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5 Things You've Just Gotta Do: UK Edition

Channel your inner Brit through music, sport and, of course, pub-hopping


1) Soak up the music scene
Some of the world's best music has come out of Britain and has defined generations (remember that little thing called Beatlemania?). Whether you want to channel the days of Brit Pop or are on the hunt for the latest and greatest hip hop artist, the music scene is alive and well in the UK and it would be a shame to end your trip without checking out a show or two. When in London, stop by O2 Academy Brixton to see everything from small acts to bigger performers like The Lumineers and A$AP Rocky. If you're in the mood to sweat it out and dance the night away, check out XOYO for more of a nightclub scene with awesome DJ sets.

2) Go back in time to centuries past
I'm a huge history buff, so a visit to the UK is a dream for me. Checking out the Wallace monument in Scotland, Westminster Abbey in England and the medieval castles throughout Wales are just a few ways you can get your history fix in Britain. These countries have seen their way through many wars, and played a major part in the great World Wars, so be sure you check out the Imperial War museums throughout England.

3) Hike throughout the Highlands
As you head north throughout Scotland, you'll come across some of the most beautiful landscapes the world has to offer. Get your exercise by hillwalking or hiking through the highlands, where you'll pass by mountains, lochs, waterfalls and tumbling rivers (perfect for photographers!). The more adventurous types can tackle Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain. Standing at 4,409 feet tall, Ben Nevis is hiked by approximately 100,000 people every year and you can even join a yearly race every September, where 500-odd competitors race to the top.

4) Pub hop the night away
Ah yes. If there's one thing that Britain does VERY well, it's pubs. The perfect place to head to with a few pals for some pints and a plate of fish & chips, the pub can offer a warm retreat from rainy weather or be the go-to place for a big night out. In Edinburgh, check out The Bow Bar, a classic-style pub located just below the castle with one of the city's best selections of beers and whisky. And when you're sightseeing in London, make sure you pop by Carnaby Street, a pedestrianized shopping district that really comes to life when the after-work crowd spills out of the pubs and onto the streets with their pints and food.

5) Channel your inner athlete
Whether you're a footie fan, a tennis pro or just enjoy dolling up for a day at the races, the UK is a sport fan's dream. Home to both the English and Scottish premiership leagues, Britain hosts some of the world's best football players, not to mention the oldest and richest clubs. The world's most famous tennis tournament also takes place on British soil as the greats gather from around the world to try their hand at the Wimbledon Championship (this year taking place from June 24th-July 7th). But if you really just prefer the social aspect of sporting events, join Contiki at the races on the day trip to Royal Ascot. Throw on your glam gear and rub shoulders with the rich and famous, as you toast with champagne and place your bets at this ultimate British event.

Written by Lauren McPhillips

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