England is an ideal destination for all types of visitors. History, traditions, culture, lively places and natural landscapes: a trip to England does not miss anything for those who thirst to explore and learn new things.
To help you make the most of your next trip, we have created a list of more than 50 unforgettable places to enjoy in the United Kingdom. Read on to discover fun activities for those travelling with children, exciting destinations for nightlife enthusiasts, world-class archaeological sites for history and culture enthusiasts, but also outdoor adventures, culinary experiences and much more. Our list is designed to help you create personalised itineraries to discover all the best best places to visit in England.
Best Places To Visit In England: London
The list of 50 places to visit in England undoubtedly starts from London. The capital of the United Kingdom, London is one of the largest cities in Europe. Renowned museums – including the National Gallery and the British Museum, royal palaces, fortresses, historic squares such as Trafalgar Square and fashionable shops are just some of the ingredients that attract millions of visitors to London from all over the world at any time of year.
What is a list of places to visit in UK without Stonehenge? A mystical, mysterious and UNESCO World Heritage site, Stonehenge is a world-renowned group of megaliths located in County Wiltshire. The place, considered sacred by many or at any rate of high symbolic value, is still the subject of a thousand interpretations that refer to Celtic tradition or even prehistoric times.
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Places To Visit In UK: Canterbury
One of the top places to visit in England is definitely worth a visit in Canterbury. A charming medieval town, it is home to the famous Gothic Cathedral, known both for its undeniable beauty and for the assassination of Bishop Thomas Beckett.
Our list of the best places to visit in England continues with a castle. Not far from London, a site of unquestionable charm is Windsor Castle. The Castle is one of the Queen’s many residences. Surrounded by a beautiful park, it is full of towers, cloisters, courtyards and gates, which together constitute a true masterpiece of neo-Gothic architecture.
Best Places To Visit In England: Cornwall
We continue the best places to visit in England with Cornwall. Characterized by the presence of numerous castles, Cornwall also has enormous green spaces, a dreamy sea and picturesque rocky coastline. Legend has it that Cornwall is home to King Arthur and his legendary adventures with the famous Knights of the Round Table.
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Oxford is among the best places to visit in England. Famous for its prestigious University, the city of Oxford is very interesting to visit. It has many museums (including the Christ Church Art Gallery, which houses paintings and drawings by famous names such as Leonardo da Vinci or Tintoretto), but also parks, monuments, bridges and is famous for the particular architecture of its buildings.
Best Places To Visit In England: Liverpool
There is no list of places to visit in UK without Liverpool. Museums, cultural vibrancy, parks and trendy clubs are among the most important attractions in another English city not to be missed: Liverpool. Located almost on the border with Wales, this city is full of religious monuments, theatres and is famous for having seen the birth of John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Thanks to its merchant port it has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the best places to visit in Liverpool you can’t miss is Anfield Stadium – the home of the best football club in the world.
Another symbolic city of England is Manchester. Fascinating and modern, this city is known for its Cathedral and being a very important center for football. It is home to two famous stadiums: Etihad Stadium and Old Trafford Stadium.
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Cliffs of Dover
Next in the list of the best places to visit in England is a place of incredible charm, Dover presents the famous “white cliffs”. The wild and striking cliffs overlook the English Channel, but they are not the only attraction of the place. The pretty harbour and the charming castle are also worth a visit.
Best Places To Visit In England: Bath
At about 160 km from London, it will take you just over two hours by train to reach what is now considered one of the most beautiful cities in England: let’s talk about Bath. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, this city is famous above all for the presence of its hot springs from which it takes its name. Still today it is the only thermal spring in the United Kingdom that produces more than a million litres of water per day. Bath, the best preserved Georgian city in the country is a real gem and was the first tourist destination in England.
Places To Visit In UK: Bristol
Another of the places to visit in UK is located in the southwest of England, this city is a popular destination for young people because of its fervent cultural activity. Bristol, with about 430,000 inhabitants is the sixth most populous city in England and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. Rich in festivals especially during the summer, this city has given birth to famous groups such as Massive Attack, Portishead and Tricky. Street art and underground music make this centre particularly attractive for youth tourism while Georgian and Victorian architecture are another attraction of this city dating back to the early 10th century.
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Absolutely worth a visit (if you don’t suffer from vertigo) is the Clifton Suspension Bridge, a suspension bridge over the Avon River that offers an impressive spectacle even at night when lit up in the middle of a breathtaking landscape. Another attraction of the city is Berkeley Castle, a Norman fortress that is the scene of many stories of English nobles who lived there and the oldest castle in England still inhabited after the Tower of London and Windsor Castle.
Are you in London and want to visit another English city with a simple trip out of town? Brighton is one of the most effective solutions. Less than an hour by train from the English capital, Brighton is in fact the seaside resort of Londoners. It is a colourful city (rare for English cities!), pleasant and full of young people: it is also home to universities and art schools, and a favourite destination for students who come to England to study English. The attraction not to be missed? The famous Brighton Pier, the spectacular Victorian pier, one of Britain’s favourite tourist destinations: it is the pride and joy of the waterfront, crowded with bars and restaurants. The right place to start (and finish) the evening!
The capital of the north of England, Newcastle-upon-Tyne (for friends, only Newcastle!) is establishing itself in recent years as one of the best places to visit in England, thanks to its large student population. Thanks to the conversion of some old port warehouses and factories on the Tyne River into contemporary art centres, and the construction of the fabulous Sage, a concert hall in Gateshead (“twin” town of Newcastle, on the other side of the river), Newcastle in recent years has always been at the top of the charts of the most liveable and popular cities for young people in the UK. The historic centre is lively, and so is the area around the river. And nearby, don’t miss a visit to Hadrian’s Wall, the spectacular fortification built by the Roman Emperor across the north of England.
Best Places To Visit In England: York
Sure, the “new” York in the United States is more famous than the “old” one… But York, capital of Yorkshire (in turn capital of the famous Yorkshire Pudding, one of the most popular foods in England) is really fascinating. And precisely because it’s old: of Roman past (the ancient Eboracum) it was then conquered by the Vikings (don’t miss the Jorvik Viking Centre, an interactive and multimedia archaeological museum dedicated to this part of the city’s past). Today it has the fascinating and somewhat ghostly appearance of a medieval town, perfect for strolling. It is impossible not to see the Gothic Cathedral: after all, it is the largest in England.
On the banks of the river Cambridge stands the city of the same name, one of the most famous cities in England, especially for its University. The University of Cambridge – together with its “rival” Oxford – is one of the most prestigious academies on the planet. Many of the attractions are somehow linked to the University’s past.
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The University of Cambridge’s Botanical Garden, a beautiful green lung just 80 kilometres from London’s chaos, King’s College, or Corpus Christi College with the brand new – and very weird – Corpus Clock, a clock that tells the exact time only… every five minutes! It was inaugurated by physics star Stephen Hawking in 2008. A symbol of the irregularity and subjectivity of the perception of time, which you will well experience while strolling through the regal streets of Cambridge, or along King’s Parade (truly regal, as the name suggests). After all, you are not here to take exams!
Places To Visit In UK: Lulworth Cove
The beautiful Lulworth Cove is among the best places to visit in England too. It is located on the Jurassic Coast, a Dorset World Heritage Site in the south-west of England. In summer, rent a boat to see the iconic rock formation of the Durdle Door up close.
Pistyll Rhaeadr Falls
It’s no secret that Wales is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the UK, but the Pistyll Rhaeadr waterfall is a must-see destination. With the highest jump in the UK, the waterfall is surrounded by the Berwyn Mountains and numerous hills worth exploring.
Nestled in the charming Lake District National Park in Cumbria, Lake Windermere is England’s largest natural reservoir and undoubtedly the most beautiful. It also offers a wide range of adventurous activities that will make a holiday with family or friends truly unforgettable.
