After the results of last year’s general election, where the Conservatives gained the majority and control of the United Kingdom, my Facebook feed went into meltdown.
Those, presumably, supporting Labour weren’t happy. Some people made the empty threat that they’d leave the country, whilst others were predicting some sort of apocalyptic-like happening because the people they wanted to win didn’t.
I actually found it quite amusing scrolling through all the comments. It seems harsh, but these people would soon be upset if we didn’t have a democracy, and were just coming off like sore losers.
Take this status, for example: “Not even sure what to say about the result apart from that I’m angry and upset and worried for the future. [I] hate knowing that I know Tory voters, who looked at people suffering over the last five years and decided we could do with some more.”
Cry me a river.
Though, in all fairness, it got me thinking. I have no political allegiance, so I couldn’t care less how the results unravelled that evening. As I see it, whoever gets into power will do a bad job anyway. But I have been known to complain about this country, oft-bemoaning certain aspects, whilst longing to live in the United States.
But starting this blog has actually opened my eyes to what this country has to offer. Well, from a touristic point of view, anyway.
The other day I was reading an article about Stonehenge. Yes, it was actually highlighting its appearance on a Reddit list of the world’s most disappointing tourist destinations, but I knew that if I was a foreigner, it’s something I would want to go and visit.
If this was a viewpoint that needed reaffirming, then when I visited various attractions in Manchester recently for a local tourism piece I wrote for Quays News showed me just how fun it was to be a tourist everywhere – even at home.
If we rewind it back even further to the second post I created for this blog, making my bucket list, I have just one thing, or rather one part of one thing, on there that’s to actually be completed in the UK.
‘Visit every Hard Rock Café’ is what it says, and with one apiece in Glasgow and Edinburgh, that's something I hope to do in the near future.
But what else do I want to do that this very country, the most accessible place to me at the moment, has to offer?
Here are a few thoughts.
Stonehenge is a massive attraction in this country, and that is backed up by the figures that show it’s been in the top 10 most-visited paid tourist attractions in England every year this decade.
That’s impressive, considering that it’s quite some distance from London (over two hours by road), even if it is down south.
Though while you may not be able to go up to it or touch it, and it is downplayed by some who have seen it in person, I am still intrigued not only by the rocks and their placement, but also the history, stories and theories behind it.
Apparently nearby Avebury Henge is much better, as it allows greater interaction. But I’d rather see the real deal.
A night out in Newcastle
Newcastle is contantly touted as the Mecca of Great British nights out (I’ve also heard comparisons to Ayia Napa. No, seriously). I know plenty of people who have been, yet have never made the journey myself.
It’s something I want to do really soon, and maybe 2016 will be the year. We shall see.
I had the chance to go to the viewing platform at The Shard back in October, when I went with my brother. But due to the price – an extortionate £20.95 for students and £6 dearer for adults – we decided not to bother and just walked past.
It’s actually a shame it costs so much. In Poland, it was less money to have door-to-door service from Krakow to Birkenau, including entry to both camps and the museum, as well as a guided tour of Auschwitz. If that doesn’t put it into some perspective, then nothing will.
I love cities and tall buildings, so to not go up the United Kingdom’s biggest for me would be like committing a crime. I’ll get round to it one day, and hopefully go there for a meal and drinks, too (I better get saving!).
I don’t know how I managed to avoid hearing about this for so long, after only finding out about Bounce Below a couple of days ago.
It’s essentially a big trampoline/play area, underground, in a cave, which is suitable for adults. What’s not to love about that?!
YouTuber Tom Scott recently made a video about it, and you can check that out below.
Revisit the British Museum
I went to the British Museum back in October, and was presently surprised. It was MASSIVE, and that’s both a blessing and a curse.
You can’t do it properly in a whole day, but an attraction that requires more than one visit – especially a museum – is not bad at all if you plan on revisiting.
Slightly north of Bounce Below in Wales is Zip World – home to the world’s longest zip-line, which up to four people can do at once.
It sounds cool, it looks cool, and I want to do it.
Giants Causeway is also in the UK, along the northern coastline of Northern Ireland, and us one of 26 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country.
It’s a naturally-occurring area consisting of about 40,000 interlocking hexagonal basalt columns, caused by an ancient volcanic eruption.
I might actually get the chance to visit the causeway when I go to Belfast at the end of the month. Fingers crossed!