United Kingdom

Why Your Next Cruise Should Include the United Kingdom

A regular in the top 10 of international tourism destinations and with a tourist industry predicted to be worth over £275 billion by 2025 – there’s obviously something special about the United Kingdom.  Anyone who has visited this green and pleasant land will know it has breath-taking landscapes and a myriad of historical and heritage sites to immerse yourself in.  Cruising is a fantastic way to explore any country and visiting the UK by cruise liner will give you a front row view of the island’s dramatic coastline. There’s also the added bonus that only being around the size of the state of Colorado, many tourist destinations in the United Kingdom are within easy traveling distance once you’re on land.  Here’s why the UK should be top of your list of the most spellbinding, culturally rich cruise destinations.

Gastro Revolution

A food revolution has happened in the UK’s towns and cities in recent years, with no fewer than 175 restaurants that hold one or more Michelin Stars.  Gordon Ramsey, Heston Blumenthal and Michel Roux are amongst the world-renowned chefs that have residencies in restaurants across the country so there’s no shortage of culinary finery to indulge in.  If fine dining is not your ‘cup of tea’, then perhaps a visit to one of the UK’s many tea rooms for a traditional afternoon tea will satisfy your sweet tooth. Alternatively, there are a wealth of gastropubs serving contemporary take on traditional British favorites such as steak and ale pie, fish and chips and of course the time-honored roast dinner.

Culture Club

United Kingdom

You may even see the Queen! | Photo by Kutan Ural on Unsplash

With rich art, architecture, music and sport heritage, there is truly a feast of cultural activities on offer – whether it’s walking in the footsteps of ‘The Fab Four’ in Liverpool (birthplace of the Beatles) or absorbing renaissance treasures or modern art masterpieces at one of the numerous art galleries in Great Britain’s towns and cities.  Awe-inspiring architecture and stunning scenery is another thing that the UK has in abundance, with royal palaces and cathedrals, churches and relics dating back to as early as 500 AD.  Many of the UK’s many stately homes are also open to visitors, they’re a popular destination especially for lovers of period dramas like Downton Abbey and Pride and Prejudice, who want to see first-hand where their favorite shows were filmed.  Theatre-goers can visit Shakespeare’s birthplace, or The Globe to take in a live performance of the bard’s most well-known plays.

The Sporting Life

Sports fans won’t be disappointed either.  Britain’s many sports stadiums are open for tours throughout the year – visit Manchester United’s very own ‘Theatre of Dreams’, Anfield or Wembley stadium and learn about the highs and lows of Britain’s most successful football teams.  Alternatively, a very British afternoon can be spent touring the courts and museum of the All England Tennis Club at Wimbledon, washed down with a Pimms and a bowl of strawberries and cream of course. Those who feel a ‘need for speed’ can even get behind the wheel of their own race car at Brans Hatch or Alton Park.  Or why not play a round of golf at one of Britain’s 2500 golf courses, including the world-famous course at St. Andrews.

But What about the Weather?

The average temperature in British summertime can top 80 degrees and on average there are 16 hours of sunlight in summer.  The idea that it always rains in the United Kingdom is really a myth, although it does rain more frequently that in the USA. Avoid visiting in October, the wettest month.

With beautiful scenery, a wealth of arts and culture, and plenty of historical buildings to immerse yourself in, the United Kingdom is one of the most exciting interesting cruise destinations.

-Jennifer Dawson 

Judi Cuervo is a New York City native who fell in love with cruising in 1976 during her first sailing aboard Carnival Cruises’ Mardi Gras. Twenty years later, she began her freelance cruise writing gig and, since that time, has covered mass market, ultra-premium, riverboat and expedition ships for regional, national and international publications as well as cruise websites.