Thursday, November 30, 2023

15 of the Most Lovely Cities in England

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Bridge of sighs with the Sheldonian theatre background and street lamp foreground during twilight in Oxford. stone bridge running between two buildings on the second floor above a road.  Most beautiful cities in England.

Dazzling structure, historic streets, and postcard-worthy sights… these are among the most stunning cities in England.

England is stuffed with gorgeous places. From the long-lasting buildings of the capital to hidden gems just like the nation’s smallest metropolis… there are numerous bewitching magnificence spots to discover!

A few of these cities are particular for his or her historic structure: from historical Roman partitions to regal Georgian cityscapes. Uncover Medieval castles, half-timbered Tudor buildings, and dramatic Norman cathedrals dotted round these enchanting metropolis centres.

Others are constructed on the banks of magnificent rivers, or surrounded by picturesque countryside. However all of them are exceptionally stunning and crammed with unimaginable photograph ops!

Whether or not you’re on the lookout for a dreamy metropolis break vacation spot or a easy day journey, these picture-perfect English cities might present the right setting. Take pleasure in…

15 Most Lovely Cities in England

Don’t have time to learn the entire publish? There’s a fast model of the checklist, and a map, on the finish of the web page!

1. Bathtub, Somerset

wide river in Bath England with a three-layered semi-circular weir across it in front of a walled stone bridge built from beige stone. Pulteney Bridge in Bath

With its dazzling, UNESCO World Heritage metropolis centre crammed with honey-coloured Georgian structure, the spa metropolis of Bathtub is really one of the vital stunning locations in England.

The town’s protected centre is residence to some 5,000 listed buildings, so looks-wise, Bathtub has modified little or no because the Georgians had been right here “taking the waters”. These historic, 18th-century streets have been the setting for dozens of interval motion pictures and TV exhibits – most lately the hit Netflix present Bridgerton.

In addition to gorgeous structure, Bathtub is famed for its pure thermal springs, which have been used for his or her restorative and supposed therapeutic properties for hundreds of years. The traditional Romans based a spa city right here within the 1st century AD, and you may nonetheless go to their brilliantly preserved tub home at the moment.

exterior of a three storey georgian townhouse in Bath Englamnd built from beige coloured stone with stone collonades on the upper two floors. there are two small green bushes outside the entrance gate.
Townhouses on the Royal Crescent

Lovely sights in Bathtub

  • The Royal Crescent – a crescent-shaped row of 18th-century terraced townhouses.
  • Roman Baths – among the best-preserved historical Roman structure on this planet.
  • Pulteney Bridge – a sexy Palladian-style bridge overlooking a horseshoe-shaped weir within the River Avon.
  • Bathtub Abbey – a medieval abbey with a putting tower and beautiful fan-vaulted ceilings.
  • RECOMMENDED TOUR: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour (from £22.50pp)
  • READ MORE: Plan the Good Weekend in Bathtub

2. Metropolis of Westminster, London

Big Ben and the houses of Parliament in London with the River Thames in front at sunset, the sky behind is yellowy-gold and the flat river is reflecting the sunset light. most beautiful cities in england.

It was tempting to incorporate London as an entire on this checklist of probably the most stunning English cities. The capital is, in spite of everything, our most well-known metropolis, and is crammed with elegant buildings – from the glittering skyscrapers of the town centre to the tranquil parklands in further-out boroughs like Greenwich and Richmond.

However a lot of London’s most iconic and luxurious buildings are discovered inside the Metropolis of Westminster. Proper on the coronary heart of London, Westminster is definitely a metropolis in its personal proper – in addition to being a London borough.

Though it’s a reasonably small borough, Westminster is crammed with dazzling historic structure and immediately recognisable sights. So you might simply spend just a few days exploring.

Lovely sights in Westminster

3. York, Yorkshire

narrow conbbled street in York lined with medieval buildings all different shapes and sizes
The Shambles

A small, quirky metropolis within the north of England, York is stuffed with historical past and tradition. It’s additionally a vibrant, vigorous metropolis with two universities, common festivals, and an estimated 365 pubs – one for day by day of the 12 months!

