England Part 2

Buckingham PalaceLondon is one of the most exciting capitals in the world so if you’re on holiday in this fabulous city make sure to see the many famous landmarks. Many visitors head for Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s residence, the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Tower Bridge and the London Eye. There are bus and coach tours to take you round London so you can get a taste of what London’s really like. The Tower of London is well worth seeing with its many interesting tales of the past, the Crown Jewels on display and the Yeoman Warders who tell interesting stories. St Paul’s Cathedral is another landmark that you shouldn’t miss out on. It was built in 604 AD and will surely take your breath away with its magnificent pillars, ancient tombs and amazing architecture.

Make arrangements to catch an exciting concert at the O2 arena or take a 90 minute tour on the roof of this very popular entertainment venue. There are fantastic views of London from a special platform in the middle of the roof. No visit to London would be quite complete without a day at the Zoo. Children and adults can get close to many of the animals, large or small, while enjoying the beautiful landscaped gardens they live in. Relax in the grounds of Kensington Palace which many kings and queens have made their home. You can see the magnificent State Apartments where Queen Victoria lived as a young child and the gardens where she played.

The Yorkshire Dales is also highly recommended as a place to travel to while on vacation in England. The Dales have provided beautiful backdrops for many television programmes as well as advertisements, with their amazing scenery. Swaledale is well known for a hardy breed of sheep, meadows, deep valleys and craft shops. It has a village green with inns, hotels and cafes taking you back to an age when things were quite different. Arkengarthdale is in the north of the Yorkshire Dales, a remote valley where there was once a thriving lead mining industry. This particular area has a dramatic feel to it as it isn’t very populated.

There are two small villages, Langthwaite and Arkle Town that are a must-see. With lots of moorland, fords to cross, wildlife and great walking trails, this region will appeal to those people who like nothing more than being in the great outdoors. Richmond is also a stunning place with its cobbled market place and rich history. Richmond Castle offers great views from the keep over the Swaledale hills and the Vale of York. There are fascinating museums to learn about Yorkshire culture while the Georgian Theatre Royal is host to plays, concerts and music evenings. The Richmondshire Museum has a scale model of the vet’s surgery from All Creatures Great and Small, a very popular English TV programme from many years ago. Don’t forget to explore the Yorkshire Dales National Park to see cascading waterfalls plus lots of flora and fauna.

Another wonderful city to visit for a break in the UK is Oxford. Full of book shops, fine restaurants, interesting landmarks and of course the world famous University, it’s definitely a place to put on your travel itinerary. Take time out to visit Carfax Tower, the remains of St Martin’s Church built in the 13th century. It’s 74 feet in height and has a ring of six bells which chime on the quarter hour. The stone monument of the Martyrs’ Memorial also provides an insight into the history of Oxford. It was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and took two years to build in 1843. This beautiful Victorian Gothic monument resembles a spire of a sunken cathedral and has an inscription on the base.

 Bodleian LibraryEven if you’re not into reading, a trip to the Bodleian Library is a must. This beautiful building was opened in 1602 and has a huge collection of books on many different subjects. You can read the books on the premises but not take any away. Gardening enthusiasts shouldn’t miss out on seeing the splendid Botanic Gardens that are open daily. They can be found on the banks of the Cherwell River and were opened in 1621. There are well-kept outdoor gardens, greenhouses where exotic flowers and plants are grown as well as an exquisite rose garden. Hire a traditional Oxford punt, rowing boat or pedalo and cruise along the river, the kids will love it. Stop off to have a tasty meal in one of the riverside restaurants.

Dorset and the East Devon Coast are known as the Jurassic Coast due to the region’s natural world heritage site. It also has intriguing fossils buried underneath the rocks. There are many beautiful towns and villages dotted along the coastline with lots of attractions and places to stay. Charmouth is one of the UK’s oldest holiday resorts with miles of golden sandy beaches where you can go for a swim. It also has exciting playgrounds, crazy golf courses, water skiing and sailing amenities for everyone to enjoy. One of the quaintest towns in this area is Lyme Regis with its tangle of shops and narrow streets. The 13th century Cobb Harbour was used as a backdrop for the John Fowles’ film The French Lieutenant’s Woman starring Merryl Streep and Jeremy Irons.

Budleigh Salterton should be on your travel itinerary with its quirky cottages and many historical artifacts. You can find this small seaside town near a pebble beach close to amazing red cliffs. Dorset and Devon offer the discerning traveller the opportunity to experience life that’s laid back and easy. Sidmouth has a charm all of its own with landscaped gardens to admire, lovely walks, fantastic beaches including the International Folk Festival held in the summer. Tourists return to this part of the UK year after year to enjoy chatting to friendly locals, trying different restaurants, relaxing in cafes with a coffee and sunbathing on the beaches. Make Dorset and the East Devon Coast your next holiday destination.