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Top 8 Must-See Places in England

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Bath, England

Bath, England

Rolling green hills, charming gardens, and dramatic medieval towers capture the intensity and charm of England’s must-see destinations during your trip. 

With elegant lakes glistening against the edging plateaus, museums representing a collection of civilizations’ most prized wonders, and remarkable heritage that feeds into the contemporary culture, you can experience the exciting diversity and renowned history from London to York.

As you plan your trip, here are recommendations for the destinations that best illustrate the variety and charm of England.

1. London

Buckingham Palace in London, England

Buckingham Palace in London, England. Photo courtesy of Visit London

As one of the most popular destinations in the world, London is an iconic city that both exemplifies greater England and yet stands apart as its own island of heritage, life, and culture. From Parliament to the Changing of the Guard, the Tower Bridge to the British Museum, London can take you back in time by also immersing you in the forward momentum of the present. Home to art and culture, cultural diversity, and architecture that swells from medieval to ultra-modern along the River Thames, you can embrace a tale of two distinctive cities straddling dueling timelines when you visit London.

Highlights: Tower of London | Buckingham Palace | British Museum | Parliament | National Gallery | The Victoria and Albert Museum

Recommended Length of Stay: 3-4 days

2. Bath

Royal Crescent house in Bath, England

Royal Crescent house in Bath, England

As one of England’s most attractive cities, Bath brings together archeological wonder and natural beauty. With architectural marvels spanning the Roman Empire to Georgian palaces, chic spas, and stylish cafes, the city is hard to resist for any traveler at any time of year. Whether connecting to Jane Austen or embracing the contrast between pub culture and elegant tearooms, Bath is a beautiful theater where the present plays inside the past.

Highlights: Roman Baths | Royal Crescent | Bath Abbey | Pulteney Bridge | Cross Bath

Recommended Length of Stay: 1-2 days

3. Windsor

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle

Half-timbered homes, winding alleyways, and the charm of cobblestone lanes create a timeless and picturesque atmosphere accentuated by the medieval facades. With the looming presence of Windsor Castle, a formal beacon onto the streets, you can find elegant boutiques and grand cafes, restaurants singing with activity, and antique shops reflecting a perspective of local and national history. With Old-World grandeur and contemporary style, Windsor exudes the customs of the British aristocracy.

Highlights: Windsor Castle | Savill Garden | Legoland | Thames River

Recommended Length of Stay: 1-2 days

4. The Cotswolds

Castle Combe in the Cotswolds

Castle Combe in the Cotswolds

Quintessential English villages span five counties to create the storybook atmosphere of the Cotswolds. The scenery captures the magic of the landscape and the majesty of preserved heritage, whether walking beneath traditional thatched-roof cottages or enjoying the colors of the customary gardens. Each town evokes a different feeling of serene charm and quiet beauty, whether following the Cotswold Way trail, cycling the dramatic hills, or enjoying a picnic with a view over the rooftops of a select village.

Highlights: Castle Combe | Bourton-on-the-Water | Pianswick | Bibury | Burford

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

5. York

The Shambles in York, England

The Shambles in York, England

York embraces the word Medieval with cobbled lanes and preserved walls featuring the wealth of the past. The inspiring architecture can create a narrow web of alleyways leading to renowned Gothic masterpieces or unveil a rich tradition of museum culture and bustling cafes. As the capital of the north, York embraces a sense of historic self-importance with a carefully maintained heritage that contrasts the modern buildings. So whether enjoying the imposing design or excellent views, you can find a new aesthetic of England in York.

Highlights: York Minster | City Walls | Clifford’s Tower | York Castle Museum | The Shambles

Recommended Length of Stay: 1-2 days

6. Canterbury

The Great Cloister of Canterbury Cathedral

The Great Cloister of Canterbury Cathedral

With medieval character, displayed heritage, and a timeless connection to the works of Chaucer, Canterbury is a delightful destination that captures the spirit of historic and modern England. As the cradle of Chritsianity in the UK, as well as a bustling market city, Canterbury embodies an enticing blend of grace and grandeur that guide you through the layers of the past. From narrow medieval lanes to energetic pubs, independent shops to the lavish religious architecture dominating the skyline, Canterbury is an exciting exploration of how past culture imbues contemporary life.

Highlights: Canterbury Cathedral | Cathedral Precincts | St. Augustine’s Abbey | the Old City | The Beaney | Canterbury Castle

Recommended Length of Stay: 1-2 days

7. Manchester

City Center in Manchester, England

City Center in Manchester, England

Manchester is bold with a vision for the future as a place of invention, discovery, and progress. The renaissance of culture has embraced the museum complex and opera while maintaining the distinctive pace at which the city moves. With an exceptional connection to elegant shops and covered market halls, Manchester can immerse you in the evolution of greater England from the Industrial Revolution to vegan culinary trends to display a place that feels like home to locals and visitors alike.

Highlights: Castlefield | Imperial War Museum North | Manchester Cathedral | St. Mary’s Catholic Church

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

8. Lake District

Derwentwater in Lake District National Park, England

Derwentwater in Lake District National Park, England

Hikers and nature lovers, couples looking for romance, or families eager to embrace the beauty of the outdoors, the Lake District overflows with inspiration found in the picture-perfect scenery. The ribbon of moors and green valleys connect the glacial lakes whose waters reflect the surrounding village charms. 19th-century Romantic poets captured the natural beauty in their work, but you can experience the landscape from the craggy hilltops to the quiet shores, the traditional farms to the winding walkways of the celebrated trails.

Highlights: Lake District National Park | Lake Windermere | Derwentwater | Ullswater | Dove Cottage

Recommended Length of Stay: 2-3 days

How many days is enough to see England?

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in London, England

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in London, England

12 to 14 days is a perfect amount of time to visit England. The natural beauty and layered history create a dynamic environment that you can explore in approximately two weeks. Whether spending more time in London or enjoying the serene environment of the Cotswolds, discovering treasured mystical history or embracing the contemporary culture, you will find that 12 to 14 days can immerse you in England’s famous, treasured, and surprising.

More Travel Information & Tips

Burnsall village in North Yorkshire, England

Burnsall village in North Yorkshire, England

England can feel lyrical and bustling at the same time with a unique perspective on the historic depth and evolution connected to, and yet removed from, greater European culture. From peaceful lakeside villages to regal palaces, each new destination in England can immerse you in exciting experiences that highlight the essential things to do. Our England Travel Guide has more information on how to craft your perfect trip. You can also speak with an England travel specialist by filling out a Trip Request or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707.

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