15 Best Cities to Visit in England

Are you planning on visiting England but not quite sure where to go? Would you like to know of the best cities to visit in England in our opinion? I have gathered 15 of the most amazing cities in England. Some of them are near the beach, others are big cities, such as London, Manchester or Liverpool, however, you will also get to know the best cities to visit in England besides London and the best cities to visit in South England.

15 Best Cities in England

You might already be living in England but looking for somewhere new to travel to. In my opinion, these are some great cities to visit in England and I’m sure you won’t regret going. The largest cities in England like London, York, Birmingham or Sheffield are a must-visit. Although they are already modern with lots of tall buildings, it’s great to see how architecture from hundreds of years ago is still standing tall. In case you’re wondering what cities to visit in England, we have gathered 15 cool cities to visit in England!

1. London

best day trips from london

Ah, London! If anyone knows me, they know that London will always be my favorite city. I dreamed of living in London a few years ago. One thing I will never forget is the first time I visited, in 2017. My friends and I were walking along the river and I saw this open type bar/club, doors wide open to the public eye. The music was loud and heard by everyone walking past. There was a security guard just dancing to the rhythm and living his best life. At this moment I fell in love with London and it will always be at the top of my list of the best cities to visit in England.

What to do in London? Being one of the largest cities in England, there’s plenty to do. I can’t stress enough that you need to go to museums. Most of the museums are free in London! British Museum, National Gallery, Science Museum, Natural History Museum, and so on. If it’s raining, you’ll know what to do. If you’re looking for a way to bring diversity to your Instagram, check out the most Instagrammable Places in London. Such as Notting Hill, Piccadilly Circus, Lancaster Road, Oxford Street, and many more! Find out also what to do in London for 10 pounds!

What to eat in London? Honestly, you’re going to find pretty much any type of restaurant in London. From Mexican to Chinese, Indian, Italian, Spanish, and so on, you will find everything you are craving. This is also a good option as you might not be able to travel to those places at the moment, however, you can have a taste of them in London! If you’re new to England, then definitely try out a traditional English breakfast and some fish and chips.

2. Oxford

best cities to visit in england

Oxford is one of the biggest cities in England and it’s most popular due to the University of Cambridge as well as the beautiful architectural buildings. The university was established in the 12th century and it is still a pride to attend. But if you’re not interested in studying there, it’s enough to just look at it from the outside. Did you know that the Radcliffe Camera is a famous landmark in England?

What to do in Oxford? Besides checking out the uni, what else is there to do? Most of the England cities have some sort of museum or castle which is always a great time pass. Furthermore, during spring and summer, it’s worth visiting the Botanic Garden which holds over 5000 species. Another great option in Oxford is visiting the Covered Market which opened in 1774 and it’s still in use today.

What to eat in Oxford? Many options to choose from when it comes to eating out in the city. If you’re looking for authentic British dishes for once, The Perch is an excellent option. It’s a classic riverside pub with delicious food. Antep Kitchen is your go-to for Turkish dishes, Taste Tibet, Bhoomi Kitchen, or Edamame for the best Asian dishes.

3. Manchester

Is Manchester one of the cities in England worth visiting? Yes, it most definitely is. Next to London, it’s my second favorite city. There is always something to do there and it’s becoming more and more popular for people to move to Manchester rather than London if they want a big city life. The prices are definitely cheaper as far as renting and buying goes. Plus there are many new buildings being built as I write this.

What to do in Manchester? One of the best things to do in the largest cities in England like Manchester is to walk around the center or try to look for a rooftop to admire the city from. By now you probably know that visiting museums is also an option. For any football lover, you cannot miss out on visiting the Etihad Stadium, the home of the Premier League club Manchester City F.C.

What do eat in Manchester? Looking for a cozy place in an older pub? Check out The Black Friar. It’s been around since 1986 and the interior design is a mix of old and new furniture. Greens are a great vegetarian option and it’s quite rare to come across one in England. Other restaurants with international cuisine are Bundobust, Tattu Restaurant & Bar, Yuzu, The Sparrows, and Habesha.

4. Cambridge

What other cities to visit in England? I would suggest Cambridge, one of the best cities to visit in England. The King’s College Chapel just makes Cambridge look magical, sort of like you’re looking at Hogwarts. There are a number of activities and places you can visit, but also, taking a walk along the streets of Cambridge will give you a great experience. This is why we believe that Cambridge is at the top of the most beautiful cities to visit in England.

What to do in Cambridge? You know, if there’s a museum, I will most certainly suggest you go. The Fitzwilliam Museum has first-rate art and antiquities from all around the world. The city also has a small river and its own “Little Venice” aka the River Cam and you can borrow canoes, kayaks, and punts to discover the surroundings on water. While you’re admiring King’s College, why not go into the Chapel? The last thing I would mention is The Corpus Christi Clock or the Grasshopper Clock. This can be admired from the street. This also makes Cambridge one of the cool cities to visit in England.

What to eat in Cambridge? If you’re looking for some meaty foods, then you should try out the sausage rolls from Burwash Manor. After salty, you always want sweets. I prefer brownies over regular chocolate, so why not try the Gourmet Brownie Company then? Have a coffee at Hot Numbers Café, to warm you up and help you finish your journey in the wonderful city of Cambridge.

5. Brighton

best cities to visit in england

Brighton is certainly one of the best cities to visit in South England! It’s located on the coast of the English Channel and it’s only about an hour away from London by train. Brighton is the largest and most famous seaside resort in England. The stunning international city that looks just like a British version of San Francisco awaits with a long beach and many things to do!

What to do in Brighton? First of all definitely visit the Royal Pavilion, a former royal residence. Another important attraction is the Brighton Palace Pier, a historic pier that was opened in 1899 and it’s hosting a theme park today. The nightlife in Brighton is also amazing, and that’s one more reason why it’s called London by the sea among the England cities.

What to eat in Brighton? If you want to eat as much as you can on a low budget, you should definitely visit the Bon Appetit restaurant in Brighton! It’s an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant in Brighton that has great food, and as its name says, you can eat as much as you want!

6. Liverpool

best cities to visit in england

Besides being the birthplace of The Beatles, Liverpool is also famous for its football teams. Although, with all due respect, I am not going to talk about football in these few lines about Liverpool. I chose this city because of its spectacular views and because it’s also one of the biggest cities in England. There are certainly many things to do in Liverpool as you’ll see below.

What to do in Liverpool? Since I have mentioned The Beatles, you should visit “The Beatles Story”. It was designed for both fans and people who might not have heard of the Fab Gour. For all the water lovers, you can take a ride along the Mersey on the ferry. You get to see the city from a different point of view. In the south of Liverpool, you can find Sefton Park. This is a beautiful park of 250 acres and you’ll also find a Victorian Palm House. Why else is it the among the best cities to visit in England?

What to eat in Liverpool? If you like foreign foods, then you should visit either Chinatown and try out some specialties or the Indian restaurant, Mowgli Street Food. Whilst we are talking about street food, there is actually a proper street food place called Baltic Market. Don’t forget to try some craft beer at Cains Brewery!

7. Sheffield

best cities to visit in england

Sheffield is one of the England cities closest to Manchester and Leeds, in the county of South Yorkshire. It is definitely worth the visit as there are many attractions in the city, as well as live music, food markets, and art and event scenes. If you’re not interested in spending too many days here, it’s a great day trip from Manchester as it’s only about an hour’s train ride.

What to do in Sheffield? Sheffield was founded in the early 12th century by Lord Willaim de Lovetot. It used to be an Anglo-Saxon village. It has a lot of history and they slowly implemented more modern elements as well as keeping the big parks and greenery. Things worth visiting are the Sheffield Winter Garden, Kelham Island, Sheffield Cathedral, the National Videogame Museum, and the National Emergency Services Museum.

What to eat in Sheffield? It’s easy to look up the best restaurants in Sheffield on Google. Thankfully we live in a world with a wide variety of restaurants and different types of cuisine and Sheffield is also filled with delicious food. Restaurants and pubs worth visiting are the Domo Restaurant, Lavang, Cutlery Works, or Tamper Coffee for Brunch.

8. Birmingham

You might know Birmingham from the Peaky Blinders. The most notorious band is from Birmingham, one of the biggest cities in England. Although in the TV Series, the city looks quite different as it was played in 1919, it’s still worth visiting today. Birmingham is on our list of beautiful cities to visit in England and here are a few reasons why.

What to do in Birmingham? First of all, there are fitness expositions each year like Arnold’s Sports Festival, National Outdoor Expo, and the famous BodyPower Expo. It’s worth taking on the city by foot, there are walking tours available to book if you’re not feeling too adventurous on your own. Furthermore, there are a number of live events or karaoke bars available for extra fun.

What to eat in Birmingham? Looking to have a lovely experience at a Victorian pub with original stained glass and snob screens? Have a look at The Bartons Arms and enjoy some food and drinks. If you are feeling extra generous, why not go to a Michelin-starred restaurant like Simpsons, Opheem, Adam’s, and so on? This will be an experience on its own and all the more reason why Birmingham is one of those cool cities to visit in England.

9. Bath

If you could choose from the many England cities to visit, Bath should be in your top 10. It is famous for its Roman remains, as well as the beautiful architecture that is still visible in the city today. Famous people like Jane Austen or Ralph Allen who used to live in Bath fell under the spell of it.

What to do in Bath? This one is easy. The number one place that everyone visits is among the UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Roman Remains and Hot Springs. Here the Roman Baths are a greatly preserved thermae and were used for public bathing. Today it is only to visit as it’s a part of a museum, however, the same water is used in other wellness and spa centers.

What to eat in Bath? If you check online the top-rated restaurants are Menu Gordon Jones, which is a Michelin-starred restaurant, the Sotto Sotto is an Italian one and JC’s Kitchen which serves Philippine food. We also recommend checking out the Yak Yeti Yak for Nepalese dishes, or Tagine Zhor for Moroccan vibes. The Pump Room Restaurant is Jane Austen-inspired and is perfect for afternoon tea.

10. York

York Minister – Photo from Telegraph

One of the best cities to visit in England besides London is definitely York. This place is a cathedral city and a unitary authority area. If you love architecture, you will love its long-standing buildings and structures. One of the reasons sunsets are so majestical in England is due to its buildings. I am not sure if they meant to build them this way, but the way the sun shines on these buildings truly makes them look wonderful. The same can be said for York, another one of the cool cities to visit in England.

What to do in York? As York is among the largest cities in England, there are loads of activities to do. In case you are feeling like exercising, why not climb up to Clifford’s Tower? This is the ruined Norman Keep found at the Centre of York Castle. The tower will also offer some breathtaking views over the city. If you are a Harry Potter fan you must take a stroll down the Shambles. Now, how can I miss talking about York Minster? This spectacular cathedral dates back to the 7th century. You can even step inside and climb 275 steps!

What to eat in York? While you are walking down The Shambles why not have a pulled pork burger at Shambles Kitchen? For all my sweet tooth readers, how about some pancakes at Brew & Brownie? When in York, try out some Yorkshire puddings at The Star Inn The City! Talking about all this food makes me hungry. We hope that you are convinced that York is one of the great cities to visit in England.

11. Bournemouth

best cities to visit in england

Bournemouth has to be one of the most beautiful cities to visit in England and one of the best cities to visit in South England in my opinion. The moment I saw the crystal clear water, and the golden sandy beaches, I fell in love. It’s really picturesque even just taking a walk and enjoying the breeze. Although I will say that it can be very windy!

What to do in Bournemouth? While you are at the beach, you should explore the Pier. You get your regular arcade games, a variety of theatres, cafes, and gift shops. I was also surprised by all the greenery Bournemouth has to offer. The Upper, Central, and Lower Gardens run through the center of town. In case you want to see the gorgeous view of the city, just go on the Big Wheel and enjoy it. If you’re looking for a bit more fun, try out an escape room. The one I’ve been to is called U-Escape Room and over some tricky escape games.

What to eat in Bournemouth? I’m not going to suggest fish and chips again, you already know that is an option throughout England. Make sure to try out Prom Cafe right at Pier Approach. You can sit outside on the terrace or if it’s rainy, sit inside and watch the sea from there. Do you fancy some pizza? The Stable is the perfect place to go to! Have some delicious pizza with beer and crafted drinks. If you’re a cheese and wine lover, the place for you is Renoufs Cheese and Wine Bar, which is the best in the area. Hopefully, we’ve convinced you that Bournemouth is one of the best cities to visit in England.

12. Bristol

Among the biggest cities in England, Bristol is one you can spend a few days in. They call it ‘old industrial-turned-Bohemian charm’ and I couldn’t agree more. The views alone of the bridge are worth everything. It has everything from shopping centers to bars, cafes, and other amazing restaurants.

What to do in Bristol? You should definitely visit the Clifton Suspension Bridge. It’s a typical Victorian bridge and a symbol of the city. The Bristol Museum & Art gallery is an amazing way to pass the time. Speaking of museums, did you know that Brunel’s SS is a living museum on Brunel’s iron ship? You can take your family and kids here as they will surely be amazed.

What to eat in Bristol? Let’s say you’re visiting Bristol on a Sunday, some great options are Chophouse Restaurant and Bar, Miller & Carter Steakhouse, or the Ox Bristol. The Three Brothers Burgers offers a variety of delicious burgers with craft beer and shake. While you’re having a fun bowling night at Roxy Lanes, you can try out their amazing food and cocktails!

13. Nottingham

This lovely city is located in Central England, in the Midlands. Nottingham is worth visiting, as you can find everything you are looking for in one place. Museums, parks, restaurants, fun activities for children and families, monuments, and so on. So why is Nottingham one of the best cities to visit in England besides London?

What to do in Nottingham? If you’re planning on going with the kids, you can take them to Nottingham Treasure Hunt Trail. What is more fun than finding hidden treasures? There are also indoor and soft play areas for the little ones, but also for the big ones. The National Justice Museum will help you learn new things and you’ll have plenty to talk about with your family and friends. Don’t forget to visit Nottingham Castle if you’re looking for some exploring and climbing.

What to eat in Nottingham? Do you like pastries? Because I really love pastries and I encourage you to try one at Tough Mary’s Bakehouse in Nottingham. Again, for anyone loving sweets, have some doughnuts from Doughnotts. Fun name, right? Or just enjoy the city and some cocktails on the sixth floor at Trent Bridge Cricket Ground.

14. Colchester

best cities to visit in england

I didn’t think I would be writing about Colchester or living in Colchester. This little city stole my heart. With its beautiful parks filled with squirrels, breathtaking sunsets, and a lovely castle, Colchester is just 1.5 hours away from London and it’s one of the best cities to visit in England and also one of the great cities to visit in England. Did you know that Colchester is the oldest recorded city in England? Built by the Romans in AD 60. If you’re still thinking of what cities to visit, Colchester is the one!

What to do in Colchester? I have mentioned Castle Park. You can visit the castle and go inside to learn about West African Gold, the stonework of the largest Norman keep in Europe, and to read about the discoveries of Colchester’s oldest inhabitants. You can take a day trip to the Zoo of Colchester which is set on 60 acres of parkland. There are over 260 species of animals! There are several activities you could do with children, such as going to the swimming pools at Leisure World, Tenpin Colchester, trampoline parks, soft play areas, and so on.

What to eat in Colchester? In case you are celebrating, I would recommend Pavilion Restaurant. It’s one of the fanciest restaurants but you won’t regret going to Pavilion. If you’re looking to eat some lovely cake at Victoria Yum, their place is so cozy and perfect for a tea evening and some cakes. I’m not trying to make you have diabetes but go to Kaspas please if you’re in Colchester. You can find it all there, crepes, waffles, cakes, coffee, and more! Are you ready to visit one of the cool cities to visit in England, which is Colchester?

15. Scarborough

Scarborough seems really magical to me. Along the beach, you can see the 12th Century Scarborough Castle. It is one of England’s most famous seaside resorts. You can have a lot of fun if you go to Scarborough one of the great cities to visit in England. I would probably recommend visiting during the summer, just to get the full experience.

What to do in Scarborough? Well, speaking of the castle, you should definitely visit Scarborough Castle which has a history of 3000 years! You will be able to see the panoramic views of the Yorkshire coastline. Why not discover some of the aquariums at Sea Life Scarborough? If you love animals, I am sure you will have fun here. While we’re still at water activities, have a go on a water slide at Alpamare Water Park.

What to eat in Scarborough? In case you’re having a rough morning, how about some “Yay Coffee!”? They serve a range of high-quality drinks. If you’re looking for some spectacular views while you are eating, check out Taylor’s Bar & Kitchen with an overview of North Bay and Castle headland. I have to include pizza, at Tricolos Italian Restaurant, you will find some delicious pizza when you just want to grab something to eat.

Conclusion – Beautiful cities to visit in England

At the beginning of the article, you were wondering what cities to visit in England. Here you have 15 of the most beautiful cities to visit in England and 9 of the best cities to visit in England besides London. You also have some of the best cities to visit in South England. There is a bit of a mix for everyone here. Whether you are looking to try out some water activities or simply to discover foods, you can do all of it on this list of England cities.

You already know my favorite among the largest cities in England, and I wonder what is yours. Please let us know your favorite on the list of best cities to visit in England. Also, let us know if you wish us to do Part II of the most beautiful cities to visit in England. Don’t forget to check out the most beautiful villages in England for some more inspiration!

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