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England Travel Guide

Updated on February 4, 2013

London Tower Bridge

London Tower Bridge
London Tower Bridge

England Guide Introduction

England comprises all the possible faces, from the vibrant cities to the old customs, to the avant-garde culture, charming beaches and craggy mountains. Here you can find London, the biggest city in Europe and one of the most famous attractions in the whole world – Stonehenge, the white rocks in Dover, St Paul’s Cathedral and London Eye. England is divided into several regions, each one having its own history, culture and traditions. In the North Country you’ll find the gorgeous lakes, mountains, castles, coastline and national parks, combined with the medieval city of York and the lively cities of Liverpool and Manchester, renowned for the culture of football and music.

In Midlands you can find the vibrant cities of Birmingham and Nottingham, as well as a mixture of culture and history in the city where Shakespeare was born, Stratford-upon-Avon. London is the biggest economical center in the world and it’s filled with cultural attractions for every age. Eastern England is a small corner of untouched nature, with seaside resorts and the academic city of Cambridge. The other historical academic city of England, Oxford, is located in the south-east, and on the southern coastline you will find excellent beaches and resorts like Brighton, historical cities and cathedrals in Winchester and Canterbury. The west offers the craggy coastline of Cornwall and excellent conditions for surfing and in the south west you can visit the scenic villages in Cotswolds, Somerset, Devon, the cathedral in Salisbury and Stonehenge.

United as a single nation 1000 years ago, England dates back to the beginning of civilization, this fact being easily noticeable in the diverse attractions. Due to the variety of the invaders, colonist and immigrants that have arrived here over the centuries, Anglia own today a rich culture mixture, being one of the favorite destination for tourist from all over the world.

London Night Traffic

London Night Traffic
London Night Traffic

England's Tourist Attractions

  • London – The Parliament Building, Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral.
  • Buckingham Palace, designed by John Nash, is the official royal residence since 1837.
  • The tower of London is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Britain and homes Crown Jewels since 1303. The Tower has been a palace, prison, treasury, zoo and arsenal. It was the home of every Monarch from William the Conqueror (11th Century) to Henry the VIII (16th Century).
  • Windsor Castle, the largest inhabited castle in the world, is one of the Queen's official residences. It houses excellent works of art including masterpieces by Rembrandt, Rubens, Holbein and Van Dyck as well as magnificent French and English furniture and porcelain.
  • Gaze upon the capital city from the top of the London Eye, located on the southern bank of Thames, just across Westminster.
  • Admire king’s Henry the VIII lifestyle at the Hampton Palace Court, in western London, near Thames’ bank.
  • Make a tour of the museums, churches and galleries in London.
  • Admire the architecture of the historical academic cities of Oxford and Cambridge.
  • Visit the circular stones, 5000 years old, in Stonehenge, one of the greatest ancient monuments in the world.
  • Enjoy the Roman baths in the lovely city of Bath.
  • Admire the architecture in the city of York, with its magnificent cathedral, the biggest church in the northern Europe, the city walls and the Viking past.
  • Visit the medieval cathedrals in Norwich, Lincoln and Durham.
  • Go to a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theater in Stratford-upon-Avon.
  • The Lake District National Park is one of the most beautiful regions in England providing an exciting mix of mountains and lakes, including 16 lakes and 53 tarns. The region has charming villages and tracks for hiking.

British Cuisine

England’s cuisine has been shaped by the country’s mild climate, geography and history. The traditional meals like bread with cheese, fried meat or stew, meat pie and fish have ancient roots, and today, the other traditional dishes like fish with French fries and sausages with mashed potatoes and sauce are rivaled by dishes coming from America, India and China. Once considered an enemy, the culinary habits from France and Italy are now admired and imitated. Furthermore, England has adopted the fast food products from the United States.

Among the best know traditional dishes in England there are Fish and Chips (usually eaten by hand, on a piece of paper), Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding (along with potatoes and vegetables), Steak and Kidney Pie (a pie filled with meat, kidney and sauce) and Cornish Pastie (meat, potatoes and other vegetables wrapped with a crispy dough).

England's History

There are archeological discoveries that indicate the fact that England has been colonized by humans a long time before the other territories from the BritishIslands. Remnants of bones and tools show that homo erectus lived in what is now England around 700.000 years ago. Back then England was united with the European continent through a strip of land. The first visitors in England were farmers-gatherers from Europe, around 8000 BC, and they were followed by Belgians, Celts and Galls, starting the trend for the multi-cultural Britain of today.

When the Romans invaded in AD 43, they found a highly developed, tribal-based island culture in Britain, but they had to abandon the land to protect its empire. The Anglo-Saxons were the next group to lay claim to the land, followed by the Vikings. In 1066 the Norman Conquest brought great changes to the language and customs. In the middle ages there were difficult times, the war with France, political and religious revolts, and recurring bouts of the Black Plague took their toll on the people. Towards the end of the Middle Age, the Tudor family began a dynasty that included the much-married Henry VIII and ended with Queen Elizabeth I.

During Queen Victoria’s reign, in the 19th century, England’s power expanded around the globe. But the 20th century followed, which was a troubled time for the British: Two costly wars and the loss of empire took their toll on the economy and the national psyche.

Useful Info

It is well known that the weather is a permanent topic for discussions in England, and that is due to its changing behavior. One can never tell how the weather will by the next day. The least pleasant months are from November to February, when it’s cold and the days are short. The most pleasant months are certainly from April to September. In this period most attractions are opened for visits and the tourist season is at its full. The less bright side of things is that July and August are very crowded months. The coastline, national parks, London and popular cities like Oxford, Bath and York are filled with people.

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