16 of the perfect locations to go to in England: from untouched landscapes to culture-packed cities

With a narrative that stretches again greater than 5000 years (and certain lengthy earlier than), the previous is a continuing presence in England. If you wish to discover city historic facilities, admire mysterious monoliths, stroll by scenic landscapes and luxuriate in rugged coastlines and nationwide parks, then be impressed by these 16 highlights of a visit to England.

Relating to getting round, practice and long-distance bus providers join most main locations. It’s possible you’ll want native buses, taxi providers, organized excursions or your personal wheels to get to the smaller locations.

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The prettiest metropolis in England

In a nation filled with fairly cities, Bathtub nonetheless stands out because the belle of the ball. Based by the Romans, who established the spa resort of Aquae Sulis to benefit from the world’s sizzling springs, Bathtub hit its stride within the 18th century when the wealthy industrialist Ralph Allen and designers John Wooden the Elder and John Wooden the Youthful oversaw town’s reinvention as a mannequin of Georgian structure. Awash with golden stone townhouses, sweeping crescents and Palladian mansions, together with interesting pubs and eating places, Bathtub calls for your undivided consideration. 

Be impressed at Cornwall’s Eden Undertaking © Radka Crossley / Shutterstock

The Eden Undertaking

Greatest place to study one thing new

Wanting like a cross between a lunar touchdown station and a James Bond villain’s lair, the big hemispherical greenhouses of the Eden Undertaking have change into an emblem of Cornwall’s renaissance. In-built an deserted clay pit close to St Austell to mark the beginning of the brand new millennium, and now thought of one among Britain’s fashionable architectural wonders, the Eden Undertaking goals to discover problems with setting and conservation, and level the best way to a cleaner, greener future for us all. Reveals cowl every part from world warming to rubber manufacturing and chocolate-making. The glass-domed “biomes” recreate main world local weather methods in microcosm, from the luxurious jungles of the Amazon rainforest (full with treetop walkway winding by the cover) to the olive bushes, citrus groves and colourful flowers of the Mediterranean, South Africa and California. It is extremely spectacular in addition to academic and provoking.

Two hikers cross the rugged landscape of the Northumberland Hills
It takes round every week to hike the complete path alongside Hadrian’s Wall © SolStock / Getty Photographs

Hadrian’s Wall

Greatest long-distance stroll in England

Hadrian’s Wall is likely one of the nation’s most dramatic Roman ruins, its 2000-year-old procession of deserted forts, garrisons, towers and milecastles marching throughout the wild and lonely panorama of northern England. This wall was about protection and management, however this edge-of-empire barrier additionally symbolized the boundary of civilized order – to the north lay the unruly land of the marauding Celts, whereas to the south was the Roman world of orderly tax-paying, underfloor heating and loos. Close to Newcastle you possibly can go to Segedunum, the wall’s final stronghold, for an perception into life throughout Roman occasions. Mountaineering the complete 84-mile distance coast to coast alongside the national trail takes round every week, however when you have much less time and your personal automotive, chances are you’ll wish to choose from a couple of of the wall’s highlights.


Greatest LGBTIQ+ scene in England

It is barely an hour’s practice experience from the capital, however the seaside metropolis of Brighton has a unusual character that is fully its personal. Overlooking the English Channel on England’s pebbly south coast, it is a metropolis that is lengthy been recognized for its oddball, various character. The warren of streets often known as the Lanes is an effective place to absorb the vibe; sprinkled with vegan cafes, espresso bars, chaotic pubs, file shops and bric-a-brac outlets, it is a browser’s dream come true – particularly at native establishment Snooper’s Paradise. You will additionally discover the UK’s largest homosexual scene right here, and the area’s finest clubbing. The spotlight for the sightseeing customer is the Royal Pavilion, a Nineteenth-century celebration palace constructed by the Prince Regent, who kicked off Brighton’s love of the outlandish.

Two friends walk the streets of London with Tower Bridge behind them
You would spend a lifetime exploring London’s tradition, structure and historical past © AzmanJaka / Getty Photographs


Greatest place for performances in England

Waist-deep in historical past, London’s wealthy seams of eye-opening antiquity seem at each flip. The town’s structure pens a beguiling biography, and a mess of buildings – the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Massive Ben – are immediately recognizable landmarks. It is also a tireless innovator of artwork and tradition, a metropolis of concepts and creativeness. Go to world-class museums such because the British Museum, Pure Historical past Museum and the Science Museum, and be dazzled at artwork galleries, together with Tate Fashionable, Tate Britain and the Nationwide Gallery, all of that are free to go to. Nonetheless you funds your money and time in London, be sure to absorb a present. Massive names carry out in the West Finish (London’s equal of Broadway), and on the South Financial institution at the Nationwide Theatre and the Previous Vic.


Greatest place for historic historical past

Mysterious and compelling, Stonehenge is England’s most iconic historic web site. Folks have been drawn to this myth-laden ring of boulders for greater than 5000 years, and we nonetheless do not know fairly why it was constructed. An ultramodern makeover at historic Stonehenge has introduced a powerful customer middle and the closure of an intrusive highway (now restored to grassland). The result’s a powerful sense of historic context, with dignity and thriller returned to an archaeological gem. Most guests gaze on the roughly 25-ton stones from behind the perimeter fence, however with sufficient planning, you possibly can prepare an early-morning or evening tour and acquire entry to the inside ring itself. Within the slanting daylight, away from the crowds, it is an ethereal place. That is an expertise that stays with you.

The Cotswolds

Greatest place for medieval England

The Cotswolds, a tangle of impossibly-quaint villages of rose-clad cottages and honey-colored stone, is a area spreading over six English counties. It is a designated Space of Excellent Pure Magnificence, and the most great factor about it’s that regardless of the place you go or how misplaced you get, you will nonetheless find yourself in a spot with a captivating village inexperienced, a pub with sloping flooring and nice ales, and a view of the luxurious inexperienced hills. Crisscrossed by long-distance trails together with the 102-mile Cotswold Manner, these mild but dramatic hills are good for strolling, biking and horse-riding. It is simple to depart the crowds behind and discover your very personal slice of medieval England right here – and a few of the finest boutique inns within the nation.


Greatest place to go to a British pub

And whereas within the Cotswolds, attempt to go to close by Oxford. This is as shut as most of us will get to the good minds and august establishments which have made this metropolis well-known throughout the globe. You will catch a glimpse of this rarefied world within the cobbled lanes and historic quads the place biking college students and dusty lecturers roam. The gorgeous school buildings, archaic traditions and beautiful structure have modified little over the centuries, coexisting with a full of life, fashionable, working metropolis. As befits a metropolis of scholars and professors, Oxford is likely one of the final bastions of the good British pub, with irresistible previous pubs dotted down its central lanes and alleyways. 

A quaint stone bridge over a waterway linking two buildings. A narrow boat with a pilot standing at the back of it passes nearby
Going out on a punt alongside the waterways is a quintessential Cambridge expertise © S.Borisov / Shutterstock


Greatest place for a river tour

Highlights of England’s different nice historic college metropolis, Cambridge, embody a tour of a minimum of one of many historic faculties, and time spent marveling on the intricate vaulting of King’s School Chapel. However no journey to Cambridge is full with out an try and take a punt (flat-bottomed boat) alongside the River Cam by the picturesque Backs – the leafy, inexperienced lawns behind town’s most interesting faculties, providing the perfect views of the beautiful structure. Polish off the day with a pint in one among Cambridge’s many rustic pubs. 


Greatest place for soccer in England

It is arduous to not be contaminated by a Liverpudlian’s love for their very own metropolis. For many years this was a hardscrabble city beset by all method of social ills, however nonetheless the love endured, discovering its expression in a famend gallows humor and an obsession with soccer. With a few of the most passionate crowds within the nation, taking in a sport at both Liverpool FC or Everton FC is a ceremony of passage right here. The waterfront is as soon as once more the center of Liverpool. The focus is Albert Dock, an iconic docklands flanked by protected buildings, together with a batch of high museums. The Merseyside Maritime Museum and the Worldwide Slavery Museum guarantee the great and unhealthy sides of Liverpool’s historical past usually are not forgotten, whereas the Tate Liverpool and the Beatles Story museum rejoice in style tradition and town’s most well-known musical sons (nonetheless).

People walking the city walls in York, with a view towards the Gothic Minster
Do not miss the Thirteenth-century partitions that encircle town of York © travellinglight / Getty Photographs


Greatest place to see the highlights of English historical past

With its Roman and Viking heritage, historic metropolis partitions and maze of cobbled streets, York is a dwelling showcase for the highlights of English historical past. A powerful circuit of Thirteenth-century partitions encloses a medieval spider’s net of snickelways (slim alleys), each the main target of a ghost story or historic character. On the metropolis’s coronary heart lies the immense, awe-inspiring York Minster, the largest medieval cathedral in all of northern Europe, and one of the crucial lovely Gothic cathedrals on the planet. Admire the reveals from newer occasions on the Nationwide Railway Museum, the world’s largest assortment of historic locomotives. York’s lengthy historical past and wealthy heritage is woven into nearly each brick and beam, and the trendy, tourist-oriented metropolis – with its myriad museums, eating places, cafes and conventional pubs – is a carefully-maintained inheritor to that heritage. Get pleasure from a few of the most interesting views of York from the previous metropolis partitions, significantly the bucolic part behind the Minster. 

The Lake District

Greatest place for literature lovers

William Wordsworth and his romantic pals have been the primary to champion the charms of the Lake District and it is not arduous to see what stirred them. Already the UK’s hottest nationwide park, the Lake District additionally grew to become a UNESCO World Heritage Website in 2017, recognizing its lengthy historical past of hill-farming – however for most individuals it is the prospect to hike the humpbacked fells and drink within the beautiful surroundings that retains them returning 12 months after 12 months. It is awash with out of doors alternatives, from lake cruises to mountain walks, however many individuals go to for the area’s literary connections. Among the many many writers who discovered inspiration right here along with William Wordsworth have been Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Arthur Ransome and, after all, Beatrix Potter, a lifelong-lover of the Lakes.

A ruined abbey building on a cliff, fronted by long grass meadows and backed by the sea
Whitby is a standard seaside resort with a Gothic literary connection © Neal Rylatt / Shutterstock


Greatest place for a haunting in England

Fantastic, just a little bizarre and infrequently weather-beaten, the basic northern seaside city of Whitby has haunted lanes, fossil-hunting and arguably England’s most interesting fish and chips. The huddle of 18th-century fisher’s cottages alongside the East Cliff are testomony to its longtime function as a busy business and fishing port – it was right here that 18th-century explorer Captain James Cook dinner earned his sea legs. The genteel Victorian suburb atop the West Cliff are a clue to Whitby’s place as a standard seaside resort full with sandy seaside, amusement arcades and promenading holidaymakers. Holding a watchful eye over the city and the River Esk that divides it’s an atmospheric ruined abbey, the inspiration and setting for a part of Bram Stoker’s Gothic horror story Dracula. However tales of witchery and ghostly legends have haunted Whitby ever since Anglo-Saxon St Hilda landed right here to discovered a monastic group in 657 CE. The city embraces its pseudo-sinister fame, which culminates in two massively profitable Goth Weekends annually.

The Peak District

Greatest district in England for out of doors fans

Curiously, you will not discover many peaks within the Peak District. However you’ll find blissful miles of tumbling moorland, plunging valleys, eroded gritstone crags, lush farmland and historic pocket-sized villages. This lovely panorama attracts a veritable military of outside fans – cyclists, hikers, cavers and rock climbers – on summer season weekends, whereas these in search of extra enjoyable enjoyment can admire the agricultural market and well-known puddings of Bakewell, the Victorian pavilions of spa-town Buxton, and the architectural drama of Chatsworth Home – the “Palace of the Peak.”

Person walking towards a small row of white cottages on a cliff. The white cliffs of Seven Sisters stretch out into the distance.
The beautiful chalk cliffs of Seven Sisters roll on for 4 miles © David C Tomlinson / Getty Photographs

The Seven Sisters 

Greatest place for breathtaking views

Dover’s iconic white cliffs seize essentially the most consideration, however the colossal chalky partitions of the Seven Sisters are a way more spectacular affair. This four-mile roller-coaster of sheer white rock rollicks alongside the Sussex shore overlooking the waters of the English Channel, a powerful southern border to the South Downs Nationwide Park and most dramatic on the towering headland of Beachy Head. Hikes by the grassy clifftop fields present huge sea views, breathtaking in each sense. Cease for a breather on the tiny seaside hamlet of Birling Hole the place the secluded seaside is a sun-trap in style with locals and walkers.


Greatest place to listen to a sonnet

The gorgeous city of Stratford-upon-Avon is the place William Shakespeare was born and later shuffled off this mortal coil. Right now its tight knot of Tudor streets kind a dwelling map of Shakespeare’s life. Big crowds of thespians and theater-lovers come to soak up a play on the well-known Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Go to the 5 historic homes owned by Shakespeare and his family members, and the schoolroom the place he was educated, then take a respectful detour to the previous stone church the place the Bard was laid to relaxation.

Vacation spot professional James March reviewed and up to date this textual content for accuracy and relevance. Some content material has been tailored from Lonely Planet’s print version.