There are many reasons to travel to England, whether you’re visiting for the first time or the fifth. The weather might be unpredictable (England is famed for its rain, after all!), but there are some stunning sights to behold. Come rain or shine; you can meander through beautiful countryside, hike the stunning coastlines and enjoy a good old cup of tea to complete the experience. Then there’s the history: if you want to know more about the British monarchy or explore the ruins of an ancient castle, you’re in luck. If you’re still not convinced England is the destination for your next trip, here are the country’s top ten highlights.
Tower of London
The Tower of London is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames with a compelling and gruesome history. The unmissable tower is actually a castle with 22 towers and is home to the spectacular Crown Jewels, as well as London’s famous Beefeaters. The capital city is worth a visit for a whole host of reasons, particularly if you’re looking for a window into the country’s fascinating history, but if you only have one day in the capital, then the Tower is an absolute must-see. One of the best ways to see this incredible city is to opt for a personal tour. To book a bespoke tour of London, including the iconic Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, visit the Black Taxi Tour London website for more information.
Located in Wiltshire about two miles west of Amesbury, this awe-inspiring structure consists of a ring of standing stones, each weighing around 25 tons. This archeological treasure should be on every person’s bucket list for several reasons. Not only is it one of Britain’s greatest mysteries (no one really understands the purpose of Stonehenge or how it was erected), but it is also a beautiful prehistoric construction. Admission is free for National Trust members, but the site tends to get busy during summer, so it’s best to book a place well in advance.
The Eden project is essentially the largest greenhouse in the world and one of Cornwall’s most celebrated landmarks. The huge bubble-shaped building is home to lots of miniature ecosystems that allow all kinds of worldly plants to grow and thrive, including banana trees, cacti and soaring palms. This architectural wonder was built to mark the Millennium, and it makes for a stunning day out for couples, lone travellers and families alike.
Located in London’s South Bank, Shakespeare’s Globe is a must-see for theatre lovers and culture buffs. The new theatre was designed to resemble the original as closely as possible to commemorate the famous playwright’s outdoor arena and is now open to the public. Explore the fascinating exhibition space, book a tour, or go and see a play, Jacobean style.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Interested in England’s naval history? If so, Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard is not to be missed. Home to a World War II submarine and two historic warships, there is plenty to do and see at the dockyard, including a tour of the infamous HMS Victory: the ship best known for its role in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. There is also an interactive attraction, climbing tower, rope course and Laser Quest game for children.
The Roman Baths in (you’ve guessed it) Bath are some of the best-preserved ancient Roman spas in the world. You might not be able to bathe in the springs as the Romans once did, but you can explore the ancient site, look around the museum and enjoy a meal in the restaurant afterwards. If you’re looking for a relaxing spa experience, the modern day Bath Thermae Spa is located just a cobbled street away from the Roman attraction.
Natural History Museum
From the building’s beautiful architecture to the fascinating and varied exhibits, there is plenty to ogle at London’s most famous museum. There are treasure hunts for children, a minerals gallery for budding geologists and plenty of dinosaur bones to admire. The Natural History Museum offers a fun day out for the whole family, showcasing some mind-boggling relics from Britain and beyond. Admission is free, though there may be a charge for temporary exhibits or events.
This medieval stronghold is based in Warwickshire, and it’s a must-see for families and history enthusiasts alike. Stare in awe at the turrets and ramparts, watch live jousting tournaments and stay overnight in the Knight’s Village. Anyone interested in the bloodier aspects of the castle’s history can visit the Castle Dungeon, where costumed actors and special effects help bring the past to life.
One of the world’s most renowned botanical gardens, this stunning heritage site is home to millions of rare and exotic plants. Visitors can stroll down a treetop walkway, marvel at the glorious greenery, discover carnivorous plants and even visit Kew Palace. This wonderland is perfect for couples, families and lone travellers looking to feel closer to nature and spend the day outdoors.
St Paul’s Cathedral
Home to some of the most significant events in British history, St Paul’s Cathedral is one of the most iconic sites in the UK. The Anglican cathedral sits on Ludgate Hill at the highest point of the city, and there are plenty of exhibits, events and collections to explore. Visitors can climb the 237 steps to the magnificent Dome, admire stunning views of the London skyline, or witness the awe of the Whispering Gallery in which a whisper can be heard from 100 feet away. Sufficed to say, people come from all over the world to visit the site of Winston Churchill’s state funeral, Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding venue and some 1,200 years of religious history.
For such a small country, England has a lot to offer, and there are many reasons to visit all year round. Whether or not you travel to the city’s capital, this amazing country provides a whole heap of history, culture and entertainment. If nothing else, you won’t find anywhere quite as peaceful as the English countryside, and the luscious green landscapes will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, as any holiday should.