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England Attractions

United Kingdom

International Travel / Overseas Tourism Destination

Welcome to our holiday travel guide information for England, part of the United Kingdom.

England was once the centre of the world, now with its large urban centres, royal family, history and heritage, it is a major tourism destination.

From the passionate works of Shakespeare, to exploring Normandy castles, stately homes, and the Royal Residences, there is no end of activities and experiences.

Those into the ‘Royal Family’ will find plenty of things of interest, from The Crown Jewels, The White Tower, The Maze, the Great Hall and Buckingham Palace are just a handful of the things to see.
 

Of course, Britain, specifically England is the focus of the world in 2012, with a packed cultural calendar of events from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Dickens Bicentenary.

Over time we will be expanding our listing of wonderful attractions in England, in the meantime you can check out our current listing. If you want to include other great English attraction, just send us an email with the details, including website (if applicable) and any images that you can provide permission for us to use here.

England • Attractions

National Trails
National Trails are long distance routes for walking, cycling and horse riding through the finest landscapes in England and Wales. In Scotland the equivalent trails are called long distance routes. There are 15 Trails in England and Wales (when complete 2 of these will be suitable for use by horse riders and cyclists along their entire length) and 4 in Scotland.

National Trails pass through some of the most stunning and diverse landscapes in Britain. There is something to suit everyone, from short walks to a 630 mile adventure.

The trails listed for England include:
  • Cleveland Way
    The Cleveland Way is 109 miles/176km long, with points of interest every step of the Way - Enjoy the North York Moors and Coast.
  • Cotswold Way
    Just over 100 miles of quintessentially English countryside. Follow the Cotswolds escarpment with its stunning views and charming villages from the World Heritage City of Bath in the south to the beautiful Cotswold market town of Chipping Campden in the North.
  • Hadrian’s Wall Path
    The 84 mile National Trail takes walkers along the riverside route in Tyneside, through arable farmland in Tynedale and the rough grazing upland section dominated by the Whin Sill enscarpment. It then gradually descends to the rich pastures of Cumbria and finally the open salt marsh of the Solway Estuary.
  • North Downs Way
    The North Downs Way National Trail runs for 153 miles through the Surrey Hills and Kent Downs Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).It starts at Farnham on the Surrey Hampshire border and ends at Dover - Gateway to England.
  • Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path
    Visit timeless flint villages, dally by quiet streams, be inspired by enormous beaches and skies. Allow the setting sun over the coast to re-vitalise your spirit.
  • Pennine Way
    The Pennine Way National Trail, 268 miles of chasing the Pennine Mountain tops along the rugged backbone of England, from the Peak District through the Yorkshire Dales and over Hadrain’s Wall to the Cheviots. Amongst the finest upland walking in England.
  • Pennine Bridleway
    The first purpose-built long distance bridleway for horse riders, mountain bikers and walkers. Once fully open it will run from the High Peak Trail in Derbyshire to Byrness, Northumberland, around 350 miles. The Trail is opening in stages – 120 miles from Derbyshire to the Mary Towneley Loop is currently open.
  • The Ridgeway
    The Ridgeway National Trail, 85 miles (136km) through ancient landscapes. Over rolling, open downland to the west of the River Thames, and through secluded valleys and woods in The Chilterns to the east, following the same route used since prehistoric times by travellers, herdsmen and soldiers.
  • South Downs Way
    Experience some of our finest countryside between Winchester, first capital of England, and the white chalk cliffs of Eastbourne. If you are interested in great views, attractive wildlife, visible prehistory, fine pubs and pretty villages, or if you just fancy a challenge, the South Downs Way awaits you.
  • South West Coast Path
    The South West Coast Path National Trail - 630 miles of superb coastal walking. From Minehead on the edge of the Exmoor National Park to the shores of Poole Harbour in Dorset it is the best way to enjoy the wonderful coastal scenery, wildlife and heritage.
  • Thames Path
    Follow the greatest river in England for 184 miles (294 km) from its source in the Cotswolds almost to the sea. Passing through peaceful water meadows, unspoilt rural villages, historic towns and cities, and finally cutting through the heart of London to finish at the Thames Barrier in Greenwich.
  • Yorkshire Wolds Way
    Come and enjoy the Yorkshire Wolds Way National Trail. 79 miles/127km of unbroken peace & quiet along one of Britain’s most charming landscapes.

