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Best Places to Visit in England

Best Places to Visit in England:Tips for Visiting & More!

England is a treasure trove of diverse landscapes and historic sites, each telling its own unique story. From the rugged cliffs of Cornwall to the medieval streets of York, this guide covers my top picks for the best places to visit in England, based on my travels and my wishlist for future visits. Whether you’re drawn by the call of the countryside, the allure of ancient ruins, or the vibrant city streets, you’ll find ample inspiration here for your next adventure. Discover the rich tapestry of experiences that England has to offer, with practical tips to enhance your journey.

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The Best Places to Visit in England Travel Guide

Why Visit England?

Every time I mention traveling to the UK, I’m asked, “Why England?” Though it may not boast the overt excitement of some other destinations, England is far from boring. Having spent over a month exploring, I’ve fallen in love with its countless charms.

England is steeped in history, from ancient stone circles to majestic medieval castles. The country’s towns are impossibly quaint, featuring cozy pubs perfect for whiling away an afternoon and picturesque gardens for leisurely strolls.

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Add to this the extensive country estates and scenic walks through both urban and rural settings, and England offers a serene yet profoundly enriching travel experience. It’s a place where the past and present coexist beautifully, inviting travelers to slow down and soak in the atmosphere.

Where to Visit in England

The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds Complete Travel Guide

The Cotswolds are synonymous with quintessential British charm, characterized by rolling hills, medieval villages, and thatched-roof cottages built of golden stone. This picturesque area offers peaceful countryside retreats, stunning natural beauty, and a slower pace of life that invites relaxation.

  • Best Things to Do:
    • Stroll through the historic villages of Castle Combe, Bibury, and Painswick.
    • Visit the Cotswold Wildlife Park and the spectacular Blenheim Palace.
    • Explore the vast network of walking trails, including the Cotswold Way.
  • Where to Stay:
    • Castle Combe: The Manor House, a luxurious hotel set in a historic manor.
    • Bibury: Bibury Court, encapsulating old-world charm and tranquility.
    • Painswick: The Painswick, offering chic comfort with modern amenities.
  • Tips for Visiting:
    • Travel mid-week to avoid the weekend crowds.
    • Rent a car to explore remote areas at your own pace.
    • Enjoy the local cuisine at traditional pubs and tearooms.

To learn more about The Cotswolds, check out my complete travel guide here.

Rye, East Sussex

Mermaid Street in Rye

Rye is a captivating medieval town in East Sussex known for its cobblestone streets, historical buildings, and a charming ambiance that transports visitors back in time. This well-preserved town is not only rich in history but also offers delightful sights and activities for any traveler.

  • Best Things to Do:
    • Explore the Rye Heritage Centre to understand the local history.
    • Visit the Rye Castle Museum and climb the Ypres Tower for stunning views.
    • Wander Mermaid Street, known for its picturesque cobbles and historic homes.
  • Where to Stay:
  • Tips for Visiting:
    • Visit during the Rye Arts Festival in September for extra cultural events.
    • Parking in town can be scarce. Consider public transport or parking in the parking lot just outside of the town but still within walking distance.
    • Check out local pubs and cafes for a taste of traditional Sussex fare, especially the seafood.

To learn more about Rye, check out my complete travel guide here.

Dover, Kent

Dover, marked by its iconic white cliffs, is a historic port town in Kent that serves as a major gateway between England and continental Europe. While most renowned for the impressive Dover Castle that overlooks the town, Dover itself offers a range of activities and sights grounded in its rich maritime history.

  • Best Things to Do:
    • Tour Dover Castle, the largest castle in England, to explore its extensive wartime tunnels and medieval structures.
    • Visit the White Cliffs of Dover for breathtaking views and cliff-top walks.
    • Explore the Dover Museum to learn about the area’s maritime and wartime history.
  • Tips for Visiting:
    • Dedicate at least half a day to Dover Castle due to its size and the depth of tours available.
    • Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for lots of walking, especially at the Castle and along the Cliffs.
    • Check the weather in advance as the Cliffs area can be quite windy and the weather changes quickly.

