Top 12 Best Places To Visit In UK

One of the aspects I deeply appreciate about England is its rich diversity. From the quaint coves along the Dorset Coast to charming hamlets and a wealth of historical sites, the country is teeming with some of the most remarkable destinations to explore.

I must admit, my perspective is influenced by a sense of pride in England’s unique beauty. While cities like London are undoubtedly captivating (and London holds a special place in my heart as my favorite city globally), they represent just a fraction of what our extraordinary country has to offer. There is an abundance of sights to discover beyond the urban landscapes.

In recent years, I have dedicated myself to exploring more of England, uncovering the treasures that lie within close proximity. I regret not having done so sooner, mistakenly believing that true travel required venturing beyond the UK’s borders. I couldn’t have been more mistaken.

Regardless, it’s never too late to start. Whether it’s your inaugural journey around England or you’re an experienced explorer of our beautiful nation, I am confident you will encounter some of the finest destinations that England has to offer. 

Prepare for an incredible journey as you explore some of the very best places England has to display.

1) Lake District

The Lake District holds the distinction of being the UK’s most recent UNESCO-protected site, a testament to its stunning beauty.

As the name suggests, the Lake District is characterized by its serene lakes, majestic mountain ranges, and numerous quaint villages awaiting exploration. Windermere Lake is perhaps the most famous, but for those seeking to avoid the crowds, Ullswater Lake offers a tranquil alternative. Consider staying at Another Place, The Lake, a sister hotel to the Watergate Bay in Cornwall.

During your visit, take the opportunity to embark on an Ullswater steamer journey, engage in paddleboarding, and hike to the summit of Harter Fell for breathtaking views across the Lake District.

It is undoubtedly one of England’s premier destinations, particularly if you can arrange a tour encompassing ten of its lakes. We found a one-day tour of the Lake District to be particularly enjoyable, making it an ideal option for those on a long weekend getaway.

2) Manchester

Manchester exudes a vibe akin to that of a cool cousin at family gatherings—the one you’re always eager to spend time with. The city’s atmosphere is perpetually trendy and effortlessly chic.

Renowned for its dynamic energy, Manchester ranks as one of England’s top destinations for those seeking the vibrancy of city life beyond London.

For culinary delights, consider visiting Umezushi, renowned for serving the finest sushi in the north. Additionally, indulge in a meal at Fazenda Rodizio Bar & Grill for a genuine taste of Mancunian culture.

Football enthusiasts should not miss the opportunity to embark on an Old Trafford Stadium tour, offering an insider’s look at one of the world’s most iconic football clubs.

3) Cirencester 

Cirencester is a charming historic market town that is conveniently accessible by car or train from most locations in England. It’s the type of town where you can easily spend an entire day exploring and still be left wanting more. It ranks among my favorite market towns and is undoubtedly one of the finest places to visit in England.

Upon your arrival, be sure to visit the Parish Church of St John Baptist, explore the Elemental Sculpture Park, and stop by The Fleece for some delicious fare.

For a delightful place to stay, consider checking into the historic Royal Oak in Tetbury, which is approximately 25 minutes away.

4) Birmingham

Birmingham is often overlooked in travel itineraries in favor of more prominent destinations like London or Edinburgh in Scotland. However, it’s worth noting that Birmingham is just about 80 minutes from London by train and boasts an array of interesting attractions.

During your visit, be sure to explore the Coffin Works, wander through Winterbourne House and Garden, and indulge in the culinary delights at Carters of Moseley. Their Orkney scallops dish is exceptional, and they offer a delectable mousse pudding made from Douglas Fir, along with a selection of delicious cakes.

Birmingham is certainly a strong contender for one of the best places to visit in England.

5) Rye

If you’re seeking a respite from the hustle and bustle of London, consider renting a car or taking the train to the charming and historic town of Rye. This destination is a must-visit if you’re exploring the south-east of England.

Rye is among the best places to visit in England for those who appreciate quaint towns and a rich history that spans centuries. Be sure to stroll down Mermaid Street with its picturesque cobbled road, explore the numerous antique shops throughout the town, and visit the Rye Castle Museum.

Additionally, you can easily combine a trip to Rye with a visit to Camber Sands for a day at the beach or Bodiam Castle for a further dose of history. Just make sure to plan your day well, as it will fill up quickly!

