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British Isles Attractions

The United Kingdom has plenty of attractions to tempt the visitor. Londonand its sights has long been a magnet for tourists. Most head for the Tower of London, England’s most important medieval fortress and home to the Crown Jewels. The royal seat of Buckingham Palace is a must as are other landmarks such as Big Ben, the Palace of Westminster, St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Trafalgar Square. The London Underground is a great way to get around but if you are short of time hop onto a  double-decker tour bus or into a black London Cab and ask the driver to show you as many sights as possible in an hour. If you do have the time then head for Covent Garden and theatreland and see a London show or concert. Finally the London Eye on the South Bank will give you spectacular views across the city. Royal enthusiasts will love Windsor Castle just outside London one of the Queen’s official royal residences and Althorp House, Northampton the childhood home and final resting place of the much loved Diana, Princess of Wales. The other capital cities of Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast also make ideal short break destinations with plenty to see and do. Throughout the United Kingdom museums, art galleries, stately homes, cathedrals, abbeys and castles abound. Please see Culture for further information.
 
Attractions for children are numerous and include Legoland Windsor, Madame Tussauds waxworks in London, Magna science adventure centre near Sheffield and the award winning children’s science museum called Eureka in Halifax. There are several theme parks with thrilling rides such as Alton Towers in Staffordshire and Thorpe Park in Surrey. Excellent zoos can be found in Chesterand Edinburgh.Meanwhile Woburnor Longleat Safari Park make a good family dayout as does Jersey’s award winning Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Excellent aquariums are Deep Sea World in Fife, Blue Planet in Cheshire and the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth. The National Railway Museum in Yorkis also a wonderfulplace to take children.
 
Train enthusiasts will also enjoy the many steam train rides available in the UK. Popular lines are the Ffestiniog Railway in Wales, the Watercress Line in Hampshire and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway which runs from Pickering to Goathland. Ship lovers will enjoy Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard where you can see the Mary Rose, HMS Victory and HMS Warrior. Chatham in Kentalso has an Historic Dockyard where you can visit 3 other ships. Meanwhile in Brixham harbour, Devon you can see a replica of Sir Francis Drake’s ship the Golden Hind.
 
Britain’s summer social season begins in June with horse racing at Royal Ascot followed by world famous tennis tournament at Wimbledonlater in the month. The well known Henley Royal Regatta takes place in July followed by the Glyndebourne opera season during August. All these events attract a lot of visitors. Other big attractions during the year are the Chelsea Flower Show held in London in May, the Royal International Air Tattoo in Fairford, Gloucestershire in July and the Southampton International Boat Show in September. (Please see Festivals for other annual events)