Dover offers visitors more than just a stopover town with its historical and natural attractions. The town itself supports these main attractions with a variety of dining and shopping options.


London Skyline

London, the dynamic capital of the United Kingdom, is a vibrant metropolis rich with history, culture, and endless things to see and do. From the historic Tower of London to the modern London Eye, the city offers a perfect blend of old and new. Known for its diversity, you can wander around markets in Camden, watch a musical in the West End, or explore the museums of South Kensington all in one day.

  • Best Things to Do:
  • Where to Stay:
    • Kensington: Ideal for those who enjoy museums and shopping, offering upscale hotels and quick access to central attractions.
    • Chelsea: Perfect for luxury seekers, known for its posh boutiques, fine dining, and proximity to the Thames.
  • Tips for Visiting:
    • Make the most of ‘free admission’ days at major museums and galleries to save on entrance fees.
    • Consider visiting in the shoulder seasons (spring or autumn) for fewer crowds and pleasant weather.

London’s pulsating appeal is not just in its historical tapestry and cultural sites but also in its ability to keep evolving. The city invites exploration and discovery at every turn, making it a must-visit destination on any traveler’s itinerary. Whether staying in the chic areas of Kensington or Chelsea, visitors will find themselves perfectly positioned to explore all that London has to offer.

East Sussex County

East Sussex England Complete Travel Guide

East Sussex County in Southern England is renowned for its rugged coastlines, ancient woodlands, and historical depths spanning from the Neolithic era to the modern day. This region blends natural beauty with rich history, offering serene landscapes at the Seven Sisters Country Park and bustling market towns like Lewes.

  • Best Things to Do:
    • Walk the battlements of the medieval Bodiam Castle or the ruins at Pevensey.
    • Relax or participate in water sports at the beaches of Camber Sands.
    • Discover the cultural sights in Brighton, including the Royal Pavilion and Brighton Pier.
  • Where to Stay:
    • Rye: The Mermaid Inn for a historic and cozy experience.
    • Hastings: Enjoy seaside charm with modern amenities; great for families and solo travelers.
    • Lewes: Stay in boutique hotels or B&Bs that offer easy access to local shops and the South Downs.
  • Tips for Visiting:
    • Use a car for convenient access to the more remote countryside and coastal areas.
    • Visit local pubs and restaurants to try traditional Sussex fare like smoked fish and lamb.
    • Check out the various festivals throughout the year, including Lewes Bonfire and Hastings Pirate Day.

East Sussex is perfect for those who love exploring outdoor beauty and enjoying quaint town life. Its varied landscapes and historic sites ensure there’s always something new to discover, whether you’re revisiting or exploring it for the first time.

To learn more about East Sussex, check out my complete travel guide here!

Best Places to Visit in England that I Have Yet to Visit

Highclere Castle Downton Abbey

While I’ve explored many corners of England, there are still several places on my wishlist that I aim to visit in the future. Maybe these destinations will inspire your travel plans as well. Here are some additional best places to visit in England that are on my future list:

  • The Lake District: Renowned for its stunning lakes, forests, and mountains, it’s a haven for walkers and nature lovers wanting to explore England’s most scenic landscapes and enjoy outdoor activities.
  • Surrey: This county offers picturesque countryside and charming villages. Don’t miss the beautiful gardens at Wisley or the historic Hampton Court Palace.
  • West Sussex: Known for its coastal beauty and ancient towns, West Sussex promises delightful discoveries from the South Downs National Park to the vibrant cultural life of Chichester.
  • Bath: Famous for its Roman-built baths, this city seamlessly blends historic significance with Georgian elegance. It’s the perfect place for those interested in architecture and ancient history.
  • Highclere Castle: Known globally as the filming location for “Downton Abbey,” Highclere Castle is a must for fans of the show and anyone interested in Victorian history.

