British Isles

The British Isles rise from under a water ledge of land that extends deep out into the Atlantic Ocean. The British Isles include two bigger islands: Ireland and Great Britain, as well as 5,000 smaller islands.

When people go to visit the British Isles, they often visit many of the islands in the area. The most popular islands on the British Isles are the Orkneys, the Isle of Wight and the Scilly Isles. Each island has its own unique style, charm and attractions, but they have some things in common as well. Because the islands are all within close proximity of each other, they have similar weather patterns. There are a few islands that do have slightly different weather, so travelers do want to pay attention to the time of year and location they are visiting.St. Mary's, Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, British Isles, United Kingdom

There are plenty of indoor attractions on the British Isles in the case of bad weather, but most people enjoy visiting the British Isles because of all the wonderful things to do outdoors. Walking and hiking are very popular on the islands, as well as the tours of castles, ruins, manors and other relics left behind. For people who are history buffs, they will really enjoy looking for different things on each of the different islands.

The landscape on the British Isles brings plenty of people to enjoy their scenic beauty. The lovely gardens and the beautiful beaches with mile after mile of rugged coastline is something for all to see. People enjoy their holidays on the islands because they can get back to nature here. Most enjoy just taking a break from their work in the big city to relax and enjoy the stunning beauty in the British Isles.

Others visit the British Isles to partake in the many festivals they offer. Many plan their holidays around visiting the Isle of Wight to enjoy the many popular festivals they hold during the year. For those wanting to enjoy the bustle and crowds that come along with the festivals or for those who want to enjoy some solitude and peace by standing on the gorgeous coastlines, you can do all of this and more on the lovely British Isles.

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York, England

With roots stretching back more than 2,000 years, York, England has been home to Celts, Romans, Vikings, Normans and, of course, the British. Situated amidst Yorkshire’s notoriously beautiful dales and wind-swept moors, York is a place where modern pleasures flourish alongside visible outcroppings of the past.

Most of York’s panoramic history can be seen by foot. Visitors can walk the circuit of the Roman wall or visit a prominent section of it at the Multangular Tower on the grounds of the York Museum Gardens. Also on the Gardens’ grounds are the ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey, once the largest and richest Benedictine abbey in northern England.The Shambles, York, England

Midway between the Ouse and Foss rivers and built on the site of an old Norse village, the Jorvik Viking Centre blends artifacts and tableaux to give a sense of 10th century life. Near the Viking Centre is Fairfax House, a lavishly furnished and restored Georgian town house.

York Minster is a grand example of a medieval Gothic cathedral, with soaring spires and some of the oldest and largest pieces of medieval stained glass in the world. The Shambles, near the center of town, is said to be the best preserved medieval street in Europe. For a glimpse of how the wealthy lived during this era, Barley Hall is a faithfully reconstructed 15th century residence, complete with Great Hall and exposed timbers. Lost for centuries under layers of brick and mortar, the original structure was rediscovered and restored in the 1980s.

York was a center of railroad activity in the 19th century, and the National Railway Museum has examples of everything from old steam locomotives to Japanese Bullet trains, which visitors can board and explore free of charge. A good place to experience life in the Victorian era is at the York Castle Museum, where visitors can stroll down a lamplit street to the clip clop of a horse-drawn carriage.

For shopping and dining, the pedestrian center of town directly south of York Minster is a prime destination, while further south the Shambles is a treasure trove of eclectic retail. Nearby Newgate Market, with over 100 stalls, dates back to medieval days and is sure to have something for everyone.

Even Yorkshire’s heady beauty can be enjoyed within the city. The River Ouse runs directly through York and offers a scenic, leisurely walk in either direction. For those who would rather relax and simply enjoy, boat excursions along the Ouse are popular.

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Torquay, England

 

Located in the idyllic West Country of England, Torquay, England is a beautiful and fashionable town with much to offer visitors. From spectacular beaches to fine shops to interesting attractions, Torquay boasts plenty of appeal. Whether you’re looking for shopping, dining, entertainment or leisure, Torquay is just the right place to go.

Among Torquay’s premier attractions are its world-renowned beaches, boasting no fewer than nine of them. The town’s beautiful beaches offer great opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, boating, fishing, water sports, sailing and plenty of other fun activities. Just a few of its top beaches include Maidencombe Beach, Meadfoot Beach and Torre Abbey Sands.Torquay Inner Harbour, Devon, England

Torquay’s breathtaking beaches and stunning coastal scenery are just a small part of what makes it such a great place to visit. It also plays host to a wealth of attractions, landmarks and other sites of interest that offer much to see and do. The town holds the famed Kents Cavern, a vast subterranean cavern system known for its natural wonderment and ancient history. Torquay is also home to sites of interest such as the Living Coasts, one of England’s largest and most acclaimed zoos.

The town also boasts the historic Princess Theatre as well as medieval landmarks like the Torre Abbey, a fascinating site that dates all the way back to 1196. Other great destinations in the town include the scenic Babbacombe Cliff Railway and the famed Cockington Court and Country Park, one of the region’s finest public spaces.

Torquay is also known for its renowned restaurants and pubs as well as its array of fine shops and boutique stores. The Pavilion Shopping Centre is a premier destination, as are Fleet Walk and Union Street. The town also holds a huge variety of restaurants, including English, Spanish, French and Indian eateries and a number of historic pubs.

From its elegant beaches to historic landmarks to renowned shops and restaurants, Torquay offers something fantastic for everyone to love. Visitors seeking leisure, culture and entertainment will find plenty to do in this vibrant and historic seaside town. Torquay’s array of beaches, shops, restaurants and scenic sites make it an excellent place to visit, no matter what time of the year.

 

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English Channel

The English Channel, which separates the southern part of England from northern France, is a popular tourist destination with travelers from around the world. Visitors come to this area because of the vast number of historic and new sites this destination is known for. Many visitors travel by ferry down the English Channel so that they can easily reach a wide variety of cities, both in England and France, and also visit the channel's many islands.

Two of the top sites to visit on a trip to the English Channel in England are Brighton and Plymouth. Brighton is famous for its beaches and many visitors come to this city to enjoy a wide variety of water sports, like boating. In addition, there are a number of shops, restaurants and bars along the shoreline of Brighton making this a perfect vacation destination. Plymouth is another area along the English Channel that offers tons of activities for visitors. Some of the top sites in Plymouth include the historic Theatre Royal and the Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery which is filled with famous and lesser known artists works.Rocky coast in Guernsey island, English Channel, Europe

There are also a number of fabulous French sites for travelers along the English Channel, like Le Havre and Boulogne-sur-Mer. Lovers of history can't go wrong with a trip to Le Havre. The area is famed for awe inspiring destinations like Le Havre Cathedral and the Musée d'histoire naturelle. Travelers along the English Channel also won't want to miss out on Boulogne-sur-Mer. This city is home to many famed landmarks including the Cathedral basilica of Notre-Dame and some newer attractions like the ever popular NausicańĀ Centre National de la Mer, one of the largest aquariums in all of Europe.

A trip along the English Channel wouldn't be complete without stopping at one of the Channel's islands, like Saint Helier or Saint Peter Port. Saint Helier offers a charming glimpse of island life to visitors, as well as a number of historic locations like The Hermitage of Saint Helier. Saint Peter Port is another not to be missed island stop on a visit to the English Channel. This island is well known for Castle Carey, a Gothic castle, as well as being home to Elizabeth College.

Visitors who are interested in history can't go wrong with a trip to the English Channel. The area is truly packed with destinations to delight every traveler.

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Plymouth, England

Nestled along the southwestern coast of England, Plymouth, England is one of the country's best and oldest known ports. Sitting near the mouth of the river Plym, in the county Devon, Plymouth has been the site of trading activities since the Bronze Age. The fine natural harbor and mild temperatures have made the city an ideal port throughout its recorded history.

Plymouth's importance as a port has also made it a strategic point during wartime. During the English Civil War, the town was besieged unsuccessfully by Royalist forces. Once the Restoration brought King Charles II to power, the Royal Citadel was built, with cannon facing outward toward the ocean and inward toward Plymouth.Custom House Quay, Plymouth, England

Plymouth was a target for heavy bombing during the Second World War, and more than a thousand civilians were killed there. Many homes and other buildings were destroyed, and Charles Church was heavily damaged. The church still stands though, as a monument to the city's endurance during wartime. The Plymouth Naval Memorial, on Plymouth Hoe, commemorates the men who served and died in the British navy during the two World Wars.

Sir Francis Drake was born near Plymouth and later became the mayor of the city, though his fame stems from his maritime exploits. Many of his voyages began in the harbor at Plymouth, and according to legend, he was playing a game of bowls at Plymouth Hoe when the Spanish Armada was sighted off the English coast. The National Armada Memorial stands on the Hoe to commemorate the English victory.

Drake is not the only prominent resident of Plymouth. Other well-know people who lived here include Lady Nancy Astor, the first woman to take a seat in Parliament, and Robert Scott, the Antarctic explorer. Visitors may also want to take a look at some of the older houses of worship in Plymouth. One of them, the Plymouth Synagogue, is the oldest standing Ashkenazi synagogue in England.

Plymouth is also well know as the point from which the Pilgrims left England to sail across the Atlantic. The Mayflower Steps monument now commemorates the event, almost 400 years later.

Plymouth is more than just history though. The National Marine Aquarium, located near the Mayflower Steps, provides a showcase for the sea life that inhabit the waters beyond the harbor.

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Newquay, England

When people think of surfing, England is not typically the first place they associate with the sport. However, the coastal town of Newquay, England provides an surfing location and is the surfing capital of the United Kingdom. This Cornish town, sometimes called the British California, is regarded as having some of the best beaches in the nation and is considered a top vacation destination.

The fishing port town is located in Cornwall, on the south western peninsula of England. The area that is now Newquay has a history that is over 1,600 years old, although back then it was merely a cliff settlement. Before people recognized the area for tourism, the main industry of the settlement was actually found in iron. During the late Iron Age, the abundant iron ore deposits were used to make weapons and tools. It was not until the 1400's that the potential to use the area for the fishing industry. The town of New Quay was built, and the fishing business formed with it.

Newquay beach, Cornwall, England
Today the coastal city is where many tourists come to begin their exploration of Cornwall. This county of England is steeped in rich history. You can find King Arthur's castle in the north-east, and just to the east is the Roche Rock and the home of the Cornish Gorsedd – the modern-day bards of Welsh culture. Many tourists start their journey in Newquay due to the fact that the town has been transformed into a seaside resort. The beautiful beaches and vibrant culture make it the perfect place to vacation.

Newquay offers activities for people from every walk of life. The city has a number of attractions for the family including a zoo, an aquarium, and amusement parks. There are a few museums as well as a beautiful Japanese Bonsai garden. The vacation town has also become a popular destination for both bachelor and bachelorette parties due to its nightlife and club scene. As it is a coastal city, there is always something to do on the water. Fistral Beach has played home to both international surfing competitions and musical festivals alike.

The sunny resort town of Newquay has a maritime climate, much like the rest of Southwest England. On average, the area has warm summers and cool winters. The average summer temperature is in the upper 60's, while its in the upper 30's in the winter. The region experiences more sunny days per month than cities such as London.

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Newcastle, England

 

When people hear "Newcastle," the first thing to come to mind is probably Newcastle Brown Ale. Up until very recently, the dark ale and symbol of the English working class was indeed brewed in Newcastle, England upon Tyne, a metropolitan borough and city in the North East of England. Although this city is old, it has a lot to offer tourists of any age.

The city itself is over 2,000 years old and can be traced back to Rome, as can much of England. The Romans had built a bridge and the fort Pons Aelius in the area that would later become the Newcastle we are familiar with. Both the fort and bridge lasted for hundreds of years, but eventually the area burned down. However, the town did not lay dormant for long. William the Conqueror's eldest son, Robert II, decided to build a castle on a return trip from Scotland. This castle is where the city would get its name.Newcastle at Night with Millennium bridge, Newcastle, England

After the castle was built, a town built itself around it. The city would become both a port town, and a stronghold to protect against Scottish invasion. For a time, the new town would become a leader in the wool trade. The city's importance would continue after the discovery of the Tyneside pits. Newcastle became one of the first coal mining towns in England and for hundreds of years, the city was the main source of coal to London. At some point in time, those living in Newcastle adopted the nickname "Geordies." Where the nickname comes from is unknown, though there are a few theories. The best guess is that the most common name for a miner was George and Geordie eventually spawned from the miners.

 

Today Newcastle upon Tyne ranks as one of the best shopping cities in all of the United Kingdom. There is both history and new life in the town and it offers plenty of places to visit. Newcastle is known for both art and sport. St. James's Park plays home to Newcastle United, the city's football team. St. James's Park is actually the fourth largest stadium in the country. There are also a number of theatres and galleries, as well as a number of festivals throughout the year.

The temperatures and climate of Newcastle are common to those of North East England. Year around, the area is very mild with summer temperatures in the mid 60's and 40's in the winter months. This is due to the affect of the Gulf Stream on the area. The city is actual one of the driest in the UK, experiencing much less rain then the rest of its neighbors.

 

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Leeds, England

The West Yorkshire metropolis of Leeds, England lies in the north central part of England. The city encompasses 551.72 kilometers (213 square miles) and has elevation variations ranging from 10 to 340 meters (33 to 1,115 feet) above sea level. As of the 2011 census, Leeds boasted a population of 443,247 in the central hub and 798,800 over the entire region.

The River Wharfe forms part of the city’s northern border. The heart of the city lies along the River Aire. The Aire Valley stands at the foothill of the Pennnine mountains. Leeds also lies a short 32 kilometers (20 miles) from the Yorkshire Dales National Park, which features some of the most picturesque landscape in the country. Natural landmarks around Leeds include Otley chevin and the Fairburn Ings RSPB reserve.
Leeds Castle, England
Lying between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pennines produces a moderate oceanic climate in Leeds. Summer weather remains mild with moderate amounts of rainfall. Temperatures during the hottest summer months generally stay below 26.6 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit) and the community sees on average 660 millimeters (25.98 inches) of rain annually. Winters are cold and bring frost and cold temperatures. However, even during the coldest months the thermometer rarely dips below 3 degrees Celsius (37 degrees Fahrenheit).

Now considered the commercial, cultural and financial center of West Yorkshire, the community traces its history back to the 5th century. Then a part of the Kingdom of Elmet, the territory consisted of a forest called “Loidis” from which the city derived its name. By the 16th century, the community was a simple market village. Leed’s prosperity began in the 17th century when the borough grew in importance thanks to the wool trade industry. With the onset of the Industrial Revolution, Leeds expanded into flax manufacturing along with engineering, iron foundries and printing. Along with financial growth, the boundaries of the community spanned to include outlying villages.

The metropolis enjoys a diverse economy with the majority of employment in the service sector. Employment options remain equally distributed between public administration, education and health along with banking, finance and health. Hotels and restaurants also comprise major industries. Leeds also serves as the primary shopping district for Yorkshire and Humber. The center part of the city remains a pedestrian only location.

The community has 220 primary schools, 39 secondary schools and 6 private institutions. The city has the largest college student population in the country. Facilities for higher learning include the Leeds City College, the Leeds College of Building and the Notre Dame Catholic Sixth Form College. Students also attend the University of Leeds and Leeds Metropolitan University.

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Nottingham, England

For many people, the city of Nottingham, England, brings to mind the classic tale of the good outlaw Robin Hood and the villainous Sheriff of Nottingham, at turns a power-hungry, greedy, or corrupt man who may have been based on several historical figures of note. But Nottingham is famed for much more than just tales of the evil sheriff. Today, the City of Nottingham is the eighth largest in the United Kingdom and is consistently rated as one of the top places to visit in the world. With a strong economy, a lively and fun nightlife, and full of a variety of attractions and a rich culture, Nottingham is becoming one of the most popular destinations for fun-loving travelers.

Newark Castle, Newark On Trent, Nottinghamshire, England, United Kingdom

It is thought that Nottingham was originally founded by the Anglo-Saxons in the 7th century AD, but went through many expansions over the centuries. The historically important area known as the Lace Market is located on the site of the original Saxon settlement that grew into the city of Nottingham. The center of the world's lace industry during the time of the British Empire and one of the country's main sources of wealth, the Lace Market neighborhood is now a protected heritage area where visitors can see stunning examples of Victorian-style buildings and industrial architecture, as well as some of the earliest Christian churches in the region, and a variety of other styles of English architecture, including Tudor, Gothic Revival, and Georgian. Visitors can take tours through the original lace warehouses and factories, some of which are still in use today, utilizing original 19th-century lace machines combined with current computer technology.

Nottingham is home to a number of other historical structures, including the pub called Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem ("The Trip"), which was purportedly founded in the 1100s and is often named as one of, if not the, oldest pubs in England…a claim disputed only by several other establishments in Nottingham, lending the city another facet of historical significance.

The city holds a number of other attractions that account for the nearly 300,000 overseas visitors a year. A center of shopping and arts in the UK, Nottingham also is an appealing destination for partiers, with its lively nightlife and sprawling pub scene. The legends of Robin Hood garner much attention far and wide, leading visitors to the Sherwood Forest and the Nottingham Castle. Nottingham is also a center of music and performances, hosting many distinguished choirs and orchestras, as well as being a popular tour destination for British music groups, and acting as a center of the Dubstep movement in dance clubs in recent years.

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Liverpool, England

The home of The Beatles and some of England’s finest architecture and cultural institutions, Liverpool, England is a city that every visitor to the United Kingdom should visit. From its interesting historical sites to its unmatched nightlife opportunities, this seaside city offers a little bit of something for everyone. For visitors looking for a totally unique and fun experience, Liverpool is just the place to go.

Just some of Liverpool’s top attractions include its splendid architecture such as St. George’s Hall and the Royal Liver Building, both of which are must-see landmarks. Liverpool Town Hall, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and Liverpool Cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic Revival architecture, are also among the city’s top sites of interest worth visiting.Liverpool England

Liverpool also boasts a wealth of world-class museums, art galleries and cultural institutions worth a visit as well. The World Museum Liverpool is a fantastic place to learn about science, culture and anthropology while the Merseyside Maritime Museum examines the city’s rich seafaring history and maritime heritage. The International Slavery Museum is a moving museum well worth paying a visit to, as is Tate Liverpool, one of Britain’s top modern art museums. The Victoria Gallery and Museum is yet another one of Liverpool’s renowned art museums and a must-see landmark for modern art lovers. The Walker Art Gallery, Spaceport Liverpool and the Static Gallery round out the city’s world-class collection of art museums and cultural destinations.

The city also boasts plenty of leisure and entertainment options. Croxteth Hall and Country Park is one of the city’s top historical and cultural sites in addition to being one of its most idyllic public spaces. A great place to relax and continue to explore the city’s rich history and fascinating culture, it is a must-see landmark for all visitors. The Albert Dock contains a plethora of shops, pubs and restaurants while fans of The Beatles absolutely have to check out The Beatles Story, a museum dedicated to the city’s most famous music group.

Whether you’re interested in English history, The Beatles or anything else in between, Liverpool is a top destination. The city’s collection of historic landmarks, museums, galleries, cultural institutions and theaters is matched only by a few other cities in the United Kingdom.

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