May's a bloomin' good time to enjoy the UK's craggy coast and charming countryside.

The weather is known to be a little unreliable, but places like the Cairngorms, the Isle of Skye, and Cornwall are stunning – come rain or shine. Forests, gardens, and wildflowers are thriving thanks to early spring rains, adorable lambs and calves begin to frolic around the fields, and locals have a spring in their step now that summer's just around the corner. Get active and uncover Roman history along Hadrian's Wall, enjoy salty walks and yoga (and Cornish pasties aplenty!) on the Cornish coast, or be enchanted by Scotland's lochs, castles, and remote islands.

Top UK tours in May 2024

Departing Days From USD
2 May 2024
Best of Britain
12 4300
2 May 2024
Best of England, Wales and Scotland
19 7745
5 May 2024
Classic Walks of Scotland
6 1675
7 May 2024
Scotland's Orkney Islands
5 2095
8 May 2024
Best of England and Wales
20 7670
8 May 2024
Highlights of South-West England
9 3825
8 May 2024
Best of the United Kingdom
27 11380
12 May 2024
Walk Hadrian's Wall Highlights
7 2025
13 May 2024
Highlights of Scotland
8 4030
19 May 2024
Scotland's Shetland Islands
6 2110
24 May 2024
Premium Scotland
8 6105

UK tour packages by country

UK tour departures by month

UK tour reviews

UK FAQs

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 policy

The UK is small and compact with good transport links to Europe and the rest of the world. Driving gives you more freedom to explore at your own pace, but it can be expensive with the cost of renting a car and buying fuel. The next best option is public transport – it’s also a more eco-friendly way to get around. Major towns and cities are well connected with buses and trains, but travel can be limited in more remote areas so make sure you plan in advance.

You can check train routes, times and ticket prices for your destination with the National Rail. Local bus services operate in cities, towns and most villages, but if you’re travelling long-distance you could also take a coach with companies including National Express, Stagecoach and easyBus. They may offer travel passes for multiple journeys which is ideal if you’re travelling to several destinations in England or Britain. 

One of the great things about the UK is that you’re never too far from historical ruins and ancient sites where you can delve into the past. If you want to explore medieval fortresses and castles, Wales takes top place. Wales has more castles per square mile than anywhere else in the world – 600 to be precise! Scotland, England and Northern Ireland are close runners-up with some spectacular ruins and castles that are still in use today. Some of the castles we visit on our UK tours include Eilean Donan, Caernarfon Castle, Dunluce Castle and Corfe Castle.

The UK isn’t usually a top choice when searching for a beach holiday, but you might be surprised at how gorgeous some of the UK’s beaches are. From vast sweeping sands and craggy headlands to secluded bays with calm turquoise waters, there are plenty of beaches to enjoy warm summer days or go for a crisp coastal walk. Wales has a stunning coastline and pristine beaches, especially those along the Pembrokeshire Coast, such as North Tenby, Barafundle Bay and Rhossili Bay (which was voted among the most beautiful beaches in the world). Scotland boasts clear blue waters and secluded beaches on the Isle of Harris and Skye. Down in England, you’ve got magnificent beaches along the Jurassic Coast, Cornish Coast and Sussex.  

Your packing list will change a little depending on the season and the type of trip you’re doing, but here are some essential items to bring on your UK staycation:

  • Comfortable pair of walking boots or trainers

  • Socks and underwear

  • Raincoat (don’t get caught out!)

  • A warm, wind-proof jacket 

  • T-shirts and long-sleeved tops

  • Trousers/shorts/skirts

  • Jumper and warm layers 

  • Daysack

  • Toiletries 

  • Umbrella

  • Travel towel 

  • Camera

Read our ultimate packing guide

UK weather has a bit of a reputation for being unpredictable, and it's true. It rains, a lot. So it’s never a bad idea to pack a brolly and a rain jacket at the bottom of your daysack for those unexpected showers. That being said, it hardly ever experiences hot or cold extremes. Winter tends to be cold, wet and windy, summer is mild and (sometimes) sunny, and spring and autumn are often a bit all over the place. The weather in late spring and early autumn can be lovely and mild with plenty of daylight to make the most of the days. But one thing’s for sure – people in the UK sure know how to make the most of the sunshine when it makes an appearance. 

Average temperatures in the UK

MONTH

AVERAGE TEMP (°C)  

January 

3

February

4

March

7

April

9

May 12
June  15
July 17
August  16
September 14
October  11
November  8
December  5

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. However, we’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

Learn more about Accessible Travel with Intrepid

Read more about travel in the UK