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20 Prettiest And Best Places To Visit In England

In Search Of The Most Beautiful Street In England - Arlington Row, Bibury (9)

You know, one of the things I love about England is the diversity that we have. From the little coves on the Dorset Coast , gorgeous little hamlets and enough history to throw a stick at. All across the country, it’s filled to the brim with some of the best places to visit in England.

Okay but let’s start with the glaringly obvious, I’m biased and pretty proud of the beauty of England. I really do think that England is totally unique and much more than just cities like London .

Yes, these are amazing (and I love London more than any other city in the world) but it’s just one small area of our amazing country and there really is so much to see.

Searching For Dinosaurs And Fossils On The Jurassic Coast Of England (30)

Over the last few years, I’ve made it my priority to explore so much more of England and to see the places that are right on my doorstep (it’s something that I regretted for the longest time… thinking that I needed to leave the UK to feel like I’d travelled. How wrong I was.

Anyway, better late than never, right? Whatever the case, If it’s your first trip around England or you’ll a dab hand at exploring our gorgeous country, I know you’ll find some of the best places to visit in England that you’ll just love.

Best places to visit in England

Take a look at some of the very best places to visit in England. You’re going to have an amazing trip.

1.) Lake District

The Perfect 4 Day Itinerary For Visiting England's Beautiful Lake District (19)

The Lake District is the UK’s newest UNESCO-protected site; and rightly so, it’s beautiful.

As you can probably tell from the name, the Lake District is filled with tranquil lakes, beautiful mountain ranges and a whole heap of tiny villages to explore.

The Perfect 4 Day Itinerary For Visiting England's Beautiful Lake District (80)

Best of all, each lake has a slightly different character that’s unique.

The most well-known is Windermere Lake, but if you want to avoid the crowds, pop over to Ullswater Lake and check into Another Place, The Lake (which is the sister hotel of the Watergate Bay I mention in Cornwall).

The Perfect 4 Day Itinerary For Visiting England's Beautiful Lake District (8)

Whilst here, head out onto the Ullswater steamer, try your hand at paddleboarding and hike to the top of Harter Fell for some of the best views across the Lake District.

It really is one of the best places to visit in England, especially if you can fit in a tour that takes in ten of the lakes.

We loved this tour of the Lake District , especially as it’s a 1-day trip and perfect if you’re only staying for a long weekend.

Read more: Best things to do in the Lake District

2.) Corfe Castle

The Amazing 8,000 Year Old English Village And Durdle Door In The Jurassic Coast Of England (1)

Corfe Castle is one of the oldest settlements I think I’ve visited in England… people have lived here for over 8,000 years.

It’s a total throwback and it’ll feel like you’ve stepped back 1,000 years to an Olde English world. It really does feel like that.

Once here, take a stroll through the castle of Corfe, wander all the little boutiques and grab a yummy Sunday roast at Mortons House Restaurant.

The Amazing 8,000 Year Old English Village And Durdle Door In The Jurassic Coast Of England (11)

If trains are your thing, you can even take a historic train from Corfe Castle Station to Swanage.

Read more: Our visit to Corfe Castle

3.) The Cotswolds

In Search Of The Most Beautiful Street In England - Arlington Row, Bibury (9)

Yeah, the Cotswolds are a recurring theme for me! About 2 hours or so from London, the Cotswolds is an area of outstanding natural beauty that you’ll love (and easily one of the best places to visit in England).

14 Best Places In The Cotswolds You Should Visit (13)

Once you’re there, make sure to visit Bibury to see the gorgeous Arlington Row , pop into the Upper and Lower Slaughters (they’re far less gruesome than they sound), and head over to other spots like the Chipping Steps in Tetbury and Bourton-on-the-Water , too.

In Search Of The Most Beautiful Street In England - Arlington Row, Bibury (21)

To be honest, I always find it easiest to get around the Cotswolds by car (although some bus routes and trains do run) you’ll have much more freedom to explore the tiny hamlets, towns and rolling hills.

An Afternoon In The English Villages Of Broadway And Bourton-On-The-Water... The Cotswolds, England (55)

That being said, if you don’t drive, you can book an incredible Cotswolds tour . This is especially good if you don’t drive. Plus it takes all the stress out of planning your destinations in the Cotswolds and it’s all so easy.

For a great place to stay, head to The Royal Oak in Tetbury or the Wood Norton which are both so lovely and quaint.

Read more: Best things to do in the Cotswolds

4.) Cambridge

12 Experiences And Things To Do In Cambridge, England (13)

Okay, Cambridge always holds a soft spot with me. It’s a relatively small city that is perfect to explore over a few days.

Once here, make sure to head up to the Church of St Mary the Great where you can climb the tower and get some incredible vistas over the city (just watch out for the bells ringing, it makes the tower shake).

12 Experiences And Things To Do In Cambridge, England (33)

Also, don’t forget to pop inside Kings College and the incredible chapel that’s just so awe-inspiring to see. Inside the chapel, you can still faintly see the ‘graffiti’ from Oliver Cromwell’s army that still stands to this day.

12 Experiences And Things To Do In Cambridge, England (4)

Oh yeah, keep your eyes peeled for the huge wooden rood screen inside the chapel – it was gifted by Henry VIII (the one that had six wives) to Anne Boylen and is one of the most striking features in the centre of the chapel.

12 Experiences And Things To Do In Cambridge, England (41)

In fact, you can book your very own guided tour of Cambridge on a punt (on the river)! This is such a great way to explore the city and totally unique. You’ll love Cambridge.

Read more: Best things to do in Cambridge

24 Hours In Bath, England (39)

There’s just something about Bath , and you’ll totally know what I mean once you arrive. This ancient Roman Spa settlement still has some of the incredible features from the Roman Times.

Make sure to pop into the Roman Baths themselves and learn more about the incredible history of this place. It really is one of the best places to visit in England.

Best Things To Do In Bath, England (6)

For a tasty treat, take a stroll over to Sally Lunn’s; she is the most famous and one of the oldest bun makers in the city. They taste so good!

Also, if you want to make things easier to get around Bath, book this hop-on, hop-off bus ticket . This way, it takes all the stress out of trying to find all of Bath’s best spots.

Read more: Best things to do in Bath

6.) Bristol

Clifton Suspension Bridge Bristol

So Bristol is one of those cities that totally surprised me. My first-ever visit to Bristol was a little disappointing (I have to be honest).

I just think I hadn’t really found my ‘tribe’ of things I’d like on my first visit… all my fault, of course!

Bristol Uncovered: The Mild Mild West And The Best Italian Outside Of Italy! (11)

Thankfully, I was determined to give Bristol another shot, armed with much more info on the kind of spots I’d love .

This just did it for me – I fell in love with the city straight away and it’s really up there with the best places to visit in England.

The Harbour Festival, Banksy, Steam Trains & The Girl With The Pierced Ear Drum... in Bristol, UK (35)

Once there, head on a trail to see some of Bristol’s most iconic contemporary artists, including Banksy.

There’s a whole heap across his home city. Afterwards, head over to Whapping Wharf and Spike Island to whisk away the afternoon on the seafront with all the art spaces, restaurants and boutique little shops or pop over to the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge.

Read more: Best things to do in Bristol

Best Things To Do In Oxford, England (5)

There’s a lot of friendly rivalry between Oxford and Cambridge as places to visit (and study). Some say Cambridge is the best… others say it’s Oxford. I’m gonna leave the final decision to you.

Now, Oxford itself is easily one of the best places to visit in England, especially if you’re based in London or on a longer road trip.

Best Things To Do In Oxford, England (7)

Whilst here, make sure to visit Christ Church College , head onto the river punting and wet your whistler at the Thirsty Meeples – a really quirky board game cafe in the city.

Finally, book a tour, with an actual alumni guide to take you all around the best spots in Oxford. It’s a great way to explore the city and is so interesting.

Read more: Best things to do in Oxford

8.) Norwich

A Day In English Medieval City Of Norwich (13)

It took me far too long to make our first trip to Norwich (England’s first-ever medieval city) and I’m ashamed to say that my very first visit was this year. well, better late than never, eh?

Perched about 2 hours north of London by train, it’s one of the best places to visit in England and a spot that I know you’ll love.

Whilst you’re here, make sure to explore the incredible cathedral, see the historic cobbled streets and wander to the central market that’s been held permanently in the town for over 1,000 years (when it was a Saxon market).

A Day In English Medieval City Of Norwich (2)

For a tasty bite to eat, head outside Norwich to the Fur and Feathers who make one delicious feat from local ingredients.

A Day In English Medieval City Of Norwich (62)

Oh, and finish your day with the best chippy in all of England at the Grosvenor Fish Bar ; all served with lashings of vinegar, of course.

Read more: Best things to do in Norwich

9.) Stonehenge

Stonehenge To Salisbury - The Start Of Our Great English Road Trip! (19)

Possibly one of the most famous ancient sites in England, Stonehenge is a spot you have to see. Perched west of London (about 80 minutes away by car), it really is one of the best places to visit in England – especially for us history buffs!

It’s been recorded that the stones of Stonehenge actually came from west Wales a huge distance from when it was built.

Still, to this day, there are no conclusive ideas of why this was built or what it represents but there are theories around a place of worship, thanks, ceremony and community.

Stonehenge To Salisbury - The Start Of Our Great English Road Trip! (5)

Just be aware that Stonehenge is a really popular spot, so if you don’t like crowds it’s best to book your Stonehenge tickets for more ‘off-peak’ times.

Either visit first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon (just before closing), this way you’ll have missed the bus tours and will only have a few eager beavers with you who have the same idea.

Also, if you want to visit and you’re going to be based in London, book this amazing half-day Stonehenge tour that leaves from Central London for a day trip.

Read more: Our visit to Stonehenge

10.) Jurassic Coast

15 Of The Best Cities To Visit In England (15)

The Jurassic Coast always sounds so mysterious and pre-historic to me. I mean, the clue is in the name really but it always intrigued me right up until I visited this year.

This intrigue quickly turned to excitement when I realised that you can actually go fossil hunting on the UNESCO-protected coastline .

The Amazing 8,000 Year Old English Village And Durdle Door In The Jurassic Coast Of England (34)

The thing that makes this area so good for fossil hunting is that the eroding cliffs on this stretch of coast have actually been pushed way up out of the seabed to create a piece of land.

Searching For Dinosaurs And Fossils On The Jurassic Coast Of England (30)

Nowadays, as the cliffs slowly erode, they scatter a whole range of fossils that are all along the beach for us all to find.

Keep your eyes peeled and be patient. On our last visit, Yaya and I collected about 10 different fossils! It’s just so crazy to think that you’re the first living being to lay eyes on these fossils for 92 million years.

Exploring The Old Harry Rocks Formation On The Jurassic Coast Of England (7)

Oh, also, I nearly forgot – don’t forget to pop across the Jurassic Coast to visit the famous Durdle Door , Old Harry Rock’s and grab a bite to eat (and/or stay) at the Pig on the Beach . It’s so gorgeous.

Read more: How to go fossil hunting in England

11.) Watergate Bay

This Is Easily The UK's Best Beach Holiday Destination - The Watergate Bay Hotel, Cornwall, UK (12)

Watergate Bay is one of those places where you arrive and almost instantly fall into that relaxing beach vibe that makes Cornwall so great.

Whilst here, make sure to hike across the gorgeous coast, pop over to nearby Newquay and stay at the idyllic Watergate Bay Hotel.

This Is Easily The UK's Best Beach Holiday Destination - The Watergate Bay Hotel, Cornwall, UK (27)

Best of all, in Cornwall, you can book a fun surfing lesson in one of the best regions in England to surf.

This Is Easily The UK's Best Beach Holiday Destination - The Watergate Bay Hotel, Cornwall, UK (17)

Oh yeah, and if surfing is your thing then I’m positive you’ll love this spot. It really is one of the best places to visit in England… especially for sea lovers.

Read more: Visiting the Watergate Bay

12.) St Michael’s Mount

7 Best Manors And Castles In Cornwall To Visit (12)

St Michael’s (not to be confused with Mount Saint Michel in France ) is another of Cornwall’s gems that you should see. Perched on a tidal island, it’s possibly one of the prettiest and best places to visit in England.

Legend has it that a giant still inhabits the cave on the island. Folklore or not, it’s enough to put the heeby-jeebies in you when the sun begins to set.

Read more: Top spots to visit in Cornwall

13.) Robin Hood’s Bay

Exploring Ancient England - Robin Hood's Bay And Whitby Abbey

Perched just south of Whitby in Yorkshire, Robin Hood’s Bay is one stunning and totally historic seaside village you have to visit.

Once a key smugglers’ village to bring in contraband items like alcohol, Robin Hood’s Bay still has a network of smuggler tunnels underneath the town itself.

Exploring Ancient England - Robin Hood's Bay And Whitby Abbey (7)

Now, you can’t go in them today but it’s an incredible spot to visit and to learn more about the history of this age-old fisherman town. It really is one of the best places to visit in England.

Exploring Ancient England - Robin Hood's Bay And Whitby Abbey (22)

Whilst in the area, make sure to visit Tea, Toast & Post for some tasty grub (their lunches are so good). Plus, they brew some of the best tea on the Yorkshire coast.

Read our full post on visiting Robin Hood’s Bay

14.) Castle Howard

Castle Howard - An English Castle You Absolutely Have To Visit! (13)

Just a little shy of York , Castle Howard is truly a stunning castle to explore. You’ll honestly be blown away by how beautiful this place is and really is one of the best places to visit in England.

Castle Howard - An English Castle You Absolutely Have To Visit! (6)

Once inside, head to some of the incredible rooms and experience a little slice of this stunning home.

During certain times of the year, Castle Howard hosts afternoon teas that are properly tasty and a real treat. Served with some piping hot Yorkshire tea, sweet treats and sandwiches it’s a lovely experience.

Castle Howard - An English Castle You Absolutely Have To Visit! (1)

Although you might not be able to stay in Castle Howard , you can check into the beautiful Judges Court (In York ) that’s about 12 miles away.

Read more: Visiting Castle Howard

15.) London

Best Things To Do In London The Notting Hill Book Shop

I couldn’t forget to shout out London as one of the best places to visit in England, could I? I mean, it’s one of my favourite cities in the world and there’s so much to do that you’ll love.

Best Things To Do In London Royal Albert Hall

If it’s your first time in London, make sure to check out some of the amazing neighbourhoods of; Covent Garden , King’s Cross , Notting Hill , Camden Town , Shoreditch , Peckham and Whitechapel .

Famous London Landmarks To Visit London Eye

Each of these neighbourhoods is totally unique and a great way to see the diversity that is London.

If you’re looking for some unique places, make sure to see some of London’s secret spots , its incredible markets , best bars and restaurants with a view . You’ll gorge on everything in sight!

Things to see and do in Peckham, London (6)

Also, you can book yourself this gorgeous London cruise for a trip up the Thames. It’s a great way to see the city, especially at sunset.

Read more: Best things to do in London

16.) Holy Island

Islands To Visit In England (14)

This has to be one of my favourite castles (and islands) in all of England. Perched on Holy Island, Lindisfarne Castle is properly stunning to see in person.

There’s just something so magical about it (and yes, that’s really cheesy to say, but it does feel like that).

Islands To Visit In England (15)

Once here, head for a hike across the incredible shoreline, pop over to Holy Island and explore the castle and finish your day off in Berwick Upon Tweed where you can grab a yummy bite at the Maltings Kitchen .

Read more: Best islands to explore in England

17.) Birmingham

12 Of The Best Things To Do In Birmingham, England (3)

Birmingham often gets missed by lots of people’s travel plans in favour of some of the other big-hitting spots like London (or Edinburgh , across the border in Scotland). With that being said, it’s only about 80 minutes from London by train and there are so many cool spots to see.

12 Of The Best Things To Do In Birmingham, England (6)

Whilst you’re there, make sure to explore the Coffin Works see Winterbourne House and Garden and gorge on all the food at Carters of Moseley – they make an epic Orkney scallops dish, the tastiest mousse pudding made out of Douglas Fir and some yummy cakes.

It really is a contender for the best places to visit in England.

Read more: Best things to do in Birmingham

18.) Cirencester

The Beautiful Market Town Of Cirencester, England... (27)

Cirencester is a historic market town that’s easily reached by car or by train from most places in England. It’s the kind of town you visit and somehow wonder have you’ve spent all day exploring. It’s one of my favourite market towns and possibly one of the best places to visit in England.

Best Things To Do In Cirencester (3)

Once you’ve arrived, make sure to explore the Parish Church of St John Baptist, visit the Elemental Sculpture Park and pop into The Fleece for some of the tastiest grub.

The Beautiful Market Town Of Cirencester, England... (47)

For a beautiful place to rest your head, check into the historic Royal Oak which is in Tetbury (about 25 minutes away)

Read more: What to see in Cirencester

Best Day Trips From London (15)

If you fancy a little galivant away from the hustle and bustle of London, rent a car or take the train to the gorgeous and totally historic town of Rye. In fact, even if you’re travelling around the south-east of England, I’d suggest a trip to Rye.

Best Day Trips From London (14)

It’s one of the best places to visit in England if you love quaint towns and a history that dates back centuries. Just be sure to check out Mermaid Street with its gorgeous cobbled road, visit the antique shops all around the town and visit the Rye Castle Museum.

Best Day Trips From London (16)

Afterwards, you can easily partner a trip to Rye with the likes of Camber Sands for a beach day; or even Bodian Castle for a little more history. Just be sure to plan your day well, it’ll be filled up in no time!

Read more: Best day trips from London

20.) Manchester

15 Best Places In The North Of England To Visit (3)

Manchester always feels like that cool cousin you see at family parties and always wanna hang around with. Always hip, trendy and totally cool.

The city has such a cool vibe and really is one of the best places to visit in England if you want to experience a vibrant city (outside of London, of course).

For a tasty bite to eat, pop into Umezushi which makes the best sushi in the north and gorge at Fazenda Rodizio Bar & Grill which really will give you a good taste of Mancunian life.

If it’s football you’re into, book an Old Trafford Stadium tour that’ll take you around one of the world’s most famous clubs.

10 Best Day Trips From London

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15 most beautiful places in England for your next staycation

From meandering rivers and canals with motionless herons and barely moving barges to cathedral cities with ancient colleges and professors on bicycles, england is a country that delights at every turn.

prettiest places to visit england

T he quintessential English landscape comes in many different forms. Inland, it’s a confection of church spires and misty meadows, of crenellated manor houses with gorgeous gardens, and handsome Georgian villages trellised with roses. This is a landscape threaded by bucolic rivers lined with oak and willow, where rollercoaster dales are stitched with drystone walls. Along the coast, it’s lined by a mix of snaggle-toothed headlands and golden beaches, with creeks and estuaries that harbour old-fashioned resorts and fishing villages. And sitting offshore is a selection of islands, each of them distinctively different. Yet all of this is England — a place that has something for everyone. So here is our selection of the country’s most beautiful places to visit.

Main photo: Romney Marsh (Alamy)

This article contains affiliate links, which may earn us revenue

York Minster and the city wall (Alamy)

This ancient Roman city, encircled by its original walls, has a history that stretches back nearly 2,000 years. Its magnificent cathedral (aka “Minster”) has a fascinating story of restoration from a huge fire way back in 1984. Downtown, the city’s almost traffic-free centre is a lacework of cobbled medieval alleyways — the Shambles — where overhanging ancient mansions seem to whisper sweet nothings to each other. Wonky beams and sloping floors characterise most interiors, with tea and cake around every corner, particularly at the much-loved Bettys Café Tea Rooms. York is the home of Rowntree’s, the chocolate manufacturer, so there’s a chocolate museum and independent chocolatiers all over town.

• Best hotels in York • Best boutique hotels in York • Bets things to do in York

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2. holy island, northumberland.

Lindisfarne Castle at dawn (Alamy)

The Northumberland coastline is a string of blemish-free sandy beaches interrupted by dramatic castles and old fishing villages. Sitting just offshore is the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, a mystical place reachable by a causeway that is only driveable (or walkable) at certain stages of the tide. On the island there’s a ruined priory, a 16th-century castle on a rock, and a real sense of peace among birdsong and woodsmoke. The island’s name dates back to the time when this was an early outpost of Christianity, and whether you’re a believer or not, it remains a place of serenity and contemplation, which puts daily life into perspective.

3. South Downs and the Seven Sisters

The Seven Sisters cliffs (Getty Images)

The grass-topped wave of hills of the Sussex Weald form the backbone of the South Downs, Britain’s newest national park. Up here are rollercoaster, sheep-grazed grasslands mixed with oak coppice and wildlife-rich heathland. These are chalk hills, although they only really show their colours where the downlands meet the sea, at the searingly white Seven Sisters cliffs. Striding along the cliff edge here, from Eastbourne to Seaford via Beachy Head and the beach at Cuckmere Haven, is one of England’s favourite coastal walks.

• The White Horse, Graffam, hotel review • The Pig in the South Downs hotel review

4. The North York Moors, Yorkshire

Roseberry Topping in the North York Moors (Getty Images)

This national park with a coastline comes with all the credentials: Yorkshire ’s wild and wonderful rolling hills, infiltrated by pastoral valleys such as that at Rosedale, complete with old mine workings on the valley sides. A heritage steam railway clambers over the hills from Pickering to Grosmont, wheezing and blowing as it goes. Whitby is a lively coastal resort, renowned for its fish and chips, Dracula connections and ruined abbey. And then there’s the coastal path that struggles from sheltered bays to wild headlands, with spectacular views.

• Best hotels in Yorkshire

5. Grasmere and Ambleside, Cumbria

Grasmere in the Lake District (Alamy)

These two towns encapsulate so much that is great about the Lake District . Grasmere, with its bijou spangle of water, is all genteel sumptuousness, with boutique shopping, elegant eating and literary visits to Wordsworth’s cottage. More businesslike Ambleside, with its adventure outfitters, sits at the north end of boat-rich Windermere, the busiest and biggest of the English lakes. A short, steep climb up from here through rocky knolls to Loughrigg Fell grants an eyeful of everything, with stunning views of the serpentine length of Windermere and the Langdale Pikes.

• Best spa hotels in the Lake District • Best dog-friendly hotels in the Lake District • Best things to do in the Lake District • Best hotels in the Lake District

6. Chatsworth and Haddon, Derbyshire

Haddon Hall (Alamy)

England’s aristocratic country houses range across a kaleidoscope of styles and periods. The Duke of Devonshire’s Chatsworth House, for example, dominating its own river valley within the Peak District , is a sumptuous, family-owned property making the most of its mainly 18th-century assets with tours, trails and events. Meanwhile, a couple of valleys away, you can step back a few centuries into 13th-century Haddon Hall, one of the most perfectly preserved medieval properties in the UK, with its banqueting hall, Tudor painted ceilings and Elizabethan walled gardens.

