Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

England Travel Guide

From enigmatic Stonehenge in the south, to the monumental Hadrian’s Wall in the north. From Sutton Hoo in the east, to castles of the Welsh Marches in the west. From the industrial heritage sites in the north, to the many World War II sites along the southern coastline. Beginning just before the end of the Ice Age on into the medieval period and beyond there have been successive arrivals of people who brought with them new ways of living: the first farmers, Romans, Saxons, Normans, as well as the African-Caribbean people in post-war times. All contributed to the diversity of archaeological and historical sites in England we visit today.

Reasons to Visit England

Misty view of Castlerigg Stone Circle taken at Castlerigg, Cumbria, UK on 13 April 2015
Standing Stones,
Ancient ruin of Whittington castle in Shropshire, England

Castles & Palaces,

Trajan London Roman Wall

Roman Ruins & Museums,

A flight of lock gates on the Oxford Canal at the village of Napton, Warwickshire in summertime

… and Waterways & Lakes.

About Our England Travel Guide

Interesting Things to Know About England

England is not a sovereign state, it is one of four countries that make up the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (which is a sovereign state). The Treat of Union of 1707 joined England and Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Although inhabited since the Stone Age, England takes its name from Germanic people called the Angles. The Old English name Englaland means the ‘land of the Angles’. They came from Anglia, a region on the east coast of what is today Denmark and Schleswig-Holstein (Germany). The Angles were one of a number of Germanic groups who settled in England in the 5th and 6th centuries CE, following the collapse of Roman administration.

England has 20 sites included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. One of these, the Dorset and East Devon Coast, is in the natural category, while the remaining 19 are cultural sites. Together they cover all periods of English history, from prehistory (the Avebury and Stonehenge landscape), Roman Britain (Hadrian’s Wall, Bath), Medieval England (Canterbury Cathedral, Fountains Abbey, the Tower of London), the Industrial Revolution (Ironbridge Gorge and Derwent Valley Mills), and the 20th Century (Jodrell Bank Observatory).

The ‘English’ are the product of successive arrivals of people over many hundreds of years, from prehistory to the 21st century. From the Iron Age Celts to the Romans who came as citizens of Rome and their slaves from all over the Roman Empire. From 5th and 6th century Germanic Angles, Saxons and Jutes to 9th century Danes from Scandinavia. From the Norman Conquest in 1066 to migrants in the 1950s and 1960s from former colonies in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia. Each of these events not only left their marks on the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of England, but also shaped the identities of the English today.

What started out as an Iron Age oppidum developed into the Roman town of Venta Belgarum, Winchester in Hampshire went on to become the first capital city of England. Following the Norman Conquest, William the Conqueror built Westminster Abbey and on Christmas Day in 1066 was crowned King of England there. The Abbey was followed by Westminster Hall, which would develop over time into the Palace of Westminster, and the rise of Westminster and London and the political and economic centre of England and the capital city.

Find Places to Visit in England

Featured Destination

Aerial view of Old Sarum in England

Salisbury, Wiltshire
5,000 years of archaeology, art & history

As one of England’s designated heritage cities, there is a lot of historical interest for visitors to Salisbury. The many and varied attractions in and around Salisbury span some 5,000 years. From the Stone Age site of Stonehenge and its wider landscape, to the Iron Age hill fort at Old Sarum. From the remains of the early medieval settlement there, to the striking cathedral in present day Salisbury. A city with a captivating setting that has been attracting visitors since the early 1800s. The painter John Constable being one of the more well known.

Inspiration & Itineraries

Self-Guided Classical Music in London Itinerary

Historic Places Listed in England, 2023

Five Popular Attractions in England

One of the trilithons at Stonehenge, at dawn.
Arbeia Roman Fort
Hadrian’s Wall
tower of london at night in UK

Tower of London

Landscape Long Walk of Windsor Castle park in Berkshire which is a popular visitor location travel destination stock photo
Windsor Castle
Ss Great Britain
SS Great Britain

Explore England more deeply

Where to Go in England

South West

A rugged coastline including the counties of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire.

