Welcome to the enchanting South of England! Whether you’re yearning for a taste of the salty sea air along the South Coast UK or keen to meander through quaint countryside villages, there’s an adventure waiting for you here in southern England.
From Brighton’s bustling pier to the peaceful New Forest National Park, there’s an incredible variety of places to explore. Picture yourself sailing on Bournemouth’s sparkling waters or wandering through the charming Cotswolds, each place offers its own unique charm.
Navigating through this region is a breeze! With well-connected rail networks, hopping from one exciting place to another has never been easier. Driving through the rolling hills is also an option, but be sure to plan for parking if you’re exploring smaller destinations. Cornwall, with its winding country roads, can be a bit tricky, so don’t shy away from trains and buses for these routes.
Now, you’re probably wondering about the must-visit places in the south of England, right? Well, you’re in luck! Our guide will take you through some of the most breathtaking spots, from hidden gems to popular favourites, each with their own stories to tell and experiences to offer. Whether you’re planning a seaside day out or hunting for the most beautiful places in South East England, we’ve got you covered.
Get ready to dive into the charm of the south coast of England, find the best spots for your perfect day out in the South East, and unearth some of the unusual places to visit in South East England. So buckle up for the ride and let’s start exploring the South England highlights! Happy adventuring!
What areas are in the south of England?
The south of England typically includes the regions of Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Bristol, Dorset, Devon, and Cornwall. It may also include the counties of Surrey and Gloucestershire. Additionally, the Greater London area is also often considered to be part of southern England.
South England – car hire
Is Southern England a good option for a UK weekend trip or a staycation?
Yes, Southern England is an excellent option for a UK weekend trip or a staycation. The region offers a wide range of attractions and experiences that are sure to appeal to visitors of all ages and interests.
For a weekend trip, you could explore one of Southern England’s vibrant cities, such as London, Bath, or Oxford. These cities are packed with historic landmarks, museums, galleries, and cultural attractions, as well as great restaurants, shops, and nightlife.
If you’re looking for a more relaxing break, you could head to the countryside, where you’ll find picturesque villages, scenic walks, and cozy pubs. The Cotswolds, the New Forest, and the South Downs are all popular destinations for a weekend getaway.
For a longer staycation, you could explore more of Southern England’s attractions, such as Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, or the Jurassic Coast. You could also combine a city break with some time in the countryside, or take a road trip along the scenic coastal roads.
Holiday destinations south of England
The south of England is home to many popular holiday destinations, here are a few examples:
- The Isle of Wight: An island located off the south coast of England, known for its picturesque beaches, historic sites, and outdoor activities.
- Devon: A county in the south west of England known for its beautiful coastline, picturesque countryside and historic towns like Exeter, Plymouth and Torquay.
- Cornwall: A county in the south west of England known for its stunning coastal landscapes, picturesque fishing villages, and popular resorts like St Ives and Newquay.
- Dorset: A county in the south west of England known for its beautiful coastline, picturesque countryside and historic towns like Sherborne and Dorchester.
- Sussex: A county in the south east of England known for its beautiful coastline, picturesque countryside and historic towns like Chichester and Brighton.
- Kent: A county in the south east of England known for its beautiful coastline, picturesque countryside and historic towns like Canterbury and Royal Tunbridge Wells.
- Hampshire: A county in the south east of England known for its beautiful coastline, picturesque countryside and historic towns like Portsmouth and Southampton.
- The Cotswolds: An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that is known for its picturesque villages, rolling hills, and charming stone cottages.
Quirky places to stay in South England
The south of England is home to many unique and quirky places to stay, here are a few examples:
- The Treehouse, East Sussex: A secluded treehouse that is nestled in the woods and offers a secluded and peaceful getaway.
- The Tipi, Hampshire: A secluded tipi that is set in the heart of the New Forest, surrounded by nature and offering a truly unique camping experience.
- The Yurt, Dorset: A traditional yurt that is set in the beautiful Dorset countryside, offering a unique and comfortable glamping experience.
- The Houseboat, London: A houseboat that is moored on the River Thames in London, offering a unique and peaceful place to stay in the heart of the city.
- The Shepherd’s Hut, Wiltshire: A traditional shepherd’s hut that is set in the rolling countryside of Wiltshire, offering a unique and rustic stay.
- The Lighthouse, Sussex: A converted lighthouse that offers spectacular views of the coast and the sea, and a unique and historic place to stay.
- The Gypsy Caravan, Kent: A traditional gypsy caravan that is set in a secluded spot in Kent, offering a unique and authentic experience.
- The Hobbit House, Devon: A unique and cozy hobbit-inspired house that is set in the beautiful Devon countryside, offering a truly unique and magical stay.
- The Converted Windmill, Berkshire: A converted windmill that offers a unique and historic place to stay, complete with modern amenities and spectacular views.
South of England’s top places:
|Nature places to visit in South England:||New Forest|
|Top South England cities:||London|
|Amazing places to visit in the South of England:||Exmoor National Park|
|Unique South England places to visit:||Cheddar Gorge|
|South England places to visit for hiking:||Seven Sisters|
|Historical places in South England:||Stonehenge|
Explore the best places to visit on South coast of England and top ideas for things to do in South England:
Top 35 places to visit in South England:
Best places to go in South England? London is one of the most well-known tourist destinations in the world. There are so many things to see and do that you will struggle to fit them into a single visit.
Yes, you can visit London in one day, at least the central part of the city. But you might be best served by making a list of the top few you want to see and enjoying those rather than rushing from place to place. Some of the top landmarks in London to choose from include Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, The London Eye, the Science and Natural History Museum. Of course, there are many more to see too including the top romantic places to visit in London.
