England

United Kingdom
Ambleside which includes a river or creek, a small town or village and heritage architecture

During the height of its empire, this island nation built iconic buildings, acquired superb art collections and developed two of the world’s greatest universities.

England is notorious for its wealth, yet visiting the country as a tourist is surprisingly affordable. Its largest museums are free and its grand architecture and beautiful universities can be appreciated from the outside. Stay within a budget while seeing London’s sights.

London is filled with grand buildings constructed from the wealth of England’s once vast empire. The Elizabeth Tower, otherwise known as the Big Ben clock tower, crowns the massive 19th-century Parliamentary building of Westminster Palace on the River Thames. Head downriver to find the iconic Tower Bridge, a drawbridge supported by two tall Victorian towers. Drop by Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s stately London residence.

Finish your London trip with a visit to any of its major museums. The extensive British Museum, the Tate Modern, the luxurious Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Gallery all feature free admission to their permanent exhibits.

Leave London to explore England’s two nearby university towns of Oxford and Cambridge. Cross the ancient courtyards and well-cropped lawns of Oxford University. Tour Bodleian Library, which at over 400 years old is one of England’s oldest libraries. The library’s monumental Radcliffe Camera rotunda is an Oxford icon. Afterward, drive up to Cambridge and visit its many universities. Cruise down the River Cam and float under the Bridge of Sighs, a covered bridge patterned after one in Venice.

Travel southwest to find Stonehenge in the British countryside. Despite its fame, the circle of rock formations from the 31st century B.C. is still a mystery to behold. The best time to visit is during the winter or summer solstice when the stones line up with the rising sun, although huge crowds can take away from the magic of this experience.

Arrive in England via one of its international airports - London alone has six. Get around the cities on the extensive public transit network and travel around the country by train or rental car. Most travelers like to take at least one of England’s iconic cabs during their stay as well.

Popular cities in England

London featuring a city, a skyscraper and night scenes
London
Known for Museums, Theaters and Historical
Big Ben, Nelson’s Column, the Tower of London and Abbey Road; every corner in London has a tale to tell.

Reasons to visit

  • London Eye
  • London Bridge
  • The Shard
Victoria Square featuring a square or plaza, flowers and heritage architecture
Birmingham
Known for Dining, Poolside bars and Shopping
The second-largest city in the U.K. is known for its museums and shopping, canals, food and music.

Reasons to visit

  • Symphony Hall
  • Birmingham Hippodrome
  • Library of Birmingham
Royal Liver Building showing a city and heritage architecture
Liverpool
Known for Friendly people, Poolside bars and Shopping
Thanks to some of Britain’s best bands, exciting museums and a rich maritime history, this compact northern city is one of England’s finest cultural destinations.

Reasons to visit

  • Liverpool Pier Head Ferry Terminal
  • Royal Liver Building
  • Albert Dock
St. Peter\\\'s Square which includes railway items, a square or plaza and heritage architecture
Manchester
Known for Friendly people, Shopping and Business
Love theater, museums, and bars? Get away to Manchester!

Reasons to visit

  • Old Trafford
  • Manchester Opera House
  • Museum of Science and Industry
Wills Memorial Building showing a city, night scenes and heritage elements
Bristol
Known for Friendly people, Shopping and Business
With a youthful arts and entertainment scene, international festivals and many family-friendly attractions, Bristol is one of the U.K.’s most vibrant cities.

Reasons to visit

  • We The Curious
  • Millennium Square
  • St Nicholas Market
York Minster featuring religious aspects, a church or cathedral and a square or plaza
York
Known for Friendly people, Poolside bars and Historical
Medieval monuments set around cobblestone lanes, a lively arts scene and scenic shopping streets make York one of England’s most captivating cities.

Reasons to visit

  • York Minster
  • Shambles
  • York City Walls