We asked the Rough Guides team to name the most beautiful places in England. After much deliberation, here are the results.
The Lake District
Travel Editor Greg chose this area of natural beauty, and in particular Kirkstone Pass, as one of the most beautiful places he’s been in England. The highest mountain pass in the country, Kirkstone is a beautiful drive or cycle. There are incredible views and great hikes to be had, while the Kirkstone Pass Inn, an old coaching house dating back to the fifteenth century, is a great base for exploring the area. Some believe it’s haunted by travellers who used to pass through.
Our Senior Web Developer Latn picked Bath as one of the most beautiful places in England. With its elegant Georgian architecture and that famous crescent set on a hill overlooking the Royal Victoria park, it has enchanted many a visitor – the city sees over two million tourists per year. The perfect way to unwind after all that sightseeing? A visit to the Thermae Bath Spa to soak in some of the naturally warm water that bubbles beneath the city.
The South Downs National Park, Sussex
Our Junior Product Manager Jon chose the South Downs National Park for its 1600 square kilometres of incredible views. “It’s the countryside that says “England” to me the most.” There’s perhaps nothing more striking than the white cliffs of the Seven Sisters rising out of the deep blue ocean on England’s South Coast.
The Peak District
Inspiration for the likes of Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, the rugged Peak District has been charming Brits for centuries with its undulating hills, windswept crags and imposing country houses. Senior Web Editor Eleanor reckons it’s one of the most beautiful places in the country, with spectacular views, excellent walking trails (including the Pennine Way) and the regal Chatsworth House among its many draws.
Chatsworth House © Anastasia Iaptov/Shutterstock
Travel Editor Emma chose this genteel, pastel-coloured seaside town for its proximity to some of Devon’s unspoiled, quiet sandy coves. The town describes itself as Devon’s sailing capital, and there’s no better way to see the colourful seafront than from the open blue waters of the English Channel.
Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset
Managing Editor Andy loves Kimmeridge Bay. Perhaps it’s the views over the ocean, or maybe the millions of years of history that lay immortalized as fossils in the cliffs of this stretch of the Jurassic Coast. Whatever it is, if you can bag yourself a stay at the Landmark Trust’s Clavell Tower you’ll have the best view over the bay.
Hampstead Heath, London
As she recently moved to London from the countryside, the capital was an obvious choice for Assistant Web Editor Lottie. Hampstead Heath in particular gets her vote, as it’s probably the only place in central London where you truly feel like you could be a hundred miles away. Plus The Spaniards Inn pub at the northern edge is one of London’s best – dating back to 1585 – and both Keats and Dickens allegedly used to drink here.
Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire
This historic fishing village, staggered down a steep hill to the sea, was once a haven for smugglers. For Senior Editor Rachel, it’s hard to beat eating fish and chips by the (often wind-swept) sea here, overlooking England’s “dinosaur coast”.
It’s easy to understand why our Travel Editor Rebecca chose west Cornwall: long before Poldark started brooding on cliff tops, in-the-know travellers were heading to Cornwall’s stunning western reaches. The list of its merits is impressive: renowned surf, dramatic cliffs, ancient fishing villages, abandoned tin mines, mystical stone circles, windswept moorland… Some of the more attractive spots include Minack, with its open-air theatre carved out of the cliff face, and Botallack, ruined tin mines perched precariously above a raging sea.
Dartmouth in Devon was picked by our Editorial Assistant Freya. She says: “standing on the coastal walkway in Dartmouth looking out over the River Dart and watching the old steam train pull into Kingswear above the many different-coloured boats moored in the harbour… It will always remind me of childhood holidays, it’s beautiful.”