England is an incredible country to explore, with so many incredible cities, the most beautiful castles and stunning national parks. Best of all, these are dotted all across the country, meaning there are lots to explore along your trip around England. This is especially true with the best places in the East of England to visit, with so many gems to find.
Now, as you’ll probably know, we’ve got a proper love affair for exploring England and we’ve been making to travel around the stunning spots in the north of England, the lovely places in the south of England, whilst also heading to the West of England to explore places like Cornwall, too.
This is exactly why I wanted to pop you a few of my total favourite and best places in the East of England you should think of visiting. Now, before we all get technical on what is considered the east of England, I’m going for anything east of Southampton and Leeds (just to make things easy). 🙂
Anyway, totally rambling again (as normal) but take a look at some of the best places in the East of England to visit on your next adventure. Have the best time.
Okay, York is probably one of my favourite “smaller” cities in England, but is totally stunning and has centuries of history packed into this walled city.
Once here, make sure to explore York Minster, which you can even scale to reach the roof, too. Afterwards, take a stroll past Guy Fawkes’ stomping ground before heading across to The Shambles. It’s honestly like something right out of Harry Potter.
Finally, make sure to take a wander around the walls, or even hop on a self-drive boat up the river. It’s a lovely way to chill out. If it’s museums and art you love, best sure to check out the York Art Gallery and Castle Museum, too. York really is one of the best places in the East of England to explore the history of England.
For a tasty bite to eat, pop over to Roots that has one of the yummiest menus in the city. They create dishes with seasonal produce and it’s just amazing. Also, they have one pretty epic cocktail menu to boot!
Oh yeah, and if you’re staying in York for a long weekend, make sure to pop into Skosh, a fusion restaurant that serves up some tasty dishes! We both loved it.
Read more: Best things to do in York
Situated around a 90-minute drive (south) from London, Arundel is an incredible town to visit with a glorious history and one massive castle that the town surrounds.
Home to the Duke of Norfolk, you can head inside and view the stunning rooms, estate and gardens that make so much of the town itself. Just make sure to give yourself 2-3 hours to leisurely see everything here, it’s pretty big!
Afterwards, pop out of the castle and you’ll be smack-bang in the town itself! Take a wander across the little streets which are filled with little restaurants and independent shops that are so cute.
For a yummy bite to eat, reserve a table at The Parsons Table who serve up some of the best locally-sourced food in the region. We loved this spot so much.
Finally, if you fancy staying in an actual castle, check into Amberley Castle that’s not too far away. This castle dates back hundreds of years and is such a picturesque place to stay. We stayed for a long weekend and didn’t want to leave. It really is one of the best places in the East of England to visit if you close to London or the south-east coast.
Read more: Exploring Arundel Castle
Just up the coast from Robin Hood’s Bay, Whitby is another town that’s perfect for a little visit, especially if you want to explore more of Yorkshire. Around a 70-minute drive from York, it’s a pretty easy place to visit whilst you’re heading across the North York Moors National Park.
Once you’re here, make sure to first stop at Whitby Abbey which overlooks the town itself and dates all the way back to the 7th-Century. Afterwards, take a little wander into town and explore the harbour front and small pubs that line the way.
Oh, and, for some proper British fish and chips, stop off at the Magpie Cafe, you’ll leave properly stuffed.
That being said, if you fancy a gorgeous spot for lunch, drive a little out of the town and head for the award-winning, Estbek House in Sandsend.
It’s about 1km from the harbour. Just make sure to book a table in advance, it’s a cosy restaurant and tables can fill up fast, especially for the fresh, wild, fish they serve.
Read more: Exploring Whitby
The northernmost town in all of England, Berwick-upon-Tweed has had a long and turbulent history due to its proximity to the Scottish/English border many years ago. This all means there are lots of history to explore once in the town, with a few cool things to see on a day trip.
Make sure to see the Berwick Town Walls that’ll take you on a relatively easy one-and-a-half-mile circuit around the area (and you’ll get to glimpse the waterfront, too).
If you fancy a little less walking, pop into the Berwick Barracks to learn more about its turbulent past and the history of this region. Interestingly, it’s actually the oldest barracks in all of Britain.
Finally, if you’re hankering for some grub, grab a table at Audela, a warm and yummy spot that’s located on Bridge Street. Honestly, their crab and smoked haddock risotto is so tasty (and I’m not even the biggest fan of risotto).
Founded way back around 700 AD (by Saint John of Beverley), this town’s name was not only the inspiration for Beverly, Massachusetts many centuries later, too.
Now, one of the town’s most famous landmarks and attractions is Beverley Minster, an incredible and imposing Gothic place of worship that that remains one of the biggest parish churches in all of Britain.
Plus, if you happen to find yourself in Beverley either on a Wednesday or Saturday, make it a point to explore the open-air markets that sell everything from local produce to snazzy little gifts and second-hand books. It’s one of the best places in the East of England to explore if you love history.
Durham is a totally gorgeous city that’s perched in the northeast of England. As soon you arrive, you’ll quickly notice the stunning cathedral and castle that seems to dominate this pretty small city.
Once here, make sure to take some time to explore the city’s open-air museum, which is perfect on a sunny day. Oh yeah, and you obviously can’t miss Durham Castle, which has many centuries of history to explore.
For a tasty bite to eat, pop into Uno Momento who’ll serve you up a feast of Italian dishes that’s fill you up in no time at all. Just make sure to reserve a table if you want to visit on a weekend.
Just west of London, Windsor is a town that’s steeped in history, especially with the grand Windsor Castle that’s almost 1,000 years old (although, it has been remodelled quite a few times).