There is a lot more to London than the landmarks. There are wonderful restaurants, exciting shows and performances, parks and of course, shopping.
Without a doubt, London is one of the best places to visit in southern England!
2. Burnham Beeches
Best things to do South England? Part of Buckinghamshire, just to the West of London, Burnham Beeches is another fantastic location in the South of England. It has a bit of a reputation in the film and television world, considering that several big titles have had scenes shot in this very area.
These are not limited to the following: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, The Princess Bride, and First Knight. Suffice to say, it’s an atmospheric place to visit.
So, is Burnham Beeches on your list of beautiful places to visit south England?
3. Castle Combe
Looking for top South England countryside and villages? England has long been known for its myths, its legends, and its fairy tales. Castle Combe is a village in Southern England that has been called one of the prettiest villages that England has to offer.
This civil parish lies within the Cotswolds, and its Area of Natural Beauty in Wiltshire, England. It’s fairly close to the city of London and could be your next day trip destination that takes you out of London’s hustle and bustle for a few hours.
The fantasy vibe of the village is enticing, to say the least.
4. Richmond Park
Where to go South of England? Richmond Park is located just outside of London. It provides a beautiful getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. The park is owned by The Crown but is open to the public and also operates as a nature reserve. On holidays and warm days, you will find the park filled with families enjoying a day out. You can enjoy the excited energy of the crowds, or if you are looking for a bit of tranquillity, it’s easy to find a quiet spot with all the open space available.
With so many things to do in southern England, Richmond Park is one of our favourite places to visit in the south UK and top woods near London!
There are a few activities that you should tick off the list while in the park. The first is to take afternoon tea at Pembrooke Lodge. Once used by prime ministers to conduct business, it is now a popular wedding venue.
Next up is climbing King Henry’s Mound. To the west, you get panoramic views of Thames Valley. To the east lies the City. With a telescope, you see St Pauls Cathedral through the carefully maintained keyhole in the hedge.
Finally, take the time to enjoy the natural life in the garden. Smell the flowers. Watch the deer. Let the natural beauty refresh you in one of the best parks in London.
Where to find the best UK South Coast attractions? A surfer town in the south of England, Newquay has long stretches of sand and plenty of places to relax. Known for Fistral Beach and the Boardmasters Surfing Championships that are held there, this Cornish town is a great seafront getaway with plenty of water-based activities.
For a wonderful afternoon, visit the Blue Reef Aquarium. This establishment has its own underwater tunnel; a feature that is always a hit with young guests.
6. Seven Sisters
Top South England places to visit? Whether you’re visiting for a weekend, a week or a bit longer, there are many great places to visit in southern England. And Seven Sisters is one of them!
Seven Sisters is the name for a stretch of cliffs that runs from Seaford to Eastbourne. The cliffs as the iconic white chalk cliffs that line the English Channel. There is a footpath that runs between the two towns. It’s about a 20km walk, so make sure you go prepared and with sturdy footwear.
If you want to see the cliffs but are worried about the walk or the weather, there are other options. There are plenty of bus tours that will take you around the area, giving you the chance to see the cliffs without risking the British weather. Taking a tour will also give you the opportunity to learn more about the fascinating history of the area.
Getting to the Seven Sisters cliffs is relatively easy. There are trains to both Seaford and Eastbourne, as well as bus service. There are also plenty of parking spots along the coast if you have your own car.
Amazing things to do in the South of England? Part of Berkshire, Windsor is a historical town found along the River Thames. Located just west of London, in the southeast of England, Windsor is home to one of the British Royal Family’s residences.
Windsor Castle is certainly a highlight of the town of Windsor, but it is not the only sight worth seeing if one were to visit. However, if the castle is what brings you to southern England, know that you can take a public tour of some of the 11th century castle.
8. Shere Village
Planning days out South East England? A village so quintessentially English that it charms all of its guests with its traditional features and postcard-like looks. Shere is located in the Surrey Hills, which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and can be found in Tillingbourne Valley (between Guildford and Dorking).
But it’s more than the beauty of Shere that keeps its villagers happy. There’s a real sense of community that has been around for hundreds of years, which may have started with William Bray, who did so very much for the village, and whose family are still involved today.
Looking for great places to visit in south-east England? Head out to Kent!
Margate is a seaside town about 90 minutes outside of London. It has a place in pop culture for its appearance in ‘Only Fools and Horses’. While it is a relatively small town, there is a surprisingly large number of things to see and do.
There are many great things to do in south east England, and spending a weekend UK getaway in Margate is one of them!
Dreamland is the amusement park in Margate. It is filled with some amazing vintage rides and activities, including, a roller disco. Entry to the park is free, once inside you can pay for unlimited rides, or just pay as you go. As well as the vintage rides there are plenty of great modern thrill rides too.
If you want to get in a little bit of culture on your trip to the seaside, then a visit to the Turner Contemporary should hit the spot. The gallery has rolling shows featuring exciting and creative exhibits.
What trip to the seaside would be complete without a stop at the beach? There are several to choose from. Most tourist head to Margate Sands, but if you want something a little quieter then head for Botany Bay. Don’t forget your bucket and spade because these are some wonderful sandy beaches.
10. St Ives
Top things to do on the South Coast UK? One of Cornwall’s seaside towns, St Ives has been named one of the best family holiday destinations by Coast magazine, as well as being noted as one of Europe’s best beach locations. St Ives is located just north of Penzance and has its own train station conveniently placed near the coastline.
