Planning a trip to England? Great idea! England has a lot to offer, from its bustling cities to its remote coastlines in the South. With so many international influences, England does not have one widespread culture but is instead a melting pot of cultural identities. This can be seen in its cuisine, architecture, and heritage.
While most travelers bee-line straight to London, there is plenty of beauty to be found around the country.
England is one of the four countries that makes up the United Kingdom and is the largest country on the island of Great Britain. It is a country rich in history and is the birthplace of many notable historical figures, including William Shakespeare, Isaac Newton, The Beatles, Charles Darwin, and Stephen Hawking.
- Quick facts for your trip to England
- England Regions
- How to travel to England
- The best way to travel around England
- What to pack for England
- The best time to travel to England
- What to eat in England
- Famous events in England
- Bank holidays in England
- Cultural customs to be aware of in England
- Where to stay in England
- Don't forget travel insurance
- Safety in England
- The use of cash and cards in England
- Calling abroad, WiFi and data use in England
- Tipping in England
- A brief history of England
Quick facts for your trip to England
Size: 130,279 km2 or 50,301 sq mi
People living there: 55,619,400
Governmental structure: constitutional monarchy
Time zone: UTC (Greenwich Mean Time)
Currency: pound sterling
Power voltage and socket type(s): 230V, plug types G. If these plug types don't match your devices, make sure to pack a universal adapter.
Official religion(s)/Freedom of religion: Freedom of religion with 59% Christian and 25% with no religion, the rest classed themselves as Muslim, Jewish, and other religions
Official language(s) and general knowledge of English: English is the official language.
Drives on this side: left
International driver's licence accepted? yes
Phone code: +44
Vaccinations needed? none other than those needed in your own country for daily living
Can you drink the tap water? yes, so bring a reusable water bottle!
1. South East
The most populated of all the regions in England, the South East of England is home to a number of pulsing cities, including Southampton and Brighton. There are numerous historically significant landmarks in the South East. For those wanting to use Southampton as a gateway to other destinations, there are a variety of cruises from Southampton to choose from. The confusingly named Leeds Castle, which is in Kent and not in Leeds, is one prominent highlight.
The White Cliffs of Dover, which sit along the coastline at Dover, facing France, are another important feature of this region. This natural phenomenon became iconic as a symbol of hope during times of war. Those seeking action and nightlife need look no further than Brighton, England’s LGBTQ capital, where you can eat chips on the beach during the day and party all night.
By far the most densely populated region in the entire country, London is the smallest region and exclusively encompasses the national capital. If you are looking for a city with round the clock excitement, London is the place to be. Spend your days exploring its renowned museums, including, The Natural History Museum, Science Museum, and V&A Museum; or strolling through its beautiful parks – Hyde Park and Holland Park are popular choices.
London is also home to some fascinating historical and cultural landmarks. These include Buckingham Palace, Nelson’s Column, and St Paul’s Cathedral. In the evening, enjoy some of London’s finest cuisine and boutique shopping around Covent Garden before heading over to Shoreditch for drinks and parties.
3. North West
Manchester and nearby Liverpool are where the action is at in the North West. These pulsing cities in England offer entertainment in all shapes and sizes. One popular activity in either of these cities is to go and see a football game. You could be cheering on Manchester City or Manchester United in Manchester; or Liverpool or Everton in Liverpool.
If you want to escape the city vibe, the Lake District is in the northern section of this region and is one of England’s most beautiful patches of nature. The park is the largest of its kind in England and is renowned for its abundant lakes, forests, and mountains. If you’re a fan of hiking, there are dozens of trails you can follow through the Lake District.
4. East of England
The East of England, also known as East Anglia, sits to the North and East of London. It is home to the city of Cambridge, which boasts one of the world’s most prestigious universities. Whilst in Cambridge, be sure to spend an hour two on the punts, long flatboats that are pushed along using a long stick. You might also want to get a dose of culture at the magnificent Fitzwilliam Museum.
For your nature fix, head to the eastern part of the region and you’ll hit the seaside town of Great Yarmouth, where you can enjoy the beach and the laidback vibe. Around here, you will also find the Norfolk Broads, a national park carved up by numerous waterways and boasting some spectacular natural scenery.
5. West Midlands
In the West of England, bordering Wales is the West Midlands. The largest urban area in this region is the city of Birmingham, which is home to some of England’s best shopping outside of the capital. It is easy to while away an entire day perusing the shops in and around the iconic Bullring shopping center and the more high-end Mailbox.
For a quintessentially English experience, check out the beautiful Spetchley Park Gardens, with its collection of rare and exotic plants. Or, head over to Sarehole Mill, a wonderful old building that inspired J.R.R Tolkien's depiction of the Shire in the Lord of the Rings books. Over the adjoining pond, you might catch a glimpse of kingfishers and herons.
6. South West
The South West region is arguably the most scenic part of the country. Here, you will find a wealth of natural beauty, including the Exmoor National Park, Cheddar Gorge, and the curious Durdle Door. You will also find England’s most beautiful beaches in Cornwall, Devon, and Salcombe.
In addition to the South West’s natural features, there are also some fascinating historical places to visit in the region. Stonehenge is among the most famous landmarks in Europe, partly due to the fact that the stone structures still baffle scientists as to how they were constructed. Longleat House is another must-see, comprising a stately home and adjoining safari park.
7. Yorkshire and the Humber
Home to the cities of Leeds, York, and Sheffield, Yorkshire and the Humber is a big region with a lot to see. Each of these cities has its own distinct personality, but York is most certainly the most picturesque. This quaint city has a wall running around its edge that dates back to Roman times. Once you’ve explored the city itself, you can take a walk along the wall and enjoy some fabulous views.
If you fancy a big breath of fresh air, then swing by the Yorkshire Dales National Park, commonly referred to as ‘The Dales’. Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the hidden waterfalls and secret caves that make up the astounding landscape here.
8. East Midlands
The East Midlands is often left off England’s tourist trail, which is a shame as there is a lot to see and do around the region. In Leicester, the region’s biggest city, you will find the National Space Centre, a beautiful cathedral, and the gorgeous Abbey Park, which sits just a mile out of the city center.
Out of the city, the Heights of Abraham is another popular destination for visitors. This park sits atop a hill and is accessible by cable car. Once you’ve got your feet firmly on the ground, you can explore the park’s caverns, walking trails and fossil exhibitions.
9. North East
Finally, we head to the northernmost part of the country and take a look at the North East region, which shares a border with Scotland. If you are a fan of castles the North East will not disappoint. Choose between the spooky Whitby Abbey, or the stately Bamburgh Castle and Alnwick Castle, or