England is the largest of the UK’s four countries, featuring nine dynamically different regions containing world class cities, 600 miles of coastline with 32 Heritage Coasts and a beguiling range of rural landscapes in its many National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Always recommended as a good place to start your tour of England, capital city London contains many of the UK’s most visited museums and galleries. Most are free entry including the British Museum, Tate Modern and the National Gallery. London also features two World Heritage sites – the Palace of Westminster and the Tower of London.
Urban Cool & Ancient Cities
England’s other large cities more than keep pace with the capital for best dining, shopping and museum and gallery gems. Leeds, Yorkshire’s largest city is a top retail destination whilst North West cities Liverpool and Manchester take urban cool to another level and are where you’ll find some of the UK’s most famous football teams! Not surprising then that the National Football Museum is located in Manchester city centre.
Other dynamic urban centres rich in arts, culture and modern architecture include waterfront cities Birmingham and Newcastle. Some of Europe’s great ancient city centres are also in England including the cathedral cities of Winchester, York, Lincoln, Salisbury and Durham with its World Heritage cathedral and castle. The entire city of Bath is a designated World Heritage Site!
Heritage, Literature & Gardens
Heritage sites and literary landscapes in England are world famous, particularly pre-historic marvels like Stonehenge and Avebury stone circle in Wiltshire. The country boasts an extensive network of canals and a selection of enchanting steam railways.
England’s great castles, abbeys, former homes of literary dignitaries such as the Brontes and Jane Austen are popular heritage highlights. Mighty minsters and cathedrals, palaces and stately homes, not to mention old mining sites and huge Grade Listed mills from the industrial revolution are all plentiful across the country.
Each of England’s National Parks offers a different outdoor playground setting from boating on the Norfolk Broads in Eastern England to taking in spectacular rock formations on foot or horse back in the South West’s Dartmoor and Exmoor.
Top spots for walking and cycling holidays, England’s National Parks include the gentle South Downs of Sussex and Kent, the more challenging high landscapes of the Peak District and Lake District and woodland gems like the New Forest. Yorkshire is extra special with its two national parks – the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Dales.
Coast & Maritime
England’s coast with its many Heritage coastal stretches is a mecca for walking getaways and offers ample opportunities for watersports. Head to Cornwall’s surfing capital Newquay for the best surfing beaches and explore maritime centres like Liverpool, Hull, Bristol and Portsmouth all packed with fascinating maritime museums, replica and preserved historic ships and a wide choice of boat trips and tours.
Dorset’s Jurassic Coast is a designated World Heritage Site, with a coast path flanking the entire coastline taking in some of Britain’s most spectacular natural coastal formations en-route like Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove.
Where to Stay
England’s accommodation choice is as diverse as its regions and landscapes, catering for all budgets and tastes, with particular types of accommodation featuring in certain areas. Holiday cottages are where England excels, with a fantastic range of character self-catering properties available across coast and countryside destinations.
Urban and city centre accommodation is also varied, often linked to location themes and a period setting. Independent hotels, cosy bed and breakfast accommodation and lovingly converted barns or fisherman’s cottages make extra special holiday bases and families will find a great range of holiday parks, caravan sites and budget bunkhouses for large groups listed here on iknow.
Whether you’re on the lookout for a luxury retreat with a hot tub, a city centre apartment with all mod cons or a bed and breakfast offering that extra bit of personal service and local knowledge, find it here on iknow and book online.
Michelle is an experienced travel writer with iknow and has travelled extensively across the UK, Spain, Portugal and the USA. When she’s not busy writing for iknow she enjoys spending time touring museums and art galleries and seeking out the best independent shops in Manchester and Leeds.