Top Sites in England

It’s impossible to create a list of the top sites in England. How do you compare Stonehenge with Canterbury Cathedral, or the Cotswolds with a major museum? And is one of our absolute favourite parts of England, Exmoor National Park, a site? And can you call one of England’s most beautiful cities, Bath, a site?


In their guide to England, the guidebook publisher Frommer’s produce a list of Favorite Experiences, and then show that England has such a wealth of attractions that there are separate lists for the Best Modern Sites, Best Ancient Sites, Best Gardens, Best Cathedrals, and many more.

The Rough Guide’s Top Sites in England

In a recent edition of The Rough Guide to England the various authors have managed to compile a list of ’35 Things Not to Miss’. Discounting the National Parks, entire towns and cities, experiences like fish and chips, and events like the Hay Festival, these are some of the Top Sites in England according to the Rough Guide:

  • Houses of Parliament in London
  • Avebury Stone Circle
  • The Hadrian’s Wall Path
  • The Eden Project
  • Imperial War Museum North, in Manchester
  • Royal Armouries, Leeds
  • Sutton Hoo
  • Canterbury Cathedral
  • The Royal Pavilion, Brighton
  • Tate Modern, London
  • Durdle Door in Dorset

What interests us, of course, is that only two of those eleven sites are in London. But while we love to see the magical stone circle at Avebury in there, you cannot possibly leave Stonehenge out of a list of the top sites in England.

Tourist Information on the Top Sites in England

For official visitor travel information on the top sites in England, you can initially go to the regional tourist board which covers that site. There are eight regional tourist boards, which correspond with the eight main administrative districts of England, outside London.

The official tourist boards for the English regions beyond London, and the areas they represent, are:

South West England
This region includes Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. This area also covers such beautiful areas of England as the Exmoor National Park, Dartmoor National Park, the Cotswolds and the Forest of Dean. 

South East England
South East England takes in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and West Sussex. 

East of England
The East of England comprises Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. Norfolk and Suffolk are two especially attractive counties, very popular with visitors from London. 

East Midlands
The East Midlands region covers the counties of Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Derbyshire, including the Derbyshire Peak District. 

West Midlands
In the West Midlands you'll find Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Birmingham, Coventry and the Black Country. This region includes Stratford-upon-Avon. 

Yorkshire Tourist Board
England's largest county and home to major attractions like the Yorkshire Dales, the Yorkshire Moors and the city of Leeds, has its own tourism website. 

North East England
The North East of England includes Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear, and Teesside. The cities iof Newcastle and Sunderland are in this region. 

North West England
The North West of England is made up of Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, and Cheshire. It ranges from the two great northern cities of Manchester and Liverpool to the beautiful Lake District.

Cumbria Tourist Board
In addition, Cumbria has its own website for Cumbria and the Lakes. 

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