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8 Best Places to Visit 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 the best places to visit in England.

With lakes glistening against edging plateaus, museums representing a collection of civilizations’ most-prized wonders, and remarkable heritage that feeds into 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 best places in England that illustrate the country’s variety and charm.

  1. 1. London
  2. 2. Bath
  3. 3. Windsor
  4. 4. The Cotswolds
  5. 5. York
  6. 6. Canterbury
  7. 7. Manchester
  8. 8. Lake District
  9. Explore the Best Places to Visit in 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 exemplifies greater England, yet stands apart as its own island of heritage, life, and culture.

From parliament to the changing of the guard, Tower Bridge to the British Museum, Europe tours from 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 places, 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 during any of the best times to visit England.

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 in Windsor.

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 and is a fantastic place to travel on England tours for seniors.

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, a romantic place for couples in England.

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 gardens.

Each town evokes a different feeling of 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 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 and more of the top experiences in England, 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 captures the spirit of historic and modern England.

As the cradle of Christianity in the UK, as well as a bustling market city, Canterbury embodies an enticing blend of grace and grandeur to 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, a place of invention, discovery, and progress, and one of the best places to see in England on family vacations.

Its renaissance of culture is demonstrated in museums and opera houses, 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.

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, can find inspiration in the picture-perfect scenery of the Lake District.

The ribbon of moors and green valleys connect the glacial lakes whose waters reflect the surrounding village charms, and the fairytale towns make for some of the best places to go in England for seniors.

Nineteenth-century Romantic poets captured the natural beauty in their work, and 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

Explore the Best Places to Visit in England

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, yet removed from, greater European culture. From peaceful lakeside villages to regal palaces, each new destination can immerse you in exciting experiences on England tours.

Our England travel guide has more information on how to craft your perfect trip, offering inspiration and helpful tips to ignite your imagination.

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