Surrounded by Medieval metropolis partitions – the longest in England – the compact and leafy metropolis centre is crammed with historic buildings. There are Roman ruins, Medieval halls, and Norman castles – in addition to many improbable examples of Georgian and Victorian structure.

historic city wall built from grey stone with a low circular turret in the distance. a couple are walking along the wall holding hands in the distance, the man is wearing a white t shirt and the woman a denim jacket.
York Metropolis Partitions

Lovely sights in York

  • York Minster – a Gothic cathedral constructed between the twelfth and Fifteenth centuries.
  • The Shambles – a slim, flagstone avenue lined with tiny, distinctive retailers.
  • Museum Gardens – a reasonably metropolis centre park residence to the evocative ruins of St Mary’s Abbey.
  • River Ouse Metropolis Cruise – from £14pp.
  • READ MORE: High Issues to do in York (a neighborhood’s information)

4. Oxford, Oxfordshire

Radcliffe camera building in Oxford, a cicular three storey building bult from beige stone with a grey domed roof, with a row of terraced beige stone buildings alongside and the city skyline of oxford visible behind on a sunny day with blue sky above
Radcliffe Digicam and the Bodleian Library

A historic city recognized for its world-famous schools, Oxford feels just like the quintessential British metropolis. Nicknamed the “metropolis of dreaming spires” by Victorian poet Matthew Arnold, Oxford is a peaceable metropolis of honey-coloured structure, picturesque streets, and gently flowing rivers.

Courses started at Oxford College in 1096 – with the faculty formally forming in 1200 – making it the second-oldest college on this planet. Uncover the town’s historic school buildings and iconic libraries, discover the river on a standard punt (a gondola-like, flat-bottomed boat) or take a Harry Potter strolling tour (click on right here for costs) to see places used within the motion pictures.

With its mix of gorgeous structure, wealthy historical past, and up to date city centre crammed with some improbable bars and eateries, Oxford makes for a improbable English metropolis break.

Lovely sights in Oxford

  • Schools of the College of Oxford – the oldest of those historic school buildings dates again to the 14th century. Guided excursions begin from £19.95 – click on right here for costs.
  • Oxford Botanic Gardens and Arboretum – fairly, peaceable gardens.
  • River Cherwell – rent a standard punt to discover this tranquil waterway.
  • Bodleian Library – one of many oldest libraries in Europe, opened in 1602.
  • READ MORE: Finest Issues to do in Oxford

5. Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

view of the River Cam in Cambridge with a single wooden punting boat on the still river water. there is a large beige coloured stone building on the other side of the river and its towers are reflected in the water.

With its wonky laneways, good-looking Gothic structure, and serene river dotted with picket punts, the attractive college city of Cambridge is definitely one of the vital stunning cities in England.

Based in 1209 by students who left Oxford for political causes, the College of Cambridge is likely one of the oldest and finest on this planet. Each universities share many traditions – together with their well-known annual Boat Race – and the 2 cities share a lot of traditions.

Probably the most spellbinding a part of Cambridge is The Backs – a big swathe of inexperienced, reduce by the River Cam. Punting on this tranquil waterway affords elegant views of the long-lasting buildings that make up the historic schools.

Lovely sights in Cambridge

  • King’s School – probably the most well-known school constructing, recognized for its putting Gothic tower.
  • The Backs and the River Cam – a beautiful inexperienced space behind the college buildings.
  • Bridge of Sighs – a lined stone bridge over the river at St John’s School.
  • RECOMMENDED TOUR: Strolling & Punting Tour, from £60pp

6. Canterbury, Kent

river stour in canterbury with very calm slow moving water in the river. the bank nearest the camera is covered in grass and red and yellow flowers. the far bank has some historic houses on with a red brick building close to the river.

The picturesque streets of Canterbury are steeped in historical past courting way back to the Roman instances. Divided in two by the tranquil River Stour – one in all England’s most historic waterways – Canterbury is understood for its fantastically preserved Medieval structure and Roman metropolis partitions.

