HOW TO SPEND 7 DAYS IN ENGLAND – ITINERARY + TRAVEL TIPS
- 1 HOW TO SPEND 7 DAYS IN ENGLAND – ITINERARY + TRAVEL TIPS
- 2 TRAVEL TIPS FOR ENGLAND IN 7 DAYS
- 3 7-DAY ENGLAND ITINERARY
England is an exciting place to visit – it has so much to offer. Whether you are an outdoor person or enjoy city/town life with a lot of culture and history – you will find all that in England. And if you are wondering how to spend one week in England, this post helps you discover different areas and see different faces of England in 7 days – also, you will find many travel tips for your 7-day England itinerary.
This itinerary is perfect regardless if you road trip or use public transportation. It is quite easy to get to these places. Unlike some of my other itineraries, this itinerary does not include a lot of crazy driving. It is going to be a busy trip, but it will not leave you breathless.
This one-week England trip starts in London, and then you´ll head to the south – exploring the beautiful coasts of England with their pretty towns.
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TRAVEL TIPS FOR ENGLAND IN 7 DAYS
So, before discussing your 7-day England itinerary, here are a few travel tips – including tips on how to get around, where to stay, and more!
Best Time to Visit England for 7 Days
Have you heard about England (and Britain) being gray and rainy? Well, unfortunately, this is true.
I have visited England many times – in spring, summer, fall, and winter – what I can say is that the weather is moody, and rain is quite common. But the sun does visit England, too – sometimes. However, this should not stop you from visiting – you just have to pack accordingly.
For this 7-day itinerary, I suggest visiting in the summer months. Normally, I advise visiting in the off-season. Europe gets very popular in the summer months and it tends to get busy – which also results in high accommodation costs. Also, in some parts of Europe, it can get very hot. However, in England heat is not the main problem. But due to the weather in the shoulder season, the summer months – let´s say from May to late September – are the best months to visit England.
How to Get to England
- I recommend starting and ending your trip in London. This exciting city has several airports, and you can fly into London from many airports in Europe, Asia, or the U.S.
- But if you drive in your own car and come from Europe, you might want to start in Dover. If you come from France, you get to Dover by train/ferry.
One Week in England – How to Get Around
- I would never road trip England because I cannot drive on the left side of the road. Having a self-diagnosed “difficulty telling left from the right” (that does really exist), I don’t dare drive on the left.
- I did the same route several times via a private coach as a passenger (I did the trip a few times with my students), and this is what I think about driving: The views are often nice, the roads are not very busy, and seem to be in good condition overall.
- Renting a car in England is – apparently – relatively easy but not cheap, and pre-booking a car might help you save money.
- Gas is quite expensive in England, and so are parking fees.
TIP: If you want to road trip, rent your car after your time in London because, in London itself, you will not need a car. Public transportation is superb in London, and you will save yourself money and, more importantly, stress.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IN ENGLAND:
- I did not use public transportation in the south of England, but I often used it on other occasions in the country. And it is pretty good.
- After doing some research, I have good news: you can visit the places on this England itinerary via public transportation.
- Of course, you are less flexible, but you do not have to worry about parking spaces and such.
- From London to Canterbury, take the train (about 90 minutes) and then take buses/trains to the other towns/villages. It’s important to note that you probably will need to check timings in advance as not every bus runs hourly.
- In London, you are surely better off without your own car. Public transportation is great and the best way to get around.
- England is not cheap as a travel destination. London, especially, is expensive, but so are many other places in the country.
- However, I still think it is cheaper than some other European destinations in Central and Northern Europe.
- Accommodations will probably eat up most of your budget. For train rides, booking early might be the best financial option.
- Food can be costly but also very affordable. You will find many take-away restaurants that offer great (international) food for reasonable prices.
7-DAY ENGLAND ITINERARY
Okay, let us talk about your actual itinerary and what to do in 7 days in England.
London – 3-3.5 Days
London is surely an exciting city. You could easily spend a week here (and of course longer) without getting bored. However, for this England itinerary, I suggest staying about 3 or 3.5 days in the city, so you have enough time for England’s southern coast.
- Do you like shopping? Head to Oxford Street or Regent Street.
- Do you prefer lively squares? Visit Picadilly Circus or Trafalgar Square.
- Do you like to admire beautiful architecture? Check out places like the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben (Elizabeth Tower).
- Do you prefer to relax in the park? Stroll St. James Park or Hyde Park.
- Do you enjoy more hip and colorful neighborhoods? Explore Nottinghill.
I could go on like this forever, but I guess you get my point.
- It is also a great place for those who enjoy some nightlife and partying with all the pubs (pretty pubs to be more precise) and clubs in London.
- Stroll the Thames River and enjoy views from the London Eye – one of the biggest Ferris wheels in the world. And experience the city from a different perspective.
- If you want to enjoy a bird’s eye view that is free, head to Skygarden.
- I actually have a 4-day itinerary for London, but again, see how much time you want to spend in the city.
Personally, I would leave early on the fourth day and head to Canterbury, so you have more than half a day there to explore this pretty city. Also, check out my London winter guide.
WHERE TO STAY IN LONDON
Here are some of the best-rated hotels for each budget:
- Luxury – Ritz-Carlton is one of the top hotels – it is also conveniently located in the city center and quite close to Buckingham Palace. Click here for the best rates and more info.
- Mid-Range – This 3-star hotel Hampton by Hilton Waterloo has decent reviews– find out more about this hotel and get the best rates here.
- Budget – This hostel is well-rated and conveniently located. If you book a bed in a dorm, you can actually get a bargain. Click here to get the best rates for YHA London Central.
Canterbury – 0,5 Day
Continue your 7-day England itinerary and either drive to Canterbury or get there by train (which should take less than two hours either way). Canterbury is a beautiful medieval city – a cathedral city once a famous pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages. Now, tourism plays a major role in the city, and it is one of the most visited in England.
With a population of about 55,000, it is a cute, small city perfect for spending half a day or a full day. Located in Kent, Canterbury has been the seat of the Church of England’s spiritual head for several centuries.
- It is home to a couple of UNESCO World Heritage sites, which include Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey, and St Martin’s Church.
- The city is known for its ancient walls, originally built by the Romans, with narrow cobblestone streets, timber-framed houses, and cute shops and restaurants.
- There are riverboat tours and planned walks if you want to spend some time in nature.
- The highlight is probably Canterbury Cathedral, which was built in the 6th century and is one of the most stunning religious sites in England. The cathedral is a mixture of Romanesque and Perpendicular Gothic and is one of the city’s main landmarks. You have to pay an entrance fee. Tip: Rent audioguides to get a better understanding of the cathedral´s history.
The city center is small, so you can get around on foot and see the main sights easily.
WHERE TO STAY IN CANTERBURY
- I never stayed in Canterbury overnight. In case you plan to spend a night here, check out this hotel. It was rated one of the best and is centrally located.
Dover – 1 Day
With one week in England, we cannot waste much time. From Canterbury, head to Dover and start exploring early in the morning. Dover is one of a kind in England – and I suggest spending at least a full day here.
Dover is a small coastal town located in Kent – and an important port in England. It is a great place to learn about England´s history, but it is also perfect for hiking. It has some of the country’s most stunning scenery.
- Dover is probably most famous for the White Cliffs of Dover and its harbor/port. If you arrive at or leave England by ferry, you´ll most likely do it via Dover – Calais (France).
- Do not skip Dover Castle, which is probably the most iconic castle in England nowadays and actually the county’s biggest castle. It was built by King Henry II in the 1180s and served as a fortress. You can visit the castle and explore it while learning about the country´s history – and best of all, it comes with amazing views!
- You can also hike in this beautiful part of the world, choosing one of several hiking routes.
WHERE TO STAY IN DOVER
- I suggest not staying in Dover. Instead, head towards Hastings. You can stay there for two nights (so you do not have to change hotels too often). However, if you stay in Dover overnight, check out rates for hotels here.
Hastings – 1 Day
Your one week in England is almost up, so it is time to get from Dover to Hastings. Hastings is a picturesque and beautiful coastal town with a long history. It is located about 80 km from Dover and is one of the UK’s lesser-known destinations.
Hastings is known for the 1066 Battle of Hastings, which was fought where Battle Abbey now stands.
- If you do a short hike up (you could also use a funicular), you can enjoy Hastings Castle’s views of the English Channel. The castle itself was once home to William the Conqueror, and up there, you can also visit the Smugglers Adventure Museum (fun for kids, too).
- Then you have the charming pebble-stone beach. Though I came here many times, even in the summer months, I have never taken a dip as it can be chilly and windy all year round. However, it is a popular beach destination in England, and there is nothing better than strolling the promenade and visiting the really, really cute, and colorful pier of Hastings.
WHERE TO STAY IN HASTINGS
- I am not going to lie – the places I have stayed in Hastings were not great. The hotel standard here is not high. My tip is to stay at the hotel near the beach and near the old town. This is the best-rated hotel I have found in Hastings.
Eastbourne – 1 Day
For the last day of your itinerary, it is time to get from Hastings to Eastbourne. Eastbourne is a lovely coastal town with a beautiful promenade. However, it is most famous for the Seven Sisters Hike.
- The Seven Sisters is a series of chalk cliffs located midway between Seaford and Eastbourne (similar to the ones you have seen in Dover).
- There are different options (that also come with different lengths and difficulties). We did an easy hike (or walk) from the Seven Sisters to Eastbourne. If you want, you can also do the longer hike from Seaford to Eastbourne.
- The views are incredible, and the hike is probably one of the best hikes you can take in England.
- The only thing to keep in mind is to be careful – it can be slippery, especially when it is wet, and you can fall (there have been casualties in the past).
WHERE TO STAY IN EASTBOURNE
- If you want to stay in Eastbourne overnight, check out this 5-star hotel in Eastbourne.
If you follow this itinerary strictly (3.5 days in London, half a day in Canterbury, 1 day in Dover, 1 day in Hastings, and 1 day in Eastbourne), your 1 week in England is already up. If you have more than 7 days in England or want to skip one of the places mentioned above, then think about visiting Brighton before heading back to London (if you fly out from there).
Extra: Brighton – 1 Day
Brighton is a famous resort town about 35km from Eastbourne and about 76 km south of London.
Bigger than towns like Hastings and Eastbourne, Brighton offers more attractions and a busier atmosphere.
- Visit Brighton Pier, which opened almost 120 years ago and is where you will find carousels and food stalls.
- Check out the Royal Pavilion, the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, and Old Steine – or spend time at the beach.
- Brighton is also known for its nightlife, so if you want to end your England trip with a party, then Brighton is a good stop!
From there, you can take a train and be back in London within an hour!
WHERE TO STAY IN BRIGHTON
- If you plan to stay in Brighton overnight, check out this 4-star hotel which is centrally located.
CONCLUSION OF MY 7-DAY ENGLAND ITINERARY
I know England has many more beautiful spots, but I think this would be my ideal trip with only one week in England. It is perfect for spring, summer, and fall (and even winter) and it combines some crazy city life with some more cultural sightseeing in Hastings – and you will also get to see some stunning outdoor places in Dover and the Seven Sisters.
Hopefully, this post has inspired you, and you can plan your own 7-day England itinerary now. Travel safely!