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Medium 9781628872064

3 SUGGESTED ITINERARIESIN ENGLAND & SCOTLAND

Stephen Brewer FrommerMedia ePub

An open-top tour bus on Tower Bridge, London.

You want to get the most out of your trip in the short time that you have available, right? This short chapter has some suggestions for several ways to use your miles wisely. The first itineraries are general highlights tours covering the very best that England and Scotland have to offer for those with limited time. Following those are a couple of itineraries for travellers with special interests, or who wish to explore a smaller part of this island in more depth.

Regions in Brief

England and Scotland are part of the United Kingdom, which comprises England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Only 50,327 sq. miles—about the size of New York State—England has an amazing amount of countryside and wilderness and an astonishing regional, physical, and cultural diversity. Scotland is geologically older, less populated, with equally historic cities and low-rise mountain ranges that have taken on almost mythical status: the Highlands.

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Medium 9781628872729

1 THE BEST OF LONDON

Jason Cochran FrommerMedia ePub

1

The Best of London

Whether you realize it or not, London shaped your destiny. There’s hardly a quarter of the globe that London, as the seat of England’s government, hasn’t changed. The United States was founded in reaction to London’s edicts. Australia was first peopled with London’s criminals. Modern Canada, South Africa, and New Zealand were cultivated from London. India’s course was irrevocably changed by the aspirations of London businessmen, as were the lives of millions of African slaves who were shipped around the world while Londoners lined their pockets with profits. That you bought this book, written in English ­somewhere other than in England, is evidence of London’s reach across time and distance. And its dominion continues to this day: London is the world’s most popular destination for foreign tourists.

London is inexhaustible. You could tour it for months and barely get to know it. Few cities support such a variety of people living in remarkable harmony. In 2016, this historically Christian country even elected a Muslim mayor—one who earned a fatwa for ­supporting LGBT rights. That diversity makes London like a cut diamond; approach it from a different angle each day, and it ­presents an entirely fresh shape and color. From famous stories to high style, London is many things in every moment.

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Medium 9781907099229

HIGHLANDS AND WESTERN ISLES

Michelin Michelin ePub

HIGHLANDS AND WESTERN ISLES

If there was only one region that could fly the flag for Scotland abroad, then it would probably be the Highlands. It not only boasts Scotland’s most awe-inspiring landscapes of dark lochs and snow-capped peaks, but also some of the most remote and extensive wilderness in Europe. There is island romance, on Skye and in the Hebrides, history aplenty (Glencoe, Bonnie Prince Charlie, standing stones), legends (Nessie), wildlife (dolphins, whales, eagles and deer), and a whole host of sporting opportunities in both summer and winter.

Highlights

1 Sailing Loch Ness

2 Driving the Road to the Isles with views of Ben Nevis

3 Walking in the footsteps of Macbeth at Cawdor Castle

4 Or in those of the Queen Mother at the Castle of Mey

5 Getting close to dolphins on a trip from Cromarty Harbour

The Great Glen: Around Inverness and Fort William

The gateway to the north is Inverness where Loch Ness, with or without its monster, is the star. Nearby, the very names Culloden and Cawdor Castle are powerful siren calls. Some 70mi/113km southwest along the Great Glen, the area of Fort William, Ben Nevis and Glen Nevis styles itself the outdoor capital of Britain, offering hill walking, ice climbing, skiing, snowboarding, canyoning, canoeing, paragliding and mountain biking. It peaks in every sense at Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest mountain while a few miles south, the landscapes Glencoe – perhaps the most infamous name in Scottish history – are equally awe inspiring. From Fort William, the Road to the Isles and the Ardnamurchan Peninsula – wild, and sometimes desolate, but always spectacular – are driving highlights. True romantics eschew the new bridge and take the “bonnie boat ... over the sea to Skye”. Colourful Portree and the beautiful Trotternish Peninsula are the highlights for many visitors while the ever-changing weather and the jagged Cuillins offer challenges to walkers and climbers alike.

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Medium 9781907099229

LOTHIANS

Michelin Michelin ePub

National Gallery of Scotlandaa

The National Gallery Complex comprises two buildings: the Gallery which hosts the permanent collections, and the Royal Scottish Academy which stages temporary exhibitions. They are connected by an underground space, the Weston Link, which includes a café, restaurant, shop and a conference room.

Ñ Location: The Mound.

i Info: t0131 624 6200; www.nationalgalleries.org.

> Timing: Open Fri–Wed 10am–5pm, Thu 10am– 7pm. Times change during festival. >Closed 25–26 Dec.

w Don’t Miss: The iconic Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch.

National Gallery of Scotland

National Galleries of Scotland

A BIT OF HISTORY

The nucleus of the Gallery was formed by the Royal Institution’s collection, later expanded by bequests and purchasing. Playfair designed (1850–57) the imposing Classical building to house the works.

VISIT

Ñ Start with Room 1 on the upper floor by taking the staircase opposite the main entrance.

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Medium 9781628872729

9 DAY TRIPS FROM LONDON

Jason Cochran FrommerMedia ePub

9

Day Trips from London

You’ve flown all the way to England. It would be a shame to miss seeing some of the sights that make it special—the rolling countryside, the stately mansions cradled by ancient trees, the ageless villages built on slow-flowing rivers. An excursion enriches you with two experiences for the price of one: You’ll taste everyday English life while you immerse yourself in world-famous landmarks.

Britain has comprehensive transport, but it’s not quick as mercury. Because of traffic and a dearth of superhighways, you can expect a 48km (30-mile) trip to take an hour, so a spot that’s 129 to 161km (80–100 miles) each way, such as Stonehenge or Bath, will require you to rise at dawn if you want to buy yourself much touring time at all. Going by bus is often less expensive than by rail, but the inefficient journey will involve narrow roads.

The tourist offices listed will be able, for a fee (£4–£5, plus 10% of the room rate), to hook you up with a bed for the night, should you decide that you’d rather not trek back to London right away. You can find lots more information at Visit England (www.visitengland.com) and Visit Britain (www.visitbritain.com).

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