"This is home." United Kingdom by leics
United Kingdom Travel Guide: 92,815 reviews and 218,592 photos
I've travelled extensively throughout the UK over the years and, despite all the niggles, I do like the place. The countryside, the people and the culture vary so hugely within what is really a tiny piece of land.
It's important to remember that the UK is actually four separate countries in all but overall name. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own history, culture and languages (and parliaments) and should never be included in 'England'.
Of those countries I know England and Wales the best. I am saving Scotland for my retirement years (although I have made visits in the past, pre VT). Recently I've explored (and fallen in love with) wonderful Orkney and, in 2011, the even more wonderful Shetland Isles
My 2010 visit to Northern Ireland introduced me to a country I'd long wanted to explore. I'll go again, for there is still much to see. I've listed the places I visited (and made pages for) on my N Ireland page. Exploring Belfast, in particular, was a real pleasure, but I also visited many other places.
The UK has been inhabited for hundreds of thousands of years. The last Ice Age removed much evidence of early inhabitants, but excavations in Boxgrove, Sussex, has proved hominids were here over 200 000 years ago. Neanderthal teeth have been found in Pontnewydd cave, South Wales.
Evidence of prehistoric settlement can be seen throughout the UK, from the magnificent Neolithic village at Skara Brae to the ultimate standing stones at Stonehenge.
The Romans invaded in 55 AD, but only dominated for about 400 years.... and never reached much of Scotland. Later, the UK was settled by groups such as the Saxons, Angles, Jutes and, of course, the Vikings. Each left their mark on local culture and language. The last invasion, in 1066, was by the Normans, whose 'motte and bailey' castles are such a feature of the English and Welsh landscape.
Many of our towns still have reminders of their past, be they Saxon, Medieval or later, and these are always worth seeking out.Until the Industrial Revolution of the early 19th century, life in the UK was mainly pastoral. Towns focused on trade, many having daily or weekly markets, and 'cottage industry' was the norm ...... you made whatever you made in your own house, and sold it without using a middleman. The Industrial Revolution led to the development of factories, forcing many people to leave their farms and cottage industries and seek work in the industrialised towns. Consequently, many towns in the UK, especially England, are made up of Victorian workers' homes of one sort or another. These are often terraced and often built of brick (where local stone wasn't easily available). Until the law promoted by George Smith was passed, it was quite usual for children to work in the brickfields (long hours, harsh working conditions). Many of the bricks used to build our most famous early Victorian constructions (e.g. St. Pancras station in London) were made with child labour.
The thing about the UK is, I think, that it is a tiny set of islands which has absorbed a vast amount of change over the centuries, including almost entire changes of language and culture. Consequently, what remains to be visited is more varied in landscape, customs, architecture etc than perhaps anywhere else of similar size. Knowing a little about how the UK came into being helps one to better understand its anomalies and quirks.
Although I've travelled a lot around this country, I didn't take a huge number of photos until I became a VT member (and, later, got a digital camera). I've got a very good visual memory and, anyway, I didn't have anyone to show them to!
I've now made pages about lots of UK places. Wherever possible, these have been listed under their county. Here are some of them:
Berkshire with Hermitage and Pangbourne
Cambridgeshire , with Peterborough, Cambridge and Ely.
The Cotswolds (not a county, an area): Bourton-on-the-Water, Cirencester, Moreton-in-the-Marsh, Stow-on-the-Wold, Little Rollright
Derbyshire: Peak District, Butterton, Ashbourne
Devon: Dartmoor, Exeter, Postbridge, Manaton, Thorverton, Widecombe and Dartmoor National Park
Dorset: Lyme Regis
County Durham: Durham
Gloucestershire: , Deerhurst, lovely Tewkesbury
Hampshire: Silchester and wonderful, historic Winchester
Herefordshire: ancient Hereford
Hertfordshire: Letchworth, the first 'garden city'.
Leicestershire with Leicester, Market Harborough, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Somerby , Market Bosworth, Houghton-on-the-hill and
London and Heathrow
Norfolk with Sedgeford, where I spent my summers digging an Anglo-Saxon burial and occupation site.
Northumberland with Alnwick, Bamburgh, Craster, , Berwick-on-Tweed, Dunstanburgh, magical Lindisfarne , Seahouses and Wooler
North Yorkshire with York, ,Ripon
Oxfordshire, with Dorchester-on-Thames,
Wantage and Oxford
Rutland (England's tiniest county): Oakham
Somerset: Glastonbury and tiny, beautiful Wells
Staffordshire: tiny, ancient Lichfield and Roman Wall
Warwickshire: Kenilworth, Leamington Spa, Warwick, Shipston-on-Stour , Coventry and Stratford-on-Avon
The West Midlands: Dudley, Birmingham
West Yorkshire: Halifax, Hebden Bridge, Haworth,
Ripon, Sowerby Bridge.
Wiltshire: Salisbury, Devizes, Marlborough and Avebury
I know North Wales particularly well, because I lived there for 5+ years.
the county of Gwynedd
Beaumaris (on Anglesey)
and beautiful Snowdonia
- Pros:Diversity, tolerance, inclusivity, history.
- Cons:Intolerance, decrepitude, unpredictable weather.
- In a nutshell:It can be weird place sometimes, but I like it.
In some parts of the world it is common to abbreviate streetnames. For example: 'I met him on Albany'. Do not do this... more travel advice
A warning about something you are unlikely to come across, but the possibility does exist. Most UK marches and... more travel advice
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