This post was most recently updated on June 27th, 2018
There’s a lot to see in England, and it would be a big ask to name just a few places on an ultimate bucket list.
Here, however, are six for starters. Some make easy day trips from London, so don’t miss out on your chance to see them. Whether it’s your first or fifteenth time to visit England, the wonders of its natural landscapes will continue to impress. When you come, bring your sense of wonder and adventure. And, of course, your camera.
1. Walk Around Stonehenge
A great archaeological mystery, located in Salisbury Plain.
For over 5,000 years, travelers have been drawn to this mystical place. Leaving almost no clues to a forgotten past, the monolithic stones entice and continue to be on many a traveler’s bucket list.
The sandstone was probably dragged and erected there around 1500. Nowadays, there’s a path encircling the Stonehenge, and from your vantage point on this path, you’ll still get a pretty good view.
No one really knows how or why the 40-ton stones got here. Were they for religious worship? Secret ceremonies? A giant astronomical clock? The mystery behind the Stonehenge remains. You’ll be smart to reserve your ticket in advance online.
Getting there: Take the train from Waterloo Station in London to Salisbury. After an hour and 45 minutes, it’s an easy bus ride. During the busy season, the buses come every hour.
2. Feel the Wind at the White Cliffs of Dover
Majestic chalk cliffs line the coastline, overlooking the English channel and facing France.
This is definitely one of England’s most famous landmarks. In olden times, they acted as a natural guard or fortress shielding the old town from invading enemy attacks.
From the famous Dover castle, you can walk over to the cliffs in just about 20 minutes. Either scale the cliffs themselves to enjoy the sea view, or take in their awe-inspiring sight from the water’s vantage point while on an approaching ferry.
To get around inland, it’s easy to book shuttles or transfers coming to and from London. Whether in sleet, rain, winter or summer, the changing view from the White Cliffs is always magnificent.
Getting there: Luckily, Dover is accessible by land, sea and air. With a ferry port, airport, and easy connecting highways, the site is just 70 miles outside of London.
3. Discover the Roman Baths
By Diego Delso, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35323216
For another exciting day trip from London, go to this small yet gorgeous city. Bath is famous for the Roman baths that showcase its fascinating heritage and history.
Because of the many hot springs around, the Romans had the baths constructed around 70 AD. Today, they are some of the world’s most preserved sites from the Roman era.
Though now just ruins, there’s a lot to learn and see. An interactive museum is included, and the audio guide to the baths is now available in 12 languages. The site is even accessible for disabled visitors. See the temple courtyard, dedicated to the goddess Minerva.
Jane Austen once lived in Bath, and because of its rich history, it’s now full of many galleries and museums – plus shopping, of course. Or, you can check in to a spa and enjoy the refreshing mineral waters. Afterwards, pop into one of the many pubs to start your fun night crawl.
Getting there: By train, it will take just 90 minutes from the Paddington station in London. Other easy options are by air, coach, sea or car.
4. Palm Trees and White Sand Beaches in Scilly
For a shimmering coastline, head to the Isles of Scilly, just off the coast of Cornwall.
On a sunny day, you’ll agree that it feels quite different from anywhere else in England, featuring pristine beaches, white sands and clear blue waters.
One of the largest islands, Tresco, seems to be a place where time stands still – no automobiles, no development. It’s just two and a half miles long, so you can enjoy a leisurely bike ride before lounging on the beach with a beautiful sunset.
In the ocean, whales have been spotted, and even the occasional submarine.
Getting there: Book online to find times and prices. Getting to the isles, you’ll have to go by flight or ferry. But this once-in-a-lifetime spot is worth the trip!
5. Enjoy the Commons
Photo by tercerojista
The historical and protected lands called the Commons can be found all over England.
Making up over a million acres, they are designated to protect the resident wildlife, preserve archaeology and feature an undeveloped landscape.
Anyone can walk around and take in the commons’ breathtaking beauty. Be mindful of some restrictions for conservation when visiting.
6. The Lake District National Park
For spectacular views of the typical English countryside, visit the Lake District. Besides its famous bodies of water, you can explore forests, valleys, hiking hills and pleasant bike paths.
It is known as a destination for artists and writers, most notably William Wordsworth, whose poetry was obviously inspired by the undulating and grandiose landscape.
(NB We did a post on this beautiful region here>>> Lake District)
Getting there: All the way on England’s northwest corner, you can reach the lake district with train (West Coast Mainline) and bus connections. If driving from London, expect the journey to take about 5 hours.