The Royal Residences
Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle are probably the two best known of the official royal residences. There are conducted tours for a range of Royal Palaces and Residences, check out the following:
  • The Royal Collection - Visiting
    — The State Rooms, Buckingham Palace
    — The Royal Mews, Buckingham Palace
    — The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace
    — Windsor Castle
    — Palace of Holyroodhouse
    — The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse
    — Clarence House
    — Frogmore House
    — Changing the Guard
     
  • Historic Royal Palaces
    — Tower of London
    — Hampton Court Palace
    — Banqueting House
    — Kensington Palace
    — Kew Palace

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• England London Attractions
The Houses of Parliament and Big Ben
• London Westminster
Parliament is open to all Visiting members of the UK public and overseas visitors. You can attend debates and watch committee hearings, tour the buildings or climb the famous Clock Tower and see Big Ben.

The name Big Ben is often used to describe the tower, the clock and the bell but the name was first given to the Great Bell. The Clock Tower was completed in 1859 and the Great Clock started on 31 May, with the Great Bell's strikes heard for the first time on 11 July and the quarter bells first chimed on 7 September.
Buckingham Palace
Whilst the ‘Changing of the Guard’ and the ‘Horse Guards Parade’ are popular free displays of Royal pageantry in London, most visitors want more. Buckingham Palace itself is open to visitors, just check their website for details.

The Changing of the Queen’s Life Guard takes place daily on Horse Guards Parade at 11 am. The daily inspection takes place at 4pm. More information on The Household Cavalry Museum.
The Household Cavalry Museum
• Horse Guards, Whitehall, London
The Household Cavalry Museum is a living museum about real people doing a real job in a real place. Through a large glazed partition you can see troopers working with horses in the original 18th century stables.

The experience comes alive with compelling personal stories, first hand accounts of the troopers' rigorous and demanding training, interactive displays and stunning rare objects – many on public display for the first time.
Museum of London
• 150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN
Experience an unforgettable journey through the capital's turbulent past from prehistoric times to the present day. With about 1 million items in the Museum's core collections, plus 6 million 'finds', discovered during archaeological excavations, the Museum continues to grow. A place for the entire family, where you will want to come back again and again. There are nine permanent galleries and gallery tours, an exciting and varied programme of changing exhibitions and special events. See the website for more details.
Museum In DocklandsMuseum of London Docklands
• Museum of London Docklands, No.1 Warehouse, West India Quay, London E14 4AL
Uncover London's long history as a port through stories of trade, migration and commerce. With 11 permanent galleries that tell the stories of London’s Docklands, the River Thames, and London’s past as one of the world’s great trading cities. The Museum of London Docklands has an exciting and varied programme of changing exhibitions that explores London’s endlessly fascinating past, present and future through temporary exhibitions and special events. There is also the Docklands Cinema Club which has special film screening every month.
The Tower of London and the Crown Jewels
Everything you’ll need to plan your visit, before you arrive and whilst you’re at the Tower. Home to the fabulous Crown Jewels, which are the greatest working collection of Crown Jewels in the world and priceless symbols of British monarchy (watch for the ‘in use’ signs).

As ceremonial and symbolic objects, the Crown Jewels have been associated for centuries with the coronation of English Kings and Queens.
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• England North East Region Attractions
Alnwick Castle
• Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1NQ
This glorious medieval castle can seem foreboding, and certainly its history lacks nothing in drama and intrigue. Some of you may recognise us as a film location, for everything from Harry Potter to Elizabeth, Becket, Blackadder and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

The castle remains the stately home and the residence of the Duke of Northumberland. Built in the town of the same name in the English county of Northumberland, it was built following the Norman conquest, and renovated and remodelled a number of times.

