A Night at the Theater
The torch passed from Shakespeare still burns brightly. London's theater scene is acknowledged as the finest in the world, with two major subsidized companies: the Royal Shakespeare Company, performing at Stratford-upon-Avon and at the Barbican in London; and the National Theatre on the South Bank in London. Fringe theater offers surprisingly good and often innovative productions staged in venues ranging from church cellars to the upstairs rooms of pubs.
The pursuit of the pint takes on cultural significance in England. Ornate taps fill tankards and mugs in pubs that serve as the social heart of every village and town. Quaint signs for such names as the Red Lion, the White Swan, and the Royal Oak dot the landscape and beckon you in, not only for the pint but also for the conviviality -- and perhaps even the entertainment or the food.
Motoring Through the Cotswolds
If driving involves a determined trip from one place to another, motoring is wandering at random. And there's no better place for it than the Cotswolds, less than 161km (100 miles) west of London, its rolling hills and pasturelands peppered with ivy-covered inns and honey-colored stone cottages.
Punting on the Cam
This is Cantabrigian English for gliding along in a flat-bottom boat with a long pole pushed into the River Cam's shallow bed. You bypass the weeping willows along the banks, watch the strolling students along the graveled walkways, and take in the picture-postcard vistas of green lawns along the water's edge.
Touring Stately Homes
England has hundreds of mansions open to visitors, some centuries old, and we tell you about dozens of them. The homes are often surrounded by beautiful gardens; when the owners got fanciful, they added splashing fountains and miniature pagodas or temples.
Shopping for Antiques
Whatever treasure you're looking for, you can find it in England. We're talking Steiff teddy bears, a blunderbuss, an 1890 tin-plate toy train, an egg cup allegedly used by Queen Victoria, a first-edition English print from 1700, or the definitive Henry Harper grandfather clock. No one polishes up their antiques and curios quite as brightly as English dealers. From auction houses to quaint shops, from flea markets to country fairs, England, particularly Victorian England, is for sale.
Cruising on Lake Windermere
Inspired by the lyric poetry of Wordsworth, you can board a boat at Windermere or Bowness and sail England's most famous lake. You'll see the Lake District's scenery, with its tilled valleys lying in the shadow of forbidding peaks, as it was meant to be viewed -- from the water. A great jaunt is the round-trip from Bowness to Ambleside, at the head of the lake, and back around to the village of Lakeside, at the southern tip.
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