Vanlife UK - England Bucket List - Things to see in England

Updated: Sep 6, 2021

Things to see in England. England bucket list. Travel England. Grumpy Git's Road Trip. Digital nomad. Vanlife. Vanlifer. Travel blog. Travel blogger. Travel diaries. Travel photographer. Travel photography. Top places to see in England. Day out. Tourist attractions in England.

Are you planning a road trip of England? Or perhaps you're just looking for a day out with the family?

In this post, I will list all the places I would like to see during my road trip of England.

Please note, this post is a work in progress and will be updated regularly with more information for each venue/location.


Please note that the key driver for this road trip is photography. Therefore, many places listed below will consist of many locations that you may not consider to be 'bucket list' items. But if you are a photographer, or plan a long term road trip, then these may well be places you'd like to check out.

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If there is something missing from this list that you feel should be there, please do leave a comment and if it's something that interests me I'll be sure to add it to the list 😊

As I visit the attractions/places below I will update this post with a link to the associated blog post for that location.

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Okay, I'll stop now 😊

Let's get into the bucket list!

Places to see in England

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Attractions, museums


Beaches and bays

Castles, Palaces and Stately homes

Cities, towns, villages and islands

Nature reserves/national parks/gardens/lakes/forests



Historical sites

Attractions, Museums etc

  • Abbey Road - You know, from The Beatles album cover?

  • Abbotts View Alpacas - Aylesbury - HP22 4NF -

  • Africa Alive! - Explore the sights and sounds of Africa and discover lions, giraffes, rhinos, meerkats, hunting dogs and many more animals from the African continent.

  • Albert Docks - The Royal Albert Dock is a complex of dock buildings and warehouses in Liverpool, England. Designed by Jesse Hartley and Philip Hardwick, it was opened in 1846 and was the first structure in Britain to be built from cast iron, brick and stone, with no structural wood.

  • Alton Towers Theme Park - Escape to the fantabulous world of the Alton Towers Resort - there's so much going on, the fun never stops! England's largest theme park offers 500 acres of attractions and rides

  • Amaravati Buddhist Monastery

  • Andy Howeys Birds of Prey Centre

  • Anne Hathaway's Cottage & Gardens - This fifteenth-century, charming thatched cottage was the childhood home of Anne Hathaway, Shakespeare's sweetheart and wife. Experienced guides share tales about the Hathaway family who lived here from the mid-1500s to the early 1900s.

  • Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm - Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm is in the middle of the beautiful county of Suffolk in Eastern England and is a small livestock farm breeding farm animals that were once common but are now very rare.

  • Blackpool Pleasure Beach - Blackpool is the epitome of the English seaside, with waterparks, arcades and bracing sea temperatures. A trip to the iconic coastal location in Lancashire isn’t complete without a visit to the Blackpool Tower.

  • Blackpool Tower - The Blackpool Tower Eye and solid-glass SKYWALK offer the best views across the North West of England from the top of the iconic Blackpool Tower.

  • Blackpool Tramway

  • Blackpool Zoo - Blackpool Zoo is a family-friendly attraction, providing fun and education for all ages.

  • Bettys Tea Room

  • Birdland - Birdland in Bourton-on-the-Water is set in nine acres of gardens and woodland, creating a picturesque canopy of the winding River Windrush.

  • Borough Market - An amazing food market dating back to the 13th century.

  • Bridlington Animal Park - Bridlington Animal Park is an Award-Winning, family-owned business and has lots to offer for a fun-filled family day out. We have a great range of birds which includes Parrots, Falcons and Owls.

  • Brighton Pier - The seaside town of Brighton, just an hour south of London, is the perfect destination for a day by the Great British seaside. The town is crammed full of creativity and culture.

  • British Airways i360 -

  • Brunel's SS Great Britain - Step back in time when you board Brunel’s SS Great Britain. Discover the true stories behind the ship that changed the world. Experience the sights, sounds and smells of life on board for Victorian passengers and crew.

  • Bugtopia - Kettering - NN16 8DP -

  • Butterfly World

  • Cambridge Gin Laboratory - Cambridge Gin Laboratory is an interactive space in the heart of Cambridge, dedicated to the appreciation of everyone's favourite spirit – gin!

  • Chester Zoo - Located in Upton, just over a mile north of Chester city centre, Chester Zoo is England's most visited attraction outside of London and is one of the best places to visit in England for families.