These locations are high on my list for future trips, each offering unique aspects of England’s rich tapestry, promising memorable adventures and new experiences. Whether it’s soaking in the natural beauty, delving into historical roots, or simply enjoying the local culture, these spots have plenty to offer.

Best Things to Do/Experiences to Have in England

Best Places to Visit in England

England offers a plethora of unique activities that highlight its cultural and natural beauty. Here’s a list of must-do experiences that are quintessentially English:

  1. Have High Tea with Scones, Jam, and Cream: No visit to England is complete without experiencing the quintessential British high tea. Enjoy the delicate combination of scones, clotted cream, and jam with a pot of tea at a local tearoom.
  2. Eat Fish & Chips or Shepherd’s Pie: Savor traditional British cuisine by trying fish and chips by the seaside or indulging in a hearty shepherd’s pie at a local pub.
  3. Walk Through the Countryside: Explore the extensive network of public footpaths that traverse the English countryside. Walks like the South West Coast Path or the Yorkshire Three Peaks offer stunning landscapes and a sense of tranquility.
  4. Spot Sheep: While hiking or driving through the countryside, especially in areas like the Lake District or the Cotswolds, spotting sheep grazing on the hillsides is a common and charming sight.
  5. Visit a British Garden: England is famous for its meticulous and beautiful gardens. Places like the RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey or the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall provide lush landscapes to stroll through and enjoy.
  6. Explore Historic Castles and Palaces: From the Tower of London to Windsor Castle, exploring these historic sites is a window into England’s royal past and architectural grandeur.
  7. Ride a Double-Decker Bus in London: For a true London experience, hop on a double-decker bus and take in the city from an elevated perspective.

These activities not only provide a taste of England’s iconic culture but also create lasting memories of your travels through this historic land. Whether it’s the food, the scenery, or the history, each experience will leave you with a deeper appreciation for what makes England special.

Tips for Visiting England

Best Places to Visit in England

Visiting England can be a smooth and enjoyable experience with some pre-planning and local know-how. Here are essential tips to help you navigate your trip:

  1. Get Connected with Airalo e-SIMs: To stay connected affordably, consider an e-SIM from Airalo. You can get data without expensive roaming charges, compatible with most smartphones.
  2. Use Omio for Trains in England: Omio is a convenient platform to book train tickets across England. It compares prices and times, offering an easy way to plan your train travels.
  3. Relatively Cashless Society: England is mostly cashless. Credit and debit cards, including contactless payments, are widely accepted, even in smaller establishments.
  4. Rent a Car to Explore on Your Own: Renting a car gives you the freedom to explore England’s picturesque countryside at your own pace, particularly in areas not well-served by public transport.
  5. Pack an Umbrella: English weather can be unpredictable. It’s wise to carry an umbrella or a raincoat regardless of the season.
  6. Explore Beyond London: While London is captivating, places like the Cotswolds, Rye, and East Sussex offer beautiful landscapes and a peek into rural life.
  7. Stay in B&Bs for Local Flavor: Bed and breakfasts are a great way to experience local hospitality and often offer delicious, hearty breakfasts.
  8. Learn the Lingo: Familiarize yourself with some British slang and terminology to blend in more easily. For example, “loo” means bathroom, and “quid” is slang for British pounds.

These tips will help you make the most of your visit to England, ensuring a memorable and hassle-free experience from city to countryside.


Best Places to Visit in England

This journey through England’s best spots, from the tranquil Cotswolds to the vibrant streets of London, barely scratches the surface of what this country has to offer. Each destination brings its own unique flavor, history, and experiences, proving that England is a place of endless discovery.

These best places to visit in England are just a starting point; there’s so much more to explore and cherish. So, whether you’re tracing my steps or carving out your own path, England awaits with open arms and countless adventures. Here’s to the trips taken and those yet to come, with these best places to visit in England in mind!

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