United Kingdom

History

history
 

The inhabitants of the United Kingdom have had a tendency to try to leave their mark on the landscape of the UK. For the length of recorded history they have been leaving little marks for the tourists of the future to enjoy. This started with our prehistoric cousins who left their mark in stone circles and mounds at such places such as Stonehenge and Avebury. Obviously these sites started as places of religious observance but today give us a glimpse of the past.

Then came the Romans, who as well as leaving roads, married the natives and left great marks such as villas at Fishbourne, Baths at Bath, Hadrian's wall in the north of England, and roman walls and building all over the country, including in London, Lincoln, York and Cirencester The capitals of the four British provinces in the late Roman period

After the Romans left, the United Kingdom fell along with the rest of Western Europe into the dark ages. Even during this period when much of the learning, cilivation and culture of the Roman period was lost, The people of the United Kingdom continued to make their mark on the landscape of the country, with elaborate burial mounds such as the ones at Sutton Hoo the treasures of which can now been see in the British museum. As time progressed waves of migrants and invaders came from the present day Germany, Denmark and Norway brought with them a new language and new culture.

history
 

1066 saw a major change in the history of the United Kingdom as the Kingdom of England was conquered by the Norman’s from Northern France. As a means to consolidate their power during the 11th and 12th centuries, they went on a building spree, building castles and churches, including the Tower of London and castles at Windsor, Durham and Warwick amongst others and wonderful cathedrals at Canterbury, Norwich, Lincoln, Durham and York. As the Normans extended their power in Wales in the 13th century, there was more castle building with Conwy, Caernarfon and Harlech. In Scotland too, great castles were built at Stirling and Edinburgh.

history
 

Britain is littered with historical sites from the Stuart, Georgian, Regency and Victorian era. There are fine examples of English country houses at Blenheim, Chatsworth and the Royal pavilion at Brighton which shows royal regency splender by the sea. There are fine examples of classic Georgian cities in Edinburgh and Bath. The industrial revolution saw a huge increase in the population and a migration towards the cities and the development of heavy industry. Some key sites from this period include the Ironbridge, site of the world’s first all iron bridge, the mills of Saltaire and New Lanark. Other Victorian treats include St Pancras station in London, The Houses of Parliament, and the Royal Albert Hall, Tower Bridge in London, Forth Bridge in Edinburgh and Glasgow and Manchester Town Halls.

history
 

The early 20th century saw the heyday of the British seaside resort, with towns like Blackpool seeing millions of visitors to their beaches, theatres and entertainment every year. In Liverpool the two great cathedrals of the 20th century dominate the skyline, and then there are other modern treats, the domes of the Eden project in Cornwall, the Angel of the North outside of Newcastle and the new Titanic Quarter in Belfast.

From Lands' End in the south to John O’Groats and Duncansby Head in the North, there is so much to see in the United Kingdom, which is home to 25 Unecso world heritage sites. There are hundreds of free museums to enjoy across the country, many thousands of municipal parks to stroll through, tens of thousands of interesting communities to visit and many millions of acres of countryside to ramble across . It is much more than just rain and seeing whether the Queen is at home at Buckingham Palace.

landmarks
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh, is a magnificently situated royal fortress located on one of the highest points in the city. The castle has been continuously in use for 1000 years and is in excellent condition.

Stonehenge is an ancient stone circle located near the cathedral city of Salisbury in Wiltshire.

The Georgian architecture and Roman baths in Bath.

York Minster
Cathedral in the historic city of York.
Canterbury Cathedral
is the seat of the head of the church of England. Located in the city of Canterbury in Kent
Shakespeare's Birthplace
Stratford-Upon-Avon, is home of the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The ancient and world-renowned universities of Oxford and Cambridge

The Eden Project
near St Austell is a massive botanical gardens including indoor rainforest and Mediterranean biodomes.
The Giant's Causeway
sixty miles from Belfast on the north coast of Northern Ireland is a World Heritage site and a natural wonder.
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
is home to three of the most important ships ever built and 800 years of naval history.
cities

London – Samuel Johnson once wrote a man who is tired of London is tired of life. This is still true, as London is home to a wide range of attractions: art at galleries such as the National Gallery, The National Portrait Gallery, The Tate and the Tate Modern, amongst others. There are cultural treats in the theatres and cinema of the West End and South Bank, and the recreated home of Shakespeare in the capital, the Globe. There are all the traditional tourist sites to see such as Buckingham Palace, The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square and the London Eye.

Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland was initially centred on the Old Town, the castle and Holyrood Palace, but the New Town is a Georgian masterpiece. Both the Old Town and the New Town are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Oxford and Cambridge – The two ancient university towns allow you to wander amongst the dreaming spires, to punt on the river and to at certain times walk through the college quadrangles.

parks and nature

The United Kingdom has an array of National Parks and designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty that serve to preserve the country's natural heritage. There are 14 National Parks in total spread across England, Scotland and Wales 9 in England, 2 in Scotland and 3 in Wales and 49 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England, Wales and Northern Ireland 35 in England, 4 in Wales, 9 in Northern Ireland and 1 in both England and Wales. There are no Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Scotland, but there are the equivalent National Scenic Areas, of which there are 35 spread across the country

The British countryside has lots to offer, In the south there are the rolling countryside and picturesque villages of the Cotswolds and the Jurassic coast. In the east, there is the tranquillity of the Fens. The north has the magnificent scenery and outdoor activities in the Lake District and the Peak District. Wales offers the ruggedness of the Snowdonia National Park and the beautiful beaches of the Gower. Scotland has the vast wilderness of the Highlands and the beauty of the islands. Northern Ireland is blessed with the Giant's Causeway as well as the north Antrim coast.

sport

United Kingdom can be called the home of sport as it was the birthplace of five of the world’s major sports, association football, rugby football, tennis, golf, and cricket. There are shrines to these sports all over the country Wembley, Old Trafford, Anfield and Hampden Park for football; Twickenham and Murrayfield for rugby; Lords for cricket; St. Andrew's for golf; and the All England club at Wimbledon for tennis.