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From Stonehenge's prehistoric builders to the Saxons, Romans, and Celts, the UK's history and traditions are far richer than the stereotypical cucumber sandwiches and tea. England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland all have much to offer by way of tourist destinations, and each will vie for your attention. Every region has a unique identity, culture, and completely different accent! Don't just take our word for it — make your way to at least one spot in each area to draw your own conclusions.
From England's beautiful countryside in the Cotswolds and seaside cottages at Bournemouth; to Wales' wild landscapes of craggy mountains and deep forests; and Scotland's castles, lochs, and tartan kilts; you will be charmed by every place in turn. Head across the Irish Sea to Belfast or Londonderry and discover the Queen's subjects on the Green Isle are even friendlier than those you left behind. When it's time for supper, sample the Welsh cawl in Cardiff, traditional fish and chips in London, or haggis in Edinburgh, and for a sip of Guinness stout, there's no place better than an Irish pub.
There are several airports to fly to across the UK. Flights to one of London's (LON) five airports will probably be the cheapest but there are also several international connections to Manchester (MAN), Liverpool (LPL), Birmingham (BHX), Cardiff (CWL), Leeds (LBA), Newcastle (NCL), Edinburgh (EDI), Glasgow (GLA), Aberdeen (ABZ), Belfast (BFS) and several other regional airports.
Most major airlines have flights to London so competition is stiff and flights cheap, especially if you book well in advance. Air Transat, Air Canada, and British Airways all have direct flights between major Canadian airports and London. Flights to other airports across the UK may involve a stopover in London or in continental Europe.
There's a reason why the weather is such a frequent topic of conversation — there is much to discuss! It is quite normal to experience four seasons in one day in the UK. From -10°C in the winter, temperatures rise as high as 30°C in the summertime, depending on which area of the country you're in. Scotland and Northern England are cooler, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the West of England are wetter, while the South of England remains comparatively warmer than the rest of the country. Temperatures drop substantially at higher altitudes so dress warm for the mountains.
Although you can always count on the rain no matter what time of year you're visiting, temperatures are much higher from June to August which is the peak travel period. April to May or September are better periods for cheaper accommodation rates and airfares although the weather will be cooler and wetter. Winters are dark and rainy, and in recent years, there has been a substantial amount of snow as far south as London. Airfares tend to be more expensive around Christmas and the New Year, so don't travel at this time unless you really need to. Book your trip for the spring or autumn period, or even summer if you can plan ahead, and see the country at its best.