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England (United Kingdom) Tourism And Travel Guide
6.1° C / 43° F
January to January
6 to 8 Days
England is an ancient country, one that bears the marks of Viking attacks as well as the war of British throne, a country that saw the birth of William Shakespeare as well as Harry Potter. Tourism in England is filled with history, literature, nature as well as pop culture; bringing you a full fledged holiday happiness, be it with your family or friends, solo or with your significant other. To prepare for your next holiday and know more about this beautiful destination, read this travel guide to England.
How to Reach
Fly from India to London’s Heathrow Airport, one of the biggest and busiest in the world. Other airports you can disembark on (depending on your flight) are Stansted and Gatwick. Mumbai, Bangalore, Amritsar, Delhi and Chennai run regular direct and stopover flights to London.
Road tripping from India to England is really almost impossible. Instead, you can road trip across the length and breadth of England after you land in London. The roads are amazing and scenes of rolling English countryside with hamlets dotting them make for an awesome experience. Buses are also plying between towns, cities and shires, which make travel cheaper for backpackers.
Commuting in England is mostly by using tube trains, buses or hailing black cabs (very expensive) in London. Ubers are also available in most cities. You can also book a car for your full day tours in towns and explore on foot in small hamlets and shires.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Weather in England is very ‘English;’ that is to say, unpredictable. Rains can be expected at any time so it is always advised to check the BBC news report before venturing out. The best time to visit England is spring and summer.
Spring (March to May):
These months bring a respire from all the cold, and temperatures start to rise from 9°C to 15°C by the end of May. Sunshine is abound and tourists are just starting to trickle in. Spring is a shoulder season in England and a great time to visit.
Summer (June to August):
English summers are a lot like South Indian winters, with temperature hovering between 18 and 30°C. This is the best time to go round the town, enjoy the beaches and castles and abbeys. Music festivals are abound in Manchester, Bristol and Liverpool, while soccer games are also on. In a nutshell, the best and the most expensive time to visit England.
Autumn (September to November):
The chill begins to creep back and days become shorter in Autumn. The landscape transforms into a fiery red paradise, while tourists are mostly gone. This is a good season for backpackers, solo and budget travellers because crowds are gone and rates are discounted.
Winter (December to February):
Winter is not for the fainthearted here. Life slows to a lull and days are very short (sunset by 4 pm). Christmas time is beautiful though, starting a month and a half in advance, with streets and shops lined by lights and decorations up. Snowfall is common in almost all areas and most sights get veiled in the brutal weather. So not a good time to visit if you are a first timer in England.
Things to Do
Take a Tour of London:
From the Big Ben to the Tower of London and London Bridge, the iconic Buckingham Palace and the Westminster Palace - London is a dream tour for historic nerds and cultural enthusiasts. You can do a marathon tour of these locations and then head to Hyde Park for a nice chill time and finger-foods picnic. Do also ride the London Eye (preferably after sundown), visit Notting Hill and stroll down its cafes.
Meet Shakespeare and other Poets:
You must visit the birth places and homes of some of the most brilliant poets that England has given to the world. Start with Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of the Bard himself. There are houses of his wife and daughter, many trivia objects and places, as well as a theatre where Shakespeare’s plays are performed. Also visit Dove Cottage in Grasmere (William Wordsworth), Portsmouth (Charles Dickens) and Elephant House Cafe (where J. K. Rowling finished the first Harry potter book).
Circuit the Oldest Universities:
When in England, do take an expedition to some of the oldest universities around (that are still quite functional and great). Start with the city of Oxford that is home to Oxford University, followed by Cambridge, University of Glasgow, Durham and Aberdeen Universities. These buildings are mostly each made of stone and hold relics and memories of great personalities walking down their alleys.
The Making of Harry Potter Studios Tour:
Warner Bros have recently opened the Making of Harry Potter Studios Tour in London, where the Harry potter mythology has been created, along with various iconic sets like the 9 and 3/4 railway station, Diagon Alley, Hogwarts Great Hall, Gryffindor common room, Hagrid’s Hut etc. You will also be able to have a fun outing at the Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes and Honeydukes, and drink some yummy butterbeer along with other book-inspired food at the cafe.
Enjoy the English Seaside:
English beaches may not be as in vogue as that of the Mediterranean or the French Rivera; but they are definitely a unique experience in themselves. Some are pebbled, others are smooth and sandy, making way for icy blue water and dull grey skies (most days, at least). Visit the Blackpool beaches, Brighton Beach and check out the piers on Eastbourne in Sussex. The best food to eat on the English seaside is ‘Fish & Chips.’
What to Eat
The British take great pride in their food, evolved as it is from more than a thousand years ago. Some of the English foods that you must try when in England includes the quintessential English Breakfast consisting of eggs, sausages, baked beans on toast, black pudding, hash browns and orange juice. For mealtimes, choose shepherd’s pie or kidney pie to go with a nice thick treacle tart or a decadent fruit trifle or the sticky toffee pudding. Mind you, the British call their desserts ‘pudding.’ For afternoon teas you have a range of finger foods - from cucumber sandwiches to crumpets to scones and clotted cream to gooey biscuits. Also, do try fish and chips when visiting the seaside.
Where to Shop
England is a wonderful destination to enjoy a holiday as well as shopping, London being the capital of shopaholics. Go down to the usual suspects for high street and couture shopping in London, from the luxury stores down Oxford Street and Harrods to Macy’s. Shopping in London is a pretty expensive affair. Even street shopping here is relatively expensive, and souvenirs also rest a little heavy on the pocket. Other towns that have good shopping include Brighton, Manchester (Norther Quarter for textiles) and Marylebone (vintage items).