5 locations to visit outside of London in England



London is incredible, but don’t get stuck in the capital when there is so much to see outside of it. You can travel by train to the four corners of England – we list just a few of our favourite destinations.

Cornwall

Cornwall

The ancient Celtic kingdom of England’s southwest is considered to be one of the most picturesque parts of the country thanks to its sparkling white-sand shores, and dramatic coastline.

It’s a place of rugged cliffs, secluded coves, secret gardens, sprawling estates, and pretty seaside villages, and has long been a beloved destination for UK holidayers.

What can you see and do in Cornwall?

A lot, is the short answer. Visit the Lost Gardens of Heligan, a beautiful set of gardens that were hidden for decades until 1990 when they were discovered again. Or tour the incredible Eden Project, home to biodomes that create multiple climates and environments. Other highlights include the unique open-air Minack Theatre, and the stunning scenery of Land’s End.


Where to stay in Cornwall?

Finding accommodation in Cornwall is easy as this is a prime holiday destination, the question is, what kind of stay are you after? For the outdoorsy, there are camping and caravan parks all along the coast, but if you’re after a stay in a cosy bed & breakfast or more upmarket hotels, we recommend looking in towns like St. Ives and Penzance. Both are close to popular landmarks and are incredibly beautiful in their own right.

Of course, if you’re in Cornwall to surf or with family, head straight for Newquay. This is the surfing capital of the UK and has a ton of family friendly attractions.


Where to eat in Cornwall?

As the land of clotted cream and fresh seafood, it’s not hard to locate places that’ll serve up a delicious meal. If you’re after seafood, stick to towns like Penzance. For upmarket dining, look to St. Ives, for variety, Truro, and for family friendly spots, Newquay.


See VisitBritain's recommended attractions in Cornwall


Find out more about The Lost Gardens of Heligan


Find out more about The Eden Project

Manchester

Manchester

Manchester has positioned itself as one of the trendiest cities in the UK thanks to its music, arts and dining scene. But beyond its glittering façade is a rich history, and there are plenty of landmarks to make any history buff salivate.


What can you see and do in Manchester?

Start with the older side of Manchester first, such as the impressive Town Hall and the city’s Gothic cathedral. Then visit a few of Manchester’s excellent museums, such as the People’s History Museum which looks at the history of democracy, or the Manchester Museum, attached the University of Manchester and has collections and exhibitions on ancient Egyptian artefacts and natural history.

Then stroll through the neighbourhoods of Chinatown and Castlefield, which are both filled with shops, restaurants and galleries. Lastly, it wouldn’t be a visit to Manchester without a pass by Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United F.C.


Where to stay in Manchester?

The area all around Chinatown is great for finding budget, mid-range and luxury hotels. There are also lots of attractions, restaurants and transport links nearby, so it’s a top spot for finding accommodation in Manchester. However, you can also find good options in the shopping district that sits between Manchester Cathedral and King Street, or in and around Castlefield’s Urban Heritage Park.


Where to eat in Manchester?

Manchester isn’t short of places to eat, and you can find hipster coffee houses, upmarket dining establishments and plenty of family friendly restaurants all over this city. Start in the Corn Exchange – a landmark in its own right – and a hub for restaurants. Otherwise, the Northern Quarter or Chorlton offer lots of bistros to tempt you.


See VisitBritain's recommended attractions in Manchester


Find out more about Manchester United Stadium Tour


Find out more about MP3 Walking Tour - Manchester

Stonehenge

Stonehenge

The magic and mystery of Stonehenge has fascinated us for millennia, not least because we still don’t really know why it was built. It’s one of the UK’s most iconic landmarks, and seeing these spellbinding standing stones in person is hard to describe. An absolute must-see.


What can you see and do in Stonehenge?

Aside from Stonehenge itself, the site is accompanied by excellent exhibitions that provide some context on the Neolithic people who erected it. You can see displays of other treasures excavated near Stonehenge and wander through reconstructed Neolithic homes, which shed some light on how ancient Britons worked and lived.

