England is one of the world’s most fascinating travel destinations, a place of abundant and infinitely beautiful must-visit locations from modern high-rises and beautiful gardens to striking castles and historic markets. Not to mention Westminster Abbey…
There is so much to see here. It can all seem a little overwhelming — but discovering the most famous landmarks in England is an excellent place to start…
Amidst all the history here it is easy to forget that England is also extraordinarily well-endowed with incredible natural landscapes with waterfalls, wind-swept coastlines, stunning hills, and the improbably Jurassic Coast.
There is so much to places to visit in England; you could spend a lifetime explore its riches and only just scratch the surface. This is why we have developed this cheat sheet to help you with your travels.
But first – what is a landmark?
A landmark is a recognizable natural or artificial feature that typically stands out from its environment and has become a local or national symbol. For modern tourists, a landmark is useful for navigation – in terms of both being a physical waypoint and in trying to help you organize your itinerary.
Getting the off-the-beaten-track is all well and good, but at the end of the day – there are some spots you just have to see when you visit a country. Think the Sydney Opera House or La Sagrada Familia in Spain. Instantly recognizable places you couldn’t miss if you tried. And England has more than its fair share…
When approaching a trip to this magical land, you will want to tick off as many famous English landmarks as you can – and the best way is to do that is often by taking a tour, or hiring a car to get around. Public transport can also be used to get to many places and is useful if you also plan to explore more urban environments.
There is a lot to explore in England — and no list of iconic English landmarks could ever be exhaustive. But, we have tried to get the top highlights by putting a call out to our favorite travel bloggers and asking them to regale us with stories and helpful tips about their best-loved.
This way, you have a reasonable frame of reference to inspire your England travels from which you could choose a few landmarks that you absolutely cannot miss… or cram as many as possible into one trip.
If you plan it right — and have enough time—, you might just hit them all. And discover plenty more of your own highlights of England while you’re at it!
50 Famous Landmarks Of England To Plan Your Travels Around! 🏴
- 50 Famous Landmarks Of England To Plan Your Travels Around! 🏴
- Aira Force Waterfalls
- Angel Of The North
- Big Ben
- Blackpool Tower
- Blenheim Palace
- Bodiam Castle
- Brighton Palace Pier
- Brighton Royal Pavilion
- Canterbury Cathedral
- Castle Combe Village
- Clifton Suspension Bridge
- Cornwall Mining Landscape
- Covent Garden
- Dover Castle
- Durdle Door
- Durham Castle
- Glastonbury Tor
- Hadrian’s Wall
- Heathrow Airport
- Ironbridge Gorge
- Jodrell Bank Observatory
- John Rutland Library
- Kings College Cambridge
- Lake Windermere
- Liver Building
- Liverpool Cathedral
- London Eye
- Malham Cove
- Minack Theatre
- Monument To The Great Fire Of London
- Old Spitalfields Market
- Radcliffe Camera In Oxford
- Roman Baths In Bath
- Royal Botanic Gardens
- Royal Park At Greenwich
- Scafell Pike
- Seven Sisters Cliffs
- Sherwood Forest
- Smeatons Tower
- The O2 Arena
- The Shard
- Tintagel Castle & Merlins Cave
- Tower Bridge
- Tower Of London
- V&A Museum
- Westminster Abbey
- Winchester Cathedral
- Windsor Castle
- York Minster
Aira Force Waterfalls
Lake District is known for its stunning landscape punctuated with mountains and lakes. No wonder, Lake District has inspired many poets to create their exemplary poetry work here. Located on the north of Lake District is the humble Airaforce. Tucked between the Ullswater Valley, Aira Force Waterfalls is one of the impressive waterfalls we have ever seen in the UK, and is a must-visit attraction in the Lake District. The waterfalls are an impressive 67 feet high, and it is possible to view the waterfalls from either top or bottom. There are viewing platforms, part of the trail.
Aira Force Car Park, managed by National Trust, is the best and easiest place to begin your waterfall trail. There is a circular route woodland walk that takes you to the viewing platforms of Aira Force Waterfalls. This 2 km loop walk is in the woodlands and amid the 200 years old trees. Alternatively, you can choose the Gowbarrow trail, which is a 4-mile route that takes you to the summit of Gowbarrow fell. From here, you can enjoy the sweeping views of Ullswater Lake.
During summer months, there is an additional boat service that runs from Glenriddig to Aira Force. The woodland path could be slippery after rain; hence make sure to carry a sturdy jacket and welly boots, depending on how the weather is.
Pooley Bridge is the nearest town, which has some restaurants and hotels. If you are traveling in the Lake District National Park, do add Aira Force Waterfalls into your itinerary.
Explored by Anuradha from Country Hopping Couple
Angel Of The North
The Angel of the North is a controversial sculpture – it is Britain’s largest sculpture and is the largest angel statue in the world.
The enormous sculpture stands was erected in 1989 on a hill just off the A1 Motorway in Gateshead, Tyne, and Wear, on the outskirts of Newcastle upon Tyne. The Angel of the North is made from steel because it is a monument that honors the role of Newcastle in England’s Industrial Revolution. The Tyne Bridge is also made from steel, and the great shipyards along the River Tyne were made from steel mined from under the hills on which the statue is erected.
The Angel sculpture is a reminder of the history of the miners who worked underneath the hill for 300 years. It stands 20 meters tall, and its wingspan is an incredible 54 meters, which is almost as wide as a jumbo jet!
The site has drawn criticism because of its simplicity – there’s nothing else to do here – no toilets, restaurants, or interactive exhibits or museums. That’s what makes it such a powerful place to visit. Below the small hill is a little grove of trees where people hang touching and sad tributes to children who have died. It’s become a place that humans go to when they are seeking the shelter of an angel.
That’s why the Angel of the North has become such a beloved monument in Britain; it has come to mean more than the sculptor, Antony Gormley, originally intended because angels are such powerful and long-standing images and symbols.
Explored by Monique from Trip Anthropologist
One of the most famous landmarks in England is Big Ben. It is one of the most recognizable things in the United Kingdom. You find the building in the capital city. Seeing it is one of the best things to do in London.
It is located in the northern part of the Palace of Westminster / House of Parliament, and it is very close to the London Eye — both other famous landmarks of England. Big Ben is actually the name of the main clock inside the clock tower, but people often refer to both the clock tower and the clock as Big Ben.
The clock was created around 1850 and was the largest and most accurate of its kind at that time. The clock is very unique. When you see the clock tower, you immediately know it is the Big Ben. Inside the clock tower, there are five clocks. Of these, Big Ben is the largest one. The building is built in the neo-gothic style. Furthermore, the clock tower is 96 meters high. To visit Big Ben, you can use public transport. There are many good connections, either by bus or by metro.
Also, from here you can easily walk to other parts of the city center and visit other famous sights in London. If you want to see more than just the outside, but also want to go inside the clock tower, then you still have to wait. Big Ben is currently being renovated (since 2017), and you cannot visit it during that time.
Renovations are expected to end in 2021. Also, after the renovations, there will be a lift inside, which makes visiting much easier.
Blackpool Tower is an iconic tourist attraction in the seaside town of Blackpool, Lancashire. The tower opened in 1894 and is a copy of Paris’ famous Eiffel Tower, which was built just five years earlier in 1889. Blackpool Tower is 518 feet tall, which is just under half the height of its French cousin. Still, at the time, Blackpool Tower was the tallest building in the British Empire.
As well as the tower itself, Blackpool Tower comprises an entertainment complex at the base. Here, you’ll find the Tower Circus, the Tower Ballroom, and a dinosaur-themed mini-golf course.
Visitors to Blackpool Tower can ride up to the top in a lift. At the top of the tower is the ‘Blackpool Tower Eye’ – a five-centimeter thick glass viewing platform. You can walk over the glass and look down to see Blackpool’s three piers, the Irish Sea and, on a clear day, as far as Liverpool and the Isle of Man.
There’s also a 4D cinema with a film which teaches you about the history of this Victorian attraction and a cocktail bar. Blackpool Tower is located right on the seafront in the center of Blackpool. It’s easy to reach by train, being just a ten-minute walk from Blackpool North train station. If you arrive by car, there’s lots of parking available in car parks nearby.
Each of the attractions inside Blackpool Tower is priced separately, so think about which parts you wish to visit ahead of time and book your tickets online for the best price. If you plan to visit Madame Tussauds or the Blackpool Tower Dungeon, you can get discounted tickets which cover all of the attractions.
The impressive 18th century Blenheim Palace is located close to Oxford. The Palace is best known as the birthplace of Winston Churchill but has also been used as a hospital and boys’ school before opening to the public. In 1987 the Palace became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Many other factors make Blenheim Palace unique. Firstly, it is the only non-royal house in England to have the title of ‘palace.’ Secondly, the 12th Duke of Marlborough still lives there, and it has been home to all previous Dukes for the last 300 years. Lastly, it received a Green Tourism Gold Award, and it’s considered one of the greenest tourist attractions in the UK.
Visiting the Palace, Park, and Gardens costs £28.50/adult. However, you can get a discount if you arrive by sustainable modes of transport or only pay for Garden entry. If you donate your ticket, you can visit the Palace for free for an entire year!
You can easily spend a full day there learning about the history and exploring the acres of surreal gardens and parkland. Start with a tour around the Palace interior, then head to the Formal Gardens. Here you can stroll around the Italian garden, water terraces, rose garden, and the ‘secret’ garden. Watch out for Mr. Phobeus riding around on his Victorian Penny Farthing Bike!
Take the Miniature Train over to the Pleasure Gardens to visit the Butterfly House and Marlborough Maze, considered one of the largest hedge mazes in the world.
The parkland also has some unique features. One of them is the Cedar of Lebanon Tree used as a filming location in the Harry Potter movies. Hire a rowing boat or just stroll around the lakes. You can also admire the Grand Bridge and the Column of Victory, which offer some epic views towards the Palace.
Many famous movies were filmed at the Palace. So, if you love movies, you must grab a filming location map and follow the trail.
Since Blenheim Palace has so much to offer, it’s the ideal place for families, couples, photographers, history, movies, and nature lovers.
Explored by Kitti Zsobrak from Kitti Around the World
Bodiam Castle is located on the border of East Sussex and Kent in southern England. The castle was constructed in the late 14th century for Sir Edward Dallingridge as a fortified family home. Bodiam Castle is striking – it is surrounded by a moat which reflects the stone structure beautifully. The castle, managed by the National Trust, is significant for its original portcullis, one of the few remaining in the UK.
Although much of Bodiam Castle is now in ruins, there are useful information boards explaining how the estate was run with images recreating life inside the castle. There was once a huge hall for entertaining guests, surrounded from above by a gallery where minstrels would have played music. One information point explains how children were once used as “gong scourers” – responsible for cleaning the difficult to reach chutes which carried waste from the toilets to the moat.
There are remains of great fireplaces, dark passageways, and narrow spiraling stone staircases. It is a very atmospheric place to explore.
The best way to reach Bodiam Castle is by steam train. The Kent and East Sussex Railway runs from the charming town of Tenterden (10 miles away) through picturesque countryside to Bodiam. The castle towers offer impressive views of the rolling hills which surround the estate. Oasthouses, typical of the region, can be spied from the turrets, along with vineyards that produce grapes to make the renowned local sparkling wine.
The grounds of Bodiam Castle are perfect for a peaceful walk, and refreshments are available in the National Trust café.
Explored by Annabel Kirk from Smudged Postcard
Brighton Palace Pier
Brighton Palace Pier is the most famous landmark along the Brighton seafront. It is the most visited landmark in England outside of London and sees over 4.5 million visitors per year!
You can see the pier from pretty much anywhere along the Brighton shoreline. If you’re near the water, look for the longest pier and start walking towards it. It is impossible to miss it! The pier opened in 1899 and has been the centerpiece of Brighton ever since. Each summer, theatre, and street performances are held on the Brighton Palace Pier, and it is one of the most important cultural centers of the city.
No matter what your interests are, you can find something fun to do at the Brighton Palace Pier. It has a small theme park at the end of the pier, including a thrilling rollercoaster with a loop. You can also play carnival games, arcade games, and even gamble.
If you prefer less thrilling activities, you can indulge in British high tea, bird watching, or have some of the best ice cream in all of Brighton.
The most popular attraction at the pier is Sealife Brighton. It is the world’s oldest operating aquarium! You can hang out with turtles, jellyfish, stingrays, and sharks. The aquarium is passionate about conservation work in England, and part of your admission fee goes to their conservation efforts.
Brighton Palace Pier is truly a collection of everything Brighton is known for. There is amazing food, thrilling attractions, an award-winning aquarium, and makes up a huge piece of Brighton’s culture. It is the place to go if you want to learn more about Brighton and the city’s fun and laid-back personality.
Explored by Erica Riley of Travels with Erica’
Brighton Royal Pavilion
The Royal Pavilion is an Indian-inspired palace located in the heart of Brighton on the South Coast of England. This iconic landmark is synonymous with Brighton, and even represents the city as its symbol.
This beautiful structure dates back over 200 years when it was commissioned by George IV, the Prince of Wales. At the time, Brighton was growing increasingly popular as a fashionable wellness town, with tourists coming to swim in the sea renowned for its therapeutic properties. And this included George IV, who regularly enjoyed holidays in Brighton. After renting a small central lodge during each visit, he decided instead to transform it.
First, it was developed into a larger home before later being transformed into what is today’s magnificent Palace. No expense was spared, with every room adorned with opulent wallpapers, luxury furnishings, and expensive art. It’s said that the Palace’s exterior draws inspiration from the Taj Mahal. Inside, the rooms are a blend of French and Chinese, with extravagant furniture and art sourced from Asia.
The Royal Pavilion brought much interest and prosperity to Brighton, leading the town on its way to becoming the cosmopolitan and vibrant city it is today. Visitors are welcome to join guided tours around The Royal Pavilion every day. Admission is £15.50 for an adult and £9.50 for children.
If you’re a Brighton resident, you can visit for just £7.75 or free for children!
Canterbury Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the South East England county of Kent, has preserved the seat of the spiritual head of the Church of England for almost five centuries. And is unquestionable a famous landmark of England.
As a result of its propitious history, the Canterbury UNESCO World Heritage site encompasses a range of notable masterpieces, including the uncomplicated Church of St Martin (the oldest surviving church in England); the remains of the Abbey of St Augustine (that stand in remembrance of the saint’s evangelizing role in 597); and the dignified Christ Church Cathedral (a sublime fusion of Romanesque and Perpendicular Gothic, magnified by a set of excellent early stained glass windows).
After the killing of Archbishop Thomas Becket in 1170 AD and his ensuing canonization, Christ Church Cathedral developed into a place of pilgrimage. As a result, the place is undeviatingly and tangibly correlated with the chronicle of the introduction of Christianity to the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms – and a must-visit for lovers of history and architecture.
Today, it remains one of the most popular places to visit in the United Kingdom – either as part of a day trip from London or a larger UK road trip!
Castle Combe Village
The beautiful towns and villages of the Cotswold’s are one of the most famous landmarks in England, especially the chocolate box village of Castle Combe.
Situated in the county of Wiltshire, it is a popular tourist destination in the South West, and has even been dubbed the “prettiest village in England.” This is just one of the reasons why it has been featured in several blockbuster movies, including Dr. Doolittle and the War Horse.
For visitors, Castle Combe is like stepping back in time; this is because no new houses have been built since the 1600s. The historic streets are still lined with honey-colored buildings – made from the iconic Cotswold stone that was quarried nearby. There is no longer a castle in Castle Combe village, but there are plenty of regal looking buildings such as the ivy-covered Manor House Hotel.
It is a must-visit spot in the village and is one of the most luxurious hotels in the Cotswold’s. Luckily though, you don’t need to stay there to explore the majestic grounds for free, instead choose a nearby Airbnb cottage in the Cotswold’s and visit the small village on a day trip.
Other things to do in Castle Combe include visiting St Andrew’s Church, home to one of the oldest working clocks in the country, enjoying a traditional afternoon tea at the Old Rectory Tearoom, and having a supercar day on one of the fastest motor car racing circuits in England, situated just outside the village.
Explored by Roshni from The Wanderlust Within
Clifton Suspension Bridge
Bristol’s Clifton Suspension Bridge connects the picturesque suburb of Clifton to the nearby Somerset countryside. Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel (the same man who created the SS Great Britain, also in Bristol, and the Great Western railway line!), this bridge has become a Bristol icon, loved by locals and tourists to the city.
The history of the bridge spans back to Victorian times. The council decided to construct a new bridge in the 1820s after they decided that the old Bristol bridge was getting too dangerous to use. The bridge was constructed here as it is both the narrowest point of the Avon Gorge, and is very high, so warships could still get into the city.
There was a competition in 1829 for the design of the suspension bridge. Isambard Kingdom Brunel submitted four entries, and although he didn’t win initially (the judge rejected all the entries and designed his own bridge!), the council eventually decided to reopen designs to the public, and Brunel’s updated version won.
