England, Britain, or the United Kingdom, what’s in a name? Whichever way you call it the country will be just as lovely. I’m sure it’s also a country that’s on most folks’ bucket list. And it should be! England has many things to offer; history, museums, rivers, ancient sites, quaint villages, and of course the Royals who seem to fascinate many people.
Everyone has their own vision of what England means to them. From ancient henges to modern buildings, traditional high tea to international cuisine, palaces to cottages, and ancient art to modern art England has it all and more. If your idea of a vacation in England is a whirlwind trip to London to see Big Ben and wander thru the British museum that’s great! You can pretty much see most of London in two or three days, maybe even less. But if you’re looking for a truly memorable English vacation read on! Here are 5 unique activities to really experience England, I’m sure doing just one of them will make your vacation special!
Traditional High Tea
One simply can’t go to England without going to a fancy traditional high tea. This centuries old tradition has been served at many of England’s fine hotels and tea shops forever. I’m not really sure what the difference is between Afternoon Tea and High Tea; I’ve heard that high tea is served more formally at the table with high backed dining chairs whilst afternoon tea is served in a more cozy atmosphere in a parlor where one sits in comfy sofas and chairs.
There’s always a debate as to which hotel, restaurant, or shop serves the best high tea. My favorite is High Tea at Claridge’s in London where tea is served in their art deco foyer and is simply wonderful. Other favorites in London are the Ritz, Fortnum & Mason, the Savoy, and Prêt-à-Portea at the Berkeley has an amazing tea for fashionistas!
For a simpler tea you can find a table at most any tea or coffee shop around the country and have a nice cup of tea with a scone or two. We love this little coffee house in Cornwall, they serve delicious pasties and pastries!
Need help booking High Tea in England? Contact Savvy Nana for help in planning your England activities!
Markets have been part of British life for centuries. Markets are generally a cornerstone of a community and a place where for centuries people shopped, socialized, and got their news.
Today you’ll find Market Days in just about every town across England and London of course has it’s fair share of famous markets.
Borough Market is the city’s arguably the largest and oldest open air market in the city with a market on the site since the 12th. century. Here you can wander aisles of wholesale and retail vendors of meats, fruits, veggies, and baked goods. And you can grab lunch at many of the food stalls set up around the market.
London also is home to the Portobello Road market that is known for vendors selling antiques and collectables; Camden Market, Greenwich Market, and the Old Spitalfields Market just to name a few.
West End Shows
One of my favorite activities in London is catching a show at one of the West End theaters. Just like a visit to the Big Apple wouldn’t be complete without going to a Broadway show a trip to London in my opinion requires taking in a show at the West End.
There are many theaters in the West End, any of them play Broadway shows like Mama Mia, Miserable, Wicked, and others. You could definitely catch one of those shows they’re all pretty fantastic, or if you’re looking for a British production check out Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap playing at the St. Martin Theater. It’s a murder mystery written by the queen of the whodunit herself. It opened in the West End in 1952 and is still showing today, making it the longest running stage show in the world.
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Get Out of Town!
Sure you probably flew into London’s Heathrow or Gatwick airports and London is where you’re staying. Don’t get me wrong I love London and all its sites and things to do, but to really experience England one must simply get out of time.
Take a tour to visit one of England’s Neolithic sites the most famous of which is Stonehenge in Wiltshire as are other henges such as Avebury, Woodhenge, and Durrington Walls. There are other henges and pre-historic sites around the country you can explore.
Or take a trip to Scotland! Edinburgh is a lovely city with it’s own history, quaint streets, and castles. If you’re a Roman history buff check out the Roman built baths in the city of Bath. Fans of the Bard can checkout his family homes in his native Stratford Upon Avon in Warwickshire then continue on to Cotswold to stroll along the lanes between picturesque cottages.
If you’re in the country during the warmer months take advantage of the British Garden tours, you’ll see many superb gardens around the country!
Haunted England Tours
I think every town or city in England is home to at least a ghost or two and it’s no wonder with the abundance of drafty castles and the country’s bloody history ghosts can’t resist haunting the place.
Of course you’ll find tours of haunted castles, mansions, and towns like the Haunted Tour of Bath or Scotland. I always find ghost tours to be fun and informative as the guides are usually awesome story tellers and can send chills up your spine with their ghostly tales!
Ready to book a memorable vacation in England? Call Savvy Nana! We’ll help you plan a trip of a lifetime!