England’s green and pleasant land has a deep and rich historical tapestry and cultural heritage that rivals almost anywhere else in the world, but modern England is far, far more than just its past. Diverse and celebrated regional identities, world class shopping and nightlife, gastronomic delights, cultural wonders and a whole load of UNESCO world heritage sites, England holds its head up high as one of the Western world’s best tourist destinations.
English culture and etiquette is extremely nuanced and influenced by wide regional idiosyncrasies, but will still be familiar to most visitors thanks to the UK’s influence in almost every aspect of the world stage, from trade to media. Visitors to England, as in the rest of the UK, will have very little trouble, as the UK as a whole is extremely welcoming of all visitors and has a diverse, multicultural population. Visas. Members of the EU do not need a visa to enter, stay or work in the UK. Citizens of the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries can visit for up to six months but cannot work. Citizens of other countries must apply for the relevant visa dependant on whether they intend to be a general visitor, family visitor, business visitor or any other relevant category. Health. There are no specific immunisations needed to visit England. Reciprocal healthcare arrangements between the whole of the UK and many countries throughout the world allow for free or at least subsidised treatment. Everyone will get free care at the point of delivery via the NHS, but it is still essential that you have valid and comprehensive health insurance and an EHIC card if you are from the EU. Crime and Safety. England is generally very safe with relatively low crime rates. This does not mean that crime does not occur at all, but reasonable common sense precautions for your personal health and safety are enough to keep you safe. Costs and money. The currency in England is the Pound, which is divided into 100 pence. There is no getting around it, England is extremely expensive – especially in London and the South – with high prices and one of the strongest currencies in the world. An extreme budget traveller will struggle to get by in England on less than £50GBP a day in much of England, more in the South. There are ways to save money and stick to your budget, there are a variety of free activities such as cathedrals, museums and art galleries, eating at pubs or smaller eateries can be a lot cheaper than restaurants and always book train or coach transport as early as possible as fares on the day can be extortionate and disproportionate. When to go. England is a generally temperate country with relatively mild winters and summers and intermittent cold snaps and heat waves. In general the best times to visit are Spring and Autumn, as this maximises the weather and keeps you out of the high seasons of the summer holidays and Christmas period, but there really is no telling what the weather will be like from month to month. London. England’s capital is unmissable and a perfect city break for a few days. You simply can’t come to England without spending a few days here at least. Great shopping, world class gourmet restaurants, fantastic shows and attractions, London has it all. It will eat into your budget very quickly though if you are not careful.
England’s second city and often seen by the locals as culturally separate from the rest of England, Liverpool has so much more to offer that the cultural music scene and the Beatles that it is so famous for. Visit the Albert Dock and the Maritime History Museum to get a taste of how vital Liverpool was to the British Empires early expansion and growth or explore the World Museum to see some fascinating exhibits and collections from around the world. Liverpool has a whole host of amazing attractions, so take advantage of the world class eating and shopping at the upmarket Liverpool One or the famous city centre, and enjoy the famous hospitality and sense of humour of the locals, one thing is for sure you will not regret coming to this fantastic yet always underated city. The Lake District. This is one of the most beautiful and scenic spots in the English countryside and is famous for its walks and hiking opportunities. If you want to see some of the English countryside at its best, then you should come here! Stonehenge. This monument needs no introduction, England’s very own ancient wonder in all but name, this prehistoric monument is shrouded in myth and legend and still has archaeologists arguing over its true origins today. Based in Wiltshire, it is just a short 2 miles from Amesbury, although many people head through Salisbury to get there. The Royal Armouries, Leeds. This museum displays not only the national collection of England’s arms and armour from the dark ages onwards, but has an unmatched collection from around the world. For anyone interested in the art, beauty and history of arms and armour, this is an absolute must see.
The Harry Potter studio tour, London. One of England’s premier tourist attractions, this celebration of one of the country’s biggest literary successes rivals anything available in Universal Studios or any other premier tourist attraction around the world. This huge tour gives you a glimpse into the detail that was put into the making of the films as it allows you to tour the sets and see the props and special effects used. I can’t stress enough how amazing this tour is, and it is fantastic value for money too. It is an easy train ride from London and the Warner Brothers bus picks you up right outside the train station to take you to the studio. Book ahead though, as tickets can sell out quickly, especially in the holidays. There is no need to stay with the tour either, which is aimed primarily at children, you can break off at any time and explore at your own leisure. Any fan of Harry Potter should check out Platform 9 and 3/4 at London’s Kings Cross Station too! Explore the countryside.
Get outside of the cities and explore some of England’s famed countryside, from the beaches of Devon to the hills of the Lake District, England is still a green and pleasant land for those who want to explore it.
Go to the Zoo.
England has a lot of Zoo’s, with Chester Zoo, Blackpool Zoo and London Zoo being among the best. Perfect for those travelling with families, or simply those who just have a love of animals and conservation. Edinburgh Zoo even holds the UKs only pandas! Either way there are a lot of options to choose from. There are also plenty of world class aquariums to discover too, such as Blue Planet in Chester or the Sea Life London Aquarium.
Explore England’s heritage. One thing that England does well is heritage, and it is easy to get a glimpse of that on your visit here by exploring the plethora of castles, cathedrals, museums and historical sites. Even more good news for travellers trying to stick to a budget is that many of the best museums and cathedrals are free to enter.