The largest part of Great Britain,1England is a country of cosmopolitan urban centers and green countryside dotted with small towns and gothic cathedrals. Whether contemplating royal and artistic treasures in London, visiting the birthplaces of some of the world’s most famous writers, or staying in a cozy room above a village pub, everywhere you go in England will feel historic.
BASICS /// Capital: London // Currency: pound sterling // Languages: English
A charming small town with ancient Roman baths and Georgian architecture.
STAYBerdoulat & Breakfast: Impeccably appointed rooms and the best breakfast I've ever had at a hotel or B&B. A true home away from home.
EATSame Same But Different: Imaginative small plates in a cozy setting. Yak Yeti Yak: Sample a wide range delicious and hearty Nepalese dishes. Try the momo. Colonna & Small's: Serious coffee in an airy shop with wooden benches you want to post up in for hours.
doRoman Baths: Well-laid out and informative exhibits helping reconstruct the ancient baths and temple complex. Thermae Bath Spa: Modern bath complex with multiple levels of pools and steam rooms. Royal Crescent & Circus: Perfect architectural examples of John Wood the Younger's symmetrical, neoclassical Georgian style.
shopFound: Eclectic selection of paper, home goods and well-curated clothing by independent designers. Mr. B's Emporium of Reading Delights: Independent bookstore with a wide-ranging selection of titles arranged over several stories. Full of inviting corners, and basically a place I wanted to live in forever.
Collected Works by William ShakespeareOften called England's national poet, and for good reason - Shakespeare is generally considered one of the greatest writers in the English language.
Poetry by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor ColeridgeThese Lake Poets2both helped herald in the Romantic2age in England.
Poetry by John KeatsA beloved poet and a member of the second generation of Romantic poets in England.
Poetry by Alfred Lord TennysonPoet laureate during Queen Victoria's range, Tennyson often drew from classical Greek mythology for his poems.
Bleak House by Charles DickensA sprawling novel which centers on its heroine Esther Summerson and a legal case involving a disputed inheritance.
Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas HardyA novel about love, relationships and the position of women in Victorian society, as portrayed by the protagonist Bathsheba Everdene.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix PotterChildren's book about a disobedient rabbit.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane AustenClassic love story about the shortcomings of first impressions.
1984 by George OrwellDystopian (and possibly prescient) novel about a society with omnipresent surveillance.
Matilda by Roald DahlNovel about a precocious girl who discovers she possesses special powers.
Sherlock Holmes series by Arthur Conan DoyleThe launching point for perhaps the most famous fictional detective of all time, who relies on brilliant observations and his trusty companion Dr. Watson to solve a series of strange cases.
White Smith by Zadie SmithThrough her Bangladeshi and English main characters, Smith insightfully examines Britain's relationship with its former colonies.
Atonement by Ian McEwanA three-part examination of a mistake (and regret) that reverberates through a woman's life.
V for Vendetta by Alan MooreGraphic novel set in a dystopian and post-apocalyptic police state (formerly the United Kingdom) in which an anarchist revolutionary in a Guy Fawkes mask attempts to topple the fascist state.
"Monty Python and the Holy Grail" (film)A great slice of British comedy (and the Python oeuvre), which features a surreal re-telling of the Arthurian legend.
"Shakespeare in Love" (film)Perhaps a piece of highbrow fan fiction, given it depicts an imaginary love affair, but nonetheless a compelling story and dramatization of the Elizabethan era.
"Elizabeth", "The King's Speech", "The Queen" (films)Well-acted films depicting British monarchs - Elizabeth I, George VI, and Elizabeth II, respectively.
"The Imitation Game" (film)Historical drama following Alan Turing and his team as they cracked Nazi intelligence codes during WWII.
"Goldfinger", "Casino Royale" (films)Prime showpieces for James Bond, the most British of spies.
"Control" (film)A moving and intense biopic about Ian Curtis, the lead singer of Joy Division.
"The Hour" (TV)A series set in the 50s in a BBC newsroom as a new current affairs show is being developed.
"Downton Abbey" (TV)A series set in a Yorkshire country estate during the first half of the 20th century and depicting the goings-on among the residents and staff.
J.M.W. TurnerPainter of romantic landscapes and masterful watercolors who is commonly referred to as the "painter of light".
David HockneyProminent painter of the 60s era commonly associated with the Pop Art movement,3whose canvases often include bright colors and interesting angles.
The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The WhoSeminal and classic rock bands of worldwide renown.
Queen, "Bohemian Rhapsody" (song)An epically long tune that seems to contain at least five different songs in it.
David BowieA true innovator and musical experimenter.
The Clash, "London Calling" (album)A classic by one of the originators of British punk rock.
The Smiths, "The Smiths" (album)The Smiths' distinctive guitar and literate lyrics are in full effect on this debut album.
Joy Division, New OrderPioneers of post-punk.
RadioheadExperimental rock band drawing on electronica and other musical influences.
Fish and chipsFried battered fish and fries, often served with smashed peas.
Shepherd's pieA layered dish made of minced meat topped with a crust of mashed potatoes.
Bangers and mashSausages and mashed potatoes.
Chicken tikka curryOnce called one of Britain's national dishes for its popularity, this Indian-style dish consists of a creamy red or orange-colored gravy and chunks of chicken.
Scones with jam and clotted creamA classic tea-time bread and necessary accompaniments.
Eton messDessert with whipped cream, broken meringue and strawberries.
Full English breakfast (a.k.a. "fry-up")Variations exist, but a basic version will include sausage/bacon, baked beans, grilled tomato, bread, and eggs.
Sunday roastTraditional Sunday meal with roasted meat, potatoes, stuffing, roasted veggies (parsnips, Brussels sprouts, carrots, etc) gravy and Yorkshire pudding (soft bread-like dish made from a batter of flour, eggs and milk).
Bubble and squeakDish made from the leftover veggies from a roast dinner which are then shallow fried.