England attracts 30 to 40 million visitors annually, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. It’s the birthplace of both Shakespeare and The Beatles, giving you an idea of the rich cultural history of the country, but where should you stay?
Keep reading to explore some of the best cities and regions to help you choose where to stay in England.
Why You Should Visit England in 2023
England is the largest country in the UK and the center of the kingdom, bordered by Scotland to the north and Wales to the west. It has a rich historical and cultural heritage, with many iconic landmarks, such as the Tower of London and Stonehenge.
It’s also a diverse country, despite its relatively small size. From the urban metro areas of London and Manchester to the scenic natural landscapes of the Cotswolds and the Lake District.
The compact size of England also makes it easy to head off and explore just about any other part of the country. However, you should first think about the places that you’d like to visit.
The 5 Best Parts of England
England covers an area of about 50,301 square miles, which is roughly the size of Greece or the state of Alabama.
Yet, there are also quite a few different places to visit, including our favorite areas below:
- London: Best for first-time visitors and nightlife
- Lake District: Best for wide open spaces and beautiful landscapes
- Cotswolds: Best for quintessential English villages
- Bath: Best for historic architecture and Roman baths
- Manchester: Best for budget travelers
The Best Areas & Hotels in England
Before planning your trip to England, you should get to know some of the best areas. Learn more about what each region offers, including the types of attractions, accommodations, and general atmosphere. Here’s a closer look at the top places to stay in England.
London stands out as the top place to stay in England, especially for first-time visitors and those seeking a vibrant nightlife. It’s the capital, the most recognizable city, and home to many iconic attractions and landmarks, from Big Ben to Westminster Abbey.
It’s a diverse city with a great combination of history and modernity. You can spend time exploring the historic sites or the city’s cutting-edge culture, which includes popular shops and clubs.
The diversity of London also creates a melting pot of cultures and cuisines. If you’re a foodie, you’ll enjoy the variety of dining options, from the traditional choice of fish and chips to highly rated restaurants with culinary delicacies.
Its central location makes London ideal for those wanting to explore more of the country. You can easily reach some of the other top destinations in England within just a few hours.
However, the quick pace of London may not appeal to everyone. If you prefer a less hectic environment, you may enjoy one of the less heavily populated areas of the country.
Things to Do in London
- Ride the London Eye observation wheel for unobstructed views of Big Bend and Buckingham Palace.
- Tour the Tower of London to see exhibits and artifacts dating back over 1,000 years.
- Explore the natural world with a trip to the Natural History Museum.
- Grab a snack at Borough Market, the oldest and largest food market in the city.
Where to Eat in London
- The Great Thai Restaurant for simple, affordable Thai cuisine in the heart of the city
- Bill’s Baker Street Restaurant for contemporary European food at a popular local hangout
- Hereford Road Restaurant for authentic British meals at a pricey fine dining establishment
- The Victoria (Paddington) for pints of beer and British food at a 19th-century pub
London Budget Hotels
- Chelsea Guest House. This affordable hotel offers clean, comfortable rooms near the train station, allowing you to easily reach any other part of the city. Busses also stop outside about every three to five minutes, making this a prime spot for those wanting to see the sights.
- The Gateway Hotel. Save money with a stay at a low-cost hotel in the Wandsworth neighborhood of London, which is a short distance from Nightingale Square and Agnes Riley Gardens. It’s in a relatively bustling commercial area with many shops, restaurants, and bars nearby.
London Mid-Range Hotels
- Riu Plaza London Victoria. This four-star hotel is in the heart of London and a short walk from the train station. Guests receive access to a long list of amenities, including a fridge, a safety deposit box, a bar, a restaurant, and a fitness center.
- Hotel Saint London. Another four-star hotel, this place features a large roof terrace with wonderful views of the city. Other highlights include two onsite restaurants, a rooftop bar, and a 24-hour gym.
London Luxury Hotels
- ME London by Melia. Enjoy the high life at this luxury hotel near many of the top London attractions, including Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace. You can choose from a variety of room types, ranging from high-end double rooms to penthouse suites with panoramic views.
- Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill. Located near Portman Square Garden and one of the train stations, this is another convenient place for those wanting to explore more of London. It’s an upscale hotel with elegant décor, two club lounges, and a cocktail bar.
2. Lake District
The Lake District offers open spaces and beautiful landscapes that few other places in England can match. It’s an area in and around the Lake District National Park in the northwestern part of the country.
The area is known for its gorgeous scenery, which includes lush valleys, large lakes, and mountains in the background. It’s one of the best areas for exploring the English countryside.
The Lake District even has a few hiking trails, along with access to boating and other leisurely activities. The Lake District also helped inspire the works of several prominent authors, including Beatrix Potter, the creator of Peter Rabbit, and William Wordsworth.
You’ll also have a few different towns to choose from when deciding where to stay. The Lake District includes four large towns, including Keswick to the north and Ambleside, Windemere, and Bowness-on-Windemere to the south.
All are wonderful options for families and couples, allowing you to spend time hiking or exploring the surrounding landscape. However, if you’re looking for nightlife, you may want to spend time in Keswick.
Things to Do in the Lake District
- Take a boat tour around Lake Windermere or arrange for scuba diving or fishing.
- Watch the water run down the 65-foot drop at the beautiful Aira Force Waterfall.
- Learn more about Peter Rabbit and other characters at the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction.
- Explore up to 70 acres of woodland gardens around Muncaster Castle.
Where to Eat in the Lake District
- The Pheasant Inn Keswick for local ales at a traditional English pub with outdoor seating
- The Round for gourmet burgers and fries with a wide selection of craft beer and wine
- Bandito Burrito for quick, cheap Mexican cuisine in the town of Windemere
- The Old Stamp House Restaurant for modern British cuisine and upscale dining in Ambleside
Lake District Budget Hotels
- Quaysiders Club. This affordable hotel is on the shore of Lake Windermere and a short walk from the quaint little village of Ambleside. The rooms are relatively small but include modern amenities and access to an indoor swimming pool.
- The Westmorland Inn. Enjoy the convenience of this little hotel, which shares a building with a restaurant, bar, and water sports facility. It’s in Windermere, just down the road from the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction.
Lake District Mid-Range Hotels
- The Temperance Inn – The Inn Collection Group. This mid-range hotel is in the center of Ambleside and offers views of Loughrigg Fell from some of the rooms. It’s a cozy place to stay and a short walk from several restaurants and cafes.
- George Hotel. Located in Keswick, this lovely modern hotel is perfect for families, as it has large family rooms, an onsite restaurant, and access to board games and puzzles. It’s also near several parks with children’s play equipment.
Lake District Luxury Hotels
- Hillthwaite Hotel. This is a family-run hotel with luxurious furnishings and fantastic views of the surrounding area and lake. Along with the views, some of the best features include spacious rooms, a large indoor swimming pool, and well-manicured gardens.
- Lakes Hotel & Spa. Relax at this quiet hotel near Lake Windermere and a short stroll from the village of Bowness-on-Windermere. It’s a high-end hotel with a variety of rooms to choose from, including double rooms and two-bedroom apartments.
The Cotswolds is a lovely region of central-southwest England, found about two hours west of London and a short drive northeast of Bristol and Bath. It’s a scenic drive that takes you through rolling hills and past small English villages.
The Cotswolds perfectly encapsulate the image of charming English country villages. Many of the buildings date back a couple of hundred years. The old cottages and cobblestone streets can easily take you back to a simpler period of England’s history.
As with the Lake District, the Cotswolds offers access to hiking and walking paths. The trails take you past woodlands, open fields, and many hidden gems, such as medieval churches and the various towns and villages that dot the area.
Cirencester is the largest of these villages and is often referred to as the capital of the region.
If you prefer having access to more modern amenities, you may want to try nearby Cheltenham. It’s a medium-sized city at the edge of the Cotswolds with a wide range of shops, restaurants, and museums.
