From the grandeur and bustle of London, to the pastoral countryside that inspired Wordsworth, to some of the quaintest towns you'll ever experience, England delights. Stand in a desolate field and ponder an ancient stone circle. Strike up a conversation just to hear the King's English. Bite into a scone smothered with clotted cream, sip a cup of tea, and wave your pinky as if it's a Union Jack.
At a Glance
▲▲▲ London Thriving metropolis packed with world-class museums, bustling markets, and cutting-edge architecture. Enjoy the city's cuisine scene, parks, grand squares, palaces, and transit. Live theater takes center stage at night.
▲▲▲ Bath Genteel Georgian showcase city, built around the remains of an ancient Roman bath, with a glorious abbey and harmonious architecture (and the nearby historic port city of Bristol nearby).
▲▲▲ York Walled medieval town with grand Gothic cathedral, excellent museums (Viking, Victorian, railway), and atmospheric old center.
▲▲ Stonehenge and Avebury Two spine-tingling stone circles: one justifiably world famous, the other larger and refreshingly less touristy; Salisbury and its striking cathedral are nearby.
▲▲ Cotswolds Remarkably quaint villages — including the cozy market town Chipping Campden, popular hamlet Stow-on-the-Wold, and handy transit hub Moreton-in-Marsh — scattered over a hilly countryside.
▲▲ Lake District Idyllic region dotted with lakes, hills, and sheep, with enjoyable hikes and joyrides, time-passed valleys, and William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter sights.
▲▲ Glastonbury and Wells Neighboring towns, each with a distinct draw: Mystical, New Age-y Glastonbury's Holy Grail and King Arthur lore, and Wells' ingeniously fortified cathedral.
▲▲ Cambridge One of England's best university towns, featuring the stunning King's College Chapel and Wren Library.
▲▲ Oxford Stately but youthful university town sporting historic college buildings, with Blenheim Palace — one of England's best — on its doorstep.
▲▲ Windsor Home to the late Queen Elizabeth II's impressive impressive home-sweet-castle (and a good day trip from London).
▲ Canterbury Pleasant pilgrimage town with a lively, compact core that attracts more pedestrians and shoppers than pilgrims.
▲ Southeast England Region boasting Dover and its imposing castle, famously white cliffs, lush Sissinghurst Gardens, hill town of Rye, and historic site of the Battle of Hastings.
▲ Brighton Fun, flamboyant beach resort on England's south coast, with its amusement pier, Royal Pavilion, and viewpoint tower — and chalky cliffs at Beachy Head nearby.
▲ Portsmouth Revitalized shipbuilding city with top nautical sights at the Historic Dockyard, plus Roman ruins and stately Arundel Castle nearby.
▲ Dartmoor Mysterious, desolate, moor-cloaked national park with wild ponies, hiking paths, and an ancient stone circle.
▲ Cornwall Feisty peninsula littered with prehistoric ruins, King Arthur's supposed Tintagel Castle, seaside resort towns (most notably Penzance and St. Ives) on the scenically windblown Penwith Peninsula on England's westernmost tip, and plenty of offbeat sights.
▲ Stratford-upon-Avon Shakespeare's pretty hometown and top venue for performances of his plays.
▲ Warwick and Coventry England's best medieval castle (Warwick), and in nearby Coventry, the stirring bombed-out husk of an ancient cathedral.
▲ Ironbridge Gorge Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, with sights and museums that tell the earth-changing story.
▲ Liverpool Rejuvenated port city and the Beatles' hometown, with a host of Fab Four–related sights.
▲ Blackpool Fun-loving beach resort offering top-tier roller-coasters and a chance to mix with the English working class at play.
▲ North Yorkshire Pastoral region of hills and desolate moors, with a smattering of ruined abbeys and salty seaside towns (including Whitby and tiny Staithes).
▲ Durham and Northeast England Youthful workaday town with magnificent cathedral, plus (nearby) an open-air museum, the Roman remains of Hadrian's Wall, Holy Island, and Bamburgh Castle.