Things to Do in England: 12 Amazing Attractions & Landmarks

Updated On: September 15, 2023

Things to do in England

There are endless fascinating things to do in England for tourists from around the globe. The country is steeped in history, culture, and natural beauty. A holiday in England is full of bustling metropolises, iconic landmarks, and world-class attractions.

Things to do in England
London is the capital of England.

To help you plan the best England itinerary, we’ve examined 12 of the best things to do in England for tourists, encompassing a wide spectrum of experiences that showcase the country’s unique blend of tradition, modernity, and scenic wonders.

Things to do in England
London has some of the best things to do in England for tourists and locals.

Visit London

Visiting London is undeniably one of the best things to do in England, offering a captivating blend of history, culture, and modernity. As the capital city, London is a global hub known for its iconic landmarks and world-class attractions. 

The city’s rich history comes alive as tourists explore its ancient landmarks, such as the Tower of London, a medieval fortress that holds centuries of royal history and houses the Crown Jewels.

Buckingham Palace, the official residence of the British monarch, offers a glimpse into the opulence and grandeur of the British Royal Family. The city’s historic architecture, ranging from the majestic St. Paul’s Cathedral to the Gothic designs of Westminster Abbey, will leave visitors in awe of England’s architectural heritage.

For a modern touch, the London Eye provides a breathtaking view of the city’s skyline, offering a unique perspective of landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament and the River Thames. The city’s vibrant neighbourhoods, like Camden, Shoreditch, and Covent Garden, showcase the city’s diverse culture, bustling markets, and eclectic street art.

Things to do in England
Big Ben is a popular tourist attraction.

Moreover, London’s efficient transportation system makes it easy for tourists to navigate the city and easily access its numerous attractions. Whether taking the iconic red double-decker buses or using the Underground, getting around London is a seamless and enjoyable experience.

Overall, visiting London offers an immersive journey through England’s past, present, and future. With its unmatched historical sites, world-class museums and vibrant culture, London presents a mesmerising array of experiences, making it an unforgettable destination and one of the best things to do in England for tourists.

Explore Oxford & Cambridge

Visiting Oxford and Cambridge, two of the most prestigious university cities in the world, is one of the most enriching things to do in England. These historic towns, located just a short distance from London, offer a captivating journey into the world of academia, intellectualism, and British tradition.

Oxford and Cambridge are renowned for their ancient and prestigious universities, each steeped in centuries of academic excellence and notable alumni. The University of Oxford, dating back to the 12th century, boasts a stunning array of architectural gems, including the iconic Radcliffe Camera and Bodleian Library.

Things to do in England
Oxford University is renowned worldwide.

Cambridge University, established in the 13th century, features breathtaking structures like King’s College Chapel and the Bridge of Sighs. Exploring the awe-inspiring campuses is like stepping back in time, surrounded by the very halls that have nurtured some of history’s greatest minds.

Both cities have a rich literary heritage, with renowned authors like J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Lewis Carroll, and many others having lived or been associated with these university towns. Literary enthusiasts can trace the footsteps of their favourite writers, gaining insight into the inspirations behind some of the world’s most beloved works.

Visiting Oxford and Cambridge offers tourists a captivating journey into the world of academia, history, literature, and British culture. The blend of intellectual heritage, stunning architecture, tranquil surroundings, and vibrant student life makes these university cities one of the most interesting and memorable things to do in England.

See Stonehenge

Visiting Stonehenge is an awe-inspiring and fascinating experience that captivates tourists from around the world. This ancient and enigmatic stone circle on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, has mystified historians, archaeologists, and visitors for centuries.

Things to do in England
Visiting Stonehenge is one of the most mystical things to do in England.

Its monumental stones, some weighing up to 25 tons, arranged in a circular pattern, evoke a sense of wonder and intrigue, making it one of the most mysterious landmarks on Earth and one of the most fascinating things to do in England.

The history and purpose of Stonehenge remain shrouded in mystery, with various theories and speculations surrounding its construction and significance. Believed to have been built between 3000 and 2000 BCE, Stonehenge’s exact purpose continues to elude scholars.

Some theories propose it was an ancient astronomical observatory, while others suggest it served as a religious or ceremonial site. This air of mystery and the lack of definitive answers only add to its allure, sparking the imagination of visitors as they contemplate the ancient minds that engineered this marvel.

The scale and precision of Stonehenge’s construction are awe-inspiring, especially considering the tools and technology available to the Neolithic people who built it. Furthermore, Stonehenge’s location in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside adds to the magic of the experience.

Exploring Stonehenge is one of the most fascinating things to do in England. Its ancient and enigmatic nature, stunning landscape, and historical significance create a captivating and thought-provoking experience.

Things to do in England
The stones at Stonehenge weigh up to 25 tons.

Wander Through the Lake District

Visiting the Lake District is one of the most enjoyable things to do in England, as it offers a breathtaking natural landscape that captivates the senses and provides a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The region’s stunning beauty lies in its rugged mountains, serene lakes, and picturesque valleys.

The Lake District’s scenic beauty has inspired poets, writers, and artists for centuries, earning it the title of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tourists can immerse themselves in the same inspiring vistas that influenced the likes of William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter.

The area is a haven for outdoor activities, making it an enjoyable destination for adventurers of all ages. Tourists can indulge in hiking, trekking, and hill walking along the numerous trails that crisscross the region. Whether scaling a mountain or strolling through wooded paths, every turn promises breathtaking views and a sense of serenity.

In addition to its natural charm, the Lake District is dotted with charming villages and towns that offer a glimpse into traditional English life. Grasmere, Ambleside, and Keswick are just a few examples of picturesque towns that exude a quaint and welcoming atmosphere.

Visiting the Lake District is one of the most enjoyable things to do in England due to its stunning natural beauty, ample opportunities for outdoor activities, and rich cultural heritage. Whether seeking adventure, tranquillity, or inspiration, this idyllic destination provides a memorable and delightful experience.

Things to do in England
The Lake District is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Discover the Cotswolds

Visiting the Cotswolds is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and romantic things to do in England. This idyllic region transports visitors to a picture-perfect countryside escape. The Cotswolds is renowned for its charming honey-coloured stone cottages, rolling hills, and quaint villages that seem straight out of a storybook

Exploring the Cotswolds feels like stepping into a postcard, with every turn revealing a new scene of rural splendour. The gently undulating hills and lush green fields, interspersed with grazing sheep and grazing cows, create a bucolic landscape that is incredibly inviting and romantic.

The Cotswolds is dotted with enchanting villages and market towns, each exuding its unique charm. Bourton-on-the-Water, Bibury, and Castle Combe are just a few examples of the many picturesque villages that epitomise the Cotswolds’ romantic appeal.

The region’s romantic ambience extends to its accommodation options. Couples can choose from a variety of charming country inns, boutique hotels, and historic manor houses, many of which offer delightful views of the surrounding countryside.

The Cotswolds’ romantic allure isn’t limited to its landscapes and architecture; the region also boasts a thriving arts and crafts scene. Visitors can explore galleries, artisan shops, and craft fairs showcasing unique, handmade pieces. Sharing in the appreciation of local art and crafts can be a heartwarming and memorable experience.

Things to do in England
Visiting the Cotswolds is one of the most scenic things to do in England.

Visiting the Cotswolds is one of the most beautiful and romantic things to do in England for tourists due to its breathtaking landscapes, picturesque villages, and enchanting ambience. Couples are sure to cherish the memories of this romantic escape for years to come.

Explore Bath

Visiting Bath is undeniably one of the most fascinating things to do in England, as this historic city offers a unique blend of Roman heritage, Georgian elegance, and natural beauty.

Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, renowned for its well-preserved Roman baths, exquisite Georgian architecture, and natural hot springs. The city’s fascinating history and striking architecture transport visitors back in time, creating a captivating journey of exploration and discovery.

The Roman Baths are the city’s most iconic attraction, drawing tourists from around the world. Built around 70 AD, these ancient bathing and socialising complexes showcase intricate Roman engineering and offer a glimpse into the daily life of Roman occupants.

Bath’s Georgian architecture adds to its allure, as the city boasts a wealth of well-maintained buildings and terraces from the 18th century. The Royal Crescent and the Circus are prime examples of Georgian elegance, displaying uniform facades and intricate detailing.

Things to do in England
The Roman Baths were built around 70 AD.

The natural hot springs, which have been flowing for thousands of years, also contribute to Bath’s fascination. The Thermae Bath Spa, Britain’s only natural thermal spa, allows tourists to bathe in the warm, mineral-rich waters, creating a relaxing and rejuvenating experience reminiscent of Roman bathing traditions.

In addition to its historical and cultural offerings, Bath’s charming streets are filled with boutique shops, artisanal cafes, and traditional pubs, creating a vibrant and inviting atmosphere for tourists to explore.

Exploring Bath is one of the most fascinating things to do in England. With its Roman baths, Georgian architecture, natural hot springs, and vibrant cultural scene, the city offers an immersive and enriching experience that appeals to history enthusiasts, architecture lovers, and those seeking relaxation and indulgence.

Experience Traditional Afternoon Tea

Experiencing traditional afternoon tea is one of the most relaxing things to do in England for tourists. The custom of afternoon tea dates back to the early 19th century when Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, introduced the tradition of having a light meal with tea to bridge the gap between lunch and dinner.

The experience of afternoon tea is a perfect blend of elegance, charm, and relaxation. Usually served in charming tea rooms, grand hotels, or historical settings, the ambience is designed to transport guests to a bygone era of sophistication and grace.

Things to do in England
Afternoon tea is one of the most traditional things to do in England.

The centrepiece of the experience is, of course, the tea itself. A wide selection of premium teas, often accompanied by a knowledgeable tea sommelier, allows guests to choose their preferred flavours and blends.

The array of delectable treats that accompany the tea adds to the indulgence. A traditional afternoon tea typically includes an assortment of delicate finger sandwiches with various fillings, freshly baked scones served with clotted cream and jam, and an assortment of sweet pastries and cakes.

Partaking in afternoon tea is not just about indulging in delicious food and tea; it is also an opportunity to savour quality time with friends, family, or even fellow tourists. The unhurried nature of the experience encourages conversation, allowing guests to unwind, connect, and create cherished memories together.

Experiencing traditional afternoon tea is one of the most relaxing things to do in England, as it offers a charming and indulgent respite from the demands of daily life. The elegant setting, exquisite teas, and delectable treats combine to create a serene and leisurely atmosphere, providing the perfect opportunity to unwind.

See the Jurassic Coast

Exploring the Jurassic Coast is undeniably one of the most interesting things to do in England, as it offers a journey through millions of years of geological history. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Jurassic Coast stretches 95 miles along the southern coastline of England.

Things to do in England
The Jurassic Coast stretches 95 miles.

The Jurassic Coast is renowned for its geological significance, as it showcases rocks and formations that span the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, dating back over 185 million years.

Fossil hunting is a highlight of visiting the Jurassic Coast, drawing amateur palaeontologists and curious tourists alike. The cliffs and shores yield a diverse array of fossils, providing an exciting opportunity for visitors to unearth their own prehistoric treasures and learn about the region’s ancient inhabitants.

Furthermore, the Jurassic Coast is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Hiking along the South West Coast Path provides opportunities to experience the stunning vistas and rugged landscapes, and the many vantage points offer excellent chances to spot wildlife and seabirds.

Exploring the Jurassic Coast is one of the most interesting things to do in England due to its exceptional geological history, fossil-rich cliffs, breathtaking natural scenery, and charming coastal towns. It offers a unique blend of adventure, education, and natural beauty, making it an unforgettable destination.

Visit Windsor Castle

Seeing Windsor Castle is one of the most historical things to do in England. It is not only the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world but also holds significant historical and cultural importance. Located in the town of Windsor, just outside of London, the castle has served as a royal residence for over 1,000 years.

Things to do in England
Windsor Castle was built in the 11th century.

Originally built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, Windsor Castle has been continuously expanded and modified by successive monarchs, resulting in a magnificent architectural marvel that showcases various styles and periods of British history.

Throughout its history, the castle has witnessed numerous important events and hosted countless royal ceremonies. The State Apartments, open to the public, display a stunning collection of art, armour, and tapestries, allowing visitors to step into the opulent world of royalty.

One of the highlights for tourists is witnessing the Changing of the Guard ceremony, a time-honoured tradition that takes place on the castle grounds. The spectacle of immaculately dressed guards marching with precision and exchanging duties is a quintessential British experience.

