East England Visitor Attractions by County

Major Attractions in East England

Along with the Norforlk Broads, East England is replete with major visitor attractions, activities and places of historical interest. Browse the counties below and see for yourself!

Sutton Hoo, Woodbridge

Suffolk Attractions

Renowned for its beautiful beaches and historical sites, Suffolk is a holiday-maker’s delight. We showcase 25 of the best things…

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Renowned for its beautiful beaches and historical sites, Suffolk is a holiday-maker’s delight. We showcase 25 of the best things…

St Albans Cathedral, St Albans

Hertfordshire Attractions

From the ancient streets of St Albans to the tranquil beauty of the Chilterns, Hertfordshire offers a diverse range of…

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From the ancient streets of St Albans to the tranquil beauty of the Chilterns, Hertfordshire offers a diverse range of…

Frinton Beach, Frinton-on-Sea

Essex Attractions

Essex is populated by a myriad of visitor attractions and places of historical interest. It’s proximity to London also makes…

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Essex is populated by a myriad of visitor attractions and places of historical interest. It’s proximity to London also makes…

The Backs, Cambridge

Cambridgeshire Attractions

From the world-renowned spires of Cambridge University to the serene waterways of the River Cam, Cambridgeshire is an enchanting county…

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From the world-renowned spires of Cambridge University to the serene waterways of the River Cam, Cambridgeshire is an enchanting county…

Dunstable Downs, Dunstable

Bedfordshire Attractions

From the rolling hills of the Chilterns to the numerous historic landmarks dotting this charming county, Bedfordshire is brimming with…

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From the rolling hills of the Chilterns to the numerous historic landmarks dotting this charming county, Bedfordshire is brimming with…

Norfolk Broads

Norfolk Attractions

Nestled in the eastern part of England, Norfolk is home to a diverse array of internationally-renowned visitor attractions including the…

Norfolk Attractions Read More

Nestled in the eastern part of England, Norfolk is home to a diverse array of internationally-renowned visitor attractions including the…

About East England

East England, often simply referred to as "the East," stretches out as a vast canvas where nature's hues and history's imprints coalesce.

Characterised by its undulating terrains, sweeping coastlines, and tranquil fenlands, this region is a testament to the intricate dance between human endeavour and nature's whims.

The Broads

The landscape of East England is, in many ways, defined by its relationship with water. The iconic Norfolk Broads, a series of interconnected lakes and rivers, form the UK’s largest protected wetland. Here, reed beds sway in gentle breezes, mirrored by the shimmering waters below.

This vast expanse of freshwater, punctuated by quaint windmills and meandering waterways, serves as both a haven for wildlife and a respite for seekers of serenity.

The Heritage Coast

Complementing this inland aquatic tapestry, East England's coastline is a study in contrast. The Suffolk Heritage Coast stands as a sentinel to the power of the North Sea, where soft cliffs eroded over millennia reveal layers of earth's history.

Golden sands, pebble beaches, and salt marshes offer varied habitats for coastal flora and fauna, while the whisper of waves provides a perennial soundtrack.

From Flatland to Forest

Yet, it isn’t just the waterways and coastlines that characterise the region. Delve inland, and the East Anglian Fens unfurl. This vast, flat landscape, once submerged beneath the sea, now emerges as fertile farmland.

A testament to human ingenuity, these reclaimed lands are crisscrossed by drainage channels, reminding one of the region's agricultural heartbeat.

Beyond the fens, the terrain begins to ripple. In places like the Chiltern Hills, gentle slopes rise clad in ancient woodlands and dotted with historic market towns.

These chalky uplands, adorned with beech woods and interspersed with grassy meadows, serve as popular spots for walkers and nature enthusiasts, revealing panoramic views that capture the essence of the English countryside.

Adding another layer to East England's landscape are its historic forests. Thetford Forest, the UK's largest man-made lowland forest, stretches across Norfolk and Suffolk, offering a blend of pine, fir, and broadleaved trees.

Its trails beckon cyclists, hikers, and even horse riders, while its clearings have often echoed with the laughter of families enjoying picnics.

Towns and Villages

East England is replete with towns, villages, and cities that offer visitors a unique window into the region's rich tapestry of history, culture and natural beauty.

Starting with the illustrious Cambridge, one is instantly enamoured by the city's academic pedigree. The University of Cambridge, with its historic colleges, captivates with Gothic architecture, pristine courtyards, and the meandering River Cam, which has seen countless punts glide upon its gentle waters.

The backdrop of King’s College Chapel's spires, combined with the city's bustling market square, creates an ambiance where history and vibrancy converge.

