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Wonders of England

Bodleian Library in Oxford
Bodleian Library in Oxford. / Tejvan Pettinger, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

WorldBlue  Highlights

The natural and cultural wonders of England are very diverse and here are found some of the world’s most impressive landmarks in several categories, such as:

  • Church buildings. Even the oldest English churches exhibit high skills of build technics, intricate details and rich, well-balanced array of artwork, including some of the best and oldest stained glass in the world.
  • Museums. The culmination of international influence of Britain coincided with the age of Enlightement and Industrial Revolution. As a result England and, notably, its capital London contains several richest scientific collections in the world as well as very rich art collections.

England has several systems of administrative division. In this website England is divided into 48 ceremonial counties.

Ceremonial counties of England
  • Bedfordshire
  • Berkshire
  • City of Bristol
  • Buckingamshire
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Cheshire
  • City of London
  • Cornwall
  • Cumbria
  • Derbyshire
  • Devon
  • Dorset
  • Durham
  • East Yorkshire
  • East Sussex
  • Essex
  • Gloucestershire
  • Greater London
  • Greater Manchester
  • Hampshire
  • Herefordshire
  • Hertfordshire
  • Isle of Wight
  • Kent
  • Lancashire
  • Leicestershire
  • Lincolnshire
  • Merseyside
  • Norfolk
  • North Yorkshire
  • Northamptonshire
  • Northumberland
  • Nottingamshire
  • Oxfordshire
  • Rutland
  • Shropshire
  • Somerset
  • South Yorkshire
  • Staffordshire
  • Suffolk
  • Surrey
  • Tyne and Wear
  • Warwickshire
  • West Midlands
  • West Sussex
  • West Yorkshire
  • Wiltshire
  • Worcestershire

Map with the described wonders

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WorldViolet Top 25 wonders of England

Archaeological wonders of England



One of the most popular archaeological monuments in the world, consists of a group of large standing stones in a circular setting, erected sometime around 2500 BC (?). Located in the middle of a dense complex of archaeological monuments.

Stonehenge, Wiltshire
Stonehenge, Wiltshire / Photo by , Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Architecture wonders of England

Westminster Abbey


Royal Church of the United Kingdom with numerous art values. Constructed in 1245 – roughly 1745, mainly in the Gothic style. One of the earliest representatives of Gothic architecture in England.

Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey./ Kevin Poh, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Windsor Castle


One of the major castles and palaces of the world. This castle was built by William the Conqueror and has since then been used as a royal palace. Longest occupied palace in Europe, and the largest inhabited palace in the world. Throughout the centuries the castle was largely extended, always trying to imitate early medieval designs. Beautiful interiors. Site of many important historical events.

Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle. / Mike McBey, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Hampton Court Palace

Greater London

A royal palace, one of the most impressive palaces in the United Kingdom. Started in the late Gothic-Renaissance style in the early 16th century and continued in the Baroque style in the 17th century. This site of numerous important historical events contains a huge amount of valuable artwork, it is also a site of legends.

Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace./ Dileep Kaluaratchie, Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0
British Museum

Greater London

Museum of human history and culture, one of the most comprehensive museums in the world. Established in 1753 and since then gradually expanded. Amazing architecture of the Great Court (2000), the main building is an important example of the Greek Revival from the middle of the 19th century. Contains numerous unique items of high importance to the culture of the world, such as the Rosetta Stone, a mummy of Cleopatra, Elgin Marbles from Parthenon, Discus-thrower, Cyrus Cylinder, cuneiform tablets from Ashurbanipal Library, drawings by Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Raphael, and numerous other renowned artists, Hoa Hakananai moai statue from Easter Island.

Natural History Museum

Greater London

One of the major natural sciences museums of the world, housing some 70 million specimens. Located in a beautiful building that was built in 1881. One of the most renowned specimens is a 32 m long replica of Diplodocus carnegii.

Winchester Cathedral


Impressive building, one of the largest cathedrals in the United Kingdom, longest (169.5 m) Gothic cathedral in Europe. The present cathedral was constructed in 1079-1093 in the Norman style and rebuilt into a Gothic structure in several periods until the 16th century.

Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire, west front
Winchester Cathedral, west front / , Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0
Blenheim Palace


Enormous country house, the only non-royal and non-episcopal country house in England that is named a palace. Constructed in 1705 – 1724 in splendid English Baroque style and contains many valuable artworks. Home of the Churchill family for several centuries, now the property of Dukes of Marlborough.

Blenheim Palace
Blenheim Palace. / Simon Morris, Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0
Exeter Cathedral


One of the greatest Gothic-style cathedrals in England. The present building was started around 1133 and after several remodelings were built roughly in 1400. Most of it is in Decorative Gothic style with significant parts remaining from Norman times. Contains significant medieval artworks – 50 misericords, a unique minstrel’s gallery from roughly 1360, an astronomical clock, and priceless medieval books. The nave is adorned with the longest vaulted ceiling in England and represents a sight of unusual beauty.

Durham Cathedral


One of the finest examples of Norman architecture, one of the greatest churches in the United Kingdom. Built by Norman conquerors in 1093-1133, in Romanesque style. It is interesting though that there (before its time) are used some elements of the next – Gothic style. Contains relics of several saints – St Cuthbert, head of St Oswald of Northumbria, and Venerable Bede.

Tower of London

Greater London

Royal palace and fortress. White Tower – the central keep – was constructed in 1078 – 1087 by William the Conqueror and represents an outstanding example of Norman architecture. This enormous keep is 27.4 m high, with walls up to 3.4 m thick. Used as a prison already in 1100. Over the centuries extended with numerous buildings within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat. A building of outstanding historical importance. Tower houses Crown Jewels. This well-known site of legends is reportedly haunted.

Tower of London
Tower of London. / Martin Pettitt, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Lincoln Cathedral


Enormous Gothic cathedral, constructed in 1185 – 1311. One of the most beautiful church buildings in the United Kingdom. For 249 years (1300 – 1549) was considered to be the tallest building in the world, until the 160 m tall spire collapsed. 148 m long building with a unique facade.

Wells Cathedral


An enormous, beautiful Gothic cathedral, built in 1175 – 1490 on the site of the Roman mausoleum and older church. Very ornate facade, a rich collection of medieval stained glass, and other art values.

Wells Cathedral, Somerset
Wells Cathedral / seier+seier, / CC BY 2.0
Warwick Castle


One of the most impressive medieval castles in England, constructed in 1068 by William the Conqueror. Site of important historical events. Part of the castle was turned into a country house in the early 17th century. Grounds contain the largest trebuchet in the world. Site of legends about ghosts.

Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle./ Paul Tomlinson, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
British Library

Greater London

One of the largest libraries in the world contains numerous unique books and artworks. More than 150 million items. Contains such printed items as Diamond Sutra (the earliest dated printed book from 868 AD), Lindisfarne Gospels, Codex Arundel – a manuscript by Leonardo da Vinci, and others.

Salisbury Cathedral


One of the most impressive representatives of Early English architecture (Early Gothic style), built in 1220 – 1258. The spire of the church is 123 m tall. Contains the oldest working clock in the world, from 1386. Contains many valuable works of art.

Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire
Salisbury Cathedral / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Castle Howard

North Yorkshire

One of the most magnificent palace-like structures in Britain. This stately home has been constructed mainly in 1699 – 1712 in the Baroque style, designed by John Vanbrugh. 145 rooms, including the Great Hall which is 24 m high.

Castle Howard, England
Castle Howard, England / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Chester Cathedral


Impressive Romanesque-Gothic church building, constructed in 1272 – the 1530s. Possibly this site has been used by Christians since Roman times. The building has a complex structure, it is adorned with detailed carvings. Impressive interiors with valuable fittings and other items.

Gloucester Cathedral


Ornate Romanesque-Gothic cathedral. Built on a foundation that was laid in 1089. Cathedral was completed in 1499. This beautiful building is 130 m long, the ornate central tower is 69 m tall. Cloisters have amazing fan vaults. Interesting details are the earliest images of golf games in stained windows from 1350 and a carved image of medieval football.

Canterbury Cathedral


Enormous, richly decorated, and historically important cathedral, rebuilt numerous times since around 740, today mainly in Gothic style. One of the earliest representatives of the Gothic style in England.

Canterbury Cathedral, Kent
Canterbury Cathedral, Kent / Hans Musil, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Chatsworth House, Derbyshire


One of the most beautiful country houses in the United Kingdom, the seat of the Duke of Devonshire, home of the Cavendish family. Contains a unique collection of art values. Initially built from 1553 to the 1560s, rebuilt in the 17th century in the English Baroque style.

Dover Castle and tunnels


Large, well-preserved, and historically important castle, founded in the 12th century on the site of earlier fortifications. Contains the only medieval counter tunnel in the world, built for the surprise attack on the French in 1216. Extensive, more than 5 km long tunnels under the castle were used as a command center during the Second World War.

Burghley House


Impressive country house, built in Elizabethan style (English Renaissance) in 1587. 35 large rooms and more than 80 smaller rooms. Valuable, intricate frescoes.

Burghley House
Burghley House. / Anthony Masi, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0
Peterborough Cathedral


One of the visually most impressive church buildings in the United Kingdom, built in Romanesque and Gothic style in 1118 – 1237 and extremely well preserved since then. Built on the site of an earlier church. Unusual and very original is the West Front facade with three enormous arches. Contains many art values.

Peterborough Cathedral, England
Peterborough Cathedral / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Tower Bridge

Greater London

One of the iconic bridges in the world – a combined bascule and suspension bridge built in 1894. Length – 244 m, longest span – 61 m. Consists of two massive, tall towers standing in the Thames with high airbridges connecting them. The bridge part between both towers is opened some 1000 times per year.

Tower Bridge, London
Tower Bridge, London / szyszo, Flickr, CC BY 2.0

WorldYellow Recommended books

Rick Steves England

Hike the wild moors of Dartmoor, explore the scenic bays of Cornwall, and dive into history at Hadrian’s Wall: with Rick Steves on your side, England can be yours!

The Most Beautiful Country Towns of England (Most Beautiful Villages Series

Complementing the best-selling The Most Beautiful Villages of England, Hugh Palmer has produced a stunning sequence of images of those ancient towns in which the true heart of England lies. All the places included here embody a long, preindustrial heritage; they are also communities of a well-preserved beauty, widely visited by travelers from all parts of the world.

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