I have been asked a few times recently for recommendations of what to see, where to stay and what to do in England by people planning holidays here. I am not the most travelled person so this is quite a responsibility but I thought I'd jot some thoughts down here of places we've visited and would recommend or places we'd like to go.
I love London but prefer to stay away from the very touristy places or shopping streets
Read - Katherine by Anya Seton, historical fiction about a romance between John of Gaunt, son of King Edward III and his mistress in Mediaeval England.
Stay - in the cool and trendy Ace Hotel in Shoreditch
Eat - at The Albion for traditional British grub and full English breakfast
Shop - Labour & Wait on Redchurch Street, Shoreditch
Go - beach combing on the banks of the River Thames and become a mudlark
Visit - The Natural History Museum - okay this is definitely on the tourist map but it's well worth it for such a magnificent building and awe inspiring exhibits
Peek - in at Wilton's music hall an authentic East End music hall, the last of its kind.
Stray - outside of the City and visit Petersham Nurseries in Richmond
then catch the overnight sleeper train from Paddington to...
I unashamedly love Cornwall, always have, always will.
Stay - in a beach hut at Gwithian Towans
Enjoy - the old fashioned goodness of Jelberts ice cream in Newlyn.
Visit - the dramatic Minack theatre that clings on to the cliff edge
Experience - a foraging walk around Prussia Cove
Tradition - buy traditional Cornish pasty's from McFaddens in St. Just & walk or drive to Cape Cornwall to eat them whilst dipping your toes in the pool carved out of the rocks.
Bath & The Cotswolds
Stay - at The Pig near Bath & enjoy a country house experience with a kitchen garden worthy of Mr. Macgregor from Peter Rabbit.
Eat - at The Woolpack, Slad near Stroud. Laurie Lee's local pub that features in his book Cider with Rosie enjoy a cider or pint of Uley Ale.
Walk - through The Slad Valley in Spring and enjoy woodlands bursting with spring flowers, wild garlic and bluebells.
Visit - Stroud Farmers' Market and purchase delicious local food and drink such as Hobbs House bread and lardy cakes (a local delicacy)
Delight - with a visit to Giffords Circus that tours the Cotswold's each summer.
It's then only an hour's drive to...
Wales & the Borders
Read - On a Black Hill by Chatwin & Deep Country: Five Years in the Welsh Hills by Neil Ansell
Stay - in Harp Cottage near Hay-on-Wye
Visit - Hay-on-Wye, a small market town known for its second hand bookshops
Shop - in Bailey's Home on the outskirts of Ross-on-Wye
Enjoy - wild walks in your wellies along gorgeous Welsh rivers and up mountains
Journey - further west to stay at Fforest to camp and enjoy the Ceredigion coastline
these are just a few places that I can think of, please leave your favourite places in comments so I can extend this post further and also discover new places too!