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Visit the UK - so much to see!

Summer in the UK with mum and writer Shani Bishop.

Photographs: Unsplash

Text: Shani Bishop

You try to travel and see your new country when you live overseas. When you return home, your home country can feel new because you haven’t visited for ages or things have changed. We have been exploring the UK since returning, and here are my top tips for summer.

Surfing and water sports

The Cornish coast is a mecca for surfers. The waves roll in off the Atlantic, providing a challenge for experienced surfers, whilst safe inlets allow beginners to have a go. Cornwall is gorgeous, with sandy beaches, quaint villages and breath taking scenery. Climate change means our summers are long and hot nowadays. To find the best beaches and how to plan your trip visit this website.


French wine companies are buying lots of land in the South of England. The South of England has the same chalky hills and a climate similar to how the wine-growing regions of France were 30 years ago. France will eventually become too hot to grow Champagne, so wine companies are looking for cooler climate alternatives to grow grapes. Taittinger, Pommery, and German giant Henkell-Freixenet, are all pursuing this strategy.

This, together with local English vineyards, means you can tour the south of England, tasting the wine in many locations. My local vineyard is called Denbies - they have a great wine tour that you can book online and a fantastic café. A few years ago, they won an award in a blind taste test against French champagne brands.

"J.K. Rowling lives in Scotland, and much of her inspiration for the stories came from Edinburgh."

Harry Potter

There is much to see in England and Scotland related to Harry Potter. There are many tours of the London film locations like the Millennium Bridge, Leadenhall Market, Reptile House, London Zoo and King’s Cross Station. The Hogwarts Express departs from Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross station, so you’ll find a baggage trolley disappearing into the magical realm through a wall.

Next on your list will be the film sets in North London. You can taste Butterbeer and walk through the Great Hall, Diagon Alley and Gringotts Wizarding Bank here - you’ll be astonished at the attention to detail.

Harry’s flying lessons took place at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland. The castle has some broomsticks for you to have a go! Many people also visit the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland while visiting Edinburgh.

J.K. Rowling lives in Scotland, and much of her inspiration for the stories came from Edinburgh. There are tours and many landmarks, including Victoria Street, Candlemaker Row, Greyfriars Kirkyard, aka Harry Potter Graveyard and The Elephant House Café.

Stately homes

When people think of stately homes, Downton Abbey is often the image which springs to mind. You can actually visit Downton Abbey and sometimes stay overnight via AirBnB! Like many of the Royal palaces, it is open for the summer from July to September. You can book a tour, picnic or enjoy a Magic at the Movies afternoon. Find out more here:

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