• Best hotels in the Peak District

7. Bath, Somerset

The Circus in Bath (Alamy)

A place of Roman baths and Georgian crescents, Bath sits cupped in hills in its own little world, one redolent of ball gowns and gossiping aristocracy, as observed by Jane Austen. The creamy-gold Bath stone and honeycomb of Palladian-influenced terracing, rising in curving ripples up the hillsides, are what makes the city so visually appealing. Somehow a river and a canal thread through, and at the heart of the city is the original thermal bath built by the Romans around AD75, with steam still rising from the hot spring.

• Best things to do in Bath • Best hotels in Bath

8. Cotswold villages, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire

Arlington Row in Bibury (Alamy)

Manor houses, babbling brooks and hamlets of honey-coloured stone. Tea-rooms galore, artisan delicatessens, ancient churches and Bibury, the village that the artist William Morris described as “the most beautiful in England”. This is the Cotswolds . Mind you, Bourton-on-the-Water must be a challenger for the “most beautiful” title, too. Here the River Windrush flows across a generous green, spanned by footbridges and surrounded by handsome inns. Weeping willows trail their tresses in the water, ducks wait for chips and there’s a toasted teacake around every corner.

• Best hotels in the Cotswolds • Best spa hotels in the Cotswolds • Best dog-friendly hotels in the Cotswolds

9. Jurassic Coast, Dorset and Devon

Durdle Door (Getty Images)

This Unesco-recognised stretch of southern coastline starts at the eastern end, at the quirky resort of Swanage in Dorset , where the pillars of Old Harry Rocks overlook Poole Harbour. From here it reaches westwards, rounding wild St Aldhelms Head, stomping through fossil-rich Kimmeridge, to the almost perfect circle that is Lulworth Cove and the arch of Durdle Door. Then, from Weymouth , the Chesil shingle scythes westwards towards the cliffs of Charmouth and West Bay, so famous for their crumbliness and their fossil dinosaurs. The Regency resort of Lyme Regis, beyond, is where The French Lieutenant’s Woman was filmed.

• Best hotels in Dorset • Best beach hotels in the UK • Best hotels in Devon

10. Helford and Roseland, Cornwall

St Mawes harbour (Alamy)

You don’t travel to Cornwall for the towns — unless they’re wedged up a creek or spilling into a bay. It’s the coast that counts, either the north for the wild and dramatic, or the south for the creeks and headlands. Both sides have beaches to be proud of, but for shelter and history seek out the south’s Helford River, the setting for Daphne du Maurier’s Frenchman’s Creek . East of Helford, the Roseland Peninsula begins at the posh fishing village of St Mawes. In this part of Cornwall, the spring gardens of Trelissick and Caerhays are ablaze with magnolias and camellias well before the rest of the country.

• Best beaches in Cornwall • Cornwall versus Devon: which is better? • Best hotels in Cornwall

11. Norfolk coast, Norfolk

Seals at Blakeney Point on the Norfolk coast (Getty Images)

North Norfolk is like a watercolour painting, where land, sea and sky seem to merge seamlessly into one another. Migrating wildfowl add their stitch to the skies overhead and seal colonies loll around on sandbanks like rolls of discarded carpet. Towns such as Burnham Market, with its art galleries and fine dining, are surprisingly posh — but then maybe that shouldn’t be a surprise, given that Holkham Hall, the residence of the Earl of Leicester, and Sandringham, the royal country retreat, are just inland.

• Best dog-friendly hotels in Norfolk • The Manor Coastal Hotel & Inn, Norfolk, review

12. Wye Valley, Herefordshire

The Wye Valley (Alamy)

Some say British tourism started back in 1745 on the languid, calm river at Ross-on-Wye, when the local rector took paying guests out for boat trips. Today a lot of the waterborne activity has dropped southwards to Symonds Yat, a mecca for kayakers and for walking its steep forested banks. Meanwhile in Ross, the venerable half-timbered frontages of the town stand back slightly uphill of the river, and it is mostly cyclists who follow the water, particularly its loveliest stretch up past Hole-in-the-Wall, burrowing through back roads towards Hereford.

• Best luxury places to stay in Herefordshire • Best Airbnbs in the UK

13. Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

Punting on the River Cam in Cambridge (Getty Images)

The flat fens of Cambridgeshire seem an unlikely setting for a seat of learning, but the colleges and chapels of Cambridge inhabit their own mystical world, clustered along the banks of the somnolent River Cam. Unlike Oxford, which can be brash and busy, Cambridge is a place of robed figures emerging from ancient doorways and bumping away over cobbles on bicycles. To hire a punt and to float gently down the so-called Backs (the backs of many colleges) is to get a glimpse into a refined, timeless world.

• Best hotels in Cambridge • Best things to do in Cambridge

14. Rye and Romney Marshes, Kent and East Sussex

Rye (Alamy)

The medieval town of Rye was once one of the Cinque Ports — five defensive ports in Kent , Sussex and Essex mentioned in Magna Carta — and it seems to have barely changed, although the sea has since retreated. The town is a lacework of galleries, patisseries, wisteria and leaded windows. It stands proud above Romney’s former marshlands, now drained and striped with wheatfields. Beyond are the glorious beaches of Camber Sands and the surreal shingle shore of Dungeness, with its unique fishing fleet.

• Best spa hotels in Sussex • Best hotels in Sussex • Best luxury hotels in Sussex

15. Test Valley, Hampshire

Wherwell in the Test Valley (Alamy)

A maze of intersecting country lanes and the gurgling gin-clear waters of some of the most expensive fishing river in England makes this an intoxicating slice of English countryside. Stretching roughly from the village of Hurstbourne Priors down to Romsey, this is a place to spot lazy trout and idyllic waterside mansions. A place to fossick out iconic pubs like the Mayfly or the Peat Spade, and historical buildings such as the National Trust’s Mottisfont Abbey, with its celebrated rose garden. Even Waitrose is here with its Leckford Estate, with 4,000 acres of farming, fishing and water gardens.

• Best hotels in Hampshire • Best UK destinations to visit • Best beaches in England • Places in the UK that look just like France

Take me there

Inspired to visit England but yet to book your trip? Here are the best places to stay from Cottages.com and Mr and Mrs Smith .

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19 Best Places to Visit in the UK

Written by Bryan Dearsley Updated Jun 8, 2023

Consisting of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom (UK) has long been one of the world's most popular tourist destinations. For most travelers, like me, the country's appeal has as much to do with its diverse scenery as it does its rich cultural heritage. In fact, the best places to visit in the UK include everything from beautifully preserved country estates and picturesque castles to its many big city art galleries and museums.

London Bridge

You'll find one of the greatest pleasures of a UK vacation, however, is just how easy it is for you to explore this fascinating, diverse, and relatively small country. The UK could easily fit into the state of Texas with room to spare, so you can base yourself in a couple of cities and simply take a train, bus, or ferry to explore other areas.

One of my favorite day trips from London , for example, is to take the 90-minute train ride to beautiful Salisbury . Once there, you're only a short bus ride or tour away from one of the country's most recognizable attractions, Stonehenge. Want to hop between the Scottish cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow ? A one-hour train ride will deposit you in the heart of either city.

Sure, the UK can seem like a very busy travel destination. But plan your sightseeing adventures carefully with my list of the best places to visit in the UK and you'll have no problem making the most of your time.

1. London: The UK's All-in-One Destination

2. edinburgh: scotland's capital, 3. roman-era bath, 4. ancient stonehenge and medieval salisbury, 5. royal windsor, 6. idyllic england: the cotswolds, 7. the magical lake district, 8. medieval york and its minster, 9. the university towns of cambridge & oxford, 10. england's pilgrimage city: canterbury, 11. loch ness and inverness, 12. northern ireland's giant's causeway, 13. liverpool: home of the beatles, 14. manchester: england's football mad city, 15. cardiff: the capital of wales, 16. the channel islands, 17. glasgow & loch lomond, 18. snowdonia: wales' biggest mountains, 19. belfast.

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament on the banks of the River Thames

While it's possible to plan a trip to the UK without actually visiting London, it's certainly not a recommendation I'd make. I typically begin my UK visits by spending a few days in the nation's sprawling capital while getting over my jet lag before venturing out to my planned final destination (or destinations).

There are plenty of attractions to keep you busy. Want to learn more about the UK's rich history? You're literally spoiled for choice here as London boasts more than 200 world-class museums and art galleries to explore.

In the City of London, the heart of the old Roman city, you'll find evidence of pretty much every period in history ever since. Some of the top attractions in London are located here, including the Tower of London .

Located beside the spectacular Tower Bridge on the banks of the River Thames , this former palace and prison includes highlights such as the iconic 1,000-year-old White Tower, with its fascinating displays of armor and weaponry, and the Jewel House, home to the Crown Jewels. I always make a return visit at sunrise or sunset to grab an iconic photo of the Tower of London framed by Tower Bridge.

If you're a fan of Britain's Royal Family, you'll want to head to Buckingham Palace , London's Royal home since Queen Victoria's reign. Here, you can enjoy the colorful pomp of the Changing of the Guard or even take a tour of the Palace's State Rooms. Spaces are limited, so be sure to book in advance as they're only open for a few weeks each year.

From here you can wander along the Thames to the city's Whitehall Road area. Here you'll find Big Ben and the Parliament Buildings , as well as Westminster Abbey, the scene of many a royal wedding.

Another area to visit in London is South Kensington, home to the city's best museums, including the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Natural History Museum , as well as the famous Harrods department store. Also check out Trafalgar Square , home to the iconic Nelson's Column and the National Portrait Gallery.

And be sure to make the most of London's excellent transport system. Whether you go by bus or by underground, the system's now so good that you can simply use a debit or credit card to tap in and out as you go. It really is very easy, and once you've mastered that famous map of the city's "Tube" network you'll be traveling like a Londoner.

Edinburgh

One of the UK's most attractive cities, the capital city of Edinburgh is also one of the UK's most visited destinations. Popular for its many well-preserved historic buildings, Edinburgh is perhaps best known as the home of the majestic Edinburgh Castle .

Perched high above the old city on a rocky promontory, this 13th-century royal fortress includes highlights such as the famous One O'Clock Salute, held daily at Half Moon Battery, as well as the Scottish Crown Jewels in the Royal Palace . Also worth seeing are the Scottish National War Memorial and the famous Stone of Destiny , the Stone of Scone, which only returned to Scotland after being held for 700 years in London.

From the castle, I always find it easy to explore the other most important historic sites in the city. Follow your nose downhill from the castle to the Old Town via the famous Royal Mile , a delightful medieval cobbled street that's immensely fun to walk. Sure, there are plenty of the usual tacky tourist and souvenir shops, but skip these and look out for the area's fine old architecture, boutique shops, cafés, and restaurants, as well as trendy art galleries and studios.

Edinburgh Old Town is also where you'll find the splendid old Palace of Holyroodhouse . From here, I usually make my way to Princes Street and New Town before looping back around to the castle. This broad, more modern avenue was planned in the late 18th century and is extremely popular for its shopping and dining opportunities. It's also where you'll find attractions such as the Royal Botanical Garden and the National Gallery of Scotland.

Read More: Top Attractions & Places to Visit in Edinburgh

Roman Baths

Although one of the UK's smaller cities, Bath more than makes up for its diminutive size with a multitude of things to see and do . Named after its famous Roman Baths, this beautiful city has been luring visitors like you and me to its healing waters for more than 2,000 years.

Gushing from three hot springs, the water-known to consist of 43 different minerals, hence its curative properties-travels upwards some 3,048 meters at a rate of 275,000 gallons per day, before spilling out at a consistent 46.5 degrees Celsius. It's a truly awesome sight, and also a little eerie to think that you're standing just feet away from the very hot springs that Romans and early Britons enjoyed some 2,000 years before you got here.

While it's not possible to bathe in the original Roman Baths (try it and you'll be arrested!), a number of nearby spas, most notably the modern Thermae Bath Spa , offer a unique opportunity to enjoy the city's famous waters. This must-do experience features a stunning rooftop pool using the same waters as the Roman Baths, and all with incredible views of city landmarks such as Bath Abbey .

Bath

In addition to its ancient history, Bath is also famous for its lovely Georgian architecture. The best examples can be seen along the magnificent, curved Royal Crescent, with its palatial townhomes. One of them, No.1 Royal Crescent , is now a museum that offers a fascinating peek into life during Georgian times.

While Bath is served by the same London rail service as the neighboring port city of Bristol , it's one of those increasingly forward-thinking cities that makes it easy for car drivers, too. My most recent visit in the summer of 2022 was via car, and I avoided traffic and hassle by parking at the extremely affordable Landsdowne Park and Ride facility on the outskirts of the city. Not only is it inexpensive with plenty of availability, but regular bus services will also whisk you away to the heart of the city in just 10 minutes.

Read More: From London to Bath: Best Ways to Get There

Stonehenge

One of the planet's oldest World Heritage Sites , Stonehenge has been a place of pilgrimage for more than 4,500 years. It was believed to have been erected as a place of worship, but these days, the crowds consist of tourists drawn by the sheer scale of this magnificent monument to mankind's ingenuity.

It's a sprawling site, covering an area of more than 20 square kilometers and boasting a state-of-the-art visitor center. Here, you can catch a fascinating glimpse not only into the construction of Stonehenge but also its history since then.

But it does get busy, so be sure to plan well ahead and purchase a timed ticket for the day of your visit. Better still, splurge a little on one of the attraction's new VIP admission packages . This unforgettable experience guarantees your spot on a fun "Stone Circle Experience" that includes free time to wander the site on your own. The verdict? It's a must-do.

Be sure to also spend time exploring the nearby medieval city of Salisbury , located just 16 kilometers south of Stonehenge. You'll be rewarded with a chance to visit one of the country's most famous cathedrals, dating back to 1220 and home to an original Magna Carta .

Afterward, spend time wandering the old city center with its many fine churches and historic medieval architecture. Not only are there a number of first-rate places to stay here (I'm partial to the Mercure Salisbury White Hart Hotel for its central location and 4-star quality and cleanliness), but great little intimate eateries like the Cosy Club on Crane Street. The food here is home-cooked, locally sourced, tasty... and served in an extremely patriotic British setting.

Read More: From London to Stonehenge: Best Ways to Get There

Windsor Castle

The historic town of Windsor, conveniently located a short train ride west of Central London, offers plenty of fun attractions for tourists . In addition to its lovely Thames-side setting and the many medieval half-timbered buildings along its quaint old cobblestone laneways, it's also home to spectacular Windsor Castle , the most famous of the UK's royal castles.

This grand old castle has served as the summer residence of British royalty for more than a millennium. It was started by William the Conqueror in 1078 and is the world's largest inhabited castle. Highlights include the splendid State Apartments containing the Queen's Gallery and dining hall, each with magnificently painted ceilings and woodcarvings, and St. George's Chapel, famous as the home of the Knights and Ladies of the ancient Order of the Garter.

When you've had your fill of these historic buildings, be sure to also spend time exploring the castle's large and beautiful grounds, almost 10 kilometers long. You'll enjoy some truly memorable panoramic views over Windsor and its castle, and a number of picnic areas, some with barbecue grills, are available if you want to stop awhile.

Traveling with kids? Another area attraction worth visiting is Legoland Windsor . This fun family resort, set on 150 acres of parkland and just a short bus ride from Windsor town center, even boats a modern Lego-themed hotel if you're looking to make a weekend of it.

Also worth seeing is Royal Ascot , the UK's most famous horse-racing venue. While you might want to try to time your trip to coincide with the Royal Meeting held each June, you'll find yourself fighting often huge crowds, all dressed to the nines, here for what is after all one of the most important events on the country's social calendar.

Read More: From London to Windsor: Best Ways to Get There

Village of Castle Combe in the Cotswolds

Covering almost 1,287 square kilometers of charming countryside, the beautiful Cotswolds is undoubtedly one of the most photographed corners of England. Its unrivaled pastoral scenery has earned it a reputation as one of the most beautiful places in the UK, ranking highly on many a traveler's bucket list.

Easy to get to from London and close to the popular tourist attractions of Bath and Bristol , the Cotswolds includes some of the best parts of the counties of Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire.

Why visit? Well, if you're anything like me, you're here to experience a true taste of rural English life and explore its many quaint villages . You'll want to include the idyllic village of Bourton-on-the-Water on your Cotswolds itinerary. Nicknamed the "Venice of the Cotswolds," this popular vacation spot boasts a charming river setting and countless well-preserved cottages, some dating back to the 15th century, and all just begging to be photographed.

One of the most popular ways to do this is via the area's extensive trail network, including the excellent 164-kilometer-long Cotswold Way. Other fun things to do include horseback riding and biking, or simply soaking up the history of popular market towns such as Castle Combe or Tetbury.

View over the Lake District

Located in the northeast of England not far from the border with Scotland , the spectacular Lake District in Cumbria covers an area of 1,448 square kilometers. Not only is it considered one of the most magical places to visit in the UK for its beautiful scenery, its reputation as a place of romance and great culture will forever be associated with its most famous former resident, Beatrix Potter.

It was Potter who in fact led the way with the conservation efforts that have preserved so much of the Lake District when she bequeathed her estate to the National Trust. Her one-time home near Sawrey, Hill Top , can and should be visited for its exhibits and artifacts.

Stone buildings in a Cotswold village

Her legacy also set the stage for the establishment of Lake District National Park . Encompassing 12 of the country's largest lakes including Windermere and Ullswater, the two biggest and best known, this beautiful region is another famous place in the UK that's great to explore on foot. All told the park boasts more than 3,218 kilometers of hiking and walking trails, so be sure to pack your hiking boots.

Other things to do in the Lake District include visiting Scafell Pike , at 978 meters the highest mountain in England. And, of course, there is no end of picturesque towns and villages to explore, including Grasmere .

Read More: From London to the Lake District: Best Ways to Get There

Medieval York and its Minster

One of northern England's most popular tourist destinations, the medieval city of York, long the ecclesiastical capital of the Church of England, boasts one of the country's most magnificent cathedrals. The country's largest medieval church, York Minster can trace its roots back to the spread of Christianity in the 3rd century, although the splendid present Gothic structure was built almost 1,000 years later.

One of the best ways to get to see this historic landmark is via an official guided tour . I recommend you book in advance, and spend a little time reviewing the available choices to find one best suited to your interests. I opted for the fascinating "Tower Trip" option, a little more expensive but well worth the cost for the magnificent city views.

Other highlights of a visit to York Minster include seeing its spectacular 14th-century stained glass windows, plus the richly decorated interiors of the choir and north transept. You'll also want to visit the crypt, which contains parts of the original 11th-century church the cathedral now stands on.

Another York landmark worth exploring is the historic City Walls . I make a point of strolling this nearly five-kilometer-long structure each and every time I visit the city. Not only is it good exercise, but it's also a fun way to circle around the old medieval city center without the crowds.

Along the way, you'll enjoy excellent views over The Shambles , a narrow 14th-century roadway that's famous for its fine old timber-framed buildings, many of which hang over the street below. It's also an area known for its many restaurants and tearooms, as well as its many boutique shops and galleries.

York also boasts a number of major museums, the most popular being the National Railway Museum . Highlights of this museum's vast collection include many fine old steam engines dating as far back as 1820, plus a unique collection of Royal Trains. The museum also offers an excellent afternoon tea experience in the historic Countess of York railway carriage, bookable in advance.

  • Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in York, England
  • From London to York: Best Ways to Get There

Cambridge

The UK has long been a center of learning, with two of its most famous university towns also ranking highly as tourist destinations. An easy commute north of London and just 128 kilometers apart, Cambridge and Oxford have for centuries been rivals for the title of the country's top academic establishment, a rivalry celebrated during the famous rowing event, The Boat Race , which takes place each spring on the River Thames .

Despite this generally good-spirited rivalry, each location offers plenty of attractions to make them worthwhile additions to your UK travel itinerary. Highlights of a visit to Cambridge include the chance to wander the UK's largest collection of preserved historic buildings, many of them located within an easy walk of Cambridge University ' s 31 colleges, the oldest of which was founded in 1284.

In addition to touring the stunning college grounds (only a handful of the university's buildings offer tours), you should also take a punt along the River Cam. This must-do activity is something of a Cambridge ritual, and chances are you'll even be "punted" along by a university student willing to share a little of their college experiences.

As with most popular tourist destinations, however, a little advance planning will ensure you find a reputable company for your punting tour. Licensed operators to consider include Cambridge Punt Company , which also offers a private romantic evening tour; and Scholars Punting , which features a fun picnic hamper package worth considering. In both cases, you can keep the cost down by joining a shared tour.

Oxford University's 38 colleges are equally fun to explore. These historic old places of learning are each set around a quadrangle and several inner courtyards along with chapels, dining halls, libraries, and student residences, some of which offer unique tourist accommodation packages, too. Like most UK tourist sites, they do get extremely busy in summer so be sure to book your visit in advance if you can to avoid disappointment.

Other Oxford highlights include the Carfax Tower, with its fine views over the city center, and the many fine old buildings of the town's High Street .

Canterbury

Pay a visit to historic Canterbury in Kent, and you'll soon discover why this beautiful city continues to be such a draw for visitors to the UK.

An easy hour's train ride from central London, Canterbury has been a draw for visitors for centuries. The first visitors were religious pilgrims who have in fact been visiting for more than 1,500 years, ever since St. Augustine first started converting pagan Anglo-Saxons to Christianity here in AD 597.

River Stour in Canterbury

The city's most famous attraction is Canterbury Cathedral , the home church of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this stunning cathedral offers plenty to see, from the intricately carved masonry of its exterior to its magnificent interior, a highlight of which is the beautiful choir with its statues of six English kings. Also of note are the exquisite Miracle Windows, dating from the 12th century and depicting scenes from the life of murdered Archbishop Thomas Becket .

Afterward, be sure to spend time wandering the pedestrianized area of Old City Canterbury with its many preserved, historic timber-framed buildings, particularly along Mercery Lane. Be sure to include the excellent Canterbury Roman Museum on your itinerary. It was built around the remains of an original Roman townhouse and its unique mosaic.

Read More: From London to Canterbury: Best Ways to Get There

The ruins of Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness

Despite the fact that the legends of mythical monsters have largely been debunked (just don't tell the locals), spectacular Loch Ness remains an extremely popular tourist attraction for travelers heading to Scotland. While it's unlikely you'll encounter any monsters, you will, however, be rewarded with seeing some of the UK's most beautiful scenery.

Highlights of Loch Ness include the ruins of Urquhart Castle . Set overlooking the loch, it's one of Scotland's largest fortifications, with the current structure dating from the 14th century. For those wanting to learn more about the area's many legends, the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition recounts its history, along with that of its monster, including details of ongoing searches for the elusive creature.

A little farther north is Inverness. This lovely city boasts numerous excellent attractions, including Inverness Castle, the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, and the late 19th-century St. Andrew's Cathedral.

History buffs should also check out the Culloden Battlefield and Visitors Centre . It was in Culloden in 1746 that the English and Scots fought their last battle and where the fate of Scotland as a British dominion was determined. Also of interest are the gravestones of warriors from the Scottish clans, as well as the six-meter-high Memorial Cairn erected in 1881 to commemorate the battle.