St Ives doesn’t only focus on its seaside links, though. The town is known for its art and museums, with the Tate gallery focusing on British artists above any others.
What to visit South England? Rye is a quaint historic town in East Sussex. Often overlooked by tourists, this town has a lot to offer. There is an abundance of quirky shops and characterful pubs all surrounded by a town with a lot of history.
Some of the locals call it one of the best places to visit on south coast of England and is hard to disagree with them!
It’s hard to wander far in Rye without running into a historic landmark. There is the Ypres Tower, the monastery, the Land Gate and of course Rye Castle. There is one house in West Street, which you can explore which was home, at one time, to both Henry James and E F Benson.
If you have the chance, it is worth taking a tour of the town. The guides are sure to tell you, very proudly that, at one point, Rye was the smuggling capital of England. This has left its mark on the architecture and character of the town.
12. Goring on Thames
Things to do in South of England? Goring-on-Thames is a village that is situated on the River Thames in Southern England. It’s approximately 5.5 miles south of Wallingford, and its location makes tourism in the area quite ideal. This is because there are several different villages and small towns along the River Thames, so a day trip to Goring-on-Thames could turn into a tour of the river’s small locales.
Goring, itself, is a lovely civil parish that local residents have agreed is perfect for young families with children.
Looking for the best places to visit in England? Brighton is one of the prettiest cities in the south of England and it’s visited by many Brits and tourists from around the world.
The city located in the south of England really is famous internationally – you will see many tourists there and if you hear Südengland, Sud de l’Angleterre or Sydengland you know there are many German, French or Danish tourists too.
Brighton is a vibrant, bustling city, just an hour’s train ride outside of London. It’s small enough that it is easy to get around but big enough that you won’t get bored. One of the first things you’ll notice when you arrive is the smell of the sea. Brighton is, after all, a quintessential British seaside town.
Brighton has lots to offer in terms of shops and restaurants. You can’t go wrong with fish ‘n’ chips near the seafront. If you fancy something a little different, then try one of the many vegan and vegetarian restaurants or seek out the zero-waste restaurant.
While you are down at the seafront, don’t forget to visit Brighton Pier Palace, which has plenty of rides and fun for the whole family. The Royal Pavilion is not to be missed, with its mix of Indian and Chinese styling. Then, why not get a taste of the deep at Sea Life Brighton?
Where to find beautiful places South England? One of the many market towns of England, you can find Marlow in the South of England, just a few miles from Cookham. The walk between Marlow and Cookham is 5.5 miles of wonderful scenery, and you can take part in the Cookham River Circular Walk to see more of the River Thames.
There’s also Bisham Woods right by Marlow, which has even more walking trails for visitors to enjoy. Essentially, Marlow is a bit of a walking village which leads to more walking routes. It’s great for spending a week exploring the country!
15. New Forest
Planning a South England trip? From all the places to go in south-east England, the New Forest probably is the most magical one!
The New Forest has long been a holiday destination. It’s around 90 minutes outside of London. The national park is filled with a wide range of natural life. You can fall in love with the peace and quiet of the ancient woods and the lush glades, then take in the majestic and lonely moors and heathlands. Among all these varied landscapes you will find wildlife roaming free. You never know when you might spot ponies, deer or even donkeys roaming the wilds.
There are many things to see and do in the New Forest. There are plenty of walking and cycling routes, with more than you’ll be able to explore in one trip. There are also plenty of attractions as well, such as Peppa Pig World, Paulton’s Park and the National Motor Museum, to name just a few. The New Forest is just waiting for you to explore and find its abundant trove of treasures.
Top places in South England to visit? A World Heritage Site that is protected by UNESCO, Canterbury has plenty to offer to historians and lovers of history, alike. There’s Westgate Towers, England’s biggest medieval gateway; Canterbury Cathedral, St Martin’s Church, and St. Augustine’s Abbey, which are all protected locations; and the unique Crooked House of Canterbury.
This list highlights just a few of Canterbury’s amazing attractions, for this South East city of England has plenty more to offer than an introduction can fit to tell you about.
17. Isle of Portland
Stunning places to see South England? One of the many islands around the UK, The Isle of Portland is a small, tied island that is 4 miles long by 1.7 miles wide. You can walk around the whole island in around four hours without any issues, setting your own leisurely pace to take in the views of the area.
Interestingly enough, this little island in the South of England is the core of the World Heritage Jurassic Coast! It’s certainly a day trip destination, with a beach and road that joins it to the mainland of England. No boat is needed!
18. Isle of Wight
Looking for things to do in south England? As one of the most beautiful places in south England, the Isle of Wight really has to be top on the southern UK list!
It’s really easy to get to the Isle of Wight. You can cross the channel by plane, ferry or even hovercraft, and there are plenty of trains and coaches that will take you to the port. Once on the island, you will be bowled over by just how much there is to do on this picturesque island.
Looking for interesting things to do on the Isle of Wight? Great news! The island is a great spot for walking and cycling. Its varied landscape will keep you enthralled as you explore. It’s so good that there is an annual walking festival. When you are done walking, there are beaches to explore and great food and drink to enjoy. There is always something going on, on the Isle of Wight.
Would you visit this great European island?
19. Old Amersham
Best places to visit in South East England? Founded in the beginning of the 13th century, Old Amersham and, consequently, Amersham are recognised as two of the best places to live in the Chiltern Hills area. You can find “new” Amersham above Old Amersham, with the latter sitting down in the Misbourne Valley.
The town is a market town with a long history. Some of the oldest buildings in the area are around 700 years old and are still standing thanks to the dedication of the town’s inhabitants.
