12 Most Beautiful Places in The East Midlands to Visit

by Jem
Most Beautiful Places in The East Midlands
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Are you thinking about visiting The East Midlands this year? Here are some of the most beautiful places to visit in The East Midlands. These pretty sights and destinations will blow your mind.

The East Midlands is a region that often plays second fiddle to its more famous British counterparts. But let me tell you, this under-the-radar gem is a treasure trove of beauty, history, and culture just waiting to be discovered. From the rolling hills of the Peak District to the storied streets of Nottingham, this is a place where legends like Robin Hood come to life and nature’s splendor takes center stage.

Imagine strolling through ancient castles one moment and hiking through verdant forests the next. The East Midlands is a patchwork quilt of experiences that seamlessly blend the old with the new. Whether it’s the grandeur of Chatsworth House or the industrial charm of Derby, there’s a narrative thread that ties these diverse landscapes together. And it’s a story that’s as captivating as any bestselling novel.

So, why should the East Midlands be your next travel destination? Simple. It’s a place where you can escape the crowds, immerse yourself in authentic British culture, and discover some of the most beautiful places in the East Midlands. Buckle up, adventurers, because we’re about to explore this incredible region like never before!

The most beautiful places in The East Midlands right now
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The Most Beautiful Places to Visit in The East Midlands  

Eager to explore the most stunning spots in The East Midlands? As mentioned earlier, this region has something to offer for every type of traveler. Continue reading to unveil the breathtaking landscapes of The East Midlands.

Interested in vibrant cities and rich cultural experiences? Or perhaps you’re more inclined towards a tranquil retreat surrounded by nature? No matter what you’re seeking, the East Midlands has got you covered. Here are the must-visit locations in The East Midlands that you should add to your list:

1. Ashford in the Water

Step into Ashford in the Water, and you’ll feel like you’ve entered a storybook. Stone cottages with ivy-clad walls line the streets, while the River Wye gently meanders through the heart of the village. It’s a place where time seems to stand still, offering a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

One of the village’s most photographed spots is the Sheepwash Bridge. This ancient stone bridge serves as a backdrop for countless photos, and it’s easy to see why. The reflections of the bridge on the water create a mesmerizing effect, making it one of the most beautiful places in The East Midlands.

Fishing enthusiasts, rejoice! The River Wye is teeming with brown trout, making it a popular spot for fly fishing. Even if you’re not into angling, the riverbanks offer a peaceful setting for a leisurely stroll. Keep your eyes peeled for kingfishers and otters that often make an appearance.

Be sure to stop by a neighborhood pub for a full supper before you go. The village is known for its delicious pub grub, offering the perfect way to end your visit to this charming destination.

Discover the timeless charm of Ashford in the Water, one of the most beautiful places in The East Midlands
Discover the timeless charm of Ashford in the Water, one of the most beautiful places in The East Midlands

2. Bakewell

Bakewell is a market town that’s as sweet as the famous tart it gave birth to. The Bakewell Tart, a delightful concoction of jam, frangipane, and almonds, is a must-try when you’re in town. Local bakeries and cafes serve up this treat, making it a must-see in The East Midlands for food lovers.

The River Wye runs through Bakewell, adding a serene touch to the town’s bustling market atmosphere. A walk along the river offers a chance to see local wildlife and provides a tranquil contrast to the busy town center. The riverside is one of the most beautiful places to visit in The East Midlands, especially during the golden hours of sunrise and sunset.

History buffs will find plenty to explore, from the All Saints Church with its intricate carvings to the Old House Museum that delves into local history. Each corner of Bakewell seems to whisper tales from the past, making it one of the best places to visit in The East Midlands for those interested in history.

Don’t forget to visit the Monday market before you leave. It’s a lively affair where you can find everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts. It’s the perfect place to pick up a souvenir or two, rounding off your Bakewell experience.

Discover the quaint charm of Bakewell, UK
Discover the quaint charm of Bakewell, UK

3. Castleton

Nestled in the heart of the Peak District, Castleton is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking trails abound, each offering panoramic views that make this village one of the most beautiful places in The East Midlands. Whether you’re an avid hiker or a casual walker, the trails here cater to all levels of fitness and adventure.

