Only got a week to spare? Follow this 7-day UK itinerary to power through England and Scotland.
Everyone knows that when you jet set to Europe, you need to spend at least two weeks there to make your money’s worth. Unfortunately for me, I only had seven days. With this being my first trip to Europe, I wanted to see as much as I could despite my tight timeline. So instead of sulking, I made the best of it and filled as much of my schedule as possible while I was in London and Scotland. And I’m here to share my 7-day itinerary of the UK with you.
A 7-day itinerary to the UK
1. Day 1 – Overton: Little town dreams
We recommend taking a red-eye so that you can try to sleep for most of the 13-hour flight. Because that’ll be the hardest part. Once you hit Heathrow Airport, it’s all smooth sailing from there. Our first stop is Overton, a quaint village in Hampshire. It’s a gorgeous town that’s the perfect getaway from the hustle of a typical day in Singapore. We’re taking it easy so that there’s time to recover from pesky jetlag.
Check into The White Hart, a historic pub and inn that’s a haven for both travellers and locals. If you’re lucky enough to arrive on a weekend, the Sunday roast menu is a must-have. But the all-day brunch menu has plenty to look forward to as well. Savour a full English breakfast with sausage, eggs, toast, and authentic black pudding on the side. If your plane ride was a bumpy one, sink down on the plush beds for a nap. But not for too long, because we highly recommend taking the time to explore the sights.
The town is quiet, with a handful of cars and buses passing by. Its lush greenery is a sight to behold as you walk through the edges of the village. The one thing you might hear is the sound of the River Test flowing. Its crystal clear waters are home to over 100 species of flora and fauna, and you might even catch a glimpse of wild ducks swimming around. Afterwards, settle yourself at bars like The Red Lion or The Greyhound for a drink and a good book. Quiet moments like these are rare to come by if you’re accustomed to city living, so take the opportunity to soak it in.
2. Day 2 – Bombay Sapphire Distillery: An old paper mill turned boozy haven
Now here’s one of the highlights of this 7-day itinerary to the UK, and the main reason we begin our trip in Overton – the Bombay Sapphire Distillery. Tucked away within Whitchurch, it’s a quick five-minute drive to this establishment. The space was previously used as a paper mill producing bank notes for the British Empire. Now, it’s the production powerhouse of Bombay Sapphire. You’ll find a distillery, cafe, greenhouse, and bar housed within these premises.
There are an array of experiences here that range from tours to tastings and masterclasses. Take on the gin cocktail masterclass combined with the discovery experience that’ll have you occupied for the whole morning. You’ll start with a fully guided tour through the distillery with a behind-the-scenes peek at what it takes to distill one of the most popular gins in the world. After polishing off your complimentary gin cocktail, get up close and personal with the botanicals used. You’ll even discover surprising human touches and the high standards the distillery holds to maintain the consistency of its classic gin.
3. Day 3 & 4 – London, baby!: Pop by the city’s best watering holes
After your day of fun at the distillery, bid small town life goodbye in exchange for the elegant city of London. Hop on an hour-long train ride that takes you through the English countryside. There are a number of hotels that you can stay in, but we wanna put a spotlight on the Sea Containers Hotel. Situated right by the River Thames, this stay on London’s South Bank is a labour of love designed by architect Warren Platner. It’s a gorgeous space that’s not only cosy but also disabled-friendly, which we appreciate.
Make use of the daylight to explore the city, which is a scenic 20-minute walk away. Cross over the Waterloo Bridge and you’ll hit Covent Garden, the entertainment hub of London’s West End. There are plenty of theatres within the district, so art lovers can try their luck to book tickets to spots like the Royal Opera House and the Novello Theatre. Or get your coffee fix at any of the lovely cafes around the area.
For beauty enthusiasts, we highly recommend popping by the Glossier store here. It’s located in a 17th-century townhouse which is said to be the oldest surviving building in the piazza, marrying the history with the brand’s modern design.
Head back to the hotel for a quick shower because we aren’t done with the day just yet. After dinner at the hotel, doll up because it’s time to check out the nightlife ‘round these parts. What better way to get to know a city than to do a bar hop across some very cool London bars? Start out at Lyaness within the Sea Containers Hotel before you head out to explore other spots like Be At One, CellarDoor, and American Bar.
4. Day 5 & 6 – Edinburgh: Immerse yourself in historic architecture
We hope your hangover isn’t too bad because it’s time to hop aboard yet another flight. We know – there’s a ton of moving around but we promise it’s worth it. From London, we’re heading to London City Airport with flights to Dublin, Zurich, and Amsterdam. For this trip, we’re going to the buzzing city of Edinburgh, just an hour away by flight with a 30-minute drive into the city centre
If you manage to score yourself a morning flight, you’ll hit the city area comfortably around noon. That means plenty of time to explore while the sun’s still out and shining. The Apex Waterloo Place Hotel is a 4-star Georgian hotel that’s both cosy and elegant, and well within walking distance away from a number of attractions.
Calton Hill is a must-see as a Unesco World Heritage Site. It’s famed for its collection of historic monuments, forming some of the most important landmarks of the city. Other spots include the Melville Monument, Edinburgh Castle, and the National Museum of Scotland.
Now to the best part – food. Howies is a family group of restaurants just a stone’s throw away from the Apex Waterloo Place Hotel. It serves up fresh Scottish food with seasonal ingredients sourced from local suppliers and opens seven days a week. Duck and Waffle is also a quaint spot with a warm and buzzing atmosphere, with cleverly made libations on its cocktail menu. For a fancier night out, The Voodoo Rooms is a lush bar with delectable dishes and a gorgeous location.
5. Day 7 – Aberfeldy: Off to the small market town
Our final stop on our 7-day UK itinerary is Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery. Top tip: remember to use the bathroom before you head off because it’s going to be a long, long ride. Grab your coffee and hop on for an almost two-hour drive through the gorgeous Scottish countryside. It’s the only distillery built by the Dewar family who created the incredibly successful brand. It’s situated right by the River Tay, which boasts gold-filled waters and is used to create the blended scotch whiskey.
We’d recommend spending your whole afternoon here because there’s tons to see and do. Start with the Dewar’s Aberfeldy Experience, which takes you through the history of the distillery and its creation. You’ll even get a sneak peek into the distillery and its inner workings. From the fermentation to the ageing process, it’s a multi-sensorial tour that ends with an optional tasting straight from the casks in the warehouse.
Combine the tour with the Become a Blender Experience, spend time getting to know the art of blending, and take away your own bottle of scotch. The Drams of your Dreams Experience is for the most experienced of imbibers. You’ll get the opportunity to sample five of the distillery’s oldest whiskies and take home an exclusive Glencairn tasting glass.
Depending on when your flight is, you can get back to Edinburgh Airport in another two hours from the distillery. Or if you’re opting to stay a little longer, take refuge at The Townhouse. It’s the most charming bed and breakfast spot in the town. No trip to the UK is complete without a pint at a pub, so take your pick from The Blackwatch Inn, The Fountain Bar & Restaurant, and Schiehallion Hotel to celebrate your last night in the UK.
And this marks the end of our 7-day trip to the UK. After that whirlwind adventure, remember to get some shut-eye on the long flight home!