Is it the fact that it has one of the longest histories in the world that makes this country famous? Or is it fish and chips and David Beckham? Let’s say a little bit of it all!
1. The UK subway system is not only the largest in the world but also believed to be the most unreliable! The London subway has 409 escalators!
2. While London is very popular today, it has actually had several names in the past. Lodonium (Roman invasion), Ludenwic (Saxon times) and Ludenburg (King Alfred era) to name a few.
3. Since we have mentioned the times of the Saxon, do you remember the nursery rhyme “London Bridge is falling down”? Well, while we may have happily recited it as children it has a dark history. The Saxons used ropes and boats to quite literally pull down the London Bridge!
4. The royal family has continued living in the same home since the 11th century, yes, the oldest royal residence in the world, the Windsor Palace. Meanwhile, the marvellous 17th century dated Buckingham Palace with its 760 windows has actually been constructed upon a former brothel site.
5. Once upon a time this country held quite a stronghold over considerable parts of the world, so, it comes as no surprise that the British Museum is actually home to 2 million years of history of the human civilization!
6. UK still holds 13 overseas territories including the Gibraltar, Cayman Islands, Saint Helena and British Virgin Islands.
7. And while the world has been mesmerized by the British Royal Family, there are of course things we do not know. Such as the fact that although highly respected the Queen of England isn’t actually allowed to enter the House of Commons.
8. Speaking of the queen, Queen Elizabeth II has travelled over 100 countries. No, not because she has the travel bug like you and me, but because of official duties. However, she has been lucky enough to do so without having a passport! Since the British passport is issued in her name, it would be strange for to issue herself one probably.
9. What if you married someone from another country? Haan haan, I’m sure it sounds pretty exciting but what if they never actually visited your home country?! Yep, that’s the story of King Richard of England whose wife Berengaria of Navarre never stepped on English soil.
10. Meanwhile, while cases in courts pile up, it turns out that in medieval times in English courts even animals would be charged for any damage they inflicted on properties.
11. What image pops up in your mind when I mention Big Ben? I think most of us think of the clock tower. However, the country’s famous Big Ben is actually in reference to the massive 13 ton bell placed in St. Stephen’s Tower.
12. The famous musical of Cats has been showcased at London’s Theatre Royal Bristol since 1776!
13. Turning 100 years old is quite a milestone! What better way to celebrate this than by receiving a personalized card from the Queen herself? You can again apply to receive a birthday card when you’re turning 105 and for every year after that. That’s certainly a hale and hearty life!
14. Hello, fellow bibliophiles, you’ll be happy to learn that this country is home to the world’s largest library! The Library of Congress was established in 1800 and has in its possession 170 million items!
Trip Leader Niyati’s Recommendations:
1. Call it cliché but how could you possibly miss going on the London Eye? It is after all the tallest observation wheel in the world! Also, let’s not overlook how pretty it looks. ?
2. Head over to the ever so dreamy Isle of Skye. Cover Edinburgh, Loch Ness and Scotland with a chance to have the most well-rounded experience in this country from castles, cultural hubs to even mountains.
3. UK has so much in store that while football fanatics can head on over to watch their favourite teams play, Harry Potter fans also have a chance of taking the Hogwarts Express!
4. When you’re in a country with probably one of the richest histories, how can you possibly not get a taste of it? Beyond Buckingham and Windsor, Bleinheim Palace, Warwick Castle, Durham Castle and the British Musuem, all not only hold tales of ancient times but also represent the remarkable architectural style of that time.
5. For the ones itching to get around on food the city of York can be fun to explore that way. Meanwhile, if you’re looking to do some hiking or trekking, then Arthur’s Seat is your pick.
6. Similarly, Malvern Hills are another lovely spot to see that natural beauty this country has to offer along with the trails and cottages that add to your experience here.
As for those who crave a little of laidback life or cultural experiences during vacations, how about trying out the Roman Baths? Some of these have been around since 1 AD!
How to Reach:
Most major cities in India have direct flights to parts of UK. London of course is the most conveniently connected. If you’re flying from Delhi, you’ll take 10 hours, from Mumbai 12 hours and from Chennai 14 hours.
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