United Kingdom Journals

A first visit to the UK

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A travel journal to United Kingdom by Amanda

Tower and City Photo, United Kingdom, Europe More Photos
Quote: England may be "divided by a common language" from America, Canada, Australia etc, but it is nevertheless an easier country than many for English-speaking visitors to enjoy. Here is my guide to the "sceptured isle" for the first time visitor.

A first visit to the UK

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Overview

Quote:
It seems a bit silly to pick favourites from a whole country! I don’t know the country equally well all over, although I’ve traveled fairly extensively, so I’ll just list a few of the places I particularly love rather than suggest a definitive list. I was born and brought up in London, and I love the city above all others. It is also difficult to see the UK in any kind of perspective without seeing something of the capital – but it’s also difficult to see the UK properly unless you leave London and see some of the rest of the country. For a variety of experience, you might go to one or more of Norwich, Oxford, Cambridge, Bath, Lincoln or Chester – all old towns with wonderful buildings, cathedrals or ...Read More

Geography

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Attraction

Dartmoor Photo, United Kingdom, Europe
Quote:
The UK is based on two islands just off the northwest coast of continental Europe. The country is often said to have little climate and lots of weather; the conditions are often unpredictable and you should be prepared for all eventualities. That said, the climate is rarely extreme in most of the UK, just changeable. Although quite far north, the country benefits from the Gulf Stream / North Atlantic Drift which passes to the west, meaning that the country is rarely as cold as its northerly location would suggest. One consequence of being so far north is that the hours of daylight vary throughout the year – in the summer it is still a little light when the pubs chuck out at 11pm, and it gets light ve...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 18, 2002

A history of Britain

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Attraction

Tower and City Photo, United Kingdom, Europe
Quote:
The UK’s history is long and complicated, and no comprehensive overview could be attempted within the confines of this journal! All I’ll do is try and sketch the faintest of outlines. The Romans invaded some 50 years BC, and set up the Roman colony that lasted for 400-odd years. They built the extant Hadrian’s Wall, which divided what they ruled (England) from what they didn’t (Scotland). As the empire fell, the Romans withdrew, the cities emptied (including Londinium), and the Dark Ages fell on England as well as the rest of Europe. Waves of successive invaders from the continent brought their own cultures with them – Saxons, Angles, Jutes and Vikings, among others. Individual...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 18, 2002

A history of Britain - 2

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Attraction

A ruined medieval church Photo, United Kingdom, Europe
Quote:
For some time, then, England was the possession of a French Duke who ruled also elsewhere. He took over existing buildings such as Westminster Abbey, and built defensive ones such as the Tower of London. Things changed gradually, and by the time of Chaucer, writing in the 14th century, English was more used as a language and a culture. The common law traces its modern roots back to Henry II’s statutes. The medieval English built the astonishing cathedrals, the wonderful monasteries, and the hundreds of small churches that still exist around the country. By the 16th century, English Kings ruled in London (the capital having moved from Winchester in the early Middle Ages) and not much of France remaine...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 18, 2002

A history of Britain - 3

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Attraction

Quote:
When Henry VIII died in 1547, his three children inherited the throne in turn – the fiercely protestant Edward, who died in 1553, the Catholic Mary who died in 1558, and Elizabeth, who reigned over the Golden Age of Elizabethan England, calming down the bitter religious dispute that was threatening an internal religious war by supervising the Elizabethan Church Settlement – forming a church that is almost Calvinist in doctrine but which leans towards the Roman Catholic in pomp and circumstance. Emerging from the obscurity of the medieval period, England beat Spain at war, ruled the oceans through a combination of trade and piracy, and set up the first colonies in the modern day USA, at Roanoak and Che...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 18, 2002

Transport in the UK

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Story/Tip

A country lane Photo, United Kingdom, Europe
Quote:
Transport in the UK is varied. Generally you have a choice of car, aeroplane, railways, or coach (long-distance) and bus (short-distance). In addition, there are also trams, underground railways, and ferries. The railways in the UK are in an unfortunate state at the moment (Jan. 2002) and the subject of various political rows. There are however still lots of trains running within cities and inter-city, as well as the Eurostar which goes from Waterloo in London and Ashford, Kent to Paris, Lille, and Brussels. Trains are generally fairly expensive if you just turn up and book on the day, and a lot cheaper if you book ahead. www.railtrack.co.uk is...Read More

Media in the UK

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Story/Tip

Quote:
There is lots of choice of media for people visiting the UK. Newspapers are varied and widely available. There are two kinds – broadsheets and tabloids. The Times is the oldest of the dailies, and along with its sister The Sunday Times is fairly cautious, and moderately right-wing. The Daily Telegraph (and its sister, the Sunday Telegraph) is more right-wing, fairly old-fashioned (lots of retired Colonels read it) and has the best political cartoonist of the lot. The Independent (also the Independent on Sunday) takes a very neutral stance on everything, and has very good coverage of the arts. The Guardian is liberal, left-wing, environmentally friendly, and has lots about education and welfare, and ...Read More