  • From Glasgow to Loch Ness: Best Way to Get There
  • From Edinburgh to Loch Ness: Best Ways to Get There

Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland

It's sometimes a little too easy to forget that the UK includes a tiny little piece of Ireland . Northern Ireland, consisting of the northeast corner of the "Emerald Isle," can easily be included on a trip to either country and is well worth taking the time to explore.

My favorite among the many Northern Ireland attractions worth visiting is the magnificent Giant's Causeway, a stunningly beautiful natural feature that looks anything but natural. Just a short drive from the capital of Belfast , this UNESCO World Heritage Site is made up of unusual columns of layered basalt that jut upwards out of the sea and shoreline like some giant's staircase, hence their name.

All told, there are some 4,000 of these polygonal-shaped steps to see and clamber over. Formed over 60 million years ago during a period of intense volcanic activity, it's a truly impressive sight, and easy to see how local legends of giants could so easily have sprung up as a result.

A modern visitor center has been opened here and provides fascinating details about the reality and the myths behind this bucket-list attraction. Guided tours can be arranged, and be sure to make use of the audio guides that are provided with admission. Tickets can be booked online in advance to avoid disappointment.

Address: 44 Causeway Road, Bushmills, Antrim, Northern Ireland

Read More: From Dublin to Giant's Causeway: Best Ways to Get There

Liverpool

Liverpool , under three hours away from London by rail, offers plenty of cultural excitement for the curious traveler. It's also well-known for its role in giving rise to the English music legacy, not least because of its association with the Beatles .

Music fans are drawn here first and foremost for "Fab Four"-related attractions, such as The Beatles Story located in the renovated Albert Docks area. Also worth seeing are the famous Cavern Club, where the band made its debut in 1961, as well as the former homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Numerous walking tours and bus tours of Beatles sites are also readily available.

Other great reasons to visit Liverpool include its many historic buildings, lovely gardens, and parks, as well as great museums such as the Merseyside Maritime Museum , the Museum of Liverpool , and world-class art galleries like the Walker Art Gallery and the Tate Gallery . These are all located in the city's revitalized Royal Albert Dock area, an historic area enjoyed exploring on foot.

Manchester Town Hall

Thanks to its international airport, Manchester is often the first stop for many visitors from North America planning to explore northern England, Scotland, or Wales. It's especially popular for fans of the sport of football (that's soccer to those from the US, including Ted Lasso!).

Manchester is, in fact, home to two top football clubs: Manchester United and Manchester City. Both are well represented in the must-visit National Football Museum , as are other popular teams from around the UK. Along with displays of memorabilia, trophies, and clothing, fun short movies explain the history of the sport and capture many of its defining moments.

Be sure to also visit at least one Manchester club's stadium, too. The best known is Manchester United's Old Trafford grounds, though Manchester City's Etihad Stadium is also worth seeing. Both offer fascinating tours and behind-the-scenes access. Better still, try to visit when there's a game on!

Other notable places to visit in Manchester include Castlefield , popular for its well-preserved Victorian houses, canals, and Roman ruins. It's also popular to explore on foot for its many old warehouses now serving as trendy shops, hotels, and restaurants.

If you've got time left in your Manchester itinerary, be sure to include Manchester Cathedral and the historic Town Hall. There's also a rich cultural scene that includes museums (Museum of Science and Industry), galleries (Manchester Art Gallery), and entertainment (Chinatown).

Cardiff: The Capital of Wales

Despite being much smaller than both Scotland and England, Wales is home to some of the UK's top attractions. Interesting things to do here range from exploring the breathtaking scenery and enjoying outdoor adventures in its national parks to visiting its historic castles.

One of the best places to sample a little of everything that Wales has to offer is the country's capital, Cardiff , with most travelers beginning their visit at Cardiff Castle . Located in the middle of the city and built on the ruins of an ancient Roman fort, parts of the current structure date as far back as 1090, with much of it restored in the 1800s. Highlights include the State Apartments, the Clock Tower, the Chapel, and a spectacular Banqueting Hall with its fine murals.

Afterward, be sure to spend time wandering the city's many old Victorian shopping arcades, the best of which can be found around The Hayes. You'll find everything from second-hand record stores to boutique clothing shops and custom jewelers to browse.

Also worth checking out is Cardiff Bay. One of the UK's largest redevelopment projects, this vast area is now home to numerous fine restaurants, theaters, galleries, and shopping opportunities, many of them housed in former warehouses on lovely Mermaid Quay.

Read More: Top-Rated Day Trips from Cardiff

Gorey Castle in Saint Martin, Jersey, Channel Islands

Although just 14 miles away from mainland France , the Channel Islands have been a British territory since 1066. One of the most picture-perfect destinations in the country, these attractive small islands not only boast a milder climate but offer great places to visit that don't get the large crowds like other parts of the country.

The Channel Islands comprise Jersey (the largest island), Guernsey, Alderney, Sark, and Herm (the smallest), along with numerous even tinier islands. The intrepid traveler will also be rewarded with everything from quaint seaside towns and villages to explore, historic castles and ruins (sometimes one and the same), as well as outdoor adventures and wildlife spotting.

As for getting here, the Channel Islands are well served by ferries from mainland England, as well as short flights from most major British airports.

Read More: Exploring the Top Attractions of the Channel Islands

Aerial view of Balmaha village on Loch Lomond

The Scottish city of Glasgow is a great place to visit for those who enjoy a mix of cultural attractions and the great outdoors. Once you've had your fix of historic sites such as Glasgow Cathedral and the museums of the University of Glasgow, among others, head out to explore nearby Loch Lomond .

Loch Lomond was dubbed "The Queen of Scottish Lakes" by famed writer Walter Scott, and it's here you'll see Ben Lomond and the beautiful Trossachs countryside. Trossachs National Park now includes Loch Lomond itself and covers some 720 square miles of prime hiking and biking country.

It's also popular for its fishing and boating, including sailing, canoeing, and kayaking. For true outdoor enthusiasts, Loch Lomond is the perfect spot for a "wild camping" adventure. Not only is it safe, you're never too far away from people if you need them. And, of course, you'll agree that the scenery here is even more beautiful when you have it all to yourself.

Read More: Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Glasgow

Snowden Mountain Railway

Not only does the Snowdonia region of Wales boast some of the country's most remarkable scenery — and that's saying something, as it really is a beautiful country — it's also home to the UK's second largest national park: Snowdonia National Park. Spread across nearly 830 square miles, the park is as big a draw for adventurers as it is for those seeking a pleasant and not-too-exhausting day trip.

If you're a hiker you can choose from a variety of trails that wind their way up (and down) Mount Snowdon itself, spending a full day tackling as difficult a route to the top as you desire. And those like me who want to see the spectacular views from the top without all the hard work can take the Snowdon Mountain Railway .

Considered one of the world's top scenic railways, the journey starts in Llanberis before tackling steep inclines up to the "Eryri" visitor center at the top of Snowdon.

Read More: Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Snowdonia

City Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Once omitted from the itineraries of most travelers to the UK, Belfast, the capital city of Northern Ireland, has in recent years become something of a must-see destination. Not only are there numerous historic attractions and cultural experiences to enjoy, but the city's people have the same welcoming attitude that the European nation of Ireland to the south is known for.

One of the city's top claims to fame was its role in the building of the ill-fated ocean liner, RMS Titanic . This connection is celebrated and memorialized in the city's Titanic Quarter , home to the impressive Titanic Belfast attraction. Here, you can explore interactive exhibits that deal not only with the vessel, but the thousands of people involved in its construction and, ultimately, its sinking.

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England Travel Guide

prettiest places to visit england

15 of the prettiest places to visit in England

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Recently updated on August 13th, 2023 at 10:33 am

England may be a small country, but it packs a punch when it comes to beauty. With everything from lush green mountains and quaint villages to golden beaches and turquoise waters, England is one of the most stunning countries on earth. Whether you’re looking for charming villages in the countryside, dazzling cities filled with ancient history, or a dreamy coastal retreat, here are 15 of the prettiest places to visit in England. 

1. Lake District

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Rolling green mountains, sparkling lakes, incredible views… the Lake District has got to be one of the most beautiful places to visit in all of England. The region has inspired writers and poets for centuries, including some of the greats like Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth.

Whether you cruise across Lake Windermere, England’s largest and most spectacular lake, explore old fortresses like Wray Castle, or go rambling through the lush countryside, you’re sure to fall in love with the Lake District. 

RELATED CONTENT: Where to retrace the footsteps of Beatrix Potter in the UK’s Lake District  

2. The Cotswolds

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Designated as an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ , you know you’re in for a scenic treat when you visit the Cotswolds. The area spreads across six different counties from the Chipping Campden to the south of Bath. It’s jam-packed full of gorgeous villages, honey-coloured stone mansions, ancient churches, thatch-roofed cottages, traditional tea shops and rolling green fields.

It’s all so beautifully preserved, a visit to the Costwolds is like stepping back in time. One of our favourite spots is the charming village of Lacock, where the 15th-century inn has served as a backdrop for famous films and shows like ‘Downton Abbey’, ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Pride & Prejudice.

RELATED CONTENT: Quiz – How well do you know the Queen?

3. Bath, Somerset

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As a UNESCO-listed site, the city of Bath is renowned for its incredible history and architecture. You’ll admire the regal Georgian architecture, the stunning Pulteney Bridge and 15th-century Gothic Abbey, and of course, the roman baths from which the city takes its name.

Be sure to pack your swimsuit and enjoy a soak in the natural warm water bubbling beneath the city in the beautiful Thermae Bath Spa and The Roman Baths. It’s the only natural thermal spa in England!

Other scenic highlights in Bath include the Royal Crescent overlooking the Royal Victoria Park and the Prior Park Landscape Garden. We also love getting to know the city’s history at the Jane Austen Centre and the Fashion Museum.

4. South East Cornwall

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When you think of England, you probably picture green fields and crumbling stone castles… But did you know the country is also home to turquoise waters and white sand beaches that look like they’ve been plucked straight from the Mediterranean?

South East Cornwall is an absolute dream, with pretty seaside villages like Polperro and Looe serving up cobbled streets, idyllic harbours and white sandy inlets tucked between lush cliff sides and dazzling blue ocean.

RELATED CONTENT : 8 Unusual Things to Do in England

5. Penwith Peninsula

st michaels mount surrounded by blue water and boats St Ives England

The Mediterranean vibes just keep on rolling in the Penwith Area, with coastal retreats like St. Ives and Penzance dishing up dazzling blue waters, charming harbours and a dose of history. Be sure to check out St. Michael’s Mount with its 17-the century castle perched on top of the tidal island near Penzance.

You can also see Tintagel Castle, the legendary birthplace of King Arthur that overlooks the wild Atlantic Ocean. Venture down to Tintagel Beach and you’ll be rewarded with emerald waters and Merlin’s Cave, a hiding place for baby Arthur in Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem “Idylls of the King”.

GET INSPIRED BY: Best of Devon and Cornwall

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With origins dating back to Roman times, the ancient cathedral city of York is one of the most beautiful places to visit in England. See the famous York Minster, one of the most impressive cathedrals in the world, Clifford’s Tower and the Yorkshire Museum and Gardens.

Walk along the Shambles, a charming old cobbled street with traditional timber-framed buildings dating back as far as the 14th century. You can also head to the City Walls, the longest medieval wall in England. Spanning 3.4 kilometres, this well-preserved fortification is now a stunning two-hour heritage trail around the city.

GET INSPIRED BY: Wonders of Britain and Ireland

7. Dartmoor National Park

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A vast land of pristine wilderness, Dartmoor National Park is one of the most spectacular places in all of Britain. Located in the county of Devon, it’s chock-full of sweeping moorlands, rugged mountain peaks, deep river valleys and incredible wildflowers and wildlife, including herds of wild ponies, dozens of bird species and rare butterflies.

You can go walking or cycling along the many trails which will take you from oak woodlands to river valleys to Bronze Age stone circles, Neolithic tombs and other historical sites. There’s also several charming villages around the national park – the perfect place to stop for a traditional pub lunch.

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This beautiful city is home to one of the world’s most famous universities, not to mention ancient buildings, charming cobbled streets, lush parklands and idyllic waterways.

Hit the streets to take in highlights like Radcliffe Square, Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Christ Church College and Pitt Rivers Museum. Then take a stroll along the River Cherwell or hire a boat to glide through the city on the water.

9. Stratford-upon-Avon

canal cottage Stratford-upon-Avon places to visit in England

Famed as the home of William Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon is a gorgeous town dotted with charming timber-framed Tudor houses. You can delve into the life of Shakespeare at his Birthplace and Visitor Centre, then see Anne Hathaway’s pretty thatched cottage and the twinkling waterways. 

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Located in southwest England, this whole county is postcard material! From the elegant capital of Exeter, with its medieval centre and 15th-century Exeter Cathedral, to seaside town of Brixham, with its pretty streets and Sir Francis Drake’s ship Golden Hind, there are endless treasures to explore in Devon.

Visit Lynmouth, a stunning village set on the rugged Exmoor coastline. Cruise around Plymouth, a historic naval port where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America. Stop by beautiful Dartmouth overlooking the winding River Dart.

We’ll even take you to a beautiful Devonshire village to see cob walled houses with thatched roofs and a 700-year-old parish church. You can even meet the locals and enjoy a tasty pub dinner in a 700-year-old village pub.

GET INSPIRED BY: Best of Britain

11. Hadrian’s Wall

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Spanning 135 kilometres (or 80 Roman miles), Hadrian’s Wall is one of the most incredible UNESCO-listed places to visit in England. It was built to keep tribal warriors out of the northern frontier of the Roman Empire on the orders of Emperor Hadrian after his visit to Britain in AD 122.

The wall served for nearly 300 years . Today it’s an ancient historical site surrounded by lush green landscapes and beautiful mountain scenery.

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12. Canterbury

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Canterbury is another stunning cathedral city in England. It was once a pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages and you can still see the ancient walls built by the Romans and the pretty medieval centre with cobbled streets and timber-framed houses.

It’s also renowned as the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the headquarters of the Church of England and Anglican Communion. You’ll be awed by the exquisite stone carvings and stained glass windows of the Canterbury Cathedral, founded in 597 AD. The city is also filled with gorgeous canals and you can take a boat ride to see all the stunning architecture and flower-lined waterways.

13. Bristol

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With rows of colourful houses overlooking the River Avon, this former port city is now an easygoing cultural hub. There are plenty of pretty streets and walking trails to explore, and you can also visit the historic Harbourside.

Stop by the 19th-century warehouses which are now home to shops, restaurants and galleries, and visit the M Shed museum to explore the local industrial heritage. Enjoy views of the striking Clifton Suspension Bridge and see Brunel’s SS Great Britain, the world’s first ocean-going luxury liner.

GET INSPIRED BY: Amazing Britain

14. Salisbury, Wiltshire

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Salisbury is one of the prettiest places to visit in England, thanks to its medieval masterpiece, the Salisbury Cathedral. Built between 1220 and 1258, this spectacular cathedral has the oldest working clock in Europe. It also boasts the tallest spire in the UK, standing at 123 metres or 332 steps to the top of the tower.

The cathedral is also home to the 13th-century Magna Carta, the ancient document which inspired movements for freedom in Britain and the world. To top it all off, this gorgeous town is only 13 kilometres from Stonehenge, the mysterious prehistoric monument and one of the best-known World Heritage Sites on earth. 

15. Alnwick, Northumberland

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This medieval market town is home to the impressive Alnwick Castle, where the Percy Lion sits upon the Tenantry Column and watches over the town. This ancient castle is the second largest inhabited castle in the UK (home to the Duke of Northumberland) and dates back to the Norman Period.

Through almost 1,000 years of history , this beautiful castle has served as a military outpost, teaching college, refuge for evacuees, family home and a film set. You might recognise it as the Brancaster Castle in Downton Abbey or as the magnificent Hogwarts in Harry Potter.

If you want to keep the magic going in Alnwick, make a stop at Barter Books. This old train station was transformed into a literary wonderland in 1991, and there are all kinds of treasures to discover.

What are your favourite places to visit in England? Let us know in the comments below!

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The most beautiful places in England

By Sophie Knight and Olivia Morelli

The most beautiful places in England

With vast national parks, countless chocolate-box villages and endless stretches of coastline, it isn't hard to see why England is brimming with pretty landscapes and picturesque views. We've rounded up the country's best-looking destinations, from cliffs overlooking the sea in Dorset and cosy cottages in Sussex to hidden caves in the Peak District and craggy shores in Devon.

On Cornwalls north coast The Scarlet in Mawgan Porth is a welldeserved pitstop on one of the best walking holidays in...

On Cornwall’s north coast, The Scarlet in Mawgan Porth is a well-deserved pitstop on one of the best walking holidays in the UK and looks out over the swelling Atlantic waves and tiny islets out to sea.

Aldeburgh

On the bustling streets of Southwold, a coastal breeze, signs for fresh fish for sale and plenty of pastel houses make for a lovely English staycation in Suffolk .

This storybook house sits just off the beach in Southwold Suffolk. Discover more of our favourite beach houses to rent...

This storybook house sits just off the beach in Southwold, Suffolk. Discover more of our favourite beach houses to rent in the UK .

A spiral staircase corkscrews its way upwards among the palms in Kew Gardens one of Londons loveliest parks.

A spiral staircase corkscrews its way upwards among the palms in Kew Gardens, one of London’s loveliest parks .

Along the Devonshire coastline Hope Cove House is a sophisticated nofrills hotel with views across a sandy cove backed...

Along the Devonshire coastline, Hope Cove House is a sophisticated, no-frills hotel with views across a sandy cove backed by thatched cottages, one of the best hotels in the UK .

The majestic redbrick Kew Palace proudly overlooks the grounds of Kew Gardens.

The majestic redbrick Kew Palace proudly overlooks the grounds of Kew Gardens.

Woodland walks long pub lunches and the chance to spy wild horses roaming free  the New Forest is one of our favourite...

Woodland walks, long pub lunches and the chance to spy wild horses roaming free – the New Forest is one of our favourite day trips from London .

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Colourful beach huts line the shores of Mudeford Sandbanks one of the UKs most beautiful beaches.

Colourful beach huts line the shores of Mudeford Sandbanks, one of the UK’s most beautiful beaches .

Covered in twisting vines and crawlers the leafy Pig Hotel in Brockenhurst is a perfect place to unwind. For a day...

Covered in twisting vines and crawlers, the leafy Pig Hotel in Brockenhurst is a perfect place to unwind. For a day exploring Hampshire, head to the village of Beaulieu, one of the prettiest villages in the UK .

With wild deer roaming free the babbling river Thames gently flowing past and plenty of green spaces blooming with...

With wild deer roaming free, the babbling river Thames gently flowing past, and plenty of green spaces blooming with wildflowers, Richmond is a corner of the city that doesn’t feel like London .

Thyme Cotswolds

One of England’s top hotels, Thyme is a grand manor house set on pristine grounds and is also home to the Ox Barn, one of the best restaurants in the Cotswolds.

A shop for the greenfingered  Petersham Nurseries in Richmond is a bohemian jungle of greenhouses and plants and one of...

A shop for the green-fingered – Petersham Nurseries in Richmond is a bohemian jungle of greenhouses and plants and one of the best park cafes in London – plus it’s home to a Michelin-starred restaurant.

From London you can get to Surrey in just 50 minutes. Explore the tiny villages  or marvel at Hampton Court Palace  this...

From London, you can get to Surrey in just 50 minutes. Explore the tiny villages (like this one in Shere) or marvel at Hampton Court Palace – this is one of the best day trips from London .

This rickety restaurant with pale blue doors and hazy sunset views looks out over the beautiful South Milton Sands in...

This rickety restaurant, with pale blue doors and hazy sunset views, looks out over the beautiful South Milton Sands in Devon – and is one of our favourite beach restaurants in the UK .

For a romantic trip in the UK it doesnt get much better than disappearing among the ferns and pines of the New Forest...

For a romantic trip in the UK , it doesn’t get much better than disappearing among the ferns and pines of the New Forest National Park for a back-to-nature camping trip.

Along the winding Cornish coastline this walking route takes you past The Pig where you can sit outside and fill up on...

Along the winding Cornish coastline, this walking route takes you past The Pig , where you can sit outside and fill up on freshly caught seafood from The Lobster Shed.

The Idle Rocks Cornwall

Waves gently lap this Cornish hotel, but inside eclectic decor, giant bathtubs and a blue-and-white sailor colour palette make the Idle Rocks one of England’s most charming seaside hotels.

Flagstone floors wooden bars and lavenderfringed gardens at The Lord Poulett Arms in Somerset.

Flagstone floors, wooden bars and lavender-fringed gardens at The Lord Poulett Arms in Somerset .

A view of Camber Sands in Rye.

A view of Camber Sands in Rye .

A frosty morning walk in Oxfordshire.

A frosty morning walk in Oxfordshire.

The pale blue shores and white sands of Kynance Cove Cornwall. For more inspiration nearby see our recommendations for...

The pale blue shores and white sands of Kynance Cove, Cornwall. For more inspiration nearby, see our recommendations for the best places to visit in Cornwall .

A waterfall pours down a cliffside on the North Devon coast.

A waterfall pours down a cliffside on the North Devon coast.

Colourful beach huts line the shore on Mersea Island.

Colourful beach huts line the shore on Mersea Island .

The picturesque Clare College Bridge crosses the River Cam in Cambridge.

The picturesque Clare College Bridge crosses the River Cam in Cambridge .

Mismatched furniture oil paintings and high ceilings at The Talbot in Malton.

Mismatched furniture, oil paintings and high ceilings at The Talbot in Malton .

A string of medieval houses in Rye Sussex.

A string of medieval houses in Rye, Sussex .

Cobbles Court in Cambridge built in the 1720s.

Cobbles Court in Cambridge , built in the 1720s.

The Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol opened in 1864 is one of the wonders that followed the Industrial Revolution.

The Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol , opened in 1864, is one of the wonders that followed the Industrial Revolution.

The cosy Star Inn at Harome in Yorkshire with wooden beams and crooked staircases.

The cosy Star Inn at Harome in Yorkshire with wooden beams and crooked staircases.

The Newt sits on a fruitfilled estate in Somerset.

The Newt sits on a fruit-filled estate in Somerset.

Bledington Barn is a renovated 300yearold stone barn in Oxfordshire.

Bledington Barn is a renovated 300-year-old stone barn in Oxfordshire.

The green exterior of Michelinstarred restaurant with rooms The Black Swan at Olstead in Yorkshire.

The green exterior of Michelin-starred restaurant with rooms, The Black Swan at Olstead in Yorkshire .

Rugged coastal views from Gara Rock in Salcombe Devon.

Rugged coastal views from Gara Rock in Salcombe, Devon .

A laid table framed by hanging herbs and flowers in Osip one of the best restaurants in Somerset.

A laid table framed by hanging herbs and flowers in Osip, one of the best restaurants in Somerset .

Soho Farmhouse Chipping Norton

Lavender-framed lawns at Soho Farmhouse , one of the UK's best hotels .

A sitting room at The Lygon Arms Worcestershire

A cosy sitting room in The Lygon Arms in Worcestershire .

Set in five acres of rolling grounds redbricked The Pig at Bridge Place offers rural isolation in Canterbury Kent.

Set in five acres of rolling grounds, red-bricked The Pig at Bridge Place offers rural isolation in Canterbury , Kent.

Artist Residence in Oxfordshire is set inside a 16thcentury building with an olive treestudded courtyard.

Artist Residence in Oxfordshire is set inside a 16th-century building with an olive tree-studded courtyard.

Babington House

Moody colours, vintage tiles and wood panelling welcome guests at Babington House in Somerset .

An ecofriendly retreat The Scarlet Hotel in Cornwall overlooks golden sands at Mawgan Porth bay.

An eco-friendly retreat, The Scarlet Hotel in Cornwall overlooks golden sands at Mawgan Porth bay.

View of the Devon coastline from The Cary Arms.

View of the Devon coastline from The Cary Arms .

The Stepping Stones a historical landmark in Bruton Somerset.

The Stepping Stones, a historical landmark, in Bruton, Somerset .

Forde Abbey is renowned for its immaculate gardens filled with roses wisteria and acres of land in Somerset.

Forde Abbey is renowned for its immaculate gardens filled with roses, wisteria and acres of land in Somerset.

A man fishing on the River Loddon in Hampshire.

A man fishing on the River Loddon in Hampshire.

A bathtub in Soho townhouse Hazlitt's in London.

A bathtub in Soho townhouse Hazlitt's in London.

The rocky lands of Carl Wark in the Peak District.

The rocky lands of Carl Wark in the Peak District .

Sunset over the sea in Dorset.

Sunset over the sea in Dorset .

Historical landmark Forde Abbey covered in wisteria.

Historical landmark Forde Abbey covered in wisteria.

Colourful beach huts line the shore in Whitstable Kent.

Colourful beach huts line the shore in Whitstable, Kent .

A man hikes up Thor's Cave a natural cavern in the Manifold Valley in the Peak District. See our guide to the best walks...

A man hikes up Thor's Cave, a natural cavern in the Manifold Valley in the Peak District. See our guide to the best walks in the Peak District .

Durdle Door on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset.

Durdle Door on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset.

Colourful fields in Yorkshire.

Colourful fields in Yorkshire .

The sun sets on Beachy Head in East Sussex.

The sun sets on Beachy Head in East Sussex .

A hazy seafront at Hastings Sussex.

A hazy seafront at Hastings , Sussex.

Diners sit in the sunshine outside Somerset House in London.

Diners sit in the sunshine outside Somerset House in London .

A vinecovered bridge in Bibury Cotswolds.

A vine-covered bridge in Bibury, Cotswolds .

Sunlight hits Bath Abbey a monastery in Bath dating back to the 7th century.

Sunlight hits Bath Abbey, a monastery in Bath dating back to the 7th century.

A cherry blossom tree frames pastelhued houses in Oxford.

A cherry blossom tree frames pastel-hued houses in Oxford.

Contrasting architecture in Bank London.

Contrasting architecture in Bank, London.

Carnewas at Bedruthan Steps in the Cornish coast between Padstow and Newquay.

Carnewas at Bedruthan Steps in the Cornish coast, between Padstow and Newquay.

Golden hour in Covent Garden London.

Golden hour in Covent Garden, London .

People stand overlooking the sea on a cliff at the Jurassic Coast in Dorset.

People stand overlooking the sea on a cliff at the Jurassic Coast in Dorset.

A view of the goldenhued buildings of Bath from a hot air balloon.

A view of the golden-hued buildings of Bath from a hot air balloon.

Unusually quiet streets of Oxford Circus in London.

Unusually quiet streets of Oxford Circus in London.

A forest filled with a carpet of bluebells in Oxford.

A forest filled with a carpet of bluebells in Oxford.

Saunton Sands on the north Devon coast.

Saunton Sands on the north Devon coast.

Forests of green in Stourhead Stourton.

Forests of green in Stourhead, Stourton.

The sleepy shores of West Lulworth Dorset.

The sleepy shores of West Lulworth, Dorset.

Lowlit interiors and stainedglass windows of Balliol College Oxford.

Low-lit interiors and stained-glass windows of Balliol College, Oxford.

Ammonite an understated 1930s log cabin in East Sussex.

Ammonite, an understated 1930s log cabin in East Sussex .

A green coastal path by the beach in Devon.

A green coastal path by the beach in Devon .

Hanging lights wooden tables and whitewashed walls at St John bakery in London.

Hanging lights, wooden tables and white-washed walls at St John bakery in London .

The view over fields from a house in Kingsbridge.

The view over fields from a house in Kingsbridge.

The sun shines through the windows of the restaurant in Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

The sun shines through the windows of the restaurant in Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Houses reflecting in the water in Whitby.

Houses reflecting in the water in Whitby.

Plants take over the Conservatory Archives in London.

Plants take over the Conservatory Archives in London.

A pub covered in ivy in the village of Bibery Cotswolds.

A pub covered in ivy in the village of Bibery, Cotswolds.

The Woodsman's Treehouse in the Dorset woods.

The Woodsman's Treehouse in the Dorset woods.

A sandy stretch of land in Dungeness Kent.

A sandy stretch of land in Dungeness, Kent.

Atkinsons coffee roasters in Manchester.

Atkinsons coffee roasters in Manchester .

A plant shop in Falmouth Cornwall.

A plant shop in Falmouth, Cornwall.

Looking out over Old Harry Rocks in Dorset on a foggy day.

Looking out over Old Harry Rocks in Dorset on a foggy day.

A glimpse of water between two houses on the North Norfolk coast.

A glimpse of water between two houses on the North Norfolk coast.

A pink house in Suffolk.

A pink house in Suffolk .

The circular walk from Blakeney through Cley.

The circular walk from Blakeney through Cley.

The silhouette of a lighthouse in winter in Whitby Yorkshire.

The silhouette of a lighthouse in winter in Whitby, Yorkshire.

A shady corner by a stream in Canterbury Kent.

A shady corner by a stream in Canterbury, Kent.

The colourful grounds surrounding The Ethicurean a restaurant in Somerset.

The colourful grounds surrounding The Ethicurean, a restaurant in Somerset .

Brightly coloured houses line a road in Malton.

Brightly coloured houses line a road in Malton.

The majestic Radcliffe Camera in Oxford.

The majestic Radcliffe Camera in Oxford.

The Circus a popular street in Bath Somerset.

The Circus, a popular street in Bath, Somerset.

Grand Askham Hall rises up amid fields of green in Cumbria.

Grand Askham Hall rises up amid fields of green in Cumbria.

The most beautiful places in England

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Rough Guides Editors

written by Rough Guides Editors

updated 16.11.2023

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We asked the Rough Guides team to name the most beautiful places in England . After much deliberation, here are the results.

1. The Lake District

2. bath, somerset, 3. the south downs national park, sussex, 4. the peak district - one of the most beautiful places in england for hiking, 5. salcombe, devon, 6. kimmeridge bay, dorset, 7. hampstead heath, london.

  • 8. Robin Hood's Bay, North Yorkshire

9. West Cornwall

10. dartmouth, devon, 11. castle combe, the cotswolds, 12. whitby abbey ruins, yorkshire, 13. durdle door, dorset.

  • 14. St. Michael's Mount, Cornwall

15. The Holy Island of Lindisfarne

The information in this article is inspired by The Rough Guide to England , your essential guide for visiting England .

Travel ideas for England, created by local experts

The Great British Road Trip

20 days  / from 3042 USD

The Great British Road Trip

Get ready to explore Britain on this unique self-drive road trip. Choose the car of your liking before you hit the road: from the Cotswolds and its picturesque villages over the Beatle's favorite hang-out in Liverpool to Scotland's capital Edinburgh: this trip includes many highlights to be explored

Magical 7-Day Family Adventure in Scotland and England : From Harry Potter to Loch Ness!

7 days  / from 1372 USD

Magical 7-Day Family Adventure in Scotland and England : From Harry Potter to Loch Ness!

Searching for an unforgettable family adventure? Scotland is the perfect destination! With a perfect balance of nature, adventure, and Scottish culture. This 7-day trip offers a delightful mix of activities that everyone in the family will enjoy. Get ready to create life long lasting memories!

Refreshing English Countryside Break

5 days  / from 648 USD

Refreshing English Countryside Break

Outside of London, England is known with a countryside full of history, picturesque villages, patchwork hills, and winding country roads. Explore the countryside with its castles, parks, and historical cities such as Oxford.

This area of natural beauty , and in particular Kirkstone Pass, is one of the most beautiful places in England. The highest mountain pass in the country, Kirkstone is a beautiful drive or cycle.

There are incredible views and great hikes to be had. The Kirkstone Pass Inn, an old coaching house dating back to the fifteenth century, is a great base for exploring the area. Some believe it's haunted by the ghosts of travellers who used to pass through.

Ullswater lake curves through the mountains of the English Lake District at Glenridding © Joe Dunckley/Shutterstock

Ullswater Lake curves through the mountains of the English Lake District at Glenridding © Joe Dunckley/Shutterstock

Bath with its elegant Georgian architecture and that famous crescent set on a hill overlooking the Royal Victoria Park, has enchanted many visitors. In fact, the city sees over two million tourists per year.

The perfect way to unwind after all that sightseeing? A visit to the Thermae Bath Spa to soak in some of the naturally warm water that bubbles beneath the city.

Bath © ThinAir/Shutterstock

Bath © ThinAir/Shutterstock

The South Downs National Park has 1600 square kilometres of incredible views. "It's the countryside that says "England" to you the most." There’s perhaps nothing more striking than the white cliffs of the Seven Sisters rising out of the deep blue ocean on England’s South Coast.

Travelling around Sussex you might also be interested in visiting Brighton, one of the most popular seaside destinations in the country. And to find out what you can do there, read our guide to the best things to do in Brighton .

Seven Sisters Cliffs, Sussex, England© Kanuman/Shutterstock

Seven Sisters Cliffs, Sussex, England, UK © Shutterstock

Inspiration by the likes of Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, the rugged Peak District has been charming Brits for centuries. Here you're sure to be smitten with its undulating hills, windswept crags and imposing country houses. This is one of the most beautiful places in England, with spectacular views, excellent walking trails (including the Pennine Way) and the regal Chatsworth House among its many draws.

chatsworth-house-england-uk-shutterstock_1330478033

Chatsworth House © Anastasia Iaptov/Shutterstock

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View of Rio de Janeiro and Sugarloaf Mountain from Corcovado view point, Brazil © galaro/Shutterstock

This genteel, pastel-coloured seaside town has proximity to some of Devon ’s unspoiled, quiet sandy coves. The town describes itself as Devon’s sailing capital, and there's no better way to see the colourful seafront than from the open blue waters of the English Channel.

Salcombe in South Devon © Gordon Bell/Shutterstock

Salcombe in South Devon is one of the most beautiful places in England for its sea viwes © Gordon Bell/Shutterstock

Another stunningly beautiful place in England is Kimmeridge Bay. Perhaps it’s the views over the ocean, or maybe the millions of years of history that lay immortalized as fossils in the cliffs of this stretch of the Jurassic Coast. Whatever it is, if you can bag yourself a stay at the Landmark Trust’s Clavell Tower you’ll have the best view over the bay.

Once in Dorset, don't forget to visit some of the most impressive castles in the area.

clavell-tower-kimmeridge-bay-dorset-england-shutterstock_1048863818

Clavell Tower, Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset, England © Shutterstock

Hampstead Heath ends up on the list of the most beautiful places in England, as it's probably the only place in central London where you truly feel like you could be a hundred miles away. Plus The Spaniards Inn pub at the northern edge is one of London's best – dating back to 1585 – and both Keats and Dickens allegedly used to drink here.

The Rough Guides to England and related travel guides

In-depth, easy-to-use travel guides filled with expert advice.

The Rough Guide to Bath, Bristol & Somerset

Try our tailor-made trip to England Historical Highlights : From busy London and its Buckingham Palace over historical Oxford to the mysterious Stonehenge.

Hampstead Heath during the summer months in London © Chris Seddon/Shutterstock

Hampstead Heath, London Park © Shutterstock

8. Robin Hood's Bay, North Yorkshire

This historic fishing village staggered down a steep hill to the sea, was once a haven for smugglers. It’s hard to beat eating fish and chips by the (often wind-swept) sea here, overlooking England’s “ dinosaur coast ”.

Aerial view of Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire, England ©  Andrei Petrus/Shutterstock

Aerial view of Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire, England © Andrei Petrus/Shutterstock

It’s easy to understand why West Cornwall is considered one of the most beautiful places in England. Long before Poldark started brooding on cliff tops, in-the-know travellers were heading to Cornwall's stunning western reaches. The list of its merits is impressive: renowned surf, dramatic cliffs, ancient fishing villages, abandoned tin mines, mystical stone circles, windswept moorland...

This is a hiker's paradise and this tailor-made trip to Northern Cornwall includes the most scenic parts. You will start your journey in London with some unique activities to get to know the city, before setting off on a 5-day walk across Cornwall.

porthcurno-England-cornwall-shutterstock_1095360353

Porthcurno England, Cornwall © Shutterstock

Dartmouth in Devon captivates with its breathtaking coastal walkway, offering sweeping views of the majestic River Dart and the charming sight of an old steam train arriving at Kingswear. The harbour is adorned with an array of vibrantly coloured boats, creating a picturesque scene that evokes memories of childhood vacations. Dartmouth's beauty is timeless and unforgettable.

kingswear-castle-dartmouth-devon-uk-shutterstock_607874339

Kingswear Castle, Dartmouth, Devon, UK © Shutterstock

Tucked in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in northwest Wiltshire, Castle Combe is often called “the prettiest village in England." It's certainly one of the best Cotswolds villages to visit. With no new houses built here since the 1600s, Castle Combe has a decidedly fairy-tale feel. This village is known for it's honey-hued houses, a faceless 13th-century clock, and a picture-perfect bridge over a babbling river.

Quaint Castle Combe village in the Cotswolds - "the prettiest village in England"

Castle Combe village in the Cotswolds © Shutterstock

The cliff-top ruins of Whitby Abbey are some of the most evocative in England. Its monastery was founded in 657 by St Hilda of Hartlepool, daughter of King Oswy of Northumberland. By 664 it had become important enough to host the Synod of Whitby, an event of seminal importance in the development of English Christianity.

whitby-abbey-england-uk-shutterstock_323941019

Whitby Abbey © Shutterstock

A mile west of Lulworth Cove, the iconic limestone arch of Durdle Door can be reached via the steep uphill path that starts from Lulworth Cove’s car park. The arch itself sits at the end of a long shingle beach, a lovely place for catching the sun and swimming in fresh, clear water.

There are further steps to a bay just east of Durdle Door, St Oswald’s Bay, with another shingle beach and offshore rocks that you can swim out to.

Durdle Door at the beach on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset, UK © Patryk Kosmider/Shutterstock

Durdle Door at the beach on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset, UK © Patryk Kosmider/Shutterstock

14. St. Michael's Mount, Cornwall

Mount St Michael, one of the most beautiful places in England, holds a rich history. It was inspired by the apparition of the archangel Michael, leading to the building of a church in the fifth century. Eventually, a Celtic monastery arose here, and in the eleventh century, Edward the Confessor founded a chapel, taking inspiration from the famous Mont Saint-Michel in Brittany.

The combination of twelfth-century buildings and charming additions such as the turreted chapel and the seventeenth-century Chevy Chase Room exudes undeniable beauty. Also, don't miss the enchanting gardens waiting to be explored.

St Michael's Mount in Cornwall © Valery Egorov/Shutterstock

St Michael's Mount in Cornwall © Valery Egorov/Shutterstock

It’s a dramatic approach to Holy Island – only accessible at low tide – past the barnacle-encrusted marker poles that line the three-mile-long causeway. Topped with a stumpy castle, this tidal island is small, sandy and bare, and in winter it can be bleak. However, come summer, day-trippers clog the car parks as soon as the causeway is open.

Even then, though, Lindisfarne (as the island was once known) has a distinctive and isolated atmosphere. Give the place time and, if you can, stay overnight when you’ll be able to see the historic remains without hundreds of others cluttering the views.

The national trust Holy island castle from Lindisfarne Priory © Shutterstock

Holy island castle from Lindisfarne Priory © Shutterstock

England has so much to offer not only in terms of beautiful scenery but also in the variety of interesting ways to spend your time. Discover what made our list of the best things to do in England.

Ready for a trip to England? Check out the snapshot of The Rough Guide to England or The Rough Guide to Great Britain .

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Norwich river view

The 15 best places to visit in the UK in 2024

From charming seaside spots to bustling cities, we’ve got all the staycation inspo you need right here

Chiara Wilkinson

For all the bucket list places around the world, it can be easy to forget that we actually have some pretty amazing places to explore right here on our doorstep. Sure, the British weather can have a mind of its own and train travel can leave a lot to be desired, but if you’re willing to put up with all of that, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what there is to discover. 

From quaint coastal towns with trailblazing restaurants and bustling cities with an edge of their own, to gorgeous islands that feel nothing like the UK , these are the parts of the country that should hands-down be on your staycation wishlist for next year. These places have thriving food, drink and arts scenes, they’re home to exciting new openings and they have plenty of big events for you to scribble into your calendar, pronto. 

Thinking of planning a holiday a little closer to home next year? By sifting through all of the hottest launches for next year and using our expert knowledge of cultural scenes around the country,  Time Out’s UK team has curated the very best British destinations for you to plan a trip to in 2024. And the best part? Y ou can visit most of them easily, cheaply and without having to catch a flight. Time to get booking!

RECOMMENDED: 📍 The best  things to do in the UK 🏖️ The best  seaside towns in the UK 🏘️ The best  Airbnbs in the UK

An email you’ll actually love

Where to visit in the UK in 2024

Bristol

1.  Bristol

Should we really be surprised that (apparently) everyone is moving to Bristol ? Its cultural scene is just as exciting as London ’s, but it’s still only a short coach journey away; it has picture-perfect streets and bustling, diverse nightlife. And i n 2024, its arts offering is only getting better. A musical adaptation of the 2006 film ‘ Starter for Ten ’ is coming to the renowned Old Vic theatre from February 29 to March 30, while   DIASPORA! , a brand new festival showcasing BIPOC global ethnic majority artists – across theatre, dance, music, visual and digital arts, as well as poetry and spoken word – is launching in May.   Undershed , a new immersive gallery, is on track to launch in Spring, and   Boxhall   – a street food, beer and events space by the same people who behind London’s   Boxpark   – will also open its doors.   

The perfect day Start with grabbing a coffee from Clifton Coffee Roasters  before pottering around Gloucester Road and perusing the many shops (it’s the largest strip of independent retailers in Europe). Then, hop on a Bristol Ferry water bus tour  to see the city from the water . Finally, feast on a dinner of Spanish small plates at Bravas (or check out one of the city’s other excellent restaurants ), before heading out to rave the night away at one of the many DIY-style clubs . 

Plan your trip The 2024 edition of Bristol’s newest music festival, Forwards , takes place on August 31 and September 1. 2023 headliners included Aphex Twin, Erykah Badu and Raye .

📍 The best things to do in Bristol 🍴 The   best  restaurants in Bristol

Hull

2.  Hull

Hull became a surprising capital for the UK’s LGBTQ+ community in 2023. From  Monroe’s   to Unit 49 and Cherry’s – named after the late ‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race’ star Cherry Valentine – an influx of new gay bars and clubs means Hull’s new Freedom Quarter is slowly growing its ecosystem of queer-friendly spaces. As well as its thriving LGBTQ+ scene, in 2017 the East Yorkshire city was also named the city of culture. It’s got The Deep , an enormous aquarium with 3000 species, a picturesque old town which survived the city’s relentless WWII bombings, and lots of up and coming indie art galleries like Ground and Artlink . Don’t sleep on Hull.

The perfect day  Get your caffeine fix at Still. by Two Gingers Coffee before having a wonder around Hull’s charming old town or pottering in the shops at Hepworth’s Arcade . After that, head to indie events space Ground to check out whatever arty happenings they have on. Finally, stop for a pint at Ye Olde White Hart before heading to one of the infamous 13-hour parties (yes, really) at Gate No. 5 .

Plan your visit Pride in Hull will take place on July 29, 2024. 

📍 The best things to do in Hull

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3.  Isles of Scilly

A lot of people say that the Isles of Scilly are the British version of the Caribbean – and you know what? We’d totally agree. This stunning archipelago off the coast of Cornwall is largely unspoilt, with white stretches of sandy beaches, turquoise waters and plenty of opportunities to go island hopping and dolphin spotting. But there’s more, too: head to the local museum to immerse yourself in the islanders’ deep sense of culture and tradition, sink yourself silly on local ales at seaside pubs or indulge your sense of adventure by snorkelling over the many under-the-sea shipwrecks. Bliss. 

The perfect day Travel to the islands by Skybus from Land’s End – it only takes 20 minutes, and there’s a gorgeous view. Once you arrive, make your way over to St Mary’s Riding Centre to take in the stunning scenery on horse-back. If that’s not your thing, hire bikes and explore the coastal trails of St. Mary’s islands before taking a transfer boat to St. Agnes to visit the Turks Head for a hearty pub lunch made using local ingredients. Once your food goes down? It has to be time for a swim.

Plan your trip The Isle of Scilly food festival is a ten-day celebration of local provenance taking place in September, with mouth-watering events like beach BBQs and vineyard tours.

📍 The best places to visit in Cornwall

London

4.  London

Ah, good old London . No matter how many times you’ve visited or how long you’ve lived there, you’ll always find new things to discover in the capital. There are a tonne of new restaurants to feast at, all sorts of gorgeous hotel openings and plenty of fresh cultural things to do. Most notably, in 2024, you can dance at Drumsheds , the mammoth warehouse club housed in a former IKEA, catch a blockbuster exhibition – like Yoko Ono at the Tate Modern or The World of Tim Burton at the Design Museum – and see epic new West End performances ( Mean Girls , anyone?).

The perfect day  For lunch, grab a delicious loaded sandwich at Dom’s Subs on Hackney Road for (or treat yourself to a boujee meal out at Morito ), before perusing the cute independent shops on Columbia Road and gawking over the even cuter animals at Hackney City Farm . Head over to Soho for a late-afternoon pint at the iconic French House , then round off your day with a delicious pre-theatre dinner at the newly opened Forza Wine at the National Theatre , before catching a play. 

Plan your trip Book tickets to see the stage adaptation of Studio Ghibli’s ‘ Spirited Away ’, taking place at the London Coliseum from April 30 until August 24.

