From prison to palace, treasure vault to the private zoo, the magnificent Tower of London has fulfilled many different roles down the centuries. One of Britain's most iconic structures, this spectacular World Heritage Site offers hours of fascination for visitors curious about the country's rich history. After all, so much has happened there.
Ranking among the top art museums in the world, London's National Gallery represents an almost complete survey of European painting from 1260 until 1920. The museum's greatest strengths are in its collections of Dutch Masters and Italian Schools of the 15th and 16th centuries. Among its highlights are a cartoon (preliminary sketch) of the Madonna and Child by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo's The Entombment, Botticelli's Venus and Mars, van Gogh's Sunflowers, and The Water-Lily Pond by Monet.
A Hyde Park landmark, Apsley House is a museum. It houses magnificent collections of paintings, including Velázquez's The Waterseller of Seville, along with gifts presented by grateful European kings and emperors. England's greatest hero is also commemorated at the Wellington Arch.
The golden sands of its south-facing beaches are peppered with pastel-coloured beach huts and backdropped by magnificent cliffs that can also be ventured up to admire the 360-degree sea views.
The Cotswolds are slightly less known to international visitors, but Brits will be quick to tell you just how beautiful they are! Because you need a car to get around the Cotswolds and see all the different little villages, the best way to visit this area is to catch an early train from London and book a full-day tour of the Cotswolds in advance, including morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea.
In just under an hour by train, you can reach the blissful beachy town of Brighton, a favourite for visitors to London and Londoners themselves! It is a large thriving city with much to offer. It is home to many locals, unlike other popular beach towns that exist only for tourism. A day in Brighton is best enjoyed in summer as the winter can be quite cold and grey (not unlike London though!)
It’s hard to think of a lovelier seaside spot than Whitstable. Kick off a day there with a pot of tea. Next, rent a bike and pedal your way along the five-mile seafront Oyster Bay Trail.
The undeniably gorgeous Georgian city of Bath is best known for it’s perfectly preserved Roman baths, where you’ll have the chance to walk around the steaming pools, along the ancient paving stones whilst marvelling at the Roman architecture. The city itself is a visual delight too, with picturesque Georgian buildings filled with terraces and crescents.
Cities are thought of as places of decay and degeneration by many people. The central principle in definitions of urban communities is their management and containment. This has been done by designating rings of nondevelopment (green belts) around major cities and urban areas. The emphasis on areas of nondevelopment also has influenced planning within cities and towns, with space being created for private and public gardens, parks, athletic fields, and other so-called greenfield sites.
The Middle Ages have left Gothic and Romanesque architecture. The Tudor and Stuart periods of England's history have also left their contributions. The eighteenth-century saw Georgian and neo-Gothic architecture, which continued into the nineteenth century when neo-Classical styles arose. The twentieth century has seen the rise of suburban building styles and Modernism and reactions against both in the form of conservation, community architecture, and a tendency to revive old styles such as neo-Classicism.
In conversation, the English are known for understatement both in humor and in other forms of expression. On social occasions, small talk on neutral topics is appropriate and modest gifts are given. People reciprocate in paying for food and drink in social exchanges, by ordering beverages by rounds, for example.