England is a pleasant land filled with exhilarating, eccentric, and intriguing characteristics. Although small, England is blessed with a wide array of wonderful landscapes. It has ten national parks and over thirty Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Imagine all the green fields, plains, moorlands, and ancient woodlands that you can explore!
Apart from England’s natural beauty, it is also a place filled with history. The story of this country stretches back to over five thousand years. The past can be constantly seen and experienced in England. Just look at the many ruins of castles that are perched on hilltops and the mysteries of the stone circles in old fields. Each town, village, and city has its very own unique stories to tell.
In the cities, there are plenty of things to do. You can visit the royal residences, theaters, museums, art galleries, and urban parks in London. If you’re into music, then Manchester is the place to be with its lively music scene. Shopping, of course, is among the most enjoyable things that you can do while you’re in England. So, be sure to visit Brighton. Now that you have a snapshot of what England can offer, let’s take a look at what activities you can do while there.
- Things to Do in England
- Costs and Suggested Budget
- Where to Go in England
- How to Get Around in England
- When to Go to England
- Staying Safe in England
- Top Resources for Traveling to England
- Best Tours in England
Other Destinations to Try
Things to Do in England
You may already have a few ideas about what you’ll see once you set foot on England. Yes, you’ll see double-decker buses, village pubs, country houses, and you’ll experience the rainy weather for sure. But other than the things you already know or think you know about England, there are still so many unique and interesting characteristics of this country that will surprise you. Let’s start by knowing some of the sightseeing spots in England.
England may be small but it is packed with so many sightseeing spots. If you’re one who loves history, then England will fascinate you. Here is a list of some of the best places to see in England.
- Hadrian’s Wall - Stretching for 73 miles or 117 kilometers, the Romans, under the leadership of Emperor Hadrian, built this wall so that they could protect their colony against Scotland’s tribes. Hadrian’s Wall was constructed in 122 AD and was completed in 6 years.
- Warwick Castle - In 1068, William the Conqueror built this castle which was originally a structure made of wood. By the 12th century, it was rebuilt in stone. In the Hundred Years War, the castle’s facade was refortified. It is a great example of military architecture.
- Tower of London - This structure is known as a prison from 1100 up to the mid-20th century. It has a reputation for being the most haunted place in England. If you want to know if this is true, be sure to visit the Tower of London. You just might see the ghost of Anne Boleyn.
- Stonehenge - You can’t visit England and not stop by Stonehenge. It’s not only important to England but to the whole world. Stonehenge is a prehistoric site of a culture that didn’t leave any written records. That’s why there are many aspects of this structure that experts are still debating on.
- Big Ben - While you’re in London, you should definitely have your picture taken with Big Ben in the background. It’s been standing for 150 years and many don’t know that the name refers to the bell inside the tower and not the tower itself. Sir Benjamin Hall ordered the bell, that’s how it got its name.
If this is your first time to travel to England, you may feel nervous and excited. You may think that their culture is entirely different from your own. But don’t worry about that. Chances are that you have more in common with them than you think. Here are some things that you should know about the good people of England.
Generally, the English rules of etiquette are similar to that of the Americans. However, there are some subtle differences. For example, the English may find the bluntness of Americans to be startling but they nonetheless find Americans to be charmingly friendly.
English people are extremely polite. You’ll notice that they’ll say “thank you” at each phase of financial transactions. However, you may not hear them say “God bless you” when a stranger sneezes. The English people are known for the stiff upper lip but it has gotten more relaxed these days.
To be on the safe side during social occasions, it would be best to be observant so you can get a feel of what’s the general behavior of the people. Just be polite and courteous. It will go a long way. Don’t be afraid that you’ll offend people. As long as you go with the flow and don’t attract attention to yourself, you’ll be fine.
Of course, England’s nightlife is also famous. So, when you travel to England, be sure to spend some nights out with good friends. Or if you’re traveling alone, this will be a fantastic time to meet new people and have some good fun! Here are the top party cities in England.
- Cardiff - This place is not only picturesque but it also has an amazing nightlife. You can take your pick from a wide range of pubs and clubs. Whenever you get hungry, don’t worry. There are also plenty of restaurants around.
- Swansea - If you like bar-crawling, then this is the place to be. Swansea is known for the “Mumbles Mile.” In the Swansea coast, there are bars that stretch up to a mile. You’ll never get tired of this place.