6) London

I couldn’t possibly overlook mentioning London as one of the top destinations in England, could I? It’s one of my favorite cities globally, and it offers an abundance of activities that you’re sure to enjoy.

If it’s your first visit to London, I recommend exploring some of the city’s vibrant neighborhoods, including Covent Garden, King’s Cross, Notting Hill, Camden Town, Shoreditch, Peckham, and Whitechapel. Each area is distinct and showcases the diverse character of London.

For those seeking unique experiences, be sure to explore some of London’s hidden gems, its bustling markets, and the best bars and restaurants with panoramic views. You’ll be spoilt for choice with the culinary delights on offer!

Additionally, consider booking a scenic London cruise along the Thames. It’s a fantastic way to see the city, especially during the enchanting sunset hours.

7) St Michael’s Mount

St Michael’s Mount, distinct from its French counterpart Mont Saint-Michel, is another jewel in Cornwall’s crown that you should not miss. Situated on a tidal island, it is arguably one of the most picturesque and remarkable destinations in England.

According to legend, a giant is said to reside in a cave on the island. Whether this is mere folklore or not, the thought can certainly send a shiver down your spine as the sun begins to set.

8) Castle Howard

Just a short distance from York, Castle Howard is a truly magnificent castle that is a must-visit. Its beauty is sure to leave you in awe, making it one of the finest places to explore in England.

Once inside, be sure to explore some of the castle’s remarkable rooms and immerse yourself in the elegance of this stunning residence.

At certain times of the year, Castle Howard offers delightful afternoon teas that are both delicious and a real treat. Accompanied by steaming Yorkshire tea, sweet treats, and sandwiches, it’s a wonderful experience.

While staying overnight at Castle Howard may not be possible, you can opt for the elegant Judges Court in York, which is approximately 12 miles away.

9) Holy Island

Lindisfarne Castle, situated on Holy Island, ranks among my favorite castles and islands in England. Its presence on Holy Island is truly captivating when seen in person.

There is a certain enchantment surrounding it (admittedly, a bit cliché to say, but it genuinely feels that way).

Upon your visit, embark on a hike along the stunning shoreline, explore the castle on Holy Island, and conclude your day in Berwick Upon Tweed. There, you can enjoy a delightful meal at the Maltings Kitchen.

10) Cambridge

Cambridge holds a special place in my heart. It’s a relatively small city, perfect for exploring over a few days.

Once you’re here, make sure to visit the Church of St Mary the Great. You can climb the tower for incredible views over the city, but be mindful of the bell ringing, as it can cause the tower to shake.

Don’t miss the opportunity to explore King’s College and its awe-inspiring chapel. Inside the chapel, you can still faintly see the ‘graffiti’ left by Oliver Cromwell’s army, which remains to this day.

Keep an eye out for the large wooden rood screen in the chapel. It was a gift from Henry VIII (the one with six wives) to Anne Boleyn and is one of the most striking features in the center of the chapel.

For a truly unique experience, you can book a guided tour of Cambridge on a punt along the river. It’s a wonderful way to explore the city, and I’m sure you’ll love Cambridge.

11) Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle is one of the oldest settlements I’ve visited in England, with a history of habitation stretching back over 8,000 years.

Visiting this site feels like a journey back in time, transporting you to a bygone era of Old English history. It truly has that effect.

Once there, take a leisurely stroll through the ruins of Corfe Castle, explore the charming boutiques, and enjoy a delicious Sunday roast at Mortons House Restaurant.

For train enthusiasts, there’s also the option to take a historic train ride from Corfe Castle Station to Swanage.

12) Bath

Bath possesses a certain allure that becomes apparent upon your arrival. This ancient Roman spa settlement retains many of its incredible features from Roman times.

Be sure to visit the Roman Baths to delve into the fascinating history of this site. Bath is undoubtedly one of the premier destinations to visit in England.

For a delightful treat, take a walk to Sally Lunn’s, renowned as the most famous and one of the oldest bun makers in the city. Their buns are truly delicious!

To simplify your exploration of Bath, consider booking a hop-on, hop-off bus ticket. This option alleviates the stress of navigating the city and ensures you don’t miss any of Bath’s top attractions.

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