The first stage is in the village of Robin Hood (Edwinstowe, Sherwood, only 32 km from Nottingham), home to thousand-year-old legends that have made young and old dream: it is said that in the beautiful medieval church of St. Mary the paladin married his Lady Marian. Just a 10-minute walk away is the Sherwood Forest, which has become a national nature reserve and is easy to explore thanks to convenient paths and trails.
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The most important event of the year is the Robin Hood Festival (early August) where, among ancient oaks and majestic centuries-old trees, appear Friar Tuck, Little John and the dangerous assassins of the Sheriff of Nottingham, all in period costumes. In the middle of the forest stands the legendary Major Oak, considered Robin Hood’s main lair, which is between 800 and 1000 years old and has a diameter of at least 10 metres.
The lavender fields of Norfolk
Rejoice surrounded by the beautiful lilac expanses of lavender fields in Norfolk. Visit the gardens and the lavender oil distillery, which produces the beloved essential oil and other lavender products.
Best Places To Visit In England: Cheddar Cave
This completely natural limestone gorge not only boasts jumps of 137 metres, but is also home to the cave where Britain’s oldest skeleton was found. Explore the caves and be amazed at the breathtaking spectacle of stalactites and stalagmites.
This archipelago off the southwestern tip of Cornwall is home to incredible wildlife, unspoiled landscapes and uncrowded landscapes, all of which make it the ideal destination for a relaxing getaway. The distance from the mainland also gives you night skies with very little light pollution, perfect for admiring the stars.
Exmoor National Park
If you like dark settings and you’re tired of too many city lights that don’t allow you to see the sky in the dark, go to Exmoor, in the south of England. Classified as a Dark Sky Reserve, you’ll find moorlands, nature reserves, ancient burial grounds, sheer cliffs, pristine valleys and much more.
Places To Visit In UK: Buxton
Our list of the best places to visit in England continues with Buxton, a beautiful spa town. For those looking for relaxation and wellness, there is no better location for your next holiday in one of the best places in the UK.
The 75th of D Day will be celebrated on June 6, 2019. Slapton Sands beach will offer a space to reflect and remember. A recovered tank has been positioned to commemorate the nearly 800 American soldiers who died during the landings in April 1944.
Isle of Wight
Do we really need to tell you why the Isle of Wight shouldn’t be on your list of destinations to discover in the United Kingdom? Did you know this is where the English royal family’s sea hut stood? Queen Victoria loved it. In 2019, we celebrate the 200th anniversary of its birth, so don’t make any plans for May 24th. There will be many celebrations to attend!
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Here is a new artistic itinerary with outdoor exhibitions that will pay homage to unique works. Don’t miss to visit one of the best places to visit in UK between 22 June and 29 September 2020 – the first edition of Yorkshire Sculpture International.
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Salisbury Medieval Cathedral
Built at the beginning of the 13th century, this majestic English Gothic masterpiece attracts almost a million visitors every year. As well as being an architectural gem, the cathedral houses the best preserved of the four remaining copies of the Magna Carta, as well as the oldest working clock in the world. Take advantage of a tour of the tower to visit Britain’s tallest bell tower and enjoy a wonderful view of the surrounding countryside, then take a tea and cake break in the Refectory Restaurant.
Best Places To Visit In England: Trafalgar Square
Our list of the best places to visit in England continues with Trafalgar Square. One of London’s main traffic hubs, Trafalgar Square is a huge square created to commemorate the battle of the same name fought in 1805. As well as housing the statues and busts of prominent Royal Navy figures such as Admiral Lord Nelson and Admiral Lord Andrew Browne Cunningham, it is home to many outdoor festivals and events throughout the year. From the square you can easily reach two other famous London attractions: the National Gallery and Piccadilly Circus.
St. James Park
The Mall is a historic avenue used as a ceremonial street for coronations, weddings, royal funerals and other official events. The street runs alongside the famous St. James Park, an elegant green space with beautiful lawns and well-tended flowerbeds located opposite Buckingham Palace. In June, St. James Park is home to Trooping the Colour, the historic British Infantry Parade held every year to mark the UK sovereign’s birthday.
