England Travel Guide

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Oxford Drenched in history and beauty the 'City of Dreaming Spires' is home to the world's most famous university and is filled with a youthful energy emanating from the high jinks of the bicycle-riding students. The superb architecture of the ancient colleges and quiet pastoral scenery of the meadows, combined with great cultural activities make Oxford a destination for the more cultivated traveller while the raucous pubs and bars make it a home from home for the more down to earth backpacker.

Blackpool Britain's most famous holiday destination, Blackpool has been drawing families to its bright attractions and beach for centuries. While it has traditional rides and kiosks that never lose their allure for kids and the mentally stunted, there are also areas of quiet tranquillity like the Italian Gardens of Stanley Park. Time stands still here and nothing more clamorous than lawn is sprouting and silent stone statues gaze over cascading fountains.

London Majestic, historic, ancient, and tumultuous, London and its grimy streets have seen the march of time and more drama than can be written in this short description. It is the heartbeat of the United Kingdom and home to the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, St Paul's Cathedral and the historically rich Westminster Abbey, but is also a modern industrious commercial centre and has a vital, pulsating nightlife that leaves the visitor reeling.

Beaches

Beadnell Bay With a sheltered bay that is good for swimming, two miles of open beach, and picturesque sunsets, Beadnell is one of the finest beaches on the Northumbrian coast. Outward Trust organises water sports and courses, and hires out the equipment as well as offering tuition. Among the exciting sports organised by Outward Trust is cliff-jumping.

Scarborough Although it is a bit long in the tooth Scarborough has everything for a great family vacation. With outdoor walks along the promenade, a Blue Flag beach in the North Bay, a park with a lake, and an interesting harbour where you can watch boats coming and going or take a swim in, and the Sea Life Centre, there is a lot going on here. Add to its seaside charm the majestic Scarborough Castle dominating the North and South Bay and there is not much missing from the perfect holiday experience.

Blackpool Seven million visitors to Britain's top tourist attraction must know something! Possibly, it is the extreme thrill of riding Europe's highest and fastest roller coaster, or a ride to the top of the Blackpool Tower with its stupendous views, or the acrobatic circus show, amusement arcades, ball park, and generally hyped-up mood of excitement and derring-do that comes with letting your hair down.

Outdoors

The Lake District This is an area of soul-stunning beauty with lush green dales, mountains, and magnificent lakes. Catering to the ten million annual visitors the Brockhole Visitor Centre has an adventure playground, games lawn, beautiful gardens, and offers the perfect family day out.

Stonehenge This is the most famous prehistoric site in Europe, and is as tantalising an enigma as the great pyramids of Egypt, proving that there was a lot more going on that we can understand and that our ancestors where a very inventive and technically adept bunch of folk. Five thousand years old, no one fully understands why the immense stones where dragged up from South Wales and stood in a circle on this precise spot.

The Cotswolds Breathtakingly beautiful, the limestone escarpment that overlooks the Severn Vale is filled with picturesque stone villages and gorgeous scenery of rolling hills and honey coloured stone.

Moving around

England's rail system offers a great way of seeing the country in comfort, with lines running through the rural and undeveloped countryside at a leisurely pace. The main routes whisk you from city to city at speeds of 125 mph.

Long distance buses, known as coaches, may be more expensive but generally get visitors to their destination faster than the buses, which also run to differing timetables. It is wise to check with Tourist Information Centre (TIC) to make certain of the schedule.

The black cabs of London are first-rate, but costly, and if your budget is tight, the minicabs offer cheaper options. In the smaller towns and cities, taxis are dependable and more reasonably priced.

Car Hire is a good way of gaining independence and planning your own itinerary, but if you want to bring in your own vehicle and it is EU-registered, as long as the car has a nationality plate and registration, and the driver is insured there should be no problem.

National festival and holidays

WOMAD Festival (Reading) (July). This is the world of music, art, and dance, and is an annual and fun-filled event that is child-friendly and more entertaining than most commercialised festivals of today.

Kick up the Arts (Devon) (August). This festival brings four days of events, activities, music, and street theatre to Torbay, and has the magnificent setting of Paignton Green over looking the bay.

NOW Festival (Nottingham) (October). This festival of contemporary arts includes collections of work from the international world and has been held annually since 1089.

Useful England Links

Gardens of Cornwall
Use our garden finder to search for gardens in Cornwall open to the public. Also find nearest nurseries, accommodation and events.

Whitby Hospitality Association
Directory of Accommodation,Restaurants and Tourist Information on Whitby, voted the "Best Seaside Resort 2006" by Which Holiday? magazine.

Places of Interest in Falmouth, Cornwall, England, UK
an insight into what is available in and around Falmouth, England.

Places of Interest in Frome, Somerset, England, UK
an insight into what is available in and around Frome, England.

Things to do in Newquay
a comprehensive look at what there is available to do in Newquay, England, UK.

Lookaround Cornwall
Guide to Cornwall featuring full-screen 360 degree panoramas. Includes beaches, restaurants, hotels and visitor attractions.

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