Things to Do in Cotswolds
- Watch rhinos, giraffes, and other wildlife as they graze the lawn at Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens.
- Crane your neck for a better look at the spires and statues lining the top of the gothic Gloucester Cathedral.
- Stroll past the charming English cottages at Castle Combe Village.
- Walk through the winding hedge maze in the courtyard of Sudeley Castle.
Where to Eat in Cotswolds
- The Linden Tree Pub for artisan coffee and local beer in the city of Gloucester
- Pizza Express for hand-tossed pizzas at a casual restaurant in Cirencester
- Cirencester Beefeater for large steaks and a friendly atmosphere
- The Lakeside Brasserie for international cuisine and a relaxing environment
Cotswolds Budget Hotels
- Holiday Inn Express Gloucester – South. If you want to spend time in Gloucester, consider staying at this low-cost hotel not too far from the city center. It’s a great value from a recognizable hotel chain that offers free breakfast.
- Royal George Hotel by Green King Inns. This affordable hotel sits in the middle of 26 acres of gardens and woodlands that guests are free to explore. It’s a spacious place built in the 18th century but featuring modern renovations and amenities.
Cotswolds Mid-Range Hotels
- Leonardo Hotel Cheltenham. Found about three miles from the center of the city, this hotel has stylish, modern décor with bright colors to help give it a unique look. It also has an onsite restaurant with a full breakfast buffet each morning.
- The George. With a convenient location near Cheltenham Town Hall, this hotel is a popular choice for visitors wanting to explore the area. The rooms feature full blackout curtains to help you get a good night’s sleep and all the modern amenities you could want.
Cotswolds Luxury Hotels
- Kings Head Hotel. This luxurious hotel is in Cirencester, one of the most popular areas of the Cotswolds. It’s in the historic center of the town and offers comfy rooms and convenient access to a wide range of nearby pubs, shops, and cafes.
- No 131 The Promenade. Receive top-notch service from the staff at this high-end hotel found about a mile away from the railway station. It offers an elegant atmosphere, whether you’re spending time in your room or at the onsite restaurants.
Bath is the largest city in Somerset County and built in and around the valley of the River Avon. It’s named after the Roman baths built sometime between 60 and 70 AD, some of which remain well-preserved and available to visit.
In fact, over a million people visit Bath each year just to see the Roman baths. The site was chosen due to the natural hot springs that flow through the area, providing warm water for the baths.
Bath has plenty to explore, but it’s also a good base for exploring the surrounding region. It’s a short trip from Stonehenge and the charming villages of the Cotswolds and Somerset.
Bath is a top English destination for history buffs, as it has a mixture of historic sites that help tell the country’s story, from the Roman baths to the old Georgian architecture.
However, some visitors may the variety of dining and shopping options found in larger English towns and cities, such as London or Manchester.
Things to Do in Bath
- Tour the famous Roman Baths and neighboring historic sites built close to 2,000 years ago.
- Learn more about the history of the region with a tour of Bath Abbey.
- Browse the shops or grab a caffeinated drink at a café along Pulteney Bridge.
- Explore the life of the city’s most famous author with interactive exhibits featuring costumed actors at the Jane Austen Centre.
Where to Eat in Bath
- JC’s Kitchen for fast, affordable takeout food by the riverside park
- Cosy Club for coffee or cocktails with tapas at a quirky bar near the river
- Bill’s Bath Restaurant for breakfast, lunch, or dinner at a popular family restaurant
- Antica Bath Restaurant for authentic Italian cuisine and live jazz music
Bath Budget Hotels
- The Z Hotel Bath. Located next to the Bath Theatre Royal and in the center of the city, this affordable hotel is the perfect base of operations for getting out and walking around Bath. It’s also a short distance from the famous Roman Baths.
- Hampton By Hilton Bath City. This comfortable hotel is part of a worldwide chain that operates reliable hotels in major cities around the globe. You can expect clean sheets and friendly staff, along with a free breakfast.
