There’s a shed load of charming cities, stunning national parks and a heap of beautiful little islands in England to go exploring. Not only that, but there’s also a heap of historic towns to visit in England that are dotted all across the country, too.
From the beautiful spots in the south of England to the dramatic and stunning places in the north of England, you’ll really be spoilt for choice. That being said, having so much choice can be a total headache when it comes to planning a trip (especially if you’re on a time limit).
Now, I have some real favourites that I love to travel around again and again! After all, that’s the beauty of having so many places that are not too far from London.
Honestly, these towns are perfect for an epic day trip in England or for a much longer break to slowly travel the different regions. Whatever area you choose, I’m hoping I can show you a firm few that you’ll love.
With that in mind, take a look at some of the historic towns to visit in England. Now, I’ve popped in a few small cities, too… but let’s not split hairs on that one. I just couldn’t not include them; they’re lovely.
Nestled on the northeast coast of England, Whitby is one of the historic towns to visit in England when travelling up north.
Just be sure to stop off at the Star Inn for a local bite, too. We left stuffed with all the fresh seafood they serve.
Arundel is a totally historic town to visit that’s around a two-hour drive from the centre of London. Now, once here, be sure to spend some time exploring Arundel Castle that has stood for hundreds of years.
Afterwards, take a wander through the lovely little streets and stop off at the independent stores that line the lanes. We loved spending a day here and it’s really easy to visit whilst exploring the South Downs National Park, too.
Oh yeah, and if you’re looking for a castle stay, check into Amberley Castle that’s fit for royalty. We loved it.
Perched in ‘castle country’ (Northumberland), Bamburgh is a totally gorgeous place to visit when heading north (or south) on the east coast. In fact, the whole region is stunning and well worth visiting.
After arriving, take some time to stroll around Bamburgh Castle, blow the cobwebs away at the sandy beach (nearby) and visit the nearby Farne Islands where you might spot puffins.
The Peak District National Park is the oldest national park in all of England and one stunner of a place to explore.
During your time exploring, make sure to stop off at Eyam, one of the historic towns to visit in England that has a rather macabre history.
You see, Eyam chose to seal itself off from the rest of the world during the plague in the 1600s. They were completely isolated and no one was allowed to leave or enter. To this day, you can learn more about this when wandering the town and still see lots of the buildings that existed during these pretty dark times.
5.) Corfe Castle
Right down near the Dorset coastline, Corfe Castle is one of the oldest and historic towns to visit in England. It has thousands of years of history, with so much to explore for an afternoon trip.
Of course, visit the actual castle within Corfe Castle itself and head for a proper pub lunch in the local that’s on the main street (you can’t miss it). Afterwards, if you’ve got time, head over to Durdle Door and visit the Jurassic Coast to go fossil hunting, too.
6.) St Ives
Nestled within the beautiful region of Cornwall, St Ives is a stunning and pretty town to visit once exploring the more southerly parts of England.
Better still, it’s a great place to stay during a wider trip of the more southerly points of Cornwall, too and you can use this as a base to see all the amazing places in Cornwall that you won’t want to miss.
Although technically a city, Bath is one historic Roman-founded spots you really can’t miss. Once here, make sure to visit the world-famous Roman Baths that are still present in the city centre.
Afterwards, pop over to Sally Lunn’s to get some of her delicious and freshly-baked buns. You’ll leave stuffed.
8.) Castle Combe
Now, although it’s relatively small, it’s well worth visiting for a few hours (and some lunch) before driving over to nearby Lacock, too.
Cambridge is only a 45-minute train line from London, which makes it totally easy to visit for a day trip (or even longer).
Once you’ve arrived, be sure to head inside the iconic King’s College Chapel that’s so imposing. Afterwards, head out for an adventure punting the river. It’s so much fun, especially on a sunny day.
Honestly, Bibury is filled with quaint architecture that is shaped by its rural heritage.
Honestly, it’s a chocolate box town filled with so much charm. Just be sure to check out Arlington Row once you’re here; it looks like it’s from a storybook.
York might be a city, but it’s a relatively small one that actually feels more like a large town. Not only that, but it’s also totally stunning and there’s so much history in the streets of York.
After arriving, be sure to reserve a table at Roots for dinner. They have the tastiest seasonal menu that’s so yummy.
Also, take a wander around the Shambles and walk the town walls that once protected York itself. It’s such a special place.