Discovering England: 17 Must-Visit Attractions and Activities

The vagaries of the weather, red buses, left-hand drive and the pound sterling forge this very British identity, reinforced since the famous Brexit. Close to our shores and yet so confusing, England is the largest region in Britain. From the extravagance of London to the neoclassicism of Bath, “Discover The World” offers you its selection of the must-see English. Let’s go!

1- Bournemouth, English Monaco

Just 2 hours and 15 minutes by train from London, Bournemouth has been voted the best seaside town in the UK. When the weather permits, its long white sandy beach attracts many English people but also many students since the city is home to a renowned university. Take the opportunity to visit Swanage and Corfe Castle, its castle in the middle of the hills. Freshwater sailors take note: the boat crossing often takes place on very rough seas!

2- Canterbury, cathedral city

An hour from London, in the heart of Kent, Canterbury has a charming medieval city centre. A major tourist attraction in England, it is best visited for its imposing cathedral, the seat of the Anglican Church and the cradle of English Christianity. Built between 1070 and 1503, its history is marked by the assassination of Thomas Beckett, an archbishop who had spoken out against the king’s authority. Since then, it has been an important place of pilgrimage.

3- York, medieval beauty

Miles of ramparts, a monumental Gothic cathedral – the largest in Northern Europe… Welcome to York, a medieval gem! The Rue des Shambles, lined with half-timbered buildings and quaint stalls, is considered to be the oldest shopping street on the continent, with some mentions dating back to 1086. Just a two-hour train ride from London, York is a city on a human scale that comes alive with cultural events and student parties.

4- Rye, a village full of charm

Located on the southern coast of England, in Sussex, Rye was once part of the Cinque PortsThese five ports, which were actually eight, enjoyed many privileges and were home to a war fleet in the Middle Ages. As if frozen in time, Rye is a medieval pearl perched on its hill. Fortified in the XIe century, it is home to the most beautiful street in England according to the Telegraph: Mermaid Street.

5- The dreamlike Lake District

In the north-west of England, on the borders of Scotland, the Lake District has been the source of inspiration for many artists – Wordsmouth, Smouthey or Colleridge, for example – better known as Lakists. With its forty lakes and green landscapes, Lake District is the largest national park in England. A paradise for hikers, it welcomes many visitors who come to discover, in all seasons, the splendour of the lakes of Ullswater or Grasmere and the tranquillity of Buttermere or Crummock Water.

6- Hadrian’s Wall, a 70-mile relic

Built in 122 by Emperor Hadrian with the aim of demarcating the Roman Empire to protect it from barbarians, Hadrian’s Wall is now one of England’s main landmarks. Built over 110 km, on the edge of Scotland, it is a delight for hikers who discover a timeless testimony to the military strategies of the Romans in a green setting, typically English. Hadrian’s Wall is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

7- Stonehenge, a timeless city

For more than 5,000 years, a remarkable megalithic site has stood on Salisbury Plain: Stonehenge. It has fascinated archaeologists and visitors for thousands of years. What’s behind this circle of giant stones? It was long thought to represent the cycle of the seasons, but recent discoveries of human bones now lead us to believe that it was a prehistoric burial siteListed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Stonehenge is one of the most beautiful megalithic representations in the world.

8- Oxford, City of Knowledge

For more than 800 years, Oxford has been the university city par excellence: every year the best English students flock there. Its university is the oldest in the country, and although it is difficult to define when it was founded, there are remnants of a teaching dating back to the XIe century ! Take advantage of your stay in Oxford to visit the university! Christchurch is both Oxford Cathedral and one of the tallest buildings on campus. For the record, it was here that a professor of mathematical logic named Lewis Carroll found the inspiration for the famous story of Alice in Wonderland… Mythical!

9- Bath, thermal elegance

In the south-west of England, Bath is one of the oldest cities in the country. Founded about 2,000 years ago by the Romans who were seduced by its natural thermal springs, it was restructured in the eighteenth centurye century in the Palladian style. Its small squares, its narrow streets, its fifteenth-century abbeye century and of course its hot baths give Bath a special atmosphere that has earned it its UNESCO World Heritage status.

10- London, capital of all possibilities

London is one of Europe’s most intoxicating cities. Constantly on the move, it is at the forefront of everything from the arts to fashion and business. An Eldorado of young people from all over the world, it is a joyful melting pot where it is not uncommon to see gentlemen of the City and punks with pierced ears strolling through the same neighborhoods, all under the protective eye of this dear queen! A fascinating megalopolis, with changing atmospheres from Camden Town to Portobello Road. It is also in London that we find Trafalgar Square, one of the most beautiful squares in Europe! Opt for a cruise on the Thames to make indelible memories!

