If you’re planning a trip to England in the upcoming year or need some inspiration on what places and destinations to visit, I’ve got just the thing for you! This list of 10 outstanding places to visit in England (outside of London) will blow your mind and help you create the ultimate trip to this wondrous little country. Keep reading and make sure to add these England destinations to your UK Bucket List!
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Did you know the United Kingdom is ranked as the 10th most visited country in the world and the 6th most visited country in Europe? Or that 17 of the UK’s 25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites fall within England?
How crazy is that?
With so many historic sites, as well as the plethora of tourists flocking here every year, you can bet that England has a whole lotta awesome sites, attractions, and destinations for travelers to add to their bucket list!
To help you get a just a teensy taste of what this country has to offer in terms of travel, take a look at these 10 cool places to visit in England outside of London that will surely blow you away.
10 OUTSTANDING PLACES TO VISIT IN ENGLAND
White Cliffs of Dover
The magnificent and gorgeous White Cliffs of Dover were one of the first England tourist attractions I visited when exploring the UK for the first time! And holy smokes, they are absolutely stunning.
One of the most iconic places to visit in England, the White Cliffs of Dover certainly live up to the name.
They are most definitely towering cliffs that will make your heart skip a beat and they are most definitely white — like sparkling, pristine white that’ll hurt your eyes in the bright sunlight!
Not to mention, the views from the White Cliffs of Dover are breathtaking. Endless views of the turquoise blue sea, gentle (or often turbulent) waves crashing on the beautiful rocky shores, and wonderful walks that hug the cliffside and offer a plethora of wildlife.
Sounds amazing, right? I sure think so!
Without a doubt, the White Cliffs of Dover are one of the most fun things to do in England and should be a must on any trip here! Plus, if you’re already in London, this England destination is an easy day trip.
Dartmoor National Park
If you’re looking for the best places to visit in England for nature-lovers, then make sure to add Dartmoor National Park to your UK must-visit list!
It’s stunning landscape features rolling moors, adorable ponies roaming the green grass, historic ruins of long-abandoned villages, rocky tors dotting the hills, and bubbling creeks weaving their way between the moors.
Without a doubt it my mind, Dartmoor National Park, which is located in the picturesque county of Devon, is one of my favorite England destinations to go to when in need of an relaxing, nature-filled getaway!
Not only is the hiking here phenomenal, especially for beginner hikers who aren’t in the best shape, Dartmoor National Park is also great for history-hunters, as Dartmoor houses the largest concentration of Bronze Age ruins in England. How freakin’ cool is that?!
The Historic City of Chester
Who else is fascinated by Roman history and how vast the Roman Empire was? Because if you find the romans as interesting as I do, then you will no doubt love Chester just as much as me!
Located in Northwest England, Chester is hands down one of the most interesting British cities because of its captivating history and unique attractions. (Not to mention, delicious vegan food!)
According to historians, Chester was founded by the Romans around 79 AD, which is why you’ll find the city has the most complete set of Roman walls and the largest Roman Amphitheater ever found in Britain! Okay, but seriously… how wild is that?
And let’s not forget the iconic Chester Rows! Which are medieval two-tier buildings with an open, yet covered walkway that have rows of shops and stores housing many local Chester businesses.
Sounds strange, right?
Well, in fact, the Rows are unique to Chester and you won’t find this type of building anywhere else in the world! To this day, historians aren’t sure why they were built this way.
The Rows, as well as the vast Roman Walls and Roman history, are why Chester is one of the most magical places to visit in England!
For more info on the best things to do in Chester (and why it should be on your England Bucket List!), check out this post.
Coastal Towns of Cornwall
Located in the South West of England, Cornwall is a small county that features everything from gorgeous views of the sparkling blue sea and beautiful beaches just begging to be sunbathed on to quaint seaside villages perfect for exploring and endless outdoor activities, such as surfing and hiking.
As one of the most beautiful places to visit in England, it’s no surprise that Cornwall is a favorite seaside destination for pretty much the whole of Britain.
Every summer, locals flock to this part of the country to take advantage of its sublime beaches, warm weather, and all-around fun summertime activities.
However, Cornwall is amazing to visit anytime of the year! I visited in March and while it was a bit chilly (not to mention many local shops were closed due to it being offseason), it was still fantastic.
I personally loved the picturesque coastal towns and breathtaking seaside views! Most memorable was the adorable little seaside village of Polperro, which you absolutely must check out when in Cornwall.
Loving this post so far on outstanding places to visit in England? Don’t forget to check out my other post on the 10 best places to visit in Wales, UK!
Yorkshire Dales National Park
Jaw-dropping views of lush green hills? Check.
Never-ending hikes and walks? Check.
Countless waterfalls cascading down towering cliffs? Check.
Nights filled with crystal clear skies and stupendous stargazing? Check.
And an abundance of totes adorable villages dotted throughout the national park? Double check!
The Yorkshire Dales is one of my favorite places to escape the hustle and bustle of English cities and blissfully reconnect with nature and the great outdoors!
In fact, the Yorkshire Dales National Park, as well as the North York Moors National Park, was recently named an international dark sky reserves! Combined these two national parks create the largest dark sky area in the UK and one of the biggest in Europe. How amazing is that?
So if you’re someone who absolutely adores counting shooting stars and laying under a luminous milky way, the Yorkshire Dales should absolutely be on your list of places to visit in England!
If picture-perfect villages with quaint cottages, friendly locals, cobblestone roads, delicious food, and even the occasional bubbling brook running through the village center isn’t enough to get you to visit the Cotswolds, then I don’t know what is!
Google any “best places to visit in England” list and you will no doubt find the Cotswolds hanging around somewhere near the top… and with good reason!
The Cotswolds is the largest AONB (Area of Outstanding Beauty) in the country and is quintessentially England with its unique beauty, idyllic natural landscapes, thatched homes, and breathtaking scenes.
One of the best tourist destinations in England, The Cotswolds is the perfect place for a slow-paced getaway surrounded by the rolling green hills of the UK!
Not to mention, the Cotswolds is an easy peasy day trip from London if you’re looking to get away from the city and experience a tranquil, relaxing environment!
Lake District National Park
If you’re an outdoor lover, nature enthusiast, or hiking fanatic, then the Lake District National Park should absolutely be on your list of places to go in England — especially during the summer when the sun is blazing or in the fall when the landscape lights up with autumn colors!
(Psst, if you try to avoid the crowds, the Lake District is also gorgeous in the winter! It’s looks pristine with a fresh blanket of snow and the mountains brilliantly reflecting the sunlight.)
This incredible England destination is packed with stunning views of endless mountains, phenomenal hikes that’ll make your heart skip a beat (like hiking Blencathra via sharp edge!), an abundance of glistening lakes, cozy hotels and B&Bs, and so much more.
Whether you want to paddleboard across Lake Windermere, climb up to the top of Scafell Pike (the tallest mountain in England!), discover the mysterious Castlerigg Stone Circle, or explore one of the many towns in this national park, the Lake District has what you’re looking for!
Roman City of Bath
“Oh! Who can ever be tired of Bath?” asks a young Catherine Morland the Jane Austen novel, Northanger Abbey, which was written in 1803 and mainly took place in the English city of Bath.
No doubt, I don’t think any visitor could tire of Bath.
This city is something else… with its stunning Georgian architecture, beautiful buildings made out of light golden stone, historic Roman Baths and hot springs that have been exceptionally preserved, wondrous Bath Abbey and its unique stories, cobblestoned roads that inspired Jane Austen, and Bath’s glorious homes that ooze lavishness and riches!
While I only had a few hours to see and explore the best of Bath, this city effortlessly stole my heart and demanded me to fall madly in love with it! To which, of course, I did not deny.
If you’re interested in both Roman and English history, gorgeous architecture, and some of the best things to do in England, I highly recommend stopping in Bath — even if only for a short day or two!
Interested in expanding your trip in England by jumping the border into Scotland? Take look at this post on the 15 crazy awesome places to visit in Scotland!
The Hills of Northumberland
Northumberland is a county in the very far north of the country and is no doubt one of the most underrated, lesser-known places to visit in England.
While tourists don’t necessary flock here every year like they do to Cornwall or London, Northumberland has so much to offer.
From ancient ruins and beautiful beaches to jaw-dropping castles (Alnwick Castle is a Harry Potter filming site in England!) and a coast dotted with islands, this area of England has a rich and captivating heritage that is well worth your time.
Personally, I loved visiting the beaches near Bamburgh Castle, which is a seriously impressing fortress perched up above the Northumberland Coast overlooking the North Sea and Farne Islands.
However, if you aren’t into castles or beaches, there is a plethora of other outdoor activities to do, as well as quaint seaside villages to visit!
If you’re itching to get away from the crowds (especially if you’re trip includes a stop to London) and experience one of the most relaxing places to visit in England, I suggest renting a car (click here for my fav car rental site) and getting yourself to Northumberland for a magical, crowd-free getaway!
Lively City of Liverpool
Liverpool is hands down one of the best cities in England to visit and explore! Heck, I’d go as far to say it’s one of the best cities in the UK. That’s right — I went there. Suck it, Manchester and London!
(Psst, cheeky side note — Edinburgh is one of the best cities and places to visit in Scotland!)
Not too far away from the ancient Roman city of Chester, Liverpool is known for its historic docks, rockin’ pubs and clubs where The Beatles used to play, dark past with slavery, loads of fantastic museums, charming mix of many different cultures, and endless food scenes!
Without a doubt, Liverpool is one of my absolute favorite cities for a day out in England! It’s not too big, which means you can see a lot of it in one day, but it’s not too small that it feels underwhelming or boring.
On the contrary, there is so many amazing things to do in Liverpool! Like exploring The Albert Dock, visiting the Liverpool Cathedral (aka the largest cathedral in Britain!), having a nice pint at Penny Lane in a Beatles-themed pub, visiting its bombed out church, and learning about Liverpool’s captivating history at one of its museums, such as the International Slavery Museum.
With these 10 outstanding places to visit in England (other than London, of course!), you surely won’t be bored on your future trip to the UK!
In my very biased opinion, I would highly recommend shuffling the glorious city of Chester to the top of your must-visit England list if you’re wanting to visit beautiful UK cities.
And for nature-lovers or those who want to experience the great outdoors?
Definitely check out either the Lake District or Yorkshire Dales National Parks! They’re not too far away from each other so if you rent a car (which I would recommend if possible) you can easily visit both if you only have a few days.
So tell me, which one of these best places to visit in England do you dream of checking out first?! Or have you visited any of these England points of interest before? Let me know in the comments below!
Not sure what to check out next? Readers love these posts:
- Hiking Blencathra via Sharp Edge in the Lake District – England, UK
- 10 best places to visit in Wales, UK (#7 is a must!)
- 3 fantastic, lesser-known alternatives for popular UK destinations
- Magical must-see Harry Potter sites in Edinburgh (don’t miss #3!)
- Road tripping through southern England and the often forgotten country of Wales
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