This grand monument is one of the most impressive bridges in the country. With sweeping views over the dramatic Avon Gorge, it’s a beautiful place to include as part of a walk around the city or nearby Ashton Court. In the summer, picnicking on the Clifton side of the suspension bridge is a popular pastime – it’s one of the most popular Bristol date ideas for locals! The nearby White Lion pub also offers an excellent view of the suspension bridge from their pub garden.
The Clifton Suspension Bridge visitor’s center is free to visit – here, you can learn a little more about the bridge. Also nearby is the Clifton observatory.
The Clifton suspension bridge is about a half-hour walk from the city center. Head up to Park Street towards the Clifton Triangle, and walk down Queens Road by Waitrose. Then turn right onto Pembroke Road, and take the second left onto Clifton Park. Then you’ll eventually reach the bridge! Alternatively, you can take the C7 bus from Bristol center to the Somerset side of the bridge. If you are driving across the bridge, there is a £1 fee (contactless is accepted).
Explored by Claire from Go South West England
Cornwall Mining Landscape
The Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape is an unusual landmark of England and includes an elite set of mining landscapes in the southwest of England. UNESCO inscribed the various sites in 2006, but its uniqueness has been a fount of pride for locals for far longer.
Much of the landscape of Cornwall and West Devon was remodeled in the 18th / early 19th centuries due to the expeditious growth of first-generation copper and tin mining. Deep underground mines, engine houses, foundries sprung up around Cornwall and West Devon along with new towns, smallholdings, ports, and harbors.
These localities – along with their secondary industries, collectively pay witness to the prolific innovation that was initiated during this period in the early 19th century. How prolific? At its zenith, the region was producing over two-thirds of the entire world’s copper supply!
The important remains of this now extinct industry attest to the contribution Cornwall and West Devon brought to Britain’s Industrial Revolution and to the influence the area held on the world’s mining stage. At this time, Cornish technology (typified in engines, engine houses, and mining equipment) were transported around the globe.
The great copper crash of the 1860s resulted in production mainly focused on the tin and slowly disappearing. However, mining did not end in Cornwall until 1998 with the closure of South Crofty Mine, which was the last tin mine to operate in Europe.
Some of the best to visit are the Crown Mines, the Geevor Tin Mine, and Wheal Coates in St Agnes – but all are incredible to explore in their own way. Typically set in fantastic natural environments, the mines are surprisingly beautiful, and many have associated walks that allow you to investigate the history, flora, and panoramic views nearby.
Covent Garden is one of the most iconic neighborhoods in London. It is a must-see for any first-timer in the city! Located in the West End, Covent Garden is centered around the Apple Market and Neal’s Yard. The area is bustling with stores, theaters, delicious restaurants, and trendy cocktail bars. Covent Garden is on the Piccadilly Tube Line – the Covent Garden’s tube station is a short walk to the Market building.
The term “Covent Garden” actually comes from “Convent Garden” (which refers to the French word “couvent”). In the 13th century, it was a vegetable garden tended by the monks of Westminster Abbey. With the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century, Henry VIII seized the land, which eventually fell in the hands of John Russell. He commissioned architect Inigo Jones to build a “piazza” resembling the Italian and Parisian squares.
Today Covent Garden is one of the busiest areas in London, attracting visitors and locals alike. Completely car-free, Covent Garden is particularly beautiful during the holidays with the Christmas decorations. There are so many things to do in Covent Garden. Take a stroll through the Apple Market full of quirky market stalls and unique boutiques. Explore the London Transport Museum for antique cars or the London Film Museum for James Bond film memorabilia.
Stop to enjoy the street performers come alive and show off acrobatics and fun magic tricks. Grab a bite at one of the many restaurants and taste a unique cocktail. A visit to the area wouldn’t be complete without a walk through colorful Neal’s Yard and a stop by the famous Opera House.
Finally, Covent Garden is a great spot to take photos if you are looking for pretty Instagram spots in London. The market is usually full of flower displays and extravagant installations. Neil’s Yard and its colorful courtyard also make for the perfect backdrop.
Take a step back in time and discover over 800 years of fascinating British history at Dover Castle. This iconic fortress has protected the shores of England against attacks since the 12th century. Also known as the “key to England,” Dover Castle has played an important role during both world wars due to its prime location on the White Cliffs of Dover. Spending a day in Dover can easily be from London by train in one hour, making it the perfect day trip option.
When you first arrive at Dover Castle, head into the Great Tower to see what life looked like inside a lavish medieval castle. The Great Tower has been fully furnished and recreated to give you a glimpse into King Henry II’s royal court. Take a walk through the colorful rooms and make sure to climb the spiral staircase all the way to the top for a spectacular view across the English Channel and beautiful countryside.
Climb into the medieval tunnels beneath the castle for a look at defense techniques during the many sieges; you’ll see canons lining both sides of the tunnels. Check out the underground hospital that was used to treat soldiers during WWII and the Fire Command Post, where you’ll see a fully functioning anti-aircraft gun that was used during WWI.
Through the year, you can catch many different events and activities taking place at Dover Castle, like jousting tournaments, siege re-enactments, seasonal events, and more! Check the official website before you visit to see if there is something coming up that might interest you.
With so much history to discover and plenty to see and do, a visit to Dover Castle can easily take an entire day. If you still have some time left over afterward, make sure to take a walk along the White Cliffs of Dover for some breathtaking views. Taking the high-speed train from London to Dover will have you there in just over one hour. Trains depart from London’s St. Pancras Station regularly throughout the day.
Explored by Ann from The Road Is Life
It is protected as part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and is an extremely popular spot with British holidaymakers, especially during the summer months. Admittance to the pebble and shingle beach is on foot via a winding path and steps over the hill from Lulworth Cove or down from the cliff top at Durdle Door Holiday Park (privately owned, parking charges apply).
There is a half-mile walk that takes approximately 30 minutes to complete along a precipitous path downhill, plus a further 143 steps down onto the beach itself. The view, however, is better from the clifftop and a perfect picnic spot.
The landmark Durham Cathedral in the city of Durham was established in the late 11th and early 12th century to house the remains of St. Cuthbert (634-687 AD) (the evangelizer of Northumbria) and the Venerable Bede (672/3-735 AD).
Durham Castle and Cathedral are recognized for the importance of the early Benedictine monastic association that lived here as well as for being one of the most substantial and well-made models of Norman architecture in England. The groundbreaking courage of the Cathedral in pushing for its vaulted ceiling portended Gothic architecture.
The Cathedral rests within the boundary of Durham Castle, which was composed in the late eleventh century and was the stronghold and residence of the Prince-Bishops of Durham. The Price-Bishops were granted implicit autonomy at the time in exchange for defending the northern boundaries of England. Thus the site was an enduring site of both religious and secular power.
Within the precinct are numerous other succeeding buildings of the Durham Palatinate, displaying the Prince-Bishops’ civic duties and privileges. These include the Bishop’s Court (now a library), almshouses, and schools. The Palace Green, an enormous open space joining the many buildings of the site, was earlier used as a site for processions and gatherings befitting the Prince Bishop’s status.
Positioned on a defensive peninsula formed by a bend and steep banks of the River Wear, the locality provided a safe base for the Benedictine monastic community of St. Cuthbert, who fled here after suffering under a centuries-long plague of Viking raids – and later for the Prince-Bishops of Durham as protectors of the rebellious English frontier.
Durham Castle and Cathedral is not only an exceptional and innovative architecture ensemble but also a tangible expression of romantic beauty and the spiritual and secular powers of the medieval Bishops’ Palatinate. The site has been consistently used for over 1000 years and is home to many relics, material culture, and religious traditions. Together, the site manifests a political declaration of Norman power imposed on a subjugate society and one of the country’s most compelling landmarks representations of Britain’s Norman Conquest.
Glastonbury Tor is located in the southwest of England, about 30 miles south of Bristol and Bath. There is a regular train service from London to Castle Cary, which is about 15 miles from the town.
Glastonbury Tor (or just the ‘The Tor’) as it is known locally can be seen for miles around. The hill is 158 meters high and rises from the flat Somerset Levels that surround it, making it appear even more impressive. It is a combination of a natural hill with additional manmade terraces that can be seen as ridges.
On top of the Tor is a 14th Century Church Tower. This is all that remains of the Church of St Michael and is the focal point for many visiting the Tor. The whole area is steeped in myths and legends from hidden caves under the Tor leading to the fairy realm of Annwn, Glastonbury being the legendary Isle of Avalon where King Arthur lost his last battle to Joseph of Arimathea traveling here.