Seeing Windsor Castle is one of the most iconic and historical things to do in England for tourists. The castle’s impressive architecture, rich art and historical collections, and active role as a royal residence create a captivating and immersive experience that allows visitors to delve into England’s past and royal traditions.

Tour the Museums & Galleries

Touring the museums and galleries in England is one of the most intriguing things to do in England, as they offer a captivating journey through the country’s rich history, art, and cultural heritage.

Things to do in England
England is home to many amazing museums.

England is home to a wealth of world-class museums and galleries, each housing a diverse and impressive collection of artefacts, artworks, and historical treasures. For instance, the British Museum in London is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts. Its vast collection spans civilisations from all corners of the globe.

For art lovers, the National Gallery in London is an absolute treat. It houses an outstanding collection of Western European paintings from the 13th to the 19th century, featuring works by renowned artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, and Rembrandt.

Beyond London, other cities in England boast exceptional museums and galleries. The Tate Liverpool offers contemporary and modern art, while the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford showcases a diverse range of art and antiquities.

Exploring the museums and galleries in England is one of the most intriguing things to do in England, as they offer immersive and enlightening experiences. From ancient artefacts to modern masterpieces, these institutions provide a captivating glimpse into human creativity, intellect, and achievement.

Take a Harry Potter Tour

Taking a Harry Potter-themed tour is undeniably one of the most fun things to do in England for tourists. The tours allow fans of the beloved book and film series to immerse themselves in the magical world of Harry Potter.

Things to do in England
Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station is a popular photo spot.

England holds a special place in the hearts of Potterheads, as many iconic locations featured in the movies are scattered throughout the country. Tourists have the exciting opportunity to visit these enchanting sites and experience firsthand the places that brought J.K. Rowling’s wizarding universe to life.

London, in particular, offers an abundance of Harry Potter-related destinations. The Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter, located just outside London, is a must-visit attraction. Here, visitors can explore the actual sets, props, and costumes used in the films.

Moreover, London is home to several filming locations that Harry Potter fans will recognise. Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station, where aspiring wizards can pose with the trolley disappearing into the wall, is a favourite spot for photo opportunities.

Beyond London, tourists can venture to Oxford to explore the historic Christ Church College, which inspired the Great Hall at Hogwarts. The Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford and the Divinity School were also used as filming locations for the movies, offering a truly magical experience for Potter fans.

Taking a Harry Potter-themed tour is one of the most exciting things to do in England for fans of the magical series. The opportunity to step into the enchanting world of Harry Potter, explore iconic film sets, and visit locations that brought the wizarding universe to life creates an immersive and joyous experience.

Things to do in England
Oxford University was used for filming locations across the films.

Enjoy a Traditional Pub Experience

Enjoying a traditional pub experience is one of the most laid-back and relaxing things to do in England. Pubs have long been an integral part of England’s social fabric, serving as communal gathering spots where locals and visitors alike come together to unwind and socialise over a pint of ale or an English meal.

The atmosphere in a traditional pub is warm, welcoming, and unpretentious, making it a perfect place to kick back and relax. The cosy interior, often adorned with rustic furnishings, wooden beams, and a crackling fireplace, creates a comforting ambience that invites tourists to settle in and enjoy the moment.

Moreover, enjoying a traditional pub experience often involves indulging in classic British pub fare, which is hearty, comforting, and delicious. From fish and chips to shepherd’s pie, the menu features an array of hearty dishes that satisfy the palate and nourish the soul.

Beyond the culinary delights, many traditional pubs offer live music, quiz nights, or other entertainment, providing an opportunity for tourists to mingle with locals and partake in the pub’s vibrant social scene.

Enjoying a pub experience is one of the most traditional things to do in England. The cosy ambience, wide selection of drinks, and hearty pub fare create the perfect setting to unwind, connect with locals, and enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

Things to do in England
English pubs are cosy and welcoming.

There are Endless Great Things to Do in England

England offers an unparalleled array of experiences for tourists, making it a captivating and diverse destination. From the iconic landmarks of London to the enchanting history of Windsor Castle, there are many sights to see and things to do in England.

Whether immersing oneself in history, appreciating art and architecture, connecting with nature, or embracing the magic of literature, there are interesting things to do in England for every tourist.

If you’re visiting the United Kingdom, make sure to check out the Top 10 Amazing National Parks in England.

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