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20 of the most beautiful places to visit in England

Posted on August 19, 2021 by Jack Morris
an image of a river running through rural England

England is home to some truly beautiful settings, whether you’re partial to man-made structures or prefer more natural wonders.

We’ve compiled a list of our favourites to give you inspiration for your next staycation. Keep reading to find out what there is to explore on your next staycation.

an image of Minack Theatre in Cornwall

1. Minack Theatre, Porthcurno, Cornwall, England

Perched on the cliffs above the Atlantic Ocean in Porthcurno, near Cornwall, is Minack Theatre. Set against the deep blue backdrop of the sea, the theatre was carved into the cliffside by one extraordinary woman – Rowena Cade – after WWI.

In 2012, over 80,000 people watched a show in this unique venue and a further 100,000 spent time looking around.

an image of Pedn Vounder beach in Cornwall

2. Pedn Vounder Beach, Cornwall, England

The golden sand and crystal clear water of Pedn Vounder Beach is nestled among the Treryn Dinas cliffs in Porthcurno, Cornwall. Its secluded location means that, at high tide, it can be cut off, leaving only a steep walk up a cliff to get off the beach. Perhaps that’s why it has become a popular naturist spot!

Now one of the most revered beaches in the UK, it’s also home to the famous Logan Rock – a slab of granite estimated at around 70 tons, which can be swayed by just one person.

an image of Durdle Door in Dorset

3. Durdle Door, Dorset, England

Durdle Door is one of Dorset’s most iconic, and indeed most photographed, landmarks. A highlight of the aptly named Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site, it’s a limestone arch that towers 200 feet above sea level.

The shingle beach of Lulworth Cove and the grasslands of Lulworth Estate are popular ways to appreciate the surrounding natural beauty of Durdle Door.

an image of the village of Staithes in North Yorkshire

4. Staithes, North Yorkshire, England

A seaside village in North Yorkshire, Staithes is a hillside gem on the Dinosaur Coast that Captain James Cook once called home.

It’s known for rock pooling and fossil hunting along the quaint, sandy beach and is one of the most uniquely charming villages in the UK.

an image of Lake Windermere from one of the surrounding hills in Cumbria

5. Lake Windermere, Lake District, Cumbria, England

At over 10 miles long and 220 feet deep, Windermere is the largest natural lake in England. The lake was formed in a glacial trough more than 10,000 years ago and has since become one of the most famous places in the Lake District.

Popular with poets and authors, today it’s famed for the scenery, surrounding villages, and the activities – such as lake cruises – they offer.

an image of Stonehenge in Wiltshire

6. Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England

One of the most famous prehistoric landmarks in Europe, Stonehenge is a collection of huge standing stones in Wiltshire. They appear to be oriented around the summer solstice and are believed to have been used for a religious, traditional, or ritualistic purpose.

Nowadays, they draw more than 1.5 million visitors from around the world each year.

an image of Hadrian’s Wall at sunset

7. Hadrian’s Wall, England

Hadrian’s Wall is 73 miles of fortifications built by the Romans to guard the wild northwest territory. It consists of forts, towers, turrets, and towns that sprawl across a rugged landscape and serve as a reminder of the prowess of the engineering of the Roman Empire.

Today, there are more than 20 fascinating landmark sites that have helped it earn World Heritage Site status.

an image of the Seven Sisters cliffs in Sussex at sunset

8. Seven Sisters White Cliffs, Sussex, England

Surrounded by 280 hectares of meandering river and open grassland country park, Seven Sisters White Cliffs are one of England’s best, unspoilt coastlines. They are so unspoilt, in fact, that they are often used as a stand-in for the White Cliffs of Dover for film and TV because they are allowed to naturally erode – maintaining the iconic white colour.

am image of a bridge over the river in Castle Combe, the Cotswolds

9. Castle Combe, The Cotswolds, Wiltshire, England

Castle Combe is often referred to as the prettiest village in England. It wears its history on its sleeve with houses made from local Cotswold stone, and is the gem of the Cotswolds, an Area of Natural Beauty.

The village is named after the castle that stood there in the 1100s, although it was demolished centuries ago.

an image of a narrow street in Shambles, York

10. Shambles, York, Yorkshire, England

Unlike what the name might suggest, Shambles is one of the best-preserved medieval shopping streets in the country. While there are no original shopfronts, there are enough nods to its history that you still get a feel for what the bustling area was once like.

