The most beautiful places in England

Rough Guides Editors

written by
Rough Guides Editors

updated 16.11.2023

We asked the Rough Guides team to name the most beautiful places in England. After much deliberation, here are the results.

The information in this article is inspired by The Rough Guide to England, your essential guide for visiting England.

1. The Lake District

This area of natural beauty, and in particular Kirkstone Pass, is one of the most beautiful places 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. 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 the ghosts of travellers who used to pass through.

Ullswater lake curves through the mountains of the English Lake District at Glenridding © Joe Dunckley/Shutterstock

Ullswater Lake curves through the mountains of the English Lake District at Glenridding © Joe Dunckley/Shutterstock

2. Bath, Somerset

Bath with its elegant Georgian architecture and that famous crescent set on a hill overlooking the Royal Victoria Park, has enchanted many visitors. In fact, 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.

Bath © ThinAir/Shutterstock

Bath © ThinAir/Shutterstock

3. The South Downs National Park, Sussex

The South Downs National Park has 1600 square kilometres of incredible views. "It's the countryside that says "England" to you 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.

Travelling around Sussex you might also be interested in visiting Brighton, one of the most popular seaside destinations in the country. And to find out what you can do there, read our guide to the best things to do in Brighton.

Seven Sisters Cliffs, Sussex, England© Kanuman/Shutterstock

Seven Sisters Cliffs, Sussex, England, UK © Shutterstock

4. The Peak District - one of the most beautiful places in England for hiking

Inspiration by the likes of Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, the rugged Peak District has been charming Brits for centuries. Here you're sure to be smitten with its undulating hills, windswept crags and imposing country houses. This is one of the most beautiful places in England, with spectacular views, excellent walking trails (including the Pennine Way) and the regal Chatsworth House among its many draws.


Chatsworth House © Anastasia Iaptov/Shutterstock

5. Salcombe, Devon

This genteel, pastel-coloured seaside town has 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.

Salcombe in South Devon © Gordon Bell/Shutterstock

Salcombe in South Devon is one of the most beautiful places in England for its sea viwes © Gordon Bell/Shutterstock

6. Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset

Another stunningly beautiful place in England is 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.

Once in Dorset, don't forget to visit some of the most impressive castles in the area.


Clavell Tower, Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset, England © Shutterstock

7. Hampstead Heath, London

Hampstead Heath ends up on the list of the most beautiful places in England, 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.

Try our tailor-made trip to England Historical Highlights: From busy London and its Buckingham Palace over historical Oxford to the mysterious Stonehenge.

Hampstead Heath during the summer months in London © Chris Seddon/Shutterstock

Hampstead Heath, London Park © Shutterstock

8. Robin Hood's Bay, North Yorkshire

This historic fishing village staggered down a steep hill to the sea, was once a haven for smugglers. It’s hard to beat eating fish and chips by the (often wind-swept) sea here, overlooking England’s “dinosaur coast”.

Aerial view of Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire, England ©  Andrei Petrus/Shutterstock

Aerial view of Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire, England © Andrei Petrus/Shutterstock

9. West Cornwall

It’s easy to understand why West Cornwall is considered one of the most beautiful places in England. 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...

This is a hiker's paradise and this tailor-made trip to Northern Cornwall includes the most scenic parts. You will start your journey in London with some unique activities to get to know the city, before setting off on a 5-day walk across Cornwall.


Porthcurno England, Cornwall © Shutterstock

10. Dartmouth, Devon

Dartmouth in Devon captivates with its breathtaking coastal walkway, offering sweeping views of the majestic River Dart and the charming sight of an old steam train arriving at Kingswear. The harbour is adorned with an array of vibrantly coloured boats, creating a picturesque scene that evokes memories of childhood vacations. Dartmouth's beauty is timeless and unforgettable.


Kingswear Castle, Dartmouth, Devon, UK © Shutterstock

11. Castle Combe, The Cotswolds

Tucked in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in northwest Wiltshire, Castle Combe is often called “the prettiest village in England." It's certainly one of the best Cotswolds villages to visit. With no new houses built here since the 1600s, Castle Combe has a decidedly fairy-tale feel. This village is known for it's honey-hued houses, a faceless 13th-century clock, and a picture-perfect bridge over a babbling river.

Quaint Castle Combe village in the Cotswolds - "the prettiest village in England"

Castle Combe village in the Cotswolds © Shutterstock

12. Whitby Abbey Ruins, Yorkshire

The cliff-top ruins of Whitby Abbey are some of the most evocative in England. Its monastery was founded in 657 by St Hilda of Hartlepool, daughter of King Oswy of Northumberland. By 664 it had become important enough to host the Synod of Whitby, an event of seminal importance in the development of English Christianity.


Whitby Abbey © Shutterstock

13. Durdle Door, Dorset

A mile west of Lulworth Cove, the iconic limestone arch of Durdle Door can be reached via the steep uphill path that starts from Lulworth Cove’s car park. The arch itself sits at the end of a long shingle beach, a lovely place for catching the sun and swimming in fresh, clear water.

There are further steps to a bay just east of Durdle Door, St Oswald’s Bay, with another shingle beach and offshore rocks that you can swim out to.

Durdle Door at the beach on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset, UK © Patryk Kosmider/Shutterstock

Durdle Door at the beach on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset, UK © Patryk Kosmider/Shutterstock

14. St. Michael's Mount, Cornwall

Mount St Michael, one of the most beautiful places in England, holds a rich history. It was inspired by the apparition of the archangel Michael, leading to the building of a church in the fifth century. Eventually, a Celtic monastery arose here, and in the eleventh century, Edward the Confessor founded a chapel, taking inspiration from the famous Mont Saint-Michel in Brittany.

The combination of twelfth-century buildings and charming additions such as the turreted chapel and the seventeenth-century Chevy Chase Room exudes undeniable beauty. Also, don't miss the enchanting gardens waiting to be explored.

St Michael's Mount in Cornwall © Valery Egorov/Shutterstock

St Michael's Mount in Cornwall © Valery Egorov/Shutterstock

15. The Holy Island of Lindisfarne

It’s a dramatic approach to Holy Island – only accessible at low tide – past the barnacle-encrusted marker poles that line the three-mile-long causeway. Topped with a stumpy castle, this tidal island is small, sandy and bare, and in winter it can be bleak. However, come summer, day-trippers clog the car parks as soon as the causeway is open.

Even then, though, Lindisfarne (as the island was once known) has a distinctive and isolated atmosphere. Give the place time and, if you can, stay overnight when you’ll be able to see the historic remains without hundreds of others cluttering the views.

The national trust Holy island castle from Lindisfarne Priory © Shutterstock

Holy island castle from Lindisfarne Priory © Shutterstock

England has so much to offer not only in terms of beautiful scenery but also in the variety of interesting ways to spend your time. Discover what made our list of the best things to do in England.

Ready for a trip to England? Check out the snapshot of The Rough Guide to England or The Rough Guide to Great Britain.

If you prefer to plan and book your trip to England without any effort and hassle, use the expertise of our local travel experts to make sure your trip will be just like you dream it to be.

We may earn commission from some of the external websites linked in this article, but this does not influence our editorial standards - we only recommend services that we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.

Rough Guides Editors

written by
Rough Guides Editors

updated 16.11.2023

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