20. Dorset Jurassic Coast
Best south coast holiday destinations? South East England is one of the most visited regions of the United Kingdom – and there is a reason. This southern region is simply stunning!
Dorset is one of the most beautiful counties in England. Located along the southern coast of England it has miles of beaches to explore. If you head a little inland from the coast, you will find acres of unspoilt countryside.
If you are looking for a slower pace, then you could explore the castles and stately homes and gardens that litter the county instead. If you want something a little more mentally engaging, then you can try one of the many museums where you can get your chance to board the Concorde or even see Tutankhamun’s tomb.
One of the best places to visit in South-East England – a must-have on any UK bucket list!
21. Lizard Peninsula
A peninsula is a section of land that is surrounded by a body of water, with just one connection to the mainland. Lizard Point is protected by the National Trust, and is located near Lizard village (or, “The Lizard”). The peninsula’s name comes from an old Cornish word meaning “fortress”.
22. Exmoor National Park
Need ideas for beautiful places to visit south west England? This is one of the best places to visit on the South coast of England!
Exmoor is 267 square miles of wild countryside. It is located in the south-west of England in the counties of Devon and Somerset. The landscape is varied and interesting as it could be described as being in a semi-natural state. Over the years, human agriculture has had some impact on the landscape but has not taken it over. The result is a unique landscape, unlike anywhere else in the world.
There are plenty of ways to get out and enjoy the beauty of the area. Walking, cycling and horse riding are all great ways to go out and see the wildlife that roams the area. If you are lucky, you might get to see the famous wild Exmoor Ponies or the wild red deer.
23. Bibury village
Top South England things to do? Bibury Village is part of the Cotswolds. At first, it may seem like every other Cotswolds village that exists in the area, but Bibury Village is recognised as the most beautiful of all of these. You may recognise the village from films such as Stardust and Bridget Jones’ Diary.
An interesting fact revolves around the many tourists that the village hosts from Japan. The reason that Japanese guests come to stay in Bibury Village is because Emperor Hirohito once stayed there during his tour of Europe.
24. Dartmoor National Park
Best places on the south coast of England? Dartmoor National Park is found in the heart of Devon. It is filled with rugged woodland and wide-open spaces, deep valley lined with trees and breathtaking granite tors. The landscape is extreme and yet beautiful.
The Dartmoor ponies are an iconic feature of the area. These ponies are semi-wild and roam all across the moor. There is nothing more joyful than watching the ponies playing and frisking across the hills.
Dartmoor is a very welcoming place. There are lots of places to explore with the whole family, including the dogs. In fact, this is one of the most dog-friendly places in Devon.
As well as the wild open spaces which you can enjoy at your own pace, there are plenty of attractions and activities to enjoy.
25. Turville Village
The most famous part of Turville Village is perhaps the Cobstone Windmill, which was featured in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and is still a huge source of tourism today. It’s a bit of a steep climb from the church to the windmill, but the views that show Turville Village and the greenery of Chiltern Hills on the horizon are more than worth it.
Looking for top south England attractions? If south England cities are on your travel bucket list, then Bristol should be there as it’s one of the most popular cities in the southern region of the country.
Bristol is a bustling city that celebrates its historical roots in quirky and unexpected ways. There are not many cities where one of the most popular tours are given from hot air balloons. When your feet are on the ground, you can explore the cobbled streets finding performances around unexpected corners and art everywhere you look.
As a shopping destination, the city has a lot to offer. There are plenty of High Street fashion and big-name stores. But, there is also a healthy mix of unique and boutique stores to pick up some keepsakes as you explore the city.
As you might expect from a multicultural city, there are loads of great places to eat. Whether you are into street food or superstar chefs, you’ll find something to whet your appetite.
So, is Bristol on your list of the best places to visit in south England?
27. Cheddar Gorge
Best things to do in south west England? Hire a car in the UK and hit the road in south England! Thre are many great roads to drive on in southern England. One of our favourite ones is located in Somerset. Although the might suggest it, it is NOT made from cheese 😉
Cheddar Gorge is a stunning natural landmark, located between Bath and Bristol. The gorge and cave complex is filled with prehistory and amazing rock formations. You can easily spend a full day here and not see everything.
There are several show caves to explore. There are audio tours available so that you don’t miss any of the unique features that are hidden away. In one of the caves, there are multimedia displays and presentations that tell the story of early man and the area.
We have to be honest – we LOVE Cheddar Gorge and it really is one of the best places to visit south England! 🙂
There are cliffs to climb and caves to explore, all of which you can do with a guide and proper safety equipment. If you fancy something a little less adrenaline-fueled, then you could visit the museum of prehistory to learn about how early man survived the ravages of the ice age and how it created the landscape you see today.
Looking for the best Southern England cities to visit? Home to a Cathedral that is famous all over the world, Winchester is situated in the south of England. If you seek medieval history and have a penchant for learning about ancient monarchs, then this is the perfect locale for your next tourism day trip.
Interestingly enough, Winchester was once the capital of England and remained as such for a number of years – until the 11th century when William the Conqueror arrived.
Best places to visit in south west England? Alongside being the region with the warmest average temperature in the country, Cornwall is filled with the most beautiful places to visit in England. Millions of people visiting this souther region can’t be wrong! 🙂
It really is one of the top south England holiday destinations!
Cornwall thrives on its tourist trade. This means that wherever you go you will receive a friendly welcome and you will find things to do. The landscape is beautiful, and there is no lack of beaches.
Cornwall has a lot of shorelines, so it really is easy to find a great beach. There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy when you get there, such as surfing, sailing, and paddleboarding. You can also find plenty of family-friendly beaches, where you can set up your towels, and enjoy a day of sunbathing, paddling and exploring the tide pools.
