England Vacations

England is part of the United Kingdom which is an island located in the North Sea across the English Channel from France. England has played an important role in the customs and culture of modern society with its global influence. England is the home to cricket, which was first played in the 1500s. The playwright William Shakespeare is known as England's national poet, and his plays have been produced more than any other writer alive or dead. Sir Francis Drake, while being supported financially and politically by Queen Elizabeth I, was the 1st to sail around the world in 1577–1580. During the 1960, a rock band named "The Beatles" became one of the most influential bands in the history of music. The extensive history and culture you can experience while on a vacation in England is enormous.

England Vacation Rentals and Boutique Hotels

England Vacations: Things to see while on vacation in England

England Geography

England ranks the first inside the United Kingdom of Great Britain as territory and population, covering 65% of the Great Britain island, stretched on the northwestern corner of Europe. Isles of Scilly and Isle of Wight belong to England. The neighbors of England are Scotland on the North side, Wales on the western side, the Atlantic Ocean, the Irish Sea and the North Sea. England’s geography is composed of two areas the highland and the lowland regions. The highland zone includes the Cumbrian Mountains, the Pennine Mountain Range and the Lake District mountains. The highest peak here is Scafell Pike, touching 978m above sea level. The region is in general colder and receives important rainfall quantities, which doesn’t recommend it for farming activities. These are more favored in the lowland area. It comprises Chiltern Hills, Cotswold Hills, South Downs and North Downs. Lowland region harbors the most part of the population, the most important cities and economic activity. Due to its insular placement and inland rivers, the English became great navigators and a top maritime force. The most important rivers that shelter important economic ports are Thames River, Tyne River and Mersey River. The neighboring Atlantic Ocean has high impact on the geography of England and particularly on its weather. The climate here is temperate maritime with lots of rainfalls, creating a verdant lush landscape. The temperatures range from -5 °C in winter to 30 °C in summer.

England History and Culture

As the beating heart of a colonial empire, England’s culture influenced and was influenced by conquered people and migration. The 18th century brought the Scots migration into England, in the 19th century the Irish arrived in two major waves, the 20th century saw the Welsh immigration together with waves of migrants from the former colonies Indians, Afro-Caribbeans, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Africans.

At its basis, the English national identity is the result of a blend of cultural interferences of Anglo-Saxon, Norman French and Danish cultures since the Middle Age. England has a culture defined by small regionalisms, centered on small communities, villages, towns and the old administrative unit of county. Locals figure their attachment to the nation and community, through local products, regional rituals and art manifestations like folk music or Morris dancing.

The English culture is known worldwide for politeness, laid back attitude and a particular sense of humor. Also, punctuality plays a valuable role in English life and a principle to which most adhere. Compared to other societies the English require less physical contact and expression, social kissing is reduced to minimum, staring is not polite, loud talking is considered obnoxious in public. Breaking politeness rules like disrespecting someone’s turn in line qualifies as social blunder.

Strong symbols for the English culture are the monarchy, particularly the queen in the past century, and the Parliament. The rituals referring to the Parliament’s routine are important for the English nation. Also, the monarchy, represented by the royal family conserve a somehow sacral place in the public life.

Traditionally the Anglicanism was the principal religion in England, but nowadays English people are divided: some claim to be atheists, some agnostics, some still believe in God. The major religions practiced in England are: Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Buddhism and some cult religions.

England Landmarks

* Dover Castle
The superlative of English fortresses is the medieval Castle of Dover. Wander through nine centuries of history, from Romans time till the Cold War, while climbing to the Great Tower, admire radiant medieval interiors and furnishings. Immerse yourself in the middle of a royal court intrigue and meet the court of King Henry II, during the activities that bring to life the bygone glory of the castle. Witness the drama of the World War II while visiting the Secret Wartime Tunnels and the underground hospital and experience the living conditions from those times in the tunnels. Projections and special effects bring to life the Dynamo rescue operation from May 1940, when people from Dunkirk were evacuated. Visit the Roman Pharos, the oldest lighthouse in England and one of the most ancient in the world, used for navigation guiding by Romans. Or enjoy a spiritual break at the Anglo-Saxon church of St Mary in Castro. Take a walk through the battlements and the Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment Museum.

*Stonehenge
One of the most famous historical sites in England is the unusual circle of stones aptly named "Stonehenge" which is located in the Southeastern part of England between the town of Salisbury and Bath. The stones are so large it is amazing that a civilization from 3000 BC was able to construct this unique site that is thought to be a burial site.

*Hadrian's Wall
Several centuries later when the Romans Empire had expanded their control of Europe into the northern regions of the British Isles; they took up the challenge to build a protective wall along their northern border. And so in 122 AD Hadrian's wall was completed. All during the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian.

*Windsor Castle and Mount St Michael
Major tourist attractions when visiting England are the numerous castles that can be found within England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. The castle structure was inherited from the French when they invaded Great Britain. And over the centuries the British feudal system built numerous fortresses for defensive purposes which later evolved into elaborate and ornate castles with a residential purpose for the wealthy families. One of the most famous existing castle is the Windsor Castle, which was built in the 11th century and is the current home of Queen Elizabeth and her family. The Royal residence has been inhabited continuously since the era of William the Conqueror, Windsor Castle is the largest and the oldest inhabited palace on earth, with a surface of approximatively 45,000 sqm. Windsor Castle is official residence of the British monarch and hosts state events and ceremonies. Along the time the castle bore the influence of each king and queen and accomplished various functions from fortress, royal residence, official palace to prison

*Kenilworth Castle
Kenilworth Castle, a venerable nine hundred years construction, lived a glorious destiny from fortress to Elizabethan palace. The prominent feature of the castle even today is the Norman keep, a defensive powerhouse erected on three levels. Explore the Tower constructed by Leicester to woo Elizabeth I, one of the most prominent buildings of the Elizabethan era, enjoy the views and have a look at the queen’s private rooms. Don’t miss John of Gaunt's Great Hall, where medieval rulers and Tudor kings displayed with opulence their power.
Relax while walking through the Elizabethan Garden and imagine the splendor of Kenilworth during the reign of this great Tudor queen. Visit Leicester's Gatehouse and the exhibition revealing the royal romance between Elisabeth I and Robert Dudley.

*Bolsover Castle
If you are a history amateur and never fed up with castles, here is another gorgeous piece, that you should not skip. Bolsover Castle is an enchanting Stuart style mansion designed to impress and delight. The most impressive part of the castle is the so called “Little Castle”, an extravagant residence built by the poet Sir William Cavendish. Well preserved and restored, the castle will impress you with its labyrinth of sumptuous rooms, richly ornate, furnished and painted.

A vacation in England is usually designed around the British history, culture and political influence the country wielded over the centuries through out Europe and the New World. And England is one of the few existing monarchies still located in Europe.