- Bristol - For those who want to know where the lively LGBT scene is in England, it’s best to visit Bristol. You can try out the comedy bars, sing your heart out in karaoke, or even go clubbing on a boat.
- Other cities you can visit are Leeds, Brighton, Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, Glasgow, and Newcastle. All these places have such vibrant night scenes that you’ll love and enjoy.
Cost and Suggested Budget
England can be quite expensive so be sure to prepare your budget so that you can make the most of your England trip. The usual backpacking budget is about 65 USD per day. For medium-budget travelers, you’re going to need around 160 USD per day. And for those on a high budget, you may need at least 400 USD per day.
If you’ll stay in a hostel, the cost could be around 13 to 52 USD. It’s usually a dorm-type room. When staying in cities, the cost is typically higher as compared to staying in the countryside. Included amenities are laundry facilities, TV, a common room, breakfast, and internet.
For hostel private rooms, the rates start at 64 USD. Budget hotels may start at 77 USD for a twin room. You may also choose apartment rentals. A room starts at 46 USD to about 65 USD. If you want to rent an entire home, then the cost could be at least 99 USD per night.
If you want to save money while traveling to England, you can do that by getting to know where the best affordable foods are. You can do your research before you travel. You can also look and observe where the long lines are. That’s usually an indicator of a good place to eat where you don’t need to spend too much. For kebabs and fish and chips, you only need two pounds.
There are also many Asian and Indian restaurants where you can get lunch entree for 8 USD to 13 USD. Know that eating at fancy restaurants will cost you a lot so if you want to save money so you can spend it on other things while traveling, it would be better to avoid eating out often.
What you can do instead is to buy a week’s worth of food. Chicken, pasta, veggies, and fruits for a week will only be at around 57 USD. Compare that to eating at a restaurant with a meal at 32 USD. Affordable groceries can be bought at Aldi, Lidl, and Sainsbury’s.
Where to Go in England
While you’re in England, make it a point to visit as many places as you can. If you don’t know where to start, this list will give you an idea of what each place has in store for you. You’ll experience the best of England in your travels; from the stunning beaches to the charming countryside. There’s so much to see and do so be sure you’re ready for a great adventure!
If you want to taste great food and experience fun and exciting activities, Bristol is definitely a city that you should visit. Regardless of what time of the year you visit Bristol, there is something that you can do. If you love history, you can visit the SS Great Britain. If you love art and pop culture, you can see the original works of the famously anonymous artist, Banksy.
If you arrive in Bristol during summertime, you can join festivals like the Harbour Fest which lasts for the whole weekend. There will be lots of free entertainment that you’ll enjoy. The International Balloon Fiesta also happens in the summer. Or you can go food hopping at St. Nick’s which is a place filled with mouthwatering food stalls. Visit The Stable and The Olive Shed while you’re in Bristol as well.
This place is simply beautiful. You’ll see winding roads, flowing streams, and stone cottages in fascinating villages. It’s as though you stepped into a postcard and the experience is just magical. The Cotswolds is just a two-hour drive from London. You can spend a weekend there and even stop by Bath so you can make the most of your trip.
Summertime is going to be busy because there will be plenty of tourists. But if you don’t mind the crowd, then visit The Cotswolds. Go to the Stow-on-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-Water, Bibury, and Castle Combe. After a day of sightseeing, fill your hungry stomach and quench your thirst at The Old Fleece. Try their Sunday roast!
Newcastle upon Tyne
Don’t miss out on the liveliest and friendliest place in England. To start your day in Newcastle, have breakfast at Quay Ingredient and taste their famous eggs benedict. Get there as early as you can because the queue could get quite long, especially on weekends.
After breakfast, walk along Newcastle’s riverside and then cross the Millennium Bridge. This will get you to the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art. It’s absolutely free so you get to enjoy the works of many contemporary artists. Plus, the view from level 4 will amaze you so be sure to visit!
Another place to go to while in Newcastle is the Victoria Tunnel. It was a wagon-way in the 19th century. And then during World War II, it was used as a shelter. A tip here is to take along a light jacket because it’s chilly and damp there. And also, you can book tours and do so in advance. It will ensure that you get the most out of your trip to Newcastle.
