10 magical day trips in England

by Melissa Brobby

Category: We love
May 26 2017

Once upon a time, 10 beautiful English sights became Insta-famous when they enchanted visitors and inspired them to snap photos. We think you, too, will feel like you’re in a fairytale when you visit this magical places that are an hour or less from a major city…

1) Strawberry Hill House in London

Situated in a leafy London suburb is a house that bears striking resemblance to the castles where handsome princes rescued damsels in distress. One of the most magical places to visit near London, Earl Horace Walpole began building Strawberry Hill House in 1749, starting the Gothic Revival movement. 

Find more things to do in and around London

2) Alnwick Castle and its deadly gardens

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The 1,000-year history of Alnwick Castle, near Newcastle, casts a spell on visitors. Recent additions of a giant treehouse (featuring a restaurant) and a wicked garden full of poisonous plants – and a famous role as Harry Potter’s Hogwarts – have cemented the castle’s modern mythology.

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3) The amazing Longleat Hedge Maze

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Get lost in a fairy tale setting as you explore the magical Longleat. Less than 20 miles from Bath, this Victorian estate’s huge maze is truly a challenge. Can you make it to the middle? 

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4) Blaise Hamlet’s bewitching thatched roof cottages

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Just four miles outside Bristol, Blaise Hamlet’s nine thatched-roof cottages, owned by the National Trust, look like they’ve been plucked out of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. 

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5) The mystery and magic of Merlin’s Cave

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Perhaps the most famous wizard until Harry Potter appeared, Merlin is a mainstay of Arthurian legend. Merlin’s Cave sits in the cliffside beneath Tintagel Castle (where Arthur was conceived, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth) on Cornwall’s north coast, just about an hour from Truro. 

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6) The dragon of Warwick Castle

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Warwick Castle, 30 minutes by train from Birmingham, is an ancient estate replete with legend and lore. It keeps its colourful history alive and kicking with events including War of the Roses-themed jousting tournaments and grand medieval banquets. 

Find more things to do in Warwickshire

7) A very Hobbity tree tunnel in Halnaker

We wouldn’t be surprised to see Bilbo or Frodo walking beneath these arched bows. Part of Stane Street, the ancient London to Chichester Roman road, this tree-lined path is just four miles from Chichester.

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8) The Shambles in York

One of the most atmospheric places for a spot of shopping, The Shambles in York is a narrow cobbled street lined with wonky timber-framed buildings dating from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Be sure to slip down the city's Snickelways, a secret labyrinth of alleyways tucked between the shop fronts.

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9) Towering monuments and tall tales

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If there’s a single place in England known for being shrouded in myth and mystery, it’s Stonehenge, just an hour's travel from Southampton. The Neolithic monument’s origins are unclear, but it dates back more than 4,000 years and was used as a ceremonial burial ground.  

Find more things to do in Wiltshire

10) The siren of Derbyshire’s Mermaid’s Pool

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Heed the call to visit Derbyshire’s Mermaid’s Pool over Easter, and you may be granted the gift of immortality by the resident mermaid. The pool is situated on Kinder Scout in the Peak District not far from Manchester. 

Find more things to do in Derbyshire

Melissa Brobby

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