England might look like a pretty small country, but in reality there is far more to see than people would imagine. If you’re planning a trip to London, why not explore a little bit of England outside of the capital too? Here are a few ways to do so and a few of the best things to see.
Many people begin their journeys around England in London, arriving at one of the capital’s airports. While you’re there, take some to explore the city a little, but be careful, because prices on food, drinks, trips and souvenirs can soar here. Instead of paying to do something, head to one of the national museums which allow visitors in to their collections for free. There are a number of things to see from the Natural History Museum, the British Museum and the V&A. Take a little while to wander one of the expansive and numerous markets of London too – you never know what you might come across.
To get out of London, you have a number of options. Britain’s public transport system is fairly good and reliable, but doesn’t offer you a lot of freedom. You could grab a train, but you’d be better hiring a car near Gatwick airport to get you where you want to be. One of England’s main charms is its countryside and little villages, so public transport to these is limited. If you have your own car you can explore at will and at your own pace.
The Peak District is a beautiful area of countryside filled with rolling hills and dry stone walls. You can indulge in a bit of hiking or biking while there, or take a trip to one of England’s biggest and best theme parks, Alton Towers.
Head a way up North if it’s history you’re really interested in. Northumberland, while being one of the bleaker areas of England, is rich in culture and history. If ancient history is your thing, plan a trip to Hadrian’s Wall, remains of which are dotted at multiple sites across the country. Or if the weather’s turned against you, the area has a number of historic properties, stately homes and castles kept in condition by the National Trust and English Heritage. Belsay Hall has beautiful expansive gardens, Lindisfarne has a blustery castle on its secluded island accessed only by a road across the seabed that’s only usable at certain tides and Bamburgh Castle, perched on Northumberland’s coastline is filled with collections of historic pieces.
There are a number of other towns and cities worth a visit around England, such as York, with its amazing Roman ruins and interesting architecture in the Shambles; Cambridge with the old college buildings and rivers; and Birmingham for great shopping. There are so many places worth taking a look at around England, so make sure to see as much of it as you possible can.