Britain is undeniably one of the most beautiful areas of the world. With stunning coastlines, incredible European landmarks, historical architecture, and thriving landscapes, there is an abundance of famous British landmarks worth visiting if you are planning a trip here.
London alone attracts over 30 million visitors each year, but there is far more to Britain than just what London has to offer. If you venture further afield, you will be treated to many iconic landmarks unique to certain parts of Britain. With such vast historical and cultural differences between England, Wales, and Scotland, each country has something special for you to see.
Below are the 55 top landmarks in Britain you should consider visiting. Whether you want to escape the city and immerse yourself in nature, or you love to learn about the history of important architectural feats, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Disclosure: Destguides may receive commission for purchases made through links in this article at no cost to you.
Using the map of United Kingdom, you can explore all the landmarks.
Perhaps one of the most recognisable and famous landmarks in Britain is the London Eye. This giant Ferris wheel that spins above the River Thames offers 360-degree views of the capital and has 32 pods that each represent a London borough.
Riding the London Eye is an enjoyable activity that allows you to see the pretty London skyline from a new angle. You can even sip champagne as you relax in one of the more decadent pods. The London Eye is a London landmark that you should experience at least once in your life.
Situated near the River Thames, Big Ben stands to the north of Westminster Palace. It is entertaining to catch Big Ben on the hour and waiting to hear his chimes ring out across the city of London. It is a must for any London bucket list!
At nearly 200 years old, Big Ben is one of the iconic British landmarks. Tourists from all around the world gather to see this famous clock throughout the day. This is also a great photo opportunity, and the backdrop of Westminster looks stunning against Big Ben’s gothic architectural style.
Westminster Abbey is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where royalty gathers for coronations and weddings. This gothic style church is next to the parliament, and you can visit the inside to see the beautiful stained-glass windows and historical tombs. You should definitely consider adding it to your London 4 day itinerary!
The cathedral is an imposing building and an important part of British Royal history. The details on the outside and inside of the Abbey are breathtaking. Tiny statues adorn the entryways, and the towers are magnificent. It is good to see the church before or after visiting Big Ben since they are close to each other.
This is a really famous landmark in London, known for being the 900-year-old fortress that protects the crown jewels and previously held infamous prisoners. Not many big cities have castles in the middle of them, so the Tower of London is definitely worth visiting when in London for a weekend!
You can book a tour of this eerie castle to see royal artefacts and meet the Yeoman Warders – aka Beefeaters – that used to imprison and execute hundreds of traitors throughout history.
You can also see the legendary Ravens that guard the tower, watching them roam around and be fed by the Ravenmaster who takes care of them. This is a fun and interactive day out that anyone from kids to grandparents will enjoy.
Covent Garden is a bustling shopping hub in London’s West End district. While it stretches across nine shopping streets, most of it culminates in the main plaza, which is filled with independent cafés, luxury stores, and famous chocolatiers.
Whether you want to sample some of London’s tastiest food in a local restaurant or sit and observe as street artists perform in the square, this is a great British landmark that has something for everyone, whatever you enjoy doing. If you want to experience modern London life, then this is the perfect place for you.
Tower Bridge is a famous bridge in London with a distinct blue steel structure. This bridge is open to pedestrians at all times, and the walk across is not only just a great photo opportunity but also allows you to learn more about the history of the bridge.
If just walking across the bridge is not enough, you can go inside the bridge and learn even more about how and when it was built and why the steel is such a striking blue colour. At certain times, the bridge opens to allow tall ships to pass through, and it is exhilarating to see such a historic bridge still working today.
Though some people may say it is a tourist trap, Buckingham Palace should definitely be on your British landmarks list when you visit the capital. As the Royal family's official residence, the atmosphere outside is entertaining as people come to try and catch a glimpse of the Queen.
The surrounding area is stunning – the gardens are landscaped to perfection. The Queen Victoria Memorial is really striking, with the gold statue towering over you as you make your way up to the famous gates.
It is worth trying to time your visit for 11 am on weekdays (or 10 am on Sundays) to catch the changing of the Guards, as this is an enjoyable event to watch.
