10 reasons I love England

Windsor Great Park - Windsor, England

As I sit in a small, cozy flat in the south of England, 70 miles from London, a cup of black tea in hand, I can’t help but think how lovely this country is. This is my third trip to England, second of the year, and this country continues to be too good to me. It’s incredible – a country about the size of the state Michigan with such vast green countryside and a plethora of unique, lively cities. How could you grow tired of this brilliant place?

There’s a lot to love about England and to thank this country for. Here’s a list of the top things I love about England as a southern American.

Endless footpaths and hiking. There is more than 140,000 miles worth of footpaths across England and its neighbor Wales. The Countryside and Rights of Way Act enacts the right to roam, so people are legally protected to travel on foot. This allows everyone access to loads of peaceful, picturesque trails winding through the countryside, even alongside farmers’ fields. England offers a variety of long-distance hikes like the Pennine Way, South Downs Way, and Cotswold Way. You can even walk along the full length of the Thames Rivers. There’s also countless leisurely walks perfect for a Sunday stroll all over the country.

Surrey, EnglandWindsor Great Park - Windsor, England

Great pub food. I come from the United States where all too often bar food reeks of mediocrity. So I’m constantly surprised by the tastiness of food in pub after pub in England. Authentic English cuisine seems to be centered around comfort food, making you feel at home instantly. You’ll typically have a dish featuring a meat or fish paired with potatoes and another vegetable or two. My favorite has to be bangers and mash. Because when is sausage, mashed potatoes, and gravy ever a bad idea?

Fish and chips - English pub food

Afternoon tea. Afternoon tea is a luxurious English treat I’d love to indulge in way too often. The menu varies, but it typically includes sandwiches and scones, an assortment of sweets, such as cakes, muffins, and macaroons, and of course tea. I even had one that served a small smoothie sampling. Afternoon tea is a light meal perfect for catching up with friends and family. It’s typically served in tearooms and hotels and often eaten between 4 pm to 6 pm.

Sheep sightings. Almost certainly if you take a walk into the English countryside, you’ll see fields and fields of sheep. It makes you feel out of the city even if you just passed a street buzzing with traffic. As you pass the herd, the sheep stop snacking on grass and stare “bah”-ing to the rhythm of your feet plodding along the ground. And it’s always fun trying to spot the lambs because, well, they’re just so darn cute.

Sheep - Cotswolds, EnglandSheep - Lake District, England

Cheese crumpets. I’m seriously upset crumpets haven’t made it over the U.S. yet. (Come on, America!) A crumpet is hard to explain if you’ve never seen one before, but I’ll give it a try. It’s a thick, round savory cake with holes in one side. Some people melt butter on the top, but I think it tastes absolutely delectable with melted cheese.

Crumpets - English food

Wimbledon. The oldest tennis tournament in the world, Wimbledon is played at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London every summer. As one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments, it lasts for two weeks at the end of June and beginning of July. I may be biased as a tennis player, but it is one of the grandest sporting events and venues in the world. I attended for the first time this year and was completely enthralled with seeing such a high level of tennis in person and the beautiful venue packed with perfectly manicured grass tennis courts and the legendary ivy growing along the outside of the centre court.

Wimbledon - London, England

Pimm’s Cup. One of the staple alcoholic drinks at Wimbledon, Pimm’s Cup includes Pimm’s No. 1, a gin-based liqueur, lemon soda or ginger ale, mint leaves, strawberries, cucumber, and orange. As one of my favorite alcoholic beverages, it’s a perfect, refreshing drink on a warm summer day. I think I’ll actually go pour myself one now.

Pimm's Cup

Seaside towns. Being one of the countries on the island of Great Britain, England has a variety of beautiful and unique seaside towns throughout the country perfect for a city break. I visited Brighton on the southern coast earlier this year and enjoyed its rock beach and quirky atmosphere.

Brighton, England

Cornish pasties. A pasty is a baked pastry stuffed with meat and vegetables. An authentic Cornish pasty includes beef with potato, swede, and/or onion. Cornwall, a county in the southwestern corner of England, has a history of pasties dating back to the 17th century, so they must know what they’re doing.

Cornish pasty - English food

photo credit: Pasty via photopin (license)

Central location in the world. Not only is England an amazing country to explore itself, it also is a great location for a journey to see the rest of the world. You can drive, fly, or take a ferry or train to continental Europe. Flying from London, it can take less than seven hours to make it to the northeast coast of the United States. Additionally, it takes about 10 hours to be in Beijing, China, six hours to land in Cairo, Egypt, 11 hours to touch ground in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and 20 hours to reach the Down Under in Brisbane, Australia. Heathrow Airport alone flies into 84 countries, making it a breeze to get just about anywhere.

Heathrow Airport - London, England

What has your experiences been like in England? What do you love about this country?

10 reasons I love England

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23 thoughts on “10 reasons I love England

  1. Have you visited Norwich before? I think you would really enjoy it. It a small town but has a lot to offer. I used to live there for four years and it was really great time!

  2. England is beautiful! I’ve only been once and would love to get back. I am really upset that I did not have a crumpet when I was there!! It looks like what we call an English muffin but with cheese.

  3. I still have not made a trip to London and am hoping I will get to it soon! I didn’t realize there were a ton of hiking spots there. But what I really want to do is go to the pubs. I love pub food and beer!

  4. I agree with you on so many levels – England is simply amazing. But I still have to explore so much and hopefully get a chance to travel to Scotland soon 🙂 Only on thing – I’ve never had really good pub-food in England. But the English were never famous for their cuisine 🙂

  5. I haven’t been to London in a long time. When I was there, I definitely didn’t spend enough time in the countryside or seaside. Will need to add it to the list of items to visit when I go back.

  6. I’ve been to England and have heard of crumpets, but I’ve never seen or tried them. I always thought they were sweet pastries, not savory. They look yummy! England is a pretty great place, I have to agree. Great list.

  7. This is a great list! I didn’t know there were so many footpaths and hiking opportunities in England. That, the seaside towns and the sheep sound very cool. The tea also. Ok, I guess all England sounds coo! 🙂

  8. Well, I live in London and am British born and bred, so it’s always interesting to read an outsider’s take on it. Completely agree that the countryside is beautiful, and the pub is one of our national institutions I’m particularly fond of 🙂 What I like about this country is the sheer diversity of places to see and things to do, our multiculturalism (sadly, not all of my fellow compatriots agree) and rich history. All of these can be found in Scotland and Wales too, so for me it’s Britain I live, rather than just England 🙂

  9. So looking forward to my 4th visit … England is definitely a favourite destination for me – FYI I live in Brisbane and 20 hours travel is not all it’s cracked up to be haha

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