The fifteen national parks of the United Kingdom are very popular tourism draws, and it is estimated that over 100 million visitors from Britain and abroad flock to the parks each year. Each national park is home to gorgeous natural splendor and unique sights, and no matter where you are on the island of Great Britain, you are most likely within two hours` drive of a national park. From the Cairngorms in the north to the South Downs and Dartmoor in the south, the United Kingdom is home to some of the world`s most picturesque national parks.
Enjoy Welsh National Parks Areas (Snowdonia, Pembroke Coast and Brecon Beacons), including precious landscapes, habitats, villages and heritage sites along your Self Drive Holiday package. Start in the Welsh capital city; Cardiff (the most important administrative, shopping, and cultural centre); then, drive to Brecon (known for the famous Brecon Jazz Festival, independent shops and cafes, history, military connections and of course, the magnificent cathedral); after that, discover Betws y Coed (the gateway to the snowy peaks and dazzling lakes of Snowdonia National Park. An spectacular terrain for hiking, biking, and outdoor activities at any time of year); and finally, Pembroke Coast (world famous for its breathtaking coastal scenery, quaint little towns and picturesque villages, perfect for outdoor activities). This is a flexible vacation package. Select your number of nights in each city, desired hotel and activities.
Cardiff - Brecon: 1 hr. approx.
Brecon - Betwys y Coed: 1 hr. 15 mins.
Betws y Coed - Pembroke Coast: 3 hrs. 30 mins. approx.
Pembroke Coast - Cardiff Airport: 1 hr. 55 mins. approx.
Manchester - Windermere: 1 hr. 45 mins. approx.
Windermere - Glasgow: 2 hrs. 25 mins. approx.
Glasgow - Edinburgh: 1 hr. 5 mins. approx.
Edinburgh - Windermere : 3 hrs. 5 mins. approx.
Windermere - Chester: 2 hrs. 10 mins. approx.
Chester - London: 4 hrs. approx.
London - Stratford-upon-Avon: 2 hrs. 20 mins. approx.
Stratford-upon-Avon - York: 2 hr. 45 mins. approx.
York - Windermere: 2 hrs. 35 mins. approx.
Windermere - Manchester: 1 hr. 35 mins. approx.
England remains one of the most popular destinations in the world. Millions of people each year are drawn to the frenetic charm of London, the historical attractions of places such as Salisbury, York and Chester, and the rural splendor of the Lake District.
Scotland's landscape is dotted with dramatic fairy-tale castles, ruined abbeys, fascinating historic cities and picturesque villages. Edinburgh, its capital, is widely considered to be one of the most charming cities on Earth. To the west, Glasgow has grown into one of Europe's most exciting cities for culture and recreation.
Wales is a fascinating part of the United Kingdom not to be missed. Rich in history and culture, steeped in myth and legend, Wales rewards its visitors with more than 600 castles, the largest Impressionist art collection outside of Paris and a landscape just calling out to be explored.
Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, was torn apart during `the Troubles` of the late 20th century, but this fascinating part of the UK has emerged to become one of the most influential cultural and economic hubs in the British Isles.
Shakespeare is arguably the greatest writer in the English language, and the towns of Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick couldn`t be prouder to have been his stomping grounds. Today the towns are home to the Royal Shakespeare Company and a number of theatres and performing arts centers.
England is a country which combines geographic beauty, architectural splendor, and rich history to create a tourist experience which will stay with you for the rest of your life. The historic city of Bath has been noteworthy in the English-speaking world for its hot springs since the time of the Romans. The cities of Oxford and Cambridge are home to two of the most prestigious English-language universities in the world, and have both been important centers of learning and innovation for hundreds of years. Together, these three cities are the true Charms of England, and must be seen and experienced to be truly appreciated.
England is the perfect location for exploring self-drive package options. Many travelers find the country easy to navigate and being able to forget about the sometimes-hectic schedule that comes with train or air travel allows for freedom, exploration, and relaxation. Visit the idyllic towns of the Cotswolds, meander through the majestic Lake District, or get to know the Land of Shakespeare - in England history unfolds among meticulous gardens, captivating landscapes made famous by the likes of Wordsworth, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Bronte sisters, and charming villages.
In the United Kingdom, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a conservation area, just below the status of a national park, that was selected for conservation because of its significant landscape value. There are 33 such sites in England, located in every region of the country, and these areas are conserved in the hope that the natural beauty that they possess can be further enhanced. Below you will find a sampling of 20 important Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty that you should see, with photographs accompanied by links to the nearest gateway city or area.
You will always have London and Paris and we won't take that away from you. After all, if this is your first trip to Europe, there is no better choice than London and Paris. (Don't take our word for it. Countless travel guides and travel gurus have said it before.) But why not throw in another city, for a change? After a fast train ride on EuroStar, hop on a short flight to Amsterdam, Prague, Rome, Barcelona, Madrid, Venice, Berlin, or Dublin. You won't regret it.
When people picture what England means to them in popular culture, they might think of a multitude of things. They might think of historical legends such as Lady Godiva and Robin Hood. They might think of tea and crumpets, and the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. They might think of iconic scenes from books, movies, and television series, ranging from Pride & Prejudice to Downton Abbey to Harry Potter. On our accompanied map you will find all of these important tourist sites, and many more.
Medieval England corresponds to the era between the mass adoption of Christianity among the Anglo-Saxons, in the 600s CE, and the end of the War of the Roses in the late 15th century. During this time England saw attacks from the Vikings, the Normans` invasion in 1066, and the Black Death. Even with the struggle and strife present during the Middle Ages, this era ushered in new achievements in technology, warfare, religion, arts, and architecture. Below are 20 sites integral to Medieval English history that we think you should see, with links to the closest gateway cities or regions.