Think of England, and you’re most likely to think of London. As one of the most famous cities in the world, it’s only natural that it’s on so many people’s travel bucket lists. But even though the UK is fairly small, there’s still loads of other amazing places you can visit on the British Isles. Ditch the big city for a more rural escape and see what beautiful places you can find…

Devon, Cornwall and the South coast

If you’re hoping for decent weather during your trip, it doesn’t get much safer in England than the South coast. Devon and Cornwall are two counties right at the bottom of the country, bordered by the English channel and stone’s throw away from France. They offer some spectacular sandy beaches and Newquay is a popular place for surf fanatics. There’s also plenty of National Parks and Unesco World Heritage Sites too. Many UK natives also holiday on the South coast, so snap up a cottage or B&B before they all go!

The Peak District and Lake District

As their names suggest the Peaks and Lakes (as they’re known by locals) are both rural areas. Both giant National Parks, The Peak District is a hilly region in South Yorkshire whilst the Lake District is slightly further North. If you’re looking for an outdoorsy, adventure holiday, these stunning areas of natural beauty could be right up your street. Small villages and towns are nestled in the Peaks, along with the nearby city of Sheffield – famous for it’s steel industry. With so many places to see, you could even rent a motorhome and consider visiting various towns during your stay. Just make sure you’ve got a good playlist on the stereo! There’s still plenty to do even if rambling isn’t your thing. Take a trip to a local brewery in the Lakes or visit the famous Kendal Calling music festival.

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Northern Powerhouses

Of course, rural retreats aren’t for everyone. If all that country air sounds like a bit too much, take the motorway and head up to some of the North of England’s biggest cities. Leeds and Manchester host that ‘London vibe’ without the rushed atmosphere or the price tag. Leeds in particular has a great culinary scene and Manchester plays host to lots of exciting events, such as Manchester Pride and Parklife Festival. Or alternatively, head west to the fashionable city of Liverpool, the place that spawned the Beatles! There are plenty of stylish hotels to choose from in these cities so you’ll be able to relax after a busy day seeing the sights.

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Of course, part of the beauty of the United Kingdom is that you can simply drive across the border into another country – Scotland! If you want plenty of tourist culture, head to Edinburgh (especially worth a visit around the time of the annual Fringe Festival). Glasgow is a good bet if you’d rather go ‘slightly off the beaten track’. Check out some of the stunning nearby scenery – Loch Lomond is less than an hour’s drive away from Glasgow, perfect for a daytrip. Plus, no visit to Scotland would be complete without a visit to a traditional Scotch whiskey distillery.