England is a country with such a diverse offering; from dramatic landscape of the Lake District to the sandy beaches of the South West. Each area is unique and boasts its own charms and quirks. Whether you are looking for foodie delights or fresh sea air, there will be somewhere for you in England.
To help you plan your trip, we have chosen our favourite towns and villages to stay in all four corners of England. With so much on offer in the United Kingdom’s biggest country, there is sure to be one to guarantee your perfect break.
Fancy an exquisite English getaway? See the best holiday cottages in England. If you’ve left everything a little late, but are still dreaming of holidaying in Old Blighty, worry not! Just take a look at the best last-minute cottages in England.
Best for: Historic sightseeing
The City of Bath is rightfully recognised as a world heritage site. Famous for its Roman baths, Gerogian architecture and fantastic food and drink, it is one of the most vibrant cities in England.
Guided walking tours are available to take you along the sweeping terraced houses on Royal Crescent and on to the famous Abbey or Jane Austen centre.. With so much to see in such a compact space, just make sure you don’t miss any of the fantastic local shops on the high street!
If you want to enjoy some downtime after exploring Bath’s many historical sights, why not book in for a visit at Thermae Bath Spa. Britain’s only natural thermal spa offers unique traditional treatments alongside state-of-the art facilities.
Best place to eat: Cafe Luca is a smart modern restaurant that serves delicious fresh produce in a welcoming and relaxed environment. Inspired by the food of the Meditterenaen and nestled in the historical antique corner, it is a great spot to pop in between for a relaxing bite during a busy day sightseeing.
Best place to drink: If you enjoy a Gin and Tonic from time to time, the Canary Gin Bar is a must visit. The snug and cosy bar serves over 230 gins in a wide range of exciting and inventive cocktails. Upstairs, you can enjoy a classic martini made to perfection by the talented mixologists.
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Best for: Relaxation and Couples
Harrogate is a spa town in Yorkshire in the North of England that offers some of the county’s most relaxing attractions. With fantastic rail and road links, why not plan a visit to find out why the town is frequently voted ‘the happiest place to live in the UK’!
With a rich tradition of spa treatments going back over 200 years, the town is the perfect spot for those looking to unwind and relax. The Turkish baths are one of a handful left in the UK and maintain many of the original Victorian features. If looking for a romantic get-away, the baths offer an indulgent couples retreat package!
The town is also a perfect base for exploring some of Yorkshire’s most stunning countryside. The Yorkshire Dales National Park and Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are both nearby and boast some of the best walks in England.
Best place to eat: Saranda offers a large Mediterrenaen menu that is sure to cater for any taste. The service is welcoming and for the quality of the food on offer, the menu reasonably priced. A real hidden gem!
Best place to drink: In the centre of town, the Blues Cafe Bar has a fantastic range of live entertainment every night of the week. With a serious selection of cocktails on offer, the atmosphere is nevertheless relaxed and lively.
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Best for: Seaside and Relaxation
Whitstable is a popular resort on the north coast of Kent in the South East of England. If you want to experience a classic seaside holiday during your visit to England, then look no further. With fantastic rail and road links, it is also easily accessible from London and major airports.
Whitsable harbour and Tankerton beach both offer spectacular views out across the channel and there is some fantastic wildlife to enjoy. To find out more about the right maritime history of the area, why not pop into Whitstable Museum and Gallery to explore some unique local artefacts.
Being a seaside town, there are some fantastic food and drink options here. You can pop in for some fresh seafood at Wheelers Oyster Bar, pick up some local ice cream to enjoy along the beach or enjoy some traditional fish and chips at one of the many beachside restaurants!
Best places to eat: Despite its name, Ossie’s Best Fish and Chips, offers a wide menu of classic English food at affordable prices. There is a large dining area and if you prefer to take-away, the restaurant is just metres from the seafront. Just be sure to keep an eye out for greedy seagulls!
Best places to drink: Conveniently located on the High St, the Black Dog is a small and quirky pub that is popular with both locals and visitors. A wide selection of spirits and wines are on offer here, however, the focus of this micropub is on celebrating fantastic local ales and ciders. The friendly bar staff are always on hand to recommend one to your taste!
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Best for: Wandering the wilderness
Nestled in the middle of the rolling hills of the Cotswolds in the South West of England, Cheltenham is a great place to stay. The town hosts events all year round, is the perfect base for enjoying some of the best walks in the country and has a wide range of shops, restaurants and cafes to enjoy.
