15 of the Most Stunning 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 a few of the most lovely cities in England.

England is stuffed with gorgeous places. From the enduring 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 historic 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 lovely and full of unbelievable photograph ops!

Whether or not you’re in search of a dreamy metropolis break vacation spot or a easy day journey, these picture-perfect English cities may present the proper setting. Get pleasure from…

15 Most Stunning Cities in England

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

1. Tub, 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 full of honey-coloured Georgian structure, the spa metropolis of Tub is actually one of the lovely locations in England.

Town’s protected centre is dwelling to some 5,000 listed buildings, so looks-wise, Tub 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 films and TV exhibits – most not too long ago the hit Netflix present Bridgerton.

In addition to gorgeous structure, Tub 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’ll nonetheless go to their brilliantly preserved bathtub home right this 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

Stunning sights in Tub

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

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 record of probably the most lovely English cities. The capital is, in spite of everything, our most well-known metropolis, and is full of 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 sumptuous 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 full of dazzling historic structure and immediately recognisable sights. So you could possibly simply spend a number of days exploring.

Stunning 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, full of life metropolis with two universities, common festivals, and an estimated 365 pubs – one for every single day of the 12 months!

Surrounded by Medieval metropolis partitions – the longest in England – the compact and leafy metropolis centre is full of 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

Stunning 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 dwelling to the evocative ruins of St Mary’s Abbey.
  • River Ouse Metropolis Cruise – from £14pp.
  • READ MORE: Prime Issues to do in York (an area’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.

Lessons started at Oxford College in 1096 – with the school formally forming in 1200 – making it the second-oldest college on the planet. Uncover the town’s historic faculty 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 films.

With its mix of gorgeous structure, wealthy historical past, and modern city centre full of some improbable bars and eateries, Oxford makes for a improbable English metropolis break.

Stunning sights in Oxford

  • Schools of the College of Oxford – the oldest of those historic faculty 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: Greatest 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 wood punts, the beautiful college city of Cambridge is definitely one of the lovely cities in England.

Based in 1209 by students who left Oxford for political causes, the College of Cambridge is without doubt one of the oldest and greatest on the planet. Each universities share many traditions – together with their well-known annual Boat Race – and the 2 cities share various traditions.

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

Stunning sights in Cambridge

  • King’s School – probably the most well-known faculty constructing, recognized for its hanging Gothic tower.
  • The Backs and the River Cam – a stunning 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 occasions. Divided in two by the tranquil River Stour – considered one of England’s most historic waterways – Canterbury is thought for its superbly preserved Medieval structure and Roman metropolis partitions.

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

Stunning sights in Canterbury

  • River Stour – take a river cruise or go punting on this tranquil metropolis centre waterway.
  • Canterbury Cathedral – one of the well-known cathedrals on the 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, full of life 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 in depth metropolis partitions constructed from native crimson sandstone. Town centre can also be dwelling to the biggest Roman amphitheatre in Britain.

Stunning sights in Chester

  • The Rows: a 700-year-old purchasing district full of Tudor half-timbered buildings and lined arcades.
  • Chester Cathedral – dwelling to Europe’s best 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 probably the greatest in England, overlooking the scenic River Put on which flows by means of the town centre on its manner from the Pennines to the North Sea.

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

Stunning 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 – beautiful Norman cathedral which was used as a filming location within the first two Harry Potter movies.
  • Durham Fort – you’ll be able to truly spend an evening on this historic fort, 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 good for a soothing getaway.

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

It’s not simply the town which is gorgeous: Ely can also be recognized for the peaceable countryside which surrounds it. 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 – excellent for canoeing and crusing journeys.

Stunning sights in Ely

  • Ely Cathedral – a marvel of medieval engineering accomplished in 1342.
  • Oliver Cromwell’s Home – the oldest a part of this half-timbered historic dwelling 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 lots of the cities on this record had been based by the Romans, Exeter pre-dates their arrival. Nevertheless it was the Romans who really formed this historic 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 unbiased 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 means of countryside and riverside cities so far as Dawlish Warren.

Stunning sights in Exeter

  • Exeter Cathedral – eclectic Norman and Gothic-style cathedral. Don’t miss the carved picture display screen 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 unbiased retailers are tucked into historic warehouse cellars.
  • Gandy Avenue – a slim, cobbled purchasing avenue recognized for its unbiased 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 enduring Royal Worcester Porcelain, Worcester is a vibrant and proudly unbiased metropolis on the River Severn.

There are a lot of 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.

Stunning sights in Worcester

  • Worcester Cathedral – a gorgeous 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 – resembling 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 historic metropolis with roots going again to the Iron Age, Norwich is full of historical past. Uncover Norman, Medieval, Georgian, and Victorian structure on this quirky, culture-rich metropolis.

Because 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 lovely 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 historic monuments and greater than 1 / 4 of Britain’s rarest wildlife.

Stunning sights in Norwich

  • Norwich Fort – constructed by the Normans as a royal palace over 900 years in the past.
  • Norwich Cathedral – a powerful, Romanesque cathedral set inside engaging grounds.
  • The Lanes – a maze of slim alleys and cobbled pedestrian streets full of unbiased 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 unbiased eateries.

Salisbury is surrounded by unbelievable historic sights. Probably the most well-known landmark in England, Stonehenge, is a brief drive away and a must-visit when 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 lovely sights in Salisbury

  • Stonehenge – the enduring, 5,000-year-old stone circle shrouded in thriller. Click on right here to examine admission costs.
  • Salisbury Cathedral – dwelling to Britain’s tallest spire.
  • Mompesson Home – a gorgeous 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 Avenue in Winchester is without doubt one of the oldest – and prettiest – within the nation, lined with superbly preserved Medieval and Tudor half-timbered buildings. The medieval Chesil Rectory dates again to 1425 and is the oldest business constructing within the metropolis.

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

Stunning 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 is still of a stone fort constructed for William the Conqueror in 1067. It’s additionally dwelling 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. You’ll want 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.

Stunning 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 Stunning Cities

Most lovely cities in England: the Fast Model

  1. Tub
  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 Stunning Cities

So, there you’ve it: your information to probably the most lovely 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 proper setting!

Most have practice stations, so can simply be reached by public transport. For those who’re coming by automotive, search for Park and Trip carparks as an alternative of parking within the metropolis centre. These are normally discovered on the sting of the town and supply free automotive parking when you take the bus into the centre. It will prevent cash and provide help to keep away from congested metropolis centres – in addition to serving to alleviate air pollution issues.

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

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

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