Exploring EnglandOur Travel Guide
The majority of tourists land in London and head straight to the most popular spots and they are certainly worth seeing. But venture out by taking a bus, or train or even better renting a car. Travel into the countryside and experience the Lake District or head to the coast.
England is wonderful and the people are warm and friendly, especially outside of London. England and the UK should be on everyone’s travel list.
England at a Glance
UK power voltage is 230 V 50Hz; Plug G
UK currency is the British Pound and is around 0.70 GPB for 1 USD
The cheapest way to travel around is via the Megabus, where fares start around $1.50 USD. Also, the train system is outstanding and a great way to travel.
In the UK, cars drive on the left side of the road. Remember to look to the RIGHT before stepping off a curb.
- Sight Seeing 95% 95%
- Cost 85% 85%
- Ease of Travel 90% 90%
- Activities 95% 95%
Having lived in England, I can honestly say to start your adventure in London and then spread out. Take a bus, a train or rent a car and explore the country. Just remember to always take a rain coat with you.
Top 7 Experiences in England
1. Tour London
London is a world-class city with a vibrant night-life, historical areas, eclectic neighborhoods and a plethora of hotels, pubs, parks and shops.
Some of our favorites:
The Tower of London – though looking a bit grim outside, it has a rich history. And you can see the crown jewels. Definitely with the trip.
Buckingham Palace – Almost every time I have gone to London (probably about 40 now), I head to Buckingham Palace. It can get crowded, but the park and palace are wonderful.
Westminster Abbey – Though most people know it due to some royal weddings, the abbey is the final resting place for many famous people including Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Dickens and Rudyard Kipling, among others. It is really a must see but be aware that it can get very crowded. Also, no photos inside.
The Tower Bridge, Piccadilly Circus and the Houses of Parliament – We have grouped these together as you will probably see and admire them. Big Ben is the clock tower at the Houses of Parliament and Piccadilly Circus will remind you (a bit) of Times Square in New York. And yes, that is the Tower Bridge, not the London Bridge (which is in Arizona).
The London Eye – For great views (not a thrilling ride), the London Eye is worth a visit if you have time.
Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill – More than 1,000 merchants are here in the area that Julie Roberts and Hugh Grant made famous.
There are many more areas to see within London such as Camden Market, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Before you go to England, decide what you are interested in (history, the royals, WWII, Jack the Ripper, etc.) and there is undoubtedly a tour or area that will interest you. London truly is a city for all people.
2. Attend a West End Show
Catching a show in London’s West End theater district is a must-do. Having seen The Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon, Mamma Mia and many others, we cannot recommend this enough. Also, we have found that prices are reasonable compared to Broadway in New York.
If you are not into the theater, go for a wander around at night and head to dinner. There are many world-class restaurants and pubs in the area of all sizes and prices.
3. Visit the British Museum
For us, the British Museum is worth its own headline. The Museum is both an architectural beauty and contains some of the world’s most noted antiquities. Many will tell you that it is the best Museum in London.
With over 8 million artifacts, the British Museum can seem overwhelming. Pick the areas that most interest you and plan on return trips to see more. Kati and I both love archaeology and exploration and the British Museum is a dream come true. From the Rosetta Stone to the Elgin Marbles, head here and immerse yourself into the history of the world.
One of the best aspects of the museum? It’s free.
4. Warwick Castle
Less than 2 hours from London is Warwick Castle. Warwick Castle is a medieval castle developed from a wooden fort, originally built by William the Conqueror during 1068. The original wooden motte-and-bailey castle was rebuilt in stone during the 12th century.
It is also worthwhile to get out of the city for the trip here. Take the train. It takes about a half hour longer, but if you don’t have a car, it is the best way to get there and also to see the country side.
5. Lake District National Park
The Lake District for me, is like a dream. It is a mountainous region in North West England and famous for its lakes, forests and mountains, and its associations with William Wordsworth and other Lake Poets and also with Beatrix Potter and John Ruskin.
On a typical day, there are many trains heading to the Lake District from London. It takes about 3 1/2 hours and is well worth a few days. Walk, hike, trek, hire a boat, go for a swim, or rent a bicycle.
We recommend at least 2 full days in the Lake District, but you could stay longer and not be disappointed.
6. The Cotswolds
Famous for its quintessentially English market towns and villages, the Cotswolds is about two hours from London. We recommend traveling by car as it is comprised of small villages and you will want to explore each one.
The Cotswolds covers a huge area – almost 800 square miles – and runs through five counties (Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Worcestershire). One of the delights of visiting the Cotswolds is exploring the different areas, each with its own identity.
If you don’t know the Cotswolds, you have certainly seen them. Many films have been filmed here including Harry Potter, Braveheart, Star Wars, Die Another Day, and many others.
We recommend at least two full days to explore the Cotswolds, but a week is more appropriate.
7. Other Areas
There are other areas of England that are worth a trip including Cambridge, Oxford, Bath and Stonehenge. Also, Stratford-upon-Avon for the Shakespeare Festival is also worthwhile, but we feel the those are secondary to the above top six.
In the end, wherever you go, we are sure you will love England.
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