Bath Mid-Range Hotels
- The Francis Hotel Bath. Stay in the historic center of Bath at this highly-rated townhouse hotel. The rooms are carefully furnished to give the hotel a more upscale atmosphere despite the reasonably low rates and spacious room layouts.
- Broad Street Townhouse. This hotel is a short walk from Bath Abbey and many other local landmarks, along with offering comfortable rooms for groups of all sizes. Many of the rooms also include a view of the city.
Bath Luxury Hotels
- The Gainsborough Bath Spa – Small Luxury Hotels of the World. This five-star hotel is an 18th-century property, but you can expect high-end modern furnishings. It’s a luxury hotel with gorgeous rooms and many amenities, including an onsite fitness center and spa facilities.
- Bathen House Boutique Hotel. Built in 1910, this luxury hotel has rooms fit for a king or queen, featuring city views and expensive furniture. It also has an onsite restaurant featuring traditional British cuisine and menu items for vegetarians and vegans.
Manchester is often recommended for those wanting a more affordable alternative to London. It’s smaller than London but has many of the features you’d expect from a decently sized English city, including a wide range of pubs and many historic and cultural sites.
It’s also an area known for its arts and music scene. From the Manchester Art Gallery to the many music venues, there’s always something fresh and exciting to discover in the city.
Located in the northwest part of the country, Manchester has a thriving metro area with a population of close to three million. It’s also a short distance from Liverpool to the west and Leeds to the east. The rest of the North of England is also within reach.
Things to Do in Manchester
- Catch a football match or tour the facilities at the new Manchester City Stadium.
- Learn more about the city’s love of football with a trip to the National Football Museum.
- Get a closer look at classic paintings from hundreds of years ago at the Manchester Art Gallery.
- Find out how criminals were dealt with in the late 1800s at the Greater Manchester Police Museum.
Where to Eat in Manchester
- Albert’s Shed Restaurant Manchester for casual dining with a view of the canal
- Five Guys Manchester University Green for fast, fresh hamburgers and hot dogs
- The Spirit of Manchester Distillery for locally distilled gin and a tour of the facility
- Rosso Restaurant and Bar for upscale Italian dining and live music in a historic building
Manchester Budget Hotels
- Ibis Manchester Centre 96 Portland Street. This budget hotel is in the center of the city, placing you near dozens of shops and restaurants. The hotel also has an onsite bar that tends to attract visitors late into the night, making it a lively spot.
- Novotel Manchester Centre. Another budget hotel, this option stands out for its large rooms with plenty of space for spreading out and relaxing with a large group. You can also enjoy food and drinks from the onsite lounge or 24-hour room service.
Manchester Mid-Range Hotels
- Residence Inn by Marriott Manchester Piccadilly. With a minimalist look, this mid-range hotel stands out for its simple, yet elegant rooms and apartments, including options with fully equipped kitchens. It’s also a short walk from Cotton Field Park and Manchester Museum.
- YOTEL Manchester Deansgate. This hotel features unique, modern décor and furnishings throughout the onsite lounge, restaurant, and guest rooms. It’s also near John Rylands Library, Albert Square, and several other popular Manchester attractions.
Manchester Luxury Hotels
- The Lowery Hotel. This is one of the finest hotels in the city, featuring elegant furnishings throughout the lobby and each guest room. Some of the highlights of this luxury hotel include views of the river and city, a riverside restaurant, and a full spa.
- Hotel Gotham. This luxury hotel is a few minutes walk from a major shopping center and has a rooftop terrace with great views of Manchester. Enjoy your daily breakfast and a choice of a variety of rooms, including rooms with minibars and large TVs.
Over to You — Book Your Trip Today!
|🏆 Best for First Timers||London|
|⛰️ Best for Landscapes||Lake District|
|🏘️ Best for English Villages||Cotswolds|
|🏛️ Great for History Buffs||Bath|
|💲 Best for Budget Travel||Manchester|
As you can see, there are countless thing to se and do in England, all found in several of the country’s best areas to stay. So what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience all that this picturesque destination has to offer. Happy travels!