Royal England

Buckingham Palace The Queen's official London residence, best known for its royal-waving balcony and the Changing of the Guard.

Westminster Abbey Where English monarchs are crowned and married – most recently William and Kate.

Tower of London A castle and royal palace for centuries, now holding the Crown Jewels; 900 years of history in one iconic building.

Sandringham The monarch’s country residence, with a royal memorabilia museum.

Royal Pavilion Opulent and fantastical palace built for King George IV.

Althorp House Ancestral home and burial place of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Osborne House Royal retreat on the Isle of Wight, built for Queen Victoria.

Castles

Windsor Castle Largest and oldest occupied fortress in the world, and the Queen’s weekend retreat.

Warwick Castle One of the finest castles in England; this well-preserved castle is both impressive and romantic.

Tintagel Castle Atmospheric clifftop ruin, and the legendary birthplace of King Arthur.

Bamburgh Castle Spectacularly positioned and largely rebuilt fortress on the Northumberland coast.

Richmond Castle Among England’s oldest castles, with fantastic views from the medieval keep.

Skipton Castle Little known, but probably the best-preserved medieval castle in the country.

Cathedrals

St Paul’s Cathedral Symbol of London for centuries, and still an essential part of the city's skyline.

York Minster One of the largest medieval cathedrals in all of Europe, especially renowned for its windows.

Canterbury Cathedral Mothership of the Anglican Church, attracting pilgrims and visitors in their thousands.

Salisbury Cathedral Truly majestic cathedral and an English icon, topped by the tallest spire in England.

Ely Cathedral Visible for miles across the flatlands of eastern England, and locally dubbed the ‘Ship of the Fens’.

Liverpool Cathedral The largest Anglican cathedral in the world.

Museums

British Museum England's largest and most visited museum is also one of the oldest and finest in the world.

National Railway Museum The epicentre of the nation's obsession with steam engines and railway history.

Natural History Museum A surefire hit with kids of all ages, with dinosaur skeletons, earthquake simulators and interactive exhibits.

Museum of Liverpool The city's multilayered past is celebrated at this interactive exploration of cultural and historical milestones.

Ashmolean Museum England's oldest museum, established in 1683, crammed with Egyptian mummies, rare porcelain and priceless musical instruments.

Mary Rose Museum Superb modern facility built around the remains of King Henry VIII's 16th-century flagship.

Historic Houses

Blenheim Palace Monumental baroque fantasy, Winston Churchill's birthplace and one of England’s greatest stately homes.

Castle Howard An impressive baroque edifice, best known as the setting for TV's Brideshead Revisited.

Audley End One of England's grandest country houses set amid glorious Lancelot 'Capability' Brown landscaped gardens.

Chatsworth House Quintessential stately home and gardens; a treasure trove of heirlooms and works of art.

Longleat The first of England's stately homes to be opened to the public, complemented by a safari park on the grounds.

Wilton House Packed with exquisite art and period furniture; gives a glimpse into the rarefied existence of British aristocracy.

Quaint Villages

Clovelly A picture-postcard fishing village with cute cottages tumbling down a steep cobbled hill to the harbour.

Bibury Designer William Morris once called it ‘the most beautiful village in England’, and with its thatched cottages and timeless streets, it's hard to disagree.

Lacock A favourite for film crews, this Wiltshire village has starred in productions ranging from Downton Abbey and Pride and Prejudice to Harry Potter.

Lavenham A collection of exquisitely preserved medieval buildings in East Anglia virtually untouched since the 15th century.

Goathland One of Yorkshire’s most attractive villages, complete with village green and traditional steam railway station.

Hawkshead The picture of a Lakeland village – whitewashed cottages, medieval pubs, village square and all.

National Parks

North York Moors National Park Wild and windswept, with whale-back hills stretching all the way to the sea, topped by England’s largest expanse of heather.

Northumberland National Park Arguably the last area of true wilderness left in England, designated a Dark Sky Reserve thanks to its crystal-clear night skies.

The Lake District A feast of mountains, valleys, views and – of course – lakes; the hilltops that inspired William Wordsworth.

Yorkshire Dales National Park With scenic valleys, high hills and deep caves, the Dales are designed for hiking, biking and caving.

Dartmoor Exhilarating wilderness, hidden valleys and southern England’s highest hills.

Peak District OK, so it’s the most visited national park in Europe, but all those outdoor enthusiasts can’t be wrong.

Shopping

Portobello Road Market One of the best-known street markets, surrounded by quirky boutiques and gift stores.

Leeds' Victorian shopping arcades Elegant passageways of wrought ironwork and stained glass, home to fashion boutiques and quirky independents.

North Laine The perfect place in Brighton to pick up vegan shoes, Elvis outfits and circus monocycles.

Tetbury An upper-class shopping experience, and an outlet for goodies from the Prince of Wales’ estate at nearby Highgrove.

Ludlow Foodie heaven, where almost everything is organic, artisanal, sustainable or locally sourced.

Totnes This Devon village is a champion of all things local and sustainable, and its main street is lined with intriguing independent shops.

Art Galleries

Tate Britain The best-known gallery in London, full to the brim with the finest works.

Tate Modern London’s other Tate focuses on modern art in all its wonderful permutations.

BALTIC – Centre for Contemporary Art The ‘Tate of the North’ features work by some of contemporary art’s biggest show-stoppers.

Hepworth Wakefield An award-winning gallery of contemporary sculpture, anchored by a world-class collection of works by local lass Barbara Hepworth.

Barber Institute of Fine Arts With works by Rubens, Turner and Picasso this provincial gallery is no lightweight.

Turner Contemporary The south coast’s newest art space occupies a purpose-built structure next to the sea.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park England’s biggest outdoor sculpture collection, with key works by artists including Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.

Festivals

Notting Hill Carnival London’s Caribbean community shows the city how to party.

Glastonbury More than 40 years on and still going strong, this is Britain’s biggest and best-loved music festival.

Brighton Festival You know a festival’s matured when it grows a fringe; this gathering of all things arts is now firmly placed on the calendar.

Latitude Festival An eclectic mix of music, literature, dance, drama and comedy, this festival has a stunning location in Southwold.

Grassington Festival A village in the scenic Yorkshire Dales hosts this amazing two-week cultural extravaganza.

Reading Festival Venerable rock gathering that traces its roots back to the 1960s.

Leeds Festival Northern companion to the long-established Reading Festival.

Coastal Beauty

Holkham Bay Pristine 3-mile beach; the vast expanse of sand gives a real sense of isolation.

Jurassic Coast Towering rock stacks, sea-carved arches and fossils aplenty, plus some of the best beaches in the country.

Beachy Head & Seven Sisters Where the South Downs plunge into the sea, these mammoth chalk cliffs provide a dramatic finale.

Robin Hood's Bay Picturesque fishing village nestled in a nook amid impressive sea-cliff scenery.

Land's End The cliffs and coves are some of the most dramatic in the country (if you can ignore the theme park).

Seaside Towns

Brighton London's naughty little seaside sister makes an easy day trip from the capital, with scores of independent shops to explore.

Blackpool If you're looking for the quintessential English seaside resort – candy floss, deck chairs, pier and all – Blackpool is where you'll find it.

Whitby A classic northern seaside town with haunted lanes, fossil hunting and arguably England's finest fish and chips.

Margate Beloved of JMW Turner and Tracy Emin, this once-faded south-coast town is enjoying an exciting artistic renaissance.

Southwold A genteel seaside town with a lovely sandy beach, a charming pier and rows of colourful beach huts.

Falmouth Once a hub for nautical traffic between England and the rest of the British Empire, this lively Cornish town is now home to a renowned maritime museum.