With urban sprawl for miles and miles and a bulging population of over seven million people, London can be a bit too much for some tourists to handle. Happily, there are a number of nearby villages and hamlets that are perfect for a day trip and easily reachable via the transport networks leading out of the city. Try some of the following places to ease your mind and get a feeling for what English life outside of London is like.
Bath is an old Roman city, known for its well-preserved Roman bath and the stunning perfection of its golden Georgian architecture. The city is easily walkable and is full of boutique shops, elegant restaurants and cosy cafes. The Jane Austin center brings the popular author’s works to life. Admire the unmatched beauty of the Royal Crescent, a golden halo of buildings.
Tourists often miss the rest of Windsor and head straight from the train station to Windsor Castle, the Queen’s weekend getaway. While the castle itself is a wonderful excursion with exceptional architecture and well-manicured grounds (as well as great views over the English countryside), Windsor itself is a superb place to have a peaceful stroll. Have lunch in one of the many restaurants and try the famous Eton Mess, a melange of berries, whipped cream and meringue. The station itself is also a charming shopping mall with bargain buys.
It is almost unbelievable to think that these massive stones have sat in their place for over 5,000 years. While modern day theorists have failed to provide a concrete conclusion to the purpose of this stone circle, its steely reverence never fails to impress. Due to the remote location of Stonehenge, it may be worthwhile to investigate booking a guided tour, where you will learn more about the various theories of this Neolithic sight.
Oxford is well known for offering visitors a glimpse into England’s past with the wonderfully preserved ‘dreaming spires’ – medieval churches, beautiful college buildings all in a Gothic magnificence. The city is full of vibrant parks and several well-regarded museums. Home to Oxford University, this city has a young and vibrant outlook.
Warwick is home to an imposing medieval fortress and other olden buildings, such as the Collegiate Church of Saint Mary.
Stratford Upon Avon
A picturesque and striking village on the Avon River, Stratford-upon-Avon is mostly known as the birthplace of William Shakespeare. Accordingly, most tourists attractions here are centered on the famous playwright, but there is plenty else to see and to do in the city. Ghost tours and other haunted experiences are a popular choice.
Monday 9th of February 2009
Thanks Mrs. Lifecruiser - I'm glad you've been enjoying all the fun stuff going on here at Europe Up Close. Terri and the gang are doing a great job!
Sunday 8th of February 2009
Here from the one and only: Mrs. Lifecruiser from Sweden.
Your blog and posts are great and a good example of how wonderful it is to share, listen, read and learn from others in Blogsphere.