Every day from May to July and every other day during the rest of the year, crowds of curious travelers fill the square in front of the gates of Buckingham Palace to watch the changing of the guard. The ceremony starts at 11:00, but if you don’t want to risk not seeing anything, make sure you arrive early enough. Between August and September, when Buckingham Palace is not being used for official events, you can visit the palace’s splendid reception rooms and admire priceless works, including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Canaletto, Van Dyck and many others.
The Royal Observatory of Greenwich
Every year, thousands of explorers of all ages climb to the top of the hill in Greenwich Park to trample the famous meridian. This imaginary line, located at zero degrees longitude, is the reference point for the so-called “Greenwich Mean Time”, by which all other time zones on the planet are defined. In addition to taking a truly unique photo, during your visit to the observatory you will be able to travel through space while comfortably seated in the Peter Harrison Planetarium.
Notting Hill Carnival
Every summer, London’s exclusive Notting Hill district is dressed in colour on the occasion of what has become Europe’s biggest street party. Celebrated every year since the 1960s, the carnival is an event that represents the different Caribbean communities in the English capital. If it is part of your list of best places in UK, take part in costume parades with floats and parades, dance until morning to the rhythm of reggae music and enjoy the best of Caribbean cuisine.
Places To Visit In UK: Columbia Road
On Sunday mornings, at the lively Flower Market, Columbia Road is filled with plants, sweets and local produce. Also, in the narrow streets surrounding the market you’ll find plenty of small shops to stock up on costume jewelry, designer items and vintage clothing. After shopping, stop at a bakery to buy freshly baked cakes or visit one of the area’s quaint pubs and restaurants for a beer and a traditional dish.
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Hampton Court Palace
Just 20 kilometres from London, in Richmond upon the Thames, is the beautiful Hampton Court Palace. Once the home of Henry VIII, the palace has housed five of the king’s six wives, as well as other prominent figures of the British monarchy, including Elizabeth I and Charles I. The palace has not been a royal residence since it was opened to the public during the reign of Queen Victoria. Hampton Court is a popular place for tourists and is also used for festivals, overnight stays, banquets, bike tours and many other activities.
Best Places To Visit In England: Wimbledon
Every year in July, the quiet suburb of Wimbledon is stormed by thousands of visitors to the world’s most prestigious tennis tournament. For two weeks, ATP stars compete on grass-covered courts to win the coveted trophy. At the end of the match, stop to enjoy a glass of Pimm and, with a bit of luck, to see your favourites up close.
Known by the nickname Ally Pally, the majestic Alexandra Palace was built in 1873 as a center of education, leisure and entertainment. Today it is particularly popular with families and offers many recreational activities including jack-skating and skateboarding, rowing boat rental, concerts, markets and much more. In November, on Bonfire Night, the center also hosts one of the most famous fireworks shows in the country.
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Peak District National Park
Charming country villages, green valleys, swamps, pine forests and plateaus: the Peak District is famous all over the world for the beauty and variety of its landscapes. The national park is the most visited in England and Europe and being well connected to the public transport network is the ideal destination for a short trip out of town. From overnight tent excursions to rock climbing, the park offers outdoor activities suitable for adventurers of all ages.
Victoria and Albert Museum
Also known as the V&A, the Victoria and Albert Museum is a museum dedicated to decorative arts and design founded in 1852 and ideal to visit with the whole family. With more than four million objects spanning over 5000 years of history, it is considered one of the most important museums in the world for this type of art. The exhibition includes a bit of everything: ceramics, jewellery, furniture, carpets, photographs, weapons and even interactive exhibits for the delight of the little ones.
Chatsworth House is a majestic palace located in the county of Derbyshire. The estate is open to the public at any time of year and houses an extraordinary collection of artwork, furniture, tapestries and other artefacts, some of which date back 4000 years. In addition to paintings by masters of all ages, including Raphael, Rembrandt and David Nash, the 30 rooms open to the public contain Greek and Roman statues. Every year, from November to January, the elegant residence hosts the Christmas at Chatsworth event, transforming itself into a fairytale place thanks to the wonderful themed decorations.
