The United Kingdom is flocked by millions of foreign students each year who aspire to further their studies by taking admissions to prestigious universities like Oxford University and the University of Cambridge. While international students are deeply involved in their studies, they can easily lose touch with the real world. Especially during this pandemic, many students are forced to lock themselves up in their dorms or hostels and attend classes online. This has left the students with no social lives at all and also has greatly damaged their social skills.
Therefore, a student studying in such conditions must take a leisure break in between the study sessions to regain some of the lost social skills. This will also help the students to come back to studying with a fresh mind and a newfound enthusiasm.
This article aims to put forward some of the ways an international student living in the UK can take a leisure break while studying.
- Take a tour of London
If you are in the UK and you have yet to visit the capital, you are missing some of the greatest sights the country has to offer. If you want to get an idea of the UK’s rich history, then London is the best place to start from. From the river Thames to the Tower Bridge, this city is known around the globe for its breathtaking scenery and diverse culture. You can also take a tour of its Natural History Museum to know its previous generations and their teachings. This museum will also help you understand how London came to be known as one of the best cosmopolitan cities in the world. On top of that, it will also help you understand the different ethnicities around the area and of the country, and how they influenced the course of history. Another major attraction is The Tower of London which was constructed by Conqueror William to watch over the entire city as well as to help with the traffic of boats on the River Thames during those times. It dates back to 1078 and was originally named the White Tower. This tower was also used for the confinement of prisoners. Among its many famous prisoners, two of the most popular ones were King David the Second and Princess Elizabeth. The Tower was later also used for security purposes when it became the only place that was used to invigilate the city. Among its dark past lies the story of two gruesome murders which took place in this tower. Those were the murders of Henry VI and two of the wives of King Henry VIII.
Apart from these, to explore the royalty of the UK, you can go to Buckingham Palace. Since the reign of Queen Victoria, this has been the permanent home for the British royal family. Hence, it must be at the top of your list if you want to explore London. Next comes the Whitehall Road, which is famous for two popular tourist attractions: Big Ben and the British Parliament. And if you are an art lover, you have two visits to the National Portrait Gallery. This gallery contains and regularly exhibits the best works of art around the country. One more place worth paying a visit to is the South Kensington area famous for the museums it contains. This little area contains more museums than you would imagine. So overall taking a complete tour of London is a great leisure detour for an international student studying in the UK.
Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland. If you are in Scotland or a nearby part of the UK, then Edinburgh has to be among the top 3 destinations worth visiting. Among many historical sites worth a visit, Edinburgh is most well-known to the public for its hugely popular Majestic Castle. This is a fortress constructed in the 13th century AD, which towers over the city and hosts the historic One O’clock Salute which is held every day at the Half Moonbattery. In addition to that, it also hosts the Scottish Crown Jewel in its Royal Palace. Another major attraction of Edinburgh is the famous Stone of Destiny, which is over a century old and was given back to the Scottish government after being kept in London for more than 700 years! If you just drift around the place a little bit, you can also witness the historic Scottish Natural War Memorial which is built to commemorate the sacrifices made by several Scottish war heroes. If you stand on top of the castle, it is fairly easy to view the entire landscape of the city. The top offers a 360-degree full view of the city and at night time this view is extraordinary!
On top of that, one other reason to visit this place is due to its Scottish culture and cuisine. Scottish wine is one of the favorites among locals and tourists alike. Apart from that, the local dishes also stand apart due to their unorthodox tastes and flavors compared to the traditional UK dishes. These foods are a must-try for any student studying near Edinburgh or even in Scotland. Other places to stay visit while in Edinburgh are the Old Town’s Royal Mile due to its centuries-old architecture and the boutiques and cafes that bring out the true Scottish culture of this town. Other places of attraction include Princess Street, which has become popular for its dining services as well as the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh which serves the much-needed peace in this bustling capital of Scotland. Therefore, if you are a student in Scotland, you must visit this place as a healthy detour from your normal student life.
