Things to do in England
Many of England's museums—common destinations for tourists—do not require an entry fee unless you plan on viewing certain exhibits. If you prefer a more unique and slightly eerie travel experience, Madame Tussauds is absolutely worth a visit. This world-renowned wax museum lets you get up close with near perfect renditions of celebrities and political figures of the past and modern-day.
Taking a break from the typical historic tour, London also has a thriving nightlife and bar scene. Tourist areas like Covent Garden and Leicester have great places to go, but West End, famous for its theatre, also features pubs like the Sanderson Hotel. Nightjar is also a hidden gem of London nightlife, located a short distance from Old Street Station.
Moving away from the center, Brighton is another popular England travel destination along the coast of the English Channel. The Brighton Festival takes place each May and is the one of the largest arts festival in the U.K., second only to the one in Edinburgh. This festival also features the Artists’ Open House in which local artists open their homes to the general public for viewing and buying their wares. Brighton has several festivals throughout the year, many dedicated to the arts, but some to alternative lifestyles.
Nottingham, affectionately known as the Queen of the Midlands, is mostly known for the legend of Robin Hood. It’s an older city to the northwest of London and also has excellent public transport. One of its most popular features is the City of Caves. This amazing complex of over five hundred caves has a history dating back to the Dark Ages and makes Nottingham the city with more man-made caves than any other lace in England.
Just east of Regent's Park, Sadler's Wells is a performance venue dedicated solely to the art of dance, including tango, experimental, hip-hop, and ballet. Originally constructed in 1683, the glass-and-brick building housed five different theatres over the centuries.
Mesmerizing photographs by Turner Prize-winner Wolfgang Tillmans, earthy sculptures by Rebecca Warner, and chaotic installations by Anne Hardy are just a few of the exhibits that have taken place at the Maureen Paley contemporary art gallery since its opening in 1984.
No trip to London is complete without a jaunt across the legendary zebra crossing in front of world-famous Abbey Road Studios. Originally a nineteenth-century townhouse, the studios became the world’s first custom-built recording complex when established by EMI in 1929.
From antique pendants to couture pieces, Central Gallery carries a vast selection of fine pearls, gemstones, and semi-precious stones, as well as gold and silver.
The renowned New York jeweler opened its first European airport boutique (and second worldwide, after Hong Kong) with the launch of T5 in March 2008.
This low-lit, wood-paneled basement bar—designed by Japanese firm Super Potato—looks like a feudal Japanese ryokan reimagined by Star Trek set designers. It specializes in the Asian spirit shochu: try it mixed with plum-infused vodka in a Plum Plum.
Established in 2000 by lawyers turned chocolatiers Helen and Simon Pattinson, this acclaimed sweet shop sells a wide array of handmade artisan chocolates, including organic and vegan items.
Theater classics performed in a 19th-century music hall.
Where: On the South Bank of England’s River Tyne, between Gateshead and Newcastle.
Stats: 413 feet wide; 164 tall when open.
Just off Regent Street, Artesian specializes in rum-based cocktails crafted by expert mixologist Alex Kratena. Along the walls of the bar, paneling is accented with silver leaf beveled mirrors, while seats boast lavender upholstery.
Charbonnel et Walker was founded in 1875 and has become Britain’s most prestigious chocolatier. Named for its founders, Mme. Charbonnel, who worked at a Paris chocolate house, and Mrs. Walker, the company is known for producing chocolates and sweets of the finest quality.
One- to four-day programs at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxford, England, on classical techniques and market-fresh ingredients with the celebrated chef himself.
Although its name is actually derived from a Longfellow poem, this charming Shoreditch shop inspires patrons to "labour away" with its enticing selection of everyday home goods, ranging from sleek metal dustpans to hand-knitted dishcloths.