History, culture, glorious countryside and dramatic coastline, England really does have it all. With so much to see and do, you’re completely spoilt for choice when it comes to exploring this beautiful country. Here, we round up 20 of the very best attractions you definitely shouldn’t miss.
Tower of London
This stunning castle, once a royal palace and infamous prison, is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the capital city’s most popular attractions. Offering a fascinating look into 1,000 years of history, it’s home to the world-famous Crown Jewels and the iconic Beefeaters.
Tower of London, St Katharine’s and Wapping, London +44 0844 482 7777
Stonehenge is one of the best-known prehistoric monuments in Europe, and nothing can quite match the awe of witnessing the grand stone circle up close, surrounded by beautiful countryside in all its wonder.
Stonehenge, Amesbury, Salisbury SP4 7DE +44 0370 333 1181
Head to this stunning eco-park to explore the largest indoor rainforest in the world. The instantly recognisable tropical biomes are home to jaw-dropping global gardens, bursting with different sights, smells and textures.
Eden Project, Bodelva, Cornwall +44 01726 811911
Home to one of the best collections of international contemporary art, Tate Modern is the shining star in London’s incredible art-scene. With ground-breaking installations and an ever-changing programme of exhibitions all housed in a breath-taking building, no trip to the capital would be complete without a visit here.
Tate Modern, Bankside, London +44 020 7887 8888
On the dramatic Jurassic Coast in Dorset you’ll find Durdle Door – an ancient limestone arch jutting out into the sea. The adjoining beach, with its secluded cove and inviting waters, is the perfect place to take in the sight of this beautiful natural wonder.
Originally built by William the Conqueror in 1068, this impressive medieval castle is one of the finest in the country. Its incredible history is brought to life with interactive attractions, mazes, terrifying dungeon tours and spectacular bird of prey displays.
Warwick Castle, Warwick +44 0871 265 2000
The official London residence of HRH The Queen welcomes visitors every summer. Take up the opportunity to see the magnificent State Rooms, Royal Mews, The Queen’s Gallery and the beautiful gardens for an unforgettable glimpse inside the world of the British monarchy.
Buckingham Palace, London +44 0303 123 7334
This grand cathedral in the beautiful city of York is one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe. Join a guided ‘hidden’ tour, where you’ll get access to places usually closed to the public, then climb the central tower for unbeatable views over the York rooftops and the Yorkshire countryside.
York Minster, Deangate, York +44 01904 557200
Lake District National Park
Stretching out for over 900 square miles, the Lake District National Park in Northwest England is famous for its rugged fell mountains, dazzling lakes and tarns and picturesque scenery. The best way to explore the natural beauty of the area is on foot, so get your walking boots on and get hiking.
Natural History Museum
Inside one of London’s most beautiful buildings you’ll find hundreds of exhibits, including the amazing Dinosaurs gallery, the Darwin Centre Cocoon and a breath-taking blue whale skeleton. The museum even hosts movie nights and is home to a romantic outdoor ice rink at Christmas time.
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington, London +44 020 7942 5000
St Michael’s Mount
This charming tidal island, 500 metres off the coast of mainland Cornwall and crowned by a medieval church and castle, is a sight to behold. At low tide, enjoy the walk across the causeway to St Michael’s Mount, or hop on a boat to make the short trip. Once you’re there, explore the ancient cobbled lanes and sub-tropical gardens of the island.
St Michael’s Mount, Marazion, Cornwall +44 01736 710265
Covering almost 800 square miles and running through five counties in the Southwest of England, The Cotswolds is home to some of the most unspoilt, picturesque towns and villages in the country. With lush rolling hills and rural scenery, it’s a truly idyllic place to visit.
In the heart of the elegant city of Bath you’ll find the Roman Baths, the unbelievably preserved remains of one of the greatest religious spas of the ancient world. The Baths are on the site of the city’s thermal springs and as a result flow with natural hot water. Don’t bother packing your swimwear, the water quality isn’t great so you can’t take a dip.
Roman Baths, Stall Street, Bath +44 01225 477785
Spend a day taking in the sights of this historic city on a punting tour. Here you can just sit back and relax as you float down the River Cam – with someone else doing all the hard work for you. Once you’re back on land, explore the world famous University and marvel at the architecture at King’s College Chapel.
Set high on the rugged North Cornwall coast, with glorious views out across the Atlantic Ocean, you’ll find the magical ruins of Tintagel Castle. With a wild history stretching as far back as the Romans, the castle is steeped in legend and mystery. It’s even said to be the birthplace of King Arthur.
Tintagel Castle, Castle Road, Tintagel +44 0370 333 1181
Think of London and chances are you’ll think of Big Ben. Part of the breath-taking Houses of Parliament, this iconic clock tower is one of London’s most famous landmarks, although technically Big Ben is the name of the giant bell inside the tower, which rings out on the hour across the city.
Surrounded by glorious Northumberland countryside, Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in the country. Along with magnificent medieval architecture and opulent State Rooms, it boasts a rich history packed with drama and intrigue. Alnwick Castle might look familiar too, it features as Hogwarts in several of the Harry Potter films.
Alnwick Castle, Alnwick, Northumberland +44 01665 511100
With over 125 miles of unspoilt waterways and lakes, The Norfolk Broads National Park is a truly unique place full of beautiful British wildlife and breath-taking scenery. Cruise through reed marshes and past wild meadows and woodland for the ultimate get-away from it all.
Norfolk Broads, Broads National Park, Norwich +44 01603 610734
Built by the Romans in AD 122, Hadrian’s Wall is the most famous of all the frontiers of the Roman empire. At 73 miles long stretching along Northern England, it was originally built to ‘separate the barbarians from the Romans’, but now is a unique, must-see monument surrounded by an extraordinary landscape.
Hadrian’s Wall, Brampton +44 0370 333 1181
Brighton Palace Pier
No trip to England would be complete without experiencing the great British seaside. Arguably the most iconic of all the seaside towns is Brighton, with its famous beach and beautiful pier. At 1,722ft long and over 100 years old, the Grade II listed pier happily merges old-school, traditional charm with modern fun and games. As English and fish and chips!
Brighton Palace Pier, Madeira Drive, Brighton +44 01273 609361