But Castleton isn’t just about the great outdoors; it’s also steeped in history. The imposing Peveril Castle overlooks the village, a relic from the 11th century that offers a glimpse into England’s medieval past. A visit to this castle is a must-see in The East Midlands, especially for history aficionados.

When it comes to local crafts, Castleton is renowned for its Blue John stone, a rare form of fluorite with beautiful purple-blue streaks. The village is dotted with shops where you can buy jewelry and ornaments made from this unique stone, making it a must-visit in The East Midlands for those interested in gemology.

And let’s not forget the numerous caves like Speedwell Cavern and Peak Cavern that offer guided tours. These natural wonders provide a fascinating look into the geological history of the area, rounding off what Castleton has to offer.

Immerse yourself in the enchanting allure of Castleton - a haven for those seeking serenity and scenic wonders
Immerse yourself in the enchanting allure of Castleton – a haven for those seeking serenity and scenic wonders

4. Cromford Mills

Cromford Mills isn’t just a place; it’s a chapter in the story of the Industrial Revolution. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-see in The East Midlands for anyone interested in history. The mills, built by Sir Richard Arkwright, revolutionized the cotton industry and changed the world of manufacturing forever.

While the mills themselves are a marvel of engineering, the surrounding area is equally captivating. The Cromford Canal offers a peaceful setting for a leisurely walk, where you can spot a variety of birds and even the occasional otter. It’s one of those beautiful places in The East Midlands where history and nature coexist harmoniously.

Shopping enthusiasts will find joy in the mill shops. From antiques to locally made crafts, there’s a little something for everyone. It’s a must-visit in The East Midlands if you’re looking to pick up unique souvenirs.

End your visit with a stop at the on-site café. Enjoy a cup of tea and a slice of cake as you reflect on the rich history and natural beauty that make Cromford Mills a standout destination.

Visitors strolling through the scenic grounds of Cromford Mills
Visitors strolling through the scenic grounds of Cromford Mills

5. Lincoln Cathedral and Castle

Lincoln Cathedral and Castle are two landmarks that define the city of Lincoln. The cathedral, with its stunning Gothic architecture, is a must-see in The East Midlands. Its intricate facades and towering spires are a photographer’s dream, capturing the essence of medieval England.

Switch gears and head to Lincoln Castle, just a stone’s throw away from the cathedral. The castle houses one of the four original copies of the Magna Carta, making it a significant historical site. It’s one of those places to visit in The East Midlands where you can truly feel the weight of history.

It is not all about the past. The castle’s medieval wall walk offers panoramic views of the city and beyond. It’s one of the most scenic places in The East Midlands, perfect for capturing that Instagram-worthy shot.

Ensure to explore the castle’s Victorian prison before you leave. It offers a sobering look at the penal system of the past, rounding off a visit that’s both educational and awe-inspiring.

Lincoln Cathedral exterior at night, beautifully lit against the dark sky with intricate architectural details
Lincoln Cathedral exterior at night, beautifully lit against the dark sky with intricate architectural details

6. Mersea Island

Mersea Island is a coastal gem that offers a different kind of beauty. Known for its sandy beaches and tranquil waters, it’s a must-see in The East Midlands for beach lovers. The island is a popular spot for sailing, so don’t be surprised to see a flotilla of boats gracing the horizon.

What sets Mersea Island apart is its seafood, especially the oysters. Fresh from the sea, they’re a local delicacy that you can’t miss. It’s one of those places to see in The East Midlands if you’re a foodie at heart.

There’s more to this island than just its beaches and seafood. The Mersea Island Museum offers a deep dive into the island’s history, from its Roman past to its maritime heritage. It’s a must-visit in The East Midlands for history buffs.

Complete your visit with a walk along the coastline as the sun sets. The sky turns into a canvas of colors, offering the perfect end to a day of exploration and indulgence.

Discover tranquility on Mersea Island, where the gentle lull of waves meets the embrace of golden shores
Discover tranquility on Mersea Island, where the gentle lull of waves meets the embrace of golden shores

7. Nottingham

Nottingham, a city steeped in legend and lore, is more than just the home of Robin Hood. It’s a vibrant urban center that offers a mix of the old and the new. From the historic Nottingham Castle to the ultra-modern Nottingham Contemporary art gallery, this city is one of the most beautiful cities in The East Midlands.

