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England sights

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The success of the trip depends on many small details that form a single whole. So, a tourist needs to buy a plane ticket cheaply, draw up documents in time and apply for a visa, choose a suitable hotel and plan an excursion. Fortunately, the guest of the UK will not have to look for sights for a long time: they are literally at every step here - only fifteen of the most famous are listed below.

Tower of London

Having made a choice between full and half board at the hotel, having arrived at the place and having a little rest from the road, the traveler must certainly head to the Tower of London - the legendary, ancient and, perhaps, the most famous symbol of Old England. Each year, about four million people visit the fortress - a record number, comparable only to the Louvre in France and the Cologne Cathedral in Germany.

It is believed that the order to build the Tower of London was given by William the Conqueror himself - the first de facto ruler of united England, who won the battle of Hastings. The coronation of the great warrior took place nearby - on the site of the future Westminster Cathedral. It is difficult to say whether William the First was involved in the construction of the dungeon fortress, there is a stable legend - and it is it that attracts travelers who are interested in the history of the United Kingdom.

The work of the first kings was continued by Richard I - one of the most beloved rulers of the British, who participated in the Crusade and ended his life in exile. Under this monarch, the Tower acquired new watchtowers made in the traditional round style, the second row of fortress walls and a moat. Elements, now perceived by visitors as decorative, were centuries ago important: enemy raids remained a reality, and better protection than a few rows of stone and a deep strip of liquid simply did not exist.

The Tower of London at different times was a royal palace, a fortress, a mint, a dungeon, a treasury, an arsenal, and even an observatory. Contained (and are kept) here and some animals under special protection. The most famous example is ravens: huge black birds are ringed, have their own nicknames, and for several centuries now they have been receiving daily supplies.

The tower is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, in order to get inside, a tourist will have to go through metal detectors. Sharp objects, liquids and other things that can harm an ancient monument cannot be taken with you.

Having examined the palace from the inside, the traveler must definitely go into one of the souvenir shops located on the territory of the complex. Tower of London sells tea, copies of medieval tapestries and other antique souvenirs. In "Beater Shop" - figures of kings, guards and yeomen, guides and magnets. In Jewel House Shop, copies of treasures stored in the treasury. In the White Tower Shop there are children's goods: toys, coloring books, books and dummy weapons. Finally, in the Ravens Shop - figurines of ravens, notebooks, mugs, etc.

Tower of London - how to get here and how much it costs:

  • Address: London, Tower Hill,
  • Travel: by bus, metro or taxi,
  • time for visiting: from Tuesday to Saturday - from 09:00 to 16:00, Sunday and Monday - from 10:00 to 16:00,
  • ticket price: for children under 15 years old - 12 pounds, for adults - 25 pounds.

A huge (almost 100 meters high) tower with the most famous clock in the world stands in the Westminster district of London. Like the Tower, Big Ben is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List - it is under this common name, and not under the official name: Clock Tower.

The construction of Big Ben began in the 60s of the century before last - during Queen Victoria. The watch was supposed to be the most accurate and noticeable not only in London, but throughout England - and it became: the mechanism is functioning perfectly today, and it’s simply impossible to not see Big Ben while being in the city center.

Citizens celebrate New Year here, celebrate other public holidays, relax in a neat park nearby and make business meetings under the dial. It is on this watch that all the television and radio stations in London are checked. Every year on November eleven at eleven o'clock, on the day of remembrance of those who died in the First and Second World Wars, Londoners are going to honor the fallen soldiers and civilians here - and the watch is broadcast throughout the country.

It is noteworthy that, in addition to the not accustomed name “Clock Tower”, Big Ben has several more names, mentioned very rarely. The first of them - the "Tower of Elizabeth" - appeared in 2012 and owes its existence to the ruling queen of the United Kingdom. The second - "Stephen's Tower" - historically refers not to Big Ben, but to a low building standing in the back of the palace complex. However, a traveler can find a way to this London attraction using any of the names.

