When I was a child I couldn’t understand why people came on holiday to England, or why you would stay in England if you could go abroad. I was lucky to go on quite a few foreign holidays and I loved them. It was great getting to see new places and (usually) some warmer weather. However as I’ve gotten older I’ve appreciated England more and more. There are places I love to visit and even more that I want to visit. Last year in particular I realised how much the country had to offer as I saw a lot more of it, including places that would never have been at the top of my bucket list. This week is English Tourism Week so it seems like a good opportunity to share some of the places that I think you should visit in England whether you live in the UK or not.
England has some beautiful countryside and coastlines which I love. I was brought up in the North of England so both the Lake District and Northumberland were pretty accessible, although again it wasn’t until I was older that I really appreciated their beauty and how lucky I was to live so close. Grasmere is one of my favourite spots in the Lake District, closely followed by Keswick. The Lake District can get crowded in peak season but it’s still worth visiting, particularly if you are a fan of long walks followed by pub grub or a cute tea room.
I think Northumberland is great because it’s home to my favourite National Trust property, there’s an abundance of castles and you can spend a day on the beach followed by some great fish and chips. Cragside and Alnwick are my two must-visit places in Northumberland as I very happily go to both places time and time again.
I’ve always had an interest in History so I’m biased, but there are some really interesting historic places to visit in England that attract a lot of visitors. There’s an abundance of National Trust and English Heritage sites that I could recommend, but also some great cities where you can be surrounded by it. York is one of these cities and without even visiting the Castle Museum you can soak up the history by walking around the old city walls and up The Shambles. I love the city and it’s just been named the best place to live in the UK so what better time to visit?!
Bath is another of my favourite cities, largely due to the beautiful Georgian architecture that you can soak up and admire just by walking around. The Roman Baths are also definitely worth checking out!
A city outside of London
I don’t have anything against London, but far too many visitors head to the capital and then think they’ve seen the country. There are other cities which are just as lively and the perfect place for a city break. I’m biased because it’s where I now live but Bristol is a really cool place to visit, particularly in the summer when it has a range of different events and festivals taking place.
Liverpool is another great place for a weekend break – the museums are great, it’s good for shopping and there are plenty of options for food and drink. Albert Dock and the petal drop at Alma de Cuba are my particular recommendations.
It’s all too easy to head to the places we hear a lot about rather than heading slightly off the beaten track or going somewhere we’d never have considered usually. I went for a long weekend in Bradford in 2016 not knowing what to expect and I had a great time. I’d never usually have chosen to go there but the city was much nicer than I thought and I loved exploring the surrounding area. The National Media Museum is a must if you go to Bradford, and I’d recommend taking the time to go on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway.
Kielder was another short break which pleasantly surprised me. It has a bit of a reputation for rubbish weather and too many midges but it can be beautiful and it’s certainly a great place to go to get away from everything and have a bit of a digital detox.
This isn’t an exhaustive list and I could easily go on but it’s certainly start. Where in England would you recommend going? Is there somewhere everyone should visit?
Thanks for the recommendations! I’ll be honest, I’ve been to London five times but have never been anywhere else in the UK. Awful, I know! Sounds like there are so many more amazing places to discover!
Ooh you really must go somewhere else. London is great, but there’s so much more to see! I hope I’ve provided you with some inspiration.
Northumberland looks so beautiful! I really must learn to drive so I can reach places other than the major cities. I used to think the only exploring worth doing was outside of England but I’d love to spend more time travelling here, we have so much on this tiny island!
You could still see bits of it without a car – Alnmouth and Berwick upon Tweed are both accessible by train and I’m sure from there you could access the others using public transport. I’ve made it a bit of a mission to explore more of the UK as there’s still so much that I haven’t seen!