I’m thrilled to be featuring a guest post by Gabe Campbell this week! I have never written about my own country which is actually a huge shame, because England is pretty great! Luckily for me, Gabe Campbell has compiled a list of 10 things you have to include on a tour of England for Travelling Jezebel, and I hope that you enjoy this article as much as I did!
Gabe Campbell is a photographer, blogger and artist. He travels whenever he gets the opportunity to and hopes to combine those interests into an original online travel magazine in the near future.
10 Things You Have to Include on a Tour of England
For a relatively small country, England is about as packed as it could be with attractions and landmarks. A thorough tour of the country could legitimately involve hundreds of different stops, from famous pubs to relics of ancient societies and everything in between. To help you sift through it all though, here’s a list of 10 things you really have to include if you’re to go about exploring the country.
You simply can’t miss Stonehenge if you’re traveling to England. Believed to have been constructed some time in the centuries preceding 2000 BC, it’s one of the most stunning ancient world monuments we have in the world. It consists of a huge circle of 25-ton stones arranged upright, and is now an absolutely iconic landmark. And it’s not as remote as you might assume from pictures. It’s less than a two hour drive from London.
2. The Lake District
Teeming with natural beauty in the form of mountains, hills, lakes and forests, the Lake District National Park is quite possibly the most stunning area in all of the British Isles. While the district is full of camping grounds, it’s also a place where you can easily take a day trip for hiking, sightseeing, or even getting out on the water.
3. The Tower of London
It’s hard to choose between some of London’s famous landmarks, frankly, but the Tower Of London may be the most historically important of the bunch. Dating back to the days of William the Conqueror, it still looks like something of a stronghold right in the middle of London, near where the Tower Bridge crosses over the River Thames. It makes for a fascinating tour, and will probably get you in the spirit to check out a few other historical structures in town as well.
4. The Cotswolds
The Cotswolds can’t rival the Lake District for sheer natural splendor, but it might be just as attractive a region in its own right. Specifically this semi-rural area west of London is a perfect snapshot of what so many people around the world imagine to be the English countryside. There are low hills, storybook villages, herds of sheep, and rolling roads that make it charming to visit even if you’re simply driving through.
5. Old Trafford
As with picking an historic landmark in London, it’s tricky to narrow down the iconic football stadiums around England, but Old Trafford has to take the top spot. Located in Manchester, it’s over 100 years old and houses possibly the most beloved football team in the world in Manchester United. And now, with United tipped to challenge for the Premier League title once more, the stadium should be livelier than it’s been in years.
6. The Eden Project
Opened in 2001 in the Cornwall region, the Eden Project is a sort of gigantic botanical garden project meant to provide a tourist attraction and promote environmental responsibility. In its completed form it’s most notable for its huge biomes, which house hundreds if not thousands of different plants from climates all over the globe.
7. Bath’s Baths
The town of Bath has fittingly become something of a spa getaway in England. It’s fitting because the city was originally founded by the Romans, who controlled outposts around the British Islands for much of the duration of their Empire. Even today you can visit the luxurious Roman baths in Bath, and it’s almost shocking how well-preserved they are. This is a fascinating way to get a glimpse of actual Roman culture.
8. Dover Castle
Another option here would be to just say that it’s a good idea to see a castle, or take a tour of different castles around the country. But Dover Castle is one of the best, having commanded the gateway to the realm for nine centuries. For a castle that was originally constructed in the 11th century, as well as one that actually served an active defensive purpose, it’s in remarkably good shape. And its situation right over the water makes it all the more beautiful.
9. Hadrian’s Wall
We’re getting back to Roman history with this one. As you may well know, Hadrian’s Wall stretched across the entire width of England in the North, and was built by the emperor of the same name in the 2nd century. While it’s now basically a chain of relatively low ruins and guardhouses, it represents a fairly incredible old world achievement, and another symbol of how special ancient England was even to the Romans.
10. Red Lion
We mentioned pubs in the introduction, so it seems only fair to name one of the most well-regarded ones in the entire country. Red Lion is located in Westminster in London, and exists at the site of a pub that dates back to the 1430s, though it wasn’t always called Red Lion. It’s been visited by the likes of Charles Dickens and Winston Churchill, and remains a major feature on lists of the country’s best pubs.
And that concludes Gabe’s list of 10 places you must include on a tour of England! How many have you visited? Make sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below!