There are plenty of attractions to explore, like animal sanctuaries, tin mines and museums. There is also an abundance of small villages to find and explore all with their own quaint charm.
Looking for places to visit in South England? Why not try the Cotswolds? This area is one of the top south places to visit!
The Cotswolds refers to an area of around 800 square miles. While each of the Cotswolds villages has its own personality, they are all brought together by their uniting features. You will find honey gold stones and rolling hills in every corner of the Cotswolds. From Castle Combe village to Broadway Tower – there are many great things to see in the Cotswolds!
The villages that dot the Cotswolds all feature the local stone, making them delightful to see, as are the castles, palaces, and country homes that are sprinkled throughout the area. Looking for something special in Southern England? Visit Bourton on the Water Model Village – it’s one of the most popular places to visit!
As well as the bustling market towns and quaint villages, there are nature reserves and arboreta that are known worldwide.
We have been to many of the Cotswolds villages as this region in southern England really a few nice places to visit 😉
31. The Minack Theatre
South England areas worth to visit? Raised above the Atlantic Ocean by one of the many naturally-occurring clifftops, the Minack Theatre is a unique experience that shouldn’t be missed by any individual with a love for architecture.
As an outdoor theatre that echoes the great and ancient stadiums of Rome, there’s something very extraordinary about this South England theatre. The Minack Theatre was originally built by just one woman and was originally the scene of the local village’s production of The Tempest. What became an open-air theatre was once the garden of Rowena Cade’s home.
If you think to visit south England, then Oxford will be very high of your list of places to visit in south England!
Oxford is one of the best cities to visit in England besides London. It is very popular amongst students but also families.
Oxford is a city steeped in history. Most famous for the university, it is also a place filled with fascinating architecture and plenty of photo spots. Culture is definitely waiting for you around every corner. The city is bursting with museums and galleries. Due to its location, Oxford is a great idea for a day trip from London.
There is so much to see and experience in the city that a tour is a great option. There are loads of walking tours to choose from as well as bus tours of the city. This way, you can see and learn everything there is to know and avoid missing the hidden gems of this ancient city.
Once the sun goes down, you will find that as Oxford is a university town, it also has a bustling nightlife. There are plenty of pubs, bars and clubs to visit or even just some fantastic restaurants. You should make sure to indulge in this aspect of the city as well during your visit.
33. Chiltern Hills
Best places to visit in south England? We absolutely love this region in southern England! From visiting stunning towns like Old Amserham or Marlow to spending a day in Wendover Woods – there are some many great places to explore and some of them are the top commuter towns near London!
If you picture the English countryside, you probably think of rolling green hills, dotted with country estates and small villages. What you are probably picturing is the Chilterns. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty. And, in the true British style, you can be safe in the knowledge that as you explore, you are never going to be far from a classic British pub or restaurant.
The Chilterns is a mecca for walkers. There are so many beautiful routes to explore. No matter your walking experience or fitness level, you will find a walk to suit you here. It is such a great place for walking near London that there is a walking festival held here every year.
34. St Michael’s Mount
Best places to visit South Coast England? It takes around 45 minutes to cross the causeway that would take you across the castle route and into the heart of St Michael’s. It’s a wonderful place that doesn’t take up much time for a visit and is definitely worth the trip.
It is, however, usually closed during the winter. So, be sure to check that they’re open before you decide to travel towards St Michael’s. Though, even if the Mount is closed, it’s still wonderfully picturesque!
Top things to do in the south? When creating the list of top places to visit in the south of England, we couldn’t forget about Stonehenge. Could we?! 🙂
Getting to Stonehenge is easy from most major cities in the South of England. This popular destination is accessible by train, bus, car, bike and foot.
While the stone circle is probably one of the most iconic sites in England, it is not all that the site has to offer. After you have marvelled at the feat of engineering that allowed this monument to be created and to survive all this time, you can then marvel at the neolithic houses. These recreations have been built using techniques and materials that would have been used by the people who lived here over 4,500 years ago.
As well as the stones there is a great visitor centre and museum, a lovely cafe. Oh, and of course the area is just beautiful. Make time in your trip to wander in the countryside. There are several walks that allow you to get a feel for the ancient landscape and natural beauty of the area.
So, is Stonehenge on your list of top places to visit in the south of England?
What attracts visitors to South England?
There are many reasons why visitors are attracted to southern England. Here are some of the top attractions and experiences:
- Historic landmarks: Southern England is home to many iconic landmarks, such as Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, the Tower of London, and the Roman Baths. These sites offer visitors the chance to explore thousands of years of history and culture.
- Picturesque towns and villages: Southern England is known for its charming towns and villages, such as Bath, Oxford, Brighton, and the Cotswolds. These places are characterized by their historic architecture, quaint streets, and picturesque countryside.
- Cultural events: Southern England hosts many cultural events throughout the year, such as the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Hay Festival of Literature, the Glastonbury Festival, and the Notting Hill Carnival. These events offer visitors the chance to experience music, theater, literature, and art in unique and vibrant settings.
- Natural beauty: Southern England is home to many areas of outstanding natural beauty, such as the Jurassic Coast and the South Downs National Park. These places offer visitors the chance to explore rugged coastlines, rolling hills, and tranquil lakes and rivers.
- Food and drink: Southern England is known for its traditional cuisine, such as fish and chips, cream teas, and afternoon tea. The region also has a thriving food and drink scene, with many Michelin-starred restaurants, gastropubs, and craft breweries.
- Outdoor activities: Southern England offers many opportunities for outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling, water sports, and golf. Visitors can also explore the region’s many gardens, parks, and nature reserves.
South England FAQ
Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Devon, Cornwall are the most famous areas in southern England.
Most people would say that the south of England is posh but this is mainly due to higher prices and expensive houses.
South of England really has to be visited! Go to Seven Sisters, Cheddar Gorge or New Forest for a great day out!
Holidays in south England really can be amazing. Visit Cornwall, Devon or the Isle of Wight for a great British holiday!
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3 days South England itinerary
Here’s a suggested 3-day itinerary for exploring the southern part of England:
- Start your day in Brighton, a lively seaside town famous for its pebble beach and colorful beach huts. Take a stroll along the pier, explore the quirky shops in the Lanes, and visit the Royal Pavilion.
- In the afternoon, head to the Seven Sisters Cliffs, a stunning stretch of coastline just east of Brighton. Take a walk along the cliff tops for panoramic views of the English Channel.
- Drive to the historic city of Winchester, located in the picturesque county of Hampshire. Visit the magnificent Winchester Cathedral, explore the city’s medieval streets, and learn about King Arthur at the Great Hall.
- In the afternoon, head to the New Forest National Park, where you can see free-roaming ponies and deer, and enjoy a walk or bike ride in the beautiful woodland.
- Start the day in the charming city of Bath, famous for its Georgian architecture and Roman Baths. Visit the Roman Baths Museum, take a walking tour of the city, and enjoy the views from the Royal Crescent.
- In the afternoon, drive to the nearby village of Lacock, a picturesque village that has been used as a filming location for several movies and TV shows, including Harry Potter and Downton Abbey.
- Finally, visit Stonehenge, one of the world’s most famous prehistoric monuments, and marvel at the giant standing stones that have stood on this site for over 4,000 years.
Of course, this is just one possible itinerary, and there are many other wonderful places to explore in southern England, depending on your interests and preferences.
7 day South England itinerary
Here’s a suggested 7-day itinerary for exploring the southern part of England:
- Start your trip in London and spend the day exploring some of the city’s top attractions, such as Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, or the British Museum.
- Take a day trip to the university town of Oxford, known for its stunning architecture, beautiful gardens, and rich history. Visit the famous Oxford colleges, the Bodleian Library, and the Ashmolean Museum.
- Drive to the picturesque town of Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Visit Shakespeare’s birthplace, the Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, and other important landmarks related to the famous playwright.
- Spend the day exploring the beautiful Cotswolds region, known for its rolling hills, charming villages, and quaint tea rooms. Visit some of the picturesque towns and villages, such as Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold, or Broadway.
- Head to the historic city of Bath, famous for its Georgian architecture, Roman Baths, and beautiful gardens. Take a walking tour of the city, visit the Royal Crescent, and relax in the Thermae Bath Spa.
- Drive to the stunning Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site that stretches along the coast of Dorset and East Devon. Visit places like Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove, and Chesil Beach, and go for a walk along the South West Coast Path.
- Spend the day in the charming seaside town of Brighton, known for its vibrant atmosphere, beautiful pebble beach, and iconic pier. Take a walk along the seafront, explore the quirky shops in the Lanes, and visit the Royal Pavilion.
South England tourist information
Southern England is a popular destination for tourists, offering a wide variety of attractions and experiences. Here’s some general tourist information to help you plan your trip:
- Climate: Southern England has a temperate maritime climate, with mild winters and cool summers. The weather can be changeable, so it’s a good idea to bring layers and a waterproof jacket.
- Transportation: Southern England has a good transportation network, with train and bus services connecting many of the region’s towns and cities. You can also rent a car to explore the area at your own pace.
- Accommodation: Southern England has a wide range of accommodation options, from budget hostels and B&Bs to luxury hotels and holiday cottages. Popular areas to stay include London, Bath, Brighton, and the Cotswolds.
- Attractions: Southern England has many attractions to suit different interests and preferences, including historic landmarks, museums, galleries, gardens, beaches, and outdoor activities. Popular attractions include Stonehenge, the Roman Baths, the Tower of London, Windsor Castle, the Jurassic Coast, and the Eden Project.
- Food and drink: Southern England is known for its traditional cuisine, including fish and chips, afternoon tea, and cream teas. The region also has a thriving food and drink scene, with many Michelin-starred restaurants, gastropubs, and craft breweries.
- Events and festivals: Southern England hosts many events and festivals throughout the year, including the Chelsea Flower Show, the Henley Royal Regatta, the Glastonbury Festival, and the Notting Hill Carnival.
South England history
Southern England has a rich and diverse history, dating back to prehistoric times. Here are some of the key historical periods and events that have shaped the region:
- Prehistory: Southern England is home to many important prehistoric sites, including Stonehenge and Avebury, which were constructed around 5000 years ago.
- Roman period: The Romans occupied southern England from AD 43 to AD 410, leaving behind many important landmarks and buildings, such as the Roman Baths in Bath and the amphitheater in Winchester.
- Anglo-Saxon period: In the 5th and 6th centuries, southern England was inhabited by various Germanic tribes, including the Saxons, Jutes, and Angles. This period saw the emergence of important kingdoms such as Wessex and Kent.
- Norman Conquest: In 1066, William the Conqueror invaded England from Normandy, France, and defeated the Anglo-Saxon king Harold Godwinson. This led to the Norman Conquest of England and the construction of many important landmarks, such as the Tower of London and Windsor Castle.