St Paul’s Cathedral is an instantly recognisable landmark that stands at the highest point of the city. This is another impressive London Cathedral that has been used by influential figures throughout history, welcoming Royal weddings and important figures’ funerals.
If you are an art lover, it is worth going inside the Cathedral as the interior is beautiful. There are intricate architectural details on the walls and paintings covering the ceiling. You can even climb the famous dome for amazing views of the whole of London.
As one of the most famous museums in London, the National History Museum has many exhibits that display various natural specimens that help us understand more about the world we live in.
Not only does the Romanesque building itself look incredible, but the inside features high ceilings and grand staircases that allow you to make your way around the museum.
There are fun activities for children and rotating informational exhibits that explore natural history in detail. If you are a fan of animals and history, or just want to see the colossal blue whale skeleton that is the lobby’s centrepiece, this is a great way to spend a morning.
Brighton is a wonderful coastal city that attracts many visitors because of its colourful shopfronts and vibrant nightlife, but one of the biggest reasons locals and tourists alike flock to the city centre is to see the grand pier.
This part of Britain is renowned for its fun and liberal nature, and the pier is no exception. With rides and restaurants galore, the pier is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon at the beach. From the pier, you also get great views of the coastline that stretches along the city towards the Marina.
Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest castle that is currently occupied in the world. Whilst the Queen officially resides in Buckingham Palace, it is said that she spends most of her weekends relaxing in the wings of Windsor Castle.
The vast grounds are beautiful, and large, open gardens surround the castle. You can book a tour to see some of the famous artwork displayed inside the castle and watch the Guards change, similar to Buckingham Palace.
A trip to Blackpool is a quintessential British holiday, and the Blackpool Tower is a massive part of that. The tower overlooks the beach and hosts several function rooms inside, including the famous Strictly Ballroom that hosts Ballroom dancing competitions throughout the year.
At night the tower lights up in multiple different colours, illuminating the entire beach and is beautiful to see. This is a really fun tourist landmark, and the view of Blackpool from the top of the tower is incredible.
The Angel of the North is an unusual contemporary sculpture by the famous architect Sir Antony Gormley. It was built to represent the miners that had previously worked beneath the Angel for two centuries.
It is a striking sculpture whose size is difficult to grasp until you can see it up close. You can also take a nice walk in the surrounding green area. This is really just a fun photo opportunity, but it is an iconic landmark that British people know and love.
A visit to Warwick Castle is one of the most exciting days out in Britain. This famous landmark allows you to learn about the history of the castle, and the surrounding area of Warwick, with opportunities to visit the dungeons and watch live jousting as it would have been hundreds of years ago.
Warwick Castle is great throughout the whole year, but at Halloween, the Castle comes alive. The Castle hosts several spooky events, allowing you to stand face to face with some of the ghouls that are said to still haunt the castle today.
This is a beautifully diverse part of England that was added to UNESCO’s list in 2001. Beginning at Orcombe Point in Exmouth and continuing for 95 miles to Old Harry Rocks in Dorset, the site boasts rocks from three geographical periods, which is an incredibly unusual feat.
The Jurassic Coast is a gorgeous part of Britain to travel the coastline and learn more about Earth's natural history. There are many towns with museums and visitor centres along the coast that allow you to explore the history even further.
Stonehenge is another famous landmark on the UNESCO list. Though it may appear to be just a rock formation, this is a prehistoric monument unique to any other. Nobody knows why Stonehenge was originally built, but it is widely thought that it was for people to gather for religious ceremonies.
This is a fascinating sight to see, and you will be left with many questions. Stonehenge makes for a great photograph, and the nearby woodland area is a beautiful place to wander with nature.
The Lake District is the largest national park in England and is home to the highest mountain in the country, Scafell Pike. This region is known for its jaw-dropping views of multiple lakes and rocky mountains scattered throughout the landscape.
It is ideal to spend a few days in the Lake District area so that you have enough time to explore the wonders it has to offer. But, if you are short of time, a long drive through its valleys will leave you desperate to return for more.
Hadrian’s Wall is one of the most famous landmarks that the Roman’s built during their empire in Britain. Along the wall, you can see many forts and observation towers that were used for defence purposes.
Though it takes many days to walk the wall's complete length, it is relatively easy to complete. If you only want to spend an afternoon here, one of the best places to view the wall is at Corbridge Roman Town. Here, you can also explore a museum, an old fountain house, markets, and workshops.
As the second-largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe, York Minster is an impressive Cathedral that is absolutely stunning from the outside. The Cathedral took over 250 years to build and played a prominent role in national affairs during the Siege of York.
The building's inside is even more vast, with many archways framing stained glass windows on each side of the Minster. This is a lovely Cathedral to walk through and listen to the guide as you absorb the city's turbulent history.
When you visit this old, cobbled street, you are transported back in time to fourteenth-century York. Timber frame buildings tower over you, lining the street with old-fashioned bakeries, family businesses, and, bizarrely, a variety of Harry Potter-themed shops.
The Shambles is an excellent landmark for anyone interested in seeing Britain’s history played out before them. At least two days in York is needed to make the most of your time in this picturesque, historic town!
Known for its folklore relating to Robin Hood, Sherwood Forest is a National Nature Reserve packed with lots of diverse wildlife. As well as being one of the most beautiful and green nature reserves in Britain, the forest is also dotted with many caves, which makes it so fun to explore.
You can opt for a guided tour, which will be led by a guide who will tell you lots about the history of the forest and the myths surrounding it, or you can also explore at your own leisurely pace. This is a perfect way to appreciate the natural beauty this country has to offer.
At Liverpool’s historic waterfront sits the Royal Albert Dock, which is still used by boats today. Surrounded by museums and art galleries such as the Beatles Story and the Tate, there is something here for everyone to enjoy.
The Dock is beautiful at night, and the water is illuminated – making it the perfect spot for an evening stroll. You can even grab a bite to eat at one of the nearby restaurants and spend the whole day here, exploring this famous landmark.
Do as the Roman’s do, and explore the Roman Baths that are the heart of this city. With over 2,000 years of history hidden inside this landmark and around the rest of Bath, the preservation of original features is known to be one of the world's best.
It really makes you feel like you live in 70AD, and as you explore the world-famous bathhouses and taprooms, you will be fascinated with the historical inhabitants of Bath and the legacy this city holds.
Another place within Bath that illustrates the city’s important history is Bath Abbey. This is an incredible example of British Gothic architecture, and the Abbey was rebuilt most recently in the 16th century.
The outside of the Abbey is beautiful and was crafted from the iconic sandstone that Bath is so famous for. Admission is free, and this is a landmark that is not to be missed if you are in the Bath area – it makes for a great photo!
Land’s End can be found at the very south of Cornwall, at the bottom of Britain. Here, you can sit and watch the waves crash against the rugged rocks, or take a picture with the iconic Land’s End post. Cornwall is one of the most beautiful and famous places in Britain, with stunning landscapes and idyllic views of clear seas.
St Michael’s Mount is a mini island separated from the Cornish coast by a stone causeway that becomes exposed for specific periods throughout the day. The island has a small village and harbour and the town of Marazion, where St Michael's Mount is located, is also a popular UK holiday destination in Cornwall.
At the top of the Mount sits a castle open to the public to explore and learn more about this exciting island. This is an enjoyable day trip, and the thrill of catching the pathway accessible at the right time cannot be beaten.
The Eden Project is an unusual attraction based in a reclaimed china clay crater. The iconic domes are home to thousands of plant species, creating a natural habitat for plants that would otherwise not be able to thrive in the United Kingdom.
Exploring the inside feels like you are in the Amazon rainforest, with many trees and plant species that are native to much warmer climates being able to grow together. This is a famous landmark that showcases the stunning British landscape with an exotic twist.
Stratford-upon-Avon, commonly referred to as Stratford, is a country town in the county of Warwickshire. It is most famous for being the birthplace of the renowned playwright William Shakespeare. Stratford is a quaint town with lots to do, and the River Avon runs through its centre.
The house where Shakespeare was born has been preserved and turned into a museum that you can visit to learn more about his life and work. This is an informative attraction that those who love his work will enjoy.
Similarly to the Lake District, it isn't easy to explore all that The Cotswolds offer in just one day. As an area of outstanding beauty, The Cotswolds is home to several small villages with houses built from striking sandstone, a large number of parks and rolling hills.
As one of the biggest landmarks in Britain, there is plenty to do in this area - from taking a scenic stroll along a national trail to exploring nearby castles. This is a famous British landmark not to be missed if you enjoy the beauty of nature and love to explore quaint villages.
Canterbury Cathedral is a spectacular building steeped in over 1400 years of English history. It became a place of worship during the Roman invasions of England and was also home to the Benedict monks until King Henry VIII dissolved the monastery in 1540.
Today, it forms part of a World Heritage site and is the symbolic leader of the global Christian community. It is one of the most famous British buildings, and as you wander around, you will be amazed by the stories it tells through the art and statues inside.
Founded in 1840 from an exotic garden, Kew Gardens is known worldwide for holding the most diverse collection of plants in one place. There are over 8.5 million species of plant and fungi in its impressive herbarium.
These Botanic Gardens are another World Heritage Site on this list of British landmarks, and it is one of the most visited attractions in England. As you wander around the gardens, you will be treated to colourful plants that you have never seen before. You can also visit the extensive library to learn more about the species that are kept there.
First opened in 2004, with phase two being added in 2009, the Welsh Millennium Centre is situated in the middle of Cardiff Bay. It is the centre for Welsh natural art and hosts multiple events throughout the year, including opera, musicals, ballet, and comedy theatre.
The centre was designed by the Architect Jonathan Adams, and the building itself is attractive with a copper coloured roof which is meant to represent different elements from all over Wales. Even if you don't have tickets to an event, it is worth visiting as the centre is fun to see and the surrounding harbour is beautiful.
Wales has a multitude of castles to visit, but Cardiff Castle in the centre of the city is one of the most popular amongst tourists. It was built in the late 11th century and has repeatedly been involved in conflicts throughout history.
The castle is conveniently located next to the bustling shopping streets, and it is open every day between 10 am and 4 pm for the general public to explore. You can climb up to the top of the castle and get great views of the whole of Cardiff.
Another beautiful castle in Wales is Caerphilly Castle. Gilbert de Clare built it in the 13th century as part of his campaign to maintain control of Glamorgan. Even the vast lakes surrounding the castle are human-made!
I highly recommend exploring the inside of the second-largest castle in the UK (after Windsor), as the interior stone walls are bare and fascinating to see. You can really imagine how life was here for royalty in medieval times as you tour the castle grounds.
This stunning Aqueduct that crosses the River Dee became a World Heritage Site in 2009. The impressive design of this aqueduct by civil engineers Thomas Telford and William Jessop was initially planned as a series of locks, but after Telford joined Jessop, the plans were changed to just a singular Aqueduct.
There is plenty to do here - from Llangollen Wharf, you can take horse-drawn trips along the canal, or you can even board the aqueduct motorboat, which takes you across the Valley.
Sir Clough Williams-Ellis built this iconic tourist village between 1925 and 1975, and a charitable trust now protects it. It was built in the style of an Italian village, with colourful houses and extravagant architectural flairs.
The village and its gardens are among the most popular attractions in Wales, welcoming over 20,000 visitors every year. Due to its Italian style, Portmeirion has been a location featured in many films and television shows, such as the 1960's TV show The Prisoner. On a sunny day, you will feel like you are exploring an Italian coastal town.
Snowdonia National Park is an area of outstanding beauty that was established in 1951. Many people visit here to climb Mount Snowdon, the second-highest mountain in the UK outside of Scotland.
If you do not want to hike to the summit, there is a train ride that you can board, which offers stunning views on the way up to the peak. Whether you want to climb Snowdon or not, it is worth visiting the surrounding park to take in the picture-perfect scenery.
The coastal path covers 186 miles of outstanding coastal landscape in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Beginning at St Dogmaels in the north, towards Amroth, it is one of 16 national trails in England and Wales.
The main walking route is way-marked by the recognisable acorn symbol, which helps you find your way through the coastal path. Wales is known to have some of the most beautiful coasts in Britain, so if you enjoy scenic views and long walks, this is definitely a famous landmark in Britain that you should check out.
As they are such a stunning landmark, it's no wonder that Swallow Falls has been declared an outstanding area of beauty. The falls are surrounded by diverse forestry and are often featured on postcards.
These waterfalls cascade down the landscape, and if you are feeling brave, you can walk down the steps and stand on a platform near the edge of the water. If you do not want to do this, there is ample car parking along the A5 - if you park up here, you can see the waterfalls from above.
This is a medieval fortress that overlooks the town of Conwy in North Wales. Built by Edward I of England during his time in Wales, the castle sits next to the River Conwy, and in the distance, you can even catch a glimpse of Snowdonia and its surrounding National Park.
The interior staircases have been fully restored so that visitors can go inside this famous landmark - wandering through this castle’s rich history is the perfect way to spend an afternoon in Wales.
St David’s Cathedral is a Romanesque-style Cathedral, famous for being attacked by Vikings and then rebuilt by King Alfred. St David’s sits in the smallest city in Britain of the same name.
The religious building itself is made from purple sandstone, and the inside is breathtakingly beautiful – the windows are decorated with stained glass. If you stand in the centre of the church and look up at the ceiling, you will be stunned by the art that adorns it.
Whether you are religious or not, this is one of the great British landmarks to visit as it encapsulates so much British history.
Famous for its vast, green spaces, Brecon Beacon’s National Park showcases Wales gorgeous landscape. If you take a walk through this area, you’ll be treated to beautiful waterfalls and grassy moorland whilst surrounded by grazing mountain ponies and sheep.
The National Park achieved International Dark Sky Reserve status in 2013, which means that nearby light pollution is restricted, and on clear nights, the views of the stars from Brecon Beacons is stunning. This is a lovely walk for anyone who wants to reconnect with nature and see Welsh animals in their natural habitat.
Edinburgh Castle is the glorious beacon of the city. If you arrive in Edinburgh via train, you will catch a glimpse of the beautiful castle on your approach to Waverley Station. As one of the oldest fortified places in Europe, the castle has a colourful history as a royal residence, fortress and prison.
This is one of the most impressive castles globally, and it is home to the Tattoo that takes place during the summer every year. If you don’t want to enter the castle, it is worth visiting the grounds to see how impressive the castle is up close.
Marking one end of the Royal Mile, the Palace of Holyroodhouse is the Queen’s official residence in Scotland. Not only is its architecture magnificent, but the interior is stunning - paintings adorn the walls and ceilings, and large, stone staircases spiral between floors.
You can learn about the history of the palace or wander through the private garden by taking a guided tour at any time throughout the year. This is an interesting landmark to visit when in Edinburgh, especially if you love neoclassical architecture.
Dean Village in Edinburgh is a hidden village near the city centre that is exploding with perfect photo opportunities. The village was built around the Water of Leith and offers a tranquil oasis in the busy city centre.
This is the perfect place to explore with no time restraints; as you wander the cobbled streets, you can enjoy the charming buildings and bridges that this tiny village boasts. If you want to take a slight detour from the city's centre and surround yourself with beautiful greenery, Dean Village is a great landmark to visit.
Initially opened in 1890, Forth Bridge is a distinctive steel structure that currently holds the record for the longest cantilever bridge and represents Scotland’s industrial feats.
Whilst you can book a train that passes over the UNESCO-recognised bridge for an up-close-and-personal experience, the small town of Queensferry offers the perfect view of Forth Bridge, alongside two other famous bridges.
In the evening, this is a gorgeous spot to watch the sunset with a drink, and then enjoy a relaxing stroll along the Firth of Forth.
The Royal Mile is the road that stretches through the old town, between Edinburgh Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Overlooked by iconic Scottish tenements, the cobbled street has many alleyways (called closes!) that branch off, allowing you to explore the heart of the city and get lost in Scotland’s rich history.
The Royal Mile also features many attractions and some great places where locals and tourists alike gather to eat and drink – this really is the bustling hub of the city.
Holyrood Palace’s large Royal Park is located in the city centre of Scotland’s capital. For stunning views of Edinburgh and its castle, it is worth the small climb to the highest point, known as Arthur’s Seat. On the ascent, you will be surrounded by lots of greenery and diverse flora, making the climb relatively easy.
Arthur’s Seat itself was formed from an extinct volcano hundreds of years ago, and it is said to be named after King Arthur. The area is also rumoured to be the inspiration for the mythical town of Camelot.
The Science Centre has sat on the south bank of the River Clyde in Glasgow since 2001, and it is still one of Scotland’s most popular ticketed attractions. The Science Mall inside draws the most visitors. Here, you can explore several interactive exhibits and even go inside a planetarium to do some star-spotting.
If you or your children love science, this is an entertaining but educational way to spend an afternoon – especially useful if you need to escape the rainy Scottish weather.
Glencoe is a picturesque village in the Highlands featured in several films, such as James Bond’s Skyfall and many Harry Potter movies. Driving through the valleys here transport you to another world as you take in the beautiful scenery and get to see Scottish wildlife like the fluffy Highland Cows.
There are also some activities that you can do locally, such as sea kayaking on Loch Leven or skiing at the Glencoe Mountain Resort. Though if you venture into the Highlands, you will see many villages that look similar - Glencoe is really special and worth singling out.
Is the Loch Ness Monster real, or is it just a myth? If you take a trip here, you might find your answer. In an area famed for its Lochs, this is one of the most beautiful in Scotland. Located near Inverness, Loch Ness is nestled in-between rugged scenery and has an air of mystery surrounding it.
Loch Ness also has an exhibition centre and a café just in case you get peckish - you can even take a mini-cruise on the Loch to explore, and perhaps catch a glimpse of Nessie for yourself.
Near Fort William sits Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the UK. This mountain used to be an active volcano, and you can see this through the light-coloured granite scattered around the summit.
If you don’t fancy tackling the mountain, the surrounding area is lush and green – a gentle walk in this area is pure bliss. If you are a keen climber, it is worth ascending Ben Nevis's summit for the gorgeous views of the highlands that can be seen from the top.
Harry Potter fans will love this popular British landmark. The Glenfinnan Viaduct is the famous railway bridge that the Hogwarts Express crosses in the films. You can even board a Jacobite steam train yourself, which runs to Fort William in the summer months and gives you access to some incredible views across the Scottish countryside.
There’s also a visitor centre for you to explore, which tells the history of the Glenfinnan town and allows you to get a great photo of a Hogwarts-esque steam train crossing the Viaduct throughout the day.
The Kelpies are famous for being the largest equine sculptures in the world. This pair of 30-metre-high horse heads are made of steel and were constructed as a tribute to Scotland's horse-power heritage.
The Kelpies are based at The Helix park, which also has a visitor centre and other attractions to explore.
You can even take a tour of the inside to get a closer look at these magnificent structures. At night, these statues are illuminated, projecting a purple glow over the surrounding area – this is the best time to visit them!
Taking its name from the Dutchman Jan de Groot, who was responsible for the ferry between Scotland and Orkney, John O’Groats is well-known for being the furthest British destination from Cornwall’s Land’s End.
Surrounded by beautiful scenery and an abundance of wildlife, you can take a photograph with the famous ‘Journey’s End’ signpost or explore the nearby quaint village.
Whilst some find it slightly gimmicky, this is a fun landmark worth visiting if you want to see some more of the stunning Scottish coastline.
As you can see, Britain is far more than just London and has a rich offering of famous landmarks for you to explore on your trip here. From glorious coastlines to fun tourist attractions, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
If you are planning a trip to England, it is worth extending your trip to visit Scotland and Wales too. Venturing to these countries will allow you to experience various sights and cultures and help you understand what makes Britain so great.
This article was edited by Loredana Elena.
For more interesting articles about United Kingdom, read:
For some great articles about landmarks, check out:
Get excited about travel by subscribing for the latest articles and announcements.
Below are some recommended related articles
Get excited about travel by subscribing for the latest articles and announcements.