by Gavin Harvy,
When you think of English cities, London undoubtedly springs to mind first with its iconic red buses, black cabs and royal buildings. Yet this is only a tiny fraction of what English cities have to offer. Have you ever visited John Lennon’s house? Walked across Clifton Suspension Bridge? Or been down the Cam? Much less likely. With so many cities to visit and such a vast array of sights to see, here is just a mere collection of English cities everyone ought to visit.
If it is your first trip to England, the capital city is certainly the first port of call. From museums, to shows, to food markets and parks, there really is an unlimited amount of times you can visit London.
London has an exceptional range of things to do, cultures to experience and famous landmarks to spot. Buckingham Palace is arguably one of the most influential buildings in the city, having been home to so many of the country’s past leaders. Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or simply feeling a little patriotic, the palace is a great place to spend an afternoon regardless of the weather. London is also inundated with thought-provoking museums and galleries, such as the Natural History Museum, the V&A, London Transport Museum and the National Gallery, just to name a few. No other English city has so much to offer in the evening, with West End shows, Michelin Star restaurants and stylish bars heading up the city’s nightlife.
The best area to stay if you’re planning on visiting the main attractions is undoubtedly central London; however the efficiency of the underground means that you can stretch out to alternate locations like Shoreditch or Richmond.
Cambridge is one of England’s most visited cities, due to the prestigious university and spectacular architecture. The majority of the university’s colleges offer guided tours, so you can view the stunning buildings whilst learning about their history and uses for the university today.
Perhaps one of the most iconic things to do whilst in Cambridge is to go punting down the River Cam with a glass of champagne in hand. For the more rainy days try the Fitzwilliam Museum or the Arts Theater, or wander through the historic Market Square for a real taste of Cambridge city life. The closer you can stay to the city center and its architecture the better.
Having been named Europe’s Capital of Culture in 2008, Liverpool is fast becoming one of England’s unmissable cities. Liverpool’s strong cultural presence comes largely from its music scene during the 1960s, and there are numerous museums and exhibitions to visit centered on the Beatles. You can even take a look inside John Lennon’s house if you’re happy to stray from the city center.
However, Liverpool Waterfront is where the majority of the attractions lie with the Tate, Merseyside Maritime Museum and recently developed shopping areas, and this is certainly the place to stay if you want to be near all the action.
Home to much of the notorious Banksy’s artwork, Bristol is another great cultural English city. Bristol has a diverse architectural backdrop of buildings, churches and bridges, alongside fashionable restaurants, shops and bars, intertwining old and new with every step.
The Victoria Rooms and the Wills Memorial Building are just two examples of the noteworthy architecture, whilst climbing to the top of Cabot Tower will give you a spectacular overview of Bristol’s eclectic mix of buildings. Bristol’s zoo and harbor are further attractions not to be missed, and if you can visit Clifton Suspension Bridge during the International Balloon Fiesta then you will experience something truly special. There are loads of great locations to stay in Bristol, from Clifton to the city center and Broadmead.
Brighton and Hove
Brighton and Hove is arguably England’s most exciting seaside city, although it attracts mainly seasonal tourists. If you were to picture Brighton, you would see the infamous pebbled beach littered with striped deck chairs, the ironically tacky pier with its fairground rides and most probably a colony of seagulls soaring above the ruins of the abandoned pier. This stereotypical image is largely accurate and adds to Brighton’s charm. It’s a classic British seaside town.
If you are to explore further than along the seafront, be sure to visit the Royal Pavilion and the Brighton Lanes. Unless you wish to be disturbed by noisy seagulls and the vibrant nightlife of the seafront, it is best to stay a bit further inland.
Of course, this is only a small number of England’s beautiful and cultural cities, and there are countless more attractions worth visiting, such as the Roman Baths, Newcastle’s quayside, York’s iconic street the Shambles and Manchester’s large collection of museums. Sites such as Hotelopia offer a wide range of hotels.