The current duke and his family live in the castle, although the castle is open to the public throughout the summer. It is the second largest inhabited castle in England after after Windsor Castle.
Bamburgh Castle
• Bamburgh, Northumberland, NE69 7DF
One of Northumberland's most iconic buildings, Bamburgh Castle was home to the kings of ancient Northumbria. The castle sits on a basalt outcrop overlooking the Farne Islands and Lindisfarne.

The Bamburgh Castle seen today is a relatively recent structure, built by famed industrialist the first Lord Armstrong at vast cost in the late Victorian times. But the castle boasts a much longer history, with archaeological digs discovering evidence of settlements on the site since prehistoric times, whilst unearthing some spectacular finds.

The castle's laundry rooms feature the Armstrong and Aviation Artefacts Museum, with exhibits about Victorian industrialist William Armstrong and Armstrong Whitworth, the manufacturing company he founded. Displays include engines, artillery and weaponry, and aviation artefacts from two world wars.

Bamburgh Castle's epic scale attracts film and television crews and it has featured in everything from Time Team to Becket. It has recently become a popular wedding venue.

At Bamburgh Castle you can explore numerous public areas, whilst learning about the castle and its history from the friendly knowledgeable guides and audio tour. Watch history being uncovered during live archaeological excavations. Then relax with refreshments in the Clock Tower Tea Rooms, specialising in Northumberland produce sample a range of delicious home cooked meals and light snacks.
Hadrian’s Wall
• Northern England
Made an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 and described by English Heritage as ‘the most important monument built by the Romans in Britain’.

Hadrian's Wall is located in the northern part of Great Britain and stretching from Solwat Firth in the west to the Tyne River near Newcastle in the east.

Hadrian’s Wall was a defensive fortification built in Roman Britain. The build started in AD 122, during the rule of the Emperor Hadrian, being the first of two fortifications built across Great Britain. The second was the Antonine Wall, a lesser known of the two because there is less physical remains today.

A significant portion of Hadrian’s Wall still exists, in particular the mid-section. Part of the National Trails, Tourist can follow on foot much of its length by the Hadrian’s Wall Path or cycle along the National Cycle Route 72. It is a very popular tourist attraction in Northern England.

There is a great annotated map of the Adrian's Wall Path.
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• England South East Region Attractions
The South East England region encompass Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, West Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire and Surrey. Other well known and popular urban centres include Brighton, Hove and the Medway Towns of Chatham, Gillingham, Strood, Rainham
 
Visit Canterbury
The Canterbury district offers a lot for the visitors, with a huge variety of attractions, both indoor and outdoor activities to suit all tastes and interests. At the heart of the district is Canterbury Cathedral, the Mother Church of the Anglican Communion and seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Cathedral is both a holy place and part of a World Heritage Site.

Canterbury's surrounding countryside dips and sweeps through river valleys, woods and hills and northward to the seaside towns of Herne Bay and Whitstable. Canterbury has the perfect blend of city, coast and countryside, ensuring a great range of activities and experiences, from the invigorating 80 plus miles of coastline and beaches, the relaxing countryside where you can dig deep into the areas rich history and heritage.

Some of the main attractions and events include:
  • Canterbury Cathedral
    — Pilgrims and visitors have made their way to Canterbury Cathedral since the Middle Ages. It remains one of the most visited places in the country, and, just as important, a living community. Visitors have always been made welcome, in the ancient tradition of Benedictine hospitality. We continue the tradition, warmly inviting everyone to share with us the beauty and the unique atmosphere of one of the great holy places of Christendom.

    Canterbury's other important monuments are the modest Church of St Martin, the oldest church in England; the ruins of the Abbey of St Augustine, a reminder of the saint's evangelizing role in the Heptarchy from 597; and Christ Church Cathedral, a breathtaking mixture of Romanesque and Perpendicular Gothic, where Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170. See Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine's Abbey, and St Martin's Church UNESCO World Heritage List.
     
