Tuesday, April 8, 2014
England is full of history, hills, sea, and mystery. The people that inhabit the British Isles are as varied in background and interests, as the landscape they are so closely intertwined with. From Land’s End in Cornwall to the bustling city of London, England is teeming with sights, sounds, tastes, and memories for you to encounter.
England can be seen from a coach tour bus, a train, by foot, boat, or automobile. Within Central London, there are fees of ten pounds per day during the week for traveling in by car; weekends however, are free. If you are budget minded, then planning your trip by car on the weekend to Central London saves you ten pounds per day, and there is much more parking available, as much of Central London’s population during the week is made up of the workforce that commutes in to London during the week. London has many places that are not only historical in the eyes of Britain, but the world as well.
The Tower of London was built as a Royal Residence, although so many accounts of The Tower are of death and incarceration. The moat was drained long ago, and now grass can be seen growing where the water once was. As you enter the gates to The Tower the ancient stonework greets you, and the sheer height of the entryway dwarfs you. Imagining a bustling court with carts and carriages piled with hay, food for the kitchens, or transporting a prisoner to spend time in The Tower, such as Charles I, becomes a very real event in your mind’s eye. Ravens are kept at The Tower still out of belief that if Ravens are not in The Tower, harm may befall the Royal Family.
From the The Tower of London it is a short walk to The London Eye which is a Ferris Wheel that offers a 360 degree view of London and the River Thames through its glass seating. After the panoramic view of London, Westminster Abbey beckons with unrivaled acoustics for Evensong services, and there of course are statesmen, poets, kings, and queens buried there. Tea can also be had for a modest price at Westminster Abbey in a relaxed atmosphere with china settings and a cheerful environment. Getting around London is much more economical with The London Pass. The web site for details on cost is here: http://www.londonpass.com/london-pass-prices.php#.U0S3bPldV1E . Visit Charles Dickens and Charles Darwin and Geoffrey Chaucer in Poet’s Corner and Scientists’ Corner. Let your imagination take you through time, imagine William the Conqueror’s coronation; it’s all in one place.
Hop on the Tube to Euston St. Pancras and catch a train to Cambridge for the day from King’s Cross Station. When in Cambridge stop in at Fitzbillies Café to sample their famous sticky Chelsea Buns. Since 1921, Fitzbillies has been open in Cambridge serving the locals and students. Now, it not only is a café by day, but a fine dining restaurant on weekend evenings. Simple and honest food with a gourmet twist enchants your palate. King’s College is a prime example of Gothic architecture and offers historical glimpses of the Tudor era. Take a punt on the River Cam, rent a bicycle and check out The Eagle Pub in Cambridge. There is a room with the signatures of World War II Air Force pilots on the ceiling. Many of those pilots did not return, and spent their last evenings alive with fellow pilots, navigators, and crewmen, at The Eagle Pub.
Hire a car or a coach and zip over to Windsor and Eton for the day. Walk along the Thames and have lunch at Cote. Feed the swans, enjoy the cobbled streets, charity shops, and tour Windsor Castle. Walk in the footsteps of Elizabeth I, Henry VIII, Charles II, and many monarchs, gentry, and folk of days gone by. In Windsor, modernity meets antiquity in a thoroughly British way.
From Windsor, Bath beckons for a tour of Roman Ruins and Roman Baths. The Pump Room is open for business, and Sally Luns Buns are for sale. Enjoy the picturesque aestheticism the Palladian Architecture provides. Beau Brummell, Jane Austen, and the gentry loved Bath; certainly you will too!