22 places in England to visit in 2022

Sheep grazing in a field with the Seven Sisters Cliffs behind

Sheep grazing in a field with the Seven Sisters Cliffs behind - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

If you're looking for an adventure closer to home this year and want to explore the best of what England has to offer, look no further than these 22 locations around the country. 

From historic cities packed with culture to some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world, there are so many epic locations on your doorstep to visit in 2022.

1. Castle Combe

Picturesque Cotswold village of Castle Combe, England

In 1961 Castle Combe was voted to be ‘the prettiest village in England’ - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Nestled in the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is perhaps the most quintessentially charming village in the entire country. Castle Combe is a feast for the eyes; from the beautiful Bybrook River to the iconic Cotswold stone buildings that have become iconic around the world, there is so much to discover in this stunning Wiltshire village.

An illustrated guide to the 'prettiest village in England': www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/travel/places-to-visit/castle-combe-cotswolds

2. The Seven Sisters

The lifeguard cottages in Seaford Head with the seven sisters in the background is perhaps one of the most iconic views in the whole of England. As a result, these magnificent cliffs have found themselves in countless films and tv series and are a must-visit destination for walkers.

Walk at Seaford Head: www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/winter-walk-at-seaford-head-sussex

3. The Peak District

Bamford Edge overlooking the Ladybower Reservoir

Bamford Edge overlooking the Ladybower Reservoir - Credit: Zhi Xuan Hew / Unsplash

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With around 555 square miles of wild landscapes to explore, the Peak District is a behemoth of beauty that could certainly keep you occupied with exciting adventures for much of the year. Amazing locations to check out include Bamford Edge, Thor's Cave, Derwent Dam, Mam Tor, and so much more.

The Peak District sees in 2022: www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/things-to-do/walks/peak-district-new-year

4. Oxford

Aerial view of the Oxford city

Aerial view of the Oxford city - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Entrenched in history and home to one of the most prestigious universities in the world, Oxford has so much in store for lovers of all things culture. There's an abundance of magnificent buildings, mindblowing libraries, fascinating museums and plenty of great pubs to take a pitstop in.

Oxford was also the haunt of some of England's greatest literary masters; in fact, J.R.R Tolkien and close friend C.S Lewis formed a club called The Inklings, and the group would frequent The Eagle and Child pub most weeks.

Take a walk in the footsteps of J.R.R Tolkien in Oxford: www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/a-tolkien-tour-in-oxford

5. The New Forest

Two horses in woodland during sunrise in New Forest, Hampshire, England

Two horses in woodland during sunrise in New Forest, Hampshire, England - Credit: Kloeg008 / Getty Images / iStockphoto

The New Forest covers quite a large area of Hampshire, 71,474-acres to be precise, and the abundance of nature makes it one of the most beautiful places to explore. From woodlands evocative of fairytales to the fields home to the iconic New Forest Ponies, there is so much to see here. 

5 beautiful walks in the New Forest: www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/autumn-walks-in-the-new-forest-hampshire

6. Whitby

Landscape image showing the ruins of Whitby Abbey reflected in a pond in front of the abbey taken in

Landscape image showing the ruins of Whitby Abbey reflected in a pond in front of the abbey taken in evening light with dramatic clouds - Credit: Neal Rylatt/iStock/Getty Images Plus

The seaside town of Whitby is home to the magnificent ruins of Whitby Abbey and a 35 mile stretch of beach known as the Dinosaur Coast due to its abundance of fossils. The town also inspired Bram Stoker's landmark Gothic horror novel Dracula, with several locations around the town brought to life through his prose.

Walk in the footsteps of Dracula in Whitby: www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/travel/discover-the-origins-of-dracula-in-whitby

7. Cheddar Gorge

A view looking down into Cheddar Gorge and Cheddar reservoir (c) golfer2015 / Thinkstock

A view looking down into Cheddar Gorge and Cheddar reservoir (c) golfer2015 / Thinkstock - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

This limestone Gorge near the village of Cheddar is undoubtedly a sight to behold. Not only is the landscape sublimely dramatic, but it is also a site of incredible cultural and historical significance. For it was at Gough's Cave in the Cheddar Gorge that the oldest human remains in Britain were found, with estimates that the skeleton is around 9,000 years old!

The secrets of the Cheddar Gorge: www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/the-secrets-of-cheddar-gorge

8. Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace in East Molesey, which was once in the historic county of Surrey

Hampton Court Palace in East Molesey, which was once in the historic county of Surrey but is now considered to be in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames - Credit: Ollie Craig / Pexels

Hampton Court Palace is one of the most significant royal residencies in British History. Built for Cardinal Wolsey and subsequently given to Henry VIII when his loyal advisor fell from grace, Hampton Court was the backdrop for some of the most significant moments in King Henry's reign.

Discover Henry VIII's connections to Surrey: www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/henry-viii-and-surrey-history

9. Canterbury

View of typical houses and buildings in Canterbury, England. Flowers and trees along the canal in su

Flowers in full bloom along the Great Stour in Canterbury - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Have yourself a little Canterbury Tales moment with a visit to one of the most significant cities in English history.

Geoffry Chaucer's masterpiece is one of the most important literary works in the English speaking world, but there is so much more to this Kentish city. Canterbury has been inhabited since prehistoric times and has also been an essential hub of Christianity since 597 CE; as such, the city has found itself at the forefront of many skirmishes over the years, from Roman occupation to a deluge of invasions from Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Normans. 

Today Canterbury is one of the most visited cities in England, and it's easy to see why with its rich history, beautiful architecture and plenty of places to eat and drink.

10 reasons you should visit Canterbury: www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/10-reasons-you-should-visit-canterbury

10. St Michael's Mount

View of Mounts Bay and St Michael's Mount island in Cornwall at sunset

St Michael's Mount - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

At a low tide, you can walk across an ancient cobbled causeway to reach St Michael's Mount, a small island with 30 residents that houses a beautiful castle that has been inhabited by the St Aubyn family since the mid 17th century.

Interestingly this tidal island is a counterpart of Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy, though it is far larger and much wilder than its French version.

St Ives Harbour to St Michael's Mount walk: www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/cornwall-walks-st-ives-harbour-to-st-michaels-mount

11. Sutton Hoo

The discovery of an Anglo-Saxon burial site near Woodbridge in Suffolk in 1939 was one of the most significant archaeological finds in history. In fact, you could liken it to the discovery of Tutankhamun's Tomb in Egypt in the previous decade.

Sutton Hoo was unearthed by landowner Edith Pretty and archaeologist Basil Brown revealing a bounty of treasure that in subsequent years has taught us so much about our ancestors and their practices, something that will no doubt fascinate the most ardent history nerds. There has also been a renewed interest in the burial site since the Netflix film The Dig premiered last year.

The Sutton Hoo excavation story: www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/sutton-hoo-new-details-of-1939-excavation

12. Highclere Castle

Highclere Castle is known to most as Downton Abbey 

Highclere Castle is known to most as Downton Abbey, but did you know that the architect who designed it also designed one of the most iconic buildings in the whole world? - Credit: Zen Whisk / Flickr

Downton Abbey to most, Highclere Castle is an outstanding example of Jacobean revival architecture. The building was designed by none other than Sir Charles Barry, the mastermind architect behind the Houses of Parliament and complimented with a natural and unplanned garden designed by legendary landscape architect Capability Brown.

Lady Carnarvon on Downton Abbey and life at Highclere Castle: www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/lady-carnarvon-downton-abbey-highclere-castle

13. Dartmoor National Park

Combestone Tor on Dartmoor National Park in Devon

Combestone Tor on Dartmoor National Park in Devon - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Wild open landscapes full of history and fascinating flora and fauna make Dartmoor National Park an extraordinary place to visit. Not only are the views striking there are also plenty of myths and legends that imbue the terrain with an air of spookiness.

Therefore, It's no surprise that the landscape enthralled many writers, including Arthur Conan Doyle himself, as much of his most famous Sherlock Holmes story, The Hound of the Baskervilles, takes place in Dartmoor!

Walk with the ponies of Dartmoor: www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/great-ways-to-see-dartmoor-on-foot

14. Bath

The famous Roman Baths in Bath, Somerset

The famous Roman Baths in Bath, Somerset - Credit: Rachel Claire / Pexels

From the ancient Roman Baths to the majestic Royal Crescent (just one of many filming locations in the popular regency series Bridgeton), Bath is as pretty as a postcard. Not only is the architecture magnificent, but Bath has also perfected the art of Great Britain's favourite national pastime, the afternoon tea. 

7 of the best tea rooms in Bath: www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/7-best-tea-rooms-in-bath-somerset

15. The Jurassic Coast 

Durdle Door Beach

Durdle Door Beach - Credit: Wojtek Skora/iStock / Getty Images Plus

Spanning 95 miles from Exmouth in Devon to the Old Harry Rocks in Dorset, The Jurassic Coast is England's only natural World Heritage site. The geological significance of the Jurassic Coast spans back to 252 million years ago. Experts have unlocked so many secrets from Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods through the rocks and fossils found here. One such scientist was non-other than Dorest native and pioneering Paleontologist Mary Anning.

Thrilling tales of the Jurassic Coast and Dorset dinosaurs: www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/discover-the-jurassic-coast-and-dorset-dinosaurs

16. Studley Royal Park

Fountains Abbey, a famous Cistercian ruin in the Studley Royal Park, a designated World Heritage Site in North Yorkshire

Fountains Abbey, a famous Cistercian ruin in the Studley Royal Park, a designated World Heritage Site in North Yorkshire - Credit: eHeritage / Pexels

Studley Royal Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features the dramatic ruins of Fountains Abbey and St Mary's Church, an impeccable example of Gothic Revival architecture, among many other dazzling features.

The site is no stranger to the silver screen, with Fountains Abbey featuring in many film and TV productions in recent years, including the second season of the popular Netflix fantasy series The Witcher, the 2020 film adaptation of The Secret Garden and the 2017 series The Gunpowder Plot.  

5 things you must see at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal: www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/must-see-at-fountains-abbey

17. Sandringham House

The Queen's favourite countryside hideout has a lot of history behind it and has housed several generations of the monarchy since Queen Victoria purchased the property in 1882. King George V himself said, "Dear old Sandringham, the place I love better than anywhere in the world".

A Norfolk love story: Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip's 70-year marriage: www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/norfolk-love-story-queen-elizabeth-and-prince-philip

18. The Lake District

From Loughrigg Fell in the Lake District at sunrise. Loughrigg Tarn is bottom right and Lingmoor Fel

From Loughrigg Fell in the Lake District at sunrise. Loughrigg Tarn is bottom right and Lingmoor Fell in the background (c) Daniel_Kay/Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Whether you're looking to trek up Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England, wander through the many charming villages or enjoy a day out on the lakes themselves, The Lake District is the perfect place to get away from it all this year. 

Romantic poet William Wordsworth lived in the Lake District for most of his life and wrote some of the most beautiful lines in the history of English literature inspired by walks he took, so any fan of poetry must also take a walk in the footsteps of Wordsworth at least once in their lifetime. 

6 pubs and cafes with fantastic views of the Lake District: www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/lake-district-view-cafes-pubs

19. Lyme Park

Image of a traditional large English mansion house with portico entrance. In the foreground a lake m

Lyme Park Hall in Cheshire, UK. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Lyme Park House, aka Mr Darcy's abode Pemberly in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is a patchwork of Elizabethan, Palladian and Baroque architectural styles. But this magnificent house isn't all that Lyme Park has to offer; with the entire estate measuring around 1,300 acres, there are formal gardens, rugged landscapes and a deer park to traverse.

5 great walks in and around Lyme Park: www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/lyme-park-walks

20. The Broads

The Broads are the largest navigatable wetlands in Britain and are home to more than 1/4 of the country's rarest plants and animals. It is no surprise that The Broads attracts a phenomenal number of boat enthusiasts and nature lovers each year. 

7 pretty Norfolk Broads to visit: www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/7-pretty-norfolk-broads-to-visit

21. St Albans Cathedral 

With origins in Anglo-Saxon times, much of what stands of the cathedral now is from 1077 during the Norman era and distinct Gothic style additions from 1200. Also, it is worth noting that St Albans Cathedral has the longest nave (the central part) of any cathedral in England, which measures 85 metres long. 

Meet the greatest and most outlandish chronicler of the Middle Ages: www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/everything-you-need-to-know-about-st-albans-cathedral

22. Audley End House 

Once one of the grandest and most opulent mansions in England, Audley End House, now a third of its size, is still to this day a magnificent Jacobean era property. With grounds designed by Capability Brown and several ornate bridges crossing River Granta that flows through the grounds, it's a beautiful place for a stroll. 

A dog-friendly day out in Saffron Walden: www.greatbritishlife.co.uk/doggy-day-out-in-saffron-walden

Read more of the best Great British Life content here:

17 of the most beautiful villages in England

22 places in England to visit in 2022

17 of the prettiest castles in England

9 locations in England that inspired Tolkien's Middle Earth