Around England – start exploring here:
Brighton, Kent and Sussex … White cliffs, green countryside and fascinating historical heritage
Cotswolds … England’s playground of pretty villages, perfect pubs, and outdoor pursuits aplenty
Stratford, the West Midlands & Birmingham … Shakespeare country, Warwickshire and its beautiful neighbouring counties, reaching to the Welsh border
Devon and Cornwall … Bays to take your breath away, wildly beautiful moorland, gardens, tiny villages and market towns
Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire … Prehistoric stone circles, a cake burning king and the mythical county of Wessex
If you are the perfect specialist for any of the destinations below that we’re working on next, please contact us.
The county of Somerset is in the south west of England surrounded by Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and bordering the Bristol Channel. Highlights include the beautiful city of Bath, named Aquae Sulis by the Romans who utilised existing hot springs to build the splendid Public Baths, still in perfect order today.
Bath is a Unesco World Heritage site with landmarks such as the magnificent Royal Crescent – a sinuous terrace of Georgian houses built from local stone, also The Circus and the Assembly Rooms.
Author Jane Austen is synonymous with Bath and the Jane Austen Centre is key to any visit. Jane lived here for a few years (1801 – 1806) using the area as the setting for Persuasion and Northanger. The annual Jane Austen Festival is held in Bath in September.
North East Somerset includes the village of Cheddar, famous for its cheese and Cheddar Gorge. The southern part of the county is known for grand country houses while the west shares wild Exmoor with next door Devon.
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East Anglia is named after the Angles who settled here from Northern Germany and gave England its name. Jutting proudly out into the North Sea between London and the Wash, it includes Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t all low-lying flat land.
Norfolk especially is quite undulating, especially in the north and west. However, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk are generally much less than 60 metres above sea level.
Seaside Resorts and the Norfolk Broads: There is plenty of seaside in Norfolk with its famed resorts of Cromer and Great Yarmouth. The latter offers access to the Norfolk Broads, the inland waterways which cover much of eastern Norfolk.
The two standout cities, Cambridge and Norwich, offer a wealth of architectural interest and plenty of shopping opportunities.
Suffolk’s main city is Ipswich but further inland, head to Bury St Edmunds and Thetford. And of course don’t miss Constable country in next door Essex.
Roman Past: England’s Roman past dominate Colchester in Essex, which was the capital of Roman Britain. Known as Camulodonum the town had three theatres and a chariot racing circus. With easy access to London, East Anglia it’s a perfect place to see what England is all about.
Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire form a neat triangle in the centre of the south of England between Sussex in the east and Devon in the west. While each county shares a border with the others, they are quite distinct.
Hampshire: This is the busiest of the three with two major ports, Southampton known for its nightlife and art galleries and Portsmouth famous for its naval connections, historical centre and shopping. Further inland is the extensive New Forest, designated by William the Conqueror as a Royal hunting reserve, now a National Park providing an extensive leisure facility. The medieval city of Winchester is the old capital of King Alfred the Great.
Wiltshire and Stonehenge: Wiltshire is a must for time-travel history at prehistoric Stonehenge and the mysterious Avebury Stone Circle and the ruins of the Old Sarum settlement. Salisbury Cathedral is one of England’s great cathedrals.
Dorset – Thomas Hardy Country: Dorset, whose rolling hills became Thomas Hardy’s Wessex for his famous novels ‘The Mayor of Casterbridge’ and ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’, has a fascinating coastline with beaches used as the background for the multi award winning Broadchurch TV series.
In Cumbria in the North West of England, the magnificent Lake District was beloved of the Romantic poets, Robert Southey, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth who found inspiration here in his ‘host of golden daffodils’.
A short drive from the large conurbations of Greater Manchester and Tyneside, the Lake District is a magnet for hikers and climbers. It can be very busy at holiday weekends.
Ten big lakes and numerous high mountains
Discover ten major lakes and numerous smaller ones surrounded by high hills and rugged mountains offering a range of activities. Although sparsely populated the area attracts many tourists in season. Visit the main town Keswick on Lake Derwentwater and attractive Ambleside at the top of Lake Windermere.
If you prefer more gentle walking follow the marked routes around the tranquil lakes such as Grasmere.
The Lake District’s most famous mountain is Helvellyn. Although not its highest at 950 metres (3117 ft), is a must for serious hillwalkers who reach the peak via the challenging Striding Edge. Slightly higher is Scafell Pike (978 metres) and Scafell (964 metres), which may not sound very high but don’t be fooled into thinking they are easy. Check out the information below.
