I’ve spent my whole life living in the South of England, so I feel like I’ve been able to explore a fair bit of it. Here’s a list in an attempt at left to right geographical order of 10 brilliant places to visit if your visiting us in the South.
The Roman Baths
If you have an interest in ancient history, beautiful architecture or just really like hygiene then the Roman Baths are perfect. The visit itself will take up a couple of hours of your day depending on how in detail you want to look. You’ll be able to walk through the long standing baths and understand how the hot springs worked in the early AD years. Make sure you leave room for a spot of shopping though, Bath has some brilliant shops including an amazing three floored Waterstones, great eats and lots of little quirky shops too.
The Stone Circles
Avebury is great for a long walk, a picnic, learning some history or going on a spiritual journey if you’re that way inclined. There’s certainly always lots to see in this little Wiltshire village. Home to the Stone Circles, it sees many Pagan rituals and tourism because of this, but rest assured, it’s never insanely busy. I’ve frequented the stones since I was teeny, it’s a beautiful site and much easier to access than the wider known Stone Henge. I’ll give a mention to Stone Henge too because that’s also near by and one to definitely tick off the bucket list! Fun fact, there’s a tree on a hill at Avebury whose prominent roots inspired some of the settings in The Lord of the Rings.
Another Wiltshire spot, if you’re a Harry Potter fan then Lacock should be a must visit for you as it’s where they filmed some of the Hogwarts scenes. The Abbey is a beautiful building now owned by the National Trust, but you can pay to go in and see the classrooms we know so well, basically you can pretend to be in Hogwarts and it’s amazing. The village itself is also really lovely, especially around Christmas time when the shops open up little festive stalls.
What used to be known for it’s Lord Carnarvon/Egyptian roots, this castle is a beautiful site on the edge of Hampshire and Berkshire. You may now know it as Downton Abbey, host to the ITV 20th Century TV show. The interior of this castle used to be purely dedicated to Lord Carnarvon who was fundamental in the search for Tutankhamun’s tomb, now though it is visited by fans of the show and people looking to see the rooms they knew so well on TV.
This beautiful city is home to one of the most recognised cathedrals in the South of England. Once the capital of England, Winchester is a beautiful place to visit, but then maybe I’m biased having studied at university there. The cathedral is a gorgeous structure with some really interesting history including the story of a man called William Walker who helped to save the cathedral from flooding.
After the Royal Wedding in May you’re probably more familiar with Windsor Castle now. In the beautiful town of Windsor this castle sits atop a fantastic shopping high-street. You can pay to go into certain parts of the castle where you can see various exhibitions and other such Queenly things. It’s a lovely town that depicts the cute English stereotype perfectly.
This one is a little different, but if you like rollercoasters and thrill rides then this will be perfect for you. Not too far from London, Thorpe Park is easily a day out for everyone, with a wide variety of rides from hairy rollercoasters to tame waterslides. It’s a really fun place to visit with friends, especially in the summer.
Is this the best Waterstones in England? It’s certainly the best one I’ve been to for size and stock. At a massive six floors and with over 200,000 titles, this Waterstones is truly any book lovers dream! If you’re in London and wanted to do some book shopping or browsing (but let’s face it, you’ll find it hard to resist making a purchase), then I would highly recommend visiting the Piccadilly Waterstones.
The Royal Albert Hall
This isn’t somewhere I’d recommend visiting without going for some sort of show. I went to see Back to the Future with a live orchestra there and it was beautiful. The building is a stunning design that is quite breathtaking when a live orchestra is involved, you can’t quiet appreciate the sheer size of this hall until you are inside it. It’s also not too far off Kensington which is home to some awesome shops including the best Whole Foods I’ve ever been to.
This castle and its grounds are gorgeous when the sun is beating down and you have an ice-cream in hand. Perfect for picnics, photos and long strolls to get lost in the area surrounding the actual castle. It’s a beautiful venue that is a pleasant addition to the Kent countryside, it has plenty of history surrounding it, originally being a Norman stronghold and also being home to Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon.