Most English cities and towns have a tourist information centre or visitor information centre – for ease we've called all these places 'tourist offices'.
Tourist offices have helpful staff, books and maps for sale, leaflets to give away, and advice on things to see or do. Some can also assist with booking accommodation. Some are run by national parks and often have small exhibits about the area.
Most tourist offices keep regular business hours; in quiet areas they close from October to March, while in popular areas they open daily year-round. In recent years cost-cutting has seen many smaller tourist offices close down; some have been replaced with 'tourist information points' – racks of leaflets and maps in locations such as public libraries and town halls.
Before leaving home, check the comprehensive website of England's official tourist board, Visit England (www.visitengland.com), covering all the angles of national tourism, with links to numerous other sites.