Five reasons why Lonely Planet loves England
Travel guide Lonely Planet has named England the second best country in the world in which to travel. Here are five reasons why its judges love England so much.
Historic castles and cathedrals
England is home to hundreds of grand old castles and cathedrals, from St Michael's Mount off the Cornish coast to Bamburgh in Northumberland, and York Minster to London's St Paul's.
The Lonely Planet judges said the country's "famous timeless treasures" have remained a constant "amid all the confusion" of "Brexit uncertainties".
England was pipped to top-spot in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2020 by Bhutan.
The quaint country village, with its cobbled streets and stone, thatched houses astride serene streams and babbling brooks, is a staple of England.
Having so many picture-perfect places is one of the reasons England is worth a visit, according to Lonely Planet.
The top 10 countries in the list were:
- North Macedonia
- Eswatini (Swaziland)
- Costa Rica
- The Netherlands
"Once the country's first line of defence against invaders, the English coastline these days is a peaceful place where locals and visitors can enjoy more tranquil pursuits," Lonely Planet judges said.
"Taking a bracing walk on a windswept pier, eating delicious fish and chips, searching for marine life in rock pools, finding fossils in ancient cliffs, building sandcastles and dolphin-spotting on picturesque beaches are just some of the activities offered by the English seaside."
Lonely Planet said the addition of new stretches of the almost 3,000 mile-long England Coast Path in 2020 would allow visitors to "explore beaches and foreshores right up to the water's edge".
You might also like:
- Stunning sunrise captured across England
- The man who owns 1,000 meteorites
- England's Big Picture: Sharing images of the nation
England is home to 10 national parks and 34 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), from Cornwall and the Cotswolds, to the North Pennines and Northumberland Coast via the Shropshire Hills and Lincolnshire Wolds.
"For a relatively small country, England offers a lot of breath-taking scenery," said Tom Hall, Lonely Planet's vice-president of experience.
"It's fantastic to see England scoring so highly with Lonely Planet - and with travellers," said VisitEngland director Andrew Stokes.
"It's no surprise it's a favourite global destination with our breath-taking and varied coastline, vibrant cities, stunning countryside, heritage and cultural gems, amazing visitor attractions, enchanting green spaces and outstanding range of quality accommodation.
"England truly is packed full of incredible experiences that visitors can only have here."
While Lonely Planet's judges were wowed by England's overall offerings, they said there were three unmissable experiences.
The "magical history tour" that is Northumberland's coast was first with its "dramatic castles", offshore islands featuring puffins and seals and the "spectacular" Holy Island.
The Norfolk Coast, an AONB for more than 50 years, is also somewhere not be missed with its expanses of marsh, dunes and clay cliffs.
And finally the South West Coast Path "lures hikers with its wonderful walks and photogenic views", the guide said.
"If travellers are seeking exhilarating beauty in 2020, England won't disappoint," Mr Hall said.
All pictures copyrighted.