"My bit of the UK." Top 5 Page for this destination England by leics

England Travel Guide: 69,826 reviews and 170,707 photos

This is the part of the UK in which I was born, and live. For such a tiny place it offers huge variety in landscape, language and attitudes. I wonder if there is anywhere else in the world which can match England for size and variety?

English history is extremely complex. I've made a travelogue which attempts to explain how the English landscape was created, but that's a complex subject too (I've done my best!).

We've been 'invaded' so many times: Romans, Jutes, Saxons, Danes, Angles, Normans.......and, after the Normans (the last 'invasion' and occupation) all those who came here because of trade, or as trade, or because they thought life would be better here, or because once we took their country as part of our 'Empire'.

And so England is now a vibrant mish-mash of multiculturality, with all its attendant joys and trials.

This variation even applies to our language. We may all speak English but the English language and its pronunciation varies immensely as you travel through England.

Many (most?) areas have their own dialect words (e.g. Leicestershire folk use 'mardy' to mean bad-tempered) and distinct accents. The 'estuary English' accent heard so often on TV here was largely confined to the South-east of the country until very recently but is now spreading (particularly amongst young people) and there is no doubt that the old accents and dialects are, sadly, dying out. Some local variations remain common ..... for example, 'plimsolls' in the South are 'pumps' in the Midlands and North, 'daps' in Wales, and there are numerous names for the small bread rolls known in my area as 'cobs'.

Why so much variation? Well, before the Roman invasion in 55AD England was divided into several tribal areas. Although we do not know for certain, as there is no written evidence, it is likely that each tribe spoke a slightly different version of the original language. The Roman influence varied across England, so that the absorption of Latin words must have varied too. Later settlement by Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Vikings occurred in different parts of England (the Vikings generally ventured no further than a line drawn roughly along the present A5) so their linguistic influence varied accordingly. The Norman invasion of 1066 brought a strong French element into the language (for example, 'pork', 'beef' and 'mutton' replaced the earlier words 'pig', 'cow' and 'sheep' when referring to their meat). Since then, numerous words have been absorbed into the English language, often through trade, and remain in use today. These include words from Arabic (e.g. mascara, sugar), Malay (amok), Inuit (anorak, kayak), Hindi (bungalow, jodphurs, pyjamas),. There are far, far too many examples to list here.

England has many interesting cities, but its true variety is best seen in the landscape. The South-West has wild coastline, tiny fishing villages, moorland and lush pastures. Dorset and the Isle of Wight have soft cliffs rich in fossils, the Fenlands of East Anglia and Norfolk huge skies, sandy beaches and vast horizons, North Yorkshire its wonderful wuthering heights and moors ( and York, of course). There's Northumberland with its wild and remote places, the Lake District, the Pennines, the Cotswolds, the Peak District and more. There are the towns and cities, each with its own character, and all the tiny variants within each region. The 'typically English' countryside (gently rolling, hedged green fields, small villages with pretty cottages) doesn't exist everywhere but the reality is even better!

I'm trying to build as many England pages as I can. So far you can visit:

Berkshire with Hermitage and Pangbourne

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:History, archaeology, landscape
  • Cons:A tiny and increasingly crowded country
  • In a nutshell:A vast variety of landscape crammed into a tiny area.
  • Intro Updated May 8, 2015
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Reviews (62)

Comments (35)

  • mickeyboy07's Profile Photo
    Jan 18, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    Ah our green and pleasent land

  • alza's Profile Photo
    Dec 19, 2009 at 11:34 AM

    I'll read yr England soon, going in May probably. But to say I'm laughing out loud at... the June thing. Have a good time in the sun.

  • regina.williams's Profile Photo
    Oct 17, 2009 at 7:07 AM

    Wow - Good to know about it - I was not aware of it at all - Thank and a Happy Diwali - Greetings from India !

  • christine.j's Profile Photo
    Sep 4, 2009 at 5:28 AM

    Jane, thank you again for these tips! I'm off to London again in a few hours, this time as a tour guide , and I just read a few of your tips for my group, but then I discovered your wonderful updates and got sidetracked.

  • Gillybob's Profile Photo
    Aug 27, 2009 at 8:23 AM

    Woohoo!! Fab news. Check out Picadilly Gardens' Hotel - reckon that might end up as VT central. Gillybob greetings

  • katamorgana's Profile Photo
    Jun 6, 2009 at 2:58 AM

    J, your pages are very informative for me. So many facts about your country in one place. I love history. Thanks for your warm invitation to Krakow. I am decided to go there :-) Great motivation for improving my English.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Feb 13, 2009 at 11:28 AM

    So enchanting to gain a local insight. I learned so much. I especially loved the Bluebell woods, corners of bldgs., village pumps, stone walls, church yards, architecture, the fens, Morris dancing, Pubs, Steam rallies..Just wonderful.

  • Fullmoonfever's Profile Photo
    Feb 7, 2009 at 9:35 AM

    I'm thinking...why am I at work? I must be friggen crazy.

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Jan 12, 2009 at 11:40 PM

    Hi Leics..I'm going through your UK pages now...you write excellent tips and you're so good at the forums! I have so much planning to do...this is FUN! Hehehe, Norman

  • uglyscot's Profile Photo
    Oct 12, 2008 at 12:43 PM

    some very interesting tips for those new to England and its history

leics Used To Live Here!


“'Take clothes you can layer....' :-)”

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