Why We Love England

This green and scepter’d isle has played a significant role in the history of Europe and the world for millenia, and that history can be seen and felt everywhere from Stonehenge to Canterbury to London. This is a country that begins and ends with one of the world’s greatest cities, yet is defined by the delightful villages to be found down any curving two-lane country road. Home of the Mother Tongue of English, it is a land rich in literature, drama, scholarship and fun, where both Shakespeare and the Beatles are universally recognized. Home of an Empire upon which the sun never set, England today is a busy, peaceful, welcoming place where a cup of tea and a biscuit or a pint of a good ale savored in front of a fire is proof that civilization still exists in the world.

Top Destinations in England

Stonehenge

Erected between 3000 and 1600 BC, this giant stone circle stands on Salisbury Plain and is considered today to be one of the most famous surviving sites from the ancient world. There are also many burial mounds nearby, as well as long barrows from the Neolithic Age, the most famous of which is West Kennet Long Barrow. Visitors can check out the museum detailing the various theories about how Stonehenge came to be.

London

England’s capital and one of the great cities in the world. From Big Ben to Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament along the River Thames, the dreaded Tower of London and London Bridge, Shakespeare’s Old Globe theatre, dozens of museums, and world-class shopping, there is never a lack of things to see and do.

Cornwall and Devon

England’s two southwestern counties offer wonderful seaside villages, winding roads through the countryside, desolate moorland where the Baskerville hounds howled, scads of history and delicious creams and goodies for tea time.

Bath and the Cotswolds

Famous for its 2,000-year-old Roman baths and honey-colored Georgian townhouses, Bath is also gateway to the lovely hills and dales of the Cotswolds, where hunters and hounds often chase over the fields.

Windsor Castle

Just one (albeit the most famous) of many castles to be found throughout the country, Windsor is still home to the ruling royal family, and often boasts a bit of pomp and circumstance.

Yorkshire

The northernmost county in England, the sweeping rural views are magnificent. Don’t miss the historic old cities of Durham and York and wander atop Hadrian’s Wall, built by the Romans to keep those warlike Scots at bay.

OxBridge

Both Oxford (in the southwest) and Cambridge (in the midlands) are ancient seats of learning. You can almost soak up knowledge just wandering through the tiny streets of these two wonderful old cities, where cap and gowned masters still stroll or bike through the green quads.

The Lake District

England’s most scenic corner boasts more than 12 beautiful, mountain-ringed lakes, tiny villages, hiking trails and country inns in the northwest corner of the country that inspired Wordsworth, among many others.

Canterbury

Long the ecclesiastic center of England, where Chaucer’s pilgrims made their way to the magnificent Cathedral, archbishops have lived and died, this busy city in the southeast is still worthy of a visit. It’s also a gateway to the beaches and countryside of Kent and the English Channel beaches.

Articles

The Really Big Show

Culture
Great Britain’s Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 and in 1833 it began holding flower shows to demonstrate new species and show off the skill of British gardeners.... Read More

The Really Big Show

Culture
Great Britain’s Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 and in 1833 it began holding flower shows to demonstrate new species and show off the skill of British gardeners.... Read More

The Shakespeare of Gardening

Culture
Three hundred years ago, the fifth son of the land agent and chambermaid at the great house of Kirkharle in Northumberland was born. They named him Lancelot, but history... Read More

The Shakespeare of Gardening

Culture
Three hundred years ago, the fifth son of the land agent and chambermaid at the great house of Kirkharle in Northumberland was born. They named him Lancelot, but history... Read More

Explore the Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl

Culture
Anyone with a child or grandchild aged about 12 years and under probably has a book by the prolific Welsh-born author Roald Dahl on the bookshelf. Charlie and the... Read More

Explore the Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl

Culture
Anyone with a child or grandchild aged about 12 years and under probably has a book by the prolific Welsh-born author Roald Dahl on the bookshelf. Charlie and the... Read More

Overview

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,-
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England.

As usual, Shakespeare (in his play Richard II) had it exactly right. The sceptered isle is indeed a blessed plot, and one that never fails to impress itself on visitors.

From the Roman-built Hadrian’s Wall in the far north to the 24/7 buzz that is London, England is full of amazing variety. The cities are filled with culture, history and commerce; the countryside offers tranquility, peace and scenic beauty.

