Out of Town

9 quintessential British Countryside experiences

How to make the most of the British outdoors? There’s no denying that the UK boasts some of the best countryside experiences in the world, from the snow-capped peaks of the Lake District to the rolling green hills of the Cotswolds.

So, what can you do in the country when the weather is on your side?

From munching on pub grub to hiking the nation’s peaks, here’s our pick of the best things to do and essential countryside experiences.

Visit a traditional pub

Britain’s pubs are famous worldwide – a staple aspect of our culture. And some of the best traditional pubs are nestled in stunning countryside settings. For an upscale dining and drinking experience, head to an establishment such as the Gunton Arms in Norfolk, which is set in a 1,000-acre deer park.

Take to the water

Britain’s oceans admittedly remain cold pretty much year-round. But after five minutes, you’ll get used to it – we promise. Some of our best beaches are located in Cornwall, Brighton and Bournemouth. Prefer to stay dry? The Lake District has plenty of water-based activities, from kayaking and river cruises to boat rentals.

Visit a glorious garden

When the sun is shining, there’s no better way to enjoy your day while saving a few quid than by packing a picnic. Head to a bakery to buy some fresh bread, and don’t forget your cheese, ham and mayo.

Hike the UK’s highest peak

Fancy yourself as a sure-footed climber? Then dare to ascend the UK’s highest peak. Ben Nevis, located in Scotland, is 1,345 metres tall, and the views from the top are incredible. If you don’t want to head that far north, attempt to hike Scafell Pike in the Lake District. It’s the highest mountain in England.

Visit an ancient site

Britain has no shortage of ancient sites – one of them needs to be on your bucket list. Stonehenge, located in Wiltshire’s countryside, is up to 5,000 years old and truly is staggering. And daily, we run Stonehenge tours of this prehistoric gem, giving you an insight into the site’s history and mystery.

Explore a quintessentially British village

Let’s return to the Lake District for a second to discuss some of England’s most picturesque chocolate-box villages, all surrounded by stunning countryside vistas. Must-visit villages include Ambleside, Windermere and Grasmere.

Ride a steam train

Mayflower Brassknocker Basin

Want to give your feet a rest while you relish the sights of the British countryside? Jump aboard a steam train and tootle through hills, valleys and woodlands. The Jacobite is likely our most famous train ride, passing over the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland. Check out our full range of rail trips.

Visit a Dark Sky Park

Britain’s remote countryside’s lack of light pollution makes for fantastic stargazing opportunities. Locations in the UK that have International Dark Sky recognition include Exmoor, Kielder, Galloway Forest Park and – of course – the Lake District.

Go Camping

If you’ve no need to retreat indoors at night, why bother? Instead, pack your camping gear and head to a picturesque British countryside village. You’ll find campsites boasting facilities ranging from bathrooms to launderettes across the country.

Need any advice on where to head this spring and summer? Our day tours from London are your ticket to uncovering the thrilling beauty of the British countryside.