1. EXETER: A lovely Devon city and though it was badly bombed in the Second World War's 'Baedeker raids' many delightful buildings remain from an earlier era.

2. YORK: Medieval streets feature many ancient inns and restaurants in which to dally, not to mention numerous teashops, including the famous Betty's.

3. NORWICH: It is a vibrant local centre, with all the shops and other services you'd expect, but also full of pretty and historic streets and ancient houses.

4. LICHFIELD: The surrounding city is a pretty heritage destination and the birthplace of Samuel Johnson. Do not miiss his house, which is open to the public, or the 18th century home of the extraordinary Erasmus Darwin, leading doctor quirky inventor/scientist, poet and grandfather of Charles.

5. GLOUCESTER: The city may not be as quaint as some, but it has a vibrant multicultural feel that combines historic architecture with lots of high-street and specialist shops, plus teashops, restaurants, wine bars and pubs.

6. SALISBURY: Exceptionally beautiful and packed with half timbered buildings,it has a famous market plus loads of quaint places to eat and drink. A walk through the cathedral close is a must-it is one of the nicest in the country as it is full of period buildings.

7. WINCHESTER: Do not miss the 13th century The Great Hall , all now that remains of Winchester Castle. It contains what is supposedly King Arthur's Round Table.

8. LINCOLN: Astonishingly historic. It has one of the earliest surviving townhouses in England.

9. ELY: The city of Ely is small but full of charm and beauty-and do not miss the historic Oliver Cromwell's house.

10. WELLS: Pretty little Wells is worth a visit on its own, with lots of lovely buildings, pubs and teashops.

11. ST.DAVIDS: If towns with Cathedrals are by definition cities, St. Davids must be the smallest city in Britain, with a population of only just over 1,600. Next door of the Cathedral is the ruin of the Bishop's Palace, once a grand fortified residence.

12. DURHAM: The historic city is made almost an island by the giant curve in the river Wear, and is a delight to wandler around.