London is one of the world's great cities. It offers the tourist access to palaces, monuments, prisons, and cathedrals that were at the core of western civilization for centuries. World Class museums abound: they include some of the best museums to be found anywhere and cover science, natural history, art, fine arts, books, medieval weapons, and more. From St. Paul's Cathedral to Westminster Abbey, London is blessed with churches and cathedrals that will spark your imagination and demand your attention. The shopping is fantastic whether at Harrods, the shops on Regent Street, or the boutiques at Beauchamp Place. In the last decade, London has developed a fantastic set of new restaurants and offers an ensemble of foods from international destinations.
The splendor, stately architecture and scenic grounds of Oxford University are unique reminders of the history of this famous institution. Take an afternoon to savor the historic atmosphere by walking the beautiful buildings that comprise this noted campus. Be sure to visit the Christ Church Cathedral for its superb stained glass.
The city of Oxford is the eastern gateway to the Cotswolds, an area that displays rural England at its best. Known for its rounded, gentle hills and slow flowing streams, the Cotswolds' offer beautiful scenery, quaint villages, good food and fun shopping. The word rustic may be the best way to describe this pleasant area. Classic cities such as Bath and Cheltenham are the major centers in the area, but for us the real beauty lies in the sleepy villages such as Woodstock and Winchcombe.
Internationally known for its historic hot springs, Bath has been attracting visitors for centuries. The town is a delightful stop and it is a great place to spend an afternoon. Be sure to tour the city's famous Roman Baths (in Bath Abbey) and allocate time to tour the Great bath, as well as the East and West baths. If you are there in the afternoon, consider having tea at the Pump Room in the Roman Baths (offered from 2:30 to closing).
York offers the tourist an interesting walled, old town and a spectacular, historic cathedral. The York Minster (the Cathedral) is monumental and not to be missed. If you have the time, take a walk along the walls surrounding the town's historic core.
The Lake District, in England's Northwest, is one of the most beautiful areas of the United Kingdom. A bucolic combination of hills, mountains and lakes makes for near perfect trekking, horse riding, kayaking and other outdoor experiences. For us, a country walk in the Lake District is one of the highlights of a visit to the United Kingdom. There are numerous lakes, path and attractions to navigate in the Lake district and you should connect with a local guide if you plan to wander afar.
Lake Windermere is stunning, although the town is touristy and crowded. The town of Windermere and its lake often are the only stops made by many visitors to the Lake Country. Those who do so miss the best that this area has to offer.
The countryside is a fine area for hiking and outdoor activity, but you need to be prepared for serious, overland walking.
England's other famous university town; Cambridge has a dramatic architecture and a wonderful sense of history.
Canterbury Cathedral, sitting brilliantly on its plain, is considered by many to be the most glorious cathedral in the United Kingdom, although several others compete for the title (York, Durham, Winchester, and St. Paul's). Canterbury has had a strong role in England's religious history. If interested, see the Church of St Martin, the oldest church in England; the ruins of the Abbey of St Augustine; and Christ Church Cathedral where Saint Thomas Becket was martyred in 1170.
Visit this town for its cathedral. Durham Cathedral (sections dating from the 11th century) is an awe- inspiring sight from the inside. After entering through its tiny door, you will be dwarfed by its height of its nave and intimidated by the sense of history that permeates this cathedral. Durham Cathedral is considered the most original and intact of the Anglo-Norman churches. In addition, the church contains the tombs of Bede the Venerable and St. Cuthbert. Nearby Durham Castle is worth a quick look.
Hadrian's Wall was the Romans' attempt to gird the country across its middle to keep the barbarians in the north. Numerous archaeological projects, aimed at restoring the Wall and its fortifications can be found along its extent. Housesteads Roman Fort in Northumberland is considered the best-preserved fortification along the Wall.
Built five thousand years ago, the mysterious stone circle on the Salisbury Plain neat Amesbury, Wiltshire in southern England, attract many visitors. Visits inside of the center circle of the site are not allowed during normal hours, but can be arranged at other times.
Stratford upon Avon
Oh the Bard - he's the only reason that you might want to visit Stratford, which has taken commercialized Shakespeare to the limits. Of course, Stratford Upon Avon is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the English countryside.
There are a number of places to see (including 5 houses connected with Shakespeare), so budget your time carefully. Anne Hathaway's Cottage and Shakespeare's birthplace are the most interesting of the houses, but all are worth a look if you want to know more about the Bard.
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One of England's oldest towns, Winchester is a historic gem with a unique cathedral. In addition, be sure to see the Great Hall, which is the remnant of Winchester Castle built in the 13th century. Unfortunately, the "Round Table" on display, did not exist at the time of the legendary King Arthur - but that does not stop tourists from flocking to see it.
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Edinburgh is rightly regarded as one of the finest cities in the World. And no wonder...