While London may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a trip to England, it’s not the only thing the country has to offer. The country is rich with history, green spaces, charming villages, and even beaches! If you’re looking for a picturesque vacation, check out these stunning spots.
Photos of the Cornish countryside have tricked many a traveller into thinking they were looking at a paradise destination like Italy or Southern France instead of jolly old England. The westernmost point of the country has beautiful turquoise water, white sandy beaches, rugged cliffs, and charming fishing villages. Skip the pricey B&B’s and rent yourself a cottage — check out Harbour Holidays here for options right on the water.
The city of Bath tops the travel list for any history buff. The city was founded by the Romans, and it has a thermal spa, and the well-preserved baths are even a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you prefer more modern history (relatively speaking) the city also has stunning Georgian architecture, notably the Royal Crescent, and was once home to Jane Austen! Pop into the Jane Austen Centre for tea while you’re there.
Durdle Door is one of the most recognizable and photographed sites in Dorset, and possibly of the whole Jurassic Coast. The natural limestone arch extends into the sea, creating a striking sight! The area is surrounded by beaches with lots of places to hike or mountain bike nearby.
Located in the Cotswolds, Stow-on-the-Wold is a quintessential English town. The small town (population of approximately 2,000) still retains its historic look and feel, with an annual horse fair being a major draw. The gorgeous St Edwards Church, dating back to the 11th century, was rumoured to have inspired Tolkien with its door between two ancient trees, almost looking like an entry into the tree itself.
The Lake District is known for stunning views and well, lakes. But Lake Windermere is the standout. It’s the largest lake in England, with ample areas nearby for walking, cycling, or packing a picnic lunch to enjoy by the water. Getting on the water is just as good — you can rent rowboats or take a cruise around the lake.
Oxford University is the major draw in Oxford, although it’s not all the city has to offer. The school has stunning architecture and gardens, including the famous Christ Church college which looks like Hogwarts come to life. But outside the academic world, the city boasts more beautiful and meticulously landscaped gardens and parks, plus charming pastel homes lining Holywell Street.
Another spot in the Cotswolds, Castle Combe is a small, cosy town that has provided the backdrop for movies like War Horse and Stardust. The village still has the look it did centuries ago and is often named the “prettiest” in England! The town’s church, which dates back to the 13th century, has what is believed to be the oldest clock in the country.
Isles of Scilly
No, this isn’t Italy — the Isles of Scilly are located just off the coast of Cornwall but look more Mediterranean thanks to warmer weather. The Tresco Abbey Gardens are 17 acres of lush gardens, housing species from Brazil, New Zealand, and South Africa. It’s truly nothing like anything else in England!
While visiting the Peak District is enough of a treat for the eyes as is, a trip to Chatsworth House is a must. The 17th century stately home and gardens are grand, lush, and filled with beautiful paintings and sculptures. Romantics might recognize it as the home of Mr. Darcy of the 2005 Pride & Prejudice film!
So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and get ready to visit all of the marvellous places England has to offer!