Important Note: Serious hill walking should be done with great care. Always wear appropriate clothing and footwear. Consult the weather forecast, always tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to return.
Newcastle upon Tyne, the main city of northeast England sits proudly on the north bank of the Tyne. Blending ancient with contemporary, the city is surrounded by the stunning beauty of Northumberland and Durham. Newcastle is famous today for its shopping, its universities, its soccer team and above all its spectacular bridges. Its citizens are known the world over as Geordies a reference to their support for King George II during the Jacobite Rebellion!
Moreover, some of the giants of the Industrial Revolution lived locally. George and Robert Stephenson, Charles Parsons, William Armstrong, Joseph Swan and John Walker the inventor of the friction match were all local men. Indeed the bridges across the Tyne are ample evidence of this. Furthermore they complement the modern architectural wonders of the Millennium Bridge and the Sage Music Centre.
The whole area, including much of Yorkshire, was known as Northumbria in Saxon times. In those days Northumbria was a powerful kingdom ruled from Bamburgh on the northeast coast and is steeped in history. From Roman times, through the Norman conquest to the modern era, the region has been crucial to national success.
Above all, the Norman era bequeathed the stunning UNESCO heritage site of Durham Cathedral and Castle. From here William the Conqueror’s Prince Bishop harried the area after the populace misbehaved. Moreover, Durham City is today a very popular tourist centre and the capital city of the eponymous county. Its famous river, the Wear, flows from Weardale in the west famously looping round round Durham’ Castle and Cathedral.
Later a battleground between Scots and English you can visit sites of skirmishes and battles such as Flodden.
No visit to England is complete without at least a few hours in Oxford. This graceful ‘City of Spires’ speaks of learning and tradition from its imposing university and city architecture to the hum of the student ‘vibe’ that fills the air. To appreciate this, take a University and City walking tour from the Visitor Information Centre, including a visit to one of the Oxford University Colleges and the Bodleian Divinity School.
Visit Oxford’s Ashmolean museum, hailed as the world’s oldest public museum. Climb the Carfax Tower for city views and to count the medieval college and church spires that give Oxford its nickname. Also packed with shops, cafes, bars and restaurants, you’ll find plenty to see and do. Gin lovers take a tour of the Oxford Artisan Distillery (TOAD) producing Oxford Botanic Garden – Physic Gin and more. The luxury designer fashion outlet at Bicester Village is also in Oxfordshire (ten minutes from Oxford by train).
The wider county of Oxfordshire has beautiful farmland and wooded countryside. Special places to visit including the splendidly Baroque Blenheim Palace and Henley-on-Thames, scenic home of the famous annual rowing event, the Henley Regatta. Burford is one of the signature towns of the Cotswolds, built down a hillside to the River Windrush. More historic houses include Broughton Castle, Buscot Park, Greys Court and Kingston Bagpuize House,
Yorkshire contains some of England’s wildest and most beautiful scenery both on the coast and further inland in the dales (or valleys) and moors which make up much of this huge county. Located mostly in the North East of England but it has its own identity and dialect. No wonder many Yorkshire folk regard their county as God’s own country.
Yorkshire is traditionally divided into three parts or thirds known as ‘Ridings’. The North Riding, the West Riding and the East Riding. Nothing to do with horses I’m afraid!
There are several interesting large cities including Sheffield and Bradford, major centres of the Industrial Revolution. Many visitors head for the capital York itself, a stunning walled city with a Roman, Viking and Norman past. Moreover, it boasts an interesting ensemble of ancient streets, the Shambles and, for lovers of steam locomotives, the National Railway Museum.
Located in the Pennines, the Yorkshire Dales in Northern England lie mostly in the Yorkshire Dales National Park created in 1954.
From south to north the main ones are Airedale, Wharfdale, Nidderdale, Wensleydale, Swaledale and Teesdale with numerous small dales adjacent to them. No visit to Yorkshire is complete without an exploration of at least one of these!
Leeds, a major centre of the Industrial Revolution, lies on the south bank of the River Aire in the north of the county. On the south bank of the River, the Royal Armouries houses the national collection of arms and artillery. Just over the river, the redeveloped industrial area around Call Lane has bars located in railway arches and music venues. Just north of here, Kirkgate Market is a haven of indoor and outdoor stalls.