Samuel Johnson said “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” But I don’t strictly believe that’s true. So many people visit England but only prioritise seeing London. And the country has so much more to offer. So here’s my list of the 10 places in England that you must visit (excluding London). Everybody knows about London. Let’s give some other places the chance to shine!
1. Newcastle – I recently wrote about the plethora of things there are to do in Newcastle, but just to recap: friendly people, great nights out and some beautiful scenery.
2. Bath – I love strolling around Bath and pretending that I am in a Jane Austen novel. And even though Austen herself didn’t like Bath, I’ll forgive her that. Its architecture and surroundings are stunning. The Spa and the Abbey are “must sees” as well as a stop at Sally Lunn to eat a bun!
3. Bristol – Bristol has some beautiful landmarks; including the Clifton Suspension Bridge and Queen Square. Not to mention there are some really cute coffee shops and you can catch some good theatre at the Bristol Old Vic.
4. York – If you are in York, you must have tea at Betty’s, but York has more to offer than just sweet treats. The streets of York are highly historic and you must stop in at York Minster.
5. Stratford-upon-Avon – I’m a bit biased because I loved our 9 months living in Stratford, but the Old Town is such a lovely place to visit. Mary Arden’s Farm, Nash’s House, Shakespeare’s birth place, Holy Trinity Church (where Shakespeare is buried), and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) are all wonderful reasons to visit.
6. Oxford – Phillip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” made me obsessed with Oxford before I even visited, but once I did, I fell in love. The architecture, the books – you feel smarter just being there. There’s so much history you can soak up,
7. Cambridge – If there’s any place to save for a summer visit, it’s Cambridge. It might be cheesy but you need to go punting on the Cam, before touring around all the different colleges.
8. Henley-on-Thames – Henley is a beautiful market town in Oxfordshire. It gets busy during the Royal Regatta, but it’s worth seeing the Regatta at least once during your lifetime!
9. Royal Tunbridge Wells – I adore Tunbridge Wells. The Pantiles are perfection! The architecture in the old part of town is amazing, and the history behind all the wells is really fascinating.
10. Brighton – No list of places is complete without a mention of Brighton. There’s some wonderful eating to be done in Brighton, some cool shopping to be done in the Laines and an all-around interesting vibe to the city. You can see why Londoners flee to Brighton.
Apologies to any Liverpudlians or Manchunians. I’ve not made it to Manchester or Liverpool yet.
Which places have you visited?