Lonely Planet names England one of the world’s top countries for 2020

England took second place in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020, which celebrates its extensive coastal paths.

Beach at sunrise
Published: October 29th, 2019 at 1:54 pm
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Lonely Planet has named England one of the world’s top countries for travellers in it’s Best in Travel 2020, the annual collection of the best travel destinations, trends, journeys, and experiences to have in the year ahead.


The country came second place only to Bhutan, which was awarded first place as it is set to become the first fully organic nation by 2020.

Meanwhile England was praised for its long and accessible coastal paths, and beautiful scenery. Long holding a special place in the nation’s heart, the seaside was a major factor in awarding the country second place.


According to research by Visit England, 48% of British people find going to the beach or doing seaside activities appealing when on holiday in the UK.

In addition, the seaside was found to be the largest destination for overnight domestic holidays in England in 2018, with 35% of all overnight domestic holidays including at least one night in a seaside destination.

Research also found that 58% of people consider going for a long country or coastal walk whilst on holiday in England.

Now, with new sections of the England Coast Path continuing to open during 2020, coastal walks are set to improve. Once completed, the path will be the longest continuous trail of its kind in the world at almost 3,000 miles, giving people access to England’s entire coastline for the first time. People will be able to walk over access land to explore beaches up and down the country.

The entry in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020 states: “Brexit uncertainties have dominated the headlines in recent years, but one constant amid all the confusion has been the timeless treasures that England is famous for: The historic castles and cathedrals, the quaint villages and rolling countryside, and of course, the seaside.

“Taking a bracing walk on a windswept pier, eating delicious fish and chips, searching for marine life in rockpools, finding fossils in ancient cliffs, building sandcastles and dolphin-spotting on picturesque beaches are just some of the activities offered by the English seaside.”

Low Tide on Holy Island

Lonely Planet’s experts listed several unmissable experiences in England, including:

  • The magical history tour that is Northumberland’s coast: home to dramatic castles, offshore islands with puffins and seals, and the spectacular Holy Island.
  • The Norfolk Coast: a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for over 50 years.
  • The South West Coast Path, which lures hikers with its wonderful walks and photogenic views.


Sam is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for wildlife and the outdoors.


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