South East

Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and East and West Sussex.

Greater London

That area with in the circular M25 Motorway, with the city of London at the centre – more or less the area covered by the Roman capital city of Londinium. 

East of England

Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk – home to the Bronze Age Flag Fen and the Anglo-Saxon cemeteries of Sutton Hoo.

West Midlands

Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, West Midlands Worcestershire and Warwickshire. Here in the very west are the castles of the Welsh Marches.

Derbyshire, Leicestershire, | Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland. Lincoln’s Gothic cathedral is one of England’s finest.

North West

Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside. The calm of the Lake District contrasts with the industrial cities of Liverpool and Manchester.

Yorkshire & the Humber

Yorkshire includes South Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, and East Riding. It was in York that Constantine the Great was proclaimed Emperor.

North East

Durham, Northumberland and Tyne & wear. This is where you will find the Holy Island of Lindisfarne castle and the eastern section of Hadrian’s Wall. 

Historic Cities in England

What to See in England

Merrivale Stone Rows Dartmoor

Stone Circles & Standing Stones

Stonehenge in south west England is almost certainly the world’s most well known and celebrated stone circles.  But it is only one of over 900 surviving prehistoric stone circles in the Irish and British Isles. And stone circles are only one type of prehistoric sites that make use of large stones. From the simple portal tombs to passage graves and gallery graves. From single standing stones to more complex arrangements of made up of a number of individual stones. 

Bloomberg London Mithraeum

Roman Britain

The Roman period in Britain lasted from the conquest in 43 AD to the withdrawal of the Roman administration in the 5th century AD. During this time, Britain was a province of the Roman Empire and ruled by Roman officials and military forces. Romanisation of Britain brought significant cultural, social, and economic changes to the island, including the adoption of Latin and Roman law. The legacy of the Roman era can still be seen in many parts of the United Kingdom.
Ancient ruin of Whittington castle in Shropshire, England

Castles & Palaces

Castles were introduced to England by the Normans following their invasion in 1066. Architecturally, they changed dramatically over the centuries, from simple motte and bailey wooden fortresses to much more elaborate constructions built of stone. There are an estimated 4,000 castles in England. Although very little survives of some of these, there are some that have been well maintained and still serve as private residences. Whatever the exact number there is still a substantial number of castles you can visit, from evocative ruins to those that are still occupied.

Purfleet Quay Norfolk

The Hanseatic League

The Hanseatic League was a powerful association of medieval merchants based in the German city of Lübeck. Although it was centred in northern Germany and the Baltic area, it grew to include ports along the east coast of England. London was a major ‘kontor’, while Boston, Hull, Ipswich, King’s Lynn and Yarmouth were minor ‘kontor, also sometimes called Esterlings. From he 12th century, and for about 400 years, the league shaped the economy and politics of northern Europe. 

WWII Pillbox on South beach at studland in Dorset

World War II & the Holocaust

From abandoned villages on the south coast such as Tyneham and Imber, to Churchill’s War Rooms in London. From Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire where Alan Turing and many others worked to crack the Enigma Code, to the Hyde Park Holocaust Memorial in London. There are many more sites, museums and places of  memory and remembrance directly associated with World War Two in England than most people appreciate.
Cleopatras Needle London

Egyptian Revival & Ancient Egypt

Many museums in England have some of the world’s finest, and contested, collections of Egyptian antiquities. England’s fascination with ancient Egypt is not confined to museums. There are a number of objects in the parks and gardens of England. And Egyptian Revival architecture was very popular in the 18th and 19th century. Obvious elements such as hieroglyphs, lotus flowers  and sphinxes adorn many public and private buildings. Given our long fascination with mummies, Egyptian themes are also common in many cemeteries.