ENGLAND & SCOTLAND TOUR

England Travel Guides

 

England, the largest country in the United Kingdom, borders Scotland to the north and Wales to the west, and is one of the most interesting travel destinations in the world, with attractions, friendly people and a well established tourist infrastructure.

England has a remarkable history which can be seen wherever one looks, with grand buildings, ancient churches and some of the best museums in the world. Major sights include the Tower of London, St Paul's Cathedral, Stonehenge, Hadrian's Wall, Oxford’s university colleges, Salisbury Cathedral, and the Brighton Royal Pavilion.

But this is just the beginning, for the country also boasts well established beach resorts, like Brighton, Blackpool and Bournemouth, as well as top surfing beaches. Visitors can also enjoy hiking, cycling around the country and a myriad of things to do day and night.

Another of England’s main attractions is its nightlife, which consists of the stereotypical pubs, old inns, trendy cocktail bars, café-bars, microbreweries, pumping nightclubs, and every other type of venue in between. There are 16,000 bars and pubs in London alone, while restaurants serve an increasing number of exotic dishes owing to the country’s multicultural make-up.

England has affordable bed and breakfasts, larger guesthouses, and hotels, motels and resorts. The high season is from May to October where hotels fill fast, particularly in London. Rooms may be cheaper in the slower season, between November and April, although booking ahead is still recommended. Online prices are impossible to beat.

Despite being located on an island, England is perhaps the most accessible place to get to on the planet, with many international airports, including the world’s busiest, Heathrow Airport, and good ferry connections with continental Europe.

History

England has a remarkable history which can largely be attributed to the Celts, Romans, Saxons, Vikings, and Normans that inhabited or invaded it over its history. It has a strong line of successive kings and queens stretching back 1,000 years and features an incredible number of iconic buildings, such as the Tower of London, Warwick Castle, Big Ben and the London Eye.

Archaeological digs suggest that southern England was colonised by people as long ago as 700,000 years. The English Channel at this time was a large river and England was joined at the hip to continental Europe.

Young farmers settled in England from southern Europe before the Celts arrived in 4,000 BC and brought with them tools to work such as iron ore. The Romans arrived in AD 43, pushing the Celts to the far corners of the country – Cornwall and Scotland. Preservation of the empire forced the Romans to leave in the 4th century.

Tribes known as the Angles started to settle England in the 5th and 6th centuries, from which England received its name (Angle Land). The Anglo-Saxons were next to arrive, followed by the Vikings who were forced out by the settling Normans in 1066.

Bloodshed, plague, wars with France, Spain and anyone else who posed a problem for Britain highlighted the Middle Ages, while a burgeoning wealth brought about by shipping and the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century saw England become a world leader. Queen Victoria’s long reign is also a facet of the 19th century, while two World Wars and a dwindling economy marred the 20th century.

The joining of the EU, and inroads into the service and financial economic sectors, has once again seen England prosper. Other members of the United Kingdom, Scotland and Wales, voted for increased political autonomy toward the end of the last millennium, which has led many to foresee the eventual dissolution of the United Kingdom as it is known today.

Weather

 

Although England’s climate is changeable and has a long history of being denigrated by inhabitants and foreigners alike, it is surprisingly mild with warm summers due to the effects of the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf Stream. No matter what time of year you plan on visiting, always pack clothes for every occasion; particularly for wet weather.

The best time to visit is between June and September when average temperatures can hit 25 degrees Celsius and daylight hours are long – typically from 05:00 to about 22:00 during summer. Winters tend to be cold, damp and fitting the well-known stereotype of dreary English weather.

The northern and western parts of England generally see the worst types of weather and are thus the wettest, while the south and southeast, particularly around the London and Brighton areas, are the driest and warmest.