England is full of exciting cities, towns, villages, and coastal destinations to explore. You can find plenty of famous landmarks in England offering many places to explore, which is why we are sharing places to go for a weekend in England.
Best places to visit for an England Weekend Away
Of course, we were going to start with London. Home to famous landmarks, endless museums, cool cafes, incredible street art, and all types of food for every budget, what is not to love about London. There are many ways to spend the perfect weekend in London but we recommend finding a hotel near Kings Cross (we love the Travelodge options in London), then using the Underground to venture out to the sights.
If you are visiting on a budget, there are plenty of free things to do in London, including the many free museums and walking tours around landmarks such as Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. Art lovers can enjoy a trip to the Tate Modern whilst those looking for a bit of fresh air (and socially distanced attractions), can head to Hyde Park, Primrose Hill, or take a Thames Clipper boat along the river. Foodies can head to Borough Market for tasty treats whilst we highly recommend an afternoon tea in London too!
After spending some time in the city, head out to explore the seaside town of Brighton, have a family day out in Kent or visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Warner Brothers Studio.
History lovers will love everything York has to offer. Walk around the Roman city walls or head to York Minister; one of Europe’s largest Gothic cathedrals. Head to one of the many museums; the National Railway Museum is a popular unusual place to visit.
Not only can you enjoy the sights in York but you can also take in the charm of York. With cozy team rooms and cobbled streets, York is a unique city in England. We recommend an afternoon tea at Betty’s or a fine-dining British option at Meltons.
A trip to England isn’t complete without a few days in Bath. Whether it is a visit from London or a weekend away in England, a trip to Bath is a must. This is a beautiful city, full of history offering a unique side to England.
Head to the Roman baths (considered the most important surviving Roman architecture in the country) or head to the gorgeous Georgian-era townhomes on Royal Crescent. Enjoy gorgeous views and take in the fresh air along the Bath Skyline Walk or bathe like a Roman at the Thermal Bath Spa. Plus, there are plenty of family-friendly things to do in Bath too, so you can experience the historic city with everyone.
One of the first of the many university towns in the UK (and not the only one on this list), Oxford is the perfect weekend getaway for history lovers. Just under an hour away from London, Oxford offers medieval architecture within its colleges alone. Take a guided walking tour then climb the Carfax Tower.
Plus, Harry Potter fans can head to Christ Church College to see the historic buildings that inspired the Great Hall. Stay in De Vere Oxford Thames Hotel for a quieter option just outside of the city.
Cambridge is known for its famous unity but there is more to explore than that. Visit some of the impressive colleges too, head to Fitzwilliam Museum, or get some gorgeous views of the city from St Mary’s Church Tower.
Head to one of the city’s oldest restaurants ‘Varsity’ for some British classics before taking a ride along the waterways; punting is a popular option for visitors looking for a tour through the city.
6. THE LAKE DISTRICT
If you love going for long, wonderful walks, then head to the Lake District. This rural destination is perfect for those looking for space and camping options and ideal for all types of hikers, plus there are plenty of things to see and do in the Lake District. For easy walks, head along the Orrest Head Fell or challenge yourself with the Helvellyn and Scafell Pike trail.
Another fun activity is on the lake. Take a boat trip from Ambleside to Bowness-on-Windermere or row your own boat around the lakes. Photographers should her to Cartmel and Keswick and then visit the World of Beatrix Potter.
Plus, the Lake District offers some of the best campsites in the UK but you can also find gorgeous cottages, perfect for romantic stays.
The old city of Durham is now one of England’s most visited UNESCO World Heritage Sites. With over 600 listed buildings in the old city center, there is plenty of things for your to do in Durham on your England weekend Getaway.
Head to the Durham Cathedral, the historic Town Hall, and take a walk along the stunning riverside. Durham University offers perfect botanical gardens for some fresh air whilst the 11th-century Durham Castle is another popular spot to visit. This is also a great place to visit if you are looking to save money in England, this city is much cheaper than others in the country.
8. ST IVES
This picturesque seaside town is an artistic destination; perfect for when the spring and summer come back around. With golden sandy beaches and a beautiful harbor, St Ives is a photographer’s dream. Surfers can head to Porthmeor Beach whilst those looking for swimming and family fun, head to Porthminster or Harbour Beach.
Complete your UK weekend getaway with a trip through the narrow streets. St Ives offers quirky shops, unusual cafes, and gorgeous cottages. For delicious food, head to Porthminster Beach Cafes, and of course, make sure you pick up a Cornish pasty and cream tea before leaving.
9. THE COTSWOLDS
Known as one of the prettiest places in England, the Cotswolds is perfect no matter what time of year you visit. There are so many beautiful villages in the Cotswolds to explore, plus, there are many Airbnb rental options here, so you can have your own space whilst enjoying a weekend away here.
Head to Bibury, Stanton, Kingham, or Bourton-on-the-Water for picturesque villages or visit historic castles and houses such as Sudeley Castle and Blenheim Palace. For a little more distance, take a walk through Painswick Rococo Gardens or head along the Cotswold Way (a 100-mile walking tour from Chipping Campden to Bath). When you aren’t in a local cozy pub, head to Stroud’s Saturday farmers’ market for some of the best local produce in the UK.
Of course, we couldn’t look at the best places to go for a weekend away in England without mentioning Liverpool. Many choose to study here, pay to write papers (or not), and explore the sites and the bar scene. Beatles fans can enjoy the museum whilst the Albert Dock is a wonderful dock full of restaurants, bars, and the occasional food truck during the summer months. Liverpool makes for a great girls’ weekend away and these travel packing hacks will help you fit in all those essentials!
Football fans can head to a game (once stadiums are open for everyone again) before enjoying the many happy hours in the city center.
Where to go from London for a weekend
There are plenty of places to visit in the UK and some are just a few hours away from London. There are our favorite weekend breaks from London:
- Margate – Just 1.5 hours away from St Pancras International, Margate is a historic seaside town. Head to the Harbour Arm Stone Pier before enjoying the vintage rides in Dreamland Margate amusement park.
- Bristol – For independent eateries and stores in a vibrant city, head to Bristol. Families can enjoy the Bristol Zoo Gardens whilst art and history lovers have plenty of museums to choose from.
- The Peak District – In under three hours, you can visit the Peak District. Expect pretty towns and gorgeous countryside views along with plenty of cute inns to choose from.
- Rye – This medieval village is a fantastic contrast to the city of London. Head here for a long weekend to explore the quaint lanes and enjoy a quick bite at one of the tea rooms.