As well as the famous Cheltenham Festival and Gold Cup, the town is also home to independent restaurants, top attractions and family events all year round. For lovers of culture, the Wilson Arts and Crafts Centre is a must visit for any art lovers and the Holst museum celebrates one of England’s most famous composers.
The River Coln starts a short distance from here. From there you can enjoy some of the best walks in the region. If looking for a more active day out, you can rent a bike from the Bike Hub or go for a dip at Sandford Parks Lido.
Best place to eat: Cheltenham has a wide range of restaurants to choose from. If looking to try something different, think about booking a table at the Coconut Tree. This place couldn’t be further from the average Cotswold pub, instead it offers vibrant and exciting Sri Lankan street food. A real treat for fans of Asian spices and hospitality!
Best place to drink: Wine lovers should be sure to pay a visit to the Montpellier Wine Bar. The knowledgeable and friendly staff will be able to recommend a wine to your taste and with a large selection from around the world, you can enjoy an old favourite or try something new.
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Best for: Countryside calm
Ambleside is a gorgeous small town in the Lake District National Park in the North West of England. It may be smaller than some of the other towns in the region but it offers a unique array of sights and is a good base for those without cars looking to explore the lake and mountains.
The 70-foot waterfall at the top of Stock Ghyll beck is one of the highest in England and the 17th Century Bridge House is a must visit for those with a love of traditional English architecture. Both also make the perfect spot for a holiday snap!
In the village itself, the Armitt Library and Museum is dedicated to showcasing the cultural heritage of the region and Rydal Mount was the final home of one of the Lake District’s most famous sons, William Wordsworth.
Best places to eat: Gandhi’s cafe offers a stunning selection of vegan and vegetarian food from around the world. After a long day of exploring your very English surroundings, their menu will transport you to India, Thailand and Korea – all before bed!
Best places to drink: Tucked away from the main road, the Golden Rule is a quintessential Lake District pub. Always buzzing with locals and visitors, it is the perfect spot to recount your day’s adventures over a drink.
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Best for: Unique sights
In the heart of the East Midlands, the spa town of Buxton is surrounded by the Peak District National Park. You can enjoy the best of both worlds here; a vibrant town with easy access to the quiet beauty of some outstanding landscapes.
There are some unique visitor attractions in Buxton, the highest market town in England. The Devonshire Dome and Buxton Opera House and Theatre are some of the most distinct buildings in the region and the Cavendish Arcade houses a fantastic selection of shops in its grand and awe-inspiring arches.
If looking to enjoy the great outdoors, Buxton is surrounded on three sides by the Peak District. You can enjoy some of the best views in England within a short walk and look out over the spectacular surrounding moorlands, valleys and dales.
Best place to eat: Before enjoying an evening at the theatre, pop into the St Moritz for an authentic taste of Italy. The restaurant offers a fantastic pre-theatre menu and the friendly staff and welcoming Alpine decor make this spot a must visit.
Best place to drink: The tap house at the Buxton Brewery offers the opportunity to sample some of the finest local craft beer and ale , right where its made. If one really takes your fancy, you can even take some away in Growler container to enjoy at home.
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Best for: Architecture and History
Known as the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’ due to its stunning architecture, Oxford is one of the most popular holiday destinations in England. The historic town is also full of unique cultural attractions and fantastic shopping and nightlife all on offer in the city centre.
In addition to exploring the famous University colleges, there are a host of popular visitor attractions to enjoy. If you want a behind the scenes view of the making of the ever popular Harry Potter films, make sure you book a visit to Warner Bros. Studio Tour, located between Oxford and London.
If you are looking to enjoy some countryside, Oxford is also a great base for exploring the beautiful Cotswolds surrounding the town. There is a fine selection of local walks suitable for all abilities that will take you out of the bustle of the city in no time.
Best place to eat: Turl Street Kitchen serves fresh local food at affordable prices. Centrally located in a Georgian Townhouse next to the Bodleian Library, you can also pop in to enjoy their fantastic brunch menu throughout the week before a day’s sightseeing.
Best place to drink: The Bear Inn is the oldest pub in Oxford and can trace its history back to the 13th century. This cosy spot offers the usual selection of wines, beers and spirits in a welcoming environment. You can also continue to learn more about the city by exploring the collection of historic university and sports club ties that decorate the walls here!
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