  • Churchill War Rooms - Discover the secrets of the Second World War in the underground nerve centre where Churchill and his war cabinet lived and worked.

  • Colchester Zoo - Colchester Zoo is constantly developing and has won many awards for its work. With over 270 species to see, set in 60 acres of beautiful parkland and lakes, Colchester Zoo is well worth a visit.

  • Coventry Transport Museum - If you're looking for a truly unique day out for all the family, you can't beat Coventry Transport Museum. In the heart of Coventry city centre, this huge Museum is home to the world's largest collection of British road transport in public ownership.

  • Cromer Pier - Cromer Pier, a heritage seaside pier in the civil parish of Cromer on the North Norfolk coast was designed by Douglass and Arnott and constructed by Alfred Thorne and is owned by North Norfolk District Council.

  • Donkey Sanctuary - Set along the historic Jurassic Coast and nestled in the tranquil East Devon countryside in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, our working farm is home to donkeys, mules and hinnies - large and small. Come and say hello to some of the hundreds of donkeys waiting to meet you, completely free of charge.

  • Dreamland - Head to renovated retro theme park Dreamland in Margate for some old-fashioned fun. The amusement park was bought back to life in 2015 after falling into disrepair. Take on the Mirror Maze, ride the scenic railway, test your balance in the indoor Roller Room and take a selfie by the Hollywood-esque Dreamland sign.

  • Eden Project - The Eden Project in Cornwall represents a number of environmental and social projects all under the auspices of sustainable growth.

  • Exmoor Zoo

  • Exotic Zoo - Exotic Zoo is one of Telford's best-kept secrets, a real gem winning the hearts of visitors to this small and interactive zoo. Meet our friendly staff as you explore the zoo and find out all about the animals they are working with today.

  • Fishbourne Roman Palace -

  • Gauntlet Birds of Prey - Gauntlet, Eagle & Vulture park is the largest bird of prey park in the Northwest of England. With over 120 birds of prey, ranging from the smallest owls to the worlds largest eagle and Vultures it really is a haven for animal lovers.

  • Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway - The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway is a heritage railway over 14 miles (23km) long in the beautiful English Cotswolds.

  • Great Central Railway

  • Greene King Brewery - Walk, Talk and Tasting Tour Join us as we walk through Greene King’s history discovering our oldest buildings and finding out what they have been used for throughout time. Our knowledgeable guides will tell you everything you need to know about Greene King and how our beers are made.

  • Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker - Discover the secret world of nuclear government. For over 50 years this vast underground complex, remained secret, hidden on the outskirts of a sleepy Cheshire town.

  • Hangloose Bluewater - From June 2021, Bluewater will be the home of Skywire, England's longest and fastest zipline.

  • Heights of Abraham - Now open daily. Take a spectacular cable car ride to the Heights of Abraham, an award-winning hilltop park. Your cable car ticket gives you free admission to all the facilities at the top, including 60 acres of landscaped grounds, exhibition areas, Masson Pavilion Film Theatre, adventure playgrounds, woodland walks, and two famous show caverns with guided tours, audio visual effects and remarkable stories to tell.

  • Herring Green Activity Farm

  • Hitchin Lavender - We're a family owned and run farm. During the summer months (check the website for precise dates)we're open to visitors who are able to wander up and down the miles of lavender rows we grow.

  • HMS Victory

  • Hoo Zoo and Dinosaur World

  • Hopefield Animal Sanctuary - Hopefield Animal Sanctuary is a non-profit organisation caring for around 500 sick, unwanted and mistreated animals. The sanctuary is based in Brentwood, Essex.

  • Hovertravel - Hovertravel provides the fastest Isle of Wight ferry service across the Solent and is the world's longest running and only commercial hovercraft operator in Europe.

  • Howletts Wild Animal Park - Howletts Wild Animal Park is a 90-acre adventure in beautiful ancient parkland that is ideal for great days out in Kent with the entire family.

  • Huxley's Birds of Prey Centre and Gardens

  • London Chinatown - At the East End of London, during the beginning of the 20th century, many Chinese immigrants flocked to London and set about creating businesses as a way to cater to the throngs of Chinese sailors who frequented the docklands area.

  • London Zoo - London Zoo is the world's oldest scientific zoo. It was opened in London on 27 April 1828 and was originally intended to be used as a collection for scientific study.

  • Museum of Witchcraft - The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, formerly known as the Museum of Witchcraft, is a museum dedicated to European witchcraft and magic located in the village of Boscastle in Cornwall, southwest England.

  • National Railway Museum - FREE ENTRY Home to iconic locomotives and an unrivalled collection of engineering brilliance, we celebrate the past, present and future of innovation on the railways.

  • Natureland Seal Sanctuary - Natureland is well known for rescuing and rehabilitating orphaned and injured seal pups that are stranded on Lincolnshire beaches. Our visitors can see the seals and lots of other wonderful animals including penguins, meerkats, alpacas, tropical birds/butterflies, pets corner, aquarium, tropical house, koi carp pool, animal brass rubbing, gift shop and refreshments available.

  • Nene Valley Railway - The NVR is a great day out for the kids and the exciting train ride is just part of it, remember loads of our attractions are free like the children's play area and the river-side picnic spot and you can jump, off at other stations and explore what they have to offer too.

  • Nidderdale Llamas - A unique interactive fun activity, based on a family working farm in Nidderdale. Offering Llama Trekking & Llama/alpaca experiences in beautiful countryside

  • North Norfolk Railway - A 10.5-mile trip through beautiful parts of the region, hauled by a steam engine or heritage diesel locomotive. Steam trains run daily throughout the summer.

  • North Yorkshire Moors Railway - The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is one of the world’s greatest heritage railway experiences with thrills and education at its heart. Climb on-board a steam or heritage diesel train on one of the earliest and most historic lines.

  • Notting Hill Carnival - A yearly celebration of London’s Caribbean communities, their culture and traditions, the Notting Hill Carnival has been taking place since 1966. It’s Europe’s biggest street party and it always takes place in the streets around west London on the August Bank Holiday weekend.

  • Oxford University Museum of Natural History - The Museum of Natural History houses the University's scientific collections of geological and zoological specimens. The Museum itself is a Grade 1 listed building, renowned for its spectacular neo-Gothic architecture.

  • Paignton Zoo Environmental Park - Paignton Zoo Environmental Park is a conservation and education charity located in South Devon. With around 2,500 animals across 80 acres, we have more species than anyone else in the South West.

  • Port Lympne Reserve - Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve offers exciting days out in Kent filled with discovery for the entire family. Set in 600 acres, and housing over 650 rare and endangered animals, Port Lympne offers a treat for everyone.

  • Portsmouth Historic Dockyard - Featuring world famous ships HMS Victory and HMS Warrior 1860. Plus visit HMS Alliance, the only remaining WW2 era British ocean going submarine, and the M33, the sole remaining British veteran of the bloody Dardanelles Campaign of 1915-1916.

  • Punt on the River Cams - DONE! See the blog post.

  • Royal Museums Greenwich - Downstream from Tower Bridge, Greenwich is the London base of the Royal Navy and holds England's largest expanses of preserved historic architecture and parks. And although lovers of things maritime will certainly gravitate to Greenwich, there's a lot more there than just ships and boats here.

  • Royal Observatory, Greenwich - The Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London, has played a global role in the history of astronomy and navigation. It was established in 1675 by King Charles II with the key function being to “rectify the motions of the heavens and the places of the fixed stars and in order to find the desired longitude of places in order to master the art of navigation.”

  • Saltburn Cliff Tramway - Saltburn Cliff Tramway is the oldest water balanced funicular still in operation in Great Britain. Come and visit us in the new season for a genuine piece of Victorian nostalgia. In a full year following our refurbishment, we have worked hard to improve the visitor experience and we are delighted we have been awarded the VisitEngland Quality Rose Marque for 2019/20.

  • Saltburn Pier

  • Sea Life Blackpool - Showcasing more than 50 dazzling displays and more than 2,000 spectacular aquatic creatures including tropical sharks, colourful reef fish, octopus, rays and sea horses, SEA LIFE Blackpool is the perfect way to experience the wonders of underwater life without getting wet.

  • Sea Life London - The Sea Life London Aquarium is located on the ground floor of County Hall on the South Bank of the River Thames in central London, near the London Eye. It opened in March 1997 as the London Aquarium and hosts about one million visitors each year.

  • Severn Valley Railway - Step back in time to the golden age of the railway in one of the UK’s best heritage visitor attractions! From the moment you enter the booking office to collect your tickets, you’re transported to a world full of vintage steam engines and powerful heritage diesel locomotives – feel them rumble under your feet, hear the sound of the whistle, smell the coal in the firebox and get ready for a FULL DAY adventure across 16 miles of the glorious Severn Valley.

  • Shell Grotto - Pre-booking essential. The Shell Grotto is one of the world’s most mysterious places: a series of underground rooms and passageways covered by 2000sqft of exquisite mosaic created with 4.6 million shells. Discovered in 1835, nobody knows who created it, when, or why.

  • Shields Ferry - The Steamship Shieldhall is the largest working steam ship in Britain. A member of the National Historic Fleet she serves as a sea going tribute to Britain's maritime heritage. As a passenger you too can experience the golden age of steam by booking on an excursion or visiting her in Southampton.

  • Shrewsbury Prison - Shrewsbury prison, Shrewsbury was built in 1793 and for the past 200 years has been home to 1000's of criminals. Now its been opened to the public by Jailhouse tours, who run daily guided tours of the site, evening ghost tours, escape events, prison experience events and history days.

  • Southwold Pier - If one picture on a postcard could sum up an idyllic English Seaside destination it would have to be Southwold Pier. Decked out across the sea in the picturesque coastal town of Southwold, this pillared walkway has a magnetic attraction and something for everyone to enjoy!

  • Steamship Shieldhall

  • SnowDome - The ultimate snow, ice & leisure experience. The SnowDome is the UK’s premier real snow centre. Real snow, all year round, provides the ultimate alpine surface to learn and enjoy these exciting sports in a fun and progressive environment.

  • Snozone - Snozone Milton Keynes is an outstanding venue for skiing, snowboarding and sledging indoors on real snow, all year round!

  • St. George's Chapel

  • St. Mary's Lighthouse and Visitor Centre - Whitley Bay - NE26 4RS - Reached between the tides via a short causeway, St. Mary's has all the fascination of a miniature, part-time island. The Lighthouse, completed in 1898 on a hazardous coast for shipping, remained operational until 1984 when it was superseded by modern navigational techniques.

  • Stratford Butterfly Farm - The UK's largest tropical butterfly paradise! The Butterfly Farm is open in accordance with government regulation and social distancing measures.

  • Tate Modern - When the Tate Modern opened its new 10-storey extension in June 2016, adding 60 percent more gallery space, visitor numbers jumped by almost one-fourth, making it one of England's most visited attractions. Now regarded as among the world's best - and certainly, one of the largest -museums of modern and contemporary art, the Tate Modern shows a wide range of artistic expression, including paintings, works on paper, sculpture, films, performances, installations, and other forms of artistic expression.

  • The Beatles Tour

  • The British Museum - The British Museum, which was established in 1753, plays host to numerous permanent collections of artefacts which number over 8 million pieces in all.

  • The Mary Rose - The Mary Rose is home to the Mary Rose and the thousands of artefacts that were recovered from the Solent. Built between 1509 and 1511, The Mary Rose was one of the first ships able to fire a broad side, and was a firm favourite of King Henry VIII.

  • Trentham Monkey Forest - The perfect day out for all the family! Trentham Monkey Forest is completely unique to the UK. It is the only place that you can walk amongst 140 Barbary macaques roaming free in 60 acres of beautiful Staffordshire woodland.

  • Tropical Butterfly House, Wildlife & Falconry Centre - Encounter the exotic and discover a wild family day out in South Yorkshire! Meet lemurs, meerkats, owls, otters, snakes, lizards, a tarantula and other amazing animals during unforgettable Animal Encounters throughout the day.

  • Turbary Woods Owl and Bird of Prey Sanctuary - Turbary Woods Owl and Bird of Prey Sanctuary is a pure volunteer-based, non-profit group of volunteers. The flying display gives you the visitors, Children & Adults, the chance to participate in the flying display and have our birds land on your gloved hand as they fly to you for their food.

  • William Shakespeare's home - For all those with a passion for literature, there’s no doubt that a thrilling experience is to be had upon visiting the home of Shakespeare in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire.

  • York Castle Museum - Famous for its collections of costume, textiles, military and social history, York Castle Museum brings history back to life.

  • Yorkshir