This green and pleasant land, this sceptred isle, this crucible of empire and pioneer of parliamentary democracy, is the most eccentric, extraordinary and downright intriguing place on Earth.
From the Roman remains of Hadrian’s Wall to London’s incomparable theatre scene, England is full of astounding variety. In the cities, the streets buzz day and night, filled with tempting shops and restaurants, and some of the finest museums in the world. After dark, cutting-edge clubs, top-class performing arts and formidable live music provide a string of nights to remember. Next day, you’re deep in the English countryside or enjoying a classic seaside resort. There really is something for everyone, whether you’re eight or 80, going solo or travelling with your friends, your kids or your grandma.
A journey through England is a journey through history. But not history that’s dull and dusty, history you can feel and re-live. You can lay your hands on the ancient megaliths of a 5000-year-old stone circle, or walk the battlements of a medieval fortress – just as they were patrolled by the chain-mail-clad many centuries ago. Visit the sites of the legend of King Arthur, Shakespeare’s sonnets and the palaces of royals – past and present. Then fast forward to the future and you’re admiring 21st-century architecture in Manchester, or exploring the space-age domes of Cornwall’s Eden Project.
English Spoken Here
And while England has developed a culture and tradition that may appear complex, on the surface at least it’s familiar to many visitors thanks to a vast catalogue of British film and TV exports. The same applies when it comes to communication; this is home turf for the English language. For many visitors this means no need to carry a phrasebook – although you might get a little confused by local accents in places such as Devon or Liverpool.
Easy Does It
Travel here is a breeze. Granted, it may not be totally effortless, but it’s easy compared with many parts of the world. And although the locals may grumble (in fact, it’s a national pastime) public transport is very good, and a train ride through the English landscape can be a highlight in itself. But whichever way you get around, in this compact country you’re never far from the next town, the next pub, the next restaurant, the next national park or the next impressive castle on your hit list of highlights. The choice is endless, and we’ve hand-picked the best places for you – but don’t let this stop you from making your own discoveries.