In your free time, take in England’s many famous sites. From prehistoric Stonehenge to the two-thousand year old Hadrian’s Wall, once the northernmost border of the Roman Empire, this small island nation contains enough surviving relics of the past to keep you intrigued throughout your stay. Marvel at the 1400-year-old Canterbury Cathedral, the heart of the Church of England and an icon of Gothic architecture. Tour the astonishingly beautiful Roman Baths, built nearly two millennia ago in the city of Bath. Stop in William Shakespeare’s hometown, Stratford-upon-Avon, to see the preserved houses where he and some of his family members are thought to have once occupied. Visit Oxford University, the oldest English-speaking university in the world. Pay your respects to England’s monarchs and other famous figures at their iconic final resting place, Westminster Abbey. Stand below the towering skeletons of dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum.
Need some quality time with nature? See how many species of seabirds you can spot at the sweeping Bempton Cliffs or spend a whole day wandering the beautiful Lake District National Park, where rugged mountains, tranquil lakes, and miles of green hills make for an idyllic getaway. For aspiring environmentalists, the Eden Project in Cornwall is a must-see attraction: the eco-park features the largest indoor rainforest in the world, along with several other habitats housed in their own biomes. If you’re lucky enough to be an intern abroad in England during the spring or summer, have yourself a beach day at Brighton Palace Pier, an impressive example of Edwardian architecture situated on the island’s southern coast. Spend a day in the Cotswolds where you can admire over fifteen thousand tree species in the gorgeous Westonbirt Arboretum or stroll through the immaculately kept Royal Gardens at Highgrove. For a more active outdoor excursion, head to How Stean Gorge to hike, canoe, or repel down the Cautley Spout waterfall.
The birthplace of some of the most popular and influential artists of all time, England delivers a smorgasbord of cultural events, activities, and exhibits everywhere you look. Do you love visual art? Make a stop at the National Gallery to view the works of Europe’s greatest painters: Da Vinci, Caravaggio, Michelangelo, Rubens, Rembrandt, and others. Take part in London’s Mayfair Art Weekend, three colorful days of free access to the district’s art galleries and auction houses. For a more casual outing, go see the vibrant and photo-worthy street art in the alleys of Shoreditch.
Bookworms, rejoice! England’s literary legacy and love of books mean you’ll have more than enough to keep you busy in your spare time. Visit the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, where the beloved author of Pride & Prejudice spent much of her life. Hear big names in today’s fiction and nonfiction lists talk about their work at the two-week long London Literature Festival. Wind down at the Fitzroy Tavern, where several of England’s best authors were seen throughout the 20th century, including Virginia Woolf, George Orwell, and Dylan Thomas. Take your picture at Platform 9 ¾ in King’s Cross Station, for your Harry Potter moment. England is still home to plenty of bookshops, where you can spend many a quiet afternoon browsing the shelves for your next read.
Lovers of the stage will find more opportunity to experience great performances in England than almost anywhere else. Watch a Shakespearean play put on in the writer’s own Globe Theater. If you’re in Stratford-upon-Avon, seeing the Royal Shakespeare Company in action is a must. If you’re looking for something a bit more contemporary, catch one of the many shows at London’s National Theater, located on the south bank of the River Thames.