When most people think of visiting England, they picture riding the London Eye and gazing down at the River Thames or marching up to the steps of Buckingham Palace. While London is a vivacious, happening, and endlessly charming city, there’s more to England. If you’re planning a visit to the U.K. soon, here are some English travel destinations that will take your adventure out of the capital and into some equally fascinating locations.
The seaside county of Cornwall is an absolute must-see if you plan on visiting England. While the beaches aren’t quite Miami beach level tanning spots, they offer rocky cliffs, dramatic drops flocked by seagulls, and a misty, stunning charm. From surfing at Watergate Bay, visiting the Smuggler’s Harbor in Polperro, or simply enjoying the picturesque fisherman villages and tea houses scattered across the region on a hilly hike, there really is something for everyone to fall in love with. Don’t forget to pick up some traditional clotted cream scones while you’re in the area.
2. The Lake District
Possibly the most scenic destination on this list, the Lake District is a stunning stretch of rolling mountains, tranquil lakes, and peaceful villages. There are plenty of different lakes to choose from, so do some research to see if you would rather visit a more crowded tourist spot like Windemere Lake with activities such as paddle boarding or calmer destinations such as Ullswater Lake. At the end of the day, people come here to spend time outdoors and hike to viewpoints for absolutely remarkable scenery.
3. The Cotswolds
The Cotswolds are an area of England characterized by warm, honey-colored buildings, historic and tiny towns, and rolling hills of lush green grass and endless sheep. Visit historic market towns and shop in their local stores, photograph the unique architecture, or admire the watery features of towns such as Bourton-on-the Water. Ultimately, the best thing to do is walk around and explore before stopping in a charming pub for a pint or two. The Cotswolds Wildlife Park is also one of the more lovely wildlife centers I have ever visited, with 160 spacious acres of thoughtful exhibits and plenty of animals full of character.
Bath was once a Roman settlement and truthfully, not much has changed. Roman ruins scatter the city and visiting the ancient baths themselves is well worth the price of admission. The city also boasts quite the cultural scene with museums like The Holburne Museum and Victoria Art Gallery. Jane Austen also called Bath home for a few years in the early 1800s, and you can honor her legacy with a visit to The Jane Austen Center.
5. Dorset’s Durdle Door
This stunning natural limestone arch is the pinnacle of the Jurassic Coast’s beauty. This area is great if you want to spend an afternoon on the beach enjoying the chilly breeze and hunting for prehistoric fossils that still litter the coastline. The Jurassic Coast more generally offers natural attractions such as Lulworth Cove and fun exhibits including Monkey World.
Stratford-Upon-Avon is Shakespeare’s birthplace and it wears this legacy proudly. Visit an incredible Shakespearean production at The Swan Theater, explore quirky museums such as the Mechanical Art and Design (MAD) Museum, or cruise along the canal and enjoy the summer sun. This medieval town always has an abundance of exciting happenings; show up and catch a $5 improvised Shakespeare show or simply wander around the Holy Trinity Church — you won’t be bored in this historic hot spot.
What are your favorite English travel destinations? Leave pub recommendations, museum must-sees, and peaceful hikes in the comments below!
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