The United Kingdom has always been a popular tourist destination. Be it family vacations, honeymoons or even bachelor backpacking trips, the United Kingdom has something for everyone. It has, since time immemorial, opened up its arms to visitors from around the globe. The rich culture of the UK has enthused travellers and historians alike. There have hardly been times when visitors have left the UK unimpressed and uncharmed. Here’s presenting to you three places in the UK that must feature on your bucket list. These cities have gone on to redefine the culture of Europe and have contributed significantly in making the United Kingdom every person’s favourite holiday destination.
London: London is both the business and the cultural centre of Europe. Home of the Houses of Parliament, the Big Ben, The Tower of London and the famous Westminster Abbey, London is a world centre of theatre, art, music, literature and culture. It’s also a city of colourful markets, great shopping placse, green open spaces and a vibrant cosmopolitan culture. London houses 12.5 per cent of the UK’s population. Not counting visitors, more than 1.5 million Londoners come from abroad who speak 300 different languages. Such vibrancy in terms of language and culture can truly be found only in London.
In the historical cultural forays London has made in reaching out to the world, it has become a hotspot of diversity and variety. Along with its cosmopolitan locals, London welcomes more than 25 million visitors a year through its five airports, national rail stations and Eurostar terminal, the gateway to the continent.Of course, London is only one corner of the United Kingdom. You can go for riding the ‘London Eye’, taking a boat trip on the river Thames, visiting the various museums, watching plays at the National Theatre or in Shakespeare’s Globe or even trying the various markets in London. Visit the numerous brewery hotels, the Chiswell Street Dining Rooms and lose yourself in the various things to visit near Westbourne Terrace. On lazy days when you want to feel the atmosphere of the city and be a part of it rather than a tourist or a visitor, try visiting the numerous beautiful parks in London.
Oxford: Oxford University is England’s oldest university and dates back to the 11th century. It’s the reason that many people make their way to this small city, 60 miles northwest of London. The city has England’s oldest public museum, The Ashmolean, recently refurbished with its exhibition space doubled. Visitors can also enjoy shopping in a lively covered market, find an almost hidden pub that was popular when Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were still hiding their affair from their respective spouses, explore a haunted castle and stay in a unique hotel that was once a jail.
In the history of Oxford, lies the wonderful culture of the United Kingdom…or at least, a part of it. Visitors are welcome to stroll the fascinating, historic grounds and chapels of most – but not all – of the colleges. As you stroll the grounds, you come upon the confluence of styles and regions that can be found in not only the various faces you spot but also on the very face of the place in the architecture of the numerous buildings. Official Guided Walking Tours, run by the Oxford Tourist Information Centre, take in the colleges, other Oxford landmarks and Oxford movie locations – including some used in the Harry Potter films. It’s also a useful base for exploring the Cotswolds; visiting Blenheim Palace in Woodstock.
Stonehenge: No one is actually quite certain as to who built Stonehenge. Whoever they were, they gathered here as long as 5,000 years ago – and people are still drawn to this mysterious presence on Salisbury Plain tens of thousands years later. The Vernal Equinox is a great time to visit Stonehenge. The first day of Spring is one of the times the sun aligns with various stone arches and lintels to dramatic effect and for unknown purpose. Thousands now show up to celebrate the sunrise of the longest day – Summer Solstice at Stonehenge. There are also various secret groups that celebrate and observe rituals and days sacred to them. There are various local folklore surrounding Stonehenge and they begin gaining more and more prominence as the important ritualistic times in the calendar edge closer and closer. A journey to Stonehenge requires will reveal the lesser known, more mysterious side of the UK and for fans of supernatural studies and supernatural theories, this is one trip that will be worth your time!