England has long been one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, attracting visitors from far and wide. But with so many of its counties being stunning in their own right, it may leave you questioning which one to visit? Dog Friendly Cottages has given us counties with diverse landscapes to those bursting with cultural heritage, we’ve found the top 10 counties to visit in the UK.
Top 10 counties to visit in the UK
Cornwall’s a place that makes loving the UK far too easy. Opal blue waters lap against 250 miles of glorious coast and sandy beaches stretch into rugged cliffs. Below the rocks, lie smugglers coves and hundreds of years of seabound secrets.
Whether you’re looking to lounge on golden sand, explore the wild rocks above or head inland for attractive attractions, fabulous food and Cornish culture, Cornwall is an astonishing place to visit.
Join one fo local tours in Cornwall:
- Devon and Cornwall: 5-Day Tour from London
- Cornwall 2-Day King Arthur Tintagel and Boscastle Tour
- From Cornwall: Private Poldark Tour with Pickup
“I have never before been gifted with such an abundance of natural beauty”. These are the words of Steven Spielberg when asked what he thought of Devon. And frankly, we couldn’t agree more.
A tropical paradise nestled in the South West of England, Devon is a diverse land of sandy beaches, majestic moors, bustling town centres and historic homes.
It’s a place where fresh sea breeze whistles through craggy cliffs and turquoise waves lap against golden sands. And a place where award-winning chefs pluck crops from wild windswept moors and serve up some of the most exquisite food this country has ever seen. It’s the perfect place, we think you’ll agree, for an unforgettable cottage getaway.
Join one of the local tours in Devon:
Every year, over three and a half million people plan their holidays in Norfolk and it’s easy to see why. From the family-friendly fun of Great Yarmouth to the tranquil waterways of the Norfolk Broads, this county is full of so many possibilities. It’s also a great location for dogs, with a fantastic range of dog friendly cottages and things to do.
But it’s at night that Norfolk is at its most magical, as this incredible East Anglia county is home to one of the clearest skies in the UK. Imagine dining outside, with a plate of Norfolk’s world-famous seafood in front of you, and the day’s last light disappearing all around. A salty sea breeze travelling west from the Atlantic Ocean surround you, while above you, you finally see an infinite number of stars dot the night sky.
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Hampshire is a hybrid county. Spread over 1,500 square miles, it doesn’t choose between offering beautiful beaches, rolling countryside or rich and vibrant cities. It does them all very well.
For those craving the bustling energy that only a major city can provide, Hampshire is home to three top-notch choices, including Portsmouth for pictures, Southampton for shopping and Winchester for food. Blessed with a glorious coastline and miles of green countryside, national parks and nature reserves, few places do ‘rural’ better than Hampshire. There are even cruises from Southampton, for those wanting to visit a wide variety of destinations from this beautiful country.
There are many words you can use to describe Dorset – scenic, picturesque, utterly beautiful. However, we don’t think any of them quite capture the county’s magical charm. When thinking of Dorset’s rolling hills, craggy cliffs and secret coastline pools, one word in particular springs to mind and that’s ‘unspoilt’.
Dorset is how the English countryside is meant to look. Its days are filled with sunshine and it nights are made up of the clearest skies. Dorset is home to some fantastic large holiday homes, so it’s the perfect family holiday destination in a picture-postcard that you can never visit just once.
Join one of the local tours in Dorset:
Northumberland is firmly establishing itself as a holiday hotspot. With a rich and varied history, rugged and wild natural beauty and a coastline studded with beautiful sandy beaches, it’s easy to see why. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing seaside rest or a more active holiday of watersports, you’ll be sure to find an area to meet your needs.
The county is also a firm favourite for those looking to learn more about England’s past. It’s littered with many impressive remnants from a time before, including the imposing fortress at Bamburgh and the world-famous Lindisfarne Monastery. Many of these sites have informative visitor centres. Tour guides can also be arranged if you really want to buff up on your knowledge to impress friends on your return.
Join one of the local tours in Northumberland:
- Hadrian’s Wall & Roman Britain 1-Day Tour from Edinburgh
- Hadrian’s Wall: 2-Hour Guided Tour
- Viking Coast and Alnwick Castle Small Group Day Tour
Looking out over the wild North Sea, and surrounded by the North Yorkshire National Park, although not a county, the historic seaside town of Whitby has to be on your list to visit. Offering idyllic natural beauty, unique historical sites and classic seaside charm, it is no wonder that visitors have been flocking to this gem of the Yorkshire coast for centuries.
Whether you choose to spend your holiday scouring the boutique shops that line the cobbled streets in the centre or prefer to head out to Moors in search of rare wildlife, you’re guaranteed to be surprised by what you find here.
Given its coastal location, Whitby is also the perfect spot to enjoy watersports, a relaxing day at the beach or some traditional fun and games along with the Victorian pavilion.
Join one of the local tours in Whitby:
- North York Moors and Whitby Tour from York
- Robin Hood’s Bay, Whitby & North York Moors Tour from York
Home to some of Britain’s most incredible views, amazing architecture, and, of course, the curry capital of UK; we don’t have to try hard to make Yorkshire sound like the perfect place to visit.
With the Lake District looming right next door, you’d think Yorkshire would be overshadowed by its notoriously beautiful neighbour. But nothing could be further from the truth. Home to three national parks, 11 national nature reserves, and some astounding wildlife, the exquisite North East county is a strong contender for the most picturesque place in England.
Join one of the local tours in Yorkshire:
Nowhere in the world is perfect but Cumbria comes pretty close. Nestled in the North East of England, where rolling hills and wildflowers meet the Irish Sea, Cumbria is home to some of the freshest air and clearest skies in Britain.
Ranked as the ‘second-best place to photograph in England’, (with Cornwall’s Jurassic Coast just clinching the top spot), Cumbria is a world of emerald fields, majestic mountainscapes and some of the best sunsets the world has to offer.
But its landscape isn’t just a gift for sightseers, it’s a treat for foodies too. Thanks to its rich and fertile land, Cumbria is home to a world-renowned range of incredible local produce and award-winning restaurants.
Join one of the local tours in Cumbria:
- Lake District: Ten Lakes Full-Day Tour
- Lake District: Afternoon Tour from Windermere
- Half-Day Tour of Beatrix Potter Country and Places
When we close our eyes and imagine the ideal image of England, most of us picture Sussex. This stunning southeastern county, the birthplace of Vera Lynn, Ronnie Barker and the best ale in Britain, is the epitome of the English countryside.
It’s the place to find fallow deer, scampering across bright green and perfect to watch from a log cabin with a hot tub. A place to peruse farmer’s markets and sample homemade jam. Sussex is fields of wildflowers, the clip of horse’s hoofs on cobblestones, and the gorgeous thick woodland that extraordinary wildlife call home.
Pack and travel: