12 Beautiful Places to Visit in England (That Aren’t London!)

Last Updated on July 23, 2023

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England is such a beautiful country but most people miss the real beauty because they just stay in London.

London is my favourite city in the world, BUT there are also so many other amazing places to visit in England that are waiting to be discovered.

From northern cities and seaside towns to historic sites and hidden gems, there are plenty of amazing places in England for visitors of all kinds.

England has such a rich history, beautiful architecture and some great natural wonders which most don’t even know about!

Discover these places to visit in England, old brick cottage with small brick wall next to single track road strewn with autumn leaves surrounded by trees with green and yellow leaves in the early evening sun
Photo by Scott Evans on Unsplash

There are so many nice places in England to visit no matter your interests: art and culture, history, scenic landscapes, and more!

So here is a little taste of some of the best places to visit in England and the top that I personally recommend!

While these are my personal picks for the top places in England to visit, there are so many unique places to go in England, you’ll never get bored here!

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If you’re wondering which of these places is not in London and you are looking for transport, England has a great rail service so I would suggest catching a train to these places.

For those more into buses, Megabus do very cheap fares – sometimes you can get a £1 deal from London to other places in England to visit.

Here are some of the most beautiful places to visit in England

Find the most beautiful places in England, multicoloured street art of a close up of John Lennon's eyes complete with his signature round glasses

1. Bristol

A clear choice for one of the best places in England to visit for anyone who loves creativity. Bristol has an amazing vibe full of amazing street art and some great music venues.

I stayed at the YHA Hostel right next to the water. It was a great hostel which was cheap and really close to everything that you would want to see.

Check out the Bristol Cathedral, Banksy’s graffiti around the city, and all the other beautiful street art. Outside of London, Bristol is the best place in England to visit for street art.

If you love discovering amazing street art then you should do a walking tour of the city. Bristol is one of THE major places to visit in South of England.

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Explore these pretty places in England, red and white boats moored next to old stone buildings lining a river under a grey misty sky

2. York

When researching the best places to visit in England outside of London, the city of York will pop up on almost everyone’s radar, and they might wonder, is York England worth visiting?

The answer is an emphatic YES – the city of York is one of the best places to visit in England other than London.

There are so many cool things to see in York such as the York Minster, York Castle and even have a walk on the city walls.

York is a very beautiful place (some say it’s the most beautiful city in UK!) with so much history to take in. This region is definitely somewhere you would want to spend the whole weekend, maybe more.

I lived just out of York for a few months and the city was great to spend a few days looking around and taking in the city. This is one of my favourite places to visit in England!

The Shambles is a ‘must do’ for a spot of shopping, soaking up the Yorkshire culture and do some people watching.

Have a picnic on the side of the museum gardens which overlooks the river Ouse. If you get a chance to check out the countryside, you will experience the real Yorkshire.

If you’re lucky enough to go in spring, you will see the rapeseed flowering which means you will see seas of bright yellow paddocks – it’s really beautiful.

York is one of the more underrated big cities, but it’s definitely one of the top places to go in England!

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See the most amazing places to visit in England, tarmac road leading through old English village with stone buildings covered in colourful ivy under a cloudy blue sky
Photo by Ivy Barn on Unsplash

3. Cotswolds

If you are looking for pretty places in England, you must visit the Cotswolds, which are located in South Central England.

The Cotswolds consist of rolling hills with very, very cute villages you only see in the movies, you will see very sweet, old English pubs with a lot of character.

As one of the prettiest places in England, the Cotswolds is perfect if you are looking for scenic places in England to drive through.

Spend a weekend driving around the Cotswolds and staying in one of the beautiful England villages.

You can’t say you have been to a proper village in England until you have visited this area. Castle Combe has even been named England’s prettiest village!

The Cotswolds are actually considered one of the most beautiful places in United Kingdom as a whole, and it’s easy to see why when you get here!

Truly one of the most magical places to visit UK has to offer!

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Are these the prettiest places in England? Geothermal body of water surrounded by stone pillars and balconies with tall stone church looming behind under a cloudy sky

4. Bath

You can’t go to England and not experience Bath! It is known for its still-standing Roman baths which are believed to have been constructed around 60-70 AD.

