Travel Destinations England – England is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. While many travelers stay in London (which is understandably a great city!), the rest of the region has a lot to offer and sees some of the crowds.
Smaller cities in England, such as Bath and Oxford, are charming and culturally rich. (And, since they’re not as crowded as London, they’re also a bit cheaper.)
Travel Destinations England
Liverpool, the birthplace of The Beatles, has a rich musical history, but the countryside is home to charming properties and natural beauty. To the north are the mountains, the rolling hills of Lancaster and Cornwall, Tudor cities such as Stonehenge, Hadrian’s Wall and Chester.
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In short, there is plenty to see and do in England. This England travel guide will help you plan your trip, save money and make the most of your time here!
You cannot visit England without visiting London – one of the most famous cities in the world. It’s home to charming pubs, world-class museums, lots of history, some of the best theater in the world, a diverse population, great food and wild nightlife. It can often be a city that breaks the bank, but luckily, London has lots of cheap markets, museums are often free and there are a ton of leisure parks that you can enjoy on a budget. There are also many free walking tours here!
England’s seaside towns are relaxing (especially if you have a vehicle). Brighton is a popular destination for summer holidays and festivals. But don’t overlook places like Weymouth, Salcombe, Dover, Hastings, St Ives or Newquay – and just a few in the south of the country. You can literally spend months discovering each new place. Cities offer everything from traditional old-world charm (think cobbled streets and Tudor houses) to bright lights and fun festivals (Brighton’s Pier resembles LA’s Santa Monica).
Cornwall is like a mini New England – you can see why the English settlers felt at home in the New World. Like New England in the US, Cornwall has rolling hills, beautiful lakes, small towns, rural farms, great hiking trails, small fishing villages, great food and even wineries. The area has been populated since the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. Eventually, the Britons (who were of Celtic origin) claimed the area and the first written account of the area dates back to the 4th century BC. It has also been an important maritime area for centuries. The relaxed pace of life here is one of the reasons why it is one of my favorite places in England. Do not lose it!
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The baths are named for the famous (and surprisingly well-preserved) ancient Roman baths in the heart of the city, which date back to 70 AD and were in use until the 5th century. The audio guide by Bill Bryson is a must and adds a lot of context and detail. The baths are the town’s main attraction, although the abbey, Georgian and Victorian houses and the river are also nice to see. Literature lovers can also explore Jane Austen’s legacy as she lived in Bath for most of her life.
Located in Cumbria in northern England and an hour from the Scottish border, the Lake District is one of the best national parks in England. Lakes in the region cut U-shaped valleys that are now filled with water as a result of the last ice age and receding glaciers. It’s perfect for hiking mountain trails and cruising around pristine lakes. It’s especially popular (and crowded) in summer. Cornwall is south of northern England: a natural, rural paradise that embodies the best of England, and outside of Cornwall, it’s my favorite part of England.
Buckingham Palace, the residence of the Queen of England, is a fascinating sight that is only open to the public during the summer. If you can’t (or don’t want to) visit the palace, you can watch the changing of the guards four times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) at 11am. If you want to see the palace, entry is £30 when purchased online (£33 per day), special guided tours are £90. Check the Trust’s Royal Meeting website for details of other events throughout the year.
Built in 1070, the Tower of London has been extended many times over the years. It was built as a double leaf bridge in the middle (raised on both sides) to maintain the river entrance to the London Docks Basin by reducing congestion on both sides of the river. You can visit inside the tower and walk along the glass walkways. Arms, armor and coins were made here until 1810, and today you can see the famous crown jewels, walk the battlefields, wander through the reconstructed rooms of the medieval palace, see the iconic cupbearers (known as beefeaters, so they were allowed to eat beef. From the table of King Henry VII they at will), and spot the legendary black ravens that inhabit the tower. Line tickets are £29.90. Keep in mind that lines can be long, so it’s best to plan ahead.
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Brighton is a small seaside resort town on the south coast of England, perfect for a weekend getaway. Considered the coolest city in the UK, Brighton is known for being quirky, bohemian, artsy and very LGBTQ friendly. It’s a popular summer destination for locals who come here to relax on the beach, soak up the fleeting summer sun and wander the pier with amusement rides, carnival-style stalls and street food.
Liverpool has great museums, but as the pop capital of the world, the real reason to go is the music, or more specifically The Beatles. The Beatles History Museum has all kinds of memorabilia and information about the famous band from Liverpool. As well as music, Liverpool has a rich history and culture as well as fun pubs, so don’t sell it short.
This massive and luxurious mansion in Derbyshire was built in 1549 for the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. While there are many beautiful houses and castles across the UK, this one is the most stunning. It’s so spectacular in fact that countless movies and series have been shot here (incl
) has played a role in popular culture since the house was mentioned in Jane Austen’s book,
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In 1813. During your visit, you can wander through 25 grand rooms, stroll through 105 acres of gardens and make new furry friends in the working farmyard. Entry to the house and garden is £26 (garden only is £15).
Founded in Oxford in the 11th century, this university is the oldest in the world. You can visit many of Oxford’s beautiful colleges for just a few dollars, or you can take a 90-120 minute guided tour of the entire university with the Bodleian Libraries (£20). You can also see the colleges where they filmed some episodes
! For art history buffs, stop by the free Ashmolean Museum on campus for its impressive collections of Oriental and ancient Egyptian art.
England is famous for festivals, especially in summer. For music, be sure to check out the famous (and muddy!) Glastonbury Festival or the Liverpool International Music Festival. Also, the UK has three major annual Pride events in London, Brighton and Manchester. Although each town and city has a lot to offer, this is only the tip of the festival iceberg.
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Stonehenge, just 15 minutes from Salisbury, is one of the oldest man-made structures in the world (dating back to 2500 BC!). You can’t walk on the rocks anymore, but it’s a fascinating place, especially since we still have very little idea how the rocks got there. The audio tour is worth it, so you can get some historical context on the site. Admission starts at £22.
I highly recommend a visit to Manchester United’s home stadium. With 74,000 seats, it is the largest club football stadium in the UK and the 11th largest in Europe. The tour is fantastic and takes you under the stadium seating to the players lounge and even into the dugout on the side of the field. Dig deep into some soccer (aka soccer) history at the on-site museum. Entry is £35.
Also known as the “Fence Ship”, this cathedral is visible from anywhere in the small town of Ely, Cambridgeshire (and from miles around). Originally built in the 12th century, it is known for its Romanesque architecture complete with a grand entrance and an octagonal lighthouse. Our Lady’s Chapel is the largest in all of England. The cathedral is also home to the National Museum of Stained Glass, whose collection spans over 800 years and includes stained glass from the UK and Europe. A visit to the cathedral costs just 9 GBP (10 GBP online or on the day), admission to the museum is 5 GBP. Advance booking is recommended