England is where world-renowned institutions and symbols remain cherished and intact – from Big Ben at Westminster to Canterbury Cathedral, Eton College to the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, Wembley Stadium to Lord’s Cricket Ground, Stonehenge to Tower Bridge. But the load is carried with panache as this tiny entity strides into the 21st century offered world-class fashion, cutting-edge clubbing and fine wining and dining as never before. England’s presence on the global stage remains large, one of the many legacies of an empire long gone but not quite forgotten.
Best time to visit
May to September (summer) – or, for the free-spirited, the swinging 1960s
Climbing to the top of St Paul’s Cathedral for an alternative view of London
Marvelling at the prehistoric ruin of Stonehance and the sheer effort involved in its creation
Revelling in the sense of achievement on reaching the peak of Scafell Pike in the Lake District England’s highest mountain
Mixing Roman and Georgian history in the elegant town of Bath
Eating fish and chips on a pebbly beach and willing the sun to shine
Exploring Cornwall’s coastline of cliffs and bays, dotted with picturesque harbours and villages
Horse riding through the Great Park and other beautiful places
Walking – so many places
Museums – some of the best in the world and most of them are free
Putting on the Thames
Food and drink
Sunday roast dinner (typically beef with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, carrots, peas and gravy) followed by a hearty apple crumble with custard and cream. Fish and chips a great delight.
Real ale – England is the home of the proper beer
It does not actually rain that much; the English drink even more tea than you already think they do; most of the best things on offer in England are free. For visitors to England traditional pubs are a quintessential feature, and for the English themselves the pub is one of the country’s finest social and cultural institutions with more than 50,000 pubs scattered across the country. They range from vast and ornate Victorian drinking-palaces to simple country inns with low beams and sloping flag-stoned floors polished smooth by the passage of time and a thousand spilt pints.