England

England

England: Cutting-Edge Cities and Postcard-Perfect Villages

 

Lush rolling hills, postcard-perfect villages, rainbow-painted seaside towns and cutting-edge cities.

Merry old England is a place where antiquity and modernity coexist peacefully. A journey through England is a journey through history.

Although lots of regions throughout England demand a visit, the number-one destination is London. Here, many of the world’s most famous playwrights and artists blossomed; history’s most bloody and fascinating tales unfolded; and the outcome of World War II was sealed.

Outside the capital there is plenty to explore. Take Suffolk—an east-coast county within commuting distance of London. Part of the ancient kingdom of East Anglia, its 45 miles of shingly shores are washed by the North Sea. Inland is a treasure trove of squat-towered churches and high-hedged lanes trilling with birdsong…thatched-roof cottages painted in summertime colors of rosy-pink and buttercup yellow…medieval towns of crooked streets and half-timbered Tudor houses.

In England’s ‘West Country’, Devon is worth a visit. Devon is a county of thatched cottages, cream teas, and winding lanes hidden behind thick hedgerows. Fringed by splendid seascapes, it has miles of countryside walks for ramblers. In some parts of the county, sea, moor, farmland and town can be seen from the same spot. The historic seaport city of Plymouth is Devon’s main center of population, but the county offers an array of attractive villages and market towns.

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Fast Facts About England

England
  • Population: 63,395,574
  • Capital City: London
  • Climate: Temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current. More than one-half of the days are overcast.
  • Time Zone: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
  • Language: English (Official)
  • Country Code: +44
  • Area: 94,058 square miles (243,610 square kilometers). Slightly smaller than Oregon.
  • Location: Lies near vital North Atlantic sea lanes. Only 35 km from France and linked by tunnel under the English Channel. Because of a heavily indented coastline, no location is more than 77 miles (125 km) from tidal waters.

Archives

Try English Coins to Diversify Your Wealth and Own a Bit of History

In August 2013, the Thomas H. Law collection of gold coins sold for over $5 million at a Chicago auction—more than double the presale estimates. Given the popularity of gold coins among U.S. collectors and investors, multi-million-dollar auction sales may not be that surprising—except that this was a collection of English coins.

Renting a Piece of the Old World

It’s called the “Old World” for a reason, and despite two world wars and decades of development, history is evident in the architecture of Europe. You can stroll cobbled streets where lords and ladies once rushed to galas, climb castle steps in the footsteps of armored knights, and explore villages preserved for 500 years or more.

Become a South Pole Adventurer, England on Horseback, Brazil’s Vineyards…And Much More

Become a South Pole Adventurer, England on Horseback, Brazil’s Vineyards…And Much More

Imagine your own floating home, one that takes you from port to port as you island-hop the Caribbean or delve into the history and culture of the Mediterranean… A yachting retirement is surprisingly affordable and for an increasing number of adventuresome folks it’s more than just an idle dream. In fact, in the right places it often costs a lot less than “traditional” retirement back home.

LondonTaxidermeyReborn

London Taxidermy Reborn, Dining in Paris, Trans-Andean Railway…And Much More

It’s been a retirement haven for decades—one of the world’s most popular—and if you have ever visited Costa Rica, you know why. Living here means access to excellent and affordable health care, living costs of as little as $2,000 a month for a couple, including rent, and natural beauty at every turn.

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A London Antique Dealer Picks through Britain’s Best Markets

Originally a winding country path called Green Lane, it was given the name “Porto Bello” after the capture of a colony in Panama during the Anglo-Spanish war. This sea battle which took place in 1739 was also called “The War of Jenkins’ Ear.” The hapless Captain had his ear cut off by the Spanish Coast Guard. When appearing in Parliament to recount the tale, he displayed the shorn appendage during his testimony.

