England is part of the United Kingdom and it shares its borders with both Wales and Scotland. England is brimming with things to see and do, including so many vibrant cities, stunning landscapes, ancient castles and amazing coastlines. London is the vivacious capital, a must see on your bucket list with its glorious history, culture, fashion and food. Must see sites include Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and St. Pauls Cathedral.
To the east of the country, you can admire some of the most charming countryside, including places like Cambridge with its prestigious University, Suffolk with its historic markets, medieval villages, rolling countryside and twisting rivers. There are picturesque towns and old world villages to explore all around. The Norfolk coastline is stunning with quirky villages and a seal colony at Blakeney Point. Colchester is another worth seeing with Tudor beamed buildings and elegant Victorian architecture, surrounding by countryside and flower meadows. Ely is known for its 673 AD Cathedral and has a historical connection to William the Conqueror as well as Oliver Cromwell’s House, offering a peek into the 17th Century.
In England’s north you will find the pulsating cities of Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Newcastle. Chester is surrounded by a glorious 2 mile ring of Roman and medieval walls and Hadrian’s Wall, a World Heritage Site, is a Roman fortification dating back to the reign of Emperor Hadrian in 122 AD. The Lakes District with its natural beauty of sparkling lakes, secret valleys and picturesque stone built villages. The stunning city of York is a city of cultural and historical affluence with its beautifully preserved medieval city, timber framed houses and the traditional shopfronts of The Shambles. You will also find so much more to do in Gloucestershire, Warwickshire Lincolnshire and Leicestershire.
The central part of England encompasses the Midlands, Herefordshire, Oxford, Cambridge and Stratford-Upon-Avon to name just a few. Most people think of the Cotswolds when visiting England, it has some of the prettiest picture postcard villages with cute cottages and rolling limestone hills that surround them. Cirencester is the unofficial capital of the Cotswolds and will not disappoint. Stratford-Upon-Avon is a delightful Tudor town built on the banks of the River Avon and best known as the birthplace of William Shakespeare. No trip is complete without a visit to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, a show at the Royal Shakespeare’s Theatre or to see his final resting place in the Holy Trinity Church. Oxford dates back to the Saxon times and is the home to Britain’s oldest university. There were also several scenes from the Harry Potter movies that were filmed here. Complete your visit with a punt (a traditional flat bottomed boat) to take in the sites. There is plenty to do in the Nottingham where the legend of Robin Hood began and Leicester where you will find the final resting place of Richard III, this is a city steeped in history and culture.
Now let’s not forget the Southwest of the country. It is home to counties such as Devon, Cornwall and Dorset and cities such as Bristol and Bath. Devon is all about fresh crab sandwiches on the beach, surfing the waves and of course the famous Devonshire Teas. Cornwall is flush with sandy beaches, surfing sites but also fantastic food like the Cornish pasties, galleries and other attractions. St. Ives is one of Cornwall's most charming towns and is famous for its rich artistic heritage. Torquay is known as the capital of the 'English Riviera', with its stunning seaside promenades and Plymouth with its regenerated waterfront is famous for The Mayflower Steps commemorates the sailing of the ship and the Mayflower Pilgrims from Plymouth in 1620. Dorset is characteristically rural with a jaw dropping UNESCO World Heritage coastline. It is a treasure trove of fossil speckled beaches, sweeping clifftop walks and pretty seaside towns.
Lastly, why not visit the great Southeast, known as the 'Garden of England' with its picturesque and well-manicured gardens and its seaside towns. This covers Windsor and its famous Castle in Berkshire to the Canterbury Cathedral in Kent. A lot of the Southeast is accessible from London including the seaside town of Brighton, the waterfront city of Portsmouth with its historic dockyard and the medieval town Hastings, rich with history, character and charm of a Victorian seaside resort, known for its battle of 1066 between King Harold’s English and William the Conqueror’s Normans. Rye should not to be missed with its half-timbered medieval harbour town and cobbled streets full of distinctive shops. England has something for everyone, no matter where you end up!
Bath is the largest city in the county of Somerset and it is named after its Roman built baths. Bath is in the valley of the River Avon, 97 miles west of London and 11 miles southeast of Bristol. The city became a World Heritage Site in 1987. The Romans took advantage of the area’s natural hot springs by building the majestic Roman Baths, now a UNESCO Heritage Site. You can experience the mineral rich waters for yourself at Thermae Bath Spa but don’t miss the spectacular views of the city from the rooftop pool. The city has elegant Georgian architecture, which is best seen on foot. While in this beautiful city take a walk to the Royal Crescent, one the most beautiful streets, the remarkable Bath Abbey and the historic Theatre Royal.
Cambridgeshire is a place where you travel through miles of lush, marshy fenland, Cathedral towns full of medieval markets and see one of the world’s greatest centres of learning. Follow the footsteps of one of the county’s most famous residents, Oliver Cromwell, to Ely to treat yourself to views of sprawling wetlands from the lantern towers. Alternatively, why not visit Cambridge and take a punt or a bike ride to view the college greens, libraries, and chapels.
Cambridge truly is a green city situated on the River Cam. It has 31 different and distinct colleges with their own history, style and story. Visit the beautiful courts or the stunning view from the Bridge of Sighs or mind blowing Mathematical Bridge. Cambridge has one of the most impressive collections of museums in the country incorporating the sciences, archaeology, zoology and polar exploration.
There is definitely something for everyone to enjoy from galleries showcasing an array of art, to vibrant theatres. You can even picnic under the trees along The Backs whiling away the hours in the well-manicured college grounds and Fellows’ gardens.
The Lake District National Park is in the county of Cumbria. England's largest National Park is a jewel of a place to visit with breathtaking lakes, soaring mountains, locally known as 'fells', picturesque valleys. There are many attractions and places to visit in the Lake District, covering a very large area. Windermere and the surrounding area is arguably the most famous and popular area in the whole of the Lake District. Windermere is also the name of a small town, which lies just over a mile from the lake shore. It's separate from the town of Bowness-on-Windermere, which is one of the busiest places along the shoreline and the main jetty for cruise boats. Ambleside is another popular town in the Lake District, sitting at the north end of Windermere Lake. It is a great starting point, for some of the best know fell walks.
Oxfordshire sits firmly between the Cotswold Hills and the Chiltern Hills with the River Thames meandering through its centre. It is most famous for its county town of Oxford, known as the City of Dreaming Spires. Oxford is situated on the edge of the Cotswolds and some of the most beautiful Cotswold villages and towns are to found in Oxfordshire including Chilterns, Burford, Ascott under Wychwood and Minster Lovell.
Oxford University is made up of a collection of colleges, the oldest dating back the 13th Century. The University College and Magdalen College are off the High Street, which runs from Carfax Tower to the Botanic Garden on the River Cherwell. A tour of the hallowed halls of the University will follow in the footsteps of Prime Ministers, Poets and the one and only Harry Potter. Several scenes from the Harry Potter movies were shot here including the Oxford University’s Bodleian Library, which fans would know as Hogwarts Library.
While in Oxford a visit to the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, the first purpose built museum in England, which opened in 1683 or marvel at the anthropology collections at the incredible Pitt Rivers Museum. If you want a more relaxed day, why not take a punt on a traditional flat bottomed boat and sightsee the city in a different way.