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11- Windsor

What to do in England? Windsor
© Windsor warasit – stock.adobe.com

Windsor is a little gem of England that is sure to charm you. An hour’s train ride from London, you’re immersed in British royal history. Windsor Castle, the Queen’s frequent residence, is the heart of the city. You will be able to wander through the same rooms as the kings and queens of England! Don’t miss the audio guide in English which makes the visit even more interesting. Windsor isn’t just its castle, it’s also a welcoming city with streets full of cool shops and cafes. A royal getaway that’s worth the detour, we promise! Windsor Castle is obviously one of the most beautiful castles in Europe!

12- Birmingham

What to do in England? Birmingham
Birmingham © SakhanPhotography – stock.adobe.com

Birmingham is a place full of surprises! Located in the centre of England, this city invites you to explore its industrial past. Here you will discover canals that meander more than in Venice, perfect for a walk at sunset. Then, it’s off to the Black Country Living Museum, where the city’s industrial history comes to life before your eyes. Birmingham is also the city of the Peaky Blinders for fans of the series! Be sure to stroll through its bustling streets, discover its library and end your day in a traditional pub. How about an urban getaway that mixes history, culture, and modernity?

13- The Cotswolds

What to do in England? The Cotswolds
The Cotswolds © David – stock.adobe.com

The Cotswolds are the English countryside you know from picture books: gentle hills, honey-stone houses and flower gardens as far as the eye can see. This region, west of London, offers you the opportunity to slow down and take a deep breath. Take the 164-kilometre trail through the Cotswolds, and discover charming villages and cosy pubs. Here, every turn takes on a postcard feel. The Cotswolds are the perfect place to forget the sound and fury of the city, and enjoy the peace and natural beauty. A beautiful escape that simply rejuvenates. If you’re departing from London, you can choose to take a full-day small-group tour of the Cotswolds!

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14- Brighton

What to do in England? Brighton Pier
Brighton Pier © Ludmila Smite – stock.adobe.com

Brighton is the perfect destination for those who want to enjoy the sea while staying close to London. Just an hour away by train, this seaside town welcomes you with its famous Pier, delicious waffles and festive atmosphere. Stroll through the colorful streets of North Laine, where boutiques and thrift stores await you for unique shopping. Don’t miss the Royal Pavilion, with its stunning architecture that will transport you far away from England. Brighton is also for lovers of beautiful beaches and lively evenings. Between swimming, cultural visits and nightlife, Brighton offers you a perfect cocktail for a getaway by the sea.

15- Seven Sisters Cliffs

What to do in England? Seven Sisters Cliffs
Seven Sisters Cliffs © Ian Woolcock – stock.adobe.com

The Seven Sisters Cliffs are natural wonders located on the south coast of England, not to be missed. Imagine seven white chalk cliffs stretching along the sea, offering you a breathtaking spectacle. It’s the perfect place for a memorable hike. You can start in Eastbourne and arrive in Seaford by covering about 22 kilometers, or opt for a shorter but equally impressive walk. For those who love nature, photography, or just want to take a deep breath of fresh air, this corner of England is a must-see. Opt for a day trip to South Down White Cliffs from London (with train tickets)!

16- Dorset

What to do in England? Dorset
Dorset © Patryk Kosmider – stock.adobe.com

Dorset has it all: dreamy beaches, dramatic cliffs and picturesque villages. Don’t miss Durdle Door, an impressive natural arch above the sea, and Lulworth Cove Cove. Dorset is also for those who like to take their time, discovering landscapes that have inspired painters and writers. Between the sea and the countryside, every day is a new adventure. Whether you’re a hiking enthusiast, a history buff or just looking for peace and quiet, Dorset is waiting for you.

17- Isle of Wight

What to do in England? Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight © hardyuno – stock.adobe.com

The Isle of Wight, is a place where life slows down, where you can breathe in the sea air and walk along peaceful beaches. Be sure to visit Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s holiday residence, for a glimpse into royal history. The island is also a sanctuary for hikers, with landscapes classified for their exceptional beauty. Between its impressive cliffs, charming villages and lively festivals, the Isle of Wight represents an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you’re looking for adventure or a quiet place to rest, this island has it all.

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Mohamed SAKHRI
Mohamed SAKHRI

I am Mohamed SAKHRI, the creator and editor-in-chief of this blog, 'Discover the World – The Blog for Curious Travelers.' Join me as we embark on a journey around the world, uncovering beautiful places, diverse cultures, and captivating stories. Additionally, we will delve into mysterious and, at times, even bizarre destinations.

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