LoversVampires

Lovers, Vampires, and Vets: Yorkshire’s Literary Trails

At the end of Wuthering Heights, that novel of untamed passions that reach beyond the grave, the narrator lingers by the tombs of the lovers, Cathy and Heathcliffe, as he watches moths flutter around the heath. He wonders “how anyone could ever imagine unquiet slumbers in that quiet earth.”

TheCharmsOfEurope

The Charms of Europe’s Second Cities: Buy Property from $82,000

In the popular imagination, it’s the great capitals of Europe that get the most attention. Tourists flock to Paris, Rome, Madrid, and London for the big-city flair, museums, and monuments. It’s the thing to do. And granted, you should seize any opportunity to stroll the Champs-Élysées on a beautiful spring evening or explore London’s international cuisine and regal parks.

Belize Chocolate Festival, Britain’s Best Pub, Turtles Nesting…and Much More

The Santa Catalina arch is one of the most famous landmarks of Antigua, Guatemala. And for a compact town of 40,000 people, there are a lot of them. Antigua was once the capital of Spanish Central America, and its cobbled streets are lined with the grand mansions and ornate churches of the colonial golden age.

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The View From My “Office” — I Get Paid to Do This!

I pull back the curtains, feel the crisp refreshing air, and look out over the waterfront at the colorful buildings of this Art Nouveau town…excited about the “work” day ahead. I’m in picturesque Ålesund, Norway. This jewel-like coastal town is the gateway to Norway’s spectacular Geiranger Fjord making it the perfect base from which to explore the region—and that’s my job for the day.

LiteraryDrinking

A Literary Drinking Den, Romantic Spain, Tea with Cats and Much More…

Its parks are filled with roses, myrtle and the sound of nightingales. Water still splashes and trickles over marble fountains in the courtyards of its kings… “A pearl among emeralds” was how Moorish poets once described the royal palace of the Alhambra. It was from here that Spain’s last Muslim kingdom, Granada, was ruled and it’s just one of the gems you’ll find in Andalusia, Spain’s huge southern province.

TheSlower

The Slower-Pace of Life on an English Narrowboat

If you live on an English narrowboat, you have choices to make. Find another town to explore, with a charming tea shop, an Old-World bookstore or a cozy pub. Take a walk to a church, a castle, or through a field of golden millet or lavender…or find a village in which to stay a while, moor your floating home, and get to know the locals.

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$50,000 from May to December… And Never Set Foot in an Office

My husband, Kevin, and I both turned 30 this year, and while the rest of our cohort is punching a time clock and climbing up the bitter corporate ladder, we’re sipping sangria on the balcony of our seafront apartment on Spain’s Mediterranean coastline… savoring café con leche (Spanish coffee) as the sun rises…or celebrating with cava (sparkling wine) under the moon.

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Sharpen Your Focus to Make Things Happen

At the end of the calendar year, we hear a lot about goals and resolutions. Television reporters with slow news days on their hands take to the streets to inquire about changes folks are planning to make in the coming year. A few weeks later, the same reporters will share statistics of all the health club dropouts and other abandoned resolutions.

The Spectral Smugglers Of Cornwall’s Jamaica Inn

The Spectral Smugglers of Cornwall’s Jamaica Inn

“The grey slate inn with its tall chimneys, forbidding and uninhabited though it seemed, was the only dwelling-place on the landscape.” I adore “forbidding” places. Especially those with cobbled courtyards, sloping floors, shadowy corridors, beamed ceilings, and log fires. So I’ve followed author Daphne du Maurier’s footsteps to Cornwall’s bleakly beautiful Bodmin Moor.

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Camel Racing, Irish Stories and Island Rum

Begin November with a little panache at the 119th Argentine Open Polo Championships in the neighborhood of Palermo, Buenos Aires. Not so much a sports event as a key occasion in the local social diary, it runs from November 5 to the end of the year. For something more exotic, check out camel racing. India’s Rajasthan desert in Pushkar hosts the Pushkar Fair from November 6 to 17.

