Blending rich history, countless cultural influences, famous innovators in science and literature, and (let’s not forget!) a royal monarchy, England is the epitome of a destination full of wealth. Let Europe Express customize your ideal group trip as you discover what makes this destination so special.
Journey through England and you’ll feel as though you’re traveling back in time. This destination is thriving with opportunities to learn and explore, and is ideal for any traveler who desires a little education on their trip with a side of adventure.
England is the largest of the four nations that make up the United Kingdom and can be separated into three main regions, each with its own deep historical and linguistic roots. As the capital of both England and the United Kingdom, the city of London is a vastly diverse metropolitan area and serves as a global capital for finance, fashion, and culture. This city houses the world’s best museums, a fantastic theatre scene, beautiful city park, and has been home to some of the most well-know characters—including Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Queen Elizabeth I, John Keats, Lord Byron, Thomas Becket and Virginia Wolf. The English terrain is a mix of city and countryside, making traveling through any part of this country a breeze. England has seen its fair share off rise and falls of many cultures, civilisations and empires, and what it has left behind is an abundance of treasures to be admired by all.
‘Must See’ Historical Sites
The historical sites of England range from the most famous and popular tourist destinations – such as Buckingham Palace, Stonehenge and Windsor Castle – to less familiar, often hidden sites not seen as the “standard” for visitors. From prehistoric sites, to medieval castles and abbeys, there are endless opportunities to explore the incredible history, architecture and natural beauty of England.
One such place to catch a glimpse of centuries past is at Hadrian’s Wall in Chollerford. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Hadrian’s Wall is a magnificent remnant of Roman Britain once thought to have been as a fortification to keep out the Scots, although historians today believe its purpose was for monitoring movement between the north and south in an attempt to consolidate the Empire. Scenes from several Hollywood films have been filmed at some section of Hadrian’s Wall, including the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, starring Kevin Costner.
Another World Heritage site worth the visit is Fountain’s Abbey in Ripon, established in 1132 after thirteen monks were exiled form St Mary’s Abbey. History and the economy have taken a toll on the site, but visitors can still roam through the well-preserved area, including the cloisters and the cellarium.
While traveling through England, make sure to stop and see the world famous Roman Baths complex in Bath. First discovered in the nineteenth century, the site contains an incredible set of thermal spas and an impressive ancient Roman bathing house, and is one of the best preserved ancient Roman sites in the UK.
Other ‘must see’ historical sites include: Temple Church, Oxford University (the site of many scenes from the Harry Potter films), Castle, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square and the Tower of London. Europe Express offers a variety of itineraries for you and your group to educate and immerse yourselves in ancient English history. Check out a few, here.
The Arts & Culture
England is home to some of the world’s most famous literary icons and their historical counterparts. Whether you’re after Sherlock or Shakespeare, English culture rarely disappoints.
English literature begins with the Anglo-Saxon literature (Old English) leading way to the likes of Geoffrey Chaucer. Fast forward to the Elizabethan era, and you’ll find the “golden age” of English literature, featuring the works of William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Arnold Bennett, Rupert Brooke and many more. If you’re a fan of English literature, a trip to Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon, is a must. Holding over 400 treasures in 8 rooms, including documents, portraits, pictures and old coins, the home of Shakespeare is open to the public. You can also attend a performance at the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre.
Dominated by the Renaissance period, English art holds a significant place in history, varying from landscape portraits to the royal collection. The National Gallery in London houses one of the greatest collections of paintings in the world, containing over 2,300 works, including many famous the famous Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait, Velázquez’s Rokeby Venus, Turner’s Fighting Temeraire and Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.
England has also had a major impact on the music scene. Emerging from Liverpool, The Beatles played a significant role in popularizing the concept of the self-contained music act, opening the doors for many groups, such as the Rolling Stones, Queen, Black Sabbath, The Police and Pink Floyd. Contemporary English artists have continued to grow in popularity throughout the years, from Elton John, David Bowie and Sting to The Spice Girls, Adele and One Direction.