  • Canterbury District’s Museums
    — Come and discover the wonderful museums of Canterbury, Whitstable and Herne Bay and find out about the interesting history of the district - Cantebury Heritage Museum, Canterbury Roman Museum, Herne Bay Museum & Gallery, Whitstable Museum & Gallery, The Canterbury Beaney Project.
     
  • The Canterbury Tales
    — Ever wondered what it would be like to step back in time and experience the sights, sounds and smells of a bygone era? A visit to The Canterbury Tales, one of Kent’s most popular attractions, with its stunning reconstruction of 14th century England, you can do just that.

Dover Castle
Spectacularly situated above the White Cliffs of Dover this magnificent castle has guarded our shores from invasion for 20 centuries. Known as the ‘Key to England’, there is 200 years of history from an Iron Age fort, Roman lighthouse and Saxon church to the Castle that is seen today with the massive Great Tower built by Henry II.

Explore the darkly atmospheric Secret Wartime Tunnels, together with a vivid recreation of the Dunkirk evacuation, as you experience Operation Dynamo, original news-reels and recordings, testimonies from veterans and dramatic special effects to recreate the terror and tension of these dark days of Second World War.

Step inside the Great Tower at Dover Castle and immerse yourself in the medieval world and royal court of King Henry II. With exciting exhibitions, winding tunnels to explore, ghosts to hunt out - and of course restaurants, shops and the space for youngsters to run around - an action-packed, great value day out awaits!

Also see Friends of Dover Castle.
Kent Battle of Britain Museum
• Aerodrome Road, Hawkinge, Nr. Folkestone, Kent
The museum is the oldest established and largest collection of Battle of Britain artefacts on show in the country. On display are Aircraft - Vehicles - Weapons - Flying Equipment - Prints - Relics from over 600 crashed aircraft.

It is privately run by enthusiasts and volunteers and is administered as a charitable trust.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
• Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Visitor Centre, Victory Gate, M Naval Base, Portsmouth
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is a world-class visitor destination and is the leading attraction on the South Coast. It provides an experience that spans 800 years of British naval history and there is nowhere else in the UK that you can celebrate the Royal Navy, past, present and future in the same way that Portsmouth Historic Dockyard can boast. Attractions on site include The Mary Rose Museum, HMS Warrior 1860, HMS Victory, National Museum of the Royal Navy, Action Stations and Harbour Tours.
The White Cliffs of Dover
• Langdon Cliffs, Upper Road, Nr Dover, Kent
There can be no doubt that the White Cliffs of Dover are one of UK's most spectacular natural features. They are an official icon of Britain and have been a sign of hope and freedom for centuries.

Take a walk to the White Cliffs of Dover (White Cliffs Visitor Centre National Trust) and the North Foreland Lighthouse Visitor Centre. You can appreciate the areas beauty and enjoy their special appeal through the seasons by taking one of the dramatic clifftop walks offering unrivalled views of the busy English Channel and the French coast. Whilst here, learn more about the fascinating military and penal history of the White Cliffs and savour the rare flora and fauna that can only be found across this chalk grassland.
Wiltshire White Horses - Uffington White Horse
• Berkshire Downs.
Whilst Wiltshire is the county for white horses, there are or were at least twenty-four of these hill figures in Britain, with no less than thirteen being in Wiltshire, the oldest of the white horses are just over the border in Oxfordshire, known as the Uffington White Horse. Located on the Berkshire Downs, the Uffington White Horse is thought to date to the Bronze Age.

Under good conditions the Uffington White Horse can be seen from up to twenty miles away. It can also be seen close up from the top of nearby Dragon Hill, although it is best viewed from three or four miles away, from on the top of the escarpment where the slope is less steep.
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• England South West Region Attractions
The largest of regions, South West England encompasses Bristol, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Isles of Scilly, Somerset and Wiltshire. Other major and popular urban centres include Bath, Bournemouth (part of the South East Dorset that includes Christchurch and Poole), Exeter, Gloucester, Plymouth and Swindon. The region includes two National Parks and four World Heritage Sites.
 