- Trip to Bath
Bath is nothing like Edinburgh but it has its following among the tourist population. Bath is a small city but it makes up for its small area with a plethora of things to visit and see. Its waters are called the “healing waters” due to their cleanliness and purity. Bath is a beautiful city that can give history buffs a serious appetite for traveling as it is named after its famous Roman-era Baths. Its three hot springs form the fountain of curing as these waters are known to contain over 42 different types of rare minerals and salts which can cure various diseases and disorders. This is why the waters of Bath are also called The Healing Waters. Apart from these, due to the immense popularity of these springs, several high-quality spas have grown up in the area providing much-needed relief in these tough times. The Thermae Spa is one of them which offers original Bath spring waters and thus, gives a taste of the original healing waters of Bath. These waters rush through underground canals crashing through various underground rocks, thus accumulating the minerals and then spilling out at 46.5 degrees Celsius at a speed of 275000 gallons per day.
Bath is a city known for its ancient Roman history but it is also famous for its historic Georgian architecture. Throughout the city, themes that reflect Georgian architecture can be witnessed. Many of these old buildings have been sealed and are being preserved by the current government. Apart from these, you can also visit the curved Royal Crescent which stands as the symbol of the Georgian period. In addition to these, the city’s museum, which was previously the No. 1 Crescent, gives an authentic sneak-peek into ancient Georgian life and its fascinating culture. Therefore, any student who is in the UK must visit this city not only because of the things stated above but also because Bath can be covered in a short period as it is not that big of a city.
- Visit the Stonehenge
Stonehenge is arguably the most popular one on this list. It has appeared on numerous lists throughout the world of top ten mysteries due to its nature and the placement of its huge stones. Stonehenge is placed in a very strategic way to form the shadows in a very calculated manner. Stonehenge is probably one of the oldest public structures that you can find on Earth. It is estimated that it was built in the Neolithic Age. However, scientists have long struggled to explain how primitive humans were able to drag these massive stones, which weigh several hundreds of tons, all the way from their origin to the current place. This is because, at that time, there were no machines, and horses and other animals were still not domesticated by man. Not only that, but the round placement of these stones is also really peculiar as if they were being used to tell something. Their shadows are long due to their sizes, and it is proposed that these shadows were used to send a message. But the question is: A message to whom?
Nowadays, the government has constructed a state-of-the-art visiting center for tourists near the site. The entire site sprawls to about 20 Square Kilometres. In the visitor section, you can find pictures and probable explanations of the structure and ancient history of Stonehenge but the scientists are still not sure. This place is extremely popular among the tourists and so, you have to plan days and book a ticket for your visit to Stonehenge. Just near it is a city from medieval times called Salisbury City. Not only at, but you will also be thrilled to visit one of the most famous cathedrals in this country dating back to as early as the 1200s! On top of that, the old city center has many fine churches and several vintage buildings with typical medieval architecture. All in all, if you love anything historic, then this is the site for you. This is why Stonehenge is a great site to visit for any student studying abroad in the UK.
- Visit the wonderland of Windsor
Windsor is a historic but fun town located just West of London. A short train ride is sufficient to reach here from London. Windsor is most famous among the tourists for its Royal Windsor Castle, which has been the most popular castle among all the castles in the UK. This is a medieval-style castle built several centuries ago today that housed the British royalty as well as protected the royal family in times of enemy attacks. The castle has tall walls on all four sides which are thought to be made to protect it from attacks. It is believed that it was constructed around 1078 by William the Conqueror. It is currently the largest inhabited castle in the world! If you ever visit this grand castle, do not forget to visit the Queen’s Gallery and the Royal Dining Hall. These two places were the favorite of the British Royal Family.
Apart from these highlights, the castle also possesses a beautiful State Apartment section, which is further decorated with painted ceilings as well as medieval-style wood carvings that magnify the beauty of the section. Moreover, there is the famous St. George’s Chapel and the Order of the Garter. These two sections are specially suggested for archaeology enthusiasts. Not only these, but for nature lovers and avid photographers, you can go to the magnificent castle grounds which are said to be over 10 Kilometres long. These castle grounds are truly full of nature’s authentic beauty and provide a 360-degree panoramic view of the castle and its grand design along with all its surroundings. If you are still not done, you can visit Legoland Windsor, which has been constructed just a few miles away from the castle to serve as a fun family resort. Along with that, please do visit the Royal Ascot, which is the most popular horse riding destination in the United Kingdom and hosts some of the biggest horse riding sessions in the country. Due to all these reasons, Windsor Castle is worth a watch for any student studying abroad in the United Kingdom.
It is no secret that the United Kingdom is one of the most popular study-abroad destinations in the whole world. Keeping a list of these places handy will help you get the much-needed breaks that every student needs once in a while.