The UK is home to more of the world’s must-see destinations than anywhere else

While overseas travel has been firmly off the cards for most of us this year, there is something to rejoice about. According to Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel List, which features 500 of the ‘most thrilling, memorable, downright interesting places on this planet ranked in order of their brilliance’, more of the world’s must-see destinations are right here on our humble British Isles than anywhere else in the world.

Lake District
The Lake District. Image: Getty Images

Seeing as we’ve become a nation of staycationers in 2020 (thanks pandemic), it’s music to our ears that we don’t actually need to step out of the UK to visit bucket list-worthy places.

So what are they? Well, they range from breathtaking landscapes, such as the Lake District, to top attractions like the British Museum.

giant's causeway
Giant’s Causeway. Image: Getty Images

While none of the UK travel destinations found their way into the top 10 – those hallowed spots are reserved for the likes of Jordan’s Unesco Heritage Site of Petra (number 1), the Galápagos (number 2) and Australia’s Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park (number 3) -, a total of 34 UK-based attractions and sights made the overall list. That makes the UK the most concentrated area of must-visit places than anywhere else in the world, and that’s something to be proud of.

Must-see destinations in the UK

These are the top 20 highest-ranking UK travel destinations, attractions and sights that made the Lonely Planet Ultimate Travel List (with rankings):

  1. Lake District, England (number 40)
  2. British Museum, England (number 56)
  3. Wales Coastal Path, Wales (number 82)
  4. Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland (number 102)
  5. Jurassic Coast, England (number 116)
  6. Brecon Beacons, Wales (number 153)
  7. Snowdonia, Wales (number 161)
  8. V&A Museum, England (number 170)
  9. West Highland Way, Scotland (number 172)
  10. Glen Coe, Scotland (number 212)
  11. Seven Sisters Chalk Cliffs, England (number 219)
  12. Loch Lochmond, Scotland (number 224)
  13. Stonehenge, England (number 227)
  14. Skara Brae, Scotland (number 238)
  15. Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, Scotland (number 248)
  16. Bath’s Roman Baths, England (number 267)
  17. Tower of London, England (number 283)
  18. St Paul’s Cathedral, England (number 291)
  19. Scotland’s Northeast 250, Scotland (number 302)
  20. Christchurch Oxford, England (number 314)
Ultimate Travel List
Lonely Planet

Ultimate Travel List 2, £19.99, Lonely Planet

To see the full list of Lonely Planet’s top 500 must-see places around the world, you’ll have to buy the Lonely Planet Ultimate Travel List 2 book.