England is a country belonging to the United Kingdom. The first inhabitants of England were traced back to the Upper Paleolithic Period. At the turn of the 18th century, England saw the rise of the Industrial Revolution making the country one of the first industrialized countries in the world. If you travel to England, you will be able to bear witness to a host of attractions spanning historical, cultural and natural sights.
The terrain in England is mostly hilly and comes with several plains, particularly in the southern and central parts. London, the capital city of England, is the largest metropolitan area in the country. The over 53 million population in England comprises up to 84% of the entire population in the United Kingdom.
History of England
The history of England can be dated back to about 800,000 years ago. It started with the discovery of stone tools and footprints in Norfolk. Meanwhile, a jawbone discovery in Devon is one of the oldest proof of ancient human settlements during the prehistoric era. The experts have dated that jawbone to be around 44,000 years old. Meanwhile, there are many pieces of evidence of prehistoric life in various regions of England, which includes Stonehenge and Avebury.
The Anglo-Saxon settlement in Britain took place after the Roman rule has ended. Many historians believe the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons was also crucial in the origin of England, as well as the English people. The Anglo-Saxons were a collective group of Germanic people that established their kingdom in various parts of Europe, including England and Scotland. They also introduced the English language that replaced the former Old British language. The kingdom of England was officially formed in the 10th century after attempts to raid by other kingdoms, including the Vikings. The Anglo-Saxons decided it was best to unite the kingdoms into one.
After the Anglo-Saxons, the Norman dynasty came to rule England. It was during this time when the Magna Carta was signed. It then engaged to the Hundred Years’ War that involved the English and French troops. When that ended, the Tudor dynasty came to get a hold of England. It was during the rule of the Stuarts that the English Civil War took place. James II ruled England during a period known as the Glorious Revolution. It was during this time that England gained control of Wales and then Scotland to form Great Britain. It ruled a colonial empire during the Industrial Revolution and became the most powerful colony in history.
By the 20th century, England went through a process of decolonization. The two World Wars had weakened the power of Great Britain and most of its colonial territories overseas became their own independent countries.
England Travel Basicis
Connectivity: The main service providers in the UK provide Wi-Fi access in public areas. Therefore, getting connected is easy anywhere in England. A reliable and cheap way to get connected when you travel to England is to buy a local SIM card. This will significantly reduce your connectivity rates because you can get data packages for as low as £9.90 (US$12.40) per GB. You can buy from any of the top telco providers in England such as EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three.
International Airport/s: The London Heathrow Airport is one of the busiest airports in England. Other major airports for travel to England are Liverpool John Lennon Airport, Manchester Airport, London Biggin Hill Airport, London Ashford Airport, and Norwich International Airport, to name a few.
Visa Required: EU nationals can travel to England visa-free. Citizens from some other countries can travel to England without a visa for up to 6 months. For a holiday working visa, you can apply if you are aged 18-30 and you have at least £1600 in your bank account.
International Driver’s License Accepted? You can use a foreign-issued driver’s license to drive in England for a limited time period.
Crime: England is generally a safe place for travel. However, there has been a surge in cybercrimes over the past few years. There is also a significant rise in the number of violent crimes in the past year or so, particularly sex offenses. Hence, all tourists (especially females) should take proper precautionary measures when traveling to various parts of England. The threat of terrorism is also evident, especially in major cities. It is therefore important to heed proper warnings.
Electrical Adapters: In England, they use 230 volts of electricity at a frequency of 50 Hertz.
Rail Travel: If you want to travel to England and explore its various regions, traveling via train is one of the most reliable and convenient way to travel. However, it can be more expensive than coaches. Nonetheless, the rail system in England is efficient so you can expect a comfortable ride.
Car Travel: England has an extensive network of roads and toll way systems. Hence, driving around via car or renting your own car is a recommended way to see as many sights as possible, especially those that are located outside of the city center. It will be an easy and comfortable experience for you.
