Home of the cities of Bath, Bristol, and Wells, this county is by far my favourite. Once you pass Wiltshire and enter the rolling green hills of this county, you cannot turn back. Pale Bath stone houses, green hills, apple orchards, homemade cider, and with some of the friendliest people in the world, this county is my favourite to visit. There is Exmoor for wilderness, Bristol Channel for coastline, old market towns with pubs, and its not that far from London. I have only ever had good memories, and it is a major contender for places I might settle in later years.
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The Jurassic Coast is as stunning as you would expect. The waters of the English channel rough and beautiful to look at, and beaches of hard sand and rock that are perfect for the inspirational walks the English are so fond of. My favourite spot is Durdle Door – a stunning natural limestone arch in the waters off Lulworth. It is near enough to the cute coastal town of Swanage, and National Trust owned Corfe Castle, which is a place of pure inspiration and a site that I could not recommend visiting highly enough.
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Remote enough to feel as far away as Cornwall, Norfolk is county Ben and I think more and more fondly of. It has miles of coastline and flat space that enables you to see so far and the most sky. The landscapes are reason enough to visit.
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Home to the cities of Exeter and Plymouth, this county has some of my favourite towns in England. While Exeter is great for a visit in its own right, I’d recommend a swing by the towns of Totnes, Brixham, and Dartmouth. If traveling by train, be sure to keep your eyes on the window as the stretch between Exeter and Plymouth is one of the best in England! Once here, seafood is the preferred choice – fish and chips if by the seaside of course – and don’t leave without a cream tea! If a walk on the moors takes your fancy, head to Dartmoor and be sure to plan it to end at The Warren House Inn.
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A county? Sure. Greater London encompasses basically the area within the M25, and the dead center of it is the great city itself. I fell in love here, I got engaged here, I started my career here, and I will be getting married here. It has attracted more visitors so far than Paris in recent years, and you can never go without things to do or discover. My favourite area is Islington, with boutiques, cafes and great independent restaurants, it is London for the Londoner. Have picnics in the park, walk along the River Thames, go up the Shard, and always ALWAYS drink a bottle of Chianti at Gordon’s Wine Bar.
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Home to the seaside resorts of Brighton and Eastbourne, towns of Rye, Hastings, and Lewes, this county has Saxon roots from the 5th century. While Brighton is a great day trip from London, with a pebble beach and great jewelry quarter, my favourite town by far is Rye. This old town is everything you could want: history, haunted pubs, cobbled roads, old port, cute cafes, and boutique shops. It is well worth a visit.
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This county gets a bad rep – if you look past the stereotype for Essex, you can actually see how beautiful the county is. Colchester is the oldest recorded town in England, and Chelmsford is the only city in the county – but don’t let just have those two places on your radar. Saffron Walden, on the way to Cambridge, is a gorgeous town with a lot of history, and the National Trust properties in Coggeshall are well worth a visit. Hatfield Forest is one of the old royal hunting grounds and is a great place for a run in the summer, or even just a walk with good friends.
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My home county – besides London of course – and a beautiful county at that. With the city of St Albans well worth a day trip from London, several other towns make my must visit list: Bishops Stortford, Hertford, Hitchin, Harpenden, and Berkhampstead.
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Home of the Peak District! This stunning area of England was the first national park in England. It is a stunning place to walk, run, cycle, and stay – with plenty of great National Trust properties to keep you occupied. Towns to visit within the peaks: Castleton, Buxton, Bakewell, Tideswell, and Tissington, which has the cutest old fashioned sweet shop! Chatsworth House is the estate to visit if the stately home takes your fancy – it has most famously represented Pemberley in Pride and Prejudice.
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Home of one of the oldest and most famous universities, the city of Cambridge is worth a visit for its history alone. The River Cam that flows through the city centre is typically filled with punters in the summer months, and the shops around it buzz even in the off season. This is a great place to visit for its architectural beauty, its cultural offerings, and its historical appeal. Have a pint at The Eagle which was the pub where Francis Crick and James Watson first announced their discovery of how DNA carries genetic information in 1953. Aside from the city of Cambridge, be sure to also put the towns of St Ives, Ely, and St Neots on your radar.
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The beautiful county of the far south west, this county is a mission to get to but oh so worth it. It is the British holiday county, with beautiful coastal cliff walks, cream teas, good seafood, Cornish pasties, UNESCO protected mines, National Trust protected coast, theatres on the sea (looking at you Minack!), and the most adorable towns like St. Ives that I could just move to immediately. So many places to name, probably better to see my posts instead.
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