Top 5 fabulous places outside of London
What could be better than spending a weekend away from the bustle of London and enjoying the vastness of beautiful England? Its authentic villages, ancient castles and inexplicable mysteries of nature are really impressive! So, here is a list of 5 most stunning places outside of London where you can slow things down and re-charge your batteries. Start packing your backpack – we’re going on a short trip!
Blenheim Palace is one of the largest country houses in England. Designed in the English Baroque style, the palace was built in Oxfordshire at the beginning of the 18th century. It belonged to the Duke of Marlborough, and it was named after his victory over the French in the Battle of Blenheim. The most famous descendant of the Duke, Winston Churchill, was born at Blenheim Palace in 1874. Even today the palace remains the home of the Marlboroughs. Charles James Spencer-Churchill, the 12th and present Duke of Marlborough, currently lives at Blenheim Palace. Together with his family, he occupies only the east wing of the building, while the rest of the estate is open to the public. Blenheim Palace is surrounded by the Great Park area and magnificent gardens. By the way, it is often used for filming movies and rented for weddings. As of October 2016, the entrance fee to the palace was 24.90.
Travel time from London: 2 hours by car.
This village enchants foreign visitors with its medieval architecture and splendid nature. Since the 14th century, little has changed in Castle Combe, Wiltshire. Its Gothic buildings, brick arch bridges and cozy houses overgrown with greenery still look the same. The local architecture has a centuries-old history and retains much of its original appearance. Castle Combe is an extremely authentic village, and many directors come here to film their historical movies. For example, the village was a key location for Steven Spielberg’s drama War Horse.
Founded in the 13th century, Castle Combe’s parish church of St. Andrew keeps one of the few medieval clocks in full working order and accommodates the tomb of Sir Walter de Dunstanville, who was the lord of the Manor of Combe and died in 1270. In the centre of the village stands the market cross, erected in the 14th century when the settlement was granted the privilege to hold a weekly market. There are several hotels and pubs in Castle Combe. They are also housed in ancient buildings. Although the village is very popular among tourists, its atmosphere is absolutely calm and mysterious.
Travel time from London: 2 hours 30 minutes by car.
Bodiam Castle is a truly spectacular sight. This huge fortress located in East Sussex stands right on the water. It was built in the 14th century by Edward Dalyngrigge, who decided to construct an impressive building to protect England’s south coast from the French invasion. The interior of the castle is almost destroyed, while its exterior has largely survived. Bodiam Castle sits in the middle of a square-shaped moat, so visitors need to cross the bridge to get to the entrance gate. Several times a year the castle hosts historical festivals and knight tournaments. The fortress is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and green lawns. Tourists and local people often come here for a weekend – just to relax and have a picnic.
Travel time from London: 2 hours 50 minutes by car.
This mysterious stone structure located in Wiltshire has occupied the world’s minds for several centuries. The creation of Stonehenge was attributed to the Druids, the Germans, and even the Sage Merlin. However, how this construction made of stone blocks actually arose and what it really served for is still incomprehensible. Some archaeologists say it was used as a burial ground, others are sure the ring of standing stones was an astronomical observatory. The exact date when Stonehenge appeared is also unknown – scientists believe the monument was constructed from 3000 to 2000 BC. This place is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, so it is definitely worth visiting. Perhaps you’ll offer your own version of who built Stonehenge and why.
Travel time from London: 3 hours 15 minutes by car.
Bibury is one of the most famous villages in England. And this is hardly surprising since one of its streets, Arlington Row, is even depicted on the inside cover of the UK passport! Bibury is known for its traditional English houses, stone cottages that once housed weavers, Bibury Trout Farm that was founded over 100 years ago, Arlington Mill which is now a private residence, and St. Mary’s Church built in the 11th century. Bibury is a remote and quiet place perfect for having a relaxing rural break. Previously more than 2000 people used to live here, but today the population of Bibury has decreased to 600. The only sounds you can hear while wandering through the village are the whistle of wind in the trees, the murmur of water, and the singing of birds. If you get hungry while walking, be sure to visit Bibury restaurants, of which there are two, and the only pub in the village – The Catherine Wheel pub.
Travel time from London: 3 hours 20 minutes by car.
England is a truly fabulous country, and this is not a complete list of all its beauties located in the vicinity of London. However, now you know where to start. If you’re in London, stop complaining about the weather and take at least a one-day trip to enjoy the enchanting atmosphere of England’s most incredible places.