While buses and trains are a great way to get around in the United Kingdom, there are more interesting and different ways of traveling around in style. Here are just a few of the options available to tourists.
First of all, why stick to traveling down on terra firma when you can get around up in the air?
Paramotoring is a relatively new sport that is gradually becoming the rage in the U.K. What is paramotoring and how is it different from paragliding, you ask. Basically, according to Oliver Smith, a reporter for the Telegraph who tried it out a while back, it’s pretty much paragliding with an engine on your back. He said you don’t need high ground to take off and can quite easily get up to 45 miles per hour in speed as you fly along. A self-proclaimed nervous flyer himself, Smith took to the new sport like a duck to water, or should that be a duck to air?
While not suitable for traveling widely around the countryside as that could get pretty expensive, why not try out a helicopter ride over the city of London? You’ll get an incredible view of all the famous sights from up there in comfort, without having to navigate all that traffic. Basically you fly at 1,500 feet and get a real bird’s eye view of the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, the Tower Bridge and the London Eye, among other famous spots.
Back down on the ground, try another unique form of transport to see the rest of the city. London Duck Tours offers a ride in a DUKW (normally pronounced “duck”), which is basically an amphibious truck, used by the U.S. military in WWII to transport troops and their equipment over land and water. These days, you can travel on one in the city, driving the streets and then launching off dramatically into the River Thames for a different view of the city.
Take another flight of fancy and see the United Kingdom, traveling around the coastline and viewing the countryside from the air in a different style, on a microlight flight.
These flights run regularly from London all the way to the Isle of Wight and on a full day package you can fly over Leeds Castle, right over the lush green countryside, to the coast. Then you take the route over Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters to the Isle of Wight.
Hot Air Balloon:
If a more leisurely and rather old-fashioned mode of flight is your choice, take in the view from the basket of a colorful hot air balloon. The quiet is simply amazing up there.
While you won’t really feel any sensation of rising, you will note the ground dropping away as the balloon takes you into the wild, blue yonder.
Once up there, you will be able to gaze down on villages and towns below, as well as the colorful tapestry of the fields and countryside.
If you prefer to keep your feet, or wheels, firmly on the ground then a campervan hire is a great option. You can drive around all over the country at your own leisure, parking in one of the many camp sites located all over the United Kingdom. You will have all the normal mod cons to relax, cook a meal and sleep in style. Wake up the next morning to a tasty home-cooked breakfast and then hit the road all over again.
Just in case the above suggestions aren’t unusual enough for your tastes, a video showing the top ten really weird ways to travel is included below.
So there you go, some really original ways of getting around in the United Kingdom, traveling in style in a different and unusual way and, of course, having loads of fun!
By Anne Sewell