After exploring the grounds and rooms within the royal palace, make sure to take a wander around the streets, hop on a boat across the river or head across to Eaton, too.
Read more: How to visit Windsor Castle
The small village of Embleton might not bar the biggest place to visit, but trust me, it packs a hefty punch when it comes to a gorgeous and relaxing place to stop for the day.
This is especially true as it’s only a few short miles from the unspoilt coast of Northumberland. It’s a lovely little spot to visit when in Northumberland, especially if you want to visit Embleton Bay and it’s gorgeous beaches.
Now, Lewes is probably most well-known for its autumn bonfire festivals, that take over the town and it’s totally amazing to see. This is incredible if you’re visiting in Autumn as you can plan your trip around the festival date itself.
Not only that, Lewes has ancient ruins of a priory that can easily be seen, too. Finally, and without getting into a massive history lesson, Lewes was the site of the 1264 Battle of Lewes, where King Henry III was defeated!
Today, you can learn all about the history of the area by paying a visit to the Lewes Castle and Museum. Oh yeah, and you can visit the home of Anne of Cleves, who was sent here to live by Henry VIII after he was properly tired of her romancing. Well, at least he didn’t behead her!
So, Cambridge is Yaya’s old stomping ground for University and a place we both totally love. It’s such a great city that’s really easy to visit if you’re already in London. After all, it only takes about 45-minutes on the train.
Once here, make sure to take some time to explore the King’s College Chapel (which is incredible), get yourself onto the river for a punting session and stop off at Fitzbillies for a tasty brunch.
It’s easily one of the best places in the East of England to explore, especially as a day trip from London.
Read more: Best things to do in Cambridge
Located on the River Tyne, Newcastle has become a pretty cool city to visit for a short weekend break, especially if you want to explore a city in England that’s quite different from the likes of London.
Over the last few decades, the city has transformed, especially around the River Tyne. Once here, make sure to explore the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, with its seasonal and permanent exhibitions that shows of local and international pieces of art.
If that’s not your thing, pop over to the Life centre to learn all about, well… life! It’s a great spot to visit on a rainy day or with kids, too.
Oh, and make sure to explore Grainger Town, an area of Newcastle that’s filled with Victorian buildings that are filled with lots of shopping spots and little cafes, too.
Finally, if you’ve got time, take a little trip just outside the city to see the Angel of the North; a towering art installation that overlooks the whole region and can be spotted from far away. It really is one of the best places in the East of England to explore, especially if you love a little city break.
Read more: Best things to do in Newcastle
During the Middle Ages and throughout some of the more modern era, Norwich was the second-largest city (after London) in the entire United Kingdom.
Plus, it was a very important city, too. Honestly, Norwich is a mecca of historical heritage, and you’ll easily find it one of the best places in the East of England to visit for this. Hoarding a ton of gorgeous spots, like the; medieval castles, cathedral and national monuments, it’s a great place for a day or weekend trip.
Oh, and don’t forget to pop into Grosvenor Fish Bar, it’s one of my favourite chippies in all of England and they serve the best fish and chips, which is always fresh and yummy. Finally, Norwich is the only city in England that is located inside a National Park, so be sure to take some time to explore the outdoors if you’re fancying a more chilled trip.
Read more: How to explore the city of Norwich
Located on the River Coquet, this village is located outside of the hustle and bustle of some of the more famous England’s cities to visit. This is a place where you go to relax and take in the beauty of the countryside.
There are plentiful opportunities for biking or walking as well as a number of shops, inns and tea rooms on High Street, while history buffs will want to visit the Cragside House, which was the first home ever to be powered by hydroelectricity!
Oh, and don’t forget to be on the lookout for Lordenshaws Prehistoric Rock, too. You’ll get to ramble all around the areas of the Simonside Hills that are just stunning.
14.) Robin Hood’s Bay
Nestled on the east coast of northern England, Robin Hood’s Bay is a historic smuggler and fishing town that’s totally picturesque. Build between the hills and the sea, the town was often cut off from the rest of England many hundreds of years ago.
This meant that the only way to get here was by boat, which smugglers used to their advantage! Apparently, there’s still tunnels that the smugglers would use to bring in the contraband items. Nowadays, you don’t need to worry about smugglers and you can easily pop over to Robin Hoods Bay after visiting Whitby. After all, it’s only about 20-30 minutes away.
Once here, take a stroll around the town, pop into the local pubs for a pint and hop into the Old Post Office that’s now an independent cafe serving up massive sandwiches and piping hot soups.
Read more: Exploring Robin Hood’s Bay
Of course, I couldn’t forget to mention London when looking for some of the best places in the East of England to visit. Obviously, the city needs little introduction, especially with its beautiful palaces and diverse areas to explore; like Camden and all the cool markets across the different neighbourhoods.
Without delving into a whole post on London, I thought it best to share a link to our bumper list of posts on everything London that’ll help you plan your trip.
Read more: Our bumper list of things to do in London
16.) Holy Island
Another little spot in Northumberland, Holy Island is a tidal island that is linked to Great Britain during certain points of the day. This all means you can drive across during designated times and explore the island itself.
Once here, head across to visit Lindisfarne Castle and explore the priory that sits on the other end of the island. Oh yeah, and make sure to taste some Holy Island Mead that the monks used to make on the island itself.
After making it back to the mainland, take a tour of the nearby Bamburgh Castle that is totally idyllic. Oh, and there’s a really yummy spot to grab some great seafood called the Potted Lobster. It’s totally lip-smacking!
Read more: Prettiest places in England to explore
The 19 Prettiest And Best Places To Visit In England