Bath is the best place to see in England for history buffs as the entire city is a UNESCO site, and the baths are in amazing condition.

Entry to the baths cost £16.50 for an adult and it’s really worth the money!

Not only are the baths beautiful but the whole town is, so have a good wander around and take in the architecture of this amazing place.

I highly recommend having a weekend in Bath as one of the most beautiful places in England.

It’s one of the most architecturally beautiful places near London, and easily reachable for a day trip.

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Come and see this beautiful place in England, several palace guards in traditional clothing complete with tall black furry hats standing to attention outside large stone building with vaulted arches over the windows

5. Windsor

Looking for the most interesting places in London? Windsor is both beautiful, historic and fascinating!

Known for its iconic castle, the area is definitely worth a day trip! Windsor Castle is the Queen’s castle and has been in the royal family for over 900 years.

It’s also the largest occupied castle in the world! Windsor Castle is not only one of the most picturesque places in London, it’s one of the most beautiful places in UK as a whole!

Entry to Windsor castle costs £21.20. You can opt for an audio guide which I recommend because this place is huge, and the guide will tell you about all the places you are standing in.

Go in summer so all areas are open, including the gardens which are stunning. They’re like a condensed version of Hyde Park London, and are one of the most magical places in London.

The one thing I love about England were the castles – they are simply mind-boggling. Windsor Castle is sure to knock your royal socks off!

If you love castles or are interested in the royals, this is definitely one of the best places to go to in England.

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Discover some of the best places in England to visit, view of a river with ducks swimming lazily past a boat being punted along by someone with a long pole towards a stone bridge next to green grass and various trees on a sunny day

6. Cambridge

For most people planning on visiting places in England outside of London, Cambridge is top of their list, and for good reason!

Where the big players play and also go to the very posh universities! Cambridge is truly incredible.

Make sure you go on a nice day when you can punt down the river Avon and admire where many great minds have attended university.

The universities are something you would see in movies, actually, they do frequently get featured in movies!

And, of course, these beautiful iconic buildings make Cambridge one of the most beautiful places to visit in the UK.

This is a great day trip from London as you can catch a 50-minute train from Kings Cross St Pancras to see this beautiful city.

Visiting Cambridge on one of your day trips outside London is a great way to see some more of the beauty of England!

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Enjoy the nice places in England, man walking down old stone steps on a steep, narrow street lined with terraced houses with a view out towards snow-covered hills covered in rolling patchwork fields in the distance

7. Robin Hood Bay

When I au paired in the UK, my family took me here for the day and I loved it.

This is a little bay north-east of York on the coast and, in my opinion, one of the most picturesque places in England!

Its got a great fish and chip shop (we had to queue for 20 minutes!), it’s just off a very steep street, which I struggled to get up after my greasy meal.

Although the beach was very full, as most of the English beaches are on nice days, I was very impressed with the little village.

Places like Robin Hood Bay, with their character and charm, are what not to miss in England when you visit.

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Find your next favourite best place in England to visit, view across a large sandy beach next to clear turquoise seawater with buildings and green hills in the distance in front of the wide open horizon of the Atlantic ocean

8. St Ives

St Ives is a seaside town with loads of character and is easily one of the prettiest places in the UK – definitely the most beautiful place in England in my opinion.

This would have to be one of my top 3 places in England to visit for sure. Visitors can soak up the sun and enjoy the gorgeous town.

There are really good art galleries here; I bought a couple of little painted pictures from a guy selling them on the seaside.

It is recommended to take a train here and not drive because parking is a nightmare.

This is mainly because St Ives is one of the most popular places to visit in England, and one of the most scenic places to visit in UK overall!

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These are the top places in England to visit, view of a small rocky island sitting in a large body of water topped with a white painted lighthouse under a cloudy sky

9. Hayle

The town itself is not overly exciting but if you don’t believe England has good beaches, then maybe this will change your mind.

It might even be the best place to go in England for beach lovers – it certainly has some of the best views in England to go along with the sand and the sun!

The beaches were amazing and beautiful – that’s coming from a Kiwi. If you need a bit of a sun-soaked relaxing weekend while you visit England, then you need to head here!

🛌🏼 Click here to check out the best accommodation in Hayle

Could this be the best place to see in England? Rows of neatly moored sailing boats complete with tall masts and rigging next to shore lined thickly with green trees

10. Ilfracombe

This is an awesome sea-side town with a tiny beach. The town and the lake with the boats is very picturesque.

Enjoy on a sunny summers day with fish and chips and an ice cream!

You can also walk up the top of the hill and take in some amazing views as this is one of the most beautiful places to visit in UK!

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Find the top places to see in England this summer, view of people playing and relaxing on a sandy beach surrounded by green grass and trees with white foamy waves lapping at the shore under a blue sky with a bank of white fluffy clouds

11. Woolacombe

Another beautiful English seaside location with cute huts and no stony beach in sight! Woohoo! It is very full in the summer but a must see in England for some amazing snaps.

The bonus is that it is a huge beach so you can have a nice long walk and you will be sure to find a spot for yourself.

🛌🏼 Click here to check out the best accommodation in Woolacombe

Journey to the most beautiful parts of England, white painted house with tall pointed thatched rooftop next to bare winter trees with snow on the ground in the setting sun

12. Hertfordshire

Interested in where to go in England that’s less mainstream? Head to Hertfordshire for one of the most unique places to visit in England.

I was lucky enough to live in Hertfordshire for a couple of years and this is by far a secret gem within England.

Hertfordshire holds a lot of history and is only a quick train ride from London, making it a great place to base yourself. This is also one of the most beautiful parts of England.

There are plenty of places to visit in Hertfordshire and many that will completely blow you away! It is a great place to visit in England off the beaten path.

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Frequently Asked Questions

✅ What is the prettiest place in England?

Castle Combe is often considered the prettiest village in England, and the Costwolds, where it is located, is one of the most beautiful parts of England.

✅ What are the places to visit in England for the beach?

St Ives, Hayle and Woolacombe are my top places to go in England for a day at the beach! Robin Hood Bay also has a nice beach, and is a cute picturesque village.

✅ What are the places to visit in England for the history?

England has been around for awhile and is full of so much history. Other than London the best places in England to visit for history buffs are Bath, York and Hertfordshire.

What are your top places to see in England? Did I miss any beautiful places in England worth visiting? Let me know your favourite places to visit in England in the comments below!

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Pin with two images of England, 1st is of a white sandy beach surrounded by lush green grass with the sea gently lapping at the shore, 2nd is of grass-covered rocky cliffs sitting on the coast with small island and a few houses nearby all under a bright cloudy sky, caption reads: 11 Beautiful Spots in England You Can't Miss

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The Comments

  • darwinontherocks
    April 27, 2015

    I would also recommend all the national parks, like Peak District, the Lake District, Snowdonia, etc 🙂 I love york, it’s such a beautiful town. There are plenty of towns I didn’t know before reading your post, I will have to do some research 🙂 Thanks for sharing this ! Have a lovely week. Gin.

    • ahdykstra
      > darwinontherocks
      April 27, 2015

      Thank you for your recommendations! I wanted to go to the Lake district last time I was in England but didn’t get the chance. I will definitely go in a few months when I get back to England. Have a great week too! 🙂

      • darwinontherocks
        > ahdykstra
        April 27, 2015

        Difficult to see everything, there is so much to do over there !! 🙂

  • embenn
    July 28, 2016

    I love your amazing blog! would 100% recommend Salcombe in Devon too, I definitely think it’s one of the most beautiful places I have been in the world, let alone in England!

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > embenn
      August 3, 2016

      Thank you 🙂 Oh yes, Salcombe is beautiful as well!

  • Anne Slater-Brooks
    October 14, 2016

    I’d also recommend the beaches of Northumberland, the Peak District and Lake District

  • lana
    December 6, 2016

    I’ve been to 3 of those places! Will have to get to the other spots – can’t wait to keep exploring my newish home.

  • awomanafoot
    January 10, 2017

    Great list, Anita Hendrieka! I would like to travel all of the British Isles, as they are historically rich and naturally diverse and beautiful. Until now I’ve seen only some small parts of Scotland… So many great places still await me!
    Ioanna (A Woman Afoot)

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > awomanafoot
      January 12, 2017

      Ah yes of course! Happy travels 🙂

  • Georgy
    March 10, 2017

    Thank you! It’s a beautiful country!