From the Roman remains of Hadrian's Wall to the medieval architecture of Canterbury Cathedral, the sheer astounding variety is a major reason to travel in England. In the cities, the streets buzz day and night, with tempting shops and restaurants, and some of the finest museums in the world. After dark, cutting-edge clubs, top-class theatre and formidable live music provide a string of nights to remember. Next day, you're deep in the English countryside or enjoying a classic seaside resort. In England, there really is something for everyone, whether you're eight or 80, going solo or travelling with your friends, your kids or your grandma.
Along with variety, a journey through England is a journey through history. But not the history that's dull and dusty. History you can feel and re-live. You can lay your hands on the ancient megaliths of a 5000-year-old stone circle, or walk the battlements of a medieval fortress – just as they were patrolled by knights in armour many centuries ago. Then fast forward to the future and you're admiring 21st-century architecture in Manchester, or exploring the space-age domes of Cornwall's Eden Project.
English Spoken Here
And while England boasts a culture and tradition that may appear complex, on the surface at least it's familiar to many visitors thanks to a vast catalogue of British film and TV exports. The same applies when it comes to communication; this is home turf for the English language. For many visitors this means no need to carry a phrasebook – although you might get a little confused by local accents in places such as Devon or Liverpool.
Easy Does It
A final thing to remember while you're planning a trip to England: travel here is a breeze. Granted, it may not be totally effortless, but it's easy compared with many parts of the world. And although the locals may grumble (in fact, it's a national pastime) public transport is pretty good, and a train ride through the English landscape can be a highlight in itself. But whichever way you get around, in this compact country you're never far from the next town, the next pub, the next restaurant, the next national park or the next impressive castle on your hit list of highlights. The choice is endless, and we've hand-picked the best places. Use it as a guide – to steer you from place to place – and mix it with making your own discoveries. In England, you won't be disappointed.
Best places to stay in England
Walking in a wacky wonderland… nine remarkable winter celebrations of the world
Who says Christmas has to be conventional? Pudding races, turkey parades and encounters with birch rod-lashing Alpine devils should all be on your calendar this festive season. Read on to unwrap some of the world's craziest Christmas and New Year events.
England’s greatest cities
England's historical top ten
England destination guides
Historic world city and British capital with outstanding arts, dining and nightlife.
The calm before (and during) the holiday storm
If when people sing 'Oh ho, the mistletoe…' you hear 'uh oh, the stress and woe…', then you need an injection of calm this holiday season. Stress and anxiety can ruin yuletide festivities, but rest assured, there are ways to embrace the insanity – in fact, every global culture has methods of keeping cool in tense times.
Best places to eat in England
Stonehenge, Windsor Castle and Bath Day Trip from London
Don't leave London without taking this best-selling tour to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath, England's most beautiful Georgian city. Your day trip includes entrance to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Bath's Roman Baths and Pump Rooms. Pop in your state-of-the-art Vox headphones as your tour starts and listen to your guide talking clearly about each site.
Christmas in Windsor, Stonehenge and Bath
Do something different on Christmas Day and spend some time exploring the ancient sites of England. Start at the royal residence of Windsor Castle before exploring the mysterious Stonehenge circle - now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After a traditional Christmas lunch, end your day discovering the beautiful Georgian City of Bath.
Ten of the world's best off-season adventures
Avoid the crowds and bag a bargain by travelling to the world’s best bits when everyone else isn’t. Here are 10 reasons to resist travel during high season, straight from Lonely Planet's 1000 Ultimate Adventures. 'Green season' safari, Botswana Hippos in Botswana by Mazzali / CC BY-SA 2.