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Top 10 Things to Do In England

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Castle Combe, village in the Cotswolds

Castle Combe, village in the Cotswolds

The enchanting and eccentric ambiance of England provides an endless number of things to do, with each new activity providing perspective of the culture, history, and scenery. 

With the promise of rolling hills and glistening lakes, vibrant market towns and iconic city sights, England can immerse you in a world unlike anywhere else.

From Harry Potter to Charles Dickens, museums to castles, the Beatles and more, the following information can help you navigate the essential things to do in England.

1. Discover the Heritage of England

Tower Bridge in London, England

Tower Bridge in London, England

England can be a country of modern museums or ancient history, medieval lanes or charming villages. It is not in a single attribute in which England captures your imagination but in the contrasts that unfold the layers of history and culture like a storybook. From scenic trails winding around quiet lakes to ancient walls connected to Roman emperors, Georgian architecture to magical monoliths, you can find the essential wonders of England’s heritage that have shaped the evolving culture.

Best Places to Visit for Cultural Heritage: London | Manchester | Bristol | York | Bath | Norwich | Cambridge | Oxford

2. Explore Iconic Monuments

Stonehenge prehistoric monument on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England

Stonehenge prehistoric monument on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England

With such a vibrant history, the monuments of England immerse you in layers of heritage that can connect you to druid communities to Roman engineering, dramatic legends to opulent lifestyles. There are endless wonders and surprises across England that can reveal the charms of tradition and the distinctive charms of local life. Whether finding the highlights of London or uncovering the charismatic ambiance of Bath, the celebrated monuments and landmarks feel like an adventure you can experience.

Best Places to Visit for Famous Monuments: Stonehenge | Big Ben | Buckingham Palace | Windsor Castle | Roman Baths | Tower of London | Hadrian’s Wall

3. Wander the Castles

Dover Castle in Kent, England

Dover Castle in Kent, England

Castles in England represent a particular time in history while also inspiring the ideals of traditional European storybooks. With beauty, grace, drama, or even infamy, the remaining castles across the country tell their own stories of a region as they stand as monuments to the past. Whether looking for wonder or eager to experience history, you can discover a greater meaning behind the strongholds or simply embrace the view over the surrounding, protected landscape when visiting England's castles.

Best Places to Visit for Castle Visits: Dover | Windsor | Bolsover | Bodiam | Bamburgh | Middleham

4. Enjoy Picturesque Towns and Villages

Painswick village in the Cotswolds

Painswick village in the Cotswolds

England’s villages are history you can experience. With houses and shops that you can walk through and explore, the charming ambiance of each town can melt your heart as you connect to the lively pubs, quiet stone cottages, or country lanes that evoke a sense of timelessness. From the coastline to lakeshores, rolling hills to sweeping plains, you can discover diversity and charisma in England’s most picturesque towns and villages.

Best Places to Visit for Traditional Villages: Painswick Village | Bibury | Lower Slaughter | Castle Combe | Lacock | Bampton

5. Take Time for Tea

Afternoon tea in England

Afternoon tea in England

High Tea can feel like a right of passage when visiting England. The traditional cuisine reflects customary cuisine and flavors that date back to the 19th century and highlights the delicate flavors of tea, scones, cakes, and finger sandwiches. You can celebrate the heritage of High Tea and the continued traditions of the middle and upper classes of England for insight into the delicious combination of tastes that satisfied the hunger gap between lunch and dinner.

Best Places to Visit for High Tea: April | May | June | September | October

6. Revel in Contemporary Culture

Highclere Castle in Hampshire, England

Highclere Castle in Hampshire, England

England is a fantastic destination that brings the fantasies of pop culture to life. From musical revelation to cinematic charms, literary highlights to a connection to famous actors, you can discover new and exciting worlds while within England’s general borders. Follow Harry Potter, explore the realm of the Beatles, or revel in the opulence of Downton Abbey to blend fact and fiction across the cityscapes, towns, and scenery.

Best Places to Visit for Pop Culture: South Bank | Kings Cross | Abbey Road | Albert Dock | Oxford | Alnwick

7. Explore the Landscape on Foot

Sunrise looking towards Blencathra in the Lake District

Sunrise looking towards Blencathra in the Lake District

The English countryside is famous for its villages with pristine cottages and beautifully preserved landscapes. The diverse scenery of England can unveil ancient ruins or the grandeur of the natural world in its purest form. Hiking along the designated trails around the country can connect you to the quintessential pleasures towns overlooking the coastline or tranquil villages at the edge of a lake. The trails across England immerse you in the natural treasures of the countryside.

Best Places to Visit for Hiking: Blencathra | Bowness-on-Solway | The Cotswolds | Cornwall |  Cumbria

8. Ride the Cycling Trails

Biking in Yorkshire, England

Biking in Yorkshire, England

Cycling in England is an immersive way to experience nature and the many landscapes. The trails can lead you through traditional parks in the heart of a city or into the ancient hills and rolling mountains. With coastal dunes and sandy beaches to patchy fields reaching the horizon, cycling blends your sense of adventure with incredible discovery at your pace. The best cycling routes will thrill you by combining your speed with the natural charm of your surroundings as you uncover towns, cities, and country lanes.

Best Places to Visit for Cycling: Lake District | Surrey | Cornwall | Yorkshire | Peak District National Park | Exmoor National Park

9. Experience British Wine

Hambledon Vineyards with autumn colors in Hampshire, England

Hambledon Vineyards in Hampshire, England

England may not be the first place you think of when imagining a wine-tasting excursion, but the vineyards around the country have surprised wine enthusiasts across the world. Acres of green vines snake across the undulating hills with ripening fruits that resemble the Italian or French countryside, establishing a foothold as wineries for discerning oenophiles. Every vineyard feels different and exciting as they follow Old-World trends or New-World techniques to create equal amounts of eccentricity and charm.

Best Places to Visit for Wine Tasting: Dorset | Suffolk | Shropshire | Hampshire | Gloucestershire | Cornwall

10. Explore Rising Tastes of the Country

Fresh seafood dinner in London

Fresh seafood dinner in London

Food culture in England has elevated the cuisine around the country with ingredients and recipes that call attention to the beauty of the natural landscape and evolving tastes. Cities and towns reflect their culinary traditions while also pushing the envelope of stylish gastronomy from the hands of master chefs. The true spirit of England’s gastronomic scenery highlights the soils, ingredients, and historical recipes that have shaped contemporary flavors from north to south, east to west, revealing colonial influence, internal perceptions, and culinary ingenuity.

Best Places to Visit for Food Tour: London | Woodstock | Cartmel | Ripon | Ludlow | Camden London | Covent Garden London | East End London | Borough Market

More Travel Information & Tips

Windor Castle in England

Windor Castle in England

England is a small island with a big reputation. As a treasure of cultural heritage, actively exploring can connect you to vibrant cities, dramatic scenery, and traditional towns. Whether looking for a serene lakeside escape with blossoming gardens or a family-friendly scavenger hunt through a grand museum, England feels epic in its combination of past and present as experienced through its must-see destinations. Our England Travel Guide has more inspirational information for your next trip. You can speak to an England travel specialist filling out a Trip Request or by calling our team at 1-888-265-9707.

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