Ex­plor­ing The United King­dom


LuxeGetaways - - Contents - BY AN­DREW VILLAGOMEZ

Made up of Eng­land, Scot­land, Wales and North­ern Ire­land, over 35 mil­lion overseas vis­i­tors ar­rived to the United King­dom in 2016. With more than half of that number be­ing re­peat vis­i­tors, there are sev­eral fac­tors bring­ing new and old trav­el­ers. For one, it has be­come more af­ford­able to visit the United King­dom with the value of the pound ster­ling to dol­lar drop­ping to a 30-year low last year. Sharing the same lan­guage as the United States, not re­quir­ing a visa for en­try (for the EU at least, while the world waits to see the ul­ti­mate Brexit ef­fects), and be­ing rel­a­tively close with a number of di­rect flights from the United States helps make the na­tion a pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion for Amer­i­can trav­el­ers. Lo­gis­tics aside, it is a great time to be­gin plan­ning your next visit to the United King­dom to en­joy a cul­tur­ally rich and en­joy­able get­away.

As the au­tumn be­gins to give way to the win­ter, it is of­ten an idyl­lic time to en­joy ex­plor­ing the des­ti­na­tions, or even sa­vor­ing a lunch or din­ner out­side in that crisp, clean air. Out­door din­ing and drink­ing in ma­jor cities such as London and Manchester is al­ways a fa­vorite ac­tiv­ity, as is the op­por­tu­nity to en­joy out­door mu­sic and cul­tural fes­ti­vals. Do you need more time in the great out­doors? Great Bri­tain is home to 15 Na­tional Parks that con­tain some of its most beau­ti­ful land­scapes; 15 Na­tional Trails; nearly 50 Ar­eas of Out­stand­ing Nat­u­ral Beauty (coun­try­side ar­eas des­ig­nated for con­ser­va­tion); and nearly 200 es­tates and gar­dens of­fered for the pub­lic to visit through the Na­tional Trust. Vis­i­tors can even stay at some of the es­tates and in­dulge in the grandeur of the by­gone ages they of­fer as a home away from home.

Among the es­tates is Clive­den, which is set in Berk­shire, Eng­land high above the Thames. Home to 376 acres of im­pres­sive gar­dens and wood­lands, which sur­rounds a coun­try man­sion that once en­ter­tained the likes of Win­ston Churchill and Char­lie Chap­lin. Now a five-star Re­lais & Châteaux prop­erty, Clive­den House re­cently cel­e­brated its 350th year anniversar­y, and went through a multi mil­lion-dol­lar restora­tion and re­fur­bish­ment. In the lat­est phase, it brought on the new restau­rant, As­tor Grill, from Miche­lin star Chef An­dré Gar­ret that of­fers a lovely and re­laxed way to en­joy Clive­den. Along with 47 rooms in the ex­quis­ite main house (which is sure to bring on Down­ton Abbey feel­ings for those ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a stay at an English coun­try­side man­sion for the first time), Clive­den also has a stun­ning three-bed­room cot­tage set on the banks of the River Thames that is per­fect for fam­i­lies, small groups, or cou­ples seek­ing a ro­man­tic hide­away.

Be­yond the nat­u­ral and ur­ban out­doors, there are count­less year-round in­door of­fer­ings through­out the na­tion. More than 2,500 mu­se­ums are avail­able in the United King­dom, and many of them are com­pletely free to visit. Dis­cover more, and be­gin plan­ning your next visit to the United King­dom with a few ideas that we wanted to share to get you started with plan­ning your very own get­away.

Pho­tog­ra­phy: Visit Bri­tain

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