Full of history and natural beauty, the England is a prime tourist destination for travelers from all over the world. Though just about anyone who visits the UK knows the charm of London and swings by Stonehenge, there are also quite a few other tourist friendly destinations that are a little more under the radar. While everyone has their own taste and England is bursting with visit-worthy locales, below are four gems that visitors should make time for. From big cities to forest areas, England has something for everyone.
A lovely small city located near New Forest National Park, it is a good home base for tourists wanting to take day trips to the surrounding region. It has a historical harbor, sandy beaches and centuries old protected architecture. Though small, the city is about 1,300 years old, making it a historical giant.
Not only important historically, several rare and protected species live in the area, including the Dartford Warbler. There is a weekly Monday market, perfect for both locals and out of town shopping enthusiasts. And, as befits a city so old, there are several protected historical buildings as well. The Ship Inn is one such building. It is over 300 years old, can be found on High Street and is one of several listed historical buildings in Christchurch.
Of course, no ancient city would be complete without a castle. Christchurch actually has two, including a ruined Norman castle which tourists can visit. Architecture enthusiasts can also swing by Christchurch Priory, England’s longest Parish Church, which has a mixed architectural style, as it was added onto throughout the years. It is visited often by pilgrims, who come to see its Miraculous Beam.
Sailing is a popular hobby in the area, as befits a harbor town, giving outdoorsy tourists yet another activity in which to partake. The local beaches and New Forest National Park are other nature oriented destinations in the area that tourists should not miss.
Americans in particular might be interested in a day trip to Plymouth, as the Pilgrims departed from there before landing in America and founding Plymouth Colony. The city today has been given a modern facelift. It has almost thirty parks which visitors and residents can all enjoy, making it a lovely city to visit in the spring and summer months.
The Plymouth Gin Distillery is found there as well, and while still a working distillery is also now a bar. Among other interesting architectural structures in the area is Smeaton’s Tower, which was originally a lighthouse and is now open to the public. Children and adults can both enjoy the National Marine Aquarium. In addition there are many churches of various religions as well as multiple war memorials.
Fans of historical fiction will already be familiar with Bath, a favorite fictional vacation location. Its appeal is not just limited to the pages of a book, however. There is quite a bit to see and do in this small but charming little city, long a tourist favorite.
There are, of course, daily tours of the famous Roman Baths, which were constructed almost two thousand years ago. Though guests can no longer actually bathe in the waters at the Roman Baths, those who do want to dip into naturally heated waters can do so at the more modern and reasonably priced Thermae Bath Spa.
For adventurous visitors, there are a plethora of fun options, from hot air ballon rides to racing around the Castle Combe Circuit, a racing track that tourists can pay to drive on. For slightly tamer outings, there’s also a guided Jane Austin walking tour, perfect for this scenic city, as well as plenty of shopping options for those who would like to bring home some souvenirs.
Another city that is coming up on two thousand years in existence, York has plenty to recommend it. There are multiple art museums and galleries, from the Quilt Museum to the WW2 themed Eden Camp Modern History Theme Museum. Visitors who want to explore the natural beauty of the area can go to the Arboretum or the local lavender farm. For some fresh air golf at the Fulford Golf Club or renting a boat through YorkBoat are fun and affordable holiday activities.
More adult oriented activities include visiting the local Black Sheep Brewery or exploring the York Dungeon, which is part theatre and part history. Children will enjoy local award-winning aquarium The Deep, which features crowd pleasers such as penguins and sharks. And, as with any ancient city, just walking the streets and admiring the centuries old architecture can fill a relaxing day.