5 Unique Experiences in England on a Cruise to Europe | Princess Cruises

A land of great variety, England is famous for its astounding cultural attractions and impressive historic landmarks. But there's more to England than meets the eye. Beyond the buzzing streets of London and the famed royal grounds are countless hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Here are five unique experiences you may not associate with England that will give your cruise to Europe a very special touch.

Natural Beauty at the White Cliffs of Dover

Dover is the gateway to London's cosmopolitan delights, as well as Kent's historic features, but before you speed along to these destinations, stop for a memorable walk along the storied White Cliffs of Dover. Seen for miles away from the ocean, the cliffs are one of England's most dramatic natural hallmarks. The visitor's center is where the adventure begins, and from here you'll get a glance at the busiest shipping lane in the world before starting one of the top British walks. You'll also see France if you take a hard look at the horizon.

Charm and Quirk in Guernsey

Those with an appetite for unspoiled destinations will enjoy the second-largest of the Channel Islands, which sits just eight miles off the coast of France. The picturesque capital of Guernsey is called St. Peter Port, where you can walk through narrow streets and almost vertical steps that lead to stunning castles, quirky markets and even Victor Hugo's eccentric former home.

Scenic England at Its Best in Cornwall

Dramatic seascapes, whimsical villages and a colorful countryside only begin to describe this destination. Legend and history tell of a past filled with privateering, shipwrecks and smugglers galore. With such a fascinating backdrop, Cornwall offers visitors many attractions difficult to find elsewhere. Head to charming villages in Land's End, St. Ives, Polperro or St. Michael's Mount, and enjoy Cornwall's unparalleled beauty.

Cultural Heritage in Liverpool

Yes, this is the home of the Beatles, but besides its rock 'n' roll reputation, Liverpool offers unique cultural experiences rarely found in other parts of England. Take for example Port Sunlight, a model village in Merseyside built by magnate William Hesketh Lever for his soap factory workers, now home to the Port Sunlight Museum. Or the Steam Railways, which were the world's first scheduled intercity railways hauled by locomotives. You can hop on a steam locomotive today and get a glimpse of the way people traveled in the past. There are many other tours to choose from while in Liverpool, a vibrant city worth visiting during a cruise to Europe.

London on Your Own

Regular London tours are packed with exciting attractions you shouldn't miss, but taking a solo tour enables you to design your very own adventure and make room for detours along the way. Look for uncommon places to spice up the experience, like grabbing a bite at one of the 13 remaining cabmen's shelters -- green huts built in the 1880s to feed cab drivers. They still serve delicious food and drinks to this day. Or make a stop at the British Film Institute, an obvious destination for film lovers, but an exciting option if you're searching for one of the best kept secrets in all of London. Head to the Benugo Bar inside the institute and take a close look at the bookshelf in the room. You'll find a hidden door that leads to a secret bar serving classy cocktails and canapés for those curious enough to discover the old-fashioned lounge. These things aren't easy to fit into an ordinary tour, and designing your own is the best way to allow for serendipity to happen.