With a civilization that goes back thousands of years and boasting some of the greatest writers and thinkers in the world, the United Kingdom is practically bursting with places to experience. Made up of four countries: England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, the tourist experience can be quite varied. Clubbing in London or taking a walking tour of the Scottish countryside, you won't be bored for a minute. Visit London, the capital and marvel at the Changing of the Guard in front of Buckingham Palace. Or travel to St. Andrews in Scotland and play golf in the country that invented the game. Visit the quaint villages of Wales and attempt to pronounce their names. Travel up to Northern Ireland to see the many castles, monuments, and monasteries that dot the landscape. There is simply no way to avoid having an amazing trip.
There are several ways to get to the United Kingdom depending on where you want to visit. If London is your thing, Gatwick can be somewhat cheaper than Heathrow, especially when you fly indirect. Stanstead is another airport approximately the same distance from London as Gatwick but prices into that airport tend to be higher.
In addition to the better known Heathrow and Gatwick airports, Manchester, Liverpool, and Birmingham are also gateways into England and the prices run about the same. Continental is often the least expensive airline into the United Kingdom and serves almost all the major airports. Similarly, the major cities of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are cheaper to fly into than the smaller places. For example, Glasgow is almost half the price of Inverness.
There are many airlines that service the United Kingdom. The major ones are Virgin Air, British Airlines, Scot Airlines, and Atlantic. They all serve the major airports and are the most convenient ways to fly into and out of the United Kingdom. Easyjet carries more passengers than any other British Airline. Loganair, based in Scotland, carries passengers from island to island, taking up the slack of British Air which stopped flying the so-called thin routes. Loch Lomond Seaplanes operates both charter flights and tour flights around the Scottish coast and may be the best way to see that part of the country. Londonderry and Belfast are both served by low cost airlines if you want to get to Northern Ireland.
There really is no wrong time to visit the United Kingdom. London especially has no real off-season as so much of interest takes place indoors. Scotland, on the other hand, is best visited in the springtime when the weather is most stable, and autumn is beautiful in the hillsides. Northern Ireland has the best weather from April until October, but even the winters tend to be mild and rarely snowy. The same holds true for Wales, although it is recommended that you start in May rather than April. Weather can be unpredictable for all of the United Kingdom so in a sense, you may wish to look up an event you'd like to attend and plan your trip based on that.
The United Kingdom has so much to offer the tourist. Beautiful countryside, exciting cities, and an amazing history are all draws to these island nations.
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