Heart of England
South of England
Explore the rolling landscapes of the Lake District National Park, with heaps of hiking routes for all levels of walkers. Enjoy the beautiful scenery when you reach the peak of Scafell Pike, or tackle the rugged paths of Helvellyn if you’re feeling brave enough! Explore the lakes by boat on one of the many Lake District Cruises, including the Keswick Launch, the Ullswater Steamers, or the Windermere Ferry, for a tranquil journey across the still waters.
Lake Windermere is a particular highlight: reaching 10.5 miles long, it’s the largest natural lake in England, with boundless opportunities for adventure and relaxation. Visit Bowness-on-Windermere for the chance to sail across the peaceful lake, and be sure to wander round the delightful town and admire its curious Victorian architecture. On the other side of the lake is the lovely Ambleside: this popular tourist destination is the perfect base for exploring the Lake District, with plenty of attractions, shops, and restaurants to keep you entertained, and a variety of options for outdoor adventures.
Cumbria was the home of Beatrix Potter, one of the most famous children’s authors of all time! Visit Hill Top, the charming cottage which inspired much of her work, or head to The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction for an immersive family adventure. This enchanting attraction brings to life the characters of Beatrix Potter’s magical tales, with 3D structures of Peter Rabbit and delicious delicacies in the Tea Room. Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop to treat yourself to a souvenir! Cumbria was also home to famed poet William Wordsworth – visit the quaint Dove Cottage where he wrote many of his well-loved poems and explore the Wordsworth Museum to learn more about his life story.
Further north, close to the Scottish border, you’ll find rolling landscapes, fascinating heritage sites, and a warm welcome in Northumberland. Visit the stunning Alnwick Castle, the ancestral home of the Duke of Northumberland: Explore stunning state rooms, distinctive courtyards, and acres of landscaped gardens, including the fascinatingly macabre Poison Gardens! The market town of Alnwick has plenty of cafés and pubs so you can stop off for a snack and a cuppa at the end of your day of exploration.
Trek along 64 miles of dramatic coastline when you walk the Northumberland Coast Path, with sandy beaches, secluded coves, and spectacular sea views. The world-famous Hadrian’s Wall loops across the county – hike along this historic stone wall and admire its unique turrets and forts. The area also has plenty of charming coastal villages, including Seahouses, where you can take a ferry to the secluded and wildlife-filled Farne Islands, with puffins aplenty! See the signs of ancient civilisation at the Holy Island of Lindisfarne off the Northumberland Coast: stop by the Lindisfarne Centre for a step back into the history of the island, or take a sip of Lindisfarne Mead at St. Aidan’s Winery.
Head to County Durham for an equal dose of history, heritage, and natural beauty. Step back in time when you visit Beamish, the Living Museum of the North: this open-air living museum offers a distinctive exploration into the story of the North East from the 19th century onwards, with an Edwardian town, a Georgian farm, and vintage trams to transport you around the site. The city of Durham has heaps to discover, with the majestic Durham Cathedral, historic market halls, and plenty of world-class events, exhibitions, and festivals. Wander the cobbled streets and take in the incredible atmosphere of this friendly city, with tons of independent eateries and bars where you can enjoy some delicious local food and drink.
Explore the ancient forests and craggy mountains of the North Pennines, an Area of Natural Beauty with rolling valleys, bubbling rivers, and historic mines and burial grounds. For more of the great outdoors, hike to the powerful High Force Waterfalls and watch as they crash down into the gorge below. Enjoy the coastal region of County Durham when you visit Seaham, a rugged coastal town with limestone cliffs and seafront paths, perfect for a brisk walk on the beach and a hearty meal in a local pub.
Take your pick from the heaps of activities to enjoy when you visit Cheshire. Chester is an architecturally rich city, boasting the striking Chester Cathedral, an English Heritage Roman Amphitheatre, and ancient city walls still standing tall. Jump on the City Sightseeing open top bus tour, which loops around the city on a classic double decker, or explore the city by boat on one of the river cruises. Take a walk down the banks of the River Dee or visit one of the fascinating museums with various historical exhibits.
There are plenty of popular tourist attractions in the area: meet over 500 species of endangered animals at Chester Zoo and experience the wide selection of tours, talks and animal events. If sea life is more your thing, head to the Blue Planet Aquarium to get up close and personal with sharks in the underwater tunnel. For a science lesson with a difference, head to Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre at Jodrell Bank Observatory: take a tour below the Lovell Telescope, or attend one of the fascinating science shows that detail the wonders of our Solar System. Tatton Park is a historic country estate with landscaped gardens and fascinating audio-visual exhibitions; this Tudor home offers acres of land to explore, including the beautiful deer park, home to herds of Red and Fallow deer.
There are frequent events throughout the year at this cultural gem, so be sure to check the events diary before you head down. Gulliver’s World Theme Park is perfect for families, with exciting rides, shows and attractions to explore. Visit Delamere Forest for acres of peaceful woodland, with plenty of walking trails and even a Go Ape experience close by for the adventurers amongst you!
To the North West is the vibrant county of Lancashire, offering a delightful selection of seaside towns, rural stretches, and outdoor activities. Lancashire boasts two Areas of Natural Beauty: wander up Pendle Hill, renowned for its notorious history of witch trials, or explore the Forest of Bowland for wild scenery and sprawling woodlands. The vibrant and friendly town of Lancaster is a particular highlight: this hilltop city has an extensive selection of museums, restaurants and bars to enjoy.
Visit the medieval Lancaster Castle with prison cells, historical collections, and striking views of the River Lune. Be sure to stop by the Old School Brewery in Warton, offering a fantastic assortment of great local ales. Head to the coast and visit Blackpool, a classic seaside resort home to the iconic Blackpool Pier and Pleasure Beach – brave the thrilling rollercoasters, climb to the top of the Blackpool Tower, or come visit in the winter and admire the Blackpool Illuminations. Morecambe Bay is another coastal must-see, with stunning seafront views and nature trails aplenty. Learn to sail at the Bay Sea School, cycle down the Morecambe Promenade, and keep an eye out for wildlife when you explore the vast estuary.
North Yorkshire contains heaps of stunning outdoor scenes, cultural delights, and friendly towns and villages. Explore the rolling hills and breath-taking scenery of the Yorkshire Dales, with craggy cliffs, dramatic waterfalls, and hidden caves; take a hike up the distinctive limestone pavement above Malham Cove, or visit the gorgeous triple-drop Aysgarth Waterfalls. Head to North Yorkshire and take a tour of the wide array of natural and manmade attractions: the fascinating Brimham Rocks is a magical collection of distinctive rock formations, and the Forbidden Corner is a scenic garden holding artwork, statues, and labyrinthine tunnels and chambers stretching below the ground.
Venture into the White Scar Caves, a natural wonder with underground waterfalls and rocky tunnels, or explore the North York Moors National Park, for rolling moorland and rich scenic walks. Discover the incredible architecture of York Minister: journey up to the top of the Central Tower and enjoy panoramic views of your surroundings. Of course, you can’t visit Yorkshire without taking a day trip to York.
Wander its cobbled streets as you uncover the delights of this distinctive and stunning place. This walled city has an array of attractions and medieval architecture: climb up to the remains of York Castle at Clifford’s Tower, or visit the York Castle Museum with years of historical artefacts to discover, including a reconstructed Victorian street. Delve into the city’s dark past at the York Dungeon, with a variety of entertaining shows detailing tales of Guy Fawkes, witches, highwaymen and plague doctors.