We came up with this idea when we were living in Thailand earlier in the year. We had been reminiscing about life back home and thinking about some of our favourite places in the UK. We love the Isle of Wight, New Forest, Birmingham, Cotswolds, Manchester, Cornwall, Durham, and London. We started chatting about how dispersed all our friends were and how much of a mission it would be to visit them all when we got back.

The conversation took another turn when I mused how fun it might be to just buy a van, whack a mattress in the back and go on a massive road trip around the country, visiting our friends along the way and discovering more about our home country.

Challenge to visit every county in the UK

That conversation has been continuing on for a good 6 months now.

We are still pretty keen on a campervan of sorts, and we’d love to get a bell tent (see previous post here). We’d also really love to explore the United Kingdom of Great Britain, the fair isle which we call home.

It’s amazing how far we’ve travelled for exploration, adventure and culture when so much of it is right on our doorstep.

The grounds at Hampton Court Palace

So, instead of talking about it, we’re going to doing something about. It’s all too easy to get comfortable when you’re at home and think “oh, yeah, we must go visit that living country museum down the road some day.” But when it’s been 10 years and you’ve still not been you’ve got too lazy.

In order to get motivated and explore our island we are setting ourselves a 12 month challenge to visit EVERY SINGLE COUNTY IN THE UK.

Possibly an ambitious challenge, but that’s the point of a challenge right?

Uk_outline_map


Challenge: Awesome Wave will visit every single county in the United Kingdom by May 31st 2016. 


 

List of UK Counties

England

1.     Bedfordshire

2.     Berkshire

3.     Bristol

4.     Buckinghamshire

5.     Cambridgeshire

6.     Cheshire

7.     City of London

8.     Cornwall, including the Isles of Scilly

9.     Cumbria

10. Derbyshire

11. Devon

12. Dorset

13. County Durham

14. East Riding of Yorkshire

15. East Sussex

16. Essex

17. Gloucestershire

18. Greater London, excluding the City of London

19. Greater Manchester

20. Hampshire

21. Herefordshire

22. Hertfordshire

23. Isle of Wight

24. Kent

25. Lancashire

26. Leicestershire

27. Lincolnshire

28. Merseyside

29. Norfolk

30. North Yorkshire

31. Northamptonshire

32. Northumberland

33. Nottinghamshire

34. Oxfordshire

35. Rutland

36. Shropshire

37. Somerset

38. South Yorkshire

39. Staffordshire

40. Suffolk

41. Surrey

42. Tyne and Wear

43. Warwickshire

44. West Midlands

45. West Sussex

46. West Yorkshire

47. Wiltshire

48. Worcestershire

Scotland

1.     Inverclyde

2.     Renfrewshire

3.     West Dunbartonshire

4.     East Dunbartonshire

5.     Glasgow

6.     East Renfrewshire

7.     North Lanarkshire

8.     Falkirk

9.     West Lothian

10. Edinburgh

11. Midlothian

12. East Lothian

13. Clackmannanshire

14. Fife

15. Dundee

16. Angus

17. Aberdeenshire

18. Aberdeen

19. Moray

20. Highland

21. Na h-Eileanan Siar

22. Argyll and Bute

23. Perth and Kinross

24. Stirling

25. North Ayrshire

26. East Ayrshire

27. South Ayrshire

28. Dumfries and Galloway

29. South Lanarkshire

30. Scottish Borders

31. Orkney

32. Shetland

Wales

1.     Gwent

2.     South Glamorgan

3.     Mid Glamorgan

4.     West Glamorgan

5.     Dyfed

6.     Powys

7.     Gwynedd

8.     Clwyd

Northern Ireland

1.     Tyrone

2.     Antrim

3.     Down

4.     Londonderry

5.     Fermanagh

6.     Armagh


(The list of UK counties is debateable for some. Do we go with historical counties? Current unitary or postal counties? This is what we have come up with so far)

Can we do it?

Is it even possible?

What are the logistics of such a challenge?

To be honest, we’ve not really thought it through in too much detail. We want to be flexible and see what comes. I think we could probably cover at least 6 or 7 counties in the next month perhaps? Yes, I’m ambitious.

And, are we allowed to tick off the counties we’ve already visited? Or do we have to start with a clean slate?

Do we try and cover loads in an extended road trip? Or is best to tackle them in lots of mini breaks?

Of course, we will share updates of our progress on our challenge. And if we find some fun stuff to do along the way we will share that here as well.

What do you think of our crazy challenge?

How many of these UK counties do you think you’ve covered already?


Awesome Wave

26 Responses

  1. em

    There’s a spare bed for you in South Yorkshire if you make it here ;)

    Such a great idea – I get stuck in such ruts visiting the same places to see friends. I wish there was more holiday time to make the most of the country! I’d love to spend some time in Scotland!

    Reply
    • Elizabeth

      Thanks Em! We’ll let you know when we make it to South Yorkshire.

      And absolutely. We’re wondering if we can take the scenic routes to some places when we visit friends or family.

      Reply
  2. Monica

    what an amazing challenge! It sounds tough but I’m sure you can do it. Let me know when you’re in either Cheshire or Clwyd. I’m on the border of both and would love to show you guys around.

    Reply
    • Elizabeth

      Thanks Monica! We’ll definitely love to catch up with you when we’re in that neck of the woods.

      Reply
    • Elizabeth

      Thank you Matthew! We’ll let you know when we’re in your county. :-)

      Reply
  3. Debbie

    Wow! What a challenge but I agree – there is so much to see in the UK and I am guilty of being UK lazy too! We have started having little holidays here over ones abroad. The sun/weather abroad is lovely but there is nothing better than exploring UK’s treasures and unexpected ones too! At the beginning of May, I visited an old school friend in Kent who I had not seen for 15 years and she took me to Rye and Dover in a day – fantastic!

    Reply
    • Elizabeth

      Absolutely! We’re hoping to stumble upon some lesser known treasures as well.

      Reply
  4. Hannah

    I’m in Bedfordshire :D
    As a kid we always went on holiday within the UK until I was about 14 and got my first passport. I’ve done a large chunk of them but I think I will have to go count them to make sure I do have all of them!

    Reply
    • Elizabeth

      I thought I was pretty well travelled around the UK until I started writing the list. Hoping we get through them all!

      Reply
  5. Sarah

    This is a brilliant idea! I’m so guilty of ignoring everything we have here in the UK and I’ve barely covered any of it. If you need any Clwyd or Cheshire recommendations I can definitely provide a few :)

    Reply
  6. HonestMum

    LOVE the sound of this and I want you to come visit us in Yorkshire, we sure live in a stunning country and I love staycations as much as going abroad, so much to see here x

    Reply
  7. Peter Parkorr

    That is a big challenge guys! Especially some of the more obscure counties… you will have to cram a fair few road trips in! Good luck with it and keep us posted :)

    Reply
  8. Dave Rendle

    Elizabeth and Raj, good luck with your travels, you’ll love it. I did a similar thing a few years ago, visiting the highest point of every county in Britain (as opposed to UK). Wonderful way to see our island. I’m now just a couple of weeks away from visiting every city in Britain too. Will have to think of my next challenge soon! I’ve previously walked Land’s End to John O’Groats. I’d love to know who has seen more of Britain or UK than anyone else?

    Reply
    • Elizabeth

      That’s sounds fantastic Dave. I love that you’re trying different kinds of challenges to see different parts of the UK.

      Reply
  9. Michelle

    Ooh, good luck with your challenge! I decided to do this for us too quite a few months back – as a way of just getting out of the rut. Oh gosh, just checked back on that post – it was nearly a year ago that I wrote it! With a child still in education, it’s harder to be free spirited (but oh how I wish I could be!), but we have managed to get to some of them for weekends away etc. I would LOVE to get a camper van/motor home and just get up and go… that’s the dream at least…

    Reply
  10. Liz

    All but five – you’ve inspired me to get to the rest of Northern Ireland, Shetland and Orkney in the next year! My husband and I started this challenge when we were engaged six years ago. It’s been really fun – hope you make many happy memories as you gallivant around the UK.

    Reply
  11. Catherine

    This is such a great idea! You should definitely check out Aberdovey in Gwynedd and Machynlleth a few miles up the road in Powys… You have so many great places yo visit!

    Reply
  12. Julie

    If you visit Gloucester let me know and we can go to the cutest pub in town for lunch and a chat if you like?

    Reply
  13. Carol Cameleon

    I’m very curious now this went, having read it in Jan 2017! I’ve probably visited a handful on your list, which is better than none I suppose! Popping over from the LifeinaBreakdown linky thread.

    Reply

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