The total height of the tower is 95 meters, it is possible that during the current reconstruction it will change upwards, but so far there is no data on this. The base area of ​​Big Ben is about 12 square meters. 335 steps lead to the clock mechanism, counting the lower “zero”. According to estimates, the construction took about 850 cubic meters of stone and more than 2600 cubic meters of burnt brick. Like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Elizabeth Tower has a slight slope - about 20 centimeters to the horizon in a northwest direction.

Interestingly, the clock did not go the first month - not because of an inaccuracy in the mechanism, but because of the severity of the hands cast from cast iron. As soon as the error was identified and eliminated, replacing the material with copper, the giant chimes earned. Now, like two hundred years ago, time is reflected immediately on four dials, the diameter of each of which is approximately seven meters. The hour hand is about 2.8 meters long, and the minute hand is 4.3 meters long. Their masses are respectively 300 and 100 kilograms. The large bell, which gave the name to the whole tower, weighs almost 14 tons, has 2.3 meters in height and 2.8 meters in diameter.

Now getting inside Big Ben is very problematic: a deep restoration will last another two years, and a tourist who does not have time to book one of the rare excursions will have to admire the London landmark from the street, but do not get upset - the best view opens from here.

Big Ben - how to get here and how much it costs:

  • Address: London, Westminster,
  • Travel: by bus, metro or taxi,
  • time to visit: around the clock,
  • ticket price: free.

Westminster Abbey

In the immediate vicinity of Big Ben, Westminster Abbey is located, the center of which is St. Peter's Church. Here, the glorious rulers of the United Kingdom, as well as prominent figures in culture and politics, were baptized, crowned, buried and buried.

The construction of the abbey took more than five centuries - from XIII to XVIII. Such a stretch is associated primarily with a lack of funding, and, secondly, with frequent religious disagreements in the UK, which not only did not allow finishing work on time, but also questioned the very existence of Westminster.

It is known that on the site of the present complex back in the 5th century there was a small stone church founded by the first Christians and chosen by William the Conqueror as the place of coronation. In the X century, thanks to the efforts of the bishop of Dunstan, a monastic community appeared here, which existed (hereinafter in the form of an abbey) until the beginning of the reign of Henry the Eighth. Starting from this king, Westminster Abbey officially becomes the main state cathedral and in this form, having survived a series of reconstructions and transformations, it remains today.

The total area of ​​Westminster Abbey is about three thousand square meters, the main temple is designed for more than two thousand parishioners - taking into account the "fixed" sitting and standing places. You can get inside the cathedral through the Great North door, from here, turning to the right or left, the traveler will see the chapel of Henry the Seventh, famous primarily for its fan-shaped ceiling, and small chapels that make up the complex.

Inside the abbey is a luxurious altar carved in white marble and decorated with bronze, silver and gold, to the right of it is the Corner of poets, in which the greatest writers of England are buried: Jeffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spencer, Charles Dickens, Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning, George Byron and many, many others.

Westminster Abbey - how to get here and how much it costs:

  • Address: London, Westminster, Deans Yard, 20,
  • Travel: by bus, metro or taxi,
  • time for visit: daily from 09:30 to 15:30, on Wednesday - until 18:00, on Sunday - only services (without excursions),
  • ticket price: for children - 9 pounds, for adults - 20 pounds.

One of the oldest districts of London, whose history is directly related to the Order of the Temple of Solomon, or the Templars. Until its actual destruction in the fourteenth century, it was the most powerful, richest and most populous order, which swept across Europe and the Middle East.

There were Templars in England, in London they built their own temple, which gave the name of the entire area. Both time and persecution did not spare the buildings belonging to the order: from the huge complex there was only one Temple church - a low one, built in the late Gothic style with some impurities of the already emerging Renaissance. The temple was consecrated in the XII century by the Patriarch of Jerusalem Heraclius himself, who came to London at the invitation of the head of the English branch of the Templars.

Inside the church there is an elegant marble altar, not overloaded with details, miraculously surviving during all the upheavals, and on the floor there are nine marble statues depicting knights lying on their deathbed and, quite logically, serving as tombstones.

Immediately after the liquidation of the order in England, the church, along with the rest of the buildings, became the property of the monarch - which, however, did not affect its functioning. Twice the existence of the temple was threatened: during the Great Fire of London in 1666 and during the bombing of World War II.

One of Temple Church's attractions is a lush garden filled with red and white roses: it is here, according to Shakespeare, that the York and Lancaster war broke out. A traveler with a penchant for music can listen to organ concerts on one of two church-owned instruments: a chamber, designed in 2001, or four-handed, created a couple of years later.

Temple Church - how to get here and how much it costs:

  • Address: London, City, Temple Church,
  • Travel: by bus, metro or taxi,
  • time for visit: daily from 09:00 to 16:30,
  • ticket price: free.

St Paul's Cathedral

The second most important Anglican temple in London, located on Ludgate Hill. As the name implies, the cathedral was built in honor of the Holy Apostle Paul, starting from the era of the Reformation, it serves as the residence of the Bishop of London.

The place for the construction of the temple is both extremely successful and dangerous. On the one hand, the cathedral, especially illuminated by evening lights, is perfectly visible from almost anywhere in the city, on the other - it is already the fifth in a row, thanks to the skill of the great Christopher Wren, it lasted longer than its predecessors.

The first English oak church appeared here at the very beginning of the 7th century and burned down after seventy years. Ten years later, a second, but already stone, cathedral was built on the hill, which survived for almost three hundred years - until the Viking invasion. The following year, the Londoners laid a new temple of the same material, it was destroyed one hundred and twenty years later by fire. The fourth cathedral was built on Ludgate in the middle of the XIII century, it was destined to live for more than four hundred years and burn in a fire.

The city authorities decided not to restore the temple, almost destroyed by fire, but to build a new one, Ren took up the matter - and, having submitted several projects for consideration, proceeded to erect a building that resembles the shape of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. The first service was held here in 1697, officially the cathedral was opened ten years later - on the birthday of the architect.

The sights of the temple are 17 magnificent bells emitting a clear ringing; under the dome of the cathedral there are three galleries: Whispering, Golden and Stone. The names of the second and third are understandable: they are trimmed with gold and decorative stone, respectively. The first one has a unique property: a whisper from any of its ends is carried throughout the room.

Sir Christopher Wren himself, the Duke of Wellington, Admiral Nelson, the scientist and writer Alexander Fleming and other famous people - all in all more than two hundred names lie under the memorial plates of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

St. Paul's Cathedral - how to get here and how much it costs:

  • Address: London, St. Paul,
  • Travel: by bus, metro or taxi,
  • time for visiting: daily from 09:30 to 16:30, on Sundays - only services (without excursions),
  • ticket price: for children - 5.5 pounds, for adults - 14.5 pounds.

One of the most crowded squares in London - Piccadilly - certainly deserves the attention of a traveler who has appeared in England for the first time or already having an idea about this country. On a circular site, the Circus, three busy streets converge: Piccadilly Street, Regent Street and Shaftesbury Avenue. After exploring the above attractions and preparing to visit new ones, the traveler can relax here, admire the elegant old buildings and go shopping. Piccadilly is a shopping center in London, here you can find anything: from branded items to cheap but high-quality souvenirs.

It is noteworthy that until the XVII century the street, like the square, bore a different name: Portuguese. At this time, entrepreneur Robert Baker settled here, inventing and selling overhead picadilla collars, all of whom were distinguished by enviable quality. Hence the popular name, which soon became official - both for the subject of the then fashion and for the square.

