England has long been one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, attracting visitors from far and wide. But with so many of its counties being stunning in their own right, it may leave you questioning which one to visit? From counties with diverse landscapes to those bursting with cultural heritage, we’ve found the top 10 counties to visit this 2020.
Cornwall’s a place that makes loving the UK far too easy. Opal blue waters lap against 250 miles of glorious coast and sandy beaches stretch into rugged cliffs. Below the rocks, lie smugglers coves and hundreds of years of seabound secrets.
Whether you’re looking to lounge on golden sand, explore the wild rocks above or head inland for attractive attractions, fabulous food and Cornish culture, Cornwall is an astonishing place to visit.
“I have never before been gifted with such an abundance of natural beauty”. These are the words of Steven Spielberg when asked what he thought of Devon. And frankly, we couldn’t agree more. A tropical paradise nestled in the South West of England, Devon is a diverse land of sandy beaches, majestic moors, bustling town centres and historic homes.
It’s a place where fresh sea breeze whistles through craggy cliffs and turquoise waves lap against golden sands. And a place where award-winning chefs pluck crops from wild windswept moors and serve up some of the most exquisite food this country has ever seen. It’s the perfect place, we think you’ll agree, for an unforgettable cottage getaway.
Every year, over three and a half million people plan their holidays in Norfolk and it’s easy to see why. From the family-friendly fun of Great Yarmouth to the tranquil waterways of the Norfolk Broads, this county is full of so many possibilities.
But it’s at night that Norfolk is at its most magical, as this incredible East Anglia county is home to one of the clearest skies in the UK. Imagine dining outside, with a plate of Norfolk’s world-famous seafood in front of you, and the day’s last light disappearing all around. A salty sea breeze travelling west from the Atlantic Ocean surround you, while above you, you finally see an infinite number of stars dot the night sky.
There are many words you can use to describe Dorset – scenic, picturesque, utterly beautiful. However, we don’t think any of them quite capture the county’s magical charm. When thinking of Dorset’s rolling hills, craggy cliffs and secret coastline pools, one word in particular springs to mind and that’s ‘unspoilt’.
Dorset is how the English countryside is meant to look. Its days are filled with sunshine and it nights are made up of the clearest skies. Dorset is a family holiday destination in a picture-postcard that you can never visit just once.
Northumberland is firmly establishing itself as a holiday hotspot. With a rich and varied history, rugged and wild natural beauty and a coastline studded with beautiful sandy beaches, it’s easy to see why. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing seaside rest or a more active holiday of watersports, you’ll be sure to find an area to meet your needs.
The county is also a firm favourite for those looking to learn more about England’s past. It’s littered with many impressive remnants from a time before, including the imposing fortress at Bamburgh and the world-famous Lindisfarne Monastery. Many of these sites have informative visitor centres. Tour guides can also be arranged if you really want to buff up on your knowledge to impress friends on your return.
Home to rolling hills, misty moorland, and some of the freshest air in Britain, Somerset is best known for the city of Bath, and the only naturally warm springs in Britain. The healing waters that gush through the city rise from over three kilometres deep. Erupting from three points, they contain 43 different minerals and spill out at a gorgeous 46 degrees centigrade.
As if that weren’t enough, also scattered across the county are some of the best traditional market towns in Britain. Calling itself ‘quite possibly the quirkiest town in England’, Glastonbury is known worldwide as an electrifying kaleidoscope of colour, culture and incredible entertainment. While, to the east sits Frome, winner of the National Great Town Award in 2016 and one of The Sunday Times best places to live in the UK.
Home to some of Britain’s most incredible views, amazing architecture, and, of course, the curry capital of UK; we don’t have to try hard to make Yorkshire sound like the perfect place to visit in 2020.
With the Lake District looming right next door, you’d think Yorkshire would be overshadowed by its notoriously beautiful neighbour. But nothing could be further from the truth. Home to three national parks, 11 national nature reserves, and some astounding wildlife, the exquisite North East county is a strong contender for the most picturesque place in England.
Nowhere in the world is perfect but Cumbria comes pretty close. Nestled in the North East of England, where rolling hills and wildflowers meet the Irish Sea, Cumbria is home to some of the freshest air and clearest skies in Britain.
Ranked as the ‘second-best place to photograph in England’, (with Cornwall’s Jurassic Coast just clinching the top spot), Cumbria is a world of emerald fields, majestic mountainscapes and some of the best sunsets the world has to offer. But its landscape isn’t just a gift for sightseers, it’s a treat for foodies too. Thanks to its rich and fertile land, Cumbria is home to a world-renowned range of incredible local produce and award-winning restaurants.
When we close our eyes and imagine the ideal image of England, most of us picture Sussex. This stunning southeastern county, the birthplace of Vera Lynn, Ronnie Barker and the best ale in Britain, is the epitome of the English countryside.
It’s the place to find fallow deer, scampering across bright green hills. A place to peruse farmer’s markets and sample homemade jam. Sussex is fields of wildflowers, the clip of horse’s hoofs on cobblestones, and the gorgeous thick woodland that extraordinary wildlife call home.
Hampshire is a hybrid county. Spread over 1,500 square miles, it doesn’t choose between offering beautiful beaches, rolling countryside or rich and vibrant cities. It does them all very well.
For those craving the bustling energy that only a major city can provide, Hampshire is home to three top-notch choices, including Portsmouth for pictures, Southampton for shopping and Winchester for food. Blessed with a glorious coastline and miles of green countryside, national parks and nature reserves, few places do ‘rural’ better than Hampshire.