England shows many different faces: pulsing city life and lonely landscapes, old-fashioned customs and avant-garde culture, lovely beaches and rough mountains. For cultural sightseeing as for nightlife, London is ceaselessly thriving, and inevitably, it is the one place that features on everyone's itinerary. It is not only Europe's biggest city (with a population of over seven million) and capital of the United Kingdom, but also the place where the country's news, politics and money are made. Within the southeast of England, along the coastline, Canterbury, the bishopric seat of Thomas Becket, offers contrasting diversions. This is the richest part of the country due to its agricultural wealth and proximity to the capital. The southwest of England with the rugged moorlands of Devon and the rocky coastline of Cornwall is another spot worth discovering. Salisbury, where they say the West Country starts, is dominated by the elegant spire of its cathedral.
In Neolithic times, a rich and powerful culture evolved here, as shown by monuments such as Stonehenge and Avebury. The main urban attraction of western England is Bristol, but Bath and Exeter are also worth a visit. In the centre of the country, the chief attractions are the old university cities of Oxford and Cambridge, and the town of Shakespeare, Stratford upon Avon, though the often bypassed city of Norwich, over in the picturesque flatlands of East Anglia, can be equally rewarding. In the north of England, the industrial cities of Liverpool, Newcastle and Manchester are gritty and lively places, and York and Durham have splendid historical treasures, but the landscape again is the real magnet, especially the uplands of the Lake District and the dales of Yorkshire.
England has hundreds of years of history and great variety of things to offer for everybody too, and that is the reason why England is so unique. Lots of the historic buildings, cathedrals and landmarks are available to visit.
Some of the most popular tourist attractions in England include:
- Lake District
The Lake District National Park is one of the England’s most beautiful regions and the largest National Park of England. Located in the north west of the country in the county of Cumbria provides an exciting mix of mountains and lake scenery, includes 16 lakes, 53 tarns.
The lakes are set among the dramatic Cumbrian Mountains and the region is dotted with attractive towns and pleasant dales. The Lake District is a walker's paradise at any time, being one of the most popular for fine hill-walking opportunities is Scafell Peak, at 3210 ft the highest mountain in England.
- Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace has been the official London residence of English royalty since 1837. Designed by John Nash the palace stands in around 40 acres of garden and while the west facade of the palace building the east side facing the garden was added in 1847 and entirely replaced in 1913.
- The Tower of London and the Crown Jewels
The tower is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Britain and homes Crown Jewels since 1303. The Tower has been a palace, prison, treasury, zoo and arsenal. It was the home of every Monarch from William the Conqueror (11th Century) to Henry the VIII (16th Century).
The Jewel House is located in Waterloo Block and displays the Royal maces, swords, and other ceremonial items like the Coronation Regalia.
Stonehenge is the most important prehistoric monument in England and dates from the Neolithic period and is located on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire. There are many theories as to the purpose of Stonehenge ranging from a druid temple for sun worship to a burial ground and even an astronomical calendar.
- Alton Towers
Alton Towers is one of England’s most famous theme parks with rides and attractions for every member of the family. Based at the north of the village of Alton in Staffordshire, the Towers date back to the Victorian period and were designed by Augustus Welby Pugin. It features includes boating on the lake, aerial cable car ride and plenty gardens to walk.
- Roman Baths and Pump Room, Bath
The Roman Baths and the Temple of Sulis Minerva, built in about 75 BC around the largest of the three hot springs, are extraordinarily impressive and one the most visited places in London, especially on summer months.
Built in honor of goodness Sulis Minerva Romans made a temple and baths and date from 2000 years ago. The Great Bath features Roman paving and a lead base and is bordered by 19th century arcading. The Pump Room is a fashionable Neo classical meeting place and is the social heart of Bath.
- Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle, the largest inhabited castle in the world, is one of the Queen's official residences. Since William the Conqueror built the first castle in 1080, its proximity to both London and the old royal hunting forest. The State Apartments house excellent works of art including masterpieces by Rembrandt, Rubens, Holbein and Van Dyck as well as magnificent French and English furniture and porcelain.
There is much more to the UK than its cities. For those who are looking for something out of the city centres, why not have a look at the RURAL COUCHSURFING IRELAND AND BRITAIN Group http://www.couchsurfing.org/group.html?gid=18791.
and the fledgling rural couchsurfing map here: http://goo.gl/maps/9bX6d
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