In the center of Piccadilly is a wonderful fountain, crowned with a statue of Anteros, the hero of Greek mythology, the patron saint of marriage, usually called simply the “Angel of Love” - it is simpler, more understandable and allows citizens to not get confused in terminology. Other attractions of the square are huge billboards and the Criterion Theater, a visit to which is included in the mandatory program for any tourist who is serious about the trip.

Piccadilly - how to get here and how much it costs:

  • Address: London, Piccadilly Circus,
  • Travel: by bus, metro or taxi,
  • time to visit: around the clock,
  • ticket price: free.

Wellington Arch

The Duke of Wellington is one of the greatest commanders of the United Kingdom, who defeated Napoleon himself and strengthened the military glory of England. Wellington Arch, as well as the nearby Marble Arch, is installed at the northern exit of Hyde Park, a traveler who wants to walk a bit and get to know the city better can visit these attractions at the same time, taking at least half a day to go on an excursion.

The Wellington Arch, for some time officially called the Constitution Arch, is the gateway to the London hill of the same name and the place of ceremonial entry into the British capital. For this reason, the magnificent structure, like the palace located next to it, is colloquially called "Number One" - the city begins from here.

The author of the Wellington Arch project is architect Burton, if his plan was fully realized, a whole complex would be built at the exit from Hyde Park, including even his own chapel. However, there were problems with financing from the very beginning - just at that time the largest-ever renovation of Buckingham Palace was carried out in history. Only in 1845, 15 years after the completion of the main works, the arch was crowned with a monument to the duke himself. The height of the statue, cast according to the Wyatt project, is about 8.5 meters, this is the most massive horse statue in the world today.

Until 1992, the police station was located in the Arch building, it was possible to enter it through the side door inside the opening. Before the reconstruction work, the policemen were relocated, and the premises were given to the Wellington Museum - they will be able to get here any day of the week, referring to the work schedule on the official website.

Wellington Arch - how to get here and how much it costs:

  • Address: London, Hyde Park,
  • Travel: by bus, metro or taxi,
  • time for visiting: museum - daily from 10:00 to 16:00,
  • ticket price: museum - 3.5 pounds.

Galleon Golden Hind

Golden Hind (or Golden Doe) - the famous British galleon, who made under the direction of Sir Francis Drake the first trip around the world. It lasted almost three years (from 1577 to 1580), and you can imagine in what form the ship returned home. However, the galleon passed the test by storms and the sun - and since that time it is rightfully considered one of the main London attractions.

Until the voyage, the Golden Doe was called the Pelican, Drake himself decided to rename the ship. And not just for the sake of harmony: it was this animal (of the same color) that was depicted on the coat of arms of the Hetton clan, who made the most significant contribution to the expedition.

It is clear that a wooden ship of the 16th century could not survive to this day without any changes. The Golden Hind is a modern building that exactly replicates Drake’s galleon and includes many elements removed from the original vessel. It was assembled, like the original model, manually in North Devon. In 1979-1980, "Golden Doe" repeated the route of the first circumnavigation of the world, after which, having walked along the British marinas, became a joke on the Thames. Now it is a kind of museum on the water: it is visited by adults who are interested in navigation, and schoolchildren, who are dressed in costumes of sailors of the 16th century.

Galleon Golden Hind - how to get here and how much it costs:

  • Address: London, Clink Street, 9,
  • Travel: by bus, metro or taxi,
  • time for visiting: daily from 09:00 to 17:00,
  • ticket price: for children - 5 pounds, for adults - 8 pounds.

London Zoo

One of the largest zoos in the world, mentioned more than once in classical and modern English literature, is definitely worth a visit - without a leisurely walk along the sand-strewn paths, looking at elephants and flamingos and ideal ice cream in every way, a vacation in England cannot be considered successful.