📍 The best things to do in London 🍴 The best restaurants in London

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5.  Belfast

The Norn Iron capital is criminally underrated. If you’re yet to discover its welcoming warmth and cultural vibrance, 2024 is the year to change that. Over the next twelve months Belfast has mega ambitions to deliver its biggest ever cultural celebration via a project dubbed ‘ Belfast 2024 ’. Set around the theme of ‘People, Place and Planet’, the whopping programme of 24 large-scale commissions and over 200 events, workshops and activities includes a collaboration with the Eden Project, a guerilla gardening scheme aimed at rewilding the peace walls in the west of the city and an immersive music showcase celebrating Belfast’s contemporary Black culture.

The perfect day Begin with a wholesome morning stroll through the Botanic Gardens , followed by a hefty brunch at Output . Then wander through the parliament buildings at Stormont and the monumental Titanic Belfast museum. In the evening, find your way to The Muddlers Club hidden within the historic back streets of the Cathedral Quarter, or if you’d rather eat in, order from cult favourite Mexican place Boojums . Round off the evening by grabbing a pint accompanied by some banging live music at the Dirty Onion .

Plan your trip  The cultural celebrations kick off from March and will run through to November. Make sure to be in the city on March 17 for an ‘enhanced’ edition of St Patrick’s Day shindigs.

📍 The best things to do in Belfast

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6.  St Andrews

Forgive us for including two Scottish seaside towns in this list (see: number 14), but it’s a good excuse to plan a road trip, right? A coastal gem in the Kingdom of Fife, St Andrews is home to an ancient university, three stunning beaches, botanic gardens, multiple pubs, a famous golf course and not much else. But it’s also beautiful, extremely walkable and very peaceful, and if you’re after a bit more action, it’s also close enough to Dundee to plan a day trip to the renowned V&A museum . St Andrews has also been tipped to be a hit set-jetting destination for 2024 with the town featuring heavily in the final season of ‘ The Crown ’, thanks to it to being where Prince William met Kate Middleton while at university. Fans, come this way.

The perfect day Line your stomach with a delicious fry up from Northpoint (which claims, like many places in town, to be where ‘Will met Kate’). Then, you’ll probably want to go for a lofty beach walk on West Sands, where ‘Chariots of Fire’ was filmed, before returning to town for some fresh fish and chips from Cromar’s (if the weather allows, eat them on another nearby beach: Castle Sands). In the evening, catch a local show at The Byre Theatre  or sink some pints at one of the town’s many pubs: Aikman’s and Brew Co. are very good choices.

Plan your trip  V isit in July: most of the students will have left for the summer and you might actually get to enjoy the beach with some sun.

📍 The essential guide to Scotland

Lewes

7.  Lewes

‘Like a box of toys under a great amphitheatre of chalk hills... on the whole it is set down better than any town I have seen in England’: so said William Morris about Lewes in the 1800s. The sloping Sussex town has been a favoured haunt of artsy progressives, not least Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell and the rest of the bohemian Bloomsbury set. In 2023, it gained a brand new cultural space in the form of Charleston in Lewes (head here in the new year to catch the ‘Bring No Clothes: Bloomsbury and Fashion’ exhibition, closing March 3). There’s more, too: as you wonder Lewes’ charming wonky streets you’ll stumble past the former home of Anne of Cleves, Lewes Castle , a hodgepodge of artisan stores and delicious foodie spots – as well as the most bonkers pub in the UK, the Lewes Arms.

The perfect day  Take the brand new Sussex Art Shuttle and travel a short distance outside of town to see Charleston Farmhouse , before heading back for a veggie burger at Bun and Bean and a pastry dessert from Flint Owl Bakery . Spend the afternoon learning about the history of the castle and Lewes Priory , then browse the independent shops in The Needlemakers . Finish with a meal and a movie at Depot .

Plan your trip  The stunning Glyndebourne Opera House is hosting a festival of world class opera from May 16 to August 25, while the incredible extravaganza that is Lewes Bonfire Night is taking place around November 5.

📍 The best things to do in Lewes

Newcastle

8.  Newcastle

There’s plenty to shout about in Newcastle (and not just the nightlife, though we love that too). The city’s food scene already had a pretty good reputation, but new openings in 2023 have really seen it thrive, like natural wine and pizza spot Bawn  and new brunch spot Cafeteria :  a sort of posh style greasy spoon, which seem to be all the range now. Pair this with a load of great galleries and pubs, the legendary Wylam Brewery and Tyneside Cinema and seriously reasonable prices and you’ve got a cracking weekend away. Or you might just want to pack up and move there. It happens. 

The perfect day  Grab a coffee (with a view) at La Verne Vintage , before walking waterside and over the Quayside bridge. Head to the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and wander through whatever exhibition is on, before heading to the very top floor for fantastic views over the city. Then head to Ouseburn, Newcastle’s coolest neighbourhood, and grab a pint and a banging vegan lunch at The Ship Inn . If you’ve got an itching for more art, check out the Biscuit Factory next door. After a few more pints, hit up World Headquarters for a night on the Toon. 

Plan your trip  The Newcastle Fringe 2024 will run from July 18 to  29. Catch shows at the very cool Northern Stage as well as a number of pubs. 

📍 The best things to do in Newcastle

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9.  Falmouth

Falmouth has always been Cornwall’s cooler town. Home to Exeter and Falmouth university campuses, student life here has brought a bit of vibrancy and edge to the quiet cobbled streets – but there’s always been a glaring gap when it came to the question of nightlife. Recently, though – thanks to new music venue  The Cornish Bank  –  its late night credentials have shot up. From Klub Nos Lowen, a cult folk music night, to up and coming indie bands, this spot is the ideal place to absorb some of the county’s best culture.

The perfect day  Start with a paddle at Gyllyngvase Beach, then warm yourself up with a coffee at Gylly beach cafe . Then check out the independent boutiques and galleries on the high street. (Shout out to Mirri Damer jewellery and Wild Pony vintage.) After grabbing some grub from Harbour Lights fish and chips, head to Chain Locker for a harbourside pint before moseying on to a gig at The Cornish Bank. If you have time, pop in to Beerwolf too, a charming pub/bookshop.

Plan your visit  T he annual worm charming championship  (you read that right)  takes place in late May every year. The Sea Shanty Festival  takes place on June  14 to 16  2024, and Falmouth Week , an extravaganza of music, sailing and local culture, takes place on August  9 to 18 .

📍 The best things to do in Falmouth

Manchester

10.  Manchester

Manchester never fails to serve up a cultural banquet. After a huge year that saw the launch of Factory International at Aviva Studios, the rescue of grassroots gig venue, The Snug , and the long-awaited reopening of Manchester Museum , 2024 is set to be another big one. The star of the show will be the huge, innovative Co-op Live  which is opening in April, backed by Bruce Springsteen and Harry Styles and already has the likes of Liam Gallagher and Oilvia Rodrigo lined up to perform. And in much-anticipated news for its food scene, L’Enclume chef Tom Barnes is opening his first solo restaurant, Skof , in the Noma district in spring.

The perfect day  Swing by Idle Hands to fuel up on carbs and caffeine before perusing around the Northern Quarter’s indie shops (don’t miss Queer Lit or the Craft and Design Centre). Pick from a huge range of edible options at Mackie Mayor for lunch (or head to the Michelin-starred Where The Light Gets In , for something special) then use the new Visit Manchester Pass to check out the National Football Museum and take a craft beer tour of the city. End with a tipple and live music at YES .

Plan your trip  Head up some time between October 23 and 27 to catch the Worldwide Music Expo , which is set to attract over 2,600 big guns from the global music industry.

📍 The best things to do in Manchester 🍴 The best  restaurants in Manchester

Ramsgate

11.  Ramsgate

Last year it was all about Margate , but now, another neighbour has joined Kent’s roster of cosy, culture-filled seaside towns that everyone’s getting obsessed with. Enter: Ramsgate , a walkable gem with a hell of a lot of character. Check out one of its locally-run galleries and studios (including Level 11 , specialising in dog pics), and don’t miss filling up at one of its new food offerings: this year, bar/restaurant Seabird  arrived on the scene , as well as new monthly pop-up Catch at the Camden Arms , serving up a delightful seafood set menu. Oh, and the world’s biggest Wetherspoons is here. You heard us. 

The perfect day  Pull up at Ramsgate Station and stroll towards the seafront, stopping at The Modern Boulangerie on Harbour Street for brunch and a ridiculously good cinnamon roll. Take a coffee to go and spend time checking out Ramsgate’s indie shops, from the records at Vinyl Head to the pottery, books and glass at Island Vintage . Head to the harbour and head out on a seal-spotting boat trip , before grabbing a sunset pint at the Royal Harbour Brasserie . Finally, warm up with pub grub at The Bedford Inn  (top tip: you can rent a room at their brand-new hotel too). 

Plan your trip  Go when it’s sunny and try to catch the town’s  International Film Festival in June or the Festival of Sound in August. 

📍 The best things to do in Ramsgate

Norwich

12.  Norwich

Hugged by the marshes and woodlands of Broads National Park, Norwich brings the ancient to the contemporary — from its cobbled alleyways and two dazzling cathedrals to the modern exhibitions at the Sainsbury Centre and its Michelin-star prowess. In summer 2024,  Norwich Castle (which was apparently one of Europe’s most important mediaeval fortresses) is set to reveal the results of a mighty £15m revamp, due to include redecorated rooms and the restoration of its 12th century Norman keep. As the self-proclaimed ‘City of Stories’ and England’s first UNESCO City of LIterature, you’ll be enchanted by Norwich’s tale.

The perfect day  Order your morning drink of choice at Strangers Coffee then stop by the city’s 900-year old market on Gentleman’s Walk to check out the organic produce and food stalls. Save room for dessert so that you can enjoy elevenses at Figbar then take in the magnificent architecture of Norwich Cathedral and check out the curiosities hiding within the antique shops on Elm Hill. Round it all off with dinner from Grosvenor Fish Bar .

Plan your trip A c elebration of queer art and ideas, Queerfest Norwich is happening February 8 to 24.

📍 The best things to do in Norwich

Alnmouth

13.  Alnmouth

For a tranquil seaside break in 2024, the tiny fishing village of Alnmouth on the border between Scotland and England is a solid bet. Think: wild, windswept walks, pastel-coloured fisherman’s cottages, freshly-caught fish and blissful peace and quiet. Three surrounding beaches make up part of Northumberland’s 40-mile long coastal path — which happens to be a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, recently renamed ‘National Landscapes’ – and as such, there’s a delightful cluster of wildlife to look out for, including adorable puffins and grey seals.

The perfect day Sit down for an A.M. coffee and fresh kippers on toast at Bistro23 before checking out Almouth’s cluster of independent stores like Scots of Alnmouth and Jane and Harry’s. Then stop by the Ferry Hut , a bitesize museum dedicated to the ferrymen of yesteryear. Spend the afternoon adventuring along the coastal path before indulging in a well-earned dinner at The Whittling House .

Plan your trip Alnmouth Arts Festival  is happening on June 15 and 16, with more than 50 designers and craftspeople exhibiting their work in venues throughout the village.

Ullapool

14.  Ullapool

A tiny village and port around 45 miles from Inverness in the Scottish Highlands, Ullapool is well situated for walkers and cyclists to get their dose of the great outdoors: explore the nearby Corrieshalloch Falls, scramble up Stac Pollaidh mountain or to hop on a ferry to the Outer Hebrides. But there’s more to this place than just hiking boots and anoraks. Ullapool also going under something of a cultural renaissance, with Scotland’s most remote club night bringing of-the-moment electronic DJs to the area and The Seafood Shack and new 3AA Rosette restaurant  The Dipping Lugger  attracting foodies from far and near. The town was recently chosen as one of Time Out’s most underrated travel destinations in Europe, so get down soon.

The perfect day Wrap up warm and drive over to the foot of Stac Pollaidh mountain, with its spectacular peak of Torridonian sandstone. Reward yourself with a packed lunch on the top after a two-hour climb, before heading home and warming up in The Ferry Boat Inn  where you can enjoy a slap-up dinner with some of the freshest seafood you’ll ever eat.

Plan your trip The next Baile/Baile club nights take place on February 3 and March 2, showcasing some of Scotland’s most exciting DJ talent.

Wrexham

15.  Wrexham

Who’d have thought a small Welsh city would have been taken over by Hollywood celebs and become the subject of an extremely popular Disney+ documentary? Wrexham, home to the formerly flailing football club Wrexham AFC, became one of the UK’s hottest tourist destinations after A-listers Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney bought the club in 2020. The city is also home to St Giles’s, one of the most stunning churches in Wales. Then there’s the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct – a huge 18-arched stone and cast iron structure carrying the Llangollen Canal across the River Dee – and two National Trust properties, Erddig Parkland and Chirk Castle . In 2024, the national Football Museum for Wales is also expected to open, with exhibitions on Welsh language communities, fan culture and LGBTQ+ experiences.

The perfect day Start the day at Aussi brunch spot Lot 11 . After fueling yourself, you’re obviously going to want to check out The Racecourse, the stadium that’s home to Wrexham AFC. Then you’ll need to grab a pint at The Turf , the football team’s pub of choice. For the afternoon, hop in the car for a 20 minute drive to check out the gorgeous views from the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and surrounding World Heritage Site.

Plan your trip Wrexham Feast , an annual food and drink festival, takes place in late September.

📍 The best things to do in Wrexham

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The Top 20 Things to Do in England

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While many travelers coming to England spent their time in London, the country has a lot to offer outside the capital, from mountainous hiking to seaside walks to famous theaters. Whether you want to experience history and culture or simply enjoy England's delicious food and drinks, there's something to do for every type of traveler. Here are the top 20 things to do around England.

Take a Walking Tour of London

John Keeble/Getty Images

The best way to see London is on foot. The British capital is very walkable, with many famous attractions within close proximity to the city center. Start in Parliament Square, where you can see Westminster Abbey , the Houses of Parliament, and Big Ben . Visitors can also get a great photo of the Thames and the London Eye from Westminster Bridge. From there, it's a quick walk to Buckingham Palace or to Trafalgar Square, where you'll find the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. Other nearby attractions include the Churchill War Rooms, Hyde Park, Piccadilly Circus, and the Tate Modern , which can be found across the Thames on Southbank. If it's raining or if you have mobility issues, jump on one of the double-decker London buses or grab a ticket for the Hop On Hop Off London Bus Tours , which drive by many of the iconic sites.

Visit Stonehenge

Stonehenge is an iconic site for a reason, and its mysterious stones compel thousands of travelers every year. The Neolithic structure, a World Heritage Site, is easily accessible from London, either via car or day tour, and visitors will see the famous stone circle and ancient houses and a museum that details the area's history. It's impressive in itself, but history buffs should include stops at nearby Woodhenge, a historic burial ground, or Old Sarum, home to the ruins of a cathedral and castle, on their journey to Stonehenge. Book tickets for Stonehenge in advance online (look for an off-peak day to save money).

See a Play in Stratford-upon-Avon

Shakespeare's birthplace, Stratford-Upon-Avon, is filled with the legacy of the Bard, including his father's former home and Anne Hathaway's cottage. The Royal Shakespeare Company performs plays in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Swan Theatre, and it's a great treat to see one while in England. It's common for bigger-name actors, like Sir Ian McKellen, to appear in the plays, but you really can't go wrong with tickets to any local productions. The Royal Shakespeare Company also offers tours of the theaters, which take visitors behind the scenes. There is a special Family Fun Tour for kids to learn about putting on a Shakespeare play.

Stroll the Jurassic Coast

John Harper/Getty Images

While many visitors may be familiar with the iconic white cliffs of Dover, England's Jurassic Coast offers even more dramatic vistas. The Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located along the English Channel from East Devon to Dorset , stretches 95 miles and reveals 185 million years of the Earth's history in its geology. It's well-known area for fossil hunting, and many of the rocks and fossils found along the coast date back to the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Opt for a guided walk in Lyme Regis or Charmouth to scour for fossils yourself. The Museum of Jurassic Marine Life in Kimmeridge also hosts tours, which are a good way to learn about the region's history and experience the coastline firsthand. There are also several popular walking routes in Dorset, including Old Harry Rocks, which begins at Studland Bay, and a trek from Bowleaze Cove to Smuggler’s Inn.

Dance at Glastonbury

England is home to several famed music festivals, but its biggest—and most raucous —is Glastonbury . The five-day festival is held in Somerset on a private farm every June, featuring live music, theater, comedy, and more. Most festival-goers camp onsite, which can get pretty muddy. Tickets sell out very quickly, but Glastonbury is beloved for a reason. It attracts the biggest acts in music, from Paul McCartney to Beyonce to Coldplay, and it's the sort of thing you have to experience to believe. The festival welcomes all ages, although an adult must accompany those under 16.

Eat Seafood in Whitstable

Courtesy of Whitstable Oyster Co

The seaside town of Whitstable, located on the coast of Kent, hosts the annual Whitstable Oyster Festival each summer. Of course, you can chow down on delicious seafood there any time of year at one of its many restaurants. Look for The Lobster Shack, The Marine Hotel Restaurant, and Crab and Winkle to taste the local catches, or grab a table at The Whitstable Oyster Company , which serves up the best oysters in town. The restaurant has views of the beach and its own oyster beds, where the famous Whitstable oysters are harvested.

Watch Football in Manchester

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

England's football (a.k.a. soccer) culture runs deep, but it's powerful in Manchester. The northern city is home to several teams , including Manchester United and Manchester City. While it can be challenging to get tickets to Premier League matches, it's a bucket list experience for many travelers, especially if you're a soccer fan. Snag tickets to one of the matches at Etihad Stadium or Old Trafford while in Manchester, or head into one of the city's boisterous sports bars to cheer alongside the locals. Some favorites include Tib Street Tavern Manchester and Cafe Football, which is located in Old Trafford.

Bathe in Thermal Waters in Bath

Bath was once home to the Roman Baths, which still exist in ruins, and today visitors can partake in the healing waters of the region. The Thermae Bath Spa , which has a rooftop pool with views of the cathedral, makes for a relaxing day out. There are two mineral baths, and each session lasts two hours. The pools are only for visitors 16 and over, so be sure to find a babysitter if you're traveling with kids. To take advantage of your trip to Bath, book into The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, which is located in the town's famed Royal Crescent, and tour the Roman Baths, which are part historic ruin and part museum.

Punt in Cambridge

If you've never been punting, Cambridge is a good place to learn. The River Cam stretches through the center of the university town, and there are various places to hire a boat along the river. Look for companies like Let's Go Punting , which takes visitors on 50-minute private or shared punting boat tours between Magdalene College and Silver Street Bridge. Scudamore's is another popular option for tours, and the company also offers champagne and afternoon tea tours, where you can drink while your guide steers you down the river. Prefer to do it yourself? Rent a boat for a few hours and learn the art of guiding a vessel with a pole.

Explore History in York

Hop on a train two hours north from London to discover York, a walled city that the Romans founded. It's home to a 13th-century Gothic cathedral called the York Minster (be sure to climb to the top of the tower for some serious views) and the Shambles, a very narrow medieval street with overhanging buildings. It's rumored that the Shambles inspired Diagon Alley in Harry Potter, although you won't find any wizarding shops in the area. York has some nice pubs and tea rooms, and its downtown has great shopping. Be sure to take a stroll around the city walls , which extend for two miles and are open daily to the public from 8 a.m. until dusk.

Tour Windsor Castle

 Scott E Barbour/Getty Images

Windsor Castle, home of Queen Elizabeth II, is one of Britain's most iconic landmarks and its proximity to London makes it a must-do on any itinerary. The castle welcomes visitors year-round for paid tours of the castle's rooms and grounds, including St. George's Chapel, where Harry and Meghan got married. Timed tickets can be booked online in advance. Check the opening times, which can vary throughout the year, and be sure to give yourself enough time in Windsor to tour the castle and explore the surrounding town. Tours of Windsor Castle are self-guided with a multimedia guide, and it's a great excursion for kids and adults. The castle is also fully accessible and offers discounts for guests with disabilities.

Drive Through the Cotswolds

The Cotswolds spans nearly 800 square miles, containing numerous quaint villages and expanses of rolling green hills. The area is one of England's most beautiful and it's best experienced with a car, which allows travelers to visit several towns in one swoop. Some of the favorite villages include Cheltenham, Stroud, Broadway, Burford, and Bourton on Water, which has been called the Venice of the Cotswolds. All of them are equally charming and filled with small shops, tea rooms, and cafes, as well as historic hotels and B&Bs. Stop by one of the National Trust properties, like Newark Park, Chedworth Roman Villa, or Buscot Park, and be sure to spend a few hours exploring Blenheim Palace.

Surf in Cornwall

Located on the southwestern tip of England, Cornwall draws surfers worldwide to its scenic beaches. The coast, dubbed the Cornish Riviera, has hundreds of beaches, several of which are famous for catching a wave. Head to Fistral Beach in Newquay or Gwithian Beach in Hayle to spot the experts, or rent a board to try your hand at the sport. If you want some lessons, there are numerous surf schools for beginners in Cornwall, including the Fistral Beach Surf School, which is open year-round. While in Cornwall , don't miss the Eden Project, the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, and Pendennis Castle.

Hike the Lake District

The Lake District, located in Cumbria, is one of England's most picturesque destinations, welcoming travelers to its mountains, lakes, and villages year-round. It's especially compelling for hikers, who will find many trails and routes through the national park and surrounding areas. Summit Scafell Pike or trek the Roman High Street Circuit, which extends along an old Roman road. Those who want a little help learning the routes can join a guided walk , which the Lake District offers from April through October. If you want a real challenge, go for the Three Peaks Challenge , which includes Scafell Pike along with Scotland's Ben Nevis and Wales' Snowdon.

Trail the Beatles in Liverpool

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Liverpool, a city in northwest England, located at the meeting point between the River Mersey and the Irish Sea, is best known as the birthplace of the Beatles. And while the city has lots to see and do, it's the Fab Four who really draw visitors. Visit the Cavern Club, a venue that once saw the band onstage, or hop on their Magical Mystery Tour , which stops by the musicians' former homes, Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields. There's also the Liverpool Beatles Museum and the annual Liverpool Beatles Week, which takes place in August. The Hard Days Night Hotel is the world's only Beatles-inspired hotel, and guests can book themed suites or see live music in the lounge. If you have time between Beatles-inspired excursions, be sure to also stop by the Tate Liverpool, the Museum of Liverpool, Liverpool Cathedral, and the Merseyside Maritime Museum.

Dine in Bray

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images 

Bray, a small village located just outside London on the Thames, is home to several of England's best restaurants, including Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck , which has three Michelin stars. It can be tricky to get a reservation to the pricy Fat Duck (although it's worth it), but visitors have plenty of other options. The Waterside Inn, The Crown, and The Hind's Head, which Blumenthal also runs, are delicious and slightly easier to book. If you want to stay in town, The Waterside Inn has several rooms, or head to nearby Maidenhead, situated alongside the river. It's a must-visit for all foodies, but history buffs will also appreciate the old buildings and small-town charm in Bray.