This can be a metropolis of quaint cobbled streets lined with timber-framed buildings, quirky impartial retailers, and historic pubs. Like Oxford and Cambridge, Canterbury can be well-known for punting on the river. These flat-bottomed picket boats supply a novel approach to discover the town centre.

Lovely sights in Canterbury

  • River Stour – take a river cruise or go punting on this tranquil metropolis centre waterway.
  • Canterbury Cathedral – one of the vital well-known cathedrals on this planet and seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
  • Previous Weaver’s Home – a half-timbered Sixteenth-century constructing overlooking the river.
  • Guided Strolling Tour of Canterbury – from £15pp
  • READ MORE: Issues to do in Canterbury (a Native’s Information)

7. Chester, Cheshire

Chester Cross junction of grey flagstone streets with a large white and timber-clad Tudor building in the middle with three storeys and red tiled roofing.

First based as a Roman fortress in Northwest England, close to the border with northern Wales, Chester is a reasonably, vigorous metropolis with a really historic centre. It’s additionally a reasonably small English metropolis, affording easy accessibility to the encircling Cheshire countryside.

Many traces of the 1st-century Roman metropolis stay, such because the intensive metropolis partitions constructed from native pink sandstone. The town centre can be residence to the biggest Roman amphitheatre in Britain.

Lovely sights in Chester

  • The Rows: a 700-year-old purchasing district crammed with Tudor half-timbered buildings and lined arcades.
  • Chester Cathedral – residence to Europe’s most interesting instance of medieval carvings.
  • RECOMMENDED TOUR: Half-Hour Metropolis Cruise – from £8.50pp

8. Durham, County Durham

View of Durham city skyline from the top of the Cathedral tower, the city centre is small with the light brown stone castle in front and a church tower rising in the middle, and beyond the city are grassy fields and hills and typical english countryside.  Most beautiful cities in England.

A small, fairly metropolis within the North East of England, Durham is surrounded by rolling English countryside. The Cathedral right here is claimed to be among the best in England, overlooking the scenic River Put on which flows by way of the town centre on its method from the Pennines to the North Sea.

Within the nineteenth century, County Durham was a hub of coal mining exercise, and that business left a robust mark on the town. The historic Durham Miners’ Gala continues to be held yearly on the second Saturday of July, celebrating the world’s proud mining heritage.

Lovely sights in Durham

cloisters inside a cathedral with a row of tall arched windows carved into a yellow-brown stone wall, each window is casing a patch of light onto the stone floor.
The Cloisters featured within the first two Harry Potter movies
  • Durham Cathedral – attractive Norman cathedral which was used as a filming location within the first two Harry Potter movies.
  • Durham Citadel – you’ll be able to truly spend an evening on this historic citadel, which is a part of Durham College.
  • READ MORE: Issues to do in Durham

9. Ely, Cambridgeshire

countryside scene at sunset with a few sheep grazing in a field in front of a small wood with the skyline of a city and the top of a cathedral visible behind under a cloudy sky with golden sunset light. Wells, one of the most beautiful cities in England.

Mendacity simply northeast of Cambridge, Ely is way lesser recognized however equally as fairly. This small, quiet metropolis on the banks of the River Nice Ouse is right for a calming getaway.

Take a riverside stroll to identify conventional narrowboats crusing previous, discover the historic structure of the town centre, and uncover a vibrant impartial meals scene.

It’s not simply the town which is gorgeous: Ely can be recognized for the peaceable countryside which surrounds it. The town sits on a clay “island” on the coronary heart of The Fens: a flat, marshy area in Japanese England recognized for its wealthy wildlife. There’s additionally an intensive river community – good for canoeing and crusing journeys.

Lovely sights in Ely

  • Ely Cathedral – a surprise of medieval engineering accomplished in 1342.
  • Oliver Cromwell’s Home – the oldest a part of this half-timbered historic residence dates from round 1215.
  • Wicken Fen Nature Reserve – a big wetland space simply south of Ely with wealthy birdlife.

10. Exeter, Devon

Grey stone statue of Richard Hooker in front of Exeter Cathedral, a large beige coloured stone building with a square shaped tower with four small spires on the top. there is a grassy lawn in front of the cathedral and a large leafy tree.

Whereas most of the cities on this checklist had been based by the Romans, Exeter pre-dates their arrival. But it surely was the Romans who actually formed this historical metropolis on the banks of the River Exe.

Surrounded by Roman Metropolis Partitions, the capital of Devon is a tranquil riverside metropolis with a thriving impartial scene and an enthralling, leafy centre.

Don’t miss the possibility to discover the waterways whereas in Exeter. Take a scenic cruise alongside Exeter Canal, or kayak all the way down to the favored Double Locks Pub. Alternatively, cycle the Exe Estuary Path by way of countryside and riverside cities so far as Dawlish Warren.

Lovely sights in Exeter

  • Exeter Cathedral – eclectic Norman and Gothic-style cathedral. Don’t miss the carved picture display on the facade, courting from the 1340s – or the world’s longest medieval stone vaulted ceiling inside.
  • The Quayside – redeveloped waterside space on the canal, the place impartial retailers are tucked into historic warehouse cellars.
  • Gandy Road – a slim, cobbled purchasing avenue recognized for its impartial boutiques and eateries.

11. Worcester, Worcestershire 

aerial view of Worcester city and a wide river at sunset with pink sky. Most beautiful cities in England.

The house of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, composer Edward Elgar, and the long-lasting Royal Worcester Porcelain, Worcester is a vibrant and proudly impartial metropolis on the River Severn.

There are numerous great heritage sights and historic buildings to discover – together with a number of historic pubs, such because the 14-century Cardinal’s Hat! In addition to fascinating structure abounding with British historical past, there’s a wealthy programme of occasions and festivals showcasing Worcester’s thriving cultural scene.

Lovely sights in Worcester

  • Worcester Cathedral – a sexy Eleventh-century cathedral on the banks of the River Severn.
  • Worcester Metropolis Artwork Gallery and Museum – a free museum housed in a chic Victorian constructing.
  • Medieval and Tudor timbered buildings – corresponding to The Commandery, Greyfriars Home, and the Tudor Home Museum.

12. Norwich, Norfolk

looking down a calm, grey river in Norwich with a row of stone buildings with grey tiled roofs each one painted a different colour, the scene is framed by green leafy trees on either side and its a grey cloudy day

An historical metropolis with roots going again to the Iron Age, Norwich is crammed with historical past. Uncover Norman, Medieval, Georgian, and Victorian structure on this quirky, culture-rich metropolis.

As a result of its literary background, and the excessive variety of graduates from the native College of East Anglia’s artistic writing programs, Norwich was listed as England’s first UNESCO Metropolis of Literature in 2012. 

Not solely is Norfolk one of the vital stunning cities in England, it’s additionally the one metropolis in a Nationwide Park. The Broads Nationwide Park is a water-filled space of rivers, broads, and lakes – in addition to historical monuments and greater than 1 / 4 of Britain’s rarest wildlife.

Lovely sights in Norwich

  • Norwich Citadel – constructed by the Normans as a royal palace over 900 years in the past.
  • Norwich Cathedral – a powerful, Romanesque cathedral set inside enticing grounds.
  • The Lanes – a maze of slim alleys and cobbled pedestrian streets crammed with impartial eateries, espresso retailers, and bars.

13. Salisbury, Wiltshire

Aerial view of Salisbury Cathedral and the surrounding town centre  on summer day. the cathedral is stood on a grassy lawn surrounded by small leafy trees.  Most beautiful cities in England.

A medieval metropolis with a shocking Thirteenth-century cathedral, Salisbury is a peaceable place that feels extra like a countryside village than it does a metropolis! Don’t miss the charming, historic excessive avenue lined with boutique retailers and impartial eateries.

Salisbury is surrounded by unimaginable historic sights. Probably the most well-known landmark in England, Stonehenge, is a brief drive away and a must-visit whilst you’re within the metropolis. However there’s additionally Previous Sarum, the ruins of the unique metropolis of Salisbury, which was constructed on high of an Iron Age hillfort.

Most stunning sights in Salisbury

  • Stonehenge – the long-lasting, 5,000-year-old stone circle shrouded in thriller. Click on right here to verify admission costs.
  • Salisbury Cathedral – residence to Britain’s tallest spire.
  • Mompesson Home – a sexy 18th-century townhouse which featured within the movie Sense and Sensibility.

14. Winchester, Hampshire

Tudor timber framed building with yellow painted facade and two skinny red brick chimneys next to The Priory Gate in Winchester with a large purple flowering wisteria bush along one side

About an hour south of London, Winchester is a small and charming metropolis on the sting of the picturesque South Downs Nationwide Park.

The Excessive Road in Winchester is likely one of the oldest – and prettiest – within the nation, lined with fantastically preserved Medieval and Tudor half-timbered buildings. The medieval Chesil Rectory dates again to 1425 and is the oldest industrial constructing within the metropolis.

Winchester’s city centre can be recognized for its impartial companies. Spend time looking boutique retailers, or cease for espresso in one of many many impartial cafes.

Lovely sights in Winchester

  • Winchester Cathedral – this imposing Norman cathedral is surrounded by historic sights, such because the Fifteenth-century timber-framed Cheyney Court docket.
  • The Nice Corridor – all that continues to be of a stone citadel constructed for William the Conqueror in 1067. It’s additionally residence to a duplicate of King Arthur’s Spherical Desk.
  • Winchester Metropolis Mill – a restored water mill on the River Itchen.
  • RECOMMENDED TOUR: Historic Castles and Cathedrals Strolling Tour – from £12pp

15. Wells, Somerset

grey stone cobbled street lined with matching terraced brownish-grey stone cottages with dark grey tiled roofs running on either side of the street with a blue sky overhead.
Vicar’s Shut

Tucked away in scenic Somerset, Wells is England’s smallest metropolis. With its cobbled streets lined with tearooms, pubs, and vintage retailers, this feels extra like a countryside city than it does a metropolis!

Sitting proper on the fringe of the gorgeous Mendip Hills AONB, that is one other metropolis that’s well-positioned for countryside explorations. Remember to get out into the Hills to discover the rolling countryside and peaceable woodlands – in addition to dramatic gorges and caves like those at Cheddar and Wookey Gap.

Lovely sights in Wells

  • Wells Cathedral – a part of an essential British Pilgrimage route.
  • The Bishop’s Palace & Gardens – 800-year-old Medieval palace surrounded by 14 acres of charming gardens.
  • Cheddar – a cute village in a dramatic rocky gorge dotted with caves, simply northwest of Wells.

Map of England’s Lovely Cities

Most stunning cities in England: the Fast Model

  1. Bathtub
  2. Metropolis of Westminster
  3. York
  4. Oxford
  5. Cambridge
  6. Canterbury
  7. Chester
  8. Durham
  9. Ely
  10. Exeter
  11. Worcester
  12. Norwich
  13. Salisbury
  14. Winchester
  15. Wells

Visiting England’s Most Lovely Cities

So, there you’ve it: your information to probably the most stunning cities to go to in England. Whether or not you’re planning a day journey, a romantic UK getaway, or a fast metropolis break, any of those superb English cities could be the right setting!

Most have prepare stations, so can simply be reached by public transport. In the event you’re coming by automobile, search for Park and Journey carparks as an alternative of parking within the metropolis centre. These are normally discovered on the sting of the town and supply free automobile parking for those who take the bus into the centre. This may prevent cash and aid you keep away from congested metropolis centres – in addition to serving to alleviate air pollution issues.

I additionally strongly advocate you to discover as many impartial companies as you’ll be able to. Not solely will supporting native companies assist actual folks within the cities you go to, however it’ll additionally make your journey MUCH extra fascinating. There are at all times distinctive retailers, fabulous eateries, and quirky espresso retailers to find!

Have I missed one of the vital stunning cities in England off this checklist? Scroll all the way down to share your favourites within the feedback!

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