Anywhere one goes, there are several layers of history to unpack. You can touch the rough-hewn stones of a 5,000-year-old megalith or walk on the ramparts of a medieval castle. Follow the legend and myths of King Arthur, walk through the meadow where King John signed the Magna Carta, or tour the dank catacombs beneath the Tower of London where so may royal figures met their ends.

Or celebrate England’s modern culture. Take in a play at the ancient Globe, or one of London’s West End showplaces. Wander through one of dozens of world-class museums and admire the creativity of mankind that has been preserved through the ages. Visit the places that inspired the sonnets and novels and plays that continue to inspire and entertain us today.

It is said that when one tires of London, one tires of life. The same can be said for England as a whole. “This happy breed of men, this little world, this precious stone set in the silver sea…” perfectly sums up what a visitor is likely to encounter anywhere one goes.

Quick Facts

English, of course, is the official language. In London and other major cities, it is never difficult to find someone who also speaks one of the European tongues as well.

The official currency is the English pound sterling (£). The pound is divided by 100 pence. The U.S. dollar buys approximately £0.70.

The electrical current in England is 240V and the cycle is 50Hz and you will need a converter if you have appliances that don't accept this voltage. Square three-pin plugs are standard.

Internet connections and WiFi spots are found throughout the country. Most major hotels provide good accessibility.

Visitors from the United States (and most other Western nations) are not required to have a visa to enter the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland). A valid passport is required for entry.

Tap water throughout the U.K. is treated and purified and is safe to drink.

The United Kingdom is in the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) zone. The U.K. observes daylight savings time from the last Sunday in October to the last Sunday in March. When it is noon in New York, it is 5 p.m. in London.

Although visitors arrive year-round, England’s peak tourist season is in the summer months: May through October.

Average High and Low Temperatures

Things To Do in England

British Museum

The storied museum first opened in 1759 and contains some of the most noteworthy art objects in all of human history, including specimens from the Egyptian pyramids, the Greek Parthenon facades, and pieces from the Roman Empire. Admission is still free to all.

Canterbury Cathedral

Considered to be the most popular Christian Structure in England, it is the cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury, home of the Church of England.The church was rebuilt from 1070 to 1077 and was made larger. It was then renovated to have a Gothic style in 1174 in order to be able to house pilgrims who came to visit the shrine of Thomas Becket, the archbishop who was murdered in the cathedral in the 1170.

Tower of London

Also known as Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress, this historical castle is located on the North bank of the River Thames in central London. It was founded at the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. It served as a royal residence and contains a complex of several buildings within the two concentric rings of defensive walls. Throughout history it has been besieged several times and has been used as a treasury, menagerie and at the same time an armory.

Stratford Upon Avon & The Globe Theatre

Every writer and literature lover in the world is sure to be thrilled to visit Shakespeare’s hometown. Stratford has been surprisingly well-preserved to show some of the remnants of the life of the English poet and playwright who has been regarded as the greatest writer in the English language. In London, during the summer months, one can still attend a play at the famed Globe Theatre, restored to its Elizabethan glory on London’s South Bank.

Westminster Abbey

This large Gothic Church located in the City of Westminster, London is where almost every English king or queen since William the Conqueror has been coronated and where many of them are buried as well. Other famous citizens from the time of Oliver Cromwell are also buried inside the Abbey, including the famous Poet’s Corner in the South Transept where Chaucer, Dickens, Spenser, Tennyson and Browning lie in eternity.

Yorkminster

Built during the 14th century, Yorkminster is the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe. In addition to all the architectural details of this amazing structure, visitors can admire the acres of magnificent stained glass windows and, if they’re lucky, hear a choral service with the thundering organ background.

Hadrian's Wall

You can't quite see it from space, but at 73 miles Hadrian's Wall was the greatest single engineering project undertaken by the Roman Empire and is now a World Heritage Site. The country's newest national trail - the Hadrian's Wall Path - sweeps over the north of England's hills and moorland.

Glastonbury

This is THE destination for fans of King Arthur, as well as spirituality buffs. Tour Glastonbury Abbey, rich in myth and legend; see the Glastonbury Thorn (supposedly planted by Joseph of Arimathea), and various King Arthur sites. Fantasize about Camelot and Avalon, and ancient Christianity (“And did those feet in ancient time walk upon England’s mountain green?”) A few miles away, the annual Glastonbury Festival in June attracts modern music fans for a week of open-air concerts.

Hotels and Resorts