Jurassic Coast
Located in the south west region of England is the Dorset and East Devon World Heritage Site, being England’s first natural World Heritage Site.

Covering 95 miles of truly stunning coastline from East Devon to Dorset, the rocks record 185 million years of the Earth’s history, clearly depicting a geological ‘walk through time’ spanning the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.
The Roman Baths
• Stall Street, Bath BA1 1LZ
One of the most popular tourist attractions in South West England, The Roman Baths provide a glimpse back into the times of the Roman occupation of Britain.

Built on a natural hot spring, the Roman Baths is below the modern street level and has four main features, the Sacred Spring, the Roman Temple, the Roman Bath House and the Museum holding finds from Roman Bath. The buildings above street level date from the 19th century. The Georgian Pump Room is on the ground level.

There are a variety of tours and events happening throughout the year, that can include the Thermae Bath Spa. The Pump Room above the spring offers the age-old tradition of sampling the waters drawn from the famous spa fountain, before enjoying morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea in the Pump Room Restaurant. Please allow at least 2 hours to get the most from your visit.
Stonehenge
• Amesbury, Wiltshire SP4 7DE
A highlight of the South West is a visit to the World Heritage Site of Stonehenge, located near Salisbury in Wiltshire. The iconic imagery of Stonehenge, used in many movies and TV shows is a must visit family day out.

Whilst the true meaning of this ancient, awe-inspiring monument has been lost in the mists of time. there has been much speculation about whether Stonehenge was a temple for sun worship, a healing centre, a burial site or perhaps a huge calendar? Other questions such as how did our ancestors manage to carry the mighty stones from so far away and then, using only primitive tools, build this amazing structure? is a mystery that never fails to impress.
Wiltshire White Horses
• Wiltshire
Wiltshire is the home of the white horses. There are thirteen in Wiltshire, although there are at least twenty-four of these hill figures in Britain. Most of the white horses are chalk hill carvings, the chalk downs of Central Wiltshire make it an ideal place for such figures.
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• England West Midlands Region Attractions
The West Midlands is home to the town of Stratford upon Avon, birthplace of William Shakespeare. It includes the counties and urban areas of Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Herefordshire, Shrewsbury, Solihull, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Stroke-on-Trent, Walsall, Warwickshire, West Bromwich, Wolverhampton, and Worcestershire.
 
Alton Towers Resort
7 Cross and Pillory Lane, Alto
Alton Towers Resort is the UK’s leading short break resort, offering as it does an unrivalled selection of attractions for the whole family to enjoy together. The origins of the Towers themselves date back to the 8th century, although the theme park and hotels are slightly less historic! It is located east of Stoke-on-Trent and west of Derby.
Hay-on-Wye
• West Midlands
Croeso i’r Gelli (Welcome to Hay-on-Wye) — World renowned as ‘The Town of Books’, this is a must visit destination for book lovers.

Famous for its second-hand and antiquarian bookshops, it has become the world’s largest secondhand and antiquarian book centre. At time of writing, there are thirty major bookshops in the town, some specialising whilst others carry general stock. The larger bookshops are open 363 days a year and during the summer, stay open until late evening. A list of booksellers is available at the Tourist Information Bureau, Hay-on-Wye.

The annual Hay Festival is held during May/June (see website for dates).

Hay-on-Wye is located on the Welsh / English border in the County of POWYS, Wales. Whilst most of the town lies within Wales, some eastern parts encroach into England. The town is, nonetheless, considered to be in Wales.
Stratford-upon-Avon
Welcome to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare, steeped in culture and history. Set in the beautiful rural Warwickshire countryside, on the banks of the river Avon, it is one of the most important tourist destinations in the UK. With easy road, rail and airport access, it is the perfect place for a vacation or short break. Facilities for conferences and smaller business venues are excellent.
 
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