Enjoy Afternoon Tea at Cliveden House

Cliveden House

Afternoon tea is one of those British things you can't—and shouldn't—avoid while in England. Most hotels offer a version of afternoon tea, especially in London, and it's also traditional in various tea rooms around the country. But if you're going to partake in an afternoon of milky tea and scones, you should reserve a table at the best possible venue. The historic Cliveden House Hotel , found outside London on National Trust gardens, is just the spot. It's a luxury experience best enjoyed with added champagne (although kids are also welcome). It's held in the hotel's Great Hall on Sundays and in the Cliveden Dining Room Monday through Saturday, and it's best to make a reservation well in advance. Don't be afraid to ask for your leftovers. The hotel will be happy to box up any extra treats later, as is common with most high-end afternoon teas.

Visit the Real Downtown Abbey

While Downton Abbey isn't a real place, the castle in the beloved TV series (and movie) is. Highclere Castle, located in Winchester, was built in 1679 and is now home to the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. Highclere, which has expansive, beautiful grounds and gardens, welcomes visitors at different points throughout the year. The visiting times can vary, so check the online calendar for the best time to explore the castle and look for upcoming special events held at Highclere throughout the year. The castle is best accessed by car (it has parking for visitors), but you can take a taxi from the nearby Newbury train station, which connects with London. Don't miss Highclere's tea rooms, which are great for a snack after your tour.

Tour Canterbury Cathedral

You could spend a lot of time touring historic cathedrals while in England, but the most famous is Canterbury Cathedral. Part of a World Heritage Site, the cathedral, located in Canterbury, was founded in 597 and rebuilt in the 11th century. It's the cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who leads the Church of England, and offers services weekly. You don't have to be religious to appreciate the impressive structure's history and architecture, however. A million people per year visit the building to see everything from St. Gabriel’s Chapel to The Great Cloister.

Take a Ride on Brighton Pier

Brighton Pier first opened on the English seaside in 1899, spanning 1,722 feet over the water. It's hosted visitors and locals ever since, with a particular draw for families. Look for rides like the Turbo Coaster and the Booster, or head to the Palace of Fun to win a prize at one of the games. Brighton is only an hour from London by train, making a great day trip from the city, and the beaches are especially welcoming during the summer months. If you like music, head to Brighton in May when it puts on The Great Escape, a music festival that takes over all area venues.

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Lonely Planet reveals the 10 best travel experiences in the UK

Tasmin Waby

Jan 18, 2022 • 10 min read

Stonehenge

Stonehenge is England's most iconic ancient site with an excellent visitor centre to learn more © William Toti / 500px

The United Kingdom may be relatively compact, but it has a wealth of travel experiences that you've probably dreamed of since childhood.

Buckingham Palace? Hadrian's Wall? Stonehenge? They're all here. Of course there are dozens of incredible places to visit across Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands, but we give you the 10 best UK experiences to put on your itinerary, especially if it's your first time here.

1. Witness the mighty megaliths of Stonehenge

Mysterious and compelling, Stonehenge is England's most iconic ancient site. People have been drawn to this myth-laden ring of boulders for more than 5000 years, and we still don't know quite why it was built. Just what were ancient Britons playing at when they hauled these giant stones into place all those millennia ago? Stonehenge, on Salisbury Plain near Amesbury, is a monumental, undeniably mind-boggling achievement.

Built in stages between around 4500 BC and 1500 BC, Stonehenge’s massive stones (some weighing 25 tonnes) were probably erected using a system of sledges, rollers, pivots and pulleys; some were transported here from the Preseli Hills in Wales, 140 miles away. Standing in the shadow of the stones, feeling their power and presence, it’s impossible not to let your imagination run wild, wondering not only how, but why? 

If time allows continue on to nearby Avebury Stone Circle in Wiltshire, another truly impressive site but with a much smaller interpretative museum. And you can actually walk right up and touch the stones here.  

Father and son hiking, Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Hebrides, Scotland

2. Escape to the Isle of Skye

In a country famous for stunning scenery, the Isle of Skye takes top prize. It's the largest of the Inner Hebrides islands at 50 miles long, and home to some of Scotland's most iconic landscapes. From the craggy peaks of the Cuillins and the bizarre pinnacles of the Old Man of Storr and the Quiraing to the spectacular sea cliffs of Neist Point, there's a photo opportunity awaiting you at almost every turn.

Skye is one of Scotland’s most popular destinations along with Edinburgh and Loch Ness. Unfortunately prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, some part of Skye were experiencing the impact of overcrowding particularly social media fuelled hotspots such as the Quiraing, the Old Man of Storr and the Fairy Pools. Things have changed for the moment, so it’s a good time to be visiting.

Of course it is always possible to find peace and quiet on Skye in the island’s quieter corners such as Sleat, Elgol or Waternish, for example. Walking is a popular activity, so bring your hiking boots – but be prepared for changeable weather.

While the stunning scenery is the main attraction, when the mist closes in there are plenty of castles, crofting museums and cosy pubs and restaurants to snuggle in, plus art galleries and craft studios to explore.

Steam rising off the hot mineral water in the Great Bath, part of the Roman Baths in Bath, UK

3. Experience how the Romans bathed in Bath

And 2000 years ago, when Britain was under Roman rule,  a sumptuous bath complex was built at the site known as Aquae Sulis (present-day Bath ), taking advantage of the area’s geothermal hot springs, which warm the underground water to 46°C (115°F). Though now swallowed up by the Georgian city of Bath, this is one of the best-preserved Roman bathhouses in the world, and gives a fascinating glimpse into their everyday lives (and fastidious ablution habits).

Thanks to advances in technology, multimedia projections help bring the bustle of this ancient bath house to life today. The only disappointment when visiting this incredible site is that you're no longer permitted to take a dip. But you can get pretty close to a bona fide Roman bathing experience at the Thermae Bath Spa nearby, complete with its postcard-worthy panoramic rooftop pool.

Bath is also a must-visit for  television period drama lovers  and literature fans with a host of walking tours of perfect Regency avenues and views that summon yesteryear. 

Setting sun over the The Giants Causeway, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

4. Stride over hexagonal stones at the Giant’s Causeway

The descent down from the cliffs to the strange rocks of the Giant’s Causeway  in Northern Ireland feels at once timeless – the scene has remained the same for countless centuries – and yet the moody skies, the light and the temperament of the sea are constantly changing. Uneven stacks of hexagonal basalt columns stand in neat clusters along the water’s edge, emerging from the shore like tightly packed tower blocks in a city skyline.

Northern Ireland’s only Unesco World Heritage site is shrouded in a sense of magic, myth and natural wonder. Scientists put the formation of the rocks down to volcanic activity some 60 million years ago: as the lava flow cooled and hardened it contracted, creating a honeycomb pattern. 

You'll learn more about the geology and the mythology of this place at the excellent visitor centre beautifully designed into the landscape. Game of Thrones fans will also be pleased to see a map of filming sites in nearby locations. 

A woman watching a London West End show with blurred crowds of seated people in background

5. Be swept away by incredible theater shows

London is one of the best places in the world to catch a theater performance – so whatever your budget, make sure you get to a show. Restricted view or standing room only tickets can go for as little as £5 to £10.

The pandemic saw theaters close for well over a year in the UK, but now that they're back there is a palpable air of excitement and gratitude along with the glitz and stage lights. The joy among audiences and theater staff makes every night feel as special as opening night right now.

If you're keen to see famous names, you'll need to get organised and prebook your tickets before you arrive. Screen stars are often seen treading the boards at theaters from the prominent National Theatre  or  the Old Vic  to more experimental spaces like  Donmar Warehouse  and the Almeida .  The West End centres around Shaftesbury Ave, Charing Cross and Drury Lane and the surrounding area, with a total of 38 theathers from the Shaftesbury and the Theatre Royal to Noel Coward Theatre and the Garrick Theatre to name just a few. If it's new trailblazing works you're after, over more established shows, head further afield to the Bridge Theatre , the  Royal Court  or the Arcola . 

But of course the UK's outstanding theater is not just concentrated in London. If Shakespeare is more your thing, you will love an Elizabethan-style experience at  Shakespeare's Globe  in London, better yet you can see performances by the  Royal Shakespeare Company  in the bard's birthplace Stratford-upon-Avon itself. Other top theater companies are found in Bath , Sheffield , and Manchester . And have we mentioned Edinburgh yet? The city is soaked with opportunities to catch performances across its many festivals.

he British Museum contains almost 71,000 books, manuscripts, drawings, prints and antiques taken from Greece, Rome, Egypt, and many different countries.

6. Tour the treasures in the British Museum

Some museums are travel destinations in themselves. The British Museum – the first-ever public national museum – is the envy of the world, with good reason in some cases, considering the many treasures obtained under questionable circumstances in colonial times.

This miraculous museum started life as a humble cabinet of curiosities, assembled by 18th-century physician and hot-chocolate inventor, Sir Hans Sloane. As a condition of bequeathing his treasures to the nation, he ordered that they be open for free to "all studious and curious persons", a tradition that persists to this day.

Visitors today are transported on a whirlwind world tour of human creativity. If human beings have made it, somewhere in the world, there’s a chance you’ll find an example among the display cases. There’s far too much to take in on one trip; if you only have a day, make a beeline for the Egyptian treasures, the Parthenon Marbles and quirky British antiquities such as the Sutton Hoo haul and the Lewis chessmen.

Evening Light on Hadrian's Wall

7. Retrace Roman footsteps along Hadrian’s Wall

Hot on the heels of Bath’s namesake thermal baths is another mighty Roman legacy – an enormous defensive wall stretching 73 miles across Britain. This phenomenal feat of engineering was built under Roman emperor Hadrian between AD 122 and 128 to keep out the Picts. Rising to a height of up to 15ft, with a width of almost 10ft, it took 15,000 men six years to construct it from local whinstone (dolerite). Only 10% survives today, but what does makes an unforgettable impression.

Along the wall were 80 mile-castle forts, with observation turrets between them. Larger forts were built in the south, with 16 more lying astride the wall, which you can visit today. Staggering remains that serve as reminders of the Romans’ advancements include the hospital at Housesteads Fort, ventilated granaries and barracks, as well as flushable communal latrines.

Exploring sections of the wall is easy thanks to good rail and road access (including buses), but if you’re up for an adventure, you can complete the national Hadrian’s Wall Path walking trail along its length in about a week.

Hope & Anchor slate roofed pub, Hope Cove.

8. Make a perfect weekend of it with a Sunday pub roast

Fewer and fewer people in Britain start Sunday with a trip to church, but the roast lunch is still a lock. For visitors, it’s a must-do experience. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a centuries-old, windowless pub in London or at a large country inn with tables sprawling over a lawn, you’ll be among friends and families laughing, drinking beer and tucking into plates of hot sliced roast beef or pork, Yorkshire pudding, roasted potatoes and assorted veggies, all slathered in gravy.

Warming, filling and indulgent, this is comfort food par excellence. But more than that, it’s a reassuring experience, a weekly ritual where the nation forgets time, staves off the start of the working week and lives in the moment. So committed to pub life, the UK reopened pubs before schools during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Grab a plate, and partake in a tradition that everyone can agree on. 

Young hikers on Striding Edge and Helvellyn in the Lake District national park

9. Ramble the shores and mountains of the Lake District

Call it hiking or rambling – but most often simply walking – England is the perfect place to explore on two feet, thanks to its compact nature and protected network of "rights of way". You can stroll the narrow streets and hidden alleyways of the nation’s famous historic towns, then head for a patch of open countryside or one of England's network of national parks: the wild tors and heaths of Dartmoor make a fine introduction.

Windermere, England’s largest natural lake – 10.5 miles from Ambleside to Newby Bridge – is at the heart of the Lake District and its most popular destination . People come in search of the scenic splendour and bucolic experiences that inspired Wordsworth, Coleridge and the English Romantics.

Most activity is focused on the twin towns of Windermere (on a hill overlooking the lake) and busy Bowness-on-Windermere , which is home to the boat docks, a cluster of shops and the World of Beatrix Potter , which brings to life the most famous creations of the writer who dedicated her life to the preservation of the Lake District.

Puffin gathering on grassy knoll, Skomer Islan

1o. Explore stunning Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

There’s more to Wales than sheep, drizzly valleys and place names that seem impossible to pronounce for outsiders. If you haven’t been to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in the country’s "wild west", you are missing a trick. This ravishing stretch of cliff-flanked coves, thrashing seas, wildflower-freckled moors and hedge-lined tracks leading to one-pub villages is a great escape. 

You’ve come for the beaches? Wise choice, you’re in for a treat. Tenby in the south offers a classic dose of ice-cream-licking, bucket-and-spade fun. But the further west you head, the wilder it gets, with the likes of crescent-shaped Barafundle Bay, reached on foot through the dunes, surf-hammered Freshwater, and tucked-away Marloes with its high sea cliffs, shipwreck and boats heading over to puffin island, Skomer .

A terrific base for beach-hopping and coastal-hiking is St Davids . Britain’s smallest city is charm personified, with a whopping medieval cathedral, lanes staggering down to the sea, and a couple of highly stylish, architect-designed hotels, including art-slung former windmill Twr Y Felin and one-time Victorian convent Penrhiw.

Break up drives by striking out on the 186-mile Pembrokeshire Coast Path, which dips and rises over kissing gates and windy clifftops to smuggler’s coves, wooded hollows where brooks burble, and Neolithic burial chambers. To up the adventure, go coasteering  or turn your focus inland to hike the Preseli Mountains , a windswept range of rocky outcrops, low-lying peaks capped with prehistoric standing stones, and moorland flecked with gorse and heather.

You might also like:  The 10 best wild swimming spots in the UK The United Kingdom's 10 best food experiences Do you need a visa to go to the United Kingdom?  

This article was first published Aug 13, 2019 and updated Jan 18, 2022.

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30 of the Best Places to Visit in the North of England

30 of the Best Places to Visit in the North of England

  • Last Updated 13 February 2024

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Ruins of Whitby Abbbey at sunset, a stone wall with tall arched windows in it with the setting sun flaring through one of the windows. The abbey is on a grassy clifftop with a misty bay beyond and a low headland beyond that with clear blue and yellow sky overhead. Best Places to Visit in the North of England

There are so many amazing places to visit in the North of England! Some of the country’s largest cities call the region home, while cute English villages dot vast areas of picturesque countryside.

When it comes to scenery, there are no shortage of epic views to be found. Especially given that some of the country’s most famous National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) can be found here.

From the famous lakes and peaks of the Lake District to lesser-known spots like the Durham Dales… there’s plenty to entice if you’re looking for countryside views, hiking, or adventure! 

For culture, dive into some of the region’s vibrant cities like Manchester , Liverpool, and Leeds. Or go looking for history in places like York and Harrogate.

With so many amazing places to visit on your trip to the North of England, the only difficulty is knowing where to choose.

So I asked some amazing bloggers – many of them locals – to recommend their favourite spots. Get ready to discover the very best of Northern England… 

Places to Visit in the North of England: Map

8 cities to visit in northern england, 22 places to visit in the north of england.

It may not be the largest, but York is probably one of the most popular cities to visit in the North of England. This compact city in Yorkshire has a rich cultural heritage, but it’s also a vibrant, lively city with two universities. 

best places to visit in the north of england - york

There are loads of great things to do in York so you’ll have plenty to discover. Walk the city’s medieval walls, which are the longest in England. Take a trip to the iconic cathedral, York Minster, and climb the tower for some of the best views in town.

And don’t miss a trip to the cluttered pedestrian shopping street, The Shambles. Lined with unique shops with overhanging first floors, it’s easy to see why this street is said to have inspired Diagon Alley from the Harry Potter series. 

RECOMMENDED TOUR: York City Chronicles – History walking tour (from £11.50pp)

2. Liverpool

Recommended by: Caroline and Neil, CK Travels

Beatles statues in Liverpool, Northern England

Despite what you may have heard, Liverpool isn’t just about football or The Beatles! The UK’s fifth biggest city is a seamless mix of hipster hangouts and heritage precincts.

In fact, several of the more historic areas on and around Liverpool’s waterfront have been granted UNESCO World Heritage Status. For example, the beautiful buildings along the cobbled William Brown Street, as well as the Royal Albert Dock Area.

There are also many things to do in Liverpool’s regenerated spots. The highlight is the creative Baltic Triangle neighbourhood. Here you’ll find numerous bars, cafes, and vintage shops, as well as street art and street food pop-ups.

RECOMMENDED TOUR: Liverpool Guided City Walking Tour – from £14pp

3. Manchester

places to visit in the north of england - manchester

Manchester is another of the best places to visit in the North of England. England’s first largest city was once at the heart of the country’s industrial revolution. But Manchester has experienced a rejuvenation in recent decades. Where there were cotton mills and factories, now you’ll find museums, bars and restaurants.

Known as one of the best UK cities for nightlife – but also for its many museums, galleries and other attractions – Manchester has plenty to entice visitors. And, of course, the city is home to two of England’s most famous Premier League football teams. You can visit both stadiums for a tour ( click here for ticket prices ), or head to the National Football Museum to learn more about the “beautiful game”.

For a night out, the Northern Quarter is popular for its Indie pubs and bars, while Deansgate is overflowing with sophisticated cocktail bars.

RECOMMENDED TOUR: Northern Quarter Street Art Walking Tour – from £15pp

4. Newcastle

Recommended by: Charles, McCool Travel

Newcastle - best cities to visit in northern england

Hadrian’s Wall starts in Newcastle, and the city’s name can be traced back to the “new” castle built in 1080. On a castle tour, see the oldest surviving castle features (Castle Keep and Black Gate) and England’s oldest medieval fireplace. You’ll also get some great views of Newcastle.

Countless other things to do in Newcastle include vibrant nightlife and culture, exploring Chinatown and Grainger Town (Grainger Market has a unique Marks & Spencer), crossing funky Millennium Bridge and gazing at the futuristic Sage Gateshead Performing Arts Centre, and visiting the impressive Angel of the North art installation (a few km outside Newcastle). Be sure to hoist a pint at Old George Inn (est 1582) – a favourite pub of King Charles I.

RECOMMENDED TOUR: Self-Guided City Sightseeing Treasure Hunt Game – from £9.99pp

Recommended by: Claire, Tales of a Backpacker

30 of the Best Places to Visit in the North of England

There are so many fabulous  things to do in Leeds City Centre there really is something for everyone. Kirkgate Market is one of the largest indoor markets in Europe and is full of fresh produce and food stalls to grab some lunch. The beautiful Victoria Arcade and Corn Exchange shopping centres are perfect for buying something special or simply admiring the architecture.   

Leeds also has a huge range of bars and restaurants. From the best Thai and Indian homestyle cooks to Michelin-starred chefs, foodies will be in heaven here. Culture fans won’t be disappointed either. The Royal Armouries Museum is exceptional, while Leeds Art Gallery has a wonderful collection. And both are free to visit!

RECOMMENDED TOUR: Leeds Guided City Center Walking Tour – from £13pp

6. Durham, County Durham

Durham Skyline, UK

Perhaps not as well known as the other cities in the region, Durham is definitely one of the best places to visit in Northern England. The capital of County Durham is a small, pretty city with loads to keep visitors busy.

It’s also one of the few places where you can actually stay in a CASTLE! Durham Castle is an impressive, historic building which is part of the University. During the holidays, you can stay in the rooms which are usually accommodation for students – and rates are surprisingly affordable!

Beyond the castle, Durham Cathedral is considered one of the best in England. It was also a filming location for the Harry Potter movies, and several other films. The tower reopened last year and is well worth the steep climb for some of the best views in the city. 

RECOMMENDED TOUR: Durham Walking Tour and Tales of Crime and Punishment – from £25pp

Recommended by: Amy, the Travel Fairies

Kingston Upon Hull, Northern England

One of the best places to visit in the North of England is Hull. Hull makes a great base for exploring more of the Humber River and the East Yorkshire Coastline. But the city itself is a perfect blend of city and countryside, so it’s well worth a visit.

Named the UK City of Culture in 2017, Hull is full of history and culture. The city has long been an important trading and port town so there are many historical landmarks celebrating this. But recent regeneration has created a modern feel when visiting too. It’s the perfect blend of old and new. 

There are several excellent museums around the city, such as the Streetlife Museum of Transport and the Wilberforce House Museum. This latter celebrates William Wilberforce, who was born in Hull and was instrumental in the abolition of the slave trade. While the Maritime Museum showcases Hull’s fishing, whaling and shipbuilding industries. 

8. Sheffield

Things to do in Sheffield England

Another formerly industrial city in the North of England, Sheffield is a great place to visit. Especially if you want easy access to the nearby Peak District. With top-notch museums and galleries, such as the Millennium Gallery or the Kelham Island Museum (which focuses on Sheffield’s history of steelmaking) there’s plenty of culture and history to explore. 

One of the best things to do in Sheffield is to explore the vibrant street art scene . You can find many local and internationally recognized street artists in and around the city streets. Throw in an emerging food scene and great nightlife – especially around the popular West Street area – and you have plenty of reasons to visit Sheffield on your trip around Northern England!

RECOMMENDED TOUR: Self-Guided City Sightseeing Treasure Hunt – from £9.99pp

1. The Lake District, North West England

Recommended by: Angela, Where Angie Wanders

Best Places to Visit in the North of England - Lake District

The Lake District in Cumbria is England’s largest National Park. It’s also a UNESCO Heritage Site offering mountains, valleys, and quintessentially English villages. And, of course, world-renowned lakes.

The Lake District comprises 16 lakes, with the largest being Lake Windermere. From here, boat trips, kayaking, walking and hiking can all be enjoyed. The circular walking route of Lake Windermere is a must!

Hiking trails throughout the Lake District cater for all tastes and abilities. If you’re looking for a challenge, Scafell Pike is the highest mountain in England.

The Lake District offers natural beauty in abundance, so it’s the perfect place to stop on a visit to the North of England.

RECOMMENDED TOUR: Lake District Day Trip from Manchester – from £73pp

2. Hadrian’s Wall

Recommended by: Wendy, The Nomadic Vegan

Hadrian's Wall - places to visit in northern england

There are many ancient Roman sites to visit in Britain, but Hadrian’s Wall is probably the most famous of them all. Emperor Hadrian had this 73-mile-long wall built in 122 AD to defend the Roman province of Britannia from the barbarians.

It across runs virtually the whole breadth of England, from Bowness-on-Solway to Wallsend (so named because it’s where the wall ends). Keen hikers can  walk the entire length of Hadrian’s Wall  in six or seven days.

But if you don’t have that much time, you can use the AD122 hop-on-hop-off bus to visit some of the best archaeological sights and attractions along the wall, such as Milecastle 42. You can also book a 4-hour guided walking tour (from £55 – click here to check prices ) to explore with an expert guide.

