The pretty village of Castle Combe in the Cotswolds, England

England and Wales: a two-week UK itinerary

Thinking of doing a road trip around England in two weeks? There’s so much to see in this small island nation, especially when you include the neighbouring country of Wales.

With wild coastlines, vast mountains and lakes, and plenty of sustainable travel options in the UK, it’s no wonder that so many choose to visit this part of the world.

In the cities, strong regional accents make you feel like you're somewhere new every time you step out of the door, while traditional dishes like Yorkshire puddings, Cornish pasties and Cartmel sticky toffee pudding are worth scouring the width and breadth of the country for.

Blue sea, green hills and ancient walls in Tintagel Bay, Cornwall

Most visitors will start and end in London, the capital of England and the main transport hub for the UK (see our three day London itinerary for ideas on the main attractions as well as out of the way places to visit in London).

But once you leave the capital, you will encounter the true characters and diversity that the UK has to offer.

Below we look at some of the most naturally beautiful, culturally immersive, and lesser-known places to visit in England and Wales.

We recommend hiring a car to travel around the UK. Although most places are accessible by train, some of the more out-of-the-way spots and national parks have less coverage by public transport.

Colourful fishing boats at Port Isaac harbour in Cornwall

Cornwall - 3 nights

Popular with Brits but often missed by visitors, Cornwall is one of the UK's most beautiful destinations. Full of windy roads, quaint fishing villages and some of the best weather in the UK, Cornwall is a great place to start your road trip of England.

From London it’s around a 5-hour drive to Cornwall. Split up the day by stopping off at one of the UK's most famous attractions, Stonehenge. These ancient monoliths have been around for around 4,500 years and are located in the county of Wiltshire - read our full Stonehenge guide for more tips on vsiiting.

Stay in one of Cornwall's picturesque fishing towns like Looe, famous for smugglers coves and fresh seafood. Risk an encounter with ‘The Beast of Bodmin’ and seek out stone circles, Bronze Age cairns, and wild ponies on Bodmin Moor.

Or head to the small town of St Austell, just south of Bodmin, to visit the futuristic Eden Project and the sprawling and wild Lost Gardens of Heligan.


  • For the best places to eat in Looe try The Sardine Factory, The Fish Market, or Smugglers Cott Restaurant.

  • Between Looe and St Austell, in the idyllic cove of Polperro, The House on the Props is a homely and sustainable bed and breakfast with harbourside views. It offers homemade lunches and dinners from locally sourced and seasonal produce.

Picturesque old stone houses of Arlington Row in the village of Bibury, Cotswolds, England

The Cotswolds - 2 nights

Though many take a day trip to the Cotswolds from London, it’s worth spending a bit of time here to explore the chocolate-box villages of England. Favourites like Castle Combe, Bourton-on-the-Water, and Chipping Norton offer visitors the perfect spot for afternoon tea. You can find the Cotswolds around a 3-hour drive northeast of Cornwall.

The nearby city of Bath in the county of Somerset is also worth a stop. It's best known for its Roman Baths but you can also visit Bath Abbey, the Jane Austen Centre, and Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein. If you prefer to unwind, relax in the mineral-rich pools at Thermae Bath Spa or simply take in the sights of the historic city (you may recognise many spots from the hit TV show Bridgerton).

Other notable stops nearby include the up-and-coming city of Bristol, and Cheddar Gorge - a great spot for hiking that’s probably more famous for its cheese.


  • As the most popular cheese in the UK, Cheddar is quite rightly celebrated in the English village of Cheddar in Somerset. Other West Country delights like apple cider can be sampled at the Bath Cider House or The Apple Cider Boat in Bristol.

  • Stay in a former 17th-century rectory set in 8 acres of secluded gardens and parkland. If you want to feel like you’ve stepped into a British period drama, Lords of the Manor is the place to be, plus it was voted as one of the top 200 hotels in the country.

  • If you’re looking for something closer to the city, stay at the Artist Residence Bristol for charming rooms in a convenient location.

Mount Snowdon and its reflection in Llynnau Lake in Snowdonia National Park, Wales

Snowdonia - 2 nights

From England's West Country, head 3 hours north into Wales to visit Snowdonia National Park. Mountain climbers flock to the second-highest peak in the UK, Snowdon at 1,085 metres (3,560 ft.), but the real reason the mountain is so popular is its accessibility.

The Snowdon Mountain Railway is a traditional steam train that runs from the village of Llanberis to the summit. At the top, there’s a visitor centre that offers some of the best views in Britain (without any of the strain).

There are plenty of other attractions in the national park too, from underground zip-lining and trampolines to the world's first man-made surf lagoon.

Snowdonia is often referred to as the adventure capital of the UK and is a great place to go hiking, rafting, or canyoning. There’s also a wide-array of heritage-listed towns and villages, cosy pubs, and crumbling castles to explore.


  • Seek out the remote Tŷ Coch Inn for an off-the-beaten-track experience. It’s probably the best beach cafe in Wales, hidden away in the beautiful fishing village of Porthdinllaen on the Llyn Peninsula. It’s not easily accessible though as you can only get to it via a 20-minute walk.

  • There are loads of great places to stay in Snowdonia and the surrounding areas. For a traditional B&B with a great brekkie Castle Cottage Inn near Harlech Beach is a favourite. While in Dollegaul the Cross Foxes Pub offers a homely stay with traditional Welsh food on-site.

  • But the best way to see the national park itself is by camping out under the stars and enjoying one of Britain's Dark Sky Reserves. Try Llechwedd Glamping in Blaenau-Ffestiniog for stunning mountain views to accompany your BBQ and campfire.

