Two thirds of the summer is gone, but there is no need to feel down. Traveling in the company of friends or with a romantic travel partner will make this August as eventful and exciting as the first two months of the summer. And TourBar's statistics show that solo travelers looking for travel partners are as active this month as ever. In fact, during the last two months, TourBar website experienced a 25%% increase in users' activity and the number of trip postings from users increased by 17%%.
TourBar's most popular destination this August is the United Kingdom. This is not a surprise. The summer festival season has already become a British tradition, and this August art and music scene of the United Kingdom will be particularly vibrant.
It is virtually impossible to list all the noteworthy festivals, but here are just a few you really need to have in your calendar: Wilderness Festival in Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire featuring live music, contemporary arts, theatres and dining experiences; BoomTown in Winchester, Hampshire presenting еvery kind of musical genre from ska, folk, gypsy, reggae, punk and disco to electro-swing, jazz, blue-grass, bass, jungle and techno; V Festival with its absolute chart-toppers; Reading and Leeds Festival, the world's oldest popular music festival in existence, featuring rock, alternative, indie, punk and metal bands; art and music Festival №6 held in the fancy location of Portmeirion - in itself a magnet for travelers; Bestival - a 4 day boutique music festival at Robin Hill; Festival of Love at London's Southbank Centre – a must-see for you and your romantic travel partner. In addition to offering, great music and entertainment festivals provide a great opportunity to make new friends and meet interesting people from all over the world.
However, according to TourBar's statistics, festivals are not the most popular reason to travel this August, chosen by only 22%% of users. On the other hand 30%% of UK travelers mentioned sightseeing as their purpose of traveling. London of course is an absolute hotspot for those who want to enjoy the country's cultural and historical heritage. Among London's most interesting landmarks are the Tower of London located near Tower Hill underground station and just a few stops away from 17th century wonder St. Paul's Cathedral; theTrafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, and Big Ben all three located within walking distance between Westminster and Charing Cross underground stations, and the top destination for admirers of Royal history, Buckingham Palace.
Each of the UK's other large cities – Birmingham, Bristol, Newcastle, Leeds with its concentration of pubs and nightclubs due to a large student population, Sheffield, Manchester and Liverpool with its Beatles Museum – makes its own claim for historical and cultural diversity. To some travelers, however, these cities rank lower than ancient cities like Lincoln, Canterbury, York, Durham and Winchester or the university cities of Cambridge and Oxford. And even this is not a full list of what the United Kingdom has to offer.
It is hard to talk about sightseeing and not mention the country side and picturesque rural districts from Cornwall to the Lake District, or the natural wonders - Cheddar Gorge in Somerset; The Needles on the Isle of Wight; Seven Sisters cliffs in Sussex; Fingal’s Cave on the Isle of Staffa – to name just a few. Finally the UK's historical castles are another sort of attraction that many travelers are eager to visit: Warwick Castle in Warwickshire, Bodiam Castle in East Sussex, Skipton Castle in North Yorkshire, Castle Howard (familiar to television and movie audiences as the fictional “Brideshead,”) and the star of the Downton Abbey series Highclere Castle.
Even though when compared with traditional beach destinations the UK falls somewhat short, it still has a lot of very decent beaches to offer and some of them will surprise even the pickiest of travelers. As confirmation of this fact, as many as 17%% of TourBar solo travelers to the UK chose beach break as the purpose for traveling. Everyone who is after a traditional seaside experience should choose Norfolk beaches offering excellent sand and picturesque sunsets. Achmelvich Beach in the Highlands is free from crowds, pollution and noise. Barafundle Bay in Pembrokeshire is privately owned and wonderfully clean. Blackpool Sands is set in a sheltered bay surrounded by evergreens and pines, and is one of South Devon's most beautiful natural treasures. St Oswald's Bay and Man O'War Cove in Dorset are home to a famous landmark, Durdle Door - the limestone arch separating these two beaches. Llanddwyn Island, the three-mile-long beach known as the 'Beach of Romance' due to a fanciful legend connected with this place is simply perfect to spend a day or two with a your romantic travel companion.
As many as 15%% of travelers to the UK selected shopping as the purpose for traveling. London has a great collection of department stores and markets – Fortnum & Mason, the official grocer to the Queen and the quintessential English store that has been selling food, luggage and clothes since 1707; Harvey Nichols, a must for any fashionista; Marks & Spencer at Marble Arch; Brick Lane Market with both junk and germs and Columbia Road Flower market, an absolute must-see for any traveler. If you are ready for some serious shopping - Trafford Center in Manchester is your clear choice. It's the second biggest shopping center in the United Kingdom and it offers not only one of the widest selections of shops and outlets, but also a unique atmosphere. Its Rococo/late Baroque design, with eclectic elements of Art Deco and Egyptian Revival will excite any imagination. Anyone who wants to escape the crowds and prefers a classy, out-of-town shopping experienc - will like Bicester Village in Oxfordshire. It is located only an hour away from London and offers a wide range of designer brands. As a nice extra, there is free Wifi at Bicester Village along with a good variety of cafés and restaurants.
10%% of travelers to the UK chose sport as their purpose for traveling. The United Kingdom offers many exciting sport activities as well as sport events you and your travel partner will enjoy. The United Kingdom has open seas, lakes, rivers and canals suitable for all types of yachting and boating. The extensive canal system is also navigable. The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is the national body that oversees all forms of boating, including dinghy and yacht racing, motor and sail cruising, sports boats as well as narrowboats, and personal watercraft. The RYA website is very comprehensive and a good place to find information on recreational sailing in the UK. There is also a wide range of sailing clubs or commercial sailing schools offering sailing courses and yachts or boats for hire. For travelers who like extreme sports Snowdonia, Wales offers the world's first inland surf lagoon - Wavegarden. When talking about sport travel in the United Kingdom, it is impossible not to mention rugby, football, cricket, tennis and golf. There are more than 20 stadiums in London and its suburban area which is constantly hosting sport events that attract thousands of sport fans.
Only 6%% of travelers to the UK selected foodie trip as their purpose for traveling. Traditional British cuisine is substantial, yet simple and wholesome. Here are just a few dishes any traveler should try - roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, Cornish pasties, steak and kidney pie, fish and chips, bread and butter pudding, treacle tart and spotted dick. In London as well as in other big cities, one cannot only try the traditional British food,make sure you try other ethnic cuisines such as Chinese, Indian, Italian and Greek.
Finally, no review of the United Kingdom would be complete without mentioning its nightlife. Clubs in London range from the very luxurious to down-to-earth. For those looking for trendy upscale bars, you should consider heading either The Collection or Walton Street in South Kensington or take a trip to the West End and visit bars such as The Sanderson Hotel, Cocoon and Moose. Once you get inside, you will see for yourself why London is the best city in the world for Cocktails! Speaking of cocktails, Nightjar is one London bar you should not miss. Shoreditch offers a distinctly hip vibe due to the number of artists living in the area and is much less expensive when compared to places like Soho. If you are looking for a venue with a superb cocktail bar and lounge as well as an exclusive night club, Amika on South Molton Street is the place to be. Mayfair is also very much recommended. But London is not the only city in the UK well-known for its nightlife. Due to a large student population, Manchester's nightlife is practically as busy as its daylife. Fallowfield, Oxford Road and Deansgate offer a great selection of upscale to budget bars and pubs.