- 53 million
- Great Britain pound
We could start off with pints, pies, mushy peas and limited sunshine, but there’s far more to England than these age-old stereotypes. That London is often the first port of call for all types of travellers – from straight-out-of-school teens to cashed-up baby boomers and everyone in between – speaks volumes. With a little ingenuity (a wallet full of cash does make it all a lot easier), you can find and do just about anything here, from watching riveting theatre at Shakespeare’s Globe to lining up with the hordes to wander through the overblown decor of Buckingham Palace. Really, though, a couple of days here should be more than enough – those pints are expensive and the Tube is enough to make even the most committed traveller question the meaning of life.
Instead, get out of town. The Scilly Isles in the far southwest captures a way of life most of us thought disappeared many years ago (residents still leave their doors unlocked). The Peak District, with its rolling hills and jagged escarpments, is as beautiful as any mountain scenery. In the Yorkshire Dales, hop from one village to the next and discover these tiny towns are all they’re cracked up to be on the postcards.
Brighton is a notable party town, but opt for the scene in Bristol instead. Revisit the rave in its spiritual home of Manchester, or grab a board and head south. If you’re a master on the waves, head to St Agnes or Praa Sands; beginners might want to try Gwithian or Harlyn Bay.
Summer sees the festival season kick off and, if getting drunk in a paddock sounds like your jam, you can catch the best bands going around as they hop from one spot to the next on a never-ending circuit. Oh, we hear there’s a bit of history and architecture going around, too...