Steeped in centuries of History, the countries of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, collectively known as Great Britain have so much to offer the tourist. I am originally from England now living in Canada and to be honest I never appreciated the beauty and history of Britain when I lived there. Now after living in Canada for many years I’ve come to appreciate the history and culture of these magnificent islands that make up Great Britain.
Canada where I now live is a wonderful Country and has much to offer as well, but in a different way as a young country of just over 200 years it just doesn’t have the History offered in Great Britain.
The quaint, scenic country British roads inevitably lead to an historic pub or a cute Bed and Breakfast. Britain is steeped in extremes, the Yorkshire Moors with it’s stone cottages and wandering sheep, the Lake District with it’s magnificent lakes, numerous Castles dotted throughout the countries, the many Art Galleries and tourist sites, unique cities like Chester with it’s Tudor Buildings, walled cities like York. Centuries of history mixed with modern day cities.
My all time favorite tourism spot is Hampton Court, just north of London and originally the home of Henry the Eighth and his unfortunate wives. The expansive grounds offer beautiful gardens, a maze and an English Tearoom. The Historic buildings still house some of Henry’s original furnishings, paintings and the opulence of the time. Animators can be found throughout the property and the kitchens are well worth a visit. Not for the Squeamish but we can’ forget the hallway that Anne Boleyn’s Ghost purports to still walk the hallways with her head under her arm!!!!
Nelson’s flagship HMS Victory rests in the Portsmouth Dockyard. Having been in the WRNS (Womens’ Royal Navy) I’ve always had a yen for the ocean so I was thoroughly fascinated with this historic ship. All the decks are painted red to cover up any blood lost by the crew during battles, and the whole ship appears to have been made for kids as the bunk beds and dining tables and chairs are child size. The reason being that the average height of men in the days of Nelson was between 4- 5 feet, dwarves by today’s standards.
Fish and Chips in newspaper, and afternoon strawberry, cream teas with scones are still an ingrained part of the culture. There is so much to see, the Blarney Stone in Ireland, the Llangollen Music Festival in Wales, the Edinburgh Tattoo in Scotland, Stonehenge and the Roman Baths in Bath.
And of course not forgetting the wonderful city of London with the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, The Royal Jewels at the Tower of London, the world famous London Eye – Ferris Wheel, St Pauls’ Cathedral, the Tate Art Gallery, Soho, great Theatrical performances and Picadilly Circus. Just a few of the things worth seeing in London alone. Enjoy shopping on Oxford Street and Regent Street, check out Harrods for world class goods or stop by the market stalls at Petty Coat Lane were you can get bargains galore.
I suggest if you are going for the first time that you take one of the many escorted tours. You will definitely get to see more and get more out your experience. Plus remember that the Brits drive on the other side of the road, so it can be a little scary as there are many narrow country roads and the highways are super busy. Public Transportation, trains, buses, and the Tube are great throughout Britain and a great way to get around without worrying about the driving and parking.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Great Britain is readily accessible from anywhere in the world, the main Airport being, Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Edinburgh and Dublin.