back to top

17 Geeky Holidays To Take In The UK

From fossil combing to vampire hunting.

Posted on

1. Galloway

If you're a nerd for all things out of this world, head to Galloway for some of the best stargazing in the UK.

This gorgeous open fields and lack of light pollution in these glorious Scottish plains make for prime stargazing conditions. Camp under the stars and hunt for constellations, or book the Galloway Astro Centre for access to tools, work desks, and sleeping quarters.

2. Lacock Village

Every Jane Austen fan, Potterhead, and film buff should have the charming village of Lacock on their bucket list.

You can see the real-life Meryton of Pride and Prejudice and Godric's Hollow of the Harry Potter series in one go with a trip to Lacock. The National Trust site is a picturesque medieval village perfect for visitors who want to escape into a bit of fantasy, and the site has been seen in multiple films, also including The Other Boleyn Girl and The Wolfman.

Wander the town's quaint streets and admire the history, and don't miss a bite at the charming Lacock Bakery, or a drink at The Red Lion.

Find more Pride and Prejudice locations here.

3. County Down

If Game of Thrones rules your life, you can let it rule your holiday too with a trip to Northern Ireland.

The programme has filmed extensively across the region, with lots of instrumental scenes shot in County Down.

Stop off at Castle Ward, Tollymore Forest Park, Rowallane Gardens, and Inch Abbey to see the Winterfell Courtyard, the Godswood, and more memorable places from the series.

Advertisement

4. Oxford

There's really no better place to geek out than one of the brainiest places in the country: Oxford University.

Whether you're a bibliophile, film lover, trivia nerd, or architecture and history buff, you're bound to find something on campus or in the lovely surrounding city that will set your Geek Sense tingling.

Fans of Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials should explore the campus through Lyra's eyes, while Harry Potter fans can spot some familiar sites from the films. The library at Merton College is unmissable for anyone who loves that old book smell, while the Bodleian Library will stun you with its 9-million-strong book collection and string of famous patrons (from Tolkien to Oscar Wilde to five kings and 25 prime ministers). Grab some sustenance at The Natural Bread Company and dive in to the centuries of knowledge in the reading rooms, or soak it up with a walk around the beautiful campus.

5. Whitby

Gothic and horror literature fans will feel right at home in Whitby, where Bram Stoker himself went on holiday and was inspired to write Dracula.

The charming seaside town has a number of curiosities that will delight fans of vampire stories, steampunk, and Victorian history. Visitors shouldn't miss out on the creepy and fun Museum of Victorian Science, and cosplayers should check Whitby out during the Whitby Goth Weekend. Head to The Rusty Shears for a proper meal while you're there.

6. The Jurassic Coast

If you're a science lover or just fancy a hands-on holiday, head to Dorset's stunning Jurassic Coast for fossil hunting and beach combing.

The area spans from Dorset to East Devon and exposes visible remnants from the past 185 million years of natural history, going all the way back to the Triassic period. You can join guided fossil hunts, or follow the South West Coast Path at your own pace.

More about the Jurassic Coast.

7. Stratford-upon-Avon

Theatre junkies and Shakespeare geeks should head straight for the lovely city of Statford-upon-Avon.

Shakespeare's hometown is a charming day out and is a must for page and stage lovers curious about the roots of England's most famous playwright. A day in Stratford-upon-Avon will lead you through Anne Hathaway’s cottage, his mother’s childhood home, and the house where he spent his late years. Cap off the day with a meal at The Lazy Cow and a show at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

8. Liverpool

Music lovers can't miss out on Liverpool, hometown of the Beatles.

If you're keen, you can have an entirely Beatles-themed city break, starting with booking yourself a room at the Hard Day's Night Hotel. You can visit the childhood homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, check out the extensive museum at The Beatles Story, take a Beatles-themed bus tour, and enjoy a meal surrounded by band memorabilia at Blake's. Be sure to check out the Cavern Club, which appeared in the Beatles-inspired film Across the Universe, and hosts the annual International Beatles Week.

Advertisement

9. Cardiff

Allons-y, Cardiff is THE place for fans of the Doctor Who series.

The programme is shot almost entirely in Wales, with the stunning and historical capital being its home base. Check out the stunning Castell Coch, which morphed from a 17th-century manor into a German UNIT base over the course of the series, the National Museum of Wales, which has made multiple cameos, and the Tardis landing spot in Roald Dahl Plass.

If the Cardiff-born children's author's name stands out to you, you might want to take a break from Who and check out Dahl's childhood church in Cardiff.

See more Doctor Who locations here.

10. Cambridge

If you're an all-round brainiac, take a trip to Cambridge, where you'll be inspired by the picturesque scenery, but even more by the university town's history and commitment to academia. Lovers of book porn will feel quite at home.

The university dates back to the Middle Ages, and has seen some of the most brilliant modern minds across almost every discipline, from theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking to Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne, to theatre legend Nicholas Hytner. Its libraries are to die for, and the campus is host to nine different museums. You can follow the university through history on a guided tour, or simply wander the gorgeous area and hope some of the brain power soaks in by osmosis. Head for a drink at Anchor to overhear or join in on some dynamic student conversation, and don't miss a chance to try the area's grade-A street food.

11. Haworth

Fans of the Brontë sisters should head to Yorkshire for a visit to the fascinating Brontë Parsonage and Museum.

On the outskirts of the idyllic village of Haworth rests the Brontë Parsonage, where the literary sisters Charlotte, Emily, and Anne were born and spent much of their life. The estate has been turned into an active memorial and museum to the sisters and their works, and the surrounding moors provide an atmosphere that fans of Wuthering Heights will particularly love.

12. Broadstairs

If you were the kind of student who found working through a Dickens tome exhilarating, then venture to Broadstairs for an equally bookish and beachy holiday.

Dickens spent his own holidays in the region, at a residence called Fort House, later renamed Bleak House, after one of his most epic novels. Much of David Copperfield and Nicholas Nickleby were composed in Broadstairs during Dickens' stay at Fort House, and the seaside town now hosts the annual Broadstairs Dickens Festival every June, and is home to the Dickens House Museum. Keep the theme going with a drink at the Charles Dickens pub, or visit to its upstairs restaurant, Copperfields.

13. Highclere Castle

Visit the biggest star of Downton Abbey: the manor itself, Highclere Castle.

Whether you're a fan of the show or a complete history buff, the Jacobean estate is a must-see, with its stunning architecture and beautiful gardens. Highclere was built on the ruins of a medieval palace owned by the Bishop of Winchester, and has been the ancestral home of the Carnarvon family since the late 17th century, and the onsceen home of the Crawleys since 2010. You can take a tour of the house and grounds and spot your favourite scenes from the series, as well as visit Highclere's incredible Egyptian Exhibition.

Advertisement

14. Glastonbury

If you love a good legend, head to Glastonbury, steeped in the mythology surrounding one of Britain's most famous characters, King Arthur.

Home to the stunning ruins of Glastonbury Abbey and Glastonbury Tor, the fields beyond the English town are said to be the ancient king's burial ground. According to legend, the Abbey's cemetery was dug up under order of Henry II in the 12th century. A large oak coffin was discovered, containing the remains of a man and a golden-haired woman, and bearing a Latin inscription that could have been interpreted as "Here lies King Arthur buried in Avalon." The bones were moved to a tomb that was destroyed in 1538, and the place is still shrouded in fantastical mystery.

Even further-fetched legends connect Glastonbury with the burial of Jesus, the Holy Grail, and magical labyrinths.

15. Canterbury

Live your own Canterbury tale in this lovely medieval town in Kent.

The charming canal city is famous as a sacred spot for the Church of England, and for its role in the one of the most famous works of the poet Chaucer. The town dates back to the prehistoric era, when it was home to Celtic druids before it was evangelised by St Augustine, and while it has remained relatively small, making it a great getaway from the city, it now has a thriving arts culture as well as a deep historical connection to its literary and religious past. Check out the remains of Canterbury Cathedral, take a Chaucer-themed tour, or explore the area by canal boat.

16. Portmeirion

This picturesque resort on the coast of Wales will appeal to fairy tale lovers as well as fans of the cult show The Prisoner, which was filmed on the premises.

The village was constructed by architect and landscaper Clough Williams-Ellis between 1925 and 1976, and has the feel of a fantastical fairy tale village. The surreal environment was the perfect setting for the 1960s television show The Prisoner, following the mysterious inhabitants of a strange village (if you're a fan of Lost, hop on board for this one), and Portmeirion is now the home of The Prisoner Appreciation Society.

The self-contained village takes care of all your holiday needs – booking a room at the resort gives you access to the village and its beaches, not to mention the suspicious feeling you've joined the show and left the normal world behind.

17. Edinburgh

Whether you're a theatre geek, Harry Potter fan, history buff, foodie, or lover of classic literature, Edinburgh has you covered.

Book nerds should grab a bite at the Elephant House Café, a favourite haunt of JK Rowling when she was in early drafts of Harry Potter, and check out the city's phenomenal Literary Pub Tour. Theatre lovers and comedy geeks should book (way in advance!) for the internationally famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival. And if you're a Scotch afficionado or keen for a gourmet twist on local dishes, head to the Whiski Rooms.

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!

Dismiss