England map & highlights

A “green and pleasant land” – England boasts a wonderful variety of landscapes that are ideal for walking and cycling holidays.
If we can persuade you of one thing with this England travel guide, hopefully it will be to escape the confines of cities such as London and Oxford and to explore the country’s magnificent natural landscapes. You might spend a week in a country cottage buried deep in a national park, tackle a section of a famous long-distance walking route, or bring the family on an action-packed small group activity holiday in the beautiful Lake District. Wherever you base yourselves – coast, island, peaks or lakes – you’re generally well-served by public transport or roads, and of course one of England’s greatest charms is that you’re never far from a good country pub.

1. Cornwall

England’s southwest corner has long been one of the country’s most sought-after – and therefore crowded – holiday destinations. Tension between locals and holidaymakers and second homeowners is also problematic. We recommend avoiding the Cornish hotspots in favour of a ramble along the famous South West Coast Path, or staying in the stunning Fowey River Valley.

2. Devon

Idling over Devon’s agricultural landscapes, the wilds of Dartmoor or the coves and beaches of the Jurassic Coast makes for a great break, ensuring cyclists and walkers will be in their absolute element. Eco-friendly accommodations, log fires in country pubs, the debate over jam or cream first on a scone, healthy, happy, muddy kids and dogs – you name it and Devon has got it in bucket loads.
Isle of Wight

3. Isle of Wight

Step on a ferry bound for Cowes, Yarmouth or Ryde, and you’ll be transported to a holiday destination that boasts 100km of beach, 300km of cycle trails and over 800km of well-signed walking paths. Historic properties, such as Osborne House and Carisbrooke Castle, provide the cultural interludes with numerous parks, gardens and even vineyards adding to the island's appeal.
Lake District

4. Lake District

Although Windermere can get busy, especially during the summer, there are numerous lesser-visited shores where views and peace are completely unhindered. Tackling parts of walking routes, such as the Cumbria Way, will take you through some of the national park’s rarely seen areas with farmland, rivers and fells adding to the classic scenes you’ll find en route from Ulverston to Carlisle.
Peak District

5. Peak District

Stay in a traditional farmhouse near the market town of Ashbourne, with the option to self-cater or rely on your hosts for delicious homecooked meals. A fantastic option for walkers, families with young children (who will love collecting eggs and feeding the pygmy goats) and those with accessibility requirements. You’re just 20 minutes from Dovedale, one of the loveliest areas of the Peak District.
South Downs National Park

6. South Downs National Park

Close to our heart, because it’s so close to home for us, the South Downs National Park has over 3,000km of rights of way – the 161km South Downs Way from Winchester to Eastbourne being among the most popular walking routes. You might stay in a rural B&B, a self-catering cottage, even a yurt, to explore the park’s many market towns, walking and cycling trails or beautiful coast.
Walking holidays

7. Walking holidays

Follow in the footsteps of pilgrims, poets and saints with a vast number of walking holidays in England, taking you through some of the country’s most magnificent scenery. Well-known routes such as the Pilgrims’ Way, the Thames Path, Shakespeare’s Way, the South West Coast Path and the Cotswolds Way can easily be broken up into leisurely stages on tailor made routes.
White Cliffs of Dover

8. White Cliffs of Dover

One of England’s most iconic landscapes, the White Cliffs of Dover are for many travellers the last sight they have of home, and the first on their return. An eight-day walk takes you from Canterbury to Sandwich along the Saxon Shore Way, past historic castles and Roman ruins, and some of the finest coastal views in the country, all the while staying in a series of welcoming Kent inns.
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about England or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Written by Rob Perkins
Photo credits: [Page banner: Luke Porter] [Fowey: Alison Day] [Devon: Alison Day] [Isle of Wight: Leandra Bischofberger] [Lake District: Tobias Keller] [Peak District: Simon Forster] [South Downs National Park: Marcus Cramer] [Winchester: Herry Lawford] [White Cliffs of Dover: Callum Wale]