While 2023 was not a record-breaking year for tourism in the United Kingdom, it was certainly a step in the right direction with visitor numbers just shy of those in 2019.
And it seems that American travelers just love visiting the U.K. – a recent report showed that American tourists are one of the most important to the country, with a 28% increase in spending for 2023 compared to 2019.
So, where are the best destinations in the U.K.? And why? Here’s what’s happening in 2024 at some of the country’s most iconic places that might help sway you.
A trip to Britain is not complete without visiting London – it’s the third most visited city in the world for a reason.
Of course, there are many timeless reasons why you might enjoy the city, such as iconic landmarks like Big Ben and Buckingham Palace and popular annual events like the Chelsea Flower Show or Notting Hill Carnival.
But 2024 will have plenty of its own unique draws that make London an essential, such as the opening of hotly anticipated luxury hotels like Park Hyatt London River Thames and Mandarin Oriental Mayfair.
In 2024, you will be able to experience a newly opened shopping arcade, Battersea Power Station, and get a new 360-degree view of the city in its Lift 109, or celebrate the renaissance of one of the world’s most famous toys on its 65th birthday at Barbie: The Exhibition at the Design Museum.
And if that wasn’t enough, lovers of one of Ireland’s most famous exports will be able to get an authentic taste of it in London later in 2024 when Guinness opens a new microbrewery and kitchen in Covent Garden.
When there a host of European cities that you should definitely not visit in 2024 due to major events or overtourism, London’s appeal only grows.
The Scottish National Gallery has been refurbished and is open for visitors in 2024, while the city added a new Michelin-starred restaurant last year in the shape of Timberyard.
One of the best ways to enjoy a stay in Edinburgh in 2024 will be at the eagerly anticipated luxury 100 Princes Street hotel, which should open in the spring.
Visitors to one of the U.K.’s most historic and cultural cities in 2024 will be treated by the opening of a new Boxpark in the city – a stylish venue for street food, bars, live events, and art that has previously only been seen in London.
You will be able to experience the country’s biggest free celebrations of African music and culture, Africa Oye, when it takes place in Liverpool in the summer.
2024 will also be a big year for Liverpool’s most famous sons, the Beatles.
In July it will be the 60th anniversary of the release of their album A Hard Day’s Night.
This means that the already amazing Liverpool Beatles Museum will have a host of additional artifacts and treasures as part of a celebratory temporary exhibition this summer.
Brighton is one of the U.K.’s most popular coastal cities and combines the delights of a traditional, historic seaside town with a trendy vibe that has evolved thanks to many young people from London moving here.
The city is easy to access, being only a 30-minute train ride from London Gatwick Airport, and with more flights from the U.S. expected to connect to here in 2024.
Brighton is home to the biggest pride celebration in the country, which takes place in early August in 2024.
Another reason to visit in 2024 is that England’s National Gallery will be loaning some of its finest artworks from artists such as Rembrandt and Renoir to other museums around the country to celebrate its 200th anniversary, and one of the beneficiaries will be Brighton Museum and Art Gallery.
The U.K.’s second-largest city has recently hosted major events such as the Commonwealth Games in 2022, so a lot of money has been spent on improving the city center and transport links.
You can enjoy luxury shopping at the Bull Ring, great dining and nightlife at the Mailbox, or end-of-year festivities at the famous Frankfurt Christmas Market.
One of Birmingham’s (and the United Kingdom’s) most iconic brands, Cadbury, will be celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2024.
The chocolate maker will have a host of special events going on throughout the year at the family-friendly attraction Cadbury World in Bourneville in the south of the city.
If you want to experience some of the best nature that the U.K. has to offer, then head north to Scotland and its beautiful Isle of Skye.
This secluded island is easily accessible by road and plays host to many hugely popular annual events, including the Isle of Skye Highland Games and the Skye Live Festival.
The island is a wonderland for solo travelers, whether that’s hikers who’ve come to lap up the incredible scenery, or less active travelers who want to sample the fine food and drink of cute towns such as Portree.
I’m going out on a limb to say that Skye was my favorite place I visited in 2023, so I guess I’ll be heading back again in 2024.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com