Trivia: The English people are the largest consumers of tea in the world. In fact, they consume tea 2.5 times more than Japanese, the next on the list.
The cuisine of England has several unique attributes but it shares a lot of similarities with the rest of British cuisine. There is also a variety of foreign influences to the English cuisine such as curry (from the Indians), as well as a combination of Italian, French and Chinese cuisines.
Cafes and tea shops are aplenty in England. In fact, those who travel to England should never miss a visit to one of the local tea shops. After all, tea is highly embedded in the English culture. Traditional cafes in England are known for serving breakfast food all day such as mashed potato, bacon, fried egg, and black pudding.
Pubs are also quite popular in England. Pub foods are therefore a favorite among the locals. The emphasis with pubs though is on the drinks served; hence, most of the food served at pubs are snack foods that range from burgers to pizzas to pork scratchings. Fish and chips is also a popular fare in England, especially in pubs.
Below is a list of notable dishes that you must try when you travel to England:
- Roast Beef
- Yorkshire Pudding
- Fish and Chips
- Cottage Pie
- Shepherd’s Pie
- Roast Meat
- Lancashire Hot Pot
If you are planning to travel to England or building your travel itinerary, it is good to have a grasp of the major attractions that you need to see. Below is a list of the major tourist attractions that you need to check out:
- Big Ben: This 16-century Gothic clock tower is an icon of London, as well as England. You cannot say that you’ve been to England if you haven’t seen, or captured a photo of, Big Ben. It has also become a national symbol for the Parliament Building.
- Tower of London: This medieval castle is Her Majesty’s Royal Palace. You will find this royal castle along the bank of the River Thames. The Tower of London is part of a large complex consisting of defensive walls and a moat.
- Stonehenge: If you love historical and cultural attractions, Stonehenge is a must-visit when you travel to England. This is a prehistoric monument that is one of the most popular attractions in England. These megalithic structures were estimated by experts to have been around since 3000 and 1500 BC.
- The Roman Baths: Bath is one of the most popular of the smaller cities in England. Make sure to add a visit to the Roman Baths during your trip.
- Windsor Castle: This historic royal castle in England was opened in 1070. It is located in the county of Berkshire. The castle is notable for its impressive architecture, as well as its association with the British royal family.
- Palace of Westminster: This is the venue for the meeting and administrative functions for the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It is also a popular attractions for tourists because of its neo-Gothic architectural style.
- Westminster Abbey: This protestant abbey is popular among visitors to England because of its association with English and British coronation services since 1066.
- Buckingham Palace: The royal palace in England was opened in 1703. Since then, this palace has been the residence and administrative headquarters for the monarchs of England and UK. This is also the venue for the royal hospitality and other state occasions.
England Travel Books
- Lonely Planet England (Travel Guide). Before you travel to England, get this guidebook to provide you with detailed insight to what to see and do during your visit. You will find relevantt and up-to-date information to help plan your travel.
- Rick Steves England. Rick Steves is your reliable guide when it comes to checking out the best that England has to offer. From Cornwall, to Dartmoor, to the Hadrian’s Wall, Rick Steves will show you that there is more to England than just London.
- Rick Steves Best of England. This is another excellent guide from Rick Steves that would be a worthy companion when you explore and travel to England.
- Frommer’s EasyGuide to London 2018. Traveling should be fun. Hence, this Frommer’s guide will let you forget about the rest and focus on just enjoying the experience.
- The Statues of London. Did you know that there are more statues in London than any other city in the world? This guide will take you throguh them for a unique travel bucket list.
England Travel Podcasts and Videos
- Top 10 things to do in England podcast | Indie Travel Podcast
- Travel to London, England – Travel Podcast
- Rick Steves Britain (Beyond London) by Rick Steves on Apple Podcasts
- London walks podcast | Travel | The Guardian
- Heart of England and South Wales | Rick Steves’ Europe
- London: Historic and Dynamic | Rick Steves’ Europe
- England’s Bath and York