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12 iconic places to see in England

England offers a great mix of historic cities, towns and villages, fine heritage attractions and scenic beauty. But with so much to see and do it can difficult to know where to go and what walking holiday in England to choose. Let us give you a helping hand by picking some of our favourite highlight English views and attractions.

1. Stonehenge, Wiltshire

Mysterious Stonehenge

This is one of the world’s most acclaimed pre-historic monuments and a sight that is breath-taking whatever the weather and season. For other ideas also see our pick of the UK’s historic sites. Both the South West Coast Path and the South Downs Way could be combined with a trip to Stonehenge.

2. The Spires of Oxford

The City of Dreaming Spires.   

Oxford is known as the City of Dreaming Spires. It was so named by the poet Matthew Arnold thanks to the architecture of 38 colleges in the city’s medieval centre. Oxford is the end point of the fascinating Shakespeare’s Way, which is our adventure of the week.

3. St Ives Bay, Cornwall

Beautiful St Ives Bay. 

This beautiful crescent of sand is located next to the picturesque village of St Ives Bay on Cornwall’s Atlantic coast. It’s a beautiful place to bird watch, enjoy a picnic or to simply sit and while away time in a stunning place. St Ives is visited on the South West Coast Path walking trail and is the starting point for the South West Coast Path for the section from St Ives to Penzance and also the end point of a week of walking from Padstow to St Ives. Another good choice is the Highlights of Cornwall’s North Coast.

4. Cheddar Gorge, Somerset

Magnificent Cheddar Gorge. Pic credit: Diliff

Britain’s biggest gorge and its dramatic cliffs, located in the Mendip Hills of Somerset, are identified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

5. Buttermere, Lake District

Buttermere in the Lake District.

Many visitors to the UK head to the Lake District for promised landscapes of hills, mountains and lakes. The Lakes are a wonderful place for walking. Buttermere is one of the most popular destinations – and for obvious reasons. The views will take your breath away.

6. Durdle Door, Dorset

Durdle Door

Durdle Door is a natural wonder of Dorset.The sandy beach gives viewing access to the natural limestone arch at Durdle Door. It’s a great sight on the Jurassic Coast near Lulworth. Why not walk along England’s Jurassic Coast?

7. Stanage Edge, Derbyshire

Stanage Edge. Pic credit: Richard Newall

Stanage Edge is located in the Peak District, which is another area of fabulous beauty and a great area for a walking holiday. Stanage is an iconic gritstone escarpment and a famous place for rock climbing. Stand below and look up at the rock faces in awe or walk to the top and admire the wider views of the rolling countryside.

8. Tower Bridge, London

Tower Bridge is just one must-see

There is so much to see in England’s capital city of London. Take a walk along the River Thames to spot many highlight attractions including iconic Tower Bridge. If you are travelling to your English walking holiday through London, you might like to extend your trip at the start or finish to include a few days in the capital.

9. Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland

Northumberland's Bamburgh Castle.

Famed for its superb beaches and castles, Northumberland in the north-east of England is a destination that offers many great sights. Bamburgh Castle is just one highlight on a self-guided walk of the Northumberland Coast Path.

10. Seven Sisters, Sussex

Take in the view of the Seven Sisters.

One of the most famous attractions in England is the series of chalk cliffs known as the Seven Sisters. They offer a striking view, especially on a sunny day against a blue sky. The Seven Sisters and other gems are visited while walking the South Down’s Way.

11. Bournemouth Pier, Dorset

A day at the seaside should include a walk Along Bournemouth Pier

The English love to spend a day at the seaside. And no traditional day at the seaside is complete without a stroll along a seafront promenade or pier. One of the most famous English piers is found in Bournemouth.

12. Norfolk windmills

One of Norfolk's famous windmills.

Windmills are a famous part of the Norfolk landscape and were used for both grinding and drainage. A white-painted windmill on a blue-sky day is an iconic image that will stay in your memory for years to come. We love to hear the ideas and thoughts of people who visit England to walk. Please do tell us about your favourite views and destinations.

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