- Tudor period: In the 16th century, southern England was the center of the Tudor dynasty, which included monarchs such as Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, and Mary I. This period saw the construction of many important buildings, such as Hampton Court Palace and the Mary Rose.
- Industrial Revolution: In the 18th and 19th centuries, southern England played a key role in the Industrial Revolution, with cities such as Bristol, Birmingham, and Manchester becoming centers of manufacturing and trade.
Today, visitors to southern England can explore many landmarks and attractions related to these historical periods, including castles, museums, and ancient ruins, as well as cities and towns with rich architectural and cultural heritage.
South England cities
Some major cities in the south of England include:
- London, the capital city of England and the United Kingdom
- Bristol, a city in the South West known for its maritime history and cultural scene
- Southampton, a port city in Hampshire and home of the Titanic
- Portsmouth, a coastal city in Hampshire known for its naval history and the HMS Victory
- Bournemouth, a coastal town in Dorset known for its beaches and Victorian architecture
- Brighton, a seaside town in East Sussex known for its vibrant arts and culture scene
- Oxford, a university city in Oxfordshire known for its historic and architectural heritage
- Reading, a town in Berkshire known for its links to the technology and business sectors
- Canterbury, a historic city in Kent and home of the Archbishop of Canterbury
These are just a few examples, there are many more cities, towns, and villages in the south of England that are worth visiting.
Family attractions South England
There are many family-friendly attractions in the south of England, here are a few examples:
- Legoland Windsor: A theme park in Windsor, Berkshire, featuring rides, attractions and Lego models.
- Harry Potter Studio Tour: A tour in Leavesden, Hertfordshire, where visitors can see authentic sets, costumes, and props from the Harry Potter films.
- Science Museum: A museum in London, featuring interactive exhibits and hands-on activities for children of all ages.
- Chessington World of Adventures: A theme park and zoo in Chessington, Surrey, featuring rides, animal encounters, and live shows.
- Stonehenge: A prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, that offers a glimpse into the history and mystery of ancient Britain.
- Portsmouth Historic Dockyard: A naval history museum in Portsmouth, Hampshire, featuring the HMS Victory and other historic ships.
- The Eden Project: A botanical garden in Cornwall, featuring indoor rainforests and outdoor gardens, with educational activities for children.
- Longleat: A safari park and stately home in Wiltshire, featuring animal encounters, adventure playgrounds and a maze.
- The Royal Windsor Castle: A royal residence in Windsor, Berkshire, featuring state apartments, exhibitions and guided tours.
Unusual places to visit in South East England
The south of England is home to many unique and interesting places to visit, here are a few examples of unusual places to visit in the South East of England:
- The Secret Nuclear Bunker, Kelvedon Hatch: An underground bunker built during the Cold War that has been converted into a museum.
- The Salisbury Museum, Salisbury: A museum that is home to the world’s oldest human DNA, the oldest human skeleton in Britain and the largest collection of Stonehenge artifacts.
- The Needles, Isle of Wight: A row of three distinctive stacks of chalk that rise out of the sea off the western extremity of the Isle of Wight.
- The Undercliff, Isle of Wight: A unique coastal landscape, formed by landslides, which has created a series of small beaches, coves and cliffs.
- The Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent: A historic spa town that features elegant Georgian architecture, scenic parks and gardens, and several interesting museums.
- The Kent and East Sussex Railway, Kent: A heritage railway that runs through the picturesque countryside of Kent and East Sussex, offering steam train rides and special events.
- The Chatham Historic Dockyard, Kent: A naval history museum that features historic ships, exhibitions, and interactive activities.
- The Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth: A 170-meter-tall tower that offers panoramic views of Portsmouth and the surrounding area.
- The Winchester Cathedral, Winchester: A beautiful cathedral that is one of the largest in Europe and features an impressive medieval architectural design, a beautiful garden and an underground crypt.
Places to visit on the South Coast
The south coast of England is home to many popular tourist destinations, here are a few examples of places to visit:
- The Jurassic Coast: A World Heritage Site that stretches from East Devon to Dorset and features a diverse range of geological formations, including cliffs, bays, and beaches.
- The Isle of Wight: An island located off the south coast of England, known for its picturesque beaches, historic sites, and outdoor activities.
- Brighton: A vibrant seaside town that is known for its lively arts and culture scene, historic pier, and charming architecture.
- Portsmouth: A coastal city that is known for its naval history and attractions such as the Historic Dockyard, home to the HMS Victory and the Mary Rose Museum.
- The New Forest: A picturesque national park that is known for its unspoiled wilderness, wildlife, and quaint villages.
- Bournemouth: A seaside resort town that is known for its long stretches of golden sand, Victorian architecture and a lively nightlife.
- The White Cliffs of Dover: A iconic natural landmark that offers spectacular views of the English Channel and the coast of France.
- Southampton: A major port city that is known for its maritime history and attractions such as the SeaCity Museum and the Mayflower Memorial.
- The South Downs: A beautiful and varied landscape of rolling hills, ancient woodland and picturesque villages.
Most beautiful places in South East England
The south east of England is home to many beautiful places, here are a few examples of some of the most beautiful places in the region:
- Seven Sisters Country Park, East Sussex: A beautiful stretch of coast that features seven white chalk cliffs and a wide range of wildlife.
- The Cotswolds, Gloucestershire: An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that is known for its picturesque villages, rolling hills, and charming stone cottages.
- The White Cliffs of Dover, Kent: A iconic natural landmark that offers spectacular views of the English Channel and the coast of France.
- The New Forest, Hampshire: A picturesque national park that is known for its unspoiled wilderness, wildlife, and quaint villages.
- The South Downs, Sussex: A beautiful and varied landscape of rolling hills, ancient woodland and picturesque villages.
- The Thames Path, London: A 184-mile-long footpath that follows the River Thames through some of the most beautiful and historic parts of the south east, including Oxford and Windsor.
- The Kent Downs, Kent: An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that features rolling hills, woodlands and ancient landscapes.
- The Chiltern Hills, Oxfordshire: An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that is known for its gently rolling hills, beech woods, and picturesque villages.
What famous film was filmed in South England?
Southern England has been the setting for many famous films over the years. Here are a few examples:
- Harry Potter: Several of the Harry Potter films were filmed in Southern England, including Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (which was filmed at Oxford University), and various other locations such as the Hogwarts Express, Godric’s Hollow and the Ministry of Magic (which were filmed at different locations in London).
- Bridget Jones’s Diary: The iconic British romantic comedy was primarily set in London but also features scenes filmed in the Cotswolds and Berkshire.
- The King’s Speech: This award-winning historical drama was filmed in various locations throughout Southern England, including Ely Cathedral, Greenwich, and Lancaster House in London.
- The Crown: This popular Netflix series, which chronicles the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, was filmed in numerous locations across Southern England, including Winchester Cathedral, Ely Cathedral, and various other locations in London.
- James Bond: Many James Bond films have been set and filmed in Southern England, including iconic locations such as the MI6 building, Buckingham Palace, and Stowe School.
These are just a few examples of the many films that have been set and filmed in Southern England. The region’s historic landmarks, picturesque towns and villages, and stunning natural beauty make it a popular choice for filmmakers.
Things to do in south west England
The south west of England is a popular tourist destination, here are a few examples of things to do in the region:
- Visit the historic city of Bath: Known for its Roman baths, Georgian architecture, and the Royal Crescent.
- Take a hike or bike ride on the South West Coast Path: This 630-mile trail offers some of the most spectacular coastal views in the country.
- Explore the Isles of Scilly: A group of beautiful islands located off the coast of Cornwall, known for its clear waters, white sandy beaches, and unique wildlife.
- Visit the Eden Project: A botanical garden in Cornwall, featuring indoor rainforests and outdoor gardens, with educational activities for children.
- Take a day trip to the historic town of Bristol: Known for its maritime history, the Clifton Suspension Bridge, and the SS Great Britain.
- Explore the Dartmoor National Park: A beautiful and rugged landscape of moors, tors, and ancient settlements in Devon
- Visit the ancient stone circles at Stonehenge: A prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, that offers a glimpse into the history and mystery of ancient Britain.
- Go surfing at Newquay: a seaside town in Cornwall, known for its beautiful beaches and surf spots.
- Take a boat trip to see the seals at the Farne Islands: a group of islands located off the coast of Devon, known for its seal colonies and bird-watching opportunities.
Things to do with kids in south east England
The south east of England is home to many family-friendly activities and attractions, here are a few examples of things to do with kids in the region:
- Visit the Science Museum in London: A museum that features interactive exhibits and hands-on activities for children of all ages.
- Take a trip to Legoland Windsor: A theme park in Windsor, Berkshire, that features rides, attractions, and Lego models.
- Explore the Natural History Museum in London: A museum that features a wide range of exhibits on natural history, including dinosaurs and fossils.
- Visit the Harry Potter Studio Tour in Leavesden, Hertfordshire: A tour where visitors can see authentic sets, costumes, and props from the Harry Potter films.
- Have a day out at Chessington World of Adventures: A theme park and zoo in Chessington, Surrey, that features rides, animal encounters, and live shows.
- Take a trip to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard: A naval history museum in Portsmouth, Hampshire, that features the HMS Victory and other historic ships.
- Visit the Royal Windsor Castle: A royal residence in Windsor, Berkshire, that features state apartments, exhibitions and guided tours.
- Take a trip to the Sea Life Centre in Brighton: An aquarium that features a wide range of sea creatures, including sharks, rays and turtles.
- Explore the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, London: A botanic garden that features a wide range of plants and gardens, including the famous Palm House and the Princess of Wales Conservatory.
- Visit the Beale Park, Reading: A wildlife park and garden that has a wide range of animals and a playground area for kids.
Is it worth visiting Southern England?
The South of England has a lot to offer. It is home to some of the prettiest villages in England. You can easily come to the south of the country and spend your whole visit in London. You would have a wonderful time, but you’d be missing out on all the rest that the area has to offer.
Whatever it is that you are looking for in a getaway from vibrant cities to relaxing nature, you can find something wonderful in the South of England.
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So, there you have it! A taste of what the South of England has to offer, from the exciting buzz of its cities to the serene beauty of its countryside and coastlines. A place where adventure and relaxation meet, offering something for everyone.
Whether you’re planning a day out in the South East, seeking the thrill of the many things to do in South England, or just eager to discover the best places to visit in South England, this region is sure to captivate you.
Explore the charm of the South Coast UK as you hop from one picturesque seaside town to another, and indulge in the plethora of attractions that make this part of the country one of the places to visit in the UK. As you traverse the magnificent South Coast of England, you’ll stumble upon countless South England highlights and, if you’re adventurous enough, uncover some of the most unusual and captivating places.
Embrace the opportunity to encounter the region’s rich history, enjoy its diverse culture, and be mesmerised by some of the most beautiful places in South East England. And remember, there’s always something new and exciting to do, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned explorer, making southern England a destination that keeps on giving.
So pack your bags, set your GPS, and get ready to discover all the places to visit in the south of England that make this region so uniquely captivating and enjoyable. Happy exploring!
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