Photo Credit: Nappy
There's More to England Than London: 7 English Cities And Regions to Check Out
Yes, there are other English cities besides London.
London is an exciting city, where history and the present seamlessly intersect, and there’s no shortage of beautiful parkland, classic residences, restaurants, shops and of course pubs.
Need retail therapy, but don’t feel like spreading out too far? You can’t go wrong with bustling Oxford Street, or, for designer shops, check out Bond Street, which is basically London’s answer to New York’s Fifth Avenue.
Piccadilly Circus recalls Times Square with its neon screens, shops, and nightlife. And in the summer, the streets of Notting Hill are electrified by Carnival, featuring bright costumes, dancing, and music from the Caribbean and Africa.
But there are definitely other English cities that are worth a day, or a few days, and here are seven of them.
First, a gentle reminder. You should know that this city isn’t pronounced the same way as the city in Alabama. It’s “Bur-ming-um,” not “Bir-ming-ham.”
According to Visit Britain, Birmingham is the second-largest city in England, and has a diverse dining scene from island cuisine to Michelin- star establishments. Looking for a great place to grab a beef patty or some oxtail? Check out Deep Experience Jamaican Bar & Grill or Aunt Sally’s. When in doubt, ask the locals, they’ll likely point you in the right direction.
The Selfridges Bullring Shopping Center with its unusual exterior is worth a visit, as is the Jewelry Quarter. And if you’d like to take in the scenery of the city by water, take a boat ride in one of the many canals.
Manchester is the third most populous city in England and is, according to Time Out, a haven for foodies and clubbers. The locals are pretty friendly, and they take their soccer, sorry, football, very seriously.
You can take a direct train from London in about two hours. The Northern Quarter is popular with creatives, a mix of record stores, designer shops, beer gardens and of course, pubs on top of pubs.
And when you’re looking for a place to dance on Saturday night, let’s just say that won’t be a struggle.
If you’ve had your fill of the city bustle and want to check out the countryside, The Culture Trip recommends driving to “the Peak District, Pennines, Yorkshire Dales, and The Lake District.”
Another gorgeous northern city, York is steeped in the history of the Vikings and Ancient Rome.
There are a number of organized walking tours, allowing you to see York Castle, The Ouse River, York Minster Cathedral, and The Shambles, a charming medieval street with overhanging timber buildings and cute little cafés and shops.
Around Halloween, consider a Ghost Tour, as York is said to be haunted.
Just an hour or so from London by train, you can smell Brighton’s sea air as soon as you exit the station. Characteristic of many waterside cities, it’s generally relaxed, open-minded, and doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Walking around London can be a bit of a headache if you’ve never been, whereas Brighton is less spread out and relatively easy to navigate on foot or via public transport.
There’s a thriving LGBT+ scene here, which is mostly centered on St. James Street, and the Pride Parade is the biggest in the UK.
Bath is named for its ancient Roman bathhouses, which are remarkably well-preserved.
Bath is the only city in the UK to have the distinction of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll love the blend of Roman and Georgian architecture, prompting some to call Bath the most beautiful city in England.
There are some great pubs here, as well as cocktail lounges, clubs, and a plethora of restaurants.
Lastly, if you’re into English literature, you’ll be interested to know that Bath was once the home of Jane Austen.
Liverpool, aside from being the home of The Beatles, has some killer Caribbean restaurants like Turtle Bay, with its delicious goat curry, and Raggas, on Smithdown Road.
If you’re looking for a place to enjoy a pint, participate in a quiz, or maybe watch some sports, check out The Albert Pub, Baltic Fleet, and The Dovedale Towers.
Check out Sefton Park, with its 250 acres of green space, and its Palm House, a botanist’s dream, showcasing plants from around the world.
Oxford, sometimes called The City of Dreaming Spires, is another place that is proudly frozen in the past.
Its centuries’ old university of the same name consists of 45 colleges. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, see if you can get into Christ Church College, and you’ll see what inspired The Great Hall at Hogwarts.
Oxford, or rather England in general, might not be renowned for its food (and that’s putting it charitably), but it’s saved by its international cuisine, including Indian, Chinese, Thai, Italian, Ethiopian and much more.