It is possible to walk up to the tower, and this is the perfect location to watch the sunrise and sunset, although it can be busy on the summer and winter solstice. It is also busy during the annual Glastonbury Festival, which is held nearby. Unless you are attending the festival, it is better to avoid this week when visiting.
The walk up the Tor is clearly marked, and the path leads across fields before the steep steps up to the top are reached for the final push to the summit. It is worth the effort for the views across Somerset, Wiltshire, and Dorset as well as across the Bristol Channel to Wales.
As well as the Tor, Glastonbury has a beautiful Abbey where it is believed that King Arthur and Guinevere are buried. Glastonbury town, where the walk to the Tor starts, is also worth exploring for its eclectic shops and cafes with a New Age focus.
Explored by Suzanne from Meandering Wild
The Roman Empire was one of the most celebrated, largest, and successful empires humanity has ever known. Encompassing the entirety of the Mediterranean world, the Roman Empire was defended by a system of frontiers that extended from the Atlantic Coast on its western edge to the Black Sea in the east, and from central Scotland in the north to the northern peripheries of the Sahara Desert in the south. These frontiers were mostly assembled around 200 AD when the Roman Empire attained its greatest size.
This frontier manifested as both artificial and natural barriers, as defending spaces or entire military zones. As you might imagine, the remains of such an extensive border frontier almost 2,000 years are far-reaching, including noticeable and buried archaeology, either on behind or beyond the boundary. In England, one of the best places to see this is the landmark Hadrian’s Wall, though if you are planning a road trip to the Scotland highlands or Skye, Antonine Wall’s wall is a fabulous addition to your itinerary.
Hadrian’s Walls, also known as the Roman Wall, Picts’ Wall, or Vallum Hadriani in Latin, protected the northern border of the Roman province of Britannia, from AD 122 in the reign of the emperor Hadrian. Running a total of 73 miles (117.5 kilometers), there are several areas where you can explore the remains of this once great wall today – each in various states of disrepair.
Considered a cultural icon of Britain, Hadrian’s Wall is also often considered to marks the borderland between England and Scotland, but in reality, Hadrian’s Wall rests entirely within England and has never reached the Anglo-Scottish border.
Heathrow Airport, a major international airport serving London, is unquestionable a modern landmark of England – handled 80 million passengers search year and 475,861 aircraft movements. Unsurprisingly it is also the busiest airport in Europe by passenger traffic and the seventh busiest airport in the world by total passenger traffic.
Lying 23 kilometers west of Central London with two parallel east-west runways and four terminals, the total area of the mammoth airport is 12.27 square kilometers. And the government is considering expanding it. Originally built in 1925 and opened as a civil airport on 25 March 1946, today, Heathrow Airport is used by over 80 airlines flying to 185 destinations in 84 countries.
While I wouldn’t recommend you take a specific trip out to see it, flying into or out of England via Heathrow is an experience, to say the least – and something worth considering when planning your trip.
Explored by Jack from Queer In The World
The landmark Ironbridge Gorge site covers 550 hectares in Telford, Shropshire – roughly 50 km northwest of Birmingham. Ironbridge Gorge was a nucleus location for the 18th century Industrial Revolution and from its commencement here, the revolution disseminated around the globe. As a consequence, it can be said this site is responsible for some of the most far-reaching advances in human history.
The Ironbridge Gorge site includes a five-kilometer length of the steep-sided, mineral-rich Severn Valley from Ironbridge downstream to Coalport, concurrently with two smaller river valleys. The Ironbridge Gorge delivered the raw substances that reconstructed industrial methods and presented compelling insight into the roots of the Industrial Revolution. It also preserves extensive testimony and remains from this time when the gorge area was the center of global attention not only from engineers but also from artists and writers.
At Ironbridge Gorge, you will find the remains of pit mounds, mines, spoil heaps, foundries, workshops, warehouses, factories, ironmasters’ and workers’ housing, public buildings, transport systems, and other infrastructure from the early industrial revolution – collectively with the classical landscape and forests of the area. These relics, along with an inclusive assortment of artifacts and archives, resulted in the inclusion of the Ironbridge Gorge as world heritage in the United Kingdom.
Today, adventurous travelers who make their way here will discover a living, functioning community of around 4000 people who continue to survive in the historic space. The world-famous landscape that is explained and made available by several museums-like institutions operating here. A must-visit is the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, organized in 1967 to defend and represent the remains of the Industrial Revolution within the area, and the Severn Gorge Countryside Trust, which in 1991 sought to maintain the woodland, grassland, and associated historic structures of the area.
While you can spend days exploring the area, some important sites in the property shouldn’t be missed, including Coalbrookdale, where in 1709, the production technique of smelting iron with coke was developed, which started the tremendous 18th-century iron revolution. In Ironbridge, there still stands the remains of two 18th century blast furnaces, while in Hay Brook Valley, there is a large open-air museum which consolidates the remains of the former Blists Hill blast furnaces and Blists Hill brick and tile works.
Finally, don’t miss the magnificent Hay Inclined Plane, which united the Shropshire Canal with the Coalport Canal.
Jodrell Bank Observatory
The Jodrell Bank Observatory near Manchester is another modern landmark of England renowned for its role in the pioneering phase and later progression of radio astronomy.
The Observatory manifests numerous scientific and technical accomplishments associated with the evolution of a uniquely new field of scientific inquiry. The work undertaken at Jodrell Bank Observatory resulted in a radical new understanding of the nature and order of the Universe. There is visible confirmation here of every step in the annals of radio astronomy, from its appearance as a new science to its continued growth in the contemporary era.
Positioned in a rural area in northwest England, the Observatory is operated as part of the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Manchester. Formerly, the scientific enterprise was stationed at the southern end of the site, but over time various new projects were undertaken, moving work north. Thus the site has an evident progression of instruments that were revealed and then abandoned, with the relics of these early scientific apparatuses still surviving and visible to tourists.
One of the most historically important instruments here is the Mark II Telescope, which today is surrounded by a collection of simple research structures in which much of the Observatory’s initial work was undertaken. In the north is the dominating 76-meter diameter Lovell Telescope, which has visitor facilities set around it, allowing members of the public to understand the impressive work undertaken here – and where further research might lead us in the future.
John Rutland Library
If you are spending a weekend in Manchester during your trip to England, visiting the John Rylands Library is a must-do! Located in Deansgate, one of the trendiest neighborhoods in the city, John Rylands library is a beautiful Victorian gothic building.
It was built in 1890 as a tribute to John Rylands, Manchester’s first millionaire, and opened to the public in 1900. Manchester grew exponentially during the industrial revolution, which is how John Rylands became rich.
The library, though, is definitely not something that is reserved for the wealthy. It’s free to visit and open every day. The library serves several purposes. There is, of course, the library part, but you will also find very unique collections. You can visit it like a museum. There are incredible medieval manuscripts!
Another reason why the John Rylands Library is so popular is that it looks like Hogwarts! A lot of people even call it the real-life version of Hogwarts. Unfortunately, it doesn’t actually have any connections with Harry Potter and J.K Rowling, but if you are a Potterhead, you’ll love it.
The facade of the building is pretty, but if you want to see the most beautiful parts, you need to go inside and have a walk around. There is also a little cafe and shop at the entrance. It’s very nice and cozy, making it the perfect place to visit in Manchester in winter.
The shop sells a lot of unique gifts, cards, and books. If you wish to bring back some unique Manchester souvenirs, that will also be a great place to buy them from.
By Pauline from BeeLoved City
Kings College Cambridge
King’s College in Cambridge is probably the most iconic of the 31 colleges that make up Cambridge University. Founded in 1441, its glittering alumni include writers, politicians, and intellectuals such as EM Forster, Rupert Brooke, John Maynard Keynes, and many others. It’s one of the colleges by the side of the River Cam in central Cambridge in a gorgeous stretch called the Backs.
Its chapel, which can be seen from the river, is host to the world-famous Kings College Carol Service on Christmas Eve. A truly splendid setting at a magical time of the year.
Visitors don’t have to wait until then to experience the chapel, or the rest of the college, as it is open year-round to the many tourists enchanted by one of the most beautiful universities in the world. A visit is best experienced as part of a longer trip to see the whole of Cambridge, which in turn is best seen via foot (depending on fitness).
Cambridge can be easily reached by car via the M11 from London or by train. If you do come by car, use one of the ‘Park and Rides’ on the outskirts, which allow you to park and take a bus to the center of town.
However you arrive, the train station is a great place from which to start and finish your walk. From there, head west past Downing and Peterhouse colleges to the Backs (and Kings College).
Once you’ve visited Kings, walk north up the river before headlining back via Bridge Street and the center of town. However, you experience Kings; you’ll not fail to be impressed by this wonder of centuries-old architecture.
When people think of famous landmarks in the UK, they often think of manmade structures and buildings. For me, I always think of natural landscapes that visually impress and have cultural importance. With this in mind, Lake Windemere is a particularly special place.
Lake Windermere is right in the heart of the Lake District, in Cumbria, North West England, and the lake itself is actually the largest natural body of water in the country. It’s more than 10 miles long and 200 feet deep at its most. Besides it just being a huge amount of water, Lake Windermere really is a spectacle to behold, a real marvel of natural beauty.
Though Windermere town is situated on one side, much of the rest of the banks are filled with lush green foliage with rolling Lake District hills impressing in the background. There are many boats that can take you for a tour on the water, or you can hire kayaks, SUPs to explore on your own.
If that’s your cup of tea, the whole area of the Lake District National Park is filled with outdoor pursuits and a great place for UK hiking trails.
You can combine a visit to this impresses landmark with a weekend visit to the area and plan a whole load of adventures. Getting to the lakes is relatively easy, and Windermere is well connected by buses and trains. It is a popular spot so perhaps avoid summer weekends and bank holidays!
Explored by Josh and Sarah from Veggie Vagabonds
I grew up in Liverpool, and although my scouse accent may have faded significantly, my pride in my city has not faulted. Ask any Liverpudlian what one landmark has the most importance to them, and I guarantee most will say the Liver Birds that sit atop of the Grade I listed Liver building looking over the city.
According to local legend, the birds are male and female called Bella and Bertie. They sit atop of the towers where Bella is watching and waiting for the city’s sailors to return home safely, and Bertie is keeping a watchful eye on the families at home. Although if you speak to some people, Bertie is watching over the city’s pubs, making sure they stay open. The legend goes that so long as the Liver Birds are there to keep the city safe, all will be well.
They face opposite directions because if they were to mate and fly away, then the city would crumble and no longer exist. As well as being a Grade I listed building, it is also on the UNESCO list.
Fun Fact: The clock faces are the biggest in the UK, that’s right, even bigger than those of Big Ben!
For most of my life, it was a building to be admired from afar, but more recently, the building was opened up to the public through guided tours. Sadly you can’t walk around the building without a guide as it is still a working building. The tour will cost you £15, and as well as touring the lower floors and learning about the history of the building, you get to head up to the 15th floor of one of the towers to experience a 360-degree view of Liverpool.
Getting there is easy, the closest train station is James Street. But it’s a short walk from Liverpool City Center. Simply walk towards the Albert Dock or Pier Head, and you quite literally can’t miss it! If you can time your visit, guided tours are available Wednesday – Sunday from 8:30 am until 17:00 pm and are well worth attending.
Explored by Claire from Claire’s Itchy Feet
Do you know which is the largest cathedral in England? You may be surprised to know that it is not Westminster Abbey or York Minster. The largest cathedral in England is, in fact, Liverpool Cathedral in Liverpool.
Liverpool is located in west England, and it may not be on many tourists’ travel route because of its location and train connection. However, Liverpool Lime Street Station was the very first railway station in England, Liverpool’s Chinatown is one of the oldest in England, and Liverpool is also the origin of the legendary band, the Beatles. There are two cathedrals in Liverpool that dominates the city’s skyline: Metropolitan Cathedral and Liverpool Cathedral – it is also the eighth largest in the world.
Liverpool Cathedral’s construction started in 1904 after architect Giles Gilbert Scott won a design contest with his design, and it took a total of 74 years to build, completing in 1978. The building is a fine example of the Gothic Revival architectural style.
Take a walk in the hall of the cathedral you will probably be amazed by its ceiling with 101 meters of height; the beautiful stained glass windows depict a number of biblical figures and stories. Go up to the tower, and you will get to see the largest and heaviest peal of bells at the bell chamber, and a 360-degree view of Liverpool at 152 meters high. Lastly, explore the Saint James’ Garden outside the cathedral – it features a number of monuments and attractions, including Saint James’ Mount, the Ramps, Huskisson Monument, the Oratory, and the Spring.
Explored by Kenny from Knycxjourneying
There’s really nothing like seeing a city from the sky, especially a city as stunning as London. Thus, the landmark London Eye should be high on your list when visiting England.
You can see it all from the ground, but for the best experience, you need to head up in one of the glass pods to make your way around the 135-meter-high structure. The panoramic and ever-changing views will give you even more insight into this fascinating city. Otherwise known as the Millennium Wheel, due to its completion in the year 2000, it is Europe’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel and the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, with over 3 million visitors annually.
It might look like a Ferris wheel, but it moves at a much more leisurely pace, so you’ll have plenty of time to drink the views, which can stretch for 25 miles if the weather is right.
I also loved that there are tablets in the pods to give you more information on what you’re looking at, although you don’t have to use them if you prefer just to feast your eyes! Be sure to book your tickets in advance, however, to avoid the insanely long lines…
Malham Cove, in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, is an iconic Yorkshire landmark and popular beauty spot. The cove is an enormous, natural, stone amphitheater 230 high, which once had a waterfall plunging over the curved edge that was higher than Niagara Falls.
Visitors can easily walk to the base of the towering cove on an accessible paved path alongside a pretty river. From the base, visitors can access the unfenced summit of the cove by a challenging series of stone steps. The flat summit is called ‘the pavement’ and, due to its limestone nature, is full of crevices and holes; care must be taken, particularly if visiting Yorkshire with kids. The pavement is at stark odds with the surrounding rolling green landscapes, and the leg-burning ascent is worth the incredible views.
This scenic area attracts hikers from all over the world as well as film crews who are attracted by its otherworldly landscape; for example, Malham Cove featured in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows. Malham Cove is best reached by car and parking is available in nearby Malham village from where it is a short half-hour walk to the cove itself. Alternatively, visitors can catch a train to Gargrave and enjoy a seven-mile hike across the Dales to reach Malham Cove.
If you are planning a visit to Malham Cove, allocate enough time to visit a couple of hidden gems in this area. Malham Tarn is a short walk from the top of the cove and is one of only two natural lakes in the Yorkshire Dales. Or, from either the top or base of the cove, a couple of hours walking on uneven country paths will bring you to dramatic Gordale Scar, an imposing natural gorge with sheer rock faces that are popular with climbers.
Explored by Sinead from Map Made Memories
The otherworldly Minack Theatre, located 4 miles from Land’s End in Cornwall, is a world-famous open-air theatre reminiscent of the ancient Greece theaters but built only 80 years ago.
Carved into a sheer granite cliff, there is no better way to spend a summer day in England than sitting here admiring artists perform overlooking the spectacular panorama of Porthcurno Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The summer theatre season runs from May to September, and tickets sell out well in advance, so book early if you want to avoid disappointment. Eighty thousand people a year see a show here, and more than 100,000 pay an entrance fee to have a little look around.
A medley of shows are presented, including drama, musicals, and opera and if you are looking for a romantic escape in an English landmark, consider booking an evening performance at the Minack Theatre, where you will be bathed in dusk’s soft glow.
Monument To The Great Fire Of London
Monument to the Great Fire of London, usually referred to just as Monument, is one of the most famous landmarks in England. Located in the heart of central London, you can find it just a few minute’s walk away from Bank tube station.
Monument was built between 1671 and 1677 and commemorated the Great Fire of London in 1966. It’s built on the spot where St Margaret church used to stand, the first church to be destroyed by fire.
The monument is a Doric column 62 meters tall, with a viewing platform at the top. Inside the column, you will find a 311-step spiral staircase that leads to the viewing platform. From the top of the Monument, you can enjoy beautiful views over London. You will get a 360-view, including St Paul’s Cathedral, the Shard, Tower Bridge, the City, and even Canary Wharf in the distance. Personally, I love it because it’s high enough to see above the rooftops of the surrounding buildings but not so high that you lose the details.
The entrance is £4.50 for adults, £3 for students and seniors and £2.30 for children. I recommend avoiding weekends if you can, the staircase is quite narrow and the platform is fairly small, during busy times you will have to queue to visit Monument. This towering column stands out amongst the offices and bustle of the City. The monument is one of the most iconic landmarks in London, and a must-see on any UK landmarks bucket list.