Sunset over Liverpool waterfront with a red boat in the water

Liverpool - 2 nights

Known around the world for their football teams, Liverpool and Manchester are two northern cities in England that are undoubtedly worth visiting. While Manchester has Old Trafford football stadium, just an hour away in Liverpool you can visit Anfield and Goodison Park.

Liverpool is also a mecca for Beatles fans. Head out on the Magical Mystery Tour to spend two hours visiting famous sights from songs like Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane. You can also visit The Beatles Story Museum and The Cavern Club where they used to play.

Other great things to do in this friendly city include hitting the shops in Liverpool ONE, exploring the museums along the Royal Albert Dock, and visiting grand buildings in the historic Georgian Quarter.


  • Sample the multicultural street food, trendy bars and eclectic markets in The Baltic Market in Cain’s Brewery building.

  • Liverpool is a hub for live entertainment, head to spots like the Hot Water Comedy Club, St George's Hall, and St Luke’s Bombed Out Church to find out what’s on.

  • Stay in the city centre at The Municipal Hotel Liverpool. Located in a historic building close to the Liver building, the Royal Albert Docks, and the Western Approaches Museum, it has everything you need for an easy city break.

Reflections of Great Gable in the UK's Lake District at sunrise

Lake District - 3 nights

Two hours north of Liverpool by road, the Lake District National Park is England's largest national park at 2362 square kilometres. Other fun facts like its home to the tallest mountain in England (Scafell Pike - 978 metres), and the largest lake in England (Windermere - 14.8 square kilometres) make it almost impossible to skip on a road trip around the UK.

The natural beauty and rolling hills of this soggy-but-scenic corner of England have captivated poets, writers, and hikers like William Wordsworth, Beatrix Potter, and Alfred Wainwright for generations.

Hike up The Old Man of Coniston or Catbells for an easier alternative to the busy Scafell, take a drive along the windy Kirkstone Pass to the stunning Ullswater and the mighty Aira Force waterfall, or visit picturesque villages like Grasmere and Elterwater with their own spectacular views of mountains like the Langdales and Loughrigg.

If you have time, take a drive over to the border to Scotland to see Hadrian's Wall. This Roman fortification built in AD 122 stretches 73 miles from one coast to the other. The best places to see complete remnants are Housesteads Roman fort, Corbridge, and Chesters.


  • There are some real treasures to hunt out for foodies visiting the Lake District. Head to Cartmel to find the home of Sticky Toffee Pudding, try Grasmere Gingerbread (made the same way since 1854), and get a quick sugar fix with some Kendal Mint Cake. You can also find Michelin starred hotspots like Gilpin Spice, and sample the best local produce from roadside stops like Tebay Services.

  • Stay in a stone cottage in the heart of the Lake District at Bridge House Hotel & Silver Howe View Cottage. Situated in the serene village of Grasmere, the hotel is located in its own English-country-garden overlooking the River Rothay. The hotel offers guests cooked breakfasts and free afternoon teas, as well as use of the on-site swimming pool, gym and sauna.

A street in York at night with the church in the background

York and Yorkshire - 2 nights

From the Lake District take in more of England's most epic natural landscapes on the two-hour drive to York. Stop off at Hawes on your way through the Yorkshire Dales to visit cheese heaven at Wensleydale Creamery.

Here you can sample around 20 different varieties of award-winning artisan cheese along with a mouth-watering selection of accompaniments. Other great places to stop include the cascading Aysgarth Falls and the medieval ruins of Fountains Abbey.

While we all love a Yorkshire pudding (especially when they have a roast dinner inside them like at the The York Roast Co.), York has a lot more to offer than food alone.

For history buffs, the JORVIK Viking Centre boasts a collection of 1,000-year-old artefacts, while Roman ruins like the old city walls make an excellent highlight of a York city walking tour.

There’s also the serene and free-to-enter York Museum Gardens, the Gothic York Minster, and for Harry Potter fans there are the higgledy-piggledy houses along the Shambles.

The main attractions of York are compact and easily covered in a day. On your second day in Yorkshire, take a day trip out to Whitby for some of the best fish and chips in England.

One of the other top things to do in the coastal town is to visit the inspiration behind Bram Stoker's Dracula at Whitby Abbey. Just down the road is the fairy-tale-like village of Robin Hood's Bay only accessible by foot. Its steep cottage-clad hills and sprawling beach will make you ponder why the northeast of England is so often missed by visitors.


  • Bettys Café Tea Rooms in York offer up the quintessential English cream tea - there’s usually a queue though so be prepared to wait for a table.

  • While the best fish and chips in Whitby is hotly contested, Trenchers guarantees a good portion of cod or haddock and perfectly crispy chips. There’s also The Fisherman's Wife if you’re keen on those idyllic seaside views to go with your deep-fried indulgences.

  • Stay at The Grand, York, for its central location in the city. The 5-star Grand Hotel is located in the iconic Grade II listed former railway headquarters and offers stylish rooms and a luxury vaulted spa.

From York, it’s about a four-and-a-half-hour drive back to London. If you have more time along the way, stop at the university city of Cambridge to go for a spot of punting and visit world-renowned museums and universities.

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Jo Williams

Author - Jo Williams

Jo Williams is a freelance writer with 10 years' experience working in travel and tourism. A Brit who got fed up with the 9 to 5 corporate life, she sold everything to become a full-time wanderer.

Jo has travelled to over 70 countries and worked throughout Europe for a major tour operator. She hopes to inspire you to work less and travel more.

Last Updated 7 February 2024

Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, UK

United Kingdom

Encompassing England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Island, the United Kingdom has a long and interesting history, several cosmopolitan cities and a range of enchanting landscapes.