A stone's throw from Cambridge lies Ely, dominated by its magnificent cathedral, often referred to as the "Ship of the Fens". This city, albeit compact, bursts with history, from its ancient streets to the waterside, where eels were once traded and are now celebrated with an annual festival.

Travelling towards the coast, Southwold in Suffolk captures the quintessence of a British seaside town. Its iconic lighthouse, colourful beach huts, and the inviting pier create an idyllic setting.

Close by, the village of Lavenham transports visitors to medieval times, with its timber-framed houses and narrow lanes. Once a prosperous wool town, today Lavenham's charm lies in its preserved heritage and artisanal boutiques.

Colchester, recognised as Britain’s oldest recorded town, wears its history with pride. From the remains of its Roman walls and the Balkerne Gate to its Norman castle set in picturesque grounds, Colchester offers a mosaic of eras waiting to be explored.

To the north, Norwich stands as a testament to East England's eclectic history. Boasting a Norman castle and two cathedrals, the city seamlessly integrates its medieval past with a contemporary buzz. Its meandering lanes, filled with independent shops and eateries, lead to the iconic open-air market, one of the oldest and largest in the country.

Holt, a gem within Norfolk, enchants with Georgian charm. Its streets, lined with boutiques, galleries, and antique stores, are a haven for those seeking both serenity and sophistication. For a more maritime flavour, the town of Wells-next-the-Sea beckons with its harbour, crabbing spots, and a railway that lovingly carries visitors to its sandy shores.

Dedham, set within the heart of Constable Country, offers landscapes that have inspired masterpieces. Nestled along the River Stour, this village, with its historic church and charming High Street, has long been a magnet for artists and nature lovers alike.

Concluding this journey, one cannot omit Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk. This historic market town is an amalgamation of medieval architecture, the ruins of an abbey, and beautifully manicured gardens. The town's annual Christmas market transforms it into a festive wonderland, drawing visitors from far and wide.

Major Visitor Attractions

From ancient edifices to expansive natural wonders, East England's major attractions are a delightful confluence of culture, heritage, and scenic splendour.

Foremost among the region's architectural marvels stands Ely Cathedral. Revered as the “Ship of the Fens”, this majestic structure, with its ornate façade and octagonal tower, has dominated the Cambridgeshire landscape for over a millennium. Its echoing interiors, detailed stained-glass windows, and panoramic views from the tower ensure it's a destination etched in the memories of those who visit.

Nearby, the ancient city of Cambridge is a treasure trove in itself. At its heart is the iconic University of Cambridge, a conglomeration of colleges, each more picturesque than the last.

Highlights such as King’s College Chapel, with its intricate fan vault ceiling, and the Bridge of Sighs, offer photogenic moments, while punting on the River Cam provides a tranquil perspective of the city's historic landmarks.

Moving towards the coast, the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty sprawls in all its glory. But it's not just the landscapes that entice; nestled here is Sutton Hoo, the site of two early medieval cemeteries.

Managed by the National Trust, its archaeological significance came to the fore with the discovery of an intact ship burial, a window into the Anglo-Saxon world of kings, warriors, and treasured artefacts.

Adjacent in Norfolk, the Norfolk Broads serves as a nature lover's paradise. This vast network of waterways, lakes, and marshes teems with birdlife and provides a picturesque setting for boating, fishing, and peaceful contemplation. It's an ecosystem of delicate balance and profound beauty, capturing the essence of East England’s relationship with its waterways.

Colchester Castle in Essex is another gem from the annals of history. Built on the foundations of a Roman temple, it is the largest Norman keep ever built. Today, the castle not only stands as a monument to Norman architecture and power but also houses a museum showcasing the rich history of the region from the Romans to the Normans.

East England’s artistic flair is encapsulated within Dedham Vale, often referred to as ‘Constable Country’. Revered for its idyllic landscapes that inspired many paintings by John Constable, this valley along the River Stour offers both visual and visceral pleasure, where art, nature, and history intertwine.

For those with a penchant for grandeur, Sandringham House in Norfolk, the beloved country retreat of the British royal family, beckons. The estate, with its ornate rooms, vast gardens, and the museum, provides a glimpse into royal life and leisure.

Rounding off this journey is the Norwich Cathedral, a masterpiece of Norman architecture. Its monolithic spire pierces the Norfolk sky, and its cloisters, with vaulted ceilings and intricate carvings, evoke a sense of spiritual tranquillity.

Official Tourism Site
https://www.visiteastofengland.com

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