With its rich history and impressive heritage, England is full of breathtaking scenery, vibrant cities full of culture, and charming villages dotted all over the country.
England is a truly unforgettable destination! Thanks to this blog post, don't miss out on these ten amazing cities in particular if you're getting ready to take a trip to England this year.
1. Brighton - England's trendiest seaside resort
Brighton is one of the UK's most vibrant cities, renowned for its relaxed lifestyle and progressive, hippy attitude, particularly towards the LGBTQ+ community. Located on the south coast of the country in the county of Sussex, Brighton is bursting with life, art and history.
Just 1 hour and 30 minutes from London by car and 1 hour by train, visitors can explore thriving areas such as North Lane, home to independent boutiques and quirky cafes.
Brighton Pier is one of the city's most iconic attractions, and a great place to spend an afternoon.
Visitors can enjoy spectacular views over the English Channel, and have fun on one of the rides in the on-site amusement park. If you visit Brighton in England in summer, you can even enjoy a swim at Brighton Beach.
Don't miss Brighton's famous SEA LIFE aquarium, the oldest in Britain and the world! With over 3,000 species of fish and sea creatures, it's a great place for children and adults alike.
Brighton has also developed an internationally renowned art scene thanks to the works of British artist Banksy, which can be found all over the city: "Kissing Policemen", "The Girl with the Red Balloon". Banksy's work focuses mainly on political and social issues, which makes it all the more striking.
2. Bath - England's hottest hot springs
Bath is another must-see destination in the south of England, in the county of Somerset. The city was founded by the Romans in 50 AD to create baths and hot springs.
During the Georgian era, the town became the UK's leading spa town, which led to its expansion, and its notable Georgian architectural heritage, which can be seen throughout the town. The city was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
Visit the Royal Crescent to admire the most faithful example of this type of architecture. The city's most prestigious address, it captivates historians and tourists alike with its crescent shape of 30 terraced houses.
Bath's term complex is another major point of interest for tourists to this small English city. The terms are divided into 4 parts: the sacred spring, the Roman temple, the baths and the museum dedicated to the discoveries made during excavations on the site.
3. Oxford - medieval history and world-class universities
Oxford is an English city known the world over for its ancient streets full of historic buildings and monuments and its vibrant university culture.
Established in the 12th century, one of the country's largest cities boasts a very well-preserved medieval city center. Here are the main attractions in Oxford, England:
- Carfax Tower, a 23-metre-high bell tower dating back to the 12th century, with views over the whole city
- the Bodleian Library, the second-largest library in England, built in 1602. We advise you to book in advance if you wish to take a guided tour.
- the Radcliffe Camera, Oxford University's neo-classical library in the shape of a circular building
- the Sheldonian Theatre, a 17th-century theater and one of Oxford's most iconic buildings, is also one of Oxford University's landmark buildings
- Oxford Castle and Prison, a must-see guided tour of this 1,000-year-old building for history buffs
- St. Mary's Church, a 14th-century Anglican church in the heart of the University
- Oxford University, one of the oldest universities in the world
4. York - the jewel of the North East of England
Founded by the Romans, York was once the capital of the North of England and a center of English culture. The York City Walls surround an area long protected from invaders and still symbolizes York's historic heritage.
Then there's York Minster, a large and impressive Gothic cathedral known for its stained glass windows and imposing spire. Built in the 7th century, it was the center of Christianity in the north of England for many centuries.
And to top it all off, take a trip to Clifford's Tower, a castle built on top of a mound that gives you a view over the whole of the medieval old town of York. Perfect for souvenir photos!
5. Salisbury - a charming little town 15 minutes from Stonehenge
Salisbury is a charming little town well worth a day or afternoon visit. A must-see attraction is the Salisbury Museum, with one of the best collections relating to the nearby site of Stonehenge and local archaeology.
You can easily reach the site from Salisbury town by bus, or in just 15 minutes by car. It would be a shame to miss out on a historic site dating back to Neolithic times!
Back in Salisbury, we recommend a visit to the cathedral, one of the oldest places of worship in the UK, with the tallest church spire in the country.
6. St Ives - discovering Cornwall
Cornwall is a unique region in the south west of England, with picturesque villages, warm and welcoming people and miles of tranquil beaches. St Ives is a leading coastal town in the region, with something special to offer visitors.
For a relaxing afternoon, head to Porthmeor Beach. Just a few minutes from the centre, this beautiful white sandy beach is popular with families and tourists alike for an afternoon of swimming, surfing or kayaking.
Along the coast is the Tate St Ives Museum, a small but recently enlarged museum of contemporary British art.
Finally, you can stroll along the old harbour and enjoy a meal in one of the many bars and restaurants in the area. There are many seafood restaurants, such as The Sea Food Cafe and Porthminster Kitchen, offering delicious platters of fresh seafood.
7. Chester - England's most fortified city
If you're visiting the city of Liverpool, then you should stop off in the charming city of Chester, in the northwest of the country. Founded by the Romans in the first century AD, the city walls are an iconic feature of Chester's Roman foundation.
They have remained intact for centuries despite wars and fires. The ramparts can still be seen almost all around the city, stretching for 3 kilometers.
With its Victorian architecture, Roman amphitheater, and medieval cathedral, there's no better place to get a real flavor of England's cultural evolution through the ages.
A short break in Wales
The city of Chester lies on the border with Wales, the constituent nation of the United Kingdom to the west of England. It's the perfect opportunity to discover Welsh culture, with its language, its own culture, and its many picturesque villages!
8. Rye - and the prettiest street in England!
Rye is a charming little village in the county of East Sussex, in the south of England. It has a traditional, picturesque atmosphere thanks to its narrow cobbled streets and colorful houses, the most famous of which, Mermaid Street, was voted the most beautiful street in the country by the Telegraph newspaper, with houses dating back almost 1,000 years.
You can also take a look at the fortifications at the entrance to the old town, as well as the 12th-century Anglican church of St Mary of Rye. Rye is an amazing little village full of surprises, just 1 hour 10 minutes from London, so make the most of it!
9. Bristol - England's creative capital
Bristol is a vibrant and dynamic city, full of energy and excitement. It is particularly well known for its street art scene, which is dotted all over the city, making it one of the best street art spots in Europe. With over 360 parks and gardens, it's also one of the greenest cities in England.
The city also has some fascinating historical discoveries in store for you, such as Cabot Tower, located in Brandon Hill Park. Built-in the late 19th century, this beautiful tower commemorates John Cabot's discovery of North America. The viewpoint at the top offers a unique panoramic view of Bristol and is well worth a visit!
You can also take a boat trip along the River Avon, and pass under the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge, suspended 74 meters above the river and 412 meters long. Completed in 1864, it is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the world.
10. Sherborne - a typical English village
Sherborne is a picturesque village in the southwest of the UK. It has a rich history dating back to the 8th century, with an old castle and superb medieval abbey.
For shopping, this charming market town is packed with boutiques in its town center, or you can visit the weekly farmers' markets for fresh local produce and crafts.
11. London - last but not least
We couldn't finish our ranking without mentioning England's famous capital and largest city, London! It's often said that "if you're tired of London, you're tired of life", and for good reason.
Monuments and Museums in London
Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster, St Paul's Cathedral, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and many more... there's no shortage of places of interest. When you explore London, you'll discover a cosmopolitan city, rich in cultural diversity and cultural events for your stay.
You'll also find the famous British Museum, as well as the Tate Modern for lovers of contemporary art.
London's best districts
Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street are the capital's must-visit areas, with many places of interest. But don't limit your visit to the capital to just these areas!
Take a stroll around Kensington and Hyde Park to discover the charm of the English capital's upmarket districts, or go for a beer in Camden Town for an alternative, festive atmosphere.
12. Bonus: Explore the rest of Great Britain
The charm of Northern Ireland, Scotland and its castles, Wales... the United Kingdom has many surprises in store for your holiday. Each nation has its own identity and culture, promising you a unique and enriching experience during your trip.