"My bit of the UK." Top 5 Page for this destination England by leics
England Travel Guide: 68,612 reviews and 165,551 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
Cambridgeshire , with Peterborough, Cambridge and Ely.
The Cotswolds (not a county, just an area): Bourton-on-the-Water, Cirencester, Moreton-in-the-Marsh, Stow-on-the-Wold, Little Rollright
Cornwall: Penzance, Madron, Marazion, Bodmin, St Just, St Michael's Mount, Launceston, Lands End, Mousehole
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
Canterbury, Sandwich, Whitstable and Rochester
Leicestershire: Leicester, Market Harborough, Ashby-de-la-Zouch
Somerby , Market Bosworth, Houghton-on-the-hill
Northumberland Alnwick, Bamburgh, Craster, , Berwick-on-Tweed, Dunstanburgh, magical Lindisfarne , Seahouses and Wooler
North Yorkshire York, ,Ripon
Oxfordshire, with Dorchester-on-Thames,
Wantage and Oxford
Somerset: Glastonbury Wells
Staffordshire: Lichfield Wall
Kenilworth, Leamington Spa, Warwick, Shipston-on-Stour , Coventry and Straford-on-Avon
The West Midlands: Dudley, Birmingham
West Yorkshire: Halifax, Hebden Bridge, Haworth,
Ripon, Sowerby Bridge.
Wiltshire: Salisbury, Devizes, Marlborough , Lacockand Avebury
- Pros:History, archaeology, landscape
- Cons:A tiny and increasingly crowded country
- In a nutshell:A vast variety of landscape crammed into a tiny area.
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