You’ll never be far from culture or coast in the sunny South East. Historic market towns, chic hotels, cosmopolitan resorts and the nation’s capital city...there isn’t much lacking in this fabulous region.
Whether it’s a peaceful romantic getaway or energetic city break you desire, you’re sure to find it here.
Many of those who flock to this region do so to see the bright lights of London.
Visitors to this spectacular city will never be short of something to do or see. From the capital’s most popular attractions, including Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and Big Ben, to its many fascinating museums, world famous art galleries and restaurants, it’s a city that caters for all.
Amble through the busy West End streets, from Trafalgar Square to Soho. Or take in the markets such as Camden, Borough and Portobello. If time is of the essence, save your legs and jump on an open top bus instead. See the sights whizz by from the comfort of your seat.
But if culture doesn’t appeal, perhaps the iconic aisles of Harrods or Harvey Nichols will, not to mention the ultimate high street shopping experience this city has to offer.
Away from the hubbub of the busy streets, London boasts plenty of open space within its acres of parks and gardens scattered around the capital.
Venture a few miles out of London and the bustling metropolis seems worlds away, not least in Surrey at the British Wildlife Centre, one of the best places in the country to see and learn about everything from badgers to the majestic red deer. For peaceful walks and open countryside, take your pick from the many historic market towns and villages here. Holmwood Common, near Dorking, is an ideal location for families to explore and was once owned by King Harold and William the Conqueror! Other great parks and gardens in the South East include Wakehurst, in Sussex, a Grade II listed heritage garden, plus Hole Park Gardens, in Cranbrook, Kent, one of the best places to see bluebells in the country.
Amongst all this glorious countryside sit the region’s many castles, cathedrals and heritage sites.
Perhaps the most famous of these is Windsor Castle, in Berkshire. Not only is this the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world, it is also the official residence of Her Majesty The Queen. There are an astonishing 30 castles in the South East of England, due to this area being particularly vulnerable to attack in centuries past. With their moats, ruins and impeccably attended gardens, they are fascinating places to visit.
Step further into the past by visiting Canterbury Cathedral, in Kent, one of the oldest and greatest in England. To see more than 1000 years of history head to Winchester Cathedral, in Hampshire, where you will discover 12th century wall paintings and carvings of the era.
There are many more iconic places of interest to visit such as Stonehenge, the best known prehistoric monument in Europe. There is a fantastic visitor centre here, plus replica Neolithic houses which are open to visitors to see how builders of this fascinating monument might have lived.
For family fun and adventure, choose from Legoland, in Windsor, Drusillas Park, East Sussex, or Fishers Adventure Farm Park, in Billingshurst to name but three. With animals and rides galore, there is something for every child to enjoy.
Outdoor pursuits are also well catered for in the form of popular attractions such as Go Ape and Lymington Sea Water Baths where zorbing, aqua jousting and paddle boarding are just a few of the many activities on offer.
Out on the coast you will discover a mix of quintessentially English seaside resorts such as Margate, Eastbourne and Broadstairs, where Charles Dickens spent many summers. Other towns worth visiting include the historical fishing and smuggling port of Deal, and Rye, which has been called the prettiest town in England due to its cobbled streets and half-timbered houses.
For bustling bohemia, venture to Brighton, the cosmopolitan coastal city where stunning Regency architecture sits amongst a diverse range of cultural attractions, plus award-winning bars, restaurants and a truly eclectic social scene.
There are also busy working ports and significant maritime heritage destinations littered along this glorious stretch of coast.
Among these is the Shipwreck Heritage Centre in Hastings, housing artefacts from many local wrecks dating as far back as 1690.
If awe-inspiring scenery is on your holiday ‘to-do’ list, go to Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters Country Park. Walk, cycle or sit and take in the sheer beauty of this simply breathtaking coast.