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Before you leave the shores of this small spot you’re calling home, be sure to make the most of what’s on offer.

From the wilds of the Scottish Highlands to the old-style pubs of Ireland, the breathtaking scenery will leave you reeling and a slice of history awaits in every ancient alley. Read on for the top five places to visit beyond the buzzing metropolis of London – and an added bonus? Not one is more than a few hours away from the capital.

Best for outdoor adventure: Wales

Miles of craggy coastline and sheer cliff faces that plunge into pounding waves make Wales a popular destination for thrill-seekers the country over. A recent tourism drive dubbed Heart of Adventure has made activities such as kayaking, white water rafting, extreme ziplining, abseiling and off-roading all the more accessible in the often overlooked wilds of this area. Wales is also famed for its gorges and caves and it’s the caving centre of the UK, with eerie and challenging trails through bat-infested caverns. There’s no end to outdoor activities here that you wouldn’t always associate with the UK but, in fact, are right on London’s doorstep.

Best for drinking: Dublin

The Irish pretty much invented drinking – well, that’s not strictly true, but they arguably do it with more commitment than any other nation in the world. The streets of the capital city are bursting with traditional pubs with low-beamed ceilings and beer brewed on site. Victorian boozer Stag’s Head, near Trinity College, is one not to miss if you want to learn the true meaning of a pint. Then of course there’s the Guinness Storehouse with seven floors dedicated to the stout. And when you’ve had quite enough of day drinking and the luck of the Irish is still on your side, head to Temple Bar where you can dance red-faced and limbs flailing into the morning.

Best for culture: Liverpool

This smog-stained industrial city in the North was labelled the Capital of Culture in Europe a few years ago, which is surely a claim worth checking out. As the hometown othe Beatles, the city holds a special place in every Brit’s heart but, beyond the Fab Four tours, there’s a lot more to explore. Tate Liverpool and the Walker Gallery have long displayed work by cutting-edge British artists and hosted the acclaimed Turner Price in 2007. The life-size cast iron Another Place sculptures on the beach are striking and the city is awash with art placed out on the streets for the public to enjoy.



UK Trip: Capital escapes
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