The United Kingdom includes England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales – and despite being a Kingdom of four countries, it is actually quite small. The UK is the 78th largest sovereign nation in the world, and only the 11th largest in Europe. For this reason, it’s surprisingly easy to get around the country in a car, and see many of its historic and legendary sites.
1. Tower of London
Sarah Martin, a reporter for the Islington Journal, says that the Tower of London is arguably one of the most famous tourist hotspots in the entire country. This is a castle that is home to the Crown Jewels – the priceless jewels of the British Royal Family.
The castle, fortress and tower was initially built as a royal residence and a prison around 1,000 years ago, and today, it is still home to priceless artefacts and is even open to the public.
Martin encourages visitors to experience the Yeomen Warders – commonly known as Beefeaters – who are the ceremonial guardians of the Tower of London. They have been providing tours of the fortress since the reign of Queen Victoria.
2. Kew Gardens
Just 45-minute drive from the Tower of London, Kew Gardens is one of the most renowned and famous botanical gardens in the world. Kew Gardens is home to thousands of species of rare and exotic plants, with indoor and outdoor exhibits that allow you to experience organisms from all over the world. As well as interesting species of plant that inhabited Britain long ago, or which have been imported from the other side of the world, visitors can see carnivorous plants up close and personal. There is also a treetop walkway, to see trees like you’ve never seen before. Outdoors, there is a nature reserve that has long been popular with aristocracy and the Royal Family, and there is even a Royal kitchen.
Mark McGinnes of UK Top Writers suggests that, instead of finding a single attraction, visitors should experience the wider area of the Cotswolds. This is a collection of stunning villages that epitomize traditional English living. The Cotswolds covers almost 800 square miles, and is less than two hours away from Kew Gardens in the car. Here you will find ancient monuments, areas of outstanding natural beauty, museums, and traditional homes, pubs and other architecture built many hundreds of years ago.
Another legendary attraction in England is Stonehenge. This forms part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is protected to ensure that no developments ever affect the monument.
Stonehenge is thought to date back to 3,000BC, and to this day, historians are still unsure about the purpose it serves. Each piece of stone in the formation weighs up to 50 tons, meaning it would have taken 600 men or more to move just one piece of stone. We might not know what it was used for or how it was made, but we can still visit and be amazed by the sight. Located near Salisbury, Stonhenge is less than a two-hour drive from the Cotswolds.
5. Lake District
Freelance writer Gavin Jones says that visiting the north of England is absolutely essential. Here you will find the Lake District. This is a large expanse of mountains, stunning natural beauty, forests and lakes. It is roughly a 5-hour drive from Stonehenge, taking you right to the northernmost part of England, near the border of Scotland. Here you’ll be able to enjoy untouched natural landscape, experiencing some of the most stunning landscapes in the UK. For more information and more ideas about how to enjoy your trip in the United Kingdom, take a look at the many tours and pieces of advice over at Touropia and EscapeHere.
England is full of many hidden treasures, stunning natural beauty, and amazing cultural and historic sites like nothing else on earth.