Explored by Greta of London Dreaming
Old Spitalfields Market
Old Spitalfields Market is a mammoth covered market in Spitalfields, East London that been around for over 350 years and is now a 1-stop destination for food, fashion, art, music, and events.
Opened in 1638 when King Charles I gave a license for meat, fowl, and root vegetables to be sold here (on what was then green fields outside the city of London). It persisted in various forms over the centuries, and in 1920 the market was obtained by the City of London Corporation for use as a wholesale market.
Then in 1991, the wholesale fruit and vegetable market was moved to the New Spitalfields Market in Leyton, and the original site became distinguished as Old Spitalfields Market. in 2017, the Victorian buildings and the market hall and roof where painstakingly restored and renovated, ensuring the historic charm of the space was retained while allowing Spitalfields to once again be one of London’s major markets.
A delicious and fun landmark of England, there are restaurants, shops, and a large indoor arts and crafts market, called the Traders’ Market, along with a pub, church, and vintage market each Thursday to explore.
Radcliffe Camera In Oxford
An Oxford day trip from London is a must on any England itinerary. Known for its university and its stunning buildings, Oxford has a number of famous landmarks to explore. None are more famous than the Radcliffe Camera building, which is one of the most photographed buildings in Oxford.
The building houses the Radcliffe Science Library. It was built between 1737 and 1749. The building was funded by Dr. John Radcliffe, who in 1714, left 40,000 pounds in his will for the building of the library. Until 1810 it was a general library, but at that stage in history, it narrowed down its focus to becoming a science library. It’s become iconic for its circular shape and dome and the fact that it stands apart from all the other university buildings. It has become such a representation of the town and university that brochures or books of the university always feature it.
You can find Radcliffe Camera in the center of town in the aptly named Radcliffe Square. It’s located right off the High Street, and you’ll be able to find it right behind the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, which you can see right from the street.
A tour of the building is available, but the shot that you’ll see everywhere is of the exterior of the building. You can walk around the exterior on the ground level to get a shot, but the one you’ll want is from the top of St. Mary’s Tower in University Church, which you can climb to the top of for 5 pounds.
Explored by Liliane from My Toronto, My World
Roman Baths In Bath
The Roman Baths are an iconic landmark in Somerset England, and the namesake of the gorgeous city of Bath that surrounds it. Built around 75 AD while England was under Roman rule, visitors have made the pilgrimage to the baths for centuries seeking the healing powers of its waters.
The baths that exist at the site today are actually quite small compared to the complex that the Romans built upon the area’s natural hot springs. Used for both bathing and socializing, the baths were known at that time as Aquae Sulis.
After the period of Roman rule ended, the site was largely neglected until the 17th century. However, after Queen Anne visited the baths in the early 1700s seeking to cure her gout, the city exploded in popularity. Bath began to attract many wealthy individuals, and it was transformed into the bustling and attractively uniform city that you see today.
Today, the Roman Baths are beautifully excavated to their former glory, and you can find plenty of ancient artifacts extracted from the site on display in various exhibits. Now the Roman Baths are just for viewing, but you can still soak in the water at the Thermae Bath Spa or drink a glass next door at The Pump Room.
Visitors can travel to the city of Bath by train from London, which leaves several times a day from Paddington Station. Once at Bath Spa Station, the Roman Baths can be reached on foot via a seven-minute walk.
The Roman Baths are open every day except December 25 and 26. During the summer months, they are typically open quite late, with last entry around 8:00 pm. I recommend taking advantage of this, and visiting in the evening for a romantic experience. The crowds will have thinned, and you can explore under the glow of gaslit torches.
Explored by Theresa of Fueled By Wanderlust
Royal Botanic Gardens
The Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew (a district in the London Borough of Richmond near the deer park) is a globally influential botanical research and education institution with still today employs over 1,100 staff. It is also one of the most visited attractions in London.
Placed amongst a string of parks and estates adjacent to the Thames, this celebrated landmark garden encompasses works by famed landscape architects Bridgeman, Kent, Chambers, Capability Brown, and Nesfield. It is considered an outstanding example of a landscape which illustrates a significant stage in human history, in this case, garden design from the 18th to the 20th centuries.
The Kew Gardens hosts a full botanic collection of conserved plants, living plants, and records that have been accumulated over centuries. Since its conception in 1759, the gardens have made a meaningful and continuous contribution to global knowledge of plant diversity, plant systematics, and economic botany.
The garden designs of Kew Botanic Gardens, along with their structures and considerable plant compilations, unite to form a unique ensemble that speaks to the growth in garden art and botanical science that consequently spread around the globe. This ubiquity of the 18th-century English landscape garden concept today, in Europe and beyond, is a testament to this – as is the appearance of large iron framed glasshouses (such as those in Vienna and Gothenburg, which were all modeled on the Palm House and the Temperate House found here.
One of only three botanical gardens listed by UNESCO worldwide, including Padua in Italy and the Singapore Botanical Gardens, the Kew Gardens metamorphosis from royal gardens to public botanic garden and then the modern 20th-century institution of conservation ecology is exceptionally captivating and visually arresting.
Royal Park At Greenwich
One of the 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in London, the Maritime Greenwich ensemble, is ordered along the River Thames and today is undoubtedly a landmark of England after benefiting from over two centuries of royal patronage.
The site compromises the Royal Park at Greenwich includes the palatial Baroque complex of the Royal Hospital for Seamen, the 17th century Queen’s House (part of the last Royal Palace at Greenwich), and the Royal Observatory. Together these sites typify English creative, aesthetic, and scientific efforts in the 17th and 18th centuries contributed to the development of global navigation and speak more generally European architecture at an essential stage in its evolution.
The Royal Observatory Greenwich, established in 1675, performed a vital role in the annals of astronomy and navigation. However, it is perhaps most remembered because the prime meridian passes through it and gives its name to Greenwich Mean Time.
Inigo Jones’ Queen’s House was the first Palladian structure in Britain. It provided literal inspiration for classical houses and villas across the UK in the two centuries after it was created. The Royal Hospital, laid out according to a master plan developed by Christopher Wren in the late 17th century, is amidst the most distinguished Baroque buildings in England.
The Royal Park was set out in the 1660s by André Le Nôtre and is noted for its application of symmetrical landscape design to unconventional terrain. The entire site takes a day to explore and fully understand its nuances. If you are short on time, the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich is the place to go to understand not only the site but further stories of exploration that shaped the world.
Scafell Pike in the Lake District is not only situated in a beautiful corner of England, but is also the highest mountain in the country. Scafell Pike rises up 978m and offers spectacular views. On a clear day from the summit, you can see the surrounding fells and lakes of the Lake District and out over the sea to the Isle of Man.
The area is popular with visitors who come to lay claim to the highest mountain in England. Whilst the highest, it is not seen as the most difficult. Some other mountains in the area are deemed more difficult to ascend, great news for those who are not experienced hill climbers. There are several routes up, making the mountain accessible for varying fitness levels. The easiest route starts at Wasdale, lying at the foot of the pike and incidentally, is the deepest lake in England. There is also longer routes from Langdale.
The shortest route up and down will take around 5-6 hours at a steady pace. With Wasdale below and the surrounding fells, this is a seriously breathtaking hike. You don’t need to be an experienced hiker to summit Scafell Pike, but you do need to be relatively fit and take some walking equipment with you.
Most visitors to Scafell tend to stay either in Wasdale, or further afield in bigger Lake District towns like Ambleside or Keswick. If not staying in Wasdale, leave yourself enough time to drive the winding, country roads to the start of the climb!
Explored by Demi from Around The World With Her
Seven Sisters Cliffs
If you’re on the hunt for one of the most iconic natural landmarks to see in all of England, then you cannot go wrong with the incredible Seven Sisters Cliffs.
These majestic white chalk cliffs are located on England’s South Coast and are part of the beautiful South Downs National Park. They are famous the world over for their striking white color, which is a dramatic contrast to the blue water and rolling green hills on top of the cliffs.
Possibly the most popular way to enjoy this landmark is by taking a walk along the Seven Sisters Cliffs as a day trip from London. While you can take public transport directly to the cliffs, a great option for a day walk is to tackle the 21-kilometer Seaford to Eastbourne Walk, which primarily follows the coast and passes through the Seven Sisters Cliffs. You can cut a number of kilometers off of this hike by braving a shallow river crossing, but this is really only advisable for more experienced walkers who are equipped with the appropriate gear.
One of the great things about this trail is that you can end your day at a typical English pub or even stop at one along the way! You can take a train directly to Seaford from London Victoria Station, and there are also buses that connect the two towns if you wish to end the hike earlier.
