My Top 10 Things You Must See or Do in England

If you have never been to England you owe it to yourself to add it to your "Bucket List" as a ‘must do' before you die.  It's actually more affordable than you think.  I have flown roundtrip from DFW to Gatwick Airport in London for less than $400 the first time and less than $600 the second time.  It's hard to get domestic flights that cheap sometimes.

I have assembled a list of my Top 10 Things to Experience in England. It is not my goal to give you the Top 10 Tourist Attractions in England, you can find a list of those anywhere.  I wanted to give you my personal top choices based on my own experiences there. England is a beautiful country full of super nice people. I can't wait to go back.

One of many Tesco's
One of many Tesco's
 

10-Visit a Tesco grocery store-I thoroughly enjoyed seeing what food products they had that we do not, what products we have that they do not, the ones that look so similar that you can tell they are their version of our same product and the difference in prices!  One thing I noticed is how thin all of their packaging is.  We seem to have fatter shorter packaging.  They are more space conscious. 

Blackpool at Night
Blackpool at Night

9-Blackpool, England- To me, Blackpool is a cross between Six Flags over Texas and 6th Street in Austin, but situated at the water's edge. All of the street light decorations remind me of small town Christmas time. It's a very interesting place. It has a great carnival feel year-around. There are rides and games, trolleys, etc.

Red Lion Pub Across the Street from the Stones at Avebury
Red Lion Pub Across the Street from the Stones at Avebury

8-Avebury Stone Circle-one of the many stone circles in England. I enjoyed visiting this site because of how accessible it was to move around the stones. Sheep freely moved around as well. It just had a quaint homely feel to the place. Situated directly across the street is the Red Lion Pub. The Red Lion has been featured as a haunted location by "Most Haunted". See the links below for more info on this.

 

Avebury Stone Circle
Avebury Stone Circle
Magnificent Cliffs at Cheddar Gorge
Magnificent Cliffs at Cheddar Gorge

Cheddar Gorge

7-Cheddar Gorge-a breathtaking drive through the tallest cliffs I have seen. The gorge was formed by meltwater floods over the last 1.2 million years. This site is also where Britian's oldest complete human skeleton was found in 1903. Know as Cheddar Man, he is estimated to have been 9000 years old.

Nestled in the bottom of the gorge is a beautiful row of shops. We had a wonderful time there. I love cheddar cheese, but had never given much thought where it originated. Now, I know. 

 

Stonehenge
Stonehenge

6-Stonehenge-Stonehenge surprised me. You're traveling along and suddenly it appears in the distance. You recognize it immediately, but it's the way you just ‘happen upon it' that surprised me. I visited Stonehenge from the fence both times and it was more enjoyable seeing it through the eyes of my teenage daughter. It's a must-see if you travel to England. It is probably the most recognized icon of England and you will have many reminders of your trip whenever you see anything in the future about Stonehenge

River in Lynmouth
River in Lynmouth

 

5-Lynmouth-one of my favorite harbor towns along the Severn Sea or Bristol Channel. This little town is rich with history. In 1899, 20 horses and 100 men carried a 10-ton rescue boat up a steep hill in the dark in horrible weather conditions to try to set sail from another area in order to rescue a crew of 19 men stranded in the storm out in the North Somerset coast. I've been up this hill. I wouldn't want to walk this hill in the dark, much less the rain, carrying 10-tons of boat. It was an extraordinary feat. This same town was destroyed by flood in 1952.

 

Dunster Castle
Dunster Castle

4-Castles-as you drive around you will run across castles. For a gal from Texas, castles were only found in fairy tales. To actually drive by one was thrilling. I've now seen at least a half dozen.  I still find each and every one of them just as thrilling as the first.  Pictured here is Dunster Castle that we came upon.

Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall

3-Hadrian's Wall and the Roman Army Museum-you wouldn't think it would be difficult to find a stone wall that is 70 miles long, but it took some effort. We found it and explored parts of it.   There is an eerie quietness when standing at the wall knowing Roman soldiers once walked this wall. 

We visited the Roman Army Museum. The museum houses unbelievable artifacts. I was most impressed with the leather Roman sandals. They also show an amazing video that demonstrates what the wall would have looked like in its entirety.  The graphics are amazing.  You also get a birdseye view of the wall.

Looking down onto the streets of Chester
Looking down onto the streets of Chester

2-Chester-with my husband being familiar with the town he knew exactly how to present it to an outsider. We parked on the outer edge and walked around the outskirts via the Roman wall. This wall leads directly to the Eastgate Clock which is the second most photographed clock in England. It is magnificent and looking down onto the city below from beneath this clock is incredible. The rows and rows of shops with their black and white Victorian fronts give you that sense of being somewhere back in time. One of the strangest feelings was to walk along these medieval buildings and then slip into a walkway that leads you into the interior only to find a modern mall like you'd see in Texas. It was like walking through a time portal. The contrast was profound.

Castlerigg Stone Circle
Castlerigg Stone Circle

1-Castlerigg Stone Circle near Keswick. This circle is situated on a breathtaking piece of property in the mountains of the Lake District. I have never before or since experienced the feeling I got standing in this location. It is incredible.

In the Middle You Can See Castlerigg Stone Circle

Amazing aerial view of Castlerigg-in the middle of the photo is the stone circle
Amazing aerial view of Castlerigg-in the middle of the photo is the stone circle

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Comments 30 comments

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 8 years ago from Central Texas Author

I knew I'd leave some place out! Padstow is a must as well! See my hub "Top 5 Foods To Eat in England" for my number one choice that you have to get in Padstow!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

Did you know they did DNA testing around Cheddar, and found relatives of the 9,000 year old chap?


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

That's very interesting, LondonGirl........maybe you could write a hub on it and link it here?


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

Good idea!


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

I'll be watching for it! I'd really like to know more about that.


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 7 years ago from Sparti, Greece

Great list - although not so sure about Blackpool!

Castlerigg is awesome - maybe a bit of the old magic left. I remember being told an old story about how it was a group of men petrified in fear when they caught sight of a monster. If you are ever in the Lake District again, make a detour to see Long Meg and her Daughters - another inspiring stone circle.

Pleased that you enjoyed the UK.

How did you get on with the dialects?


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

Sufidreamer:

I couldn't leave off Blackpool! It has such character!

Castlerigg continues to be my favorite place on earth. I have pictures around my house and at work of Castlerigg. I definitely will hit the Lake District again and will most certainly look up Long Meg and her Daughters! Thanks for recommending it!

I very much enjoyed the UK and talk about going back all the time. We are hoping like crazy that we can go back later this year. It gets quite expensive for us because my husband prefers traveling by boat.

Regarding the dialects, I find that you guys have as about as many variances there as we do here. The thing I find the most difficult is when someone is speaking to me and if there is just one word that they throw in that I don't recognize it throws off everything after that. Does that make sense? When a word is present you don't recognize you're still trying to figure out where that word ended. You aren't sure if it was one syllable or multiple syllables and so it jumbles up the rest of the sentence.


Sufidreamer profile image

Sufidreamer 7 years ago from Sparti, Greece

Can agree with you about the random word - my conversational Greek is OK, now, but they keep throwing in local dialect that throws me completely. Most of these words are not even in the dictionary!

When I was a kid, the Cumbrian dialect was practically incomprehensible, and I was born and brought up only 30 miles away. It contains a lot of words from Old Norse, although it is almost a dead dialect now.

Give me a shout if you are going back to the Lake District - I know a few good places off the tourist trail where you can enjoy beauty and peace! Amanda and LondonGirl probably know a few great places in that foreign country called the South of England. ;)


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

LOL......yes, I hear you guys have the same kind of North/South rivalry that we do here. I'll definitely holler at you (that's Texan for look you up as opposed to shouting angrily at you) when we head back to the Lake District.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Notes on BritSpeak: My first week (in London) I barely understood a word said (other than the LondonWalks guides) so I mostly just smiled and nodded.  On the Isle of Wight, the farmer who ran the B&B with his wife told me Brits normally leave off the last syllable of some words, so I was no longer tripped up mid-sentence by words I didn't understand.  By the time I got to Somerset, I understood pretty much every word.  But then Somerset is in the WEST Country, and just like out west in the States, people talk muchhhh slowwwer.  ;) 


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

Jama: I found that to be very true of those around London itself. That last syllable is just rounded off. Where words like water come out wah and phrases like "I like it a lot" come out "I like it a loh" without the final T sound. I do like it, but it's almost like they are talking with their mouth full. My husband speaks with very sharp notes to where he comes off as very authoratative even when he's talking crap. LOL But he grew up near the border of Wales in Bristol.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

The last leg of my first trip was 4 days at a farm B&B near North Petherton whose owner took me along to the village grocery, to a fruit & veggie stand, and to an Asda (now owned by Wal-Mart) in Taunton. I too was fascinated by the variety. I expected Asda would have exactly the same brands as Wally-World here, but that wasn't the case. But I was amazed at how cheap food was (by then I could compute the exchange rate in my head). Boxes of cereal that sell for $4 here were $1.50 or less. Huge fresh-baked loaves of bread: 65 cents.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

I went to an Asda in England as well. And you're right, they are now owned by Wal-mart. That is something my husband complains about here. He is shocked that we charge so much for the basics like bread and milk.


charanjeet kaur profile image

charanjeet kaur 7 years ago from Delhi

I have been to london and the magnitude of both the shops tesco and asda are huge and magnanimous. Visiting them was so much more than just grocery shopping. Thanks for the hub. However my pick would be asda but since it was far from reading we preferred the usual sainsburys..


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thanks for stopping by charanjeet! I agree about visiting the stores being much more than just shopping. We did go to an ASDA and a Sainsburys as well. I still found Tesco to be more fun. ASDA was too much like Wal-mart.....makes sense since Wal-mart owns them.


Iphigenia 7 years ago

I'm a Brit living in France and I popped over to read this hub just to see where a visitor to the UK would choose to visit. I have to say that you picked some of my favourite places. My mum lives in Poulton-le-Fylde, a small market town close to Blackpool - so I go there a lot. Blackpool has not chnaged much in spirit since my 1960's childhood visits there.

I shop online for my mum (who's housebound after a fall) at Tesco.com - the rabge of products is amazing and has expanded since i left the UK about 10 years ago - the delivery service is great and mum actually looks forward to the delivery man Calling. He carries her groceries right into her kitchen for her.

I would add The Trough of Bowland and Cornwall.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

lphigenia: Thanks so much for stopping by and adding your comments! I want so very much to go back to England. I'm going to have to look up Poulton-le-Fylde and Trough of Bowland. If you scroll back up and read my first comment, I realized that I had left some place out of my top 10 list and it was Padstow...which is in Cornwall. Cornwall is definitely a 'must'.


Chrismortons 7 years ago

I have never been to England but have a strong desire to be there at least once. Your illustrations helped a lot to find the best out there. I can see your passion in explaining things with a clear objective in your mind.

Thanks


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas Author

It's a wonderful place chrismortons! You really must find a way to go. Start planning it. Don't worry about how you'll get the money, etc. Just start planning it! Before you know it, you'll be on your way! There is so much beauty, history, and magic there. I'm dying to go back!


Steve 3.0 profile image

Steve 3.0 6 years ago from Cornwall UK

I live in Cornwall. My favourite places are in the far south west, from St. Ives to Penzance. St. Ives is usually packed with tourists but it is still beautiful, I have walked along the coast path from Cape Cornwall to Porthcurno and the scenery is amazing. Must do some hubs about it.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

I remember being in the St.Ives area, I love everything about the Cornwall area. My mouth is watering just thinking about a Cornish pasty from Padstow. Look forward to your hubs about your experiences.


frogdropping profile image

frogdropping 6 years ago

I seem to be reading through your UK related hubs KCC. An enjoyable break from my work, I might add :) It seems you've visited a few more places I've also been to - Stonhenge, Cheddar Gorge to name a few. Did you climb the stone steps to the top of the gorge? I did. Truly wonderful views but for sure I couldn't feel my legs by the time I hit the top! And I smiled at your rummages around Tesco! I do that here, always wondering if I'll find such and such in the bigger shops. Sadly I always become delighted when I find a UK food - like when I found Heinz Beans. I don't even like them but you know ... they reminded me of home!


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

No, we didn't climb the steps at Cheddar Gorge. It was pretty misty/rainy that day. I know what you mean about the Heinz beans, my hubby does the same thing. We found a quaint little British shop that he's able to get his fix from periodically. Thanks for stopping by Frogdropping!


Tony 6 years ago

A must see


WestOcean profile image

WestOcean 6 years ago from Great Britain

Enjoyed this hub... Dunster Castle is magnificent but Warwick Castle, Hedingham and Portchester are amongst my other favourites..


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 6 years ago from Central Texas Author

Thank you WestOcean. I love all castles. I'll have to check those out once I make it back to England.


Miss Lil' Atlanta profile image

Miss Lil' Atlanta 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Nice hub, I'm hoping to go to England in about a year, so I'm definitely going to keep in mind to go to some of these places.


AlexDrinkH2O profile image

AlexDrinkH2O 3 years ago from Southern New England, USA

I lived there for about 8 years - some of my favorite places were Cambridge, Oxford, Bath, and York. And don't forget the Cotswolds! I just added a video on the churches of England set to music you might find interesting. Good Hub.


Katiadejuan profile image

Katiadejuan 3 years ago from London, UK

Great hub! My couple and I are planning to make a trip around Britain, and I'm sure we will visit most of the places you have mentioned here, all they seem to be really nice. ^_^


travelholidays profile image

travelholidays 3 years ago from India

Very interesting to read :) nice hub. 'Stonehenge ' image is superb. Thanks for sharing :)

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