Nearby Stonehenge, only 10 miles away, is the city of Salisbury, which has plenty to recommend it, but its most celebrated attraction is its medieval cathedral. This house of worship is home to one of four original copies of the Magna Carta – a founding document of the British Constitution.


Where to stay in Stonehenge?

Accommodation near Stonehenge is almost all located in Salisbury. You can find a few bed & breakfasts and camping sites within a few miles of Stonehenge, but if you want to be located closer to shops and restaurants, we recommend looking in Salisbury. There is a good range of accommodation options in town, from budget to luxury, with most hotels situated in the city centre.


Where to eat in Stonehenge?

At Stonehenge itself, there is a café, and it’s worth fuelling there before spending the day of touring this ancient site. However, for more options, the city centre of Salisbury is where you’ll find beloved family friendly restaurant chains, little bistros, and more contemporary dining establishments.


See VisitBritain's recommended attractions in Stonehenge


Find out more about Stonehenge Tour from London


Find out more about Winsdor Castle, Salisbury Cathedral, Stonehenge and Bath Tour

York

York

The city of York is a bastion of medieval architecture, and its cultural and historical splendour has never dimmed, even under the weight of change that the industrial revolution brought. However, its cobbled labyrinthine streets and ancient architecture rubs shoulders with modern life too, and you’ll find plenty of shopping, dining, and family friendly attractions in York.


What can you see and do in York?

You cannot go to York without first seeing the immense and impressive York Minster, the ecclesiastical home of the Church of England, and a marvel of Gothic architecture. Next, see this site in context, by strolling the top of city’s medieval walls, or scale Clifford’s Tower for 360° views of York.

Then travel back in time by stopping by the Jorvik Viking Centre, and see how the city looked a thousand years ago. Or investigate how the city was changed by technology at the National Railway Museum.

If you’re with kids, indulge a sweet tooth and go on a guided chocolate tour of York’s most famous sweet brands.


Where to stay in York?

Most of York’s attractions are within its medieval city walls, and so staying in the centre, or just northeast of the centre will give you the best access to them. Luckily, when it comes to accommodation in York there are lots of different pricing options, from affordable bed & breakfasts, to mid-range boutiques and luxury 5 star hotels.


Where to eat in York?

Central York is pedestrianised throughout the day, and is filled to the brim with restaurants. Head for the Shambles, a 14th century street lined with restaurants and shops, or the Latin Quarter that is known for its tapas bars and bistros.


See VisitBritain's recommended attractions in York


Find out more about Jorvik Viking Centre


Find out more about Yorkshire Pass

Lake District

York

The Lake District is without a doubt the most popular national parks in the UK, and it’s no wonder, mirrored lakes reflect emerald forests and lofty mountains. Peppered between the natural attractions are gorgeous lakeside villages, some of which were home to celebrated writers like William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter. In 2017 this region became a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it is a spectacular destination to visit.


What can you see and do in the Lake District?

Most of the Lake District’s charms are natural ones, such as the lovely lakes of Derwentwater, Ullswater and the popular Lake Windermere, where you can enjoy all sorts of watersports. There are also excellent hiking trails throughout the national park, but we recommend going on the Catbells half day hike for stellar views.

History buffs won’t be able to resist dropping by Dove Cottage to see the first home of poet William Wordsworth, or his rather upgraded pad of Rydel Mount. If you’re with children, or just love her work, stop by Hill Top too, the home of Beatrix Potter, and the location where she was inspired to write the Tale of Peter Rabbit.


Where to stay in the Lake District?

Where to stay in the Lake District really depends on what interests you the most. Bowness-on-Windemere is great for watersports, and there are good dining options nearby. For keen walkers, Coniston is considered the best spot. Keswick is great for families, because it’s a lively market town with shops, restaurants and interesting museums.


Where to eat in the Lake District?

Each town in the Lake District has an array of restaurants to choose from, but Bowness-on-Windemere has the most choice, offering both upmarket and relaxed dining options. Ambleside also offers some great places to stop and grab a bite, as does Keswick.


See VisitBritain's recommended attractions in the Lake District


Find out more about Ullswater Steamer Cruise with Prosecco


Find out more about The World of Beatrix Potter



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