Spring in Britain
Now's the time to head across the pond to sample Britain's many cultural delights.
Fri Mar 14 2014
Not only is the country's nerve center, London, brimming with history dating back to the Bronze Age, it's also one of the most dynamic, diverse cities on the planet. Immerse yourself in West Indian culture at the Notting Hill Carnival, which paints West London neon each August; or head east to the bustling Brick Lane, home to some of the best Indian food outside of the subcontinent
Arts buffs should make for the south bank of the Thames to see a show at the world-famous National Theatre-where tickets can be had for as little as £15 a pop-and admire the artworks at the stunning Tate Modern, where, as at many U.K. museums, admission is free. Top it all off with a ride on the London Eye, the tallest Ferris wheel in the Western Hemisphere, or with afternoon tea at the elegant Orangery in Kensington Gardens.
Samuel Johnson maintained that "when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life," but be sure not to limit your U.K. trip to the capital. For a true taste of the country's storied past, pay a visit to Caerphilly Castle in South Wales, a massive 13th-century fortification; wander the Ancient Roman spas in Bath; or ride the 155-year-old Dartmouth Steam Railway through the Devon countryside. For natural splendor, it's hard to beat the Lake District in northwest England, the unspoiled mountainous landscape that inspired the writings of Wordsworth and Coleridge.
Head farther north to Scotland to hike the 96-mile West Highland Way, which travels from the outskirts of Glasgow past Loch Lomond and Glen Coe to Fort William in the Highlands. If tipples are more your speed, stop by the storied Lagavulin Distillery on the island of Islay. And in August, the Scottish capital explodes with performing arts of all stripes during the sprawling Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Whether you're a history buff, a fan of the great outdoors or a culture vulture, there's more to keep you entertained in Britain than you could fit into a single life; it's time to get started, wouldn't you say? For even more inspiration, check out the video above.