It might be hard to believe, since I’m constantly writing about it , but I haven’t set foot in England in nearly three years. In that time I’ve visited many continents and countries and seen so many amazing things. I’ve lived in places as far flung as China and Argentina, yet England is always there in in the back of my mind.
Today I’m staring out the window at the Buenos Aires skyline, trying to come up with an article to write about this energetic city. In my mind though I’m thousands of miles away, thinking of spring time in Hyde Park.
Some people overlook England for more glamorous European locales like Italy or France, but here’s why England will always be #1 in my heart:
Everything in England is just so very OLD. In the United States when something is considered historic, it’s usually 200, 300 years old, 400 tops. The really old stuff in England dates back to the Ancient Romans. We’re talking 2000+ years of history.
In London you can dine in a tavern that is nearly 350 years old (this is the new building they rebuilt after the great fire, the actual history dates back even further. Or stroll on down to the imposing Tower of London constructed in 1078. Further north you can hike Hadrian’s Wall, built in AD 122. To leap even further back in history visit the standing stones at Stonehenge, they are estimate to have been erected between four and five THOUSAND years ago.
Now that is old.
The Culture (Okay the Books)
This may be my English major nerdiness showing, but England is like my holy land for cultural richness. Not only did this country produce the Beatles, Alfred Hitchcock and Dr. Who, it spawned an immense amount of amazing literature and poetry.
I mean look at all of these amazing writers that have come out of the country: Ian McEwan, Neil Gaiman, Martin Amis, Roald Dahl, CS Lewis, Douglas Adams, Agatha Christie, Virginia Woolf, DH Lawrence, Evelyn Waugh, Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens, HG Wells, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jane Austen, Jonathan Swift and Geoffrey Chaucer to name a very few. Plus poets like Edmund Spenser, Lord Byron, Bryce Shelley, William Wordsworth, Alfred Tennyson, AE Housman, Wilfred Owen, Ted Hughes and more. And then there’s Shakespeare. I can keep going all day.
You can’t accuse me of exaggerating. This is the country that gave us the Lord of the Rings, James Bond, Peter Pan AND Harry Potter. And Sherlock Holmes. Okay I need to go take a cold shower now.
England has some of the most scenery in the world. It’s very diverse, from the windswept coasts to the rolling countrysides to beautiful mountains. Because of the excellent train system in the UK and the availability of last minute holiday cottages, exploring the country-side is easy even for international visitors.
Some of my favorite spots for natural beauty in England include the rugged windswept coasts of the southwest (see: Cornwall and Devon) and the rolling hills of the Cotswolds with their tiny little hamlets.
There are also a lot of bits I haven’t yet seen, such as the magnificently crumbling Hadrian’s Wall and the iconic Lake District. The Lake District in particular holds a lot of interest for me with it’s gorgeous mountains, sparkling lakes and surrounding B&B’s and Lake District cottages. The area was also a major inspiration for poets like William Wordsworth, but I won’t go into all that again…
Most of all, I miss my city. MY city, my favorite city in the world. Of all of the thousands of places I’ve seen on all of my travels, I’ve never connected with anywhere the way I did with London (San Francisco might be a distant second).
I’ve tried in the past to capture what I love about London so I won’t try again, except it has to do with all the things listed above and more.
Maybe I’ll always miss my first home away from home. The good news is that, while nothing has been settled on yet, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll get to visit England again later this year…
This post was written by me, brought to you by Sykes Holiday Cottages.