GCSE Leisure and Tourism

Types of UK destinations

The UK has many different types of tourist destinations. These can come under the following categories:

  • Seaside resorts
  • Countryside areas
  • Tourist towns and cities
  • Business travel destinations
  • Purpose-built destinations
  • Historical and cultural destinations

Seaside resorts 

seasideSeaside resorts are located on the coast of the UK. They range from small fishing villages such as Robin Hoods Bay in Yorkshire to large seaside towns and resorts such as Blackpool.

Seaside resorts often have a pier, a beach, tourist shops (selling buckets and spades and other tat), amusement arcades and other leisure facilities such as children’s indoor play areas. They also offer different types of accommodation such as caravan sites, Bed and Breakfasts and hotels.


Countryside areas

countrysideThis type of holiday destination includes National Parks and Areas of Outstanding natural beauty (AONB).

National Parks – There are 14 National Parks in the UK and each one is looked after by its own National park Authority. A National Park is an area of land which is protected to offer people the chance to experience fresh air, beautiful views and peace and quiet. The scenery in National Parks varies from Mountains and lakes to forests and coastlines.

Examples of National Parks include the Lake District (England), Snowdonia (Wales) and the Cairngorms (Scotland)

Areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) 

Like National Parks, AONB are also protected areas. There are 35 in England, 4 in Wales and 9 in Northern Ireland.

Examples of AONB include the Cotswolds, Norfolk Coast and the Isle of Wight.


Tourist towns and cities 

London Tourist towns and cities are built up areas that have a variety of accommodation, shopping, attractions, entertainment and food and drink facilities.

They also have good transport links and are easily accessible by car, train and sometimes by air.

Cities such as London and Edinburgh are popular destinations for weekend breaks with both domestic (People already living in the UK) and Inbound visitors. Cities with a lot of history are also popular with overseas visitors, these include York, Oxford and Bath.


Business travel destinations 

businessBusiness destinations in the UK have to have excellent facilities if they are to hold conferences and meetings.

A good business destination also needs good transport links so that it is easily accessible from different parts of the UK and overseas. This often includes a main railway station and an airport.

Accommodation in business travel destinations tend to be 4 and 5* hotels and these need to contain conference and meeting facilities.

Examples of UK business travel destinations include London, Leeds and Birmingham


Purpose-built destinations 

purpose builtPurpose-built destinations have been specifically built for tourism. Purpose-built destinations have accommodation, entertainment, attractions and catering all on one site or in one area, which is often managed by one company.

Examples of Purpose-built destinations in the UK include Centre Parcs, Butlins holiday parks and the Alton Towers resort. 


Historical and cultural destinations 

castle in ghentHistorical and cultural destinations have attractions relating to the history and culture of the city or place.

Historical destinations in the UK include Warwick, York and London

Historical destinations may also be associated with a particular person such as Shakespeare and Stratford-upon-Avon. 

Industrial and cultural heritage destinations in the UK include Ironbridge in Shropshire and Beamish near Durham.