From peaceful lakes and areas of outstanding natural beauty to the hustle and bustle of the city, there’s a treasure trove of amazing landmarks in England to explore. From the stunning White Cliffs of Dover to castles and abbeys, England’s landmarks list is truly impressive.
Although there’s no shortage of landmarks in London and you could easily spend weeks discovering the best of England’s capital, there are so many more monuments across the country.
- 20 Incredible Landmarks in England
- Natural Landmarks in England
- Historic Landmarks in England
20 Incredible Landmarks in England
Natural Landmarks in England
1- White Cliffs of Dover
The White Cliffs of Dover gaze out over the English Channel, but there’s more to the cliffs than the view.
Immortalised through art and song, the White Cliffs of Dover are made from chalk and allow for unusual plants and insects to thrive.
The chalk hill blue butterfly and the pyramidal orchid call the cliffs home.
South Foreland Lighthouse has stood on the cliffs since 1846 and warns mariners against treacherous passage on their approach to Dover.
Hidden beneath the surface are secret tunnels from both World Wars, where the cliffs were a crucial part of the Allied defences.
These tunnels and the lighthouse are open to visitors and exploring them is a great way to delve into the region’s rich history.
2- Coniston Water
Nestled in the idyllic surroundings of the Lake District, and watched over by The Old Man of Coniston (a mountain) lies Coniston Water.
The setting of Arthur Ransom’s ‘Swallows and Amazons’, the lake attracts thousands to its shores every year in search of the locations described in the book.
The lake is also famed for its straight stretch of water, which allows speed enthusiasts to race at the Festival of Speed each year.
Helvellyn is 3118 feet high and is Britains third highest peak, and one of only four peaks in England to reach over 3000ft.
Helvellyn is a spectacular mountain in the heart of the Lake District.
With mountains on either side and spectacular views over fells and lakes from the summit, the climb to the top is worth it.
Break just before reaching the peak to gaze over the waters of Red Tarn, a small body of water nestled high in the mountain.
Adventurous walkers tackle the mountain via the rock scrambles along Striding and Swirral Edge.
During winter, these two pathways to the summit are only accessible by highly experienced mountaineers.
When the weather is fine, walkers can be found camping or sleeping in bivouacs on the summit ridge – a perfect spot for stargazing.
Helvellyn has been visited by tourists for over 200 years and was frequented by Lakes poets William and Dorothy Wordsworth, who wrote about their experience on the mountain.
Wainwright, a famous climber and walker who mapped the landscape, wrote this famous quote: “legend and poetry, a lovely name and a lofty altitude combine to encompass Helvellyn in an aura of romance”.
It is easy to see why this wonder of nature still draws people in today.
4- Jurassic Coast
The Jurassic Coast stretches for 153 km (95 miles) across the Dorset and East Devon coastline in the south of England.
It became a World Heritage Site in 2001.
Rocks visible along this coastline are from three key geological periods: Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous.
This stretch of English coastline attracts fossil hunters from all over the world, hoping to find the latest fossil for their collections but if fossil hunting isn’t for you, there are nature, geology and musical walk along the coast.
The west Dorset section of the Jurassic Coast stretches from Lyme Regis, which is the setting of literary novels such as Jane Austen’s Persuasion and the French Lieutenant’s Woman, to Chessil Beach.
In recent times, glamping in Dorset has become a popular way to experience the treasures of the region and to see natural landmarks such as the Golden Cap, which is (a National Trust site) that rises 190 m above sea level.
5- Seaham Beach
The Durham Heritage Coast, a protected area of English coastline, is renowned for its pristine miles of shingle and sand beaches, unique wildlife, and friendly locals.
Seaham is no exception.
Seaham has an array of local bakeries, coffee shops and of course, plenty of places to buy ice cream.
Seaham is famous for its sea glass.
Washed up from discarded glass bottles from the old bottling plants in Seaham and neighbouring city Sunderland, Seaham offers a wide range of sea glass, including more rare finds.
Each pebble of sea glass is unique, eroded by the North Sea before landing on the beach where they will become works of art, jewellery, or placed in jars for decoration.
Historic Landmarks in England
6- Bamburgh Castle
Overlooking the Northumberland coastline is Bamburgh Castle.
Over 1400 years old, this castle has served as a royal fortress, stronghold for the Normans, and as a home.
As the castle has such a long history and has remained continuously inhabited, it has its fair share of ghost stories.
It is alleged to be the inspiration for the legendary Sir Lancelot’s castle, Joyous Garde.
The castle estate spans (3.6 ha) 9 acres and stands guard over pristine sand beaches and the breathtaking North East Coast.
7- Alnwick Castle
Alnwick Castle in Northumberland is famed for being part of Hogwarts in Harry Potter, Brancaster Castle in the 2015 Downton Abbey Christmas episode and was featured in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
Alnwick Castle is England’s second-largest inhabited castle and has a rich history, from serving as a military outpost to a refuge for evacuees during WW2.
Home to the Percy family for over 700 years, Alnwick has been a part of the landscape since Medieval times.
It draws visitors in by celebrating its illustrious and at times, tumultuous past.
The estate is now home to lush gardens, an artisan courtyard where locals sell their produce, and a magnificent treehouse housing a restaurant.
8- Horniman Museum London
What started as the private collection of Frederick John Horniman, a Victorian philanthropist and tea trader, has transformed into an incredible museum and gardens.
Horniman’s travels took him to the farthest reaches of the globe with the intent of gathering objects that ‘either appealed to his fancy or that seemed to him likely to interest and informed those who had not had the opportunity to visit distant lands’.
The museum is a landmark of English history, housing an eclectic collection of natural history and is home to a rather unusual exhibit.
When Victorian taxidermists received the skin of a walrus, an animal they had never seen before, they overstuffed the creature.
Since then, the walrus has become a visitor favourite, making Horniman one of the more unique museums in London.
Be sure to visit the conservatory for incredible photo opportunities in Victorian architectural surroundings.
9- The Roman Baths, Bath
Anyone spending the day in Bath in the heart of the city must put the remarkably well preserved Roman Baths on their list of places to visit.
Bath has unique thermal springs that the Romans turned into a bathing and socialising complex in 70AD.
The waters reach 46°C and still fill the bathing pools today.
When visiting, step away from the magnificence of the baths to walk on the original Roman pavements, see the ruins of the Temple of Sulis Minerva and drop by the museum which houses many Roman artefacts, including a bronze head of the Goddess Sulis Minerva.
When visiting Bath, you may also enjoy exploring these Cotswolds villages.
10- York Minster
In the Viking city of York sits York Minster, a cathedral with a rich 800-year history.
The Minster features impressive medieval stonework adorning the facade, and intricate story-filled stained glass windows.
Make the journey up the 275 steps to the top of the Central Tower, keeping your eyes peeled for grotesques carved into the stonework.
The York Minster also offers tours to the hidden parts of the cathedral that are closed to the public.
Tour guides will reveal untold stories of the cathedral’s past.
For more landmarks in Europe see:
11- Whitby Abbey
Standing on the cliff overlooking the fishing town of Whitby is Whitby Abbey.
Now a ruin, this abbey draws visitors from all over the world for its links to Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
A key landmark of the breathtaking north coast, Whitby Abbey is worth the 199 steps it takes to climb up the cliff from the town, and the views from the top are incredible.
Behind the abbey stretches the North Yorkshire Moors, in-front is the North Sea, and to the left; Whitby, the beach, and in the distance the small village of Robin Hoods Bay.
Visit on a bright summers day to enjoy picnics in its grounds, or on a cold and misty morning for an experience more akin to the novel it is linked with.
Famous for Bakewell puddings, the market town of Bakewell is situated in the Peak District National Park, by the side of the River Wye.
The houses of the town are made with local mellow stone, and burrowed between them are a labyrinth of narrow lanes and alleys leading to arcades and courtyards.
Bakewell boasts a stunning medieval five-arched stone bridge which makes for excellent photographs.
The Bakewell Pudding, which the town is famed for, was created by mistake in the 19th century by a local cook.
These days, Bakewell puddings are sold at all bakeries in the town, and at the farmers market, which has been named Britains best.
13- Angel of the North
The Angel of the North has been a permanent fixture of the North East’s skyline since its installation in 1998.