It’s lorded as one of the most picturesque streets in England and famed for the narrowness, which was how they kept the meat sold there out of the sunlight before refrigeration was invented. It’s the little details like this that pack Shambles with character.

an image of Pulteney Bridge in Bath

11. Bath, Somerset, England

Bath is designated as a World Heritage Site, and it’s clear why. The largest city in Somerset is home to perhaps the most famous assortment of Georgian architecture – made from the local Bath stone – in the world.

Today, Bath is as popular and fashionable a destination to visit as it was all the way back to Jane Austen’s visits and beyond.

an image of the Whitby Abbey Ruins in Yorkshire

12. Whitby Abbey Ruins, Yorkshire, Yorkshire, England

Inspiring visitors for more than 1500 years, Whitby Abbey Ruins are a soaring remnant of the gothic period. Not only that, but the local port town of Whitby is a marvel in itself.

Whether it’s for the history of Captain Cook and Bram Stoker’s Dracula, or the pretty streets and shops, this is one to add to the staycation list.

an image of the Royal Pavilion in Brighton

13. Royal Pavilion, Brighton, West Sussex, England

The Grade I listed Royal Pavilion in Brighton was once a royal residence, built as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales in the late 18th century. The style of the fascinating architecture takes cues from the styles of India and China at the time.

Today, it’s a museum where you can appreciate the groomed gardens, unique architecture, and royal history.

an image of Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland

14. Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland, England

Bamburgh Castle towers over the North Sea, standing 150 feet above the water, atop one of England’s most loved coastlines. The royal fortress was a Norman stronghold and, more than 1400 years later, is one of the largest inhabited castles in the country.

Take in the castle itself, or enjoy the nine-acre site in all its stunning, natural beauty – including Bamburgh Beach which is perched just below the imposing figure of the castle.

an image of St Michael’s Mount Island in Cornwall

15. St Michael’s Mount Island, Cornwall, England.

St Michael’s Mount is a tidal island in Cornwall, linked to the Mariazon village by only a man-made causeway, which disappears when the water rises.

The island has been home to the St Aubyn family since the 17th century and plays host to a unique, ancient castle on top of the mount, which gives it a fantastical presence.

an image of the Radcliffe Camera at Oxford University

16. The Radcliffe Camera, Oxford, England

The Radcliffe Camera, a neoclassical building from the 18th century with an instantly recognisable dome, is a building at Oxford University and houses the Radcliffe Science Library.

It’s one of the most famous focal points in the Oxford skyline, and one of the most recorded buildings in pictures and paintings of the university.

an image of Haweswater in the Lake District

17. Haweswater, The Lake District, Cumbria, England

In spite, or perhaps because of, its chequered past, Haweswater is one of the most popular points of interest in The Lake District. It’s a reservoir in the valley of Mardale that was created by a dam that started construction in 1929.

It was controversial because, when construction started, settlements in the valley had to be flooded and the people moved in order for the reservoir to be created. If you go today, you can still see the remains of Mardale when the water level is low.

an image of the houses on Gold Hill in Dorset

18. Houses on Gold Hill, Shaftesbury, Dorset, England

Looking down Gold Hill is considered one of the most romantic sights in England. This ancient, cobbled street is lined with infatuating houses and the buttressed walls of the precinct that surrounded Shaftesbury Abbey, built by King Alfred the Great in the 1st century.

an image of St Dunstan’s in the East in London

19. St Dunstan’s in the East, London, England

St Dunstan’s is, arguably, one of the most unique places on this list. It’s a ruined church that was first damaged during the Great Fire of London and then rebuilt with the help of Christopher Wren, and later bombed during the Blitz of WWII.

Today, the church ruins are a public garden that has been left to allow nature to take over. It’s a spot of true magic and serenity, tucked away in the heart of London.

an image of an aerial view of St Ives in Cornwall

20. St Ives, Cornwall, England

St Ives is home to some of the best surf beaches and one of the most interesting art scenes in England. The town, with its fishing harbour and seaside location, is frequently voted as the best family holiday destination in the UK.

Whether you want to visit the Tate St Ives and its revolving exhibits of modern art, mainly by British artists, or you’re more intrigued by the cobbled streets, independent shops, and fisherman’s cottages then this is the place for you.

Travel insurance for your staycation

If we’ve inspired you to take a staycation to visit some of these beautiful places in England, don’t forget your UK travel insurance policy.

As long as you’ve booked a place to stay for two nights in a row, we should be able to provide you cover to make sure you can focus on taking in all the beauty England has to offer.

Jack Morris

by Jack Morris

Jack Morris is Staysure’s Junior Content Executive. He shares the latest travel news to keep you informed for your next holiday. Jack’s an avid fan of football, design, and continental Europe.