What do you Travel For? Nine must-do-now experiences in Great Britain and Northern Ireland

What’s your first thought when you think Great Britain? Fish and chips? Afternoon tea? Big Ben? The Royal Family? Red telephone boxes?

Sure, we all love a quintessentially British icon and when visiting you should absolutely tick them off your list. Yet, what if that list also featured a collection of lesser-known, wonderfully unexpected experiences and locations? A list of unmissable things to see and do and places to visit that have traditionally slipped slightly under the radar.

Social Travel Summit 2018 will proudly take in such a place: Belfast, a city of culture and the gateway to some incredible locations across Northern Ireland.

So with just under two months to go until the Summit, it’s time to share inspiration for some of those must-do experiences worth travelling to Great Britain and Northern Ireland for right now.

1. I Travel For…Food and Drink

Ulster Fry, champ, Irish whiskey (not whisky!), seafood, cheese… Get to know the host city with an all-encompassing sample of what they put in their bellies on a Belfast Food Tour.

Belfast Food Tour Teaser from Taste & Tour NI on Vimeo.

2. I Travel For…Relaxation

Think you mastered stand-up paddleboarding on your last fam trip? How about incorporating yoga on Bristol’s stunning Harbourside with SUP Bristol. Best start practicing your downward dog and sun salutations now!

3. I Travel For… Sites

Have a beer and soak up views across the Irish Sea at one of the top ten beach bars in the world, the Ty Coch Inn, in the small coastal village of Porthdinllaen, North Wales.

4. I Travel For… Stories

Experience a very different sort of London underground hidden deep below Royal Mail’s central sorting office. Ride through abandoned, one hundred year old tunnels on the Postal Museum’s Mail Rail and hear stories from those who dutifully kept London’s mail coursing through the city for 22 hours a day. Delightfully geeky!

Ride Mail Rail at The Postal Museum from The Postal Museum on Vimeo.

5. I Travel For… Adventure

Soar like a bird above the bubbles of The Eden Project – home to the world’s largest indoor rainforest – on Hangloose Adventure’s Skywire, England’s longest and fastest zip-wire experience located around an hour and 30 minute drive from Exeter.

6. I Travel For… Discoveries

Take a stroll around the backstreets of Manchester’s iconic Northern Quarter seeking out world-renowned street art on an Underground Street Art Tour and Workshop. Then head off to a disused mill – a symbol of the city’s industrial past – where a local artist will show you how to get to grips with a stray can so that you can make your own masterpiece.

7. I Travel For… Fun

Leeds’ nightlife rivals that of any major British city and it’s particularly good for quirky bars. For a slice of hipster heaven head to the cool, vintage-style Outlaws Yacht Club; drink cocktails from teapots at the Alice in Wonderland-themed, eclectically decorated The White Rabbit; while the Belgrave Music Hall is where to go to enjoy craft beers and cask ales across three floors of a 1930s venue that comes with a fabulous roof terrace, live music events, film and comedy or art exhibitions.

8. I Travel For… Culture

Although The Great Exhibition of the North – a summer-long cultural programme – will have wrapped up by the time STS comes around, its legacy will make a visit to Newcastle essential no matter when you go. An enduring must-see/must-selfie is Sir Antony Gormley’s iconic Angel of the North which stands at 20 metres high and 54 metres wide, dominating the landscape. It turned 20 year old this year with a range of events to mark the occasion.

9. I Travel For… The Unexpected

Hop aboard a cruise and out to sea from Aberdeen harbourside for your chance to spot dolphins and even the odd minke whale! Not a fan of the water? No problem – get yourself to the vantage point at Torry Battery where you can meet conservationists from the RSPB for talks and a loan of their binoculars!

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