MedicalTourism

Medical Tourism Growing…And More

Sunsets over the Seine, croissants on the terrace, and lunch or dinner at the corner brasserie…life in Paris is as good as it sounds, and you can try it out for a lot less than you think. Just ask the folks living a “roving retirement,” many of whom make the City of Light a yearly stop.

TrashOrTreasure

Trash or Treasure? The A-Z of Antique Collecting

So what would the earliest antique have been? Adam’s discarded fig leaf? A sliver of gopher wood from Noah’s Ark? A stone chip off the tablet on which the Ten Commandments were carved? From cavemen trading mammoth tusks to children squabbling over the sale of Granny’s Meissen dinner service, the acquisition and disposal of ancient (and modern) artefacts has always interested folks.

RamblingCornwall

The Best of Britain: Rambling Cornwall’s Ancient Coast

Awash in tales of smugglers and wreckers, Cornwall is a favorite with UK vacationers. A peninsula jutting into the Atlantic, its coastline of bays, inlets, cliffs, coves and golden beaches covers almost 300 miles. Inland, a maze of lanes leads to lost-in-time villages anchored by squat granite churches and complete with inns, beer gardens and home-made pub grub such as fish pie and steak-and-kidney pudding.

Photos like this castle in Northumberland, England can help to fund trips or earn extra money. 
@drhfoto/Fotolia

How to Switch Careers with an Easy, Profitable Skill

My former attorney colleagues and I used to joke that there were three kinds of closing arguments you could make to a jury: the one you carefully prepared, the one you actually delivered, and the one you wish you had given. Few things ever happen as planned. Nevertheless my “life” plan (the one I carefully prepared) was to practice law until I retired at 65; then I would pursue photography and maybe make a little money on the side.

Shaftesbury Dorset

Discovering England’s “Hardy Country”

The pretty thatched cottage nestled in a garden of blue irises is picture-perfect England. Only the sound of a fiddle and a whisper of smoke rising from its chimney hint at the tiny house’s significance.

Wile away hours perfecting your haggling skills in one of Turkey's wonderful bazaars. © aida sheikholeslami - Fotolia.com

Shop Your Way Around the World As You Earn

The earrings are from Hong Kong’s jade market. I bought the fedora hat at a Christmas market in Berlin, the boots from Malaga in Spain, and the shimmering scarf at Otavalo market in Ecuador—one of the largest indigenous markets in South America. You might call it eclectic fashion indulgence. I call it research.

Living on a Houseboat in London

Living on a Houseboat in London

“You see a picture of a boat, carry it around with you…that’s my boat you say, and you do what you have to do to buy it,” says Nick Symes. Nick’s been brokering houseboat sales in London ever since he piloted his own Belgian barge across the English Channel and up the Thames, and renovated her into his own riverboat dream home. And I’m a romantic, too. I’ve only been in London for a day…

Sept2012News and Notes from Around the World

News and Notes from Around the World

Tradition is important in Costa Rica. Along with the modern infrastructure, convenience to big-city shopping and top-quality medical care at a fraction of U.S. prices, you can truly appreciate a simpler—better-quality—life.

You won’t see many of the brightly-decorated ox carts, known as carretas, transporting crops to market these days, but the markets are still going strong…bustling ferias where you’ll pick up delicious fresh produce for much less than the cost back home.

Finding The Silver Lining In Europe Today

Finding the Silver Lining in Europe Today

The Spanish Soccer team aside, the doom and gloom in Europe runs deep. But there is a story not being told…one of opportunity borne of this crisis. A story of places where you could own your own piece of the Old World…for less than half the price of a budget family sedan.

Flowers, Wife-Carrying, and Asian Fishing

Flowers, Wife-Carrying, and Asian Fishing

Any weekend from August 4 to September 16, head to the Parc Floral near the Château de Vincennes in Paris for the Festival Classique au Vert (Classical Festival on the Green). This year, performers will set the words of famous poets and authors to classical music. Bring a picnic and blanket: It’s a gorgeous park.

