Finding America

Me and Tarah

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I do not exclude myself from this list when I say almost every traveler loves London. But having grown up for the majority of my life in England I can tell you unequivocally that there is just as much fun to be had in England outside of the capital. Here are 4 places outside of London that American tourists should visit.

1. Lake District
A marvelous getaway for those looking for a majestic natural landscape and a dose of what travel experts like to call "creative inspiration". The Lake District (often called "The Lakes District" by my American counterparts) is a mountainous region in England's north-west that is comprised - unsurprisingly - of various lakes.

Located in the county of Cumbria, The Lake District was where William Wordsworth drew inspiration for his works and visitors to the area can even visit the poet's house.

Even if you're just looking for a place to go hiking, The Lake District offers plenty of hillside and back-road opportunities that stretch on for miles and miles. Indeed, I recall a time - before smartphones entered my life - that I myself hiked for 15 miles in search of old Wordsworth's abode, only to wind up down at the pub instead. But that story is for another time.

Whether you are taking the boat out onto Lake Windermere or strolling around the market town of Keswick, The Lakes offer a tranquil alternative to the hustle and bustle of London.

2. York
The city so good, they named it twice! And with good reason. At roughly 2,000 years old, York possesses a rich history that tops just about anywhere in England, evidence of which can be seen all around the town, as York Minster - completed in 1472 - towers high above the city.

But it is not just the Minster that takes you back in time: York is replete with Roman, Norman and Viking-era architecture - including the unmissable Clifford's Tower, as well as the York City Walls. I would also advise anyone with an appreciation for archaic structures to visit The Shambles - a concave street that once housed a line of butchers.

To gain a further understanding of the city's history, you would do well to visit both The York Dungeon and Jorvik Viking Centre, the latter of which recreates the many sights, sounds and smells (yes, smells) of centuries past.

3. Devon Cliffs
Located in the south-west of England, Devon Cliffs offers a beautiful example of the majesty of the British coast, and is a fantastic family getaway for those with young children.

If you're looking for something fun, look no further than the Devon Cliffs Caravan Holiday Park, which is just a stone's throw away from the beautiful Sandy Bay. The park includes not only a quaint place to stay, but activities for your entire family - including a water park and sporting activities.

In all, Devon Cliffs is a great way to spend your British summer time. So get out your swimming costumes ("bathing suits" to my American readers) and take in the sun surrounded by orange cliffs.
4. Canterbury
Much like York, Canterbury is a wonderful city for the history buffs and is located some 150 miles nearer to London than the former.

Famous in literary circles because of Geoffery Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, Canterbury was also the birthplace of Elizabethan playwright, Christopher Marlowe, who died in mysterious circumstances in 1593.

One of the leading draws of Canterbury - which is one of the most visited cities in England - is Canterbury Cathedral, which was founded in 597 AD and later rebuilt in 1174 following a fire. Inside that very cathedral, former Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Beckett was murdered by loyalists of King Henry II following a dispute over the rights of the church.

With a relatively small population, Canterbury is a nice place to get lost in, and you can all but guarantee that just around the next corner there will be something unexpected from times gone by. There is no greater example of this than Canterbury Castle - now in a state of disrepair - that tourists can meander around to their heart's content.

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  1. Ahem...

  2. Haha. Clearly it was good enough for Kate Middleton.

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  3. And where is Lincoln on this list?

  4. To be fair to Lincoln, it would probably have made it onto the top 10 list. But it is arguably rather similar to York, which has that little bit more to offer and is en route to other places.

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