A Few Places to Visit on Your Trip to Britain
There's so much to see in the UK and it's no wonder people come from all over to visit this much loved place ‘set in the silver sea' to quote Shakespeare. Whether it's the rugged coastline, the rolling hills and green meadows, or its quaint architecture from yesteryear, Britain is a great place to visit not just once, but over and over again. Here are a few suggestions of places you can try to soak up some of the atmosphere of this much loved place.
The Cotswolds - Quintessential England!
One of the first images that come to people's minds when they think of England is perhaps the beautiful rural landscape of the Cotswolds. Stretching from the centre of England right down to close by the south coast, these undulating meadows and sweet villages with their distinctive sandstone houses represent England at its unadulterated finest. If approaching from the north, one of the first villages on your itinerary will undoubtedly be the sleepy village of Moreton in the Marsh, for many the gateway into the Cotswolds. Visit on a Tuesday and you will experience the hustle and bustle of the town's traditional market that has been an integral part of Morton in the Marsh for centuries. Nearby Batsford, famed for its arboretum, really comes into its own during the colourful months of Autumn, well worth a visit anytime of the year but the flaming reds and gentle yellows and a million hues between make the year's end the perfect time to call. Heading just a little farther south lies beautiful Burford, winner of numerous Britain's best town awards of one form or another over the years largely for its quaint high street which offers endless photo opportunities in this place that is quintessential England at its best.
England's South West
England's south west offers some of the finest scenery in Britain with Cornwall's sandy coves, weather worn cliffs and wind raked meadows. Heading east lays Dorset's famous Jurassic Coast, a goldmine for fossil hunters with a prehistoric treasure trove embedded within its geologic strata. Further east again and you may wish to experience the delights of Durdle Door, a gigantic archway of rock carved out by the pounding waves of the Atlantic. Just a gentle walk away is nearby Lulworth Cove replete with little bobbing boats, an undisputed beauty spot that has featured in many a period drama.
Edgehill and Burton Dassett - Gorgeous views and strange goings-on
Between Banbury and Warwick, just on the edge of the Cotswolds lays the lovely village of Edgehill. Set, as its name implies, atop a prominent hill, this elevated village overlooks gorgeous swathes of unbroken Warwickshire countryside. The village is largely dominated by what appears to be a miniature castle built in the 1740s, now the Castle Inn which serves as a village pub, a restaurant and a hotel with hard to beat views.
The expansive fields down below are in fact the site of the first battle of the English Civil War way back in 1642. Rather eerily, a well documented ghostly incident took place here around the Christmas of the same year when the night sky turned into a gigantic paranormal theatre. Several witnesses say they saw, and later swore the same under oath, a paranormal re-enactment of the battle played out on the dark canopy of the night sky. The startled shepherds out on Edgehill fled to nearby Kineton, woke up the village sheriff, told him about it, who in turn took a group of men to see it for themselves, and sure enough, they saw and heard it too. Heard it because the whole spectral display came accompanied with canon fire and gunshots. Maybe if you spend a night here, you'll see something too. Others have seen odd and spooky goings-on on here over the years.
Make of it what you will, the terrestrial panorama though is enough for most visitors to admit that Edgehill is an undeniably idyllic little spot smack bang in the middle of the country and truly fits the description of little old England. The nearby and closely associated Burton Dassett Hills are likewise a spot of unspoiled Warwickshire at its finest offering a dramatic viewing point, not only for the wide expanse of fields and meadows stretching off into the horizon, but also from which to admire a blazing sunset.
Less than 15 miles down the road from Edgehill and Burton Dassett is the historic town of Warwick, famed perhaps more than anything for its staggeringly well preserved castle, parts of which date all the way back 1000 years. Flanking the flowing waters of the River Avon, a perfect camera shot of the gigantic Mediaeval structure awaits if you position yourself on the historic bridge spanning the Avon and nearby St. Nicholas Park, another ideal place to relax amidst the trees and flowers of a summer's day. On the other hand, if you happen to visit England in the winter, and are lucky enough to be around after snowfall, the castle turns into an unsurpassed winter wonderland. Really, each season has its appeal in Britain.
A quick jaunt round town reveals quaint Tudor architecture everywhere with characteristic crisscrossing oak beams that have been there for hundreds of years. A perfect example of this kind of building is the Lord Leycester Hospital which strikes that olde-worlde vibe so precisely it was used as a set for BBC's Doctor Who in an episode featuring non other than William Shakespeare. Talking of which, it would be a crime to miss the nearby town where the renowned wordsmith was born...
Stratford Upon Avon
Besides its theatrical heritage replete the world famous Royal Shakespeare Company and, of course, the birthplace of the Great Bard in Henley Street, Stratford Upon Avon presents a pleasant picture of old meets new. Right in the heart of the town the main streets converge on the little clock tower on the roundabout close to where the market is held. Head in any direction and you'll find a host of eating options and cosy pubs offering a range of bard inspired real ales to enjoy beside an open fire of a cold winter's day. Like Warwick, the town has Tudor houses in abundant supply which work towards the unmistakable charm of the town.
There aren't many visitors to the UK that will want to bypass London. One of the most unique and perhaps quirky cities in the world, England's capital has an endless variety of sites for the visitor such as regal Buckingham Palace where you can see the iconic Changing of the Guard, or maybe take a few photos of Big Ben against the backdrop of the Houses of Parliament alongside the Thames, or perhaps relax amidst the natural delights of Kew Gardens. No city anywhere can quite capture London's very unique charm.
Don't Miss Scotland
Travel all the way from England's capital to Scotland's, Edinburgh, with its winding historic streets of cobbled stone, alleyways and castles. It makes a fitting contrast to London and some insist they prefer it. Of course, you'll only know if you try it.
Don't forget the majestic Highlands too when in Scotland. The wild and rugged landscape is the perfect antidote to modern life and is amongst the most unspoilt places in the UK. The crystal clear lochs reflect like a mirror the nearby mountains and are beautiful places to simply sit and relax while tuning back into nature. The area also offers a plentiful supply of fresh seafood and meat all produced locally. Don't forget to visit another of Scotland's greatest man made features too, one of its malt whiskey distilleries for which Scotland is world famous. Come and try a sample.
There's more to the UK than this, of course. A lot more. But trying out a few of these places will give you a taster of at least a good part of Britain. So much so, you're almost certain to come back