3. Haworth, West Yorkshire

Recommended by: Helen on her Holidays

Bronte Parsonage Haworth

Haworth is a small village in West Yorkshire that was home to three of the world’s most famous writers – Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë. The Brontë sisters moved to Haworth in 1820 when their father became the parish priest at Haworth church. They moved into the Parsonage, now the Brontë Parsonage Museum.

Visiting the Brontë Parsonage Museum  is a must-do for all visitors to Haworth. The house has been beautifully restored to be as close as possible to the way it would have been when the sisters lived there.

Other things to do in Haworth include taking moorland walks, as the Brontë sisters loved to do, and going for a ride on the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. You can even take a

RECOMMENDED TOUR: The Brontes, Wuthering Heights & Jane Eyre Tour – from £149pp

4. North York Moors

Recommended by: Maja, Away with Maja

North York Moors - places to visit in the north of england

There is so much to see and do in the North York Moors National Park ! You can visit the coast in small towns like Staithes or Robin Hood’s Bay. Postcard-perfect quaint villages are dotted throughout the national park. Some of the most charming villages are Helmsley, Thornton-le-Dale, Hutton-le-Hole, and Goathland.

There are also some amazing hikes in the area. Roseberry Topping is known as the “Yorkshire Matterhorn” and gives great views over the area. The Hole of Horcum is another fantastic walk – about a 2-3 hour loop. August is probably the best time of year to visit the North York Moors, when purple heather blooms all over!

RECOMMENDED TOUR: Day Trip to Whitby and The North York Moors from York – from £59pp

5. Durham Heritage Coast

Durham Heritage Coast Northern England

The Durham Heritage Coast is one of the more “off the beaten path” places to visit in Northern England. This isn’t really buckets-and-spades seaside, but a rugged, adventurous coastline. Think clifftop walks with waves crashing below and gulls squawking overhead.

The coastal path at Nose’s Point in Seaham has some particularly spectacular views, as well as a picturesque wildlife sanctuary. The grasslands at the top of the cliffs are filled with wildflowers, orchids, and birdlife, while all kinds of marine life call the shoreline home – from colourful sea anemones to seals and basking sharks! 

6. Whitby, North Yorkshire

Recommended by: Ivan, Mind the Travel

Whitby North East England

Whitby is an ever-popular seaside resort town in the North of England. The town was once home to Bram Stoker, who drew a ton of inspiration for his 19th-century classic novel ‘Dracula’ here. A large portion of Old Town clusters around the harbour lodged in the River Esk estuary and the Whitby Sea Front. 

Britain’s greatest explorer, Captain Cook, sailed on one of his earliest voyages from Whitby harbour. His famous ships, the Discovery, Endeavour & Resolution, were also built here. The Captain Cook Memorial Museum tells the story of his famous voyages through its collection of paintings, documents, and artefacts.

To fully appreciate the charm of Whitby, make your way to West Cliff Beach, which is lined with colourful beach huts. Explore the town centre with a self-guided audio tour (from £6.28, click here to check prices ).

7. North Pennines

High Force Falls Durham Dales

At almost 770 square miles, the North Pennines is the second largest AONB in the UK. The Pennines are a mountain range stretching through Northern England, often called the “backbone of England”. The North Pennines AONB is also a UNESCO Global Geopark, known for its spectacular landscapes.

With open heather moors, rolling dales and meadows, tumbling upland rivers, and rich woodlands, this AONB has plenty of stunning backdrops for all kinds of outdoor adventures. This truly is a hiker’s paradise, with miles of walks and trails to suit any ability. And the area is filled with all kinds of wildlife, including a few rare critters such as red squirrels, short-eared owls, and otters. 

8. Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Recommended by: Jonathon, Journey Maxx

Harrogate Yorkshire England

Harrogate is definitely one of the best places to visit in the North of England. This well-kept spa town thrived during Victorian days, with wealthy elites flocking to the illustrious spas for their healing purposes.

Although many of them have since closed, the Turkish Baths still operate today, keeping Harrogate’s spa tradition intact. You can visit the Royal Pump Rooms to learn more about the medicinal waters and the health benefits that put Harrogate on the map.

Harrogate also makes for the perfect base for exploring the stunning landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales and quaintly preserved towns nearby. A little closer is the Nidderdale AONB and the bizarrely fascinating Brimham Rocks structures that have to be seen to be believed. And of course, no guide to Harrogate can be complete without a reference to tea. This is the home of the world-famous Yorkshire institution, Betty’s Tea Rooms, with their mouth-watering afternoon tea and cakes.

9. Yorkshire Dales

Recommended by: Sinead, Map Made Memories

Yorkshire Dales Northern England

The Yorkshire Dales offers something for every visitor. The Dales are famous for stunning scenery with fantastic hiking opportunities including the ‘Yorkshire Three Peaks’ of Ingleborough, Pen y Ghent and Whernside.

Admire the view from the top of Malham Cove, a natural stone amphitheatre 230 feet high. View Hardraw Force, England’s highest single-drop waterfall, or the Yorkshire favourite, Aysgarth Falls.

Learn about Yorkshire’s history at Bolton Abbey or Skipton Castle. Stop for a drink at Britain’s highest pub, the Tan Hill Inn, or devour the cheese from the Wensleydale Creamery. Fans of the TV show Vera can take a day tour of filming locations (from £70pp, click here to check prices ).

Try your hand at traditional country crafts at the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes. Or, for something more adventurous, join a guided caving trip to explore the Dales underground!

10. Northumberland Coast AONB

Recommended by: Anuradha from Country Hopping Couple

Bamburgh Castle Northumberland Coast AONB

A designated Area of Natural Beauty (AONB), the Northumberland Coast boasts 40 miles of sweeping coastline. It’s dotted with stunning castles and charming villages and towns, and is home to abundant wildlife. Starting from Berwick Upon Tweed and stretching up to Cresswell, the Northumberland coast offers some of the finest coastal walking routes.

Explore the tidal island of Lindisfarne. Bird watchers should head to the Farne Islands (a bird reserve consisting of 15-20 tidal islands) or Coquet islands (a small island located 1.2kms off the coast). Visit the castles of Bamburgh, Dunstanburgh, Alnwick or Warkworth and marvel at their architecture. For coastal walks and beaches visit Seahouses, Budle Bay, Alnmouth and Amble.

11. Blackpool, Lancashire

Recommended by: Jenni, Cruise Mummy

Blackpool North of England

Blackpool is a seaside resort in Lancashire. It’s famed for Blackpool Tower, a landmark which was built in 1894 as a replica of the Eiffel Tower. The tower houses seven attractions, including a glass walkway, a circus, and a beautifully ornate Victorian ballroom.

Other attractions to visit in Blackpool include Blackpool Zoo and Blackpool Pleasure Beach, which has some thrilling rollercoasters. Visit between early September and early November and you can see the famous Blackpool Illuminations, made up of over one million lightbulbs!

Top tip: You can visit several local attractions for one low price of £35 if you purchase the Blackpool Attractions Pass – click here to find out more .

Blackpool is very much a traditional seaside town. You’ll find fantastic fish and chips, plenty of two-penny slot machines and not just one but three piers. It has everything that couples or families could want for a weekend away in the North of England.

12. Lindisfarne Holy Island, Northumberland

Recommended by: Heather, Conversant Traveller

Lindisfarne Island - Best Places to Visit in the North of England

Also known as Holy Island, Lindisfarne is a tidal island off the windswept north-eastern coast of England, not far from Berwick-upon-Tweed. Accessible across a causeway at low tide, the island makes a great day trip during a weekend in Northumberland . It would also make a great base for a holiday, as there are several rental cottages within the small local community.

Famous for its medieval heritage, the highlights of Holy Island are the 16th-century castle and the remains of Lindisfarne Priory. This latter was once one of the most important centres of early Christianity. You can walk around the island, watch the fishing boats bobbing around in the harbour, and sample the traditional Lindisfarne mead, a local drink made from herbs, grapes and honey.

13. Helmsley, North Yorkshire

Recommended by: Tammy, Travelling Tam

Helmsley Northern England

As the only historic market town in the North Yorkshire National Park, Helmsley offers visitors the perfect blend of fascinating history (from periods such as the Stone Ages and Middle Ages), as well as tranquil protected landscapes.

Helmsley Castle, Rievaulx Abbey and Helmsley Walled Gardens are some of the most popular activities. There are also award-winning boutique shops, a microbrewery, and a centre for birds of prey.

Helmsley is a great day trip , but if you have longer, there are plenty more historic sites and fantastic walking opportunities in the town and beyond. As the starting point of the Cleveland Way National Trail, Helmsley is also the gateway to hiking in Yorkshire.

14. Saltaire, West Yorkshire

Recommended by: Tracy, UK Travel Planning

Saltaire Yorkshire

The UNESCO World Heritage-listed village of Saltaire is located in the county of Yorkshire not far from Leeds. The village was created in the 19th century by Titus Salt, a wealthy mill owner, to provide housing and amenities to his factory workers. This was revolutionary for that time and Titus Salt is recognised as one of the greatest Victorian philanthropists.

Follow the Heritage Trail around the village to discover the many points of interest. You can pick up a guide in the Mill which is opposite the train station. Saltaire is still lived in today and you can get a sense of how well Salt provided for his workers with almshouses, a school and Church.

Don’t miss a visit to the Mill. Today it houses shops, cafes and restaurants – as well as the largest collection of works by local artist David Hockney. You even have the opportunity to own your very own Hockney as he designed the logo on the paper serviettes in Salt’s Diner!

15. Durham Dales, County Durham

English Countryside - Durham Dales

The Durham Dales are a vast area of countryside in the west of County Durham, on the edge of the North Pennines AONB. Filled with picturesque English countryside, the Dales are a joy to explore – and one of the less known places to visit in the North of England. 

Across the Dales, you’ll find tranquil moors, picturesque villages, dramatic valleys, winding rivers, and verdant farmland. Bowlees Picnic Area was recently voted as one of the top 20 picnic spots in Britain by Countryfile Magazine ! The pretty town of Barnard Castle makes an excellent base for exploring, or there are plenty of lovely country hotels to choose from. Don’t miss a trip to Raby Castle for lots of history – not to mention the stunning grounds and gardens.  

16. Hawkshead, Cumbria

Recommended by: Carole, Berkeley and Beyond

Hawkshead Lake District Cumbria England

Many people find themselves in the tiny village of Hawkshead, in England’s Lake District, just because its half-timbered buildings and narrow cobblestone streets are so charming. But the town is also worth visiting for the Beatrix Pottery Gallery. This is situated within a 17th-century building which was once the author’s husband’s legal offices.  

If you need a place to stay, try the delightful Queens Head Hotel in the centre of town. Here since the 16th century, it was around when William Wordsworth attended the local grammar school and when Beatrix Potter lived on her farm just up the road! 

17. Settle, NorthYorkshire

Recommended by: Kat, Wandering Bird 

Settle England

If you’re looking for beautiful places to visit in the north of England, head to Settle in the Yorkshire Dales.  This pretty market town is full of picturesque stone houses, and has an impressive market held on Tuesdays in the town centre.

Settle is also home to several yearly festivals, including the Settle Cuckoo festival (where the entire town becomes one big street market) and the Settle Folk festival (held in September and always worth a visit). There’s also the family favourite – the Settle flowerpot festival, where homes create incredible displays out of flowerpots and display them in their front gardens! 

Whilst you’re in the area, be sure to visit Catrigg Force. This is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the UK and is only 3 miles from the town.

18. Bamburgh, Northumberland

Recommended by: Sarah, Northumberland’s Best

Bamburgh Castle North England

Dominated by the magnificent Bamburgh Castle and fringed by miles of golden sandy beach, Bamburgh is a glorious place to visit in England’s most northerly country of Northumberland. This quaint small town is most famous for being the home of Victorian England’s heroine, Grace Darling.

Along with her lighthouse-man father, Darling rescued survivors of the wreck of the SS Forfarshire in 1838. Explore the RNLI museum of her life in Bamburgh (and find out about sea safety in general). Then, take a trip to the wildlife-filled Farne Islands and visit the Longstone Lighthouse where Darling lived with her family.

19. Alnwick, Northumberland

Recommended by: Stuart, Go Eat Do 

Alnwick, Northumberland

There’s an array of things to do in Alnwick , a historic market town which makes a great base for walking breaks in Northumberland’s countryside.

Alnwick Castle has been the home of the Percy family, the Dukes of Northumberland, since 1309. The fact it was used as a set for Harry Potter movies makes the historic landmark a hit with visitors of all ages.

Beautifully landscaped, the nearby Alnwick Garden is one of the most-visited attractions in the region. The gated section where poisonous plants grow remains locked between guided tours explaining their dangers.

20. Malham, North Yorkshire

Recommended by: Pauline, Beeloved City

30 of the Best Places to Visit in the North of England

Located within the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Malham is one of the best places to visit in Northern England. Not only because the village features some beautiful houses, but also because the surroundings are breathtaking!

Everything you expect from the English countryside: sheep, cows, limestone walls… you will find it in Malham! The village is also a paradise for hikers. There are many walks in the area including Malham Tarn, Janet’s Foss and Gordale Scar.

The most popular one, Malham Cove, is only a 25-minute hike. It will take you from the visitor centre up to the cove. From there, you can admire this stunning geological formation and jaw-dropping views over Yorkshire. It’s also well known for being one of few Harry Potter filming locations in Northern England !

RECOMMENDED TOUR: Yorkshire Sightseeing Day Trip from Manchester – from £69pp

21. Scarborough, North Yorkshire

Recommended by: Anjali, Cheerful Trails

Scarborough - places to visit in the North of England

Scarborough is one of Northern England’s most popular holiday destinations. This resort town is known for its gorgeous beaches, vibrant atmosphere, exquisite parks, vintage fairs and upbeat events that take place throughout the year.

The town has a huge coastline which offers breathtaking views from its beaches and panoramic viewpoints, as well as the famous Scarborough Castle. For history buffs, the Rotunda Museum in Scarborough exhibits about 5500 fossils, and is one of the oldest purpose-built museums in the UK. There are many more great things to do in Scarborough , including SEA LIFE Scarborough , the heritage railway, or riding the dragon boat around Peasholm Park. 

22. Saddleworth, Greater Manchester

Saddleworth Greater Manchester

The Saddleworth villages – particularly Greenfield, Uppermill and Dobcross – are fantastic places to visit in Northern England. They’re also surprisingly unknown! The villages are around 25 minutes by train east of Manchester on the northern edge of the Peak District, where the urban sprawl opens out into magnificent scenery.

Things to do in Saddleworth include taking walks in the hills, going on a canal boat ride and visiting one of Uppermill’s many cafes and restaurants.

If you do visit Saddleworth, try to time your visit to coincide with one of the many local events. The highlight of the Saddleworth year is the annual Whit Friday Band Contests which attracts brass bands from all over the world.

Are there any other amazing places to visit in the North of England that you think should be added to this list? Let us know in the comments!

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30 Places to Visit in the North of England

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6 thoughts on “30 of the Best Places to Visit in the North of England”

Coming from Leeds I’m a little biased but I think the North is the best part of England and many times overlooked by visitors who only know London. Pleased to see so many places from Yorkshire here too as the area is really stunning. The Yorkshire Dales in general is a fantastic area full of charming villages and great hiking. Great post!

Thanks so much Stuart!! I was worried there was a bit of a Yorkshire bias to the post but it’s such a huge area and there really are some amazing spots!! I’ve still hardly scratched the surface with the north of England – so many amazing places for me to explore next!!

Thanks for allowing me to contribute pretty Helmsley to this list! And proud to see so many places in Yorkshire! I always feel like the south steals all the limelight haha :)

Thanks so much for contributing!! There are so many amazing places to see in the north – curating this post has definitely made me want to travel up there again asap! :)

Thank you for such lovely places with descriptive content. Very-well written article and informative one. Really helpful and worth reading.

Thank you so much for reading :)

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UK

Speaking of the best places to visit in UK , what are the first three that pop into your head? Big Ben? The British Museum? Tower of London? Edinburgh Castle? Numerous places will come into your mind. The UK is a priceless country with its history, culture, and natural beauty. There are tons of meaningful and beautiful sites to see in the UK. So today, the blog will list the best places to visit in UK for your reference, from bustling cities to serene countryside, each offering a unique glimpse into the heart of this remarkable nation.

Best Places to Visit in UK—England

England has a rich history, stunning landscapes, and vibrant cities, offering a diverse tapestry of experiences for every kind of traveller. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or an urban explorer, there are myriad places to visit in England that will captivate your heart and soul. You could follow in our footsteps and embark on a journey through those best places to go in England.

The City of England

London: The Heartbeat of the Nation

London, the vibrant capital, is an essential starting point for any UK adventure. Steeped in history and brimming with modern attractions, London undoubtedly has many nice places to visit in England.

For example, you could begin your journey at the Tower of London , a fortress of tales dating back nearly a millennium. Then, you can head to the British Museum to explore the rich history and marvel at artefacts from ancient civilizations, including the Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies. And don’t miss the Houses of Parliament , paired with the iconic clock tower of Big Ben , which offers one of the most recognisable sights in London. In the evening, you could experience the thrill of the West End , which offers world-class performances that rival New York’s Broadway. Afterwards, you could return to your London residence and have a good night’s sleep.

  • Recommended : The best places to live in London

Manchester: The Perfect Blend of Classic and Modern

Known for its rich industrial heritage and vibrant cultural scene, Manchester seamlessly blends the classic with the modern. It is one of the best places to see in England. We could delve into Manchester’s industrial heritage at the Science and Industry Museum and soak up the atmosphere at the Northern Quarter , which is famous for its bohemian vibe and artistic flair. Football enthusiasts should not miss visiting the Etihad Stadium , home to Manchester City Football Club. By the way, Manchester residences are thoughtfully designed to fulfil our relaxation and entertainment needs. You could schedule a tour and enjoy the taste of Manchester’s customs and cultures.

  • Recommended : The best things to do in Manchester

prettiest places to visit england

The Cotswolds: The Most Beautiul Town

For those who want to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, the Cotswolds, famed for its picturesque villages and rolling countryside, are among the top things to visit in England. Wandering through the honey-coloured stone villages, each with unique charm and character, you will find a sense of long-lost tranquillity. When stepping into scenic walking trails that wind through lush fields and ancient woodlands, you will be stunned by the beautiful views. If you have taken a trip to England, don’t miss this remarkable chance to enjoy one of Britain’s most beautiful places.

The Lake District: A Great magnet for Nature Lovers

Nestled in northwest England, the Lake District is one of the most picturesque places in England. It is a paradise for those seeking tranquillity and natural beauty. With its rolling hills, serene lakes, and charming villages, it’s no wonder this region inspired poets like William Wordsworth. Hiking enthusiasts can conquer the majestic Scafell Pike , the highest peak in England—one of the most adventurous places to go in England, while those seeking a more relaxed pace are suggested to take boat rides on Lake Windermere .

Stonehenge: Powerful and Mysterious Prehistoric Monuments

Stonehenge is among the must visit places in UK. Your trip to England isn’t complete without a visit to Stonehenge, one of the world’s most famous prehistoric monuments. Located on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, this iconic stone circle has attracted thousands of historians and travellers to pay a visit. The visitor centre, where you can learn about its construction and the people who built it, is the place to delve into the mysteries of its origins and purpose. All in all, Stonehenge is one of the nice places to visit in England, especially for history buffs.

prettiest places to visit england

Best places to go in UK—Scotland

Then we come to Scotland , a land of timeless beauty and rich heritage that beckons adventurers, history enthusiasts, and nature lovers. From its rugged highlands to its historic cities, Scotland offers an array of inspiring experiences. Here is a part of Scotland that should be on every traveller’s list of must visit places in UK.

Edinburgh: A Famous Historic and Cutural City

Edinburgh is Scotland’s capital, which has centuries of history intertwined with a vibrant, modern culture. It is one of the great places to visit in the UK. The city’s medieval Old Town and elegant Georgian New Town are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, each offering unique charms. Edinburgh’s rich heritage is palpable at every turn. You can begin your journey at the iconic Edinburgh Castle  atop Castle Rock. This ancient fortress offers breathtaking views and fascinating exhibits like the Crown Jewels and the Stone of Destiny. Then, you are advised to head to Royal Mile , a historic street stretching from the castle to the royal residence of Holyrood Palace . In addition, Edinburgh is blessed with stunning natural landscapes. It is highly recommended to hike up Arthur’s Seat , an extinct volcano offering panoramic views of the city and beyond. If you are fatigued by the exercise, you can live near it in the evening. It is exactly a convenient residence with a pleasant environment when considering Edinburgh housing .

  • Recommended : Top things to do in Edinburgh

Edinburgh castle

Glasgow: The Cultural Powerhouse

Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, is renowned for its vibrant cultural scene and architectural grandeur. From world-class museums to lively music venues, Glasgow is also among the nice places to go in the UK. The first place that you must visit is Glasgow Cathedral , a magnificent example of Gothic architecture steeped in history and surrounded by atmospheric necropolises. If you are an art fan, the blogger would suggest seeing Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum , the home to one of Europe’s most significant art collections. By the way, Glasgow is regarded as a liveable city with rich cultural scenes, educational opportunities and warm, hospitable people. If the charm of Glasgow attracts you, you could rent or buy a house in Glasgow .

Isle of Skye: A Symphony of Natural Wonders

The Isle of Skye, often called the “Misty Isle”, is one of the prettiest places in the UK. It is a treasure trove of stunning landscapes and legendary folklore. Known for its dramatic scenery, this enchanting island has rugged cliffs, serene lochs, and emerald-green valleys. When you come to the Isle of Skye, the Quiraing is a must-visit place. It is an otherworldly landscape formed by ancient landslides, offering breathtaking views and excellent hiking opportunities. Besides, crystal-clear Fairy Pools with cascading waterfalls are also picturesque, perfect for a refreshing dip or a tranquil stroll.

Loch Ness: Nature’s Majestic Playground

Famous for its mysterious resident, the Loch Ness Monster, this deep freshwater loch is surrounded by picturesque villages and rolling hills. Beyond the legend, Loch Ness is also one of the top places to visit in UK. It has stunning scenery and tranquil waters, perfect for a boat tour or a leisurely walk along its shores. The nearby Urquhart Castle offers a glimpse into Scotland’s medieval past with panoramic views of the loch.

Orkney Islands: A Journey Through Time

The Orkney Islands, an archipelago off the northeastern coast, offer a unique blend of natural beauty and ancient history. There are many great places to visit there, such as Skara Brae, Ring of Brodgar and St Magnus Cathedral . Skara Brae is a remarkably well-preserved Neolithic settlement that provides a glimpse into life 5,000 years ago. Ring of Brodgar is a majestic stone circle and henge, part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney UNESCO World Heritage Site. St Magnus Cathedral is known as the “Light of the North”. This stunning cathedral in Kirkwall dates back to 1137.

Bay

Most Beautiful Places in UK—Wales

Wales is a land of breathtaking landscapes and boundless adventure. Whether you are an adventure seeker or a nature lover, this captivating country has something extraordinary to offer. Please keep pace with us to explore some of the best places to visit in Wales. Your journey will be guided by genuine wonder and inspiration.

