Top 10 Places To Visit In England
Stonehenge, located on Salisbury Plain, 10 miles north of the historic city of Salisbury, is Europe’s most well-known prehistoric monument. It is so popular that visitors must purchase a timed ticket ahead of time to ensure entry.
The excellent Stonehenge visitor center sets the stage for a visit, explaining how the megaliths were erected between 3000 and 1500 BC and sharing information about life at the time through audio-visual experiences and more than 250 ancient objects.
Visit the authentic replicas of Neolithic houses after walking around the various viewing points adjacent to these massive stones to see the tools and implements of everyday Neolithic life as volunteers demonstrate skills from 4,500 years ago. Although you cannot enter the circle to walk among the stones during normal opening hours, you can reserve early morning or late evening access through English Heritage, which manages the site.
2. Tower of London
The Tower of London has done it all: prison, palace, treasure vault, observatory, and menagerie. It is one of London’s top attractions. This World Heritage Site has enough to see and do to keep visitors busy for hours. It is widely regarded as the most important building in England.
The White Tower is the focal point of this Thames-side fortress. It was built in 1078 by William the Conqueror and now houses incredible exhibits such as the Line of Kings, the world’s oldest visitor attraction, which opened in 1652 with a stunning display of royal armor.
The impressive Crown Jewels exhibition, classic Yeoman Warder Tours, the Royal Mint, and exhibits and displays about prisoners and executions are also highlights. The Tower of London spans 18 acres, so there’s plenty of room for exploration.
If you’re traveling with children, look for special events like “Knights School” and other immersive programs that provide a fun insight into the castle’s history.
3. The Roman Baths and Georgian City of Bath
If you only have time to visit one smaller city in England, Bath is the place to go. This stunningly beautiful city in Somerset has more fantastic tourist attractions than you could possibly see in a single day.
While most famous for the magnificent 2,000-year-old Roman Baths built around the city’s revitalizing hot springs, it’s also famous for its honey-colored Georgian Townhouses, such as those on Royal Crescent.
Some 500 of the city’s buildings are considered historical or architecturally significant, earning the city World Heritage status as a whole. Bath is an excellent starting point for exploring some of England’s most beautiful countryside, including the Avon Valley, the Mendip Hills, and a plethora of other fantastic Somerset landmarks.
4. British Museum
The British Museum has one of the world’s finest collections of antiquities, with over 13 million artifacts from Assyria, Babylonia, Egypt, Greece, the Roman Empire, China, and Europe. The Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon in Athens, as well as the famous Rosetta Stone, are the most famous ancient artifacts.
However, there are many other outstanding pieces on display here that contribute to this being one of the best places to visit in London. The Ancient Egyptian collection is the largest outside of Cairo, and the Mildenhall Treasure, a hoard of Roman silver dating from the fourth century that was discovered in Suffolk in 1942, is nothing short of spectacular.
5. York Minster and Historic Yorkshire
Only the cathedral at Canterbury is more important in the Church of England than the magnificent York Minster. It is located in the historic center of York, surrounded by half-timbered homes and shops, medieval guild halls, and churches.
York’s romantic streets, in turn, are surrounded by three miles of magnificent town walls, which you can walk atop for spectacular views of the city and its surroundings. Visit the National Railway Museum, one of England’s most popular tourist attractions, while you’re here. York is also an excellent starting point for exploring northeast England, particularly the rugged beauty of the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors. Other beautiful historic towns and cities in this part of the country include Durham, which is famous for its castle and cathedral, and Beverley, which also has an attractive minister.
6. Windsor Castle
England is a land steeped in tradition, history, pageantry, and pomp. It’s no surprise, then, that some of the most popular tourist attractions revolve around the Royal Family, who have played a significant role in shaping the country—and many other parts of the world—for centuries.
If you only have time for one royal attraction, make it Windsor Castle. Windsor Castle, a 40-minute train ride from Central London, is well-known as one of the Royal Family’s official residences, and it welcomes visitors on a regular basis when the Queen is not present.
7. Chester Zoo
Chester Zoo is located in Upton, about a mile north of Chester city center, and is England’s most visited attraction outside of London. It is also one of the best places to visit in England for families.
This 125-acre site is home to over 11,000 animals from 400 different species. The zoo’s appeal extends beyond animal lovers, with award-winning landscaped gardens also available to visitors.
The zoo’s extensive grounds can be explored by monorail, with highlights including Chimpanzee Island, a penguin pool, and Europe’s largest tropical house. There are plenty of other fun things to do at Chester Zoo, so plan on spending at least a day enjoying this top-rated tourist attraction.
8. Lake District National Park
The Lake District National Park, which covers approximately 900 square miles, is a must-see destination for visitors to England. With 12 of the country’s largest lakes and over 2,000 miles of rights of way to explore, it’s no surprise that the region continues to inspire, with its breathtaking views and scenery straight out of a painting.
Other activities include visiting the park’s many falls, including Scafell Pike (3,210 feet), England’s highest mountain. Spend some time exploring some of the lovely little towns and villages that dot the region, such as Grasmere. Even better, take a tour boat excursion across Lake Windermere and Ullswater and you’ll be rewarded with some of the best scenery in the area.
9. Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is the home of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the cradle of English Christianity. When St. Augustine became the first bishop in 597, he converted the pagan Anglo Saxons here. Excellent guided tours of the cathedral are available, and for a truly memorable experience, consider booking an overnight stay on the grounds at Canterbury Cathedral Lodge.
But this lovely medieval city is much more than its cathedral. Canterbury is also a popular cultural and entertainment destination, with excellent shopping, galleries, and cafés, as well as attractions centered on Chaucer’s medieval England and the city’s Roman heritage.
10. Liverpool & The Beatles
References to The Beatles are as ubiquitous in Liverpool as afternoon tea. Liverpool, located in the northeast of the country, is only two hours away by train and offers music fans plenty of opportunities to take in some city sights as well as Fab-Four-related attractions.
The Beatles Story should be at the top of your list. This fun museum, located in the city’s revitalized Albert Dock area, has enough facts and exhibits to keep even the most ardent fans entertained for hours.
Other related points of interest in Liverpool include the famous Cavern Club, as well as the actual locations about which they sang, such as Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane.