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Travel Guide United Kingdom

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United Kingdom - Travel Guide

If you are calling the British IslandEngland”, you’re already wrong.  England is only a part of Great Britain.  Great Britain is meant by the union, established in 1707, between Scotland, England, and Wales.  United Kingdom is the proper name for the union between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Highlights of “The Isle” are the historic monuments, ahead of all the legendary “Stonehenge”; it is a site of geometric stone circles, approximately 4000 years old. 

From Roman times stem the remains of the Hadrian Wall.  It used to be 73 miles long and ran from Solway Firth all the way to Newcastle-on-Tyne.

“King Arthur’s Castle” in Tintagel, on the northern coast of Cornwall is one of the most romantic castle ruins of the country. 

Altogether, many castles from Norman times remain and are well worth visiting.  The most interesting is the well preserved Arundel Castle.  Another, Durham Castle, rests majestically atop a hill above the river.

The University City Oxford should definitely be visited.  It was built during the 12th century and life there is accordingly dignified.  One can explore churches, monasteries, picturesque courtyards, tiny streets, and comfortable, old tea-shops. 

In Canterbury, seat of the Arch-Bishop, visitors will be fascinated by the Cathedral, the former abbey St. Augustine, and the St. Martin’s Church.

William Shakespeare’s birth home in Stratford-upon-Avon still stands today and may be visited along with his grave-stone there. 

Admiral Lord Nelson is a national hero since his victory against the French and Spanish fleets.  His ship, the “H.M.S. Victory” may be toured in the harbor of Portsmouth.

If you would like to take a peek into the medieval past of the “Cinque Ports”, you should take a walk along the romantic Mermaid Street in Rye.  It is one of the best known alleys in Great Britain. 

The Lake District is a dramatic, grand mountain region; it features romantic valleys and lakes.  The magnificent old oak and beech tree formations and pastures lined with stone walls invite for a leisurely stroll.

The “big toe” of Great Britain is the Cornwall Shire.  Thanks to the Gulf Stream influence, palm trees and agave trees can flourish here.  The Shire contains the longest coast line of all shires, some areas wild and majestic, others nice and friendly.  The artist village St. Ives, as well as the charming town of Clovelly, along with the small port city Bideford is worth a visit here. 

The most popular travel destination of Great Britain is and always will be its capital London:  the European metropolitan capital par excellence.  Its most famous sights are lined up along the Thames River bank:  Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament with Big Ben and its world famous bell chime, the dark tower prison, and the draw-up Tower Bridge.  To the west lay the Theater District with a nearly endless array of stages as well as the famous intersections Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square.

Wales is a symbol for myths and legends.  Its residents speak, aside from English, the Celtic language of Welch.  The Celtic heritage of the region is mirrored by a rich culture which is celebrated each year during the so-called “Eisteddfodau” – the Festival of Welch music and poetry. 

Wales’ best known national park is Brecon Beacons National Park.  It shows picture book sceneries of high moors on which sheep and ponies roam, and forested valleys with clear waters.

Scotland has much more to offer than just bag-pipes and Highland Games.  On one side it features high moors and heath covered mountain ranges, on the other deep valley gorges, ripping streams, and abysmally deep lakes.  The impressive Scottish Highland is one of the last remaining wildernesses of Europe and is made up of rugged mountains and deep lochs. 

The metropolis Edinburgh with its medieval castle takes visitors back to times past.

Known from movies such as “James Bond” is the picturesque village Eilean Donan Castle. 

Those in the mood for impressive scenery should follow the rugged North Irish cliffs of Antrim; this route will pass picturesque villages and countless sandy beaches – all the way to the “Giant’s Causeway”, a world heritage sight listed with UNESCO; it features a four kilometer long coastline consisting of 40,000 vertical basalt pillars.

Belfast, the busy and diverse capital of Northern Ireland beautifully combines the modern and traditional way of life, which is notable and interesting in its architecture.

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United Kingdom - Notes on the British.

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