England is just brimming with history and diversity
IT’S a glorious time of the year right now to visit England. It is possibly at its most vibrant at this time of the year as its short summer comes to an end.
The forecast is an optimistic one, for pleasant warm weather across much of the country for the rest of August. Yes, you may encounter some rain but this is, after all, what makes England so pretty at this time of the year.
And, besides scenic beauty, there is so much else on offer in the way of stone circles, hillforts, castles, ancient and modern architecture, variety of cultures and regions, social and industrial history, crammed in to such a relatively small area when compared to other countries.
The beautiful rolling chalk downland of the south of England makes the area ideal for a touring holiday with short driving times between a multitude of attractions ranging in diversity from old coaching roads to antique shops and the Georgian splendour of Bath.
There is the Garden of England in Kent and the haven of outstanding beauty that is Sussex. You can follow ancient pilgrim routes to Canterbury or see the site of the famous battle of 1066.
Georgian Brighton, Roman Chichester, and the wonderful Isle of Wight all beckon as do Stonehenge and the world heritage prehistoric temple at Avebury. Further west lies beautiful Devon and the narrow country lanes and villages of Cornwall and Land’s End.
I could easily lose myself in London for weeks. It remains one of the most fascinating cities in the world with most of its museums free and brimming with art and culture. For those who don’t like cities, it’s a good setting off point for a heart of England tour taking in the Chiltern Hills, the Cotswolds, the Shakespearian centre of Stratford-upon-Avon, Oxford and the Thames Valley.
A couple of hours’ drive north from London is Derbyshire and the Peak District, a magnet for walkers, and Nottinghamshire and Robin Hood country.
Head further north for the impressive cities of Liverpool, Manchester and York, and the wonderful areas surrounding them, both rural and brimming with their urban history of canals, railways and so forth.
Most northerly county of Northumberland has the Cheviot Hills and the cathedral city of Durham and the industrial grit of the Tyne and Wear to offer while to the west there is Cumbria and the Lake District, full of the scenic beauty that so attracted and inspired the Lakeland poets.
We’ll get round to Wales, Scotland and Ireland another time!