When you think of England, you might think of football hooliganism, Brexit and a penchant for booze. Believe it or not, though, England is also pretty beautiful. In fact, very beautiful. The country boasts some of the most jaw-dropping places in the world and they usually come with an intriguing history and culture to boot. Come with us as Plum Guide explores the beautiful places England has to offer.
Robin Hoods Bay, North Yorkshire
The crown of North Yorkshire Moors National Park, Robin Hood’s Bay is a small fishing village that harks back to a more gentle time. Find charming cottages, cobbled streets and a picture-perfect harbour filled with stories of smugglers and times gone by. A haven for walkers and cyclists, you’re well placed to explore The Coast to Coast, The Cleveland Way and The Cinder Track. As with any self-respecting village popular with tourists, there are a plethora of cute cafes to rest your weary legs after all that walking.
*Insert taking a bath in Bath joke here*. With the legendary Roman baths, Thermae Bath Spa, The Holbourne Museum and the Fashion Museum, Bath packs a lot of punch into its pocket-sized streets. Make like Jane Austen and wander the Royal Crescent with your parasol and swishy dress and smile demurely at the good folk that cross your path. Or chuck on your walking boots and stomp the Bath Skyline Walk with its breathtaking views before holing up in a delicious boozer with a pie and a pint. We recommend both.
The South Downs National Park
Sussex has inspired many great writers, poets and artists; most recently the writer of this incredible list of things to do in Sussex. Of all the beautiful places England boasts, the South Downs is the biggest and probably has the highest sheep population. If you’re feeling energetic, walk the 100 miles of the South Downs Way; excellent fodder for showing off if you complete it.
Hampstead Heath has been providing Londoners with a place for reprieve and relaxation for 200 years. Wide open green space is difficult to come by in these parts so if you’re keen to escape the pollution and general skullduggery (for some reason, we've transported ourselves back to the 1800s) then a walk around the peaceful landscape of Hampstead Heath is for you. The views of the city’s skyline are hard to beat and you can also play that really good game where you spot dogs that look like their owners.
St Ives is the culture capital of the Cornish coast, filled with oat milk flat whites, Guardian readers and a surprising amount of cracking art for such a small place. Spend the day looking thoughtful in the Tate St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth Museum before scoffing too many vinegar-drenched chips on the beach. You’ll find some beautiful places around Cornwall to lay your head after adventuring on the Cornish Coastal Path.
The Lake District
All hail those dreamy vistas, dramatic landscapes and, er, big lakes. The Lake District is one of the most beautiful places England has to offer. You may have heard of a few of the Lake District’s well-known visitors. Some guys called Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth thought this place was pretty good and made some great content here. (We're talking literature, not TikTok videos, incase the kids ask). Make like the Romantics and wander the awe-inspiring countryside before
penning filming your very own ode. Make sure to upload to the internet so everybody knows how artistic you are.
A still lake amongst tall trees and hills on a sunny day, Lake District, Keswick, Cumbria, UK
A trip to the Cotswolds is memorable for many different reasons. First up, the characterful villages dotted around really are oh-so-pretty. Secondly, the countryside is positively idyllic with the bonus of being filled with the kind of country pubs that make England truly great. Spend days dreaming you own a thatched cottage and several pairs of wellington boots.
The Cotswolds, England, UK