Planning a Vacation in Britain

by Mary Jo Manzanares on March 23, 2013

Planning a vacation in Britain can be daunting for even the most veteran travelers. Most vacations in  Britain start in London, which is not only a political hub, but is also well known for its powerful world influence on fashion, entertainment, and the arts. In the midst of the trendy and hip, however, London is also a city of tradition and culture. Combine the modern with the historical to get the best of London and a great start on what a vacation in Britain has to offer.

Here are UNESCO World Heritage sites in London worth taking the time to to see:

Tower of London

The Tower of London is located on the north bank of the Thames in central London, and is a compound of multiple buildings with a moat.  It’s currently the oldest British governmental building and has an impressive history as a fortress, palace, prison, and place of execution and torture.  Must see sites there today include the Crown Jewels, the White Tower, the Ravens, and the Medieval Palace.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is made up of nearly 300 acres in southwest London, and is generally referred to as Kew Gardens. The grounds includes gardens and landscaping that demonstrate traditions and styles dating from the 18th century to the present.. Beautiful outdoor gardens along with indoor botanicals make a great place for a sunny day.

Three-in-One Location on the Thames

  • The Palace of Westminster sits on the north bank of the Thames and is home to three significant historical sites. The Palace is usually referred to as the Houses of Parliament, and is home to the House of Lords and the House of Commons. This hub of U.K. politics is also home to Big Ben, one of Britain’s iconic skyline attractions.
  • Westminster Abbey is probably best known as the church where royal coronations occur and as the church where Princess Diana’s funeral was held.  This house of worship is open to the public.
  • St. Margaret’s Church is an Anglican church that is the parish church of the Houses of Parliament.  The church is generally open to visitors.

Maritime Greenwich

This group of buildings includes a park, the former Royal Naval College, and the Royal Observatory, and is home to the Greenwich Meridian (0 degrees longitude) and Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Everyone has their own special memory or ideas on how to have a great vacation in Britain. What’s yours?

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Mary Jo Manzanares is a founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine proving informational and inspirational travel recommendations for curious Baby Boomer travelers. She has been a speaker at various industry events and has a personal travel blog at Traveling with MJ. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Mary Jo’s top travel destinations are Italy, Portugal, and the Caribbean.

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