Take a charming dose of English traditionalism, toss in some funky contemporary flair, add a vibrant mix of multiculturalism and a monarchy that appears in magazines more often than most celebrities, and you have London—a worldly city that can be just about everything to everyone.
England is part of the United Kingdom, and is well known for its presence as one of the world’s superpowers. Famous for fish and chips, quaint cottages, Shakespeare and the British monarchy, this little island country has made its mark on the world, whether it’s in the arts, the economy or pop culture. Much of its modern-day influence stems from colonial times, when England settled and spread its culture, language and institutions around the globe, helping to shape much of the world as we know it today.
Currency: Pound Sterling (GBP)
Government: Constitutional Monarchy
Did you know?
- The English consume more tea per capita than anywhere else in the world—an average of three cups a day.
- London is the largest city in Europe, with a population of 12 million.
- French was the official language of England for about 300 years, from 1066 to 1362.
- The first fish and chips restaurant was opened in 1860 in London.
- The world’s oldest public zoo opened in London in 1828.
England is known for its rainy bouts, and while it doesn’t rain every day, the climate is called temperate maritime, which means it has mild winter temperatures (usually no lower than 0° Celsius) and moderate summer temperatures (usually no higher than 32° Celsius).
- Winter: December–February
- Spring: March–May
- Summer: June–August
- Autumn: September–November
England takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe who settled in England during the 5th and 6th centuries, following the Roman occupation of the lands. The Romans had left a large mark on the country, from creating infrastructure to institutions, and they laid the groundwork for the emerging superpower. England became a united state in 927 after the Roman occupation ended.
In the 12th century, Richard the Lionhearted, a notable king, headed off the Holy Crusades against the Muslim populations in present-day Jerusalem. The Hundred Years’ War in 1337 against France and the arrival of the Black Plague killed off one-third of the English population. In 1381, the Peasants’ Revolt erupted, marking the beginning of the end for the feudalist system.
The 15th and 16th centuries were characterized by exploration, growth and colonization, and England became a major influencer on the world. After the Age of Discovery, England began to spread its language and cultural, legal and religious beliefs on the world. Many of the common law legal systems in the world are based off the one developed in England.
In the 16th century, England welcomed a surge in literature and the arts—a period known as the Golden Age of England. During this time, Queen Elizabeth I ruled and encouraged the country’s growth through exploration, religious freedom and the arts. Under her rule, the English defeated the legendary Spanish Armada, and her efforts helped to expand trade and increase exploration. A notable part of this period is the emergence of Shakespeare, whose written works are the basis for much of modern-day literature.
The late 17th century and early 18th century saw the historic Act of Union passed, linking the countries of Wales, Scotland and England under one parliament in London. During this time, England began to face issues in its American Colony, with England eventually losing the American War of Independence, which took place from 1776 to 1783.
During the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, England truly began to shine. The country was the first industrialized nation in the world, producing inventions that helped push the rest of the world into a period of growth. Under Queen Victoria, England saw another golden age—not just a great time for England, but also for the colonies it ruled over. Through medical advancements, universal education, unions and commoner suffrage movements, England gave back to the world.
It’s one of the world’s biggest cities, and has a reputation for wonderful pubs, excellent nightlife and heaps of cultural activities.
With its wonderful medieval buildings and the famous Canterbury Cathedral, this is a city rich with history.
This museum exhibits international works dating from the prehistoric period to modern times. Some of its most famous exhibits include the Rosetta Stone, Elgin Marbles and many ancient Egyptian mummies.
TOWER OF LONDON
Considered to be one of the world’s most famous buildings, the Tower of London has a 900-year history, and has been a prison, a place of execution, a royal palace, an arsenal and a jewel house. It is also home to the Crown Jewels of England.
England’s official “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty” is a place so traditionally English, you’ll feel like time has stood still for 300 years.
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