England Travel Guide
England is one of the top tourist destinations in the world; coming in second place just after Hong Kong, and for good reason too! This country has something for everyone; from the iconic sights and culture of London, to the quaint charm of seaside counties like Cornwall and Kent. No matter what you’re after, you can find it in England.
Now is a great time to travel to the UK. After England announced its plan to leave the European Union, the pound, which was previously almost double the value of the US dollar, is now down to a much more favorable exchange rate. It will undoubtedly start to rise again though, so enjoy the discount while you can!
City Specific Guides
Tips to Save Money
I may get hate mail for saying this, but aside from the fish and chips and mince meat pies, there’s not much else that screams “traditional English cuisine”, so you won’t be missing anything by not dining out often. Don’t get me wrong, there are many amazing restaurants to be found throughout the country, but you’re not reading a luxury travel blog right now.
You’re here because you want to learn how to stretch your budget as far as possible. That being the case, save your money on going out to eat and cook for yourself. If you’re feeling lazy some night, grab dinner at a pub, as it will be a lot cheaper.
MegaBus is Your Friend
England is very well connected by train and if you can find a cheap enough fair, it is a great way to see parts of the countryside. However, whenever possible, I recommend traveling by bus to save a bit of money. MegaBus offers service all throughout the country, is cheap, and has free Wi-Fi on the buses. That’s tough to beat.
As an alternative to taking the bus, check out BlaBlaCar. Silly name, I know, but it’s a great service. Basically, if someone with a car is driving from point A to point B and has extra space in their car, they can sell the open seats to people traveling to the same destination. I’ve traveled across countries for less than $10 this way! As an added bonus, you’ll get to meet new people and possibly learn about what to do at your next travel stop.
England, especially in the larger cities, is not a cheap place to stay. Accommodations can be quite pricey here, so I’d recommend giving Couch Surfing a look before shelling out the extra money for a hostel or Airbnb. Not only is it a free place to stay, but if your host isn’t busy, you might get a tour of the area as well!
If you’re not fortunate enough to find a Couch Surfing host, hostels will still be your best bet. Check them out at HostelWorld.
Bring Your Student ID
If you have a student ID, don’t forget to pack it! Many places throughout the UK will offer student discounts for attractions, transportation, and sometimes even dining. Even if it’s expired, bring it along anyway. If you’re like me and fortunate enough to look younger than your age, it could still end up saving you a bit of money.
It just wouldn’t be a trip to England without a visit to this iconic clock tower. After you take your photos, you’re just a short walk away from a few other notable sights; Parliament, Buckingham Palace, and the London Eye.
Tower of London
The Tower of London once dominated the city’s skyline; an imposing sight to all who looked upon it. Nowadays, at just 89 feet high, it’s much less intimidating, but still every bit as fascinating to explore. If you have your student ID with you, you can get a discounted price on the guided tour where you’ll learn all about the Tower’s dark past.
Located in the appropriately named town of Bath; walking into the Roman Baths is a bit like time travel. Here, you will find geothermal springs which were used by the Celts as long ago as 836 B.C. Granted, it’s gone through many restorations over the years, but it is still an amazing bit of history to walk through. While the original baths are no longer in use, if you’re feeling particularly fancy after your tour, you can book a visit to their modern spa and relax in the geothermal waters like the royalty used to.
Cliffs of Dover
If you happen to find yourself in the southeastern county of Kent, you have to pay a visit to the famous white Cliffs of Dover. While the cliffs themselves are an incredible sight to behold, on a clear day, they also offer up views as distant as the coast of France. Just be careful to not get too close to the edge, as the delicate chalk that give the cliffs their famous white color has been known to break off and fall into the Strait of Dover below.
University of Cambridge
Located just a couple hours north of London, the University of Cambridge is the fourth-oldest university in the world still in existence. This place is simply massive; housing over 100 libraries and 9 museums throughout its vast campus. Whether you’re interested in checking out the brilliant architecture or just geeking out over pretty much every book in the world, you can do it here.
Visit the many castles
If you have a soft spot for medieval fairytale castles, you can’t do much better than England. The country houses approximately 1,500 castles, though to be fair, many of them are in various states of collapse. That being said, some of the more breathtaking castles worth visiting are Windsor Castle (where Queen Elizabeth II occasionally stays), Leeds Castle, and Warwick Castle; all of which offer tours!
You may find it odd to read an England travel guide and not find Stonehenge mentioned. Here’s my take on it: If you want to go to say that you’ve been, then by all means, check it out. But if you’re going with the expectation that it is this massive rock formation out in the middle of nature, you might end up disappointed.
You don’t see many pictures of it unless you’re looking for it specifically, but if you look at Stonehenge on a map, you’ll see that it’s located right next to a rather busy road. It sort of destroys the wonderment factor. However, that’s just my opinion. It has made the list of the Seven Wonders of the World in the past, so you’ll at least be able to cross that one off your bucket list if you decide to go.