Why you should add England to your Indie/RTW trip
England is a big little island. Geographically it is not especially large nor is it especially remarkable. Yet, it is a country that has played a significant role in world history and it is a country that continues to this day to have an influence that belies its size.
- You know about England’s rich history and culture, and you probably know more about London than most Londoners do. What you might not know is that in the past decade or so England has undergone a fascinating transformation.
- Gone is a once proud country that was in some ways living in the past. In is a country that is thoroughly modernizing with quaint country villages and booming urban centers.
- For better or for worse, stuffy has given way to trendy, and what a visitor to England experiences today is an exciting sense of change.
- Even with the shiny new buildings and toys, you can still get a glimpse at the traditional English way of life, but you’ll have to work hard to find it.
- The tourist areas offer a sanitized version, but the country villages and hole in the all pubs will give you a better feel for how things used to be.
- See some of the finest museums in the world, and do it for an affordable price (not much else is affordable here).
- Travel here is really easy – lots of public transport, small area, and English as the language.
Indie travel tips for England
- Spend time in London – it’s one of the great cities of the world with a history like no other, but also plan to get out of London and explore the rest of what the country has to offer.
- Everyone wants “authentic” these days. If that’s what you’re looking for, go to an English Premiere League Football (soccer for you Yanks) match somewhere in the country, preferably in Manchester. There aren’t many other ways to catch a better glimpse of English culture.
- Visit the historic cities of York, Bath, and Lincoln.
- White sand beaches? Turquoise waters? In England? Head west to Devon and Cornwall and visit the beaches of Bideford Bay
- Plenty of walking and hiking opportunities in the Lake District and Peak District. Try the Coast to Coast Walk for an awesome long-distance hike.
London is your gateway to the rest of England. Search for the best deals on flights to London.
Where to stay
London is a priority stop on most backpacking trips through Europe and as a result, the hostel scene is very well defined. You can find travelers going on pub crawls and people from all walks of life spending time in hostels all over London and in most of the towns throughout the country.
Photo credits: Martin Bodman