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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

An enchanting and eccentric ambiance provides an endless number of things to do in England, with each new activity providing perspectives 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, with days out inviting you to embrace the local splendor.

From Harry Potter to Charles Dickens, museums to castles, the Beatles, and more, the following guide can help you navigate what to do in England on vacation.

Overview
  1. 1. Discover the Heritage at Cultural Sites
  2. 2. Explore Iconic Old-World Monuments
  3. 3. Wander the Stately and Royal Castles
  4. 4. Tour Picturesque Towns and Villages
  5. 5. Take Time for High Tea
  6. 6. Enjoy Pop Culture Cinema, Musicals, and Literature
  7. 7. Explore the Countryside on Hiking Trails
  8. 8. See the Landscapes While Cycling
  9. 9. Experience the Art of British Wine
  10. 10. Explore the Rising Culinary Culture
  11. Experience the Top Things to Do in England

1. Discover the Heritage at Cultural Sites

Tower Bridge in London, England

Tower Bridge in London, England

England is a country of modern museums and ancient history, medieval lanes and charming villages, and exploring the cultural sites can paint a clear picture of the local heritage. 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 for Cultural Heritage: London • Manchester • Bristol • York • Bath • Norwich • Cambridge • Oxford

2. Explore Iconic Old-World 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, Roman engineering, dramatic legends, and opulent lifestyles. There are endless wonders and surprises across England that can reveal the charms of tradition and local life.

Whether finding the highlights of London or uncovering the charismatic ambiance of Bath, the celebrated monuments and landmarks offer an adventure you can experience and are stunning things to see in England on senior tours.

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

3. Wander the Stately and Royal 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 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 for Castle Tours: Dover • Windsor • Bolsover • Bodiam • Bamburgh • Middleham

4. Tour Picturesque Towns and Villages

Painswick village in the Cotswolds

Painswick village in the Cotswolds

England’s towns and villages are history you can experience on walking tours of their charming neighborhoods. With houses and shops to explore, the charming ambiance of each town can melt your heart as you visit 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, whether exploring on family tours or visiting on a honeymoon.

Best Places for Traditional Villages: Painswick Village • Bibury • Lower Slaughter • Castle Combe • Lacock • Bampton

5. Take Time for High Tea

Afternoon tea in England

Afternoon tea in England

High tea can feel like a right of passage when experiencing the best things to do in England. The traditional ceremony 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 for High Tea: April • May • June • September • October

6. Enjoy Pop Culture Cinema, Musicals, and Literature

Highclere Castle in Hampshire, England

Highclere Castle in Hampshire, England

England is a fantastic destination that brings pop culture to life. From musical revelations to cinematic charms, literary highlights to a connection with famous actors, you can discover new and exciting worlds while within England’s best places to visit.

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 when experiencing the top things to do in England.

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

7. Explore the Countryside on Hiking Trails

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, inviting travelers to tour them from the local hiking trails. England’s diverse scenery 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 quintessential pleasures in 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 for Hiking: Blencathra • Bowness-on-Solway • The Cotswolds • Cornwall • Cumbria

8. See the Landscapes While Cycling

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.

From coastal dunes and sandy beaches to patchy fields reaching the horizon, cycling at your pace blends adventure and discovery. The best 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 for Cycling: Lake District • Surrey • Cornwall • Yorkshire • Peak District National Park • Exmoor National Park

9. Experience the Art of 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. Wine tasting is the perfect compliment to luxury tours of England that highlight the country’s elegance and style.

Best Places for Wine-Tasting: Dorset • Suffolk • Shropshire • Hampshire • Gloucestershire • Cornwall

10. Explore the Rising Culinary Culture

Fresh seafood dinner in London

Fresh seafood dinner in London

Food culture in England has elevated the cuisine, with ingredients and recipes that call attention to the beauty of the natural landscape and evolving tastes. Cities and towns reflect their culinary traditions, with master chefs pushing the envelope of gastronomy.

The true spirit of England’s culinary scene 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 ingenuity.

Best Places for Food Tours: London • Woodstock • Cartmel • Ripon • Ludlow • Camden London • Covent Garden London • East End London • Borough Market

Experience the Top Things to Do in England

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 tours combine the past and present.

Our England travel guide has more inspirational information for your next trip, helping you plan a successful vacation to experience the best things to do.

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