None could mistake the strange stone monoliths of Stonehenge, shrouded in thousands of years of mystery and mysticism. While modern science has led us closer to an understanding of what the rocks are and how they came to be there, the evidence is not yet entirely conclusive. Research in the last decade seems to point to the fact that the stones were brought over from Pembrokeshire over two-thousand years ago. In popular culture, Stonehenge is both a center for the study of prehistory as well as the subject of Arthurian legend, and the history of the Kings of Britain - all in which Stonehenge plays a crucial and significant part. Nowadays, Stonehenge is owned by the English Heritage association charity, which manages over 400 historic monuments, buildings and places. Offering both a tour through the stones themselves, as well as informational exhibitions and a café with an astonishing view of the monument for relatively low prices.
#2 Windsor Castle
One of the many royal residences both former and present dotting the country’s landscape, the magnificent estate of Windsor Castle, whose namesake it shares with the reigning royal family, embodies the very spirit of the British tradition. Construction began in 1070, and since then the castle has been a family home to British kings and queens for a thousand years. With the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on the horizon, business is booming for the Royal Collection Trust which runs the day-to-day tourist attractions of the castle. Being the largest occupied castle in the entire world, Windsor boasts a host of different complexes and intricately designed interiors with a range of architectural themes. It also possesses a vast treasure room, which hosts priceless relics, artifacts and paintings. Tickets can be expensive, but given the majesty of the exhibit and the experiences it has to offer, we can assure you it is more than worth it!
#3 Lake District
An iconic landscape of natural beauty and host to twelve of the country’s largest lakes as well as highest mountains, the Lake District offers an experience of some of the best scenery to be found in the entire world. A national park located in the county of Cumbria, northwest England, the Lake District is completely free to visit - however, many organisations do offer tours through the area if that is to your liking, and there are also many establishments around the district itself such as café’s for you to rest and relax at. Old, traditional villages and market towns such as Ambleside and Keswick sit at the base of the mountainous region, and hold numerous attractions of their own. For a trip to the Lake District, we’d recommend 3-5 nights at least in order to experience everything it has to offer!
#4 Eden Project
The Eden Project, taking its namesake from the biblical Garden of Eden, is a botanical garden in Cornwall, England. Construction of the site began in 1998 and finished only three years later in 2001. Today, it is one of the UK’s most visited tourist attractions yearly, by both nationals and foreign visitors. In short, it is an arrangement of vast enclosures that emulate a natural biome, setting up and maintaining the conditions for exotic plants and wildlife specimen to survive within, where they usually would not outside of the domes. According to its website, the purpose of the Eden Project is to celebrate plants, the natural world, and to regenerate damaged landscapes. Inside the dome, tourists can explore a wide range of exciting natural attractions, such as a waterfall, exotic plants, as well as birds and insects not to be found anywhere else within the UK!
#5 The Cotswold
The Cotswold is an 800 square miles large region of the UK, known far and wide as one of the most “quintessentially English” and unspoiled regions of the country in reference to its natural beauty, picturesque villages and vibrant market towns. It is home to several attractions, such as its famous Wildlife Park & Gardens. At the Wildlife Park, visitors are able to meet a wide range of exotic wildlife from all across the globe, such as Giraffes, Camels, Otters, Wolverines, Primates and even Lions! Given its vast area, which spans the counties of Oxfordshire, Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire, there is a vast range of accommodation, attractions, and things to do and explore in the Cotswold - undoubtedly something for everybody!
#6 Warwick Castle
Warwick Castle is a vast and majestic medieval castle. Originally a small, wooden fort constructed on the orders of King William the Conqueror during his first years of kingship, it was expanded through the centuries and now offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore a thousand years of English history and architecture. It offers some truly spectacular exhibits, such as the Dragon Slayer show, which brings the local legend of Guy of Warwick alive. See him battle giants, the Dun Cow and a 50 foot tall dragon - we’re certain that the spectacle would provide enough excitement to make a trip worth it on its own! However, that is not all that the castle has to offer, of course, aside from its tours through the 13th and 14th century Medieval brickwork, intricately designed interiors and its beautiful courtyard, it also offers a hotel for overnight stays, live jousting and even the opportunity to have your own wedding at the castle!