When there is a capital city as exciting and diverse as London, it’s easy to forget about exploring the rest of the country. The countryside of England is completely underrated with its endless fields of rolling green grass and breathtaking cliffs all along the coast. Here are three of my favorite English destinations that are not London, each of which give a different view into the beautiful country.
Where: Southeast England
Size: Small city
Eat: Fish n’ Chips from Palm Court on the pier
Stay: Day trip
Brighton is only a little over an hour from London via train and is a great place to visit for a day trip by the sea. This small city has a whole range of activities to offer from lounging on the beach to riding a roller coaster over the ocean. Eat fish and chips from Brighton’s famous Palm Court before strolling on the beach and getting an ice cream. Definitely wait for a nice day to visit Brighton in order to take full advantage of this beachy city.
Where: East Sussex (Northeast of Brighton)
Size: Small town
Eat: Any quintessential, British pub
Stay: Pelham House (but Lewes can also be a day trip)
Lewes is another quick train ride from London, only a stop or two before Brighton. Unlike Brighton, Lewes is a sleepy, rural, English town rich in history. Its stone cottages and quiet, winding streets makes Lewes feel like it is straight out of a fairytale. Take time getting lost on walking trails throughout the town and be sure to climb up Lewes Castle. The view from the top of this 11th century castle is incredible, allowing you to see all of Lewes and beyond.
Where: Southwest England
Eat: White Stone Café (also an art gallery and sculpture garden)
Stay: Find a quaint AirBnB with an ocean view
Dorset is a county on the coast of Southwest England known for its picturesque towns and beautiful beaches. The area is best accessed by car, allowing you to explore off the beaten path and really soak in Dorset’s natural beauty. Even though it takes a bit more effort to get to, the trip to Dorset is completely worth it with breathtaking views of cliffs leading down to the almost tropical-looking ocean. Explore Portland, a small town in Dorset with great walking trails along the cliffs and through the quarry, which mines the famous Portland Stone. Another can’t miss view is the one from Durdle Door, a massive arched rock structure that looks like something out of Taylor Swift’s “Style” music video; about 45 minutes from Portland. You should also visit the rest of the incredible beaches and cliffs across the Jurassic Coast.