Visit Great Britain by Mouse
If you can ride mouseback, and we are sure that you can, you will be able to visit on this web site all the places we visited in the four countries that comprise Great Britain: 47 in England, 6 in Scotland, 2 in Wales and 1 in Ireland.
We have visited England several times, most recently in 2003, when we spent over two months traveling and 2006 when we traveled there for about four weeks. We enjoyed these trips very much.
The second advantage for us.  Travelling in England brought us into direct contact with places familiar to Americans because they have direct connections to the U.S.A.  Historical events that shaped American often began in England.  Many places that we visited were thrilling because they were so familiar.
 
In studying history and especially literature we have been exposed to a great deal of Anglo-centered information.  Indeed, as New Englanders, we found the names of cities and towns in England very familiar. We lived in Hartford (spelled as Hertferd in England) which is pretty close to Glastonbury, New London, New Britain and Bristol, Cheshire, Coventry, and Hampton--just to name a few Connecticut towns with names imported from Britain. And Massachusetts, just a few miles north, also has many cities and towns named after those in England. The historical significance of some of the places we visited is discussed in the sections reporting about them. 
 
We've also included a list of 27 such places.   That list includes:
 
             The church in Boston, Lincolnshire where Reverend John Cotton preached and the Pilgrims who settled 
              the  American Boston worshiped.
             
             The wharf in Plymouth, Devon from which they sailed on the Mayflower to the new world.
 
              Ironbridge in Shropshire where the inventions necessary to give birth to the industrial were developed.                
 
              Bletchley Park where the Nazi military code was broken in WWII well before America entered the war. The         
              understanding of what the Nazis were planning made it possible for England to win the Battle of Britain
              and become the staging area for the D-Day invasion when the US finally entered the war.
 
             Durham Cathedral where John Washington, a direct ancester of George Washington,  preached and where    
              his coat of arms consisting of stars and stripes still hangs. (See photo)
 
               It is quite an impressive list.
   
Cathedrals and Churches If France was where the first gothic cathedral was built, England was not far behind. There are many of these historic and magnificent medieval cathedrals and churches as well as older Norman ones (for a short description of the difference, go to this link), and we visited as many of them as time and our routes permitted.  As in the other countries you can investigