Even if you don’t know Hamlet from King Lear it’s awesome to go back in time and visit Shakespeare’s home base, Stratford-upon-Avon. Tour the Bard’s Renaissance-era birthplace and for weekend fun catch stellar performances nearby at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. It’s an easy, cheap daytrip since there are frequent trains between London Marylebone station and Stratford-upon-Avon.
Fancy a walk by the glimmering sea? Brighton is a youth magnet for its relaxed atmosphere, quirky shops, and (rocky but beautiful) beaches. Brighton is just a one-hour train ride from London Bridge and London Victoria stations.
Soccer fans will love Manchester, England’s third-largest city and fan central for the team Manchester United.
At 620 feet deep, Loch Ness lake in Scotland is Great Britain’s deepest lake and is home to the famed monster (or so they say!). Maybe you’ll be lucky and catch a glimpse of Nessie. The lake is less than an hour from Inverness.
In Edinburgh the Edinburgh Dungeons group offers ghost and graveyard tours and there’s literary pub tours, too.
In Northern Ireland’s capital Belfast, learn the fascinating, sobering history of this region’s civil strife through a walking tour of sectarian sites.
Wales, meanwhile, is an unofficial land of castles, with more than 400 historic sites. Go to Wales in mid-September for delicious eats of all kinds at the Abergavenny Food Festival, which also boasts demos and masterclasses.
Step back in time in York, northern England’s military capital under the Romans. In addition to Roman ruins you’ll stroll among lanes of medieval and 18th-century architecture.
For sun and surf the Isle of Wight is an easy ferry ride from England’s mainland, and you’ll see beautiful mosaics of gods, nymphs, and gladiators at the 3rd-century Brading Roman Villa. If you can, try to prolong your Study Abroad stay to catch the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, held every June.