Once you visit Bath, it will be one of your favorite cities. It's one of the most beautiful cities that you can experience while you're in England. There are plenty of activities that you can try while you're in Bath. Try the Thermae Bath Spa. It's a local spa that uses natural thermal spring water. That's why this city is so popular among travelers.
Don't miss out on visiting the Roman Baths. There's so much to learn about history in this place. And for those who love literature, Jane Austen also has a connection with this city. Visit the Jane Austen Centre and the Bath Assembly Rooms. These ballrooms were where the scenes from Northanger Abbey and Persuasion took place. For people who admire architecture, you'll simply love the Georgian architecture in Bath.
South Dorset is a place where you can enjoy gorgeous landscapes and feast in amazing seafood. It's a place where you can enjoy outdoor adventures. Visit the Jurassic Coast. It starts from East Devon and goes as far as the Old Harry Rocks. Those cliffs were formed during the Triassic Period which was over 200 million years ago. Isn't that fascinating?
There's a castle situated on top of a hill called the Corfe Castle. You'll love the sight of it. It was even the inspiration for Kirrin Castle of Enid Blyton. There's also something intriguing about South Dorset. Try visiting the Tyneham village which is a ghost village. It's been abandoned since World War II. You're free to explore the houses there which seemed as though it's been frozen in time.
How to Get Around in England
When you’re traveling, sometimes getting around the place isn’t so fun. However, it’s going to be different when you’re in England. The country has a vast transportation resource that makes traveling easy. You can get around London in the famous double-decker buses. In the countryside, you can travel by train, rental car, or motor-coach. There’s nothing to worry about when it comes to transportation in England.
Nevertheless, as a traveler, you need to plot your journeys in advance so that you can consider the costs as well as the practicalities of your travel decisions. If you’re planning to drive around in England, do remember that you’re going to drive on the left and the steering wheel is found on the right. It may confuse you at the start but you’ll get the hang of it and you’ll be fine.
Flying Around England
You’ll probably arrive in the country by plane. The major international airports are situated in London. Some of the international carriers include Finnair, Air France, Lufthansa, KLM, Virgin Atlantic, and British Airways. These carriers offer both connecting and non-stop services.
Regionally, Birmingham and Manchester have busy airports as well. They are the destinations for a lot of domestic flights. Some of the budget airlines are Flybe, Ryanair, and EasyJet. You can take advantage of the affordable fares and explore England by air.
Car Rental in England
One of the disadvantages of traveling by air around England is that you’ll miss the amazing views of the countryside. You can save money by pre-booking your car before your trip. Take into account how much you’re going to need for gas. Know that in England, it is known as petrol. You should also know that gas is priced per liter and not per gallon. Another thing to take into account are the parking fees, especially in the major cities.
But if you have and time and love to drive, you can rent a car in England so that you can have a wonderful experience from the major cities up to the more rural villages. If you have the budget for a car rental, it will definitely be worth it.
England has a vast train network. Check the prices, rail passes, and itineraries so that you can purchase tickets ahead of time. You may also buy them at train stations anywhere in the country. Most of the train lines accept reservations 12 weeks before the departure date of the train.
There are several train companies that you can choose from. For instance, the Great Western Railway can take you to Cardiff, Bristol, Cornwall and Devon, and the Cotswolds if you’re coming from London. You may also choose East Midlands Trains if you’re going to Sheffield, Nottingham, and Leicester. Virgin Trains links London to Manchester, Birmingham, and Liverpool.
If you want a less expensive option, you can take coaches and buses. Hopefully, you have ample time while you’re in England so you can go around the country by bus. You should know that you need to book the tickets on the bus since the spaces are limited. You can do this online and keep your booking reference so you can present it when you board the coach.
While you’re in London, if you don’t mind taking the longer ride compared to the Tube, it would be nice to experience riding the double-decker bus. You can take this opportunity to get around the city and do some sightseeing while you’re on the top deck.
When to Go to England
You can visit England at any time of the year. The climate in the country is relatively temperate. If you visit during winter or summer, you don’t have to worry about experiencing any extremes. The best time to visit England is during spring which is from March to June.
You may also visit during autumn which is from September to November. During these times, it’s generally warm and dry. The spring flowers are in full bloom and you get to see the changing hue of the leaves in autumn. Summer is usually a busy season because of the many activities and travelers flocking into the country.
If you want to experience England in winter, you can go there from the months of December to February. It would be a fun time to visit. However, do check the attractions in the northern areas because they might be closed because of the snow. But if you’re going to stay in the main cities, they’re going to be open and the sightseeing experience will be much quieter for you.
No matter what time of the year you choose to visit England, you'll enjoy your holiday there. Summer may be a busy time because of the many travelers coming to the country. But if you don't mind the crowd, then it would be a nice time to go sightseeing and enjoying outdoor activities.
Staying Safe in England
England is generally safe but just as with any other place in the world, it would be best if you take sensible precautions. Take note that you can call 112 or 999 for emergencies when you need to contact the fire department, ambulance, or the police. Of course, don’t leave your belongings unattended. If you see any unattended bags in public areas, do call the police.
When you’re traveling in England, plan where you’re going first. At night, avoid walking alone. And if you must walk, stay on the main roads that are well-lit. Try not to wear your headphones when you’re in public places. It will make you less aware of what’s happening in your surroundings.
Since cars are being driven on the left side, always pay attention before crossing the road. There are signs that say “look right” and “look left” so you can check for oncoming traffic. And to make sure that you safely crossroads, use the designated crossings.
When you’re in restaurants or bars, remember not to accept drinks from people you don’t know. Most of the things you need to do to stay safe in England only need common sense and the usual precautions you need to take when you’re a stranger to the place. But if you feel that you’re in danger, don’t hesitate to call the authorities.
Top Resources for Traveling to England
To help you with your research on how to travel to England, here are some of the best websites where you can find more information about the country. You can also get travel deals as well as holiday discounts from these websites.
- Cheapflights.co.uk - As the name suggests, you can search for cheap flights on this website. Not only that, but you can also check car rentals and hotels here. To make the most of your search, know where you want to go and when. You can then sort the results by the smartest, cheapest, or quickest ways.
- Blue Lilo - Getting a package holiday is another way that you can save money on your trip to England. With Blue Lilo, you can compare the holiday deals offered by the many holiday providers like TUI, Forst Choice, and Jet2holidays.
- Srprs.me - This is a fun choice if you want to be surprised at where you’re heading while you’re in England. You can choose between a backpacking adventure or a city break. Determine the length of your trip, your maximum budget, and the number of travelers. The rest will be organized by the personal planner assigned to you. You’ll know where you’ll be going once you arrive at the airport. It will be fun!
Best Tours in England
One of the best ways to learn about a place is by joining a tour. In England, there are many tours that you can choose from. Whether you’re in London, Edinburgh, Oxford, or York, you can find a tour that will take you to the many interesting places where you will get to know the place and the people more. Here are some of the best tours in England.
- Edinburgh Tour - Be prepared because this tour is going to last for nine exciting hours. The first stop is going to be the Holy Island. You’ll get to see the monastery as well as taste the Monk’s mead. After that, you’ll head off to the Northumberland coastal route where you’ll see the Bamburgh castle. You will then experience old England in Alnwick which is a market town.
- York Cycling Tour - If you love cycling, try this York Cycling Tour. It will last for about 2.5 hours and you’ll be cycling around the walled city of Northern England. You will be supplied with your bicycle, helmet, and bell. Don’t worry about safety because the city has excellent cycle paths. Whether you’re a beginner or a cycling enthusiast, this tour will be fun.
- Liverpool Walking Tour - This tour is going to be special for Beatles fans. The tour will last for 90 minutes. You will get to visit the Liverpool City Museum and see the John and Yoko exhibition. Part of the tour also includes visiting the historic Cavern Club. Apart from the Beatles part, you can also marvel at the many magnificent cathedrals of the city and Liverpool’s Chinatown.
England is a wonderful place that is filled with history and amazing people. The sights that you’ll get to see while you’re in England will remain with you for a very long time. You’d surely want to return to this country once you’ve experienced it.
Now that you know the important things to prepare for your trip to England, what are you waiting for? Book a flight and plan your adventure! It will be a worthwhile experience. Bring your family or friends along. There'll be plenty of things to do for everyone during the trip. Or you can also travel solo. It's also an exciting way to get to know new people.
And while you're looking for the best places to travel to, here are some of the other destinations that you can consider for your trips: