Jolly pints on the green isle
In the 50,346 square miles of England, you are never 75 miles away from the ocean or more than a day's journey to the capital city of London. The entire United Kingdom is just over the size of Minnesota, yet within it, you’ll find an impressive breadth of landscapes. Chalk cliffs, limestone peaks, black moors, and vast lakes make each area distinctly alluring and with more than 5,000 years of history to experience, you’ll go from Victorian manors to Medieval Castles in a single afternoon.
In merry England, everything is the same, just slightly different. The buses are red, the cabs are black, and don’t forget to look right before you cross a London street for a pint at a local pub. Grab Fish ‘n Chips before saluting Big Ben whilst on an afternoon stroll through Westminster. The capital isn’t the only place to get your culture fix, leave the “Big Smoke” to enjoy the city-sounds of Brighton, Manchester, or York--the list goes on. Enjoy a countryside excursion to Stonehenge—a pre-historic monument which still puzzles archeologists to this day.
The Elizabeth Tower at the north end of Westminster, affectionately known as “Big Ben” has faithfully kept time since 1859--through six monarchs and two world wars. Today, much of the Gothic Revival architecture is obscured by scaffolding, but you can still see the ornate clock face, 23 feet in diameter, as you stroll the north bank of the River Thames. The restored exterior is scheduled to be unveiled in early 2020.
Every year 15 million people visit Buckingham Palace, making it the most popular tourist attraction in London. Though you can only see the 775 interior rooms during the summer, the iconic changing of the guard takes place year-round—though not daily so check the schedule. Get there at 10:45 am to see the Queen’s Guard wearing the traditional bearskin hats, hand over the watch with great pomp and circumstance.
Originally a timber rampart fortifying London’s seaward side, over the centuries the Tower of London became an infamous fortress and political prison where the likes of Ann Bolyn were publicly executed. From the White Tower outlook, get the best view of London Bridge—where the heads of decapitated corpses used to serve as a warning to the public that loyalty to the crown was non-negotiable.
Stonehenge is one of the most enigmatic sites in the world. The towering sarsens were transported over 140 miles and erected with painstaking accuracy using interlocking joints. Drive to the Wiltshire countryside to see the prehistoric monument for yourself. Most agree that the circle of stones--the largest of which weigh 25 tons—is some sort of temple aligned with the solar movements, but beyond that, it remains a mystery.
Prepare to become a Romantic in the lush surrounding of England’s Lake District. Here, in the green peaks and wooded low lands of northwest Cumbria, impassioned poets like William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge drew inspiration. You won’t be required to write about your stay, but most visitors can’t help but wax poetic about their time in this 912 square miles of protected countryside.
A symbol of England, the White Cliffs of Dover look eastward to the continent of mainland Europe. Walk or cycle the chalky outcrop—home to various orchids and butterflies in the summer months. Tour the forgotten defences of Fan Bay Deep, a network of underground tunnels from the 1940s. Go back in time even further with a visit to the South Foreland Lighthouse, the victorian guidepost constructed in 1843 and active until 1988.
Nature lovers will want to pitch a tent in the Peak District National Park for a couple of days. Paraglide over Hope Valley or rock climb the black peaks of the Staffordshire Moorlands. Relax with a morning canoe through Tittesworth Reservoir and see if you can spot a red deer darting through the ash woodlands. Jane Austen fans may enjoy a visit to one of the area’s country manors, some of which date back to the 12th century.
In England, the weather is temperate, yet unpredictable. Sun and rain alternate year-round with summer being the warmest and busiest season for tourism. Temperatures range from the mid-60s to the high-70s, but bring your umbrella as it’s still likely to rain. Winter temperatures rarely drop below 32 degrees, but clouds and precipitation make it a less popular time for visitors. You may want to consider skipping across the pond in spring or autumn, for generally dry and pleasant weather.
Fast & easy travel planning
Individually designed dream trips
Personal advice from Tourlane experts
Flights, itineraries, guides - all from a single source
Free and non-binding offers