England is equal to pubs and pints. The noses are red and the mood is at its peak when the bartender lets the large beer mugs slide away like curling stones over the dark bar counter. A couple of drunk gentlemen in green oil rock pat each other good-naturedly on the shoulder and tune into a common song that overpowers both the slot machine and the crackling fire in the corner: Underneath the arches I dream my dreams away. Underneath the arches, On cobblestones I lay. Outside the tinted windows, the world slips by. Inside the pub, however, it is the songs that determine what decade we are in.
Population: 64 million
- Big Ben is not the name of the famous bell tower but of the clock itself
- the world’s first zoo opened in London in 1828
- Put on your walking shoes, rest in a pub and then pick up new strength with stews, plumkaces or first-class Michelin kitchens – experience both nostalgic time bubbles and exuberant city life. You are traveling in England.
Liverpool is equal to The Beatles, football at Anfield Road and the world’s largest and most prestigious horse race, The Grand National Steeplechase. The stadiums of the old working-class city are full of enthusiasm and eager spectators – there is nothing rigid about either sports or music in Liverpool. After a visit to the Beatles Story Museum or the Beatles shop on Matthew Street, and of course The Cavern, the nightclub where it all began, there is no doubt that The Beatles still keep the city in a nostalgic iron grip. Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields are a must on the sightseeing tour and so are John Lennon’s and Paul McCartney’s childhood homes. Liverpool offers more excitement with the famous Albert Dock, the largest collection of landmark buildings in England, inaugurated by Prince Albert more than 150 years ago, and today a testament to Liverpool’s heyday in the 19th century – then one of the world’s most important port cities. Today, Liverpool is home to the Tate Modern Gallery and the Merseyside Maritime Museum, among others. The city is also experienced with advantage from the water in the form of a ferry ride across the legendary Mersey River.
It is not just in football that Liverpool and Manchester are fighting against each other. After the industrial revolution, Manchester gained a reputation as the world’s textile center and, after a period of decline, has been given new life with construction projects and cultural investments. The city, which has 2.6 million inhabitants, houses, among other things, the Manchester Art Gallery with its distinguished collection of modern British art with big international names such as Lucien Freud, Francis Bacon, Henry Moore and David Hockney. In the Castlefield area you can go on the first man-made canal – the Bridgewater Canal. Along Manchester’s Ship Canal, which winds from Salford Quays all the way to Liverpool, there is beautiful old architecture, and in the northern suburbs, former warehouses and warehouses have been converted into interesting luxury apartments.
Both Manchester and Liverpool are exciting urban alternatives to the more traditional metropolitan holiday, but it is obviously difficult for them to compete with Europe’s multicultural capital. Swinging London expands leisurely with shopping from Oxford Street and Kings Road to the alternative Camden Market and the well-established department store Harrods. The city abounds with great musicals, from old classics such as “Sound of Music” and “Phantom of the Opera” to the story of the working boy Billy Elliot who became a ballet dancer – also a cinema success. The London visitor should have plenty of time – the city should be grazed piece by piece. Experience South Kensington’s magnificent museums, the Science Museum, the Natural History Museum and not least Victoria & Albert, the world’s largest museum of design and crafts. Also go on a journey of discovery in the old immigrant district and the working-class neighborhood East End, which has received a boost and today is a haunt for both designers and artists. Some of the modern art can be seen at the Whitechapel Art Gallery.
Other major cultural experiences can be found in London’s South Bank with South Bank Centers galleries and theater in Shakespeare’s legendary Globe Theater a short distance down the river, as well as the Tate Modern art temple, with special exhibitions and a world – class permanent collection. Via the culturally marked Millennium Bridge you can get to the financial district City and the famous St. Paul’s Cathedral. A London vacation should of course also include major attractions such as Big Ben, Tower Bridge with its beautiful views, the Tower of London. Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, Speakers Corner and the British Museum. You can also have fun studying when the queen’s loyal armor bearers in red uniforms and characteristic bearskin hats make their change of guard outside Buckingham Palace. London has almost eight million inhabitants – almost a seventh of England’s population. England is also a landscape idyll, English mansions and the university towns of Oxford and Cambridge. England is the coastline with the seaside resort of Brighton, medieval feel and Robin Hood in the East Midlands Nottingham or York in the north of England with its world-famous Viking Museum, Jorvik Viking Center.