From its astounding architecture to incredible history, England is a great place to travel. One week in England may seem short but it’s ideal time for those who want to stay on their budget (London is a pretty expensive place to travel) and those who want to have more time to see other parts of Europe. One week is a good amount of time for a first visit, allowing you to venture to some of the country’s famous attractions.
Our England itinerary included London, Bristol, Stonehenge and Bath — some of the best tourist spots for first time travellers in the country. Here’s what we got up to during our one week in England:
One Week in England Itinerary
No trip to England is complete without a visit to London. As it was our first trip, we spent most of our time there. There are so many attractions to see in this city and some of them are quite expensive so make sure to plan your trip well and choose the attractions that are worth your penny.
Our first day was spent exploring central London’s main tourist attractions. We started off with Big Ben, Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey. The architecture is truly admirable in this part of London. We also saw the London Eye in this area but we weren’t really interested to ride it then. We went for a quick stroll at Saint James’s Park then went to see Buckingham Palace. We were a bit underwhelmed by the palace but it’s probably nice inside. The entrance fee starts at £23. If visit Buckingham Palace gates at the right time, you can witness the changing of the guard ceremony which lasts about 45 minutes. This usually takes place daily at 11:30 am. It gets pretty crowded apparently, so go early.
On our second day, we went to the Borough Market and went for a walk along the Thames River to see the London Bridge, Tower Bridge and Millennium Bridge. I really love this area of London. I’m just a huge fan of bridges! We also walked by Shakespeare’s Globe, a famous theatre in the area and the Shard, one of London’s famous skyscrapers (there is a viewing deck here if you want to see London from above). The rest of the afternoon, we went to visit the Tower of London, home to the crown jewels. If you plan to visit the Tower of London, the entrance fee is £25 or £23.10 if you book online. More info on entrance tickets and opening hours of the Tower of London can be found here.
If you love beautiful bridges as much as I do, you’ll enjoy the sights of the bridges across the Danube River in Budapest, Hungary.
RELATED POST: How to Fall in Love with a Beautiful City Like Budapest
During our visit in 2014, we were lucky enough to see the magnificent art display called “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London” to commemorate one hundred years since the first full day of Britain’s involvement in the First World War. In this art installation, the Tower of London was surrounded with 888,246 ceramic poppies. Each poppy represented a British military fatality during the war. More info here.
On our third day in London, we went to see Saint Paul’s Cathedral and Trafalgar’s Square then explored two of the best museums in London, the British Museum and the Museum of Natural History. Both museums have impressive displays of arts and artifacts. If you enjoy visiting museums, you’re in for treat. There are many good museums in London and entrance to most of them is free.
A stroll around Little Venice and the Camden Market kept us busy for day four. So many options for food, drinks and shopping await at Camden Market — It’s really a great place to explore and is completely different to the city atmosphere of downtown London. We also made a stop at Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station. If you are a big Harry Potter fan, you can also consider a visit to the film studio.
Depending on your time and interest you can add a visit to Abbey Road or Notting Hill — other famous spots in London. For our last day, we visited Greenwich. We went to the Royal Observatory Greenwich where the world’s Prime Meridian (Longitude 0°) and Greenwich Mean Time are found. We also had a look around the Old Royal Naval College, National Maritime Museum and the Queen’s House. On the way there or back, you can consider a ride in UK’s first urban cable car, the Emirates Air Line which crosses the River Thames from the Royal Docks to the Greenwich Peninsula.
From London, we took a coach to Bristol, which set us back £5 each (if you book on advance, you can get deals for as low as £1!). The bus ride took about 2.5 hours.
One of the main reasons we went to Bristol was to spend my family so we didn’t have a lot of time to have a proper look around the city. We didn’t do too bad with the sightseeing but we failed to capture photos of the city. We walked down the high street and then visited Brandon Hill and Cabot Tower which are great spots to view Bristol from above. We also drove across the Clifton Suspension Bridge at night and it was very beautiful. Apart from Banksy’s infamous street art, we also found great art displays at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. Next time we will definitely visit the Bristol Harbour.
From Bristol, we drove the next day to Stonehenge and Bath.
Stonehenge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986, is the most acclaimed prehistoric stone circle in the world. I have always wanted to see these famous megaliths so I was thrilled to see them face to face. It’s easy to think they’re nothing special when you have to share the site with a big crowd. Make it a memorable experience by renting an audio guide so you can appreciate the story of Stonehenge a bit better. Make sure to go early too.
The entrance fee to the Stonehenge is £15.50 for adults (advance purchase) or £18.20 if you purchase on the day of your visit. More information about ticket prices and opening hours of the Stonehenge can be found here.
One of our regrets was not spending a night in Bath. It was such a captivating city and we definitely wish we had more time to explore it.
We started with the beautiful view of the Pulteney Bridge then walked through the historic city of Bath. We had a quick look at the Bath Abbey then headed straight for the Roman Baths, the highlight of our visit. It was amazing to see how well they have preserved this place. From the different chambers to the Great Bath located at the center of the historic site, I could easily imagine how magnificent it must have been during its glory days. Entrance fee to the Roman Baths is £15.50 for adults. If you feel like taking a dip, there is a spa located close to the Roman Baths called Thermae Bath Spa. We didn’t have time to go there though.
Other places worth visiting in Bath include the grand terrace houses of the Circus and the Royal Crescent. Apparently, some prominent people have lived in these beautiful townhouses. These two landmarks are great displays of Georgian architecture.
Have you been to England? Do you have anything to add to our week in England itinerary? Let us know.