At first sight, you'd be forgiven for thinking the British are obsessed with history. Look at any tourist board advertisement for the United Kingdom, and you'll most likely to see images of London's Tower Bridge, the prehistoric ring of Stonehenge, probably a pretty rose-clad country cottage, and maybe a sun-drenched seaside resort with its Victorian pier stretching out into the sea.
Be it military or civilian, it's almost impossible to travel in UK any distance without stumbling across some historic building. Villages throughout the land will have churches and houses dating back hundreds of years. Towns such as Sevenoaks have impressive civic buildings built with money from the days of the British Empire. Norman and medieval fortifications are particularly common in south and central England, castles line the Welsh coast, and Hadrian's Wall remains as one of the grandest Roman structures to survive anywhere.
London is one of the most impressive cities in the World to visit, largely because of the huge number of places you could add to your ‘must see' list. It is well worth spending a few days in London before you head of exploring.
To the south-east of London, the county of Kent, known as ‘The Garden of England', is home to the magnificent Canterbury Cathedral, some of the most beautiful castles and stately homes, and the coastal resorts of Folkestone and Dover . This is the closest you will get to mainland Europe, but tread carefully if you refer to the British people as ‘Europeans'.
Geographically, politically, and on every official document, the United Kingdom is certainly part of Europe. But ask most of the population of the UK, and they will tell you Europeans are the people living the other side of the English Channel.
Neither though, will you leave with the impression the United Kingdom is actually united. The Welsh still harbour centuries old feelings of independence, and the Scots and English still have an unmistakeable, if now amicable, rivalry. The people are warm and welcoming, wherever you choose to visit. But there are intruiging differences in cultures and personalities, not just between the different countries, but even from region to region.
The landscape also changes continuously. The south coast has rolling green hills, tall cliffs, and popular beaches. East Anglia is a vast, predominantly flat, patchwork of fields and waterways, which slowly give way to the fertile, undulating greenery of middle England. Continue westwards, and the hills become the mountains of Wales , ending with the dramatic coastline of the Irish Sea, with miles of peaceful unspoilt beaches.
The highest and most spectacular scenery is that of northern Scotland , with the tallest mountains in Britain, remote settlements, and untamed rivers heading to deep, dark, lakes. Not as high, but just as impressive, are the wild Yorkshire Moors, and beautiful Lake District, both in Northern England. Cross the sea, and Northern Ireland has enticing green countryside, and the stark rocky Atlantic coastline.
With such a rapidly changing environment, the UK is a great country to travel in. You'll experience something different around every corner, and wonder how on earth so much is packed in to just a few small islands. UK eguide has all the UK tourism information that you will ever need and forms the best UK travel guide. Hotel Direct offer a fantastic range of discount Hotels in London including Covent Garden and the West End.
Henley on Thames