If you have more time than just a day trip, there are also a number of longer hikes such as the South Downs Way that passes through the Seven Sisters Cliffs.
Explored by Michael from The World Was Here First
Sherwood Forest is located 20 miles north of Nottingham in the East Midlands and is a great place to visit for families or as a unique date idea in Nottingham.
Sherwood Forest is at the center of the legend of Robin Hood, the famous outlaw who stole from the rich to give to the poor, and you can get familiar with the tale on any visit to Sherwood Forest. The tale of Robin Hood is brought to life all year round at Sherwood Forest with many activities and events, including a weeklong festival in honor of the legend and his band of merry men.
Another famous attraction in Sherwood Forest is the Major Oak tree, probably the most famous resident of Sherwood Forest (after Robin Hood, of course); the iconic Major Oak is the largest oak tree in Britain and can be found 15 minutes from the visitor center in Sherwood Forest. At approximately 1100 years old with a gigantic size, it is not to be missed.
There are many walking trails through the forest itself, and you can pick up some hand trail maps and guides in the visitor’s center, which is a great place to start. There is also a café on site which has a range of sandwiches, homemade pies, cakes, and snacks as well as a hot food selection. The visitor center is open 10 am – 5 pm from March to October, and 10 am – 4:30 pm from November to the end of February.
Getting to Sherwood Forest satnav users can enter the postcode NG21 9RN. Or use these directions: If coming from the south of England via the M1, take junction 29 and then the A617 / A6191, turn onto the A614, follow the signs for Sherwood Forest. Coming from the north of England via the M1, take junction 30 and follow signs for Worksop via the A619, then the A57 to Upper Morton, where you’ll find signs directing you onto Blythe Road, and then through the village of Edwinstowe to Sherwood Forest.
Explored by Steph & Lewis from Book It Let’s Go!
Smeaton’s tower is one of the most well-known landmarks in Devon. Located on Plymouth hoe, Smeaton’s Tower is a memorial dedicated to John Smeaton, who took big steps to improve the world’s lighthouse design.
The lighthouse is now one of the most popular tourist attractions and things to do in Plymouth. Smeatons Tower was in working use between 1759-1877 until the rocks it was built upon started to erode, causing the lighthouse to wobble.
In 1882 the upper part of Smeaton’s Tower was dismantled from the rocks and rebuilt as a memorial to Smeaton on a new base on Plymouth hoe. Now standing at 72-foot-high, The Tower offers fantastic views of Plymouth Sound and the city from the lantern room at the top.
The lighthouse is currently being renovated. After the renovation, visitors will be able to climb the spiral staircase to the top for panoramic views across Plymouth Sound and Plymouth city center.
Plymouth hoe is best enjoyed on a sunny day where you will get clear views and a beautiful walk to reach the lighthouse. To reach Smeaton’s tower, you can either walk from Plymouth city center to the hoe (0.6 miles) or take bus number 25 either from Royal Parade in the city center or the Barbican.
Plymouth has frequent train links with London (3.5 hours), Bristol (2 hours), and Cornwall (15 minutes – 2 hours) as well as a brand-new bus station that hosts buses from Statecoach, Megabus, and National Express.
Explored by Sylvie from Travels With Eden
Stonehenge: a place of mystery and wonder in the Wiltshire countryside that predates even England itself. The prehistoric stone circle has stood since at least 2000 BC and hasn’t failed to draw tourists from far and wide to marvel at it.
While a whirlwind day trip from London is possible and popular, the less tiring option is staying in the nearby city of Salisbury. From there, the Stonehenge Tour bus takes visitors to Stonehenge as well as Old Sarum and Salisbury Cathedral. If you make it there on your own or in a taxi, it costs £19.50 (£21.10 on weekends) for an adult entry ticket.
The Stonehenge site comprises two rings, one set within the other, of large sarsen slabs raised on pillars. You can walk around the stones from a short distance or book a spot if you want to get up close. Was it a burial site? A primitive calendar? A temple? Nobody knows for sure, but it hasn’t stopped people from guessing and appropriating it for astronomical events. Stonehenge gets especially popular at the summer and winter solstices; on these days, the sun’s path lines up perfectly with the monument.
Neo-pagans and neo-Druids sometimes gather to engage in worship here. However, because of the distance people have to keep from the site, you can set aside any concerns you may have about crowds getting into your photos. It also makes the stones look larger than they are, though they are still by no means small.
While you are in the area, there are several nearby ancient sites you should not miss if you have the time to visit them. They include the fort of Old Sarum and another even larger stone circle at Avebury. Don’t forget about the little farms and villages you can stop by as you explore the southern English countryside.
The O2 Arena
O2 Arena has slowly and steadily made its space as a landmark of UK. Any train ride to and from North Greenwich ride will bring you close to this impressive dome that overpowers the rest of the skyscrapers around.
The O2 Arena has been around since 2007, and it is one of the busiest music venues in the entire world. It has the second-largest indoor seating capacity of any venue in UK. It has hosted music stars from around the world, and it has become the default for any performer to choose O2 as their venue of choice.
It is co stricter as a giant dome which can be climbed with adventure tours that take you all the way to the top. On a good day, you will be able to see across from the River Thames all the way to the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf and the City of London.
It really does define the term multipurpose with a massive cinema, indoor concert hall, a giant retail area with multiple international brands, a big selection of restaurants, a bowling alley, and lots of space to just chill and socialize with your friends and family.
If you just want some retail therapy, O2 has recently added the retail outlet’s park, which hosts multiple brands at smashing prices from Calvin Klein to Nike and Adidas.
You can find more details here on the O2 Arena official website, including booking possibilities for events and adventures. To get to the O2 arena, take the Jubilee Line on London Underground to North Greenwich Station, which will bring you right outside the entrance.
For one of the most beautiful views of London, don’t sleep on visiting The Shard. The Shard is a 95-story skyscraper in Southwark, London, and is the second tallest freestanding structure in the United Kingdom and the sixth tallest building in Europe.
The building was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano. He created the building in this unique shape because he held a strong dislike for tall buildings that were conventional-looking. He proceeded to draw out his ideas for The Shard on the back of a restaurant napkin, with the sculptural building extending from the River Thames.
As one of the most recognizable buildings in the London city skyline, The Shard also has a tourist attraction and observation deck known as The View from The Shard. From there, you get a chance to visit the 68th, 69th, and 72nd floors. There is a souvenir shop located on the 68th floor, but the 69th and 72nd floors are viewing decks.
The views from The Shard are amazing. It’s definitely a bird’s eye view of London as you can see all of the city from the top. From the 69th floor, you can see Heathrow airport on a clear day. And with high-powered binoculars provided by the attendants at the viewing deck, you can even see Windsor Castle.
The 72nd-floor viewing area is partially outdoors, so it can be a bit chilly and windy; however, it is cool and unique to experience an outdoor area so high up in the sky. You’ll definitely want to visit The Shard on your next trip to England.
Explored by Constance from The Adventures of Panda Bear
Tintagel Castle & Merlins Cave
If you want to explore famous landmarks in the UK, one of the best places to visit is Tintagel Castle and Merlin’s Cave, in Cornwall.
Ever heard of the legend of King Arthur, the Knights of the round table, and Merlin the wizard? Yep, this is where the legends started. Whether you believe the stories or not, there’s no denying the incredible castle ruins which stand on the edge of a high cliff, surrounded by breathtaking views out over the sea. There’s not a lot to see of the ruins themselves anymore, but it’s easy to imagine the scale of the castle.
You can walk around the ruins, learning about the various areas and what they were used for. It’s an English Heritage site, so you either need to be a member or pay admission. Word of warning- there are a lot of STEEP steps up the hillside- and there’s no access for anyone who cannot make those steps. Also, bring some drinks & snacks with you (there is no shop or facilities at the top- everything is at the bottom.)
Once you’ve explored the castle at the top, don’t forget to visit Merlin’s Cave at the bottom. This is right on the beach (perfect for a paddle on a hot day), and if you’re lucky with the timing, you can watch the waves crash into the cave. Don’t forget to search for the face of Merlin, carved into the rocks, and guarding his cave.
All in all, if you’re heading to Cornwall, you have to explore Tintagel Castle. The village of Tintagel is also worth a visit- lots of cute shops, tea rooms and plenty of parking.
Explored by Kat from Wandering Bird
Tower Bridge is over 100 years old, located in central London, and one of its most famous landmarks. It is the only bridge that’s both a bascule (drawbridge) and a suspension bridge crossing the river Thames. The Bridge is 240 meters (800 feet) in length and 65 meters (213 feet) high, with 61 meters (200 feet) between two towers. Roughly 40,000 motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists cross Tower Bridge every day, along with 1000 river crossing per year.
The drawbridge can be raised to allow river traffic to pass through, which only takes 5 minutes to their highest level of 86 degrees. The Bascules are counterbalanced during this time to minimize the force required in raising. Twenty-four hours’ notice is needed in regards to the bridge raising but still takes priority over the road traffic.
Tower Bridge got its name from the Tower of London, which is the medieval castle right beside it, housing the crown jewels. As it’s been filmed in over 200 movies and TV shows, you’re bound to have seen it at some point.
An exhibition has been developed over the years to allow tourists to visit and venture over the higher walkways. Admission is charged for this, which gets access to the towers, west walkway, the engine rooms, and the Glass Bridge. If you’re not afraid of heights, definitely try out the glass bridge for views looking straight down on the cars passing beneath you. If the glass bridge is not your thing, then you can still explore the other areas and views over the river Thames and London itself.
You can still enjoy the Bridge without the admission, but best to pick your times with this one to avoid the crowds getting their iconic Bridge scene photos.
Explored By Chris Fry from Aquarius Traveller
Tower Of London
The Tower of London (formally known as the Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London) is a well-known castle positioned on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. Already one of the most unique things to explore in London, the Tower of London possesses outstanding universal value and has been protected by UNESCO since 1988.
The Tower of London is a globally famous masterpiece and one of the United Kingdoms’ most enduring landmarks. William the Conqueror constructed the White Tower almost a thousand years ago in 1066 as a display of Norman power.
This is particularly reflected in its strategic position on the River Thames as it starred as both fortress and gateway at the entrance to the capital. The Tower of London is the most exhaustive model of an 11th-century European fortress-palace that exists today. Its unique survival and continuous development for over five centuries ensured the Tower of London becomes a symbol of royalty – and remains as such today, long after its intended use has ceased.
It also encouraged the evolution of various State institutions in England, consolidating essential roles such as the national defense, record-keeping, and coinage into one place. As if this was not enough, the Tower of London has been the backdrop for many historical events, including the execution of not one but three English queens.
No visit to London or the United Kingdom would be complete without touring this.
The Victoria and Albert Museum, more commonly known as the V&A is a ‘must-do’ destination on your visit to London. Not only is the V&A free to enter, but there is plenty to keep you occupied for the entire day, and it’s the perfect place to spend a rainy afternoon.
Located on 12 acres of land in South Kensington in an area originally known as Albertopolis after Prince Albert, the V&A Museum was a small part of his vision to create an area dedicated to the Arts and Sciences.
The V&A, now the world’s leading museum of art, design, and performance, has an impressive collection of over 2.27 million objects permanently on display. Among the collections available for viewing in the museum’s seven miles of galleries, you will find a plaster cast of Trajan’s Column, taken from the original 35m Roman structure in 1864, a writing box belonging to King Henry VIII that dates back to1525 and the earliest photograph of London, a daguerreotype, taken in 1839.
To help you get your bearings when you first arrive, you should consider signing up for one of the many free tours offered by the museum staff. There is a daily introductory tour that shows you some of the highlights of the collection, tours of the Theatre & Performance Collections, as well as the Medieval & Renaissance Collections, as well as a tour of the building with details of its history.
The V&A Museum is made up of a series of buildings ranging in architecture from Victorian through to Modern design. While plans for the main building were first submitted in 1868, it wasn’t till 1899 that it was finally underway, with the foundation stone being laid by Queen Victoria.
The V&A Museum is conveniently located just a 5-minute walk from the South Kensington Underground Station.
Westminster Abbey is perhaps the most famous landmark in England, so much so that it actually contributes to the identity of the country and is instantly recognizable the world over.
Its grandiose Gothic design has continuously attracted millions of tourists around the world, including myself – make it one of the must-see spectacles in London.
The Abbey is also one of the oldest buildings that remain usable today. Records show that it was entrusted by King Edgar I and Saint Dunstan to the Benedictine monks in late 900 AD. Then in 1042, it was reconstructed by King Edward the Confessor as a personal burial church.
The building and its surrounding area have been continuously developed by succeeding monarchs until it evolved into the architectural marvel it is today. Consequently, the building has been the site for royal ceremonies, from William the Conqueror’s crowning in 1066 to the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, now Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, respectively.
Having a floor area of roughly 32,000 square feet, Westminster Abbey is a vast building. Due to its size and rich history, there are wonders found in every corner, and many fascinating aspects are associated with the building. Before you visit, prepare yourself with some of these interesting facts about the Abbey that not many people know about.
Located in Hampshire, Winchester is a spectacular, historical city. You can spend hours exploring its gorgeous alleys, churches, libraries, and stunning beauty on foot.
The Winchester Cathedral is a popular tourist spot here, and you must visit this magnificent medieval structure. One of the largest cathedrals in all of Europe, the sheer grandeur of its incredible architecture, will mesmerize you.
The cathedral houses a 17th century Morley Library, the Winchester Bible, and a Norman crypt.
This stunning landmark stands on over fifteen centuries of English history as Winchester was once the seat of Anglo-Saxon & Norman royal power. It’s been a place of worship for over 900 years and is one of the finest medieval cathedrals in Europe.
Once you visit, you can take a guided or an audio tour to get to know the history and significance of each part of this incredible structure. You can also do many activities like attending their daily service, visiting the Kings and Scribes, the birth of a nation exhibition to discover some of Winchester Cathedral’s most notable treasures, explore the crypt, take a tour of the bell chamber, visit Jane Austen’s grace, see the 800-year-old 12th century Winchester Bible or grab a bite at the Refectory.
The Winchester Cathedral is located in the heart of the city and is just a 1.5-hour drive from London. It’s well connected by road, rail, and air to major British cities. This is a marvel you must visit whenever you’re in England.
One of the famous and most visited landmarks in England is the fairy-tale Windsor Castle, one of the favorite homes of the Queen. Windsor Castle was built way back in the 11th century to form an important part of the defensive ring outside of London. But over the years, it has become a favored residence and place to hold important ceremonies and welcome state dignitaries.
The castle is a short drive of about 50 minutes – 1 hour from London and makes for a great day-trip.
The castle comprises of two complexes, The Lower Ward and The Upper Ward, separated by the Round Tower. The lower ward includes St. George’s Chapel and the Albert Memorial Chapel, while the Upper Ward includes private residences and staterooms.
The best way to explore the castle is by taking the audio tour that guides you through the castle. The grand decor with beautiful artwork, the prominence of red color, the royal furniture is a sight to behold. Visit the beautiful St. George’s Chapel, where most recently, Prince Harry got married to Megan Markle.
Do check out the Queen Mary’s Doll House built way back in 1920. The details spent on the dollhouse – the bedrooms, the library with miniature books, garden, etc. are worth appreciating. A visit to the castle is incomplete without watching the Change of Guard ceremony. Stand outside the castle well before 11 am to catch a spot to watch the red color dressed guards with their famous bearskin black hat march past you in perfect symphony.
A top tip is to book the tickets in advance to skip the lines of entry. And to always be mindful that taking photographs and touching the artifacts inside the castle buildings is strictly prohibited.
Stood imposingly in the heart of medieval York is a Cathedral and Metropolitical church, most commonly known as York Minster.
This incredible landmark, built in the 7th century, has stood the test of time. To this day, it is still a central place for Christianity in the North of England and an iconic hotspot for tourists coming to Yorkshire from all over the world.
The vast gothic building is intricate and stunningly overbearing from the outside, but it’s inside that really takes your breath away. With more medieval stained glass than the rest of England’s churches combined, you can spend hours alone admiring the incredibly detailed artwork depicted in the vast windows. To put it into perspective just how big they are, the Great East Window alone is the size of a tennis court!
The huge arches, majestic statues, and incredible ceilings are magical, and you may find yourself here much longer than planned.
Entry into York Minster costs £11.50, and a guided tour is a well worthwhile activity to get a fascinating insight into this spectacular building and the history that goes with it. However, if you would like to see inside and enjoy the grandeur and atmosphere such an incredible cathedral offers, you can always go to a free service on a Sunday or religious holiday.
One of the most convenient ways to get to York, one of the best places in Yorkshire, is by train. Or if you drive, I would highly advise opting for the park and ride system where you catch a free or cheap shuttle bus. Otherwise, parking in the narrow city center is expensive and stressful.
Explored by Tammy from Travelling Tam