Destination Guide: England

Home to the Royal Family, the fish that first decided to team up with chips, and the national treasure that is Sir Paul McCartney, England is a world all its own. A place where football (the real one) is religion, where tea is the national beverage, and where it’ll rain every day at some point without fail. It may seem grey and dreary at times, but will surely become one of your favorite places to visit in no time.

Let’s start off with the food.

Food from every land, including this assortment of sauces from an Indian restaurant in Manchester.

Food from every land, including this assortment of sauces from an Indian restaurant in Manchester.

England is home to some of the most diverse cuisines in the world. Where Indian, African, Asian, and European cuisines all collide to give you a plethora of options for your dining habits. Because so many people immigrate to the U.K. it has quickly become one of the ethnically diverse places in Europe. Therefore it’s only fitting that England (and London especially) has become a foodie’s paradise when it comes to trying different culture’s foods. On any given street in London you may find an Indian restaurant, a Middle Eastern Kebab shop, a fish and chips stand, and a sushi house all coinciding. A traditional English dinner may contain some sort of meat with two veggie sides, and would be downed with a pint of beer and finished off with some sort of dessert and tea for after. Just remember when heading to England; fish and chips and more fish and even more chips, add in a side of beer and you’re a proper Brit. PS the best fish & chips in England can be found at Millers Fish & Chips in Haxby!

Drinking in England.

I have taken more good from alcohol than alcohol has taken from me.
— Winston Churchill

If you’re a fan of throwing back a drink or two you’ll be a fan of England. Here, drinking is treated more as a pastime than anything else, and is much less frowned upon than is some other Western countries. Whether you’re a beer fan, a hard liquor connoisseur, or a fan of all forms of alcohol, England’s got a place for you. With pubs on nearly every corner it’s hard to go anywhere in the country without having a drink or two at a local pub. Grab a pint of Carling, sit down to watch Tottenham and Arsenal go at it on the football pitch, and revel in the fact that you are amongst some of the most talented drinkers in the world. Who knows, you may even give Charles Dickens a run for his money!

England’s Pastime: Football.

It’s no secret that the Brits love their football; with some of the top clubs in the world within its borders there’s no reason why they shouldn’t. Largely regarded as the most popular league in the world, the English Premier League draws a viewing audience of nearly 40 million every season. That’s more than half the population alone, so it probably couldn’t hurt to know a thing or two about the sport before you head off to a match. The Brits take their football very seriously too, and even have supporter-designated bars across the country. And if you think they aren’t as serious as they sound, you try walking into a Liverpool bar with an Everton jersey on and see what happens. Football has engrained itself in every bit of English culture; it’s divided families, caused riots, and even broken up a marriage or two. Grab a ticket from Stubhub or ViaGoGo to snag a deal and avoid the high box office prices.

The Sights.

It’s no secret that England is home to some of the most famous tourist attractions in the world; with Buckingham Palace, The Globe Theatre, and the London Eye all packed into one walkable location, it’s an easy place to get lost amongst the crowds, and that’s just London. No matter if you’re on the hunt for Robin Hood in Nottingham, or want to learn more about The Beatles in Liverpool, there’s no shortage of things to see and do within England. While some may be seen as more “tourist traps” than anything else (£25 to go around the London Eye once!) others can be very informative and cheap or even free (The National Football Museum in Manchester is FREE every day!), which can help keep costs down while traveling.

Night Time Is the Right Time.

English nightlife is unlike any other in the world. House parties, club and pub crawls, alcohol, drugs, and sex all dominate the party scene. You’ll start your night out drinking in someone’s flat to try and offset the amount you spend, then move to a local pub to top off a few pints, after hitting one or two more bars you’ll head to a Berlin-esque club scene where you’ll be offered all sorts of substances to “take the edge off” and by 4 AM you’ll be on a night bus heading back to wherever it is you came from, properly knackered and with a story to tell. The characters you’ll meet, the places you’ll see, and the memories you make (but don’t seem to remember the next day apart from a blurry photo or two on your phone) will last a lifetime. In London, go to The Vault of Soho, in Manchester head to Cane & Grain, and in Liverpool you can’t go wrong with Revolucion de Cuba at Albert Dock!

When to go:

In October for the height of Premier League play, traditional rainy weather, and less tourists crowding the streets.

Jake Allegro