In celebration of English Tourism Week, I wanted to share with you 7 places you need to explore in our very own country, England. I have had the most incredible year being an ambassador for Visit England, enjoying adventures across the country and taking the opportunity to explore what is on my back door.

Staycations are the new vacations, with Brits taking weekend breaks across England more than ever before. Why? Because there is so much on offer! From hiking mountains in the Peak District and surfing in Cornwall to cafe hopping in Bristol, there is something for everyone.

Spring is one of my favourite seasons. It provides a fresh start and fresh opportunity to look to the year ahead and book in weekend breaks and longer holidays. Lacking inspiration of where to go next? Read on:

Countryside Escapes:

The Lake District: The Lake District is one of the most popular countryside escapes in England and it is easy to see why; it has rolling hills, towering mountains, beautiful lakes and cosy country pubs. What more could you ask for? If you visit, be sure you pack your hiking boots and walk the hundreds of miles of public hiking trails. Take a boat across one of the lakes, explore waterfalls and creeks, buy the famous Grasmere gingerbread and snuggle up with a hot chocolate at the end of the day. By night, get your binoculars out and look towards the dark evening sky and you’ll be able to see our beautiful galaxy right before your eyes.

Devon: There is a reason Brits love visiting Devon in the summer, it is active escape heaven! I recently visited and fell in love. The coastline is covered in beautiful cliffs, pristine beaches and winding pathways; perfect for a morning run or hike. You can surf in the crashing waves or cycle through the hilly roads. No to mention it is home to numerous national parks which have hundreds of trails you can explore. Grab your friends and hire a cottage together, its the perfect excuse to have an adventure!

Northumberland: I have spent my whole life visiting Northumberland on a yearly basis with my family. It is one of my favourite destinations in the UK and will always have a place in my heart. I love wandering along the coastal walks which pass through cute villages such as Craster, Boulmer and Beadnell; as well as the stunning beaches in-between. Don’t miss the numerous castles in the area, my personal favourites are Dunstanburgh, Chillingham and of course Bamburgh. At night, look up for some of the darkest skies in the UK; you’ll be able to see the Milky Way with your bare eyes. Honestly, Northumberland is wild and beautiful and I can’t recommend it enough. 

City Breaks:

Bristol: One of the most forward thinking cities in England, a home to a diverse range of neighbourhoods which are crying out to be explored. Wander through Bristol old City which combines historical architecture with busting modernity; being sure to pop into St Nicholas Market for quirky cafes and shops. Delve into Stokes Croft and Gloucester Road, the bohemian and artistic hub of Bristol; take a street art tour, spot Banksy pieces and browse the independent shops. Feeling active? Grab your trainers and walk through leafy Clifton, crossing the famous suspension bridge and taking in views of the Downs.

London: I couldn’t miss out our capital, London. Having lived here for 3 years and counting, I still love exploring this city and often spend weekends wandering through the diverse neighbourhoods it is home to. New faces to the city can hit up the classic spots; Southbank, The London Eye, Westminster, Covent Garden, Buckingham Palace and Borough Market. If you’re a seasoned London explorer you can go further afield. I recommend exploring the depths of Shoreditch and Hackney, admiring the street art as you go, or going to the opposite end of the spectrum and walking through the pristine white streets of Kensington and Knightsbridge, taking a wander around Hyde Park. My current favourite exhibition is the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at The Natural History Museum, don’t miss it.

York: Not that I’m biased as a Yorkshire lass, but I grew up near to the stunning city of York and it will always remain one of my favourites in England. It has stunning architecture and is steeped in history. Walk around the city walls, visit York Castle, wander through the Museum Gardens and grab afternoon tea at the famous Betty’s Cafe. Personally my favourite part of York is the narrow back streets surrounding the Shambles. They are absolute stunning and home to a whole host of unique shops and cafes. 

An Island Break:

The Isle Of Wight: You don’t need to go abroad to get a slice of island life. The Isle of Wight is a 2 hour train and a short boat ride from London and before you know it you’re surrounded by the ocean and rolling hills. You could easily visit for a week and not run out of things to do! Learn about the islands history at Needles Battery, Osbourne House and Yarmouth Castle. Pack your hiking boots and take to the over 500 miles of walking trails available. Relax on pristine beaches with soft golden sand. There is something for everyone,.

England is crying out to be explored. What are you waiting for? Hire a cosy country cottage, get your wellies on and get out in it! Want to know all about the special offers and events happening across the country for English Tourism Week? Click here!

Zanna x

Disclaimer: This blog post is proudly produced in collaboration with Visit England.