In the heart of Soho, Leicester Square is the nerve centre of London entertainment. Always full of talented street performers, it’s also the best place in UK to grab a last-minute ticket to a Broadway-style show. The streets surrounding the square are lined with cinemas and theatres featuring world-renowned productions such as Phantom of the Opera, Lion King and Miss Saigon. If you’re lucky, you can buy discounted tickets for the day.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Blenheim Palace is one of Britain’s most beautiful country aristocratic residences. The palace is located in Woodstock, County Oxfordshire, and was built in the 18th century in Baroque style, with architecture reminiscent of the Palace of Versailles. Inside you can admire a splendid collection of paintings, tapestries and antique furniture. Outside, the residence is surrounded by over 800 hectares of beautiful parks and gardens, ideal for spending a day with the whole family.
Places To Visit In UK: Gardens of Kew
Simply known as Kew Gardens, the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that welcomes nearly 1.5 million visitors each year. In about 130 hectares, this botanical garden founded over 200 years ago houses the beauty of 7 million species of plants. A visit to one of the most famous places in England is recommended both for plant lovers and for those who want to spend a few hours in peace and quiet surrounded by an exceptional green space. Some of the most popular attractions are the Palm House, the suspension bridge and the pagoda.
Also known as York Minster, the fourteenth-century York Cathedral is much more than a church, it is a true architectural jewel that encompasses over 2,000 years of history. From Roman soldiers to Viking raiders, over the centuries York has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures. Today, the cathedral offers the opportunity to admire a vast collection of artefacts from different eras and to learn about its history through interactive activities.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Opened in 1901, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is one of Scotland’s most popular free attractions, especially for its informal, family-friendly atmosphere. The exhibition runs through 22 rooms with collections ranging from ancient Egyptian artefacts to works by modern Scottish artists. The best way to visit the museum and discover its treasures is to book a guided tour.
Best Places To Visit In England: Dunluce Castle
The finds recently discovered near the famous Dunluce Castle bear witness to the tumultuous history of the medieval fortress. Built on the top of a promontory on the northern coast of Antrim around 1500, the castle was conquered by the MacDonnell clan between 1550 and 1560 and from that time the whole area was devastated by a long period of struggle and violence. History lovers will surely appreciate the opportunity to admire the finds of the period and to discover the turbulent past of the area.
Brecon Beacons National Park
If you are looking for breathtaking views and unforgettable adventures, Brecon Beacons National Park is the place for you. Every year, this wonderful corner of Wales attracts nature lovers from all over the world with its unique range of outdoor activities including hiking, cycling, horse riding and much more. One of the park’s most popular attractions are the wild ponies that inhabit the Black Mountains moors.
A night in Portmeirion
Portmeirion is a delightful tourist complex surrounded by the majestic mountains of Snowdonia National Park. Its particularity is that it was built inspired by a typical Mediterranean coastal village, with colourful buildings, lush gardens, fountains and wide hiking trails leading to the sea. In the evening, the property closes its doors to visitors, so if you decide to stay overnight here, you will have the entire Portmeirion Park at your disposal.
Every year, around 200,000 people visit this 32-hectare estate to admire the magnificent panorama and stroll along the famous arch of laburnum, delightful little yellow flowers that bloom between the end of May and the beginning of June. Considered one of the most beautiful gardens in the United Kingdom, Bodnant Garden was founded in 1874 and is particularly appreciated for the variety of botanical species collected by various explorers since the Victorian era and which today form the four collections of the garden.
The cradle of the Titanic
What were once the Harland and Wolff shipyards, famous for building the Titanic, are now Titanic Belfast, a modern attraction that traces the unfortunate history of the world’s most famous liner, which sank on its maiden voyage in 1912. Titanic Belfast comprises nine galleries with a wealth of interactive exhibits, taking visitors through the ship’s various stages of life, from construction to launch to shipwreck.
Lake District, Ullswater
We conclude with the largest national park in England, which has inspired many poets and artists and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you can admire the largest lake in England and the highest mountain.