Cardiff Castle: The Architectural Marvel

Cardiff Castle is renowned for its eclectic architecture and stunning interiors. One of the most striking rooms within the castle, the Arab Room, is famed for its elaborate ceiling inspired by Moorish design. It’s a symbol of the global influences that shaped the castle’s aesthetic.

Snowdonia National Park: A Journey Through Nature's Majesty

Snowdonia National Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. It is also one of the places to holiday in the UK away from the busy cities. Home to the highest peak in Wales, Mount Snowdon, this park offers a myriad of hiking trails, stunning vistas, and serene lakes. Whether scaling the summit or exploring the lush valleys, Snowdonia’s natural beauty will amaze you.

Llandudno: A Victorian Seaside Town

Llandudno is among the nice places to stay in UK, a classic Victorian seaside town that promises a nostalgic and scenic getaway. With its grand promenade, historic pier, and the Great Orme headland, Llandudno is perfect for leisurely exploration. Firstly, you could take a tram ride or hike up the Great Orme for spectacular views and then stroll along Llandudno Pier , the longest pier in Wales.

Lake

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park: A Beautiful Scenic Spot

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is one of the must-visit UK travel spots for those who crave the sea and rugged coastal landscapes. With its dramatic cliffs, sandy beaches, and quaint harbour towns, this park promises unforgettable seaside adventures. It is suggested to walk along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path for unparalleled ocean views. You could also discover the charming town of Tenby with its pastel-coloured houses.

Gower Peninsula: A Natural Wonderland

The Gower Peninsula, designated as the UK’s first area of outstanding natural beauty, is one of the good places to go in the UK. This stunning coastal region has dramatic cliffs, sandy beaches, and lush countryside. Rhossili Bay and Three Cliffs Bay are the highlights you shouldn’t miss. Rhossili Bay is known for its sweeping views and golden sands, perfect for a leisurely walk or a day of surfing. The bay’s unspoilt beauty is often ranked among the best beaches in the world. Three Cliffs Bay features a trio of limestone cliffs jutting into the sea, creating a picturesque landscape ideal for hiking and photography.

Top sites to see in the UK—Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland, with its rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty, offers every traveller an extraordinary array of destinations. From majestic landscapes to vibrant cities, this guide will take you through the must-visit places in Northern Ireland.

Belfast: Full of Recreational Activities

The capital city, Belfast, is a vibrant hub of culture, history, and innovation. It is one of the places to go on holiday in the UK. You can explore the Titanic Belfast museum , where the story of the ill-fated ship is vividly brought to life. You can also stroll through the Cathedral Quarter , known for its buzzing arts scene, street art, and eclectic mix of pubs and restaurants. If you want to enjoy recreational activities, you could settle down in Belfast .

Giant's Causeway: Full of Myth and Legend

Giant’s Causeway is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best places to go in UK. With its 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, this geological wonder steeped in myth and legend offers an awe-inspiring sight. Whether you’re captivated by the tales of giants or the sheer natural beauty, the Giant’s Causeway promises powerful and unforgettable experiences.

countryside

Mourne Mountains: A Breathtaking Playground

For those seeking outdoor adventure, the Mourne Mountains offer a breathtaking playground. This rugged mountain range is perfect for hiking, climbing, and exploring. The iconic Slieve Donard , the highest peak in Northern Ireland, rewards climbers with stunning vistas of the surrounding countryside and coastline.

The Dark Hedges: One of the Most Photographed Locations

Game of Thrones fans will recognise the hauntingly beautiful Dark Hedges, a beech tree-lined avenue that has become one of Northern Ireland’s most photographed locations. This enchanting site is a must-see not only for fans of the show but also for anyone who appreciates natural beauty.

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge: Breathtaking Views

You will experience a thrill with a walk across the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, one of the most beautiful sightseeing places in UK. Suspended 30 metres above the sea, this narrow bridge connects the mainland to the tiny island of Carrickarede. The views are spectacular, and the sense of adventure is palpable.

The 20 best places to visit in UK have been listed above, which is divided into four parts—the nice places to visit in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. If you are interested in the best places to go in UK, this blog will help you.

Amazing London skyline with Tower Bridge

What is the most visited place in the UK?

The most visited place in the UK is The Tower of London, ranking first in the list of top 10 places to visit in UK. When choosing where to go in UK, The Tower of London shouldn’t be missed. It is not a fortress but a symbol of Britain’s rich history and heritage. Established by William the Conqueror in 1066, this formidable structure has witnessed nearly a millennium of historical events.

Which UK city has nicest people?

Glasgow has the nicest people.

  • The spirit of Glasgow is authentic and welcoming. Whether you’re asking for directions or simply striking up a conversation, you’re very likely to be met with a smile and a willingness to help.
  • Glaswegians are trustworthy and reliable. It’s common to hear stories of locals who have gone above and beyond to ensure visitors feel welcome and cared for. This reliability extends to everyday life, fostering community and mutual respect.

What is the most liveable city in the UK?

Glasgow is the most liveable city in the UK.

  • Quality of life : Glasgow offers an exceptional quality of life. The city is renowned for its green spaces, including the beautiful Kelvingrove Park and the sprawling Glasgow Green. Healthcare and education are also top-notch, since Glasgow is home to some of Scotland’s best hospitals and medical facilities.
  • Community spirit : One of Glasgow’s most defining characteristics is its strong sense of community. Glaswegians are known for their warmth and friendliness, making newcomers feel at home. The city’s diverse population contributes to a rich tapestry of cultural experiences, fostering an inclusive environment where everyone can thrive.

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The top 10 global travel destinations to explore in June-July 2024

If you are seeking adventure beyond borders, here are the top 10 global destinations for your summer breaks that will offer unique experiences for travellers. here are some of the best places to visit during june-july 2024..

prettiest places to visit england

10 global travel destinations to explore in June – July 2024: Summer is a popular time for travel, with June and July being two of the busiest months. The weather is warm in most parts of the world, making it ideal for outdoor activities, beach vacations, and sightseeing. Many schools are also on summer break, allowing families to take longer trips.

While many travellers choose domestic destinations for their summer getaways, there is a growing trend towards exploring international locations. “ We are seeing more international trips from India than at any other time in history. About ten years ago, to see the numbers that we are seeing for travel in just the last three months, it would have taken a full year to achieve this,” shares David Mann, Chief Economist for Asia Pacific at Mastercard, in a recent report by the Mastercard Economics Institute.

prettiest places to visit england

If you are seeking adventure beyond borders, here are the top 10 global destinations for your summer break s that will offer unique experiences for travellers. Here are some of the best places to visit during this time.

1. Biarritz, France

Beach in Biarritz (Source: X/@ATefazz)

One of the best travel destinations all year around, France holds the most perfect holiday spot for you in the form of Biarritz. Known for its beautiful beaches and eccentric lifestyle, Biarritz is also home to the oldest surfing spots in Europe. During June and July, the city maintains a temperature between 15 degrees Celsius and 23 degrees Celsius, making it a perfect place to relax and enjoy.

2. Devon, England

Village in Devon (Source: X/@LancsDreamer)

Witness a sunshine-filled city in England during June and July; Devon is the destination you want to be. Filled with beaches, fishing villages, and even multiple spots for hiking, Devon provides you with many activities to choose from. The city maintains a temperature between 10 degrees Celsius minimum and 19 degrees Celsius maximum, which gives you a relaxing environment along with maintaining the essence of England intact.

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3. Dolomites, Italy

Village in Dolomites (Source: X/@SnapSerenity)

Home to snow-covered slopes, sky-high mountains, and multiple other picturesque destinations, the Dolomites in Italy have become one of the best destinations for people who love cold and mountains. Notably, despite being covered with snow, the highest temperature in the city goes up to 20 degrees Celcius, which prevents it from becoming painfully cold and allows you to make the most of your stay.

4. Copenhagen, Denmark

Buildings in Copenhagen (Source:  X/@zoomingnature)

Despite being a small city, Copenhagen is one of the best places to visit if your style of enjoyment is eating and drinking. As eating is the city’s favourite pastime, they also like to start their happy hours a little early, at 4 p.m. The town also offers a party-like nightlife, making Copenhagen a must-visit tourist attraction during the summer.

5. Corsica, France

Sea facing buildings in Corsica (Source: X/@gisipen)

If you are making a list of global travel destinations, you cannot keep a place that is nicknamed the Island of Beauty off the list. Despite being in France, the Corsica island offers you Italy like the summer sun, which makes this island even more exotic. The island and all the modern-day facilities also allow you to enjoy some old-school picnic spots, adding more flair to your already awesome vacation.

6. Mykonos, Greece

Family enjoying vacation at Mykonos (Source: X/@viewsoff_)

Mykonos is known for its long nightlife, where you can enjoy every night party with DJs and dancing, and at the same time, it has the perfect spots to start your day, which takes away all your last-night fatigue in no time. If you are someone who loves history, you can even ferry yourself to Dolos, which is one of the most sought-after archaeological sites in Greece.

7. Quebec, Canada

Blissful morning of Quebec (Source: X/@Su_bestview)

Canada is one of the most common travel destinations for everyone, but its extremely cold weather prevents people from opting for it. However, there is one solution to this problem: Quebec. The city in June and July enjoys a temperature of 12 degrees Celsius, from a minimum to a maximum of 20 degrees Celsius, allowing you to enjoy the beautiful culture of Canada without being scared of its cold climate.

8. Hudson Valley, USA

Rooftop view of Hudson Valley (Source: X/@some_guy_ben)

The Hudson Valley is the perfect escape from the busy city life that nature can offer. It acts as a charming town, standing amongst stunning scenery all around, and all that is just a short trip from New York City. If you love history, you can journey back in time at West Point Academy or explore the fascinating legacy of presidents like Roosevelt at his grand estate. Hudson Valley is a haven for fresh, farm-to-table meals, delicious local wines, and exciting craft brewery tours, which is just the cherry on top of your trip.

9. Edinburgh, Scotland

Beautiful city of Edinburgh (Source: X/@archi_tradition)

For the festival enthusiast, Edinburgh is a dream-come-true destination. From the world’s largest performing arts festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, to the prestigious film and military tattoo festivals, there’s always a vibrant celebration to immerse yourself in. Unleash your inner art lover at the National Gallery of Scotland, or delve into Scottish history through portraits at the National Portrait Gallery. The city provides a variety of options to choose from, making your visit more exciting.

10. Seychelles

Sunny day at Seychelles beach (Source: X/@Harmonyexplore1)

For those who like to relax in luxury, the Seychelles offers several lodging spots in between all the breathtaking scenery. But the real magic lies in exploring the islands themselves, as there are 115 to choose from, each with its unique charm, and you can discover secluded coves, vibrant cultures, and a rich Creole heritage that makes your trip to this small island even more blissful.

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Last chance to see Northern Lights tonight as Met Office reveals three best places to view them amid solar storm

  • Harry Goodwin
  • Published : 15:27, 20 May 2024
  • Updated : 16:00, 20 May 2024
  • Published : Invalid Date,

TONIGHT is your last chance to see the Northern Lights - with the Met Office revealing the three best places to view them.

The Northern Lights  will be visible across parts of the UK again tonight  after the rare phenomenon was spotted last week.

The Northern Lights over the National Monument in Edinburgh earlier this month

Also known as aurora borealis, the  bands of pink and green light were seen across the UK  and in parts of Europe.

An "extreme" geomagnetic storm  made them visible far below the Arctic Circle , US government experts said.

Now the  Met Office  says the Northern Lights could return at 9pm tonight.

A "red alert" has been issued - meaning the aurora might be visible by eye and camera from anywhere in the UK.

Read More UK News

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But Scotland , Northern Ireland and the north of England are the three places with the best chances of a dazzling display.

There is a slight chance that people in north  Wales will also get a glimpse of the aurora.

What are the Northern Lights?

AURORA displays occur when charged particles collide with gases in the Earth's atmosphere around the magnetic poles.

In the northern hemisphere, most of this activity takes place within a band known as the aurora oval, covering latitudes between 60 and 75 degrees.

When activity is strong, this expands to cover a greater area - which explains why displays can be occasionally seen as far south as the UK.

The visibility of the Northern Lights was increased on Friday because of an "extreme" geomagnetic storm, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The phenomena appears as beautiful dancing green and purple ribbons of light that have captivated people for millennia.

A Met Office spokesman said: "The aurora may become visible perhaps very briefly for parts of northern Scotland.

"Activity is expected to decline through the day with no significant activity expected overnight from May 18 into the 19th.

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“So unfortunately there is little to no chance of seeing anything in London tonight.

"There is only a small chance in northern Scotland towards dawn where skies are clear before sunrise."

The spokesman added: "There is no aurora expected the following night."

NORTHERN DELIGHTS

The Northern Lights will peter out overnight - but forecasters won't rule out sightings later this week.

Aurora displays happen when charged particles beamed out from sunspots collide with the Earth's atmosphere around the poles.

Met Office space expert Krista Hammond said: "We're currently at solar maximum and we're seeing more sunspots.

"The sunspot region will be be coming back round onto the Earth facing side of the sun.

"If we see more sunspots, we see this increased frequency in space weather and therefore the aurora."

Met Office aurora forecast in full

No significant space weather activity is expected on Sunday night into Monday, with aurora sightings unlikely.

An enhancement to the aurora may occur tonight following the possible arrival of a coronal mass ejection that left the sun late on Friday.

Following any CME arrival aurora may become visible, where skies are clear, across parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland.

There is a slight chance that views of the aurora may also be possible from northern England and North Wales.

Following this auroral activity is expected to decline, although confidence is lower than usual however.

Some slight enhancement to the aurora at times can’t be ruled out.

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The best electric vehicle-friendly places to visit this summer

What could be nicer than stopping off at a countryside farm shop while your ev recharges, article bookmarked.

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Electric cars are far more commonplace in the UK than ever before.

While some criticism has been levelled at charging infrastructure, it has expanded at an impressive rate and now there are plenty of great places to stop and top-up.

With many drivers heading out onto the roads this summer – among them many EV owners – we’ve got some info from Lexus regarding some of the top places to take a break while recharging.

Strawberry Fields Farm Shop – Lifton, near Launceston

What could be nicer than stopping off at a countryside farm shop while your EV recharges? That’s the case with Strawberry Fields Farm shop near Lifton, placed close to the A30 – one of the main arteries to Cornwall.

Here, you’ll find a full farm shop and restaurant as well as ‘pick your own’ strawberry fields during the summer. Handily, it also has two charging points.

Stockwood Discovery Centre, near Luton

If you’ve got little ones in tow, then the Stockwood Discovery Centre could be a great place to make a pit stop. It’s got plenty of wide open spaces for running around, while a cafe is there to help keep hunger at bay. You’ll also find a 17th-century garden and the largest carriage collection in Europe.

You’ll also find two electric vehicle chargers with four connectors handily located in the car park so you can get those batteries topped up. The centre is also free to enter.

Wimpole Estate, near Cambridge

The Wimpole Estate, which is owned and operated by the National Trust, has a huge amount of beautiful parkland to explore, alongside the Old Rectory restaurant which is great for a food-based break.

When it comes to chargers you’re spoilt for choice, too, with six devices offering up 12 connectors.

National Motor Museum, Beaulieu

If you’re on the M3 this summer then you might want to stop by a must-see attraction for car fans – the Beaulieu Motor Museum. It’s jam-packed with recognisable vehicles, including land speed-record holders and even Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

You’ll find an electric charge point with three devices and six connectors here, too, so it’s a great place for charging up.

Tredegar House, M4

If you’re travelling in south Wales this summer then Tredegar House could provide a very pleasant EV-friendly stop-off. It’s a 17th-century house situated within 90 acres of gardens and parkland, making it a fine place to take a break and stroll.

In the car park for the house, you’ll also find a 7kW charge point which is ideal for a long stay.

British Motor Museum, M40

The British Motor Museum is another excellent stopover for car-mad drivers and passengers. With more than 400 vehicles on display, it has something for everyone and you’ll even find a number of interactive activities for families to enjoy.

Plus, there are six charge points to make use of, offering speeds of up to 22kW.

Needing a break to recharge? Why not check out these EV-friendly destinations.

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NEWS... BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT

When can we next see the Northern Lights above UK?

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People gather at Crosby Beach to look at the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, in Crosby, Britain.

If you slept through the rare opportunity to see the Northern Lights in the UK, you may have another chance.

Last night saw the aurora borealis appear above Brits’ homes once again after the rare phenomenon was visible across the UK for the first time in 20 years last week.

The striking ribbons of pink and green light appeared thanks to an ‘extreme’ geomagnetic storm .

With the return of the incredible views – everyone is of course now wondering if there is any chance they’ll grace the UK’s night skies again in such spectacular fashion.

When could we next see the Northern Lights in the UK?

Although they reappeared last night, it may be the last time they are visible at least for the next few weeks, as the Met Office says ‘no significant enhancements to the auroral oval are likely in the coming days’.

But the sunspot cluster, which hurled gas and energy towards the Earth, will rotate to us in a fortnight.

If the cluster is large and complex enough, it will generate more explosions which creates the aurora borealis as it hits the Earth’s magnetic field.

The sun is approaching its ‘solar maximum’, which it reaches once every 11 years and is when activity is strongest.

Handout photo taken with permission from the social media site X of Sarah Sharpe of the aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, glowing in the sky over Mappleton, East Yorkshire. Issue date: Saturday May 11, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story WEATHER Aurora.

Professor Jim Wild, space physicist from the University of Lancaster, said whether we will see the lights again ‘all depends on the sun’.

‘Those amazing displays on last weekend were triggered by solar activity that launched material from the Sun last Wednesday, and it took a couple of days to cross space and get to us,’ he said.

‘We’re gliding down in activity and we’d need something to re-energize the system if we were to see those kind of displays again.’

Where to see Northern Lights in the UK

WHITLEY BAY, ENGLAND - MAY 10: People visit St Mary's lighthouse in Whitley Bay to see the aurora borealis, commonly known as the northern lights, on May 10, 2024 in Whitley Bay, England. The UK met office said a strong solar storm may allow northern parts of the UK the chance to see displays of aurora. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

Sightings are most likely in northern Scotland and Northern Ireland , it said, with a slight chance of catching them in northern England or north Wales.

Why can we see the Northern Lights in the UK?

Aurora displays happen when charged particles beamed out from sunspots collide with gases in the Earth’s atmosphere around the magnetic poles.

Activity usually occurs in the northern hemisphere, but when it’s strong it can cover a larger area and therefore seen further south.

The Northern lights above a forest

A Met Office spokesperson said: ‘There’s a chance of some aurora visibility in the far north of the UK tonight, with any viewing potential largely restricted to parts of northern Scotland and Northern Ireland.

‘There’s a slight chance of capturing some imagery for those in the north of England and Wales, though it may mean taking a long exposure camera shot to capture anything.

‘It’s worth noting that any visibility is likely to be significantly less strong than what was seen a few weekends ago, when auroras could be seen over the vast majority of the UK.

‘Chances of enhanced aurora activity is expected to decline in the coming nights, though this is subject to ongoing assessment by the Met Office Space Weather Operations Centre.’

The aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, above Arthur???s Seat and Salisbury Crags in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh. Picture date: Friday May 10, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story WEATHER Aurora. Photo credit should read: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Meanwhile Met Office space expert Krista Hammond said: ‘We’re currently at solar maximum and we’re seeing more sunspots.

‘The sunspot region will be coming back round onto the Earth facing side of the sun.

‘If we see more sunspots, we see this increased frequency in space weather and therefore the aurora.’

On May 10, impressive aurora displays were recorded across the country, including Whitley Bay on the north east coast, Essex, Cambridgeshire and Wokingham in Berkshire.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected] .

For more stories like this, check our news page .

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How to Watch the 2024 Met Gala Livestream Replay

By Christian Allaire

The 2024 Met Gala took place last night, on Monday, May 6. For the fourth year in a row, Vogue hosted the night’s exclusive livestream, where all of the action from the red carpet unfolded in real time.

This year, the Vogue Met Gala livestream was hosted by actor Gwendoline Christie, producer and actor La La Anthony, and model Ashley Graham. Multihyphenate Emma Chamberlain returned as Vogue ’s special correspondent to interview some of the biggest stars on the carpet. If you missed it last night, you can still catch up on all of the fashion fun—rewatch the livestream now to see all the A-listers as they arrived in style.

Image may contain Ashley Graham Emma Chamberlain Gwendoline Christie Clothing Dress Evening Dress and Formal Wear

Meanwhile, this year’s theme—“ Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion ”—celebrated the Costume Institute’s new exhibition of the same name. The presentation will feature approximately 250 items drawn from the museum’s permanent collection, some rarely seen in public before, displayed in entirely new ways. Of course, the Met Gala’s star-studded red carpet on the first Monday in May cannot be missed either.

Below, everything to know about the 2024 Met Gala livestream, from how (and where) to rewatch the red carpet to what the night’s dress code and themes entail.

Where can I watch the livestream?

The 2024 Met Gala livestream was hosted exclusively by Vogue and broadcast live across its digital platforms as well as TikTok and YouTube . You can also rewatch the livestream within this very post and catch up on Vogue ’s by-the-minute live updates from the 2024 Met Gala here.

What time does the livestream start?

The Met Gala red-carpet livestream took place on Monday, May 6, starting at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PST. If you missed it, you can watch the replay on this page!

Who’s hosting the livestream?

This year the Met Gala livestream was hosted by actor Gwendoline Christie, producer and actor La La Anthony, and model Ashley Graham. Multihyphenate Emma Chamberlain also returned as Vogue ’s special correspondent to interview some of the biggest stars on the carpet.

What’s this year’s Met Gala theme?

The 2024 Met Gala celebrated the opening of the Costume Institute’s new spring exhibition, “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.” The exhibition—which will be on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from May 10 to September 2 this year—will spotlight 250 items drawn from the Costume Institute’s permanent collection, including some very rarely seen in public before. All works will be displayed in entirely new ways, utilizing elements such as video animation, CGI, AI, and more.

Every year the Met Gala provides the Costume Institute with its primary source of funding for exhibitions, publications, acquisitions, operations, and capital improvements.

Is there a dress code?

The dress code for the 2024 Met Gala was The Garden of Time, which takes inspiration from a short story of the same title written by J.G. Ballard in 1962.

Who are the co-chairs this year?

Zendaya, Jennifer Lopez, Chris Hemsworth, Bad Bunny, and Vogue ’s Anna Wintour served as the evening’s co-chairs . Honorary chairs for the evening, meanwhile, were Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson and TikTok CEO Shou Chew.

Met Gala 2024 : See Every Celebrity Arrival, Read the Latest Stories, and Get Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Access Here

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Where to Rewatch the 2024 Met Gala Livestream

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Follow Along with Live Updates from the 2024 Met Gala

“Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion” Is The Costume Institute’s Spring 2024 Exhibition

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