UK Top Attractions Private Tour
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England is one of the most visited country in the world. It offers almost endless possibilities for things to see and do. Part of the beautiful British Isles, this small but influential country bursts with fascinating history, exciting cities, and rich cultural traditions. Historic sites are at every turn, from prehistoric megaliths and ancient Roman sites to centuries–old castles and town centers dating back to the Middle Ages.
UK Top Attractions Private Tour
England is also extremely easy to get around, with its most popular tourist destinations well connected by trains and buses. Or you can drive between points of interest on a well-planned system of motorways. Whether you choose to tour the country by car or public transport, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable experience.
Stonehenge, 10 miles north of Salisbury on Salisbury Plain, is Europe’s best-known prehistoric monument (the site is so popular that visitors need to purchase a timed ticket in advance to guarantee entry). Exhibitions at the excellent visitor center set the stage for a visit, explaining through audio-visual experiences and more than 250 ancient objects how the megaliths were erected and telling about life when they were placed here, between 3000 and 1500 BC. After walking around the enormous stones, visit the authentic replicas of Neolithic Houses to see the tools and implements of everyday Neolithic life as volunteers demonstrate skills from 4,500 years ago. Although you can’t go inside the circle to wander among the stones during normal opening hours, you can reserve special early morning or late evening access into the circle through English Heritage, which manages the site.
Location: Shrewton, Wiltshire
Official site: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk
2. The Roman Baths and Georgian City of Bath
If you only have time to visit one smaller city in England, you couldn’t do much better than Bath. This remarkably beautiful city boasts more fantastic tourist attractions than you could hope to visit in a day. While most famous for the magnificent 2,000-year-old Roman Baths built around the city’s rejuvenating hot springs, it’s equally well known for its honey-colored Georgian Townhouses such as those located on Royal Crescent. Some 500 of the city’s buildings are considered of historical or architectural importance, a fact that has resulted in the entire city being granted World Heritage status. Bath makes an ideal location from which to explore some of England’s most stunning countryside, including the Avon Valley, the Mendip Hills, and countless other fantastic Somerset landmarks.
Location: Abbey Chambers, Abbey Churchyard, Bath
3. York Minster and Historic Yorkshire
The magnificent York Minster is second in importance in the Church of England only to the cathedral at Canterbury. It stands in the center of York, surrounded by half-timbered homes and shops, medieval guildhalls, and churches. In turn, York’s romantic streets are surrounded by three miles of magnificent town walls that you can walk atop for views of the city and its surroundings. While there, visit the National Railway Museum, one of England’s most visited tourist attractions. York is a good base for exploring the countryside, in particular the rugged beauty of the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors. Elsewhere in Yorkshire, you’ll find some of England’s most beautiful historic towns and cities, including Durham and Beverley.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in York
4. Chester Zoo
Located in Upton, just over a mile north of Chester city center, Chester Zoo is England’s most visited attraction outside of London and a particular favorite for families. The more than 11,000 animals living in this 125-acre site represent about 400 different species. But the zoo’s appeal reaches to more than animal lovers, with prizewinning landscaped gardens. You can tour these extensive grounds on the zoo’s monorail system to reach highlights that include Chimpanzee Island, a penguin pool, and Europe’s largest tropical house.
While in Chester, take time to walk its walls, the best preserved of their kind in Britain, and see Chester’s other most distinctive feature: its galleried walkways running the length of stone and half-timbered buildings dating from the 14th century.
Address: Cedar House, Caughall Road, Chester
Official site: www.chesterzoo.org
5. Lake District National Park
Covering some 900 square miles, the Lake District National Park is a must-visit destination for travelers to England. With 12 of the country’s largest lakes and more than 2,000 miles of rights of way waiting to be explored, there’s little wonder the region continues to inspire, with its magnificent views and scenery straight out of a painting. Other things to do include visiting the park’s many fells, including Scafell Pike (3,210 feet), the highest mountain in England; lovely little towns and villages such as Grasmere; as well as boat excursions across Lake Windermere and Ullswater.
Address: Murley Moss, Oxenholme Road, Kendal
6. Canterbury Cathedral
Located in the heart of the historic city that bears its name, Canterbury Cathedral (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) is home to the Archbishop of Canterbury and is the cradle of English Christianity. It all started when St. Augustineconverted the pagan Anglo Saxons here in 597 when he became the first bishop. But there’s much more to this beautiful medieval city than its cathedral. Canterbury is also a popular cultural and entertainment destination with great shopping, galleries, and cafés, as well as attractions such as those focused on Chaucer’s medieval England and the city’s Roman past.
Address: 11 The Precincts, Canterbury
7. Eden Project
The incredible Eden Project is a collection of unique artificial biomes containing an amazing collection of plants from around the world. Located in a reclaimed quarry in Cornwall, the complex consists of huge domes that look rather like massive igloo-shaped greenhouses. Each houses thousands of different plant species in tropical and Mediterranean environments. As well as these stunning displays of plant life, the Eden Project hosts numerous fantastic arts and music events.
Location: Bodelva, Cornwall
Official site: www.edenproject.com
8. Royal Museums Greenwich
Downstream from Tower Bridge, Greenwich is the London base of the Royal Navy and holds England’s largest expanses of preserved historic architecture and parks. And although lovers of things maritime will certainly gravitate to Greenwich, there’s a lot more there than ships and boats. The highlight for most visitors is the Cutty Sark, the last surviving of the 19th-century clippers from the lucrative tea trade between Britain and China. Built in 1869, the Cutty Sark was one of the finest and fastest ships of its day, and you can board it to explore the clipper, from its figure head to the sailors’ quarters below decks.
At the Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre exhibits show more than 500 years of maritime history. In Queen’s House, the National Maritime Museum is the largest of its kind in the world, featuring the Royal Navy from Tudor times to the Napoleonic Wars. Greenwich Park, dating from the 15th century and the oldest of London’s eight Royal Parks, is filled with beautiful gardens and walking paths, and here you’ll find the Old Royal Observatory and the Prime Meridian Line, marked by a steel rod in the floor of the Meridian Building. This is the zero meridian of longitude, dividing the world into eastern and western halves; you can stand with one foot in each hemisphere.
Address: King William Walk, Greenwich, London
Official site: www.rmg.co.u
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