So you’re ready to give up The Big Smoke and start travelling like a local? We have the best tips for you, and 5 good reasons to visit England’s Southwest instead.
Sure, London is on just about everyone’s bucket list, and for good reason.
The city holds any number of untold wonders and fascinating histories, which is exactly why everyone wants to check out the iconic city.
England is riddled with rich history, mysterious legend, and all of the things that epic trips are made of. The catch? Few of them are found in London.
Travelling outside of the confines of mundane modernization gives you the unique opportunity to really experience the true magic of England.
We’ve gathered tips from industry experts and locals alike, to bring you the top 5 experiences you have to have if you want to live like a local.
1. Eat Like a Local
To really get an idea of how a country functions, and what it really means to be a local, you have to eat like one. Maureen Halliday, who operates holiday cottages in Fowey, Cornwall, says “People who come here always want to try the best of the local cuisine, and it’s an important way to get a flavor of a place.
Here in Cornwall that means fresh fish, pub lunches, and Cornish cream tea – just make sure to put the jam on your scones first!”
Local treats, like the “Cornish Cream Tea” and ever famous “Cornish Pasty” are delicacies of the region whose history dates back centuries.
People all over England are passionate about their food, and despite what you may have heard – it is delicious.
2. See Something that Isn’t Stonehenge
You’ve finally curbed your need to see the tried, tested, and tired city of London, now it’s time to start stretching those adventure muscles to their limits!
Stonehenge is one of England’s ancient and treasured mysteries. But focus on the “one” part.
Stonehenge is just one of the literally hundreds of historic sites scattered throughout England that house ancient architecture or Celtic perplexity.
In Tintagel, the remains of what some scholars believe are the remnants of King Arthur’s castle sit atop a beautiful ridge that borders the ocean, with a functioning Post Office, built in the 13th century pleasantly plugging along nearby. Check out the Minack Theatre in Porthcurno.
A stunning open-air theater that was constructed on a rocky outcropping looking over the sea. You can still catch productions if you visit during the play season.
3. Go Ceilidh Dancing
England has a few types of folk dancing to behold, but Ceilidh (pronounced Kaylee) dancing is the one that audience participation is not only encouraged, but gleefully instructed.
If you find yourself in Cornwall, chances are there is a pub nearby that houses a Ceilidh dance night.
Where locals come to shake their groove thing Gaelic style and will happily show visitors how it’s done.
Ceilidh dancing comes from traditional Scottish or Irish social gatherings, where people would get together to share a drink, meal, or dance.
While this type of dancing can be difficult to find outside of the very South, or the very North of England, if you stumble upon a Ceilidh night, don’t miss it.
4. Experience Eden
The Eden Project is a breathtaking work of both art and science. Built in the remains of an ancient clay pit, that fell into disuse.
Eden was created to show that through the clever use of architecture and biology, plants from all over the world could come to thrive in a unified environment.
The garden is dominated by massive enclosures that act as biomes.
These biomes create the perfect growing environment for a variety of different plants, mimicking the ecosystems in which they thrive.
Eden has a Rainforest biome, a Mediterranean biome, and a botanical garden.
Each with their own set of fascinating attractions and beautiful art pieces.
The visitors center also works as a pop-up art and sculptural gallery. The project hosts a cafeteria and bar, as well is a popular site for outdoor concerts in the summer months.
Eden is an experience you can’t miss if your holiday brings you to nearby Fowey, a stone’s throw from The Eden Project, just on the coast.
5. Catch Some Waves (and Follow Them with a Pint)
True to British form, England has found a way for everyone to enjoy its natural beauty, regardless of skill level or tenacity.
While there are traditional surfing classes to be found in the Southwest, stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is the perfect way to catch a few waves without being in fear of your health.
SUP boarding is a calm way to enjoy the time on the ocean at a slower pace and is ideal for anyone who is less than athletic.
Learn how to calmly traverse waters in quiet estuaries or on rivers.
If you’re feeling adventurous, take up a SUP class that brings participants oceanside. Careening over the waves a a calm pace.
These classes are great for groups or make a perfect romantic date day, before you retire to your countryside holiday cottage.