Shopping in Nottingham is an experience in itself. The city boasts a range of boutique stores, high-street shops, and vintage markets. If retail therapy is your thing, Nottingham is a must-visit in The East Midlands.

But let’s not forget the city’s rich cultural scene. Theatres, music venues, and art galleries abound, offering something for every taste. It’s one of those places to visit in The East Midlands where you can catch a live performance one night and explore an art exhibit the next.

End your day at one of the city’s many pubs or cocktail bars. Nottingham’s nightlife is as diverse as its daytime activities, making it the perfect place to unwind after a day of exploration.

An image of cobblestone streets in Nottingham, showcasing the city's rich history and architectural charm
An image of cobblestone streets in Nottingham, showcasing the city’s rich history and architectural charm

8. Peak District National Park

If you’re wondering where to go in The East Midlands for breathtaking landscapes, look no further than Peak District National Park. Rolling hills, dramatic cliffs, and serene lakes define this natural wonder. It’s the perfect escape for anyone looking to reconnect with nature.

Outdoor activities here are endless. From hiking and cycling to rock climbing, there’s something for every level of adventurer. The park’s trails offer some of the prettiest places in The East Midlands, especially when the heather is in bloom, painting the hills in shades of purple and pink.

The park isn’t just about natural beauty; it’s also steeped in history. Ancient stone circles and historic villages dot the landscape, adding a layer of intrigue to your visit. It’s one of those must-see destinations in The East Midlands that offers a blend of the past and the present.

Wrap up your day with a visit to one of the local pubs. Enjoy a pint as you soak in the views, a fitting end to a day in one of the best parts of The East Midlands.

Discover serenity in the heart of nature at Peak District National Park
Discover serenity in the heart of nature at Peak District National Park

9. Pilsley and Chatsworth

Pilsley and Chatsworth are like two sides of the same coin, each offering a unique experience. This quaint village serves as the gateway to the grand Chatsworth House. It’s one of those stunning locations in The East Midlands that you simply can’t miss.

Chatsworth House, the seat of the Duke of Devonshire, is an architectural marvel. Its opulent rooms and expansive gardens make it one of the most beautiful places of The East Midlands. Whether you’re an art lover or a history buff, Chatsworth has something for everyone.

Don’t skip the gardens when you visit Chatsworth. Designed by the famous landscape architect Capability Brown, they’re a sight to behold. Fountains, mazes, and sculptures adorn the grounds, making it one of the pretty places in The East Midlands to lose yourself in.

Make sure to visit the Chatsworth Farm Shop in Pilsley before leaving. It’s the perfect place to pick up local produce and souvenirs, rounding off your visit to this charming duo of destinations.

A cobblestone street in Pilsley, revealing its timeless charm and historical significance
A cobblestone street in Pilsley, revealing its timeless charm and historical significance

10. Sherwood Forest

Sherwood Forest, the legendary home of Robin Hood, is more than just a tale of outlaws and archery. It’s one of the best places to visit in The East Midlands for those who love both history and nature. The forest is a sprawling expanse of ancient oaks and lush greenery, offering a tranquil escape from the modern world.

One of the highlights here is the Major Oak, a colossal tree that’s said to have been Robin Hood’s hideout. It’s a must-see in The East Midlands, especially if you’re traveling with kids. The tree’s massive branches and hollow trunk spark the imagination, making you feel like you’ve stepped into a storybook.

Sherwood Forest isn’t just about Robin Hood. It’s also a haven for wildlife. From deer to rare bird species, it’s one of The East Midlands’s beautiful places for nature enthusiasts. Whether you’re an amateur photographer or a seasoned birdwatcher, the forest offers a rich tapestry of flora and fauna to explore.

Stop by the visitor center before leaving the place. It offers interactive exhibits that delve into the forest’s history and ecology, rounding off a visit that’s both educational and enchanting.

Journey into Sherwood Forest's embrace, where the rustle of leaves tells stories only the wise can comprehend
Journey into Sherwood Forest’s embrace, where the rustle of leaves tells stories only the wise can comprehend

11. Tissington Trail

Tissington Trail is a paradise for cyclists and walkers alike. This 13-mile route, built on a former railway line, offers some of The East Midlands’ most stunning scenery. From open meadows to dense woodlands, the trail provides a diverse backdrop for your outdoor adventures.

If you’re visiting The East Midlands, this trail is a must-experience. It’s accessible, well-maintained, and offers various entry and exit points, making it easy to tailor your journey. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll or a challenging bike ride, Tissington Trail delivers.

What sets this trail apart is its The East Midlands beauty. Seasonal wildflowers line the path, and you might even spot some local wildlife like foxes and rabbits. It’s a natural oasis that showcases the region’s biodiversity.

Don’t forget to pack a picnic. There are plenty of scenic spots along the trail where you can relax and soak in the views, making your visit to Tissington Trail a memorable one.

Embrace the tranquility of Tissington Trail as you pedal through nature's masterpiece
Embrace the tranquility of Tissington Trail as you pedal through nature’s masterpiece

12. Wollaton Hall, Gardens and Deer Park

Wollaton Hall is not just a mansion; it’s a testament to The East Midlands’ beauty. Set atop a hill and surrounded by lush gardens and a sprawling deer park, this Elizabethan mansion offers panoramic views that are simply breathtaking. It’s a sight that captures the essence of the region, making it one of the best parts of The East Midlands.

Inside the hall, you’ll find a natural history museum that’s both educational and fascinating. From stuffed animals to geological exhibits, it’s a treasure trove of knowledge. But the real gem is the building itself, with its intricate architecture and lavish rooms.

The gardens and deer park are the perfect complement to the grandeur of the hall. Whether you’re interested in botany or simply want to enjoy a leisurely walk, the grounds offer something for everyone. It’s one of those The East Midlands destinations that caters to a wide range of interests.

Make sure to climb the hill behind the hall before leaving. The view from the top is the perfect way to end your visit, offering a sweeping panorama that encapsulates the beauty and diversity of The East Midlands.

Exterior view of Wollaton Hall, showcasing its historic architecture and lush surroundings
Exterior view of Wollaton Hall, showcasing its historic architecture and lush surroundings

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Visiting the Beautiful Places in The East Midlands  

Eager to discover more about the most beautiful spots in The East Midlands? Here are some questions I commonly encounter about its best attractions.

What is the East Midlands famous for?

The East Midlands is renowned for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and cultural diversity. It’s the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, with historical sites like Cromford Mills offering a glimpse into the past. The region is also famous for its natural beauty, featuring destinations like the Peak District National Park, one of the most beautiful places of The East Midlands. Cities like Nottingham add a layer of legend and lore, thanks to the tales of Robin Hood. Additionally, the East Midlands is a hub for traditional foods, including the iconic Bakewell Tart and Stilton cheese.

Where is the best place to live in East Midlands UK?

Determining the best place to live in the East Midlands depends on your lifestyle and preferences. For those who love the hustle and bustle of city life, Nottingham offers a vibrant urban environment with plenty of amenities. If you prefer a quieter, more rural setting, villages like Ashford in the Water offer tranquility and natural beauty. Lincoln is a great option for those interested in history and architecture, boasting landmarks like Lincoln Cathedral and Castle. Overall, the East Midlands offers a range of living options, making it one of the best parts of The East Midlands for various lifestyles.

How do I get around in the East Midlands?

The East Midlands is well-connected by public transport, including buses and trains, making it one of the most accessible destinations in The East Midlands. Major cities like Nottingham and Lincoln have extensive bus networks, and train services connect various towns and tourist spots. For those who prefer driving, the roads are generally well-maintained and offer scenic routes, especially in areas like the Peak District.

Is East Midlands worth visiting?

Yes, the East Midlands region of England is definitely worth visiting, offering a diverse range of attractions and experiences. Here are some highlights that make it a worthwhile destination:

  1. Historical Sites: The region is rich in history, with landmarks like Lincoln Cathedral, Nottingham Castle, and the ancient city of Leicester. Each of these locations offers a glimpse into England’s deep historical roots.
  2. Natural Beauty: The East Midlands boasts stunning natural landscapes, including the Peak District National Park, which offers excellent opportunities for hiking, cycling, and photography.
  3. Cultural Experiences: Cities like Nottingham, Derby, and Leicester are vibrant cultural hubs with museums, art galleries, theaters, and a lively music scene.
  4. Literary Connections: Nottinghamshire is famously associated with the legend of Robin Hood, and the region has inspired numerous writers, including D.H. Lawrence.
  5. Culinary Delights: The region is known for its traditional British cuisine, including Bakewell tarts from Derbyshire and Stilton cheese, which is locally produced.
  6. Family-Friendly Attractions: There are plenty of attractions for families, including theme parks like Alton Towers, wildlife parks, and interactive museums.
  7. Shopping: From boutique shops in quaint market towns to modern shopping centers in the cities, the East Midlands offers a variety of shopping experiences.
Discover the timeless charm of The East Midlands – where history meets modern elegance
Discover the timeless charm of The East Midlands – where history meets modern elegance

What are the must-see historical sites in the East Midlands?

If you’re a history buff, the East Midlands won’t disappoint. From the medieval splendor of Lincoln Cathedral to the industrial heritage of Cromford Mills, the region is rich in historical landmarks. Nottingham Castle offers a dive into the legend of Robin Hood, making it a must-see in The East Midlands for fans of folklore. Other notable sites include the ruins of Peveril Castle in Castleton and the ancient Major Oak in Sherwood Forest.

What outdoor activities can I enjoy in the East Midlands?

The East Midlands is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a range of activities from hiking and cycling to sailing and fishing. The Peak District National Park is a hotspot for hiking, boasting some of the most scenic places in The East Midlands. Mersea Island is perfect for water sports, while Sherwood Forest offers excellent opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife photography.

What local foods should I try in the East Midlands?

The East Midlands is a food lover’s paradise, offering a variety of local delicacies. Bakewell is famous for its Bakewell Tart, a delicious pastry filled with jam and frangipane. Lincolnshire sausages are another must-try, known for their unique spice blend. Seafood enthusiasts should head to Mersea Island to sample the fresh oysters, making it one of the tastiest places in The East Midlands.

What major cities are in the East Midlands?

The East Midlands region of England encompasses several major cities, each with its own unique character and attractions. Some of the key cities in the East Midlands include:

  1. Nottingham: Known for its association with the legend of Robin Hood, Nottingham is a vibrant city with a rich history. It boasts a variety of cultural attractions, including Nottingham Castle, the City of Caves, and a lively arts and music scene.
  2. Leicester: A city with a rich cultural diversity, Leicester is famous for its historical sites, including the discovery of King Richard III’s remains. The city also offers a vibrant food scene, museums, and the National Space Centre.
  3. Derby: Known as the UK’s “Capital of Innovation,” Derby has a strong industrial heritage, particularly in rail and aero-engineering. It’s also home to the Derby Museum and Art Gallery, which houses a collection of Joseph Wright paintings.
  4. Lincoln: This city is famous for its medieval Lincoln Cathedral, which was once the world’s tallest building, and Lincoln Castle, which houses one of the four original copies of the Magna Carta.
  5. Northampton: Known for its historical shoe-making industry, Northampton also offers cultural attractions like the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery and the Royal & Derngate Theatre.

Final Thoughts on Visiting Beautiful Places in The East Midlands  

As we wrap up our journey through the East Midlands, it’s clear that this region is a treasure trove of diverse experiences. From the historical weight of Lincoln Cathedral and Castle to the natural splendor of the Peak District National Park, the East Midlands offers a little something for everyone. Whether you’re a history aficionado, an outdoor enthusiast, or simply someone looking to explore The East Midlands’ beauty, you won’t be disappointed.

The region’s cities and towns each offer their unique charm and attractions, making it one of the best parts of The East Midlands to explore. And let’s not forget the local cuisine, from the iconic Bakewell Tart to the fresh oysters of Mersea Island, that adds a flavorful touch to your travels.

So, if you’re flying to England, make sure to visit The East Midland and take the time to explore its many facets. Whether it’s the bustling city life of Nottingham, the serene landscapes of Mersea Island, or the quaint charm of villages like Ashford in the Water, the East Midlands is more than just a travel destination; it’s a region that captures the essence of England in all its diversity.

The most beautiful places in The East Midlands for all types of travelers
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