The birthplace of the television, World Wide Web, Robin Hood, The Rolling Stones, Shakespeare, and us. Once home, we now tend to view the motherland through tourist glasses. We love the centuries of history that are engrained in the architecture. Cities like Oxford, Bath, Cambridge, and London ooze culture from every street corner.
The Queen has two birthdays, her real one (April 21st) and an official birthday which happens in either May or June. Unlike many countries in the Commonwealth, UK citizens do not get a day’s holiday to celebrate.
Despite the 65 million people you can get your nature fix in rugged locations such as Dartmoor or the Yorkshire Dales. The Lake District is a top destination for overseas visitors and locals alike. Featuring 12 of the largest lakes in England and over 3,000 kilometres of walking and hiking paths.
- The English are famous for their tea drinking. In fact, they consume more tea per capita than anybody else. Two and a half times more than the Japanese and 22 times more than the Americans or the French.*
- The English are passionate about their football (soccer). Ninety-two full-time professional teams sit in the Premier and English Football Leagues with over half a million football fans attending games each weekend. Top players earn over £250,000 per week for kicking a pigs bladder around. (OK, today's footballs are high tech plastic rather than an animal by-product).
- There are over 60,000 pubs (bars) in the UK. The oldest dating back to the 11th century. Yes, the English do like their real ale to be at room temperature. And if you are buying drinks with friends in the pub, you are considered to be in a ‘round’. It’s incredibly bad form to leave the pub before it’s your turn to buy a round.
When to Go
Weather is at its best by far June until August, although it's rarely as consistent or as hot as its European neighbours. Accommodation pricing are highest at this time, particularly in August (school holidays). The shoulder seasons late April/May and September/October can be a better option. The weather can often be good, but crowds are reduced and prices are more acceptable.
December to February are usually wet and cold. Occasional snow falls in the north whereas the south is milder and wetter. Expect seaside towns to pretty much shut up shop from October until Easter. There is still plenty to entertain in the cities in the winter months, including Guy Fawkes, Christmas and New Year.
- On our return to England we spent a lot of time in the pub eating much missed English cuisine, resulting in Expanding Waistlines: Eating our Way Through Devon & Cornwall
- We house sat just a stone's throw away from the one of Europe’s most vibrant capital cities. Read more in London Calling: Pooches, Potter & Pageantry
- Heading north we visited family and friends whilst eating more English grub and exploring the local countryside in Yorkshire Pudding: Exploring Yorkshire