Here, on the territory of about 15 hectares, there are more than 18 thousand species of animals belonging to eight hundred species. The London Zoo is the first in the world to begin to engage in scientific activities, it is impossible to observe animals without giving them enough freedom - therefore, they are given maximum freedom. Instead of cages with gratings, there are glasses, ditches and green barriers, this helps predators and herbivores better adapt to the new situation without experiencing stress and not being afraid of observers.

In 2001, the collection of the London Zoo was replenished with elephants and rhinos - they were transferred here from Bedfordshire. In addition to these animals, it contains lemurs, anteaters, sloths, monkeys, tigers and lions, Komodo lizards, all kinds of birds, reptiles and insects, as well as penguins.

London Zoo - how to get here and how much it costs:

  • Address: London, Camden Town, Regent's Park,
  • Travel: by bus, metro or taxi,
  • time for visiting: daily from 10:00 to 17:00,
  • ticket price: for children - 15 pounds, for adults - 25 pounds.

Royal Observatory

Near London is the town of Greenwich, here is the most famous observatory in the world, built at the end of the XVII century by personal order of King Charles the Second. In order to have someone to entrust the new institution, the ruler of Great Britain established the position of the Royal Astronomer at the court, and Sir John Flemstead was the first to take it.

The observatory, which easily withstood all the difficulties of the New Age, could not cope with the widespread electrification: since 1924, when radiation from trams passing by began to negatively affect the reliability of the Meteorological and Magnetic departments, particularly accurate equipment was transported from one point to another: from Greenwich to Abinger, from there to Bradford, Bath and even Cambridge. Now in Greenwich there are neither powerful telescopes nor sophisticated magnetic installations, all that remains here is the Research and Scientific Centers, which are museums for tourists. This is not so bad, visiting the observatory with a guide will give a traveler who is fond of science a great pleasure.

Royal Observatory - how to get here and how much it costs:

  • Address: Greenwich, Blackhit Avenue, 10,
  • Travel: by bus or taxi,
  • time for visiting: daily from 10:00 to 17:00,
  • ticket price: for children - 6.5 pounds, for adults - 10 pounds.

Loch Lomond and Trossax National Park

Now it’s time to move from England, the heart of the United Kingdom, to the north - to Scotland. It is full of attractions, which are worth at least Loch Ness and old Edinburgh. However, a traveler who wants to get as much emotions as possible from the beauties of the country should first of all visit the National Park, combining Loch Lomond and the coastal region of Trossax, as well as the oldest reserve in Britain, Argyll.

Loch Lomond is the largest lake in the United Kingdom, its length is almost 40 kilometers, and the expanse is dotted with small and rather large islands, covered with heather, birches and maples. It is very good to relax with the whole family here - leisurely wander along the coast, breathe clean air or enjoy active entertainment (from water skiing to windsurfing). Around the lake there are enough hotels for every taste and affluence.

Loch Lomond and Trossax National Park - how to get here and how much it costs:

  • Address: Scotland, Loch Lomond,
  • Travel: by bus or taxi from Glasgow,
  • time to visit: around the clock,
  • ticket price: 5 pounds.

Kelton hill

The magnificent views of Edinburgh, the official capital of Scotland, were mentioned above, you can enjoy them from a height, and the best place for this is Kelton. Amazingly beautiful natural hill is even included in the UNESCO World Heritage List (along with Big Ben and the Tower).

On top of Kelton Hill is St. Andrew's House, the residence of the Scottish government. A little further south, on the slope, is another administrative building, and right at the foot - the Holyrood Palace. In the immediate vicinity of the hill, which has become a symbol and an indispensable part of the landscape of Edinburgh, the Scottish Observatory, a monument to some of the participants in the Napoleon wars and monuments to the famous natives and guests of the city: Admiral Nelson, poet Burns, philosopher Hume and others were built.

Every year, in late April, a large-scale "fire show" is held here, dedicated to the feast of the solstice. About twelve thousand people converge to look at it - there is enough space on Kelton for everyone.

Kelton Hill - how to get here and how much it costs:

  • Address: Edinburgh, Kelton Hill,
  • Travel: by bus or taxi,
  • time to visit: around the clock,
  • ticket price: free.

Cardiff Castle

And now - the time of the third part of the United Kingdom, that is, Wales. Each of its counties is full of ancient castles, one of the most notable is Cardiff, located in Glamorgan.

The castle was built over a thousand years ago, at different times it served as a city fortress, court, dungeon, and then noble estate. Initially, the building was not too beautiful, but the ergonomic one was rebuilt many times, the last changes were made at the initiative of the Marquis of Butte, who gave Cardiff Castle Victorian-Gothic sophistication, but retained the facade and interior features traditional for Welsh architecture. In 1947, after the death of the last of the Buttes, the building passed into the possession of the city authorities, which to this day maintain the stronghold in perfect condition.

Around the fortress there is a beautiful garden, you can walk in it, as well as look inside the castle for free, the main thing is to catch it before the entrance gate closes and do not forget to drop in at the exit to the souvenir shop.

Cardiff Castle - how to get here and how much it costs:

  • Address: Cardiff, Castle Cardiff,
  • Travel: by bus or taxi,
  • time for visit: daily from 10:30 to 17:30,
  • ticket price: free.

Dolvidelan Castle

Not so lucky is another curious Welsh castle located in the county of Conwy. Here once stood a huge fortress, built by order of Llewelyn the Great in the 11th century. The castle remained unencumbered for about fifty years, after which it was conquered by the troops of the English king Edward the First, during which the Western Tower was erected, which stands apart and is better preserved than other elements.

The first reconstruction of Dolvidelan took place in the 15th century, when the castle passed into the possession of the Ap Ieyanov family, the second, more extensive, at the end of the century before last, this time the Lord de Eresby invested in the project. He added the fortress of the battlements, traditional for Europe, and also changed the layout, however, the aristocrat did not begin to restore the collapsed part.

Dolvidelan Castle - how to get here and how much it costs:

  • Address: Dolvidelan, Castle Dolvilelan,
  • Travel: by bus or taxi,
  • time for visiting: daily from 11:00 to 17:00,
  • ticket price: for children - 4 pounds, for adults - 7 pounds.

Stonehenge

To complete the UK sightseeing is most logical where most tourists plan to start it: in Stonehenge, located fifteen kilometers from Salisbury. The name of this megalith is translated as “Stone fence” (or, taking into account Celtic origin, “dancing stones”). According to historians, Stonehenge was built no later than the XXV century BC, from the very beginning - with ritual goals.

The structure of Stonehenge includes eight dozen megaliths, five triliths (U-shaped structures) and thirty huge stone blocks that support the main structure. To get inside the circle, you must first fill out an online application form, permission is issued without problems, but tourists should take into account that groups are formed in the order of a “live queue” and do not exceed 30 people - which means that the appointed visit time may not be quite convenient.

Stonehenge - how to get here and how much it costs:

  • Address: Wiltshire, Stonehenge,
  • Travel: by bus or taxi from Salisbury,
  • time for visiting: daily from 09:00 to 19:00,
  • ticket price: for children - 23 pounds, for adults - 39 pounds.

To summarize

Great Britain is a real paradise for tourists: there are so many attractions that it is unlikely that they can be visited in one trip. It is better to act gradually: for the first time, pay all attention to London with its Tower, Big Ben and St. Paul's Cathedral, then - the natural beauties of Scotland or the picturesque fortresses of Wales. And on the way back, you can drop into Eastern Europe - see old castles and temples in Warsaw, Grodno or Lviv.

Do not forget about the sights of Istanbul, Athens or Madrid: the southern countries are no less good than the northern ones and give the attentive traveler a lot of food for the mind. In addition, there will be able to relax and sunbathe - with this in the United Kingdom for most of the year problems. So, it remains to choose the date of travel, purchase a ticket and go on the road, after learning what things can not be carried into the cabin.

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