Stonehenge, Wiltshire, UK.

UK

Flights to the United Kingdom: Four holidays for the price of one

Meet the locals

A holiday in the UK quickly dispels preconceptions of the 'shy and retiring' Brits. The best place to make new friends is in the traditional British boozer, where fruity local ales loosen tongues. Then join your new best mates chasing cheese down a near-vertical Gloucestershire hill, or scoffing stinging nettles alongside the similarly deranged in Dorset. Brits are at their loudest for the weekend football ritual, serenading the referee from the Premiership terraces.

Eat and drink

After years of culinary mocking at the hands of the French, fantastic British produce is finally being given the treatment it deserves. Fresh seafood practically jumps off your plate in Cornwall, and landmark Scottish restaurants overlook the very moors where your seared venison recently frolicked. Traditional favourites have rediscovered their mojo too. Try Melton Mowbray’s belt-loosening pork pies, now protected from imitation by European law.

Get cultured

Hipsters hanging out in London's Shoreditch clubs are today identified by their asymmetrical haircuts, lens-less spectacles and moth-eaten cardigans. But such is the eye-popping speed of change, fashions may have moved on by the time your flight to the UK lands. A similarly gaudy costume once worn by Elton John is displayed alongside medieval beheading devices at the National Museum of Scotland. You'll be surprised at how the words of a bloke who’s been dead nearly 400 years can still exhilarate at Stratford-upon-Avon's Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

Back to nature

The UK’s landscape is every bit as eclectic as its infamous weather. Seek solitude on a stroll through the bucolic Welsh valleys, hike Scotland's heather-hued Cairngorms, or brave the lunar-like coastline of the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. Legend has it that this natural wonder was built by a disgruntled giant called Finn McCool.

Fast facts

Where? The UK’s wet and warm(ish) climate would be a lot worse without the warming Gulf Stream. It’s as far north as New Zealand’s sub-Antarctic Auckland Islands are south.

Population: Wales may have the second smallest human population in the UK (3.3 million to Scotland's 5.5m, Northern Ireland's 2m, and England's 60m), but it beats all three hands down on sheep, with four woolly friends to every human. That still leaves some way to go to challenge the Kiwis' staggering 10:1 ratio.

Key dates: The UK once governed the largest empire the world has ever seen. Prince Charles declared its end, returning Hong Kong to Chinese rule in 1997.

Did you know? In the UK the furthest you can get away from the sea is just 75 miles (in rural Derbyshire for all you aqua-phobes).

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