Easy Living on a London Houseboat

Easy Living on a London Houseboat

Boat dwellers are not the same as landlubbers. For a start, you may really like your condo, but you’re not likely to describe it as “a love affair.” And buying a houseboat starts with love at first sight. “You see a picture of a boat, carry it around with you…that’s my boat you say, and you do what you have to do to buy it,” says Nick Symes.

What to Do When You’re Not at the Olympics in London

What to Do When You’re Not at the Olympics in London: A Gentleman’s Day Out

500,000 visitors will come to London for the Olympics this month. Below are some other diversions to enjoy when you’re not at the Olympics. Olympic mania comes in the form of a “gentleman’s day out” in London. You’ll discover where to follow the bankers for cocktails at 7:00 a.m., the best barber for a shave, where to buy a good cigar or special-order a shotgun…

Insider Intelligence Nobody Else Brings You…

Insider Intelligence Nobody Else Brings You…

My neighbors will be among the 500,000 visitors in London this month for the Olympics. With these friends in mind, I’ve kept an eye out for other diversions they’d enjoy—attractions beyond “bucket list” items like the London Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre or the Harry Potter studio tour. Trouble is, so much advice is standard-issue: Heathrow Airport tips…special museum exhibits…

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Tudor Feast, Irish Antiques and a Rio Run

You may not often celebrate Independence Day outside the States, but July begins with some intriguing alternatives… Toulouse’s Tangopostale Festival, for instance, when the jewel of southwest France taps its feet to the rhythm of Argentine tango. It takes place July 2 to 8.

A Gentleman’s Day Out in London

A Gentleman’s Day Out in London

Big cities like New York, Shanghai and Sao Paolo, Brazil, all have their temptations. But there’s no better place in the world for a fellow to indulge himself than where the very concept of a “gentleman” was first thought up—London.

E-Zine Extra London’s Gentleman’s Clubs

E-zine Extra: London’s Gentleman’s Clubs

The interiors are as opulent as any of England’s great houses, dark wood panelling, heavy curtains, comfortable leather chairs and marble floors and pillars. Banquets are held, private bars serve the finest spirits and members can stay the night in comfortable rooms.

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Baby Jumping, Mariachis and Tennis

Come June 1 expect fi reworks, parades, fishing tournaments, and sailing competitions in ports all over Mexico as the country celebrates Navy Day. You’ll find gastronomic fairs, photo exhibitions, and traditional and contemporary cultural offerings in the city of Chachapoyas, northern Peru for Semana Turística (tourist week) from June 1 to 7. The highlight is known as the “Raymillacta” procession, which sees groups sing and dance their way through the streets.

cambridge-england

House Swapping: Stay for Free Anywhere in the World

A few years ago our friends spent a month in Tahiti, one of French Polynesia’s paradise islands. When they showed us photos of the house they stayed in, my wife and I were speechless. They live in Ingleside Heights in San Francisco in a lovely three-bedroom, two-bathroom home. The house in Tahiti was 2,800 square feet of beachfront opulence. It came with two maids, a cook, and a gardener.

IL Readers At Home In Oceanfront Havens

IL Readers at Home in Oceanfront Havens

Just a few decades ago there were only two ways to reach the natural paradise of Las Terrenas, on the Dominican Republic’s Samana Peninsula. You could take a horse, or a boat.

The Tewkesbury Medieval Festival

The Tewkesbury Medieval Festival

The monumental ruins of four different empires line its busy streets. Beside traffic lights and tram stops you’ll find the marble columns of triumphal arches, Roman aqueducts, and the overgrown tombs of Ottoman court officials.

Pickled Sharks, Asparagus, And Art As Life

Pickled Sharks, Asparagus, and Art as Life

Throughout this month, the Shanghai International Flower Festival puts exotic flowers and herbs on display. You can see a kaleidoscope of color—rare orchids, chrysanthemums, lotus flowers, plum blossoms—you name it, it’ll be there in full bloom.

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