England is steeped in history. Like Greece and Rome before it, this relatively small island nation rose to become what was once the world’s most powerful empire—by 1922, the British monarchy ruled more than a quarter of the world’s population. While the empire may have diminished over the course of the 20th century, the culture of the Britons and the beauty of England’s cities and villages remain steadfast.When is the best time to visit?
England is famous for its gloomy weather; unfortunately, this stereotype is mostly true. Fall is gray and drizzly, and winter is gray and cold. The best time of year to visit is summer (June-August) when the sun shows its face—at least for a short while at a time—and you can put the heavy layers away. If you want to beat the crowds and score lower prices on hotels, try visiting during the shoulder spring season of March-May (and remember to bring a rain jacket). Learn more Where should I go in England?
It wouldn’t be a trip to England without spending time in London. England’s capital is one of the world's great cities, equal parts tradition, history, modernity, and kinetic energy. In a single day, you can go from the colorful street art of bohemian Camden Town to the open-air markets of Notting Hill, from the gates of Buckingham Palace to a festive working-class pub south of the River Thames.
Two hours southeast of London, in the county of Kent, stretch the famous white cliffs of Dover, and north of London, the university city of Oxford has stunning medieval buildings dating back to the city’s founding in the 12th century. There are other interesting cities in the north, such as Birmingham, Manchester, and Liverpool—the famed birthplace of the Beatles.
Thinking about traveling around the United Kingdom
? Learn more about planning a trip to Wales
Many travelers also combine their trip to the UK with a visit to Ireland
.How many days do I need?
You can experience the highlights of London in a mere three or four days. With a week you can enjoy the capital and make time for another city or region, be it the cliffs of Dover or a trip to Oxford. In two weeks you can spend time in London, travel around the countryside to various market towns and villages, and even visit a city or two in the north.
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