditation sessions, the Japanese tradition of Forest Bathing, or a Yoga in the garden class. Another way to explore the outdoors is along the Kelvin Walkway, an extension of the West Highland Way to the south of Glasgow. Starting in the city, the route follows the three rivers of the Allander, Kelvin and Clyde, going past Kelvingrove park and the Glasgow Botanic Garden.
For more information and even more reasons to travel to Britain this year, visit: visitbritain.com