Created by Anthony Gormley, this 20 m high statue of 200 tonnes of steel welcomes you to Gateshead.
The Angel of the North, which many have now associated with a landmark of England, has a wingspan of 54 m and is capable of withstanding winds of up to 100mph.
Standing proud over the North East from a hilltop, the Angel is available for visitors to enjoy and has parkland surrounding her feet which is perfect for picnics in warm weather.
14- Chatsworth House
Construction began on Chatsworth in 1687.
Currently owned the Cavendish family, their home and parklands are open to visitors.
More impressive than the grand 30-room house is the treasures it guards.
Chatsworth House is home to works of art from over 4000 years including examples of ancient Roman and Egyptian sculpture, and paintings by Rembrandt, Lucien Freud and David Nash.
The gardens of Chatsworth have been carefully designed and cultivated over 500 years.
While many areas of the garden have changed with the times, pieces of significance such as the Canal Pond and first Duke’s Greenhouse are still there today.
Stonehenge and its 4500-year history has become iconic in the English landscape.
Stonehenge is a Neolithic stone circle that has intrigued archeologists for decades.
There are no reasons for its construction and it has no apparent practical purpose.
A remarkable feat of engineering for its era, Stonehenge is seen as a spiritual place rather than a dwelling.
The sarsen stones were positioned to line up with the movements of the sun, giving archeologists reason to believe that the trajectory of the sun was important to the people who placed the stones.
Today, the site, alongside other attractions in the area such as a museum and Neolithic village, is open to visitors to explore and learn more about the landscapes incredible history.
16- St Michaels Mount
St Michael’s Mount is a tidal island in Mount’s Bay, Cornwall.
The castle has been the home of the St Aubyn family since the 17th century.
With ancient doorways, incredible intricate carvings and tales from sieges and conflict, the castle is worth a day to explore.
Each room that’s open to the public in St Michael’s Mount has unique stories to tell, such as the smoking room filled with exotic treasures from Zanzibar.
There’s an intriguing map room which features a 16th-century map outlining where mythical Cornish giants lived, while a mummified cat from Egypt watches curiously over the prints.
17- Blenheim Palace
Built between 1705 and 1722, Blenheim Palace was is surrounded by the Oxfordshire countryside and carefully preened parkland.
The palace and its parklands had a significant influence on the English Romantic movement and were frequented by artists and writers from this period.
With close links to Sit Winston Churchill, the palace today features a permanent collection to the politician featuring his cigar box, a collection of weapons and military regalia.
18- Hadrians Wall
Since 1987 Hadrian’s Wall has been a World Heritage Site.
The wall was the north-west frontier for the Roman Empire and was actively used by the Romans for almost 300 years.
Today much of the 117 km (73 miles) of the wall and its mile castles and turrets still stand.
From its proud military past, Hadrian’s Wall became a quarry until the 18th and 19th centuries when the conservation movement declared the land and its history should be protected to allow archaeologists and historians time to study and preserve this landmark.
19- The Holy Island of Lindisfarne
The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is another of England’s tidal islands.
Situated just off the extreme Northeast corner of England, the island’s population of 160 swells each year with pilgrims, historians and curious travellers.
Twice a day, during high tide, the island is cut off from the mainland and during low tide, Lindisfarne island is only accessible by a paved causeway.
The island got its name of Holy Land following a bloodthirsty attack on the monastery during a Viking raid in 793AD.
A more recent addition is the 16th-century castle on the southern part of the island.
In the north of the island lies a conservation area which aims to protect the local wildlife.
20- Brighton Pier
Brighton Pier stretches out into the English Channel from the heart of Brighton.
Contrasting the modern, bustling vibe of Brighton city, Brighton Pier offers visitors a chance to step back in time to a more sixties seaside experience.
The Victorian pier stretches for 525 m (1722 ft) and is packed with amusements, fairground attractions and restaurants.
The pier is one of the oldest in England and is built on the site of Chair Pier, which was destroyed in a fire in 1896.
The pier does retain some of its Victorian charm, seen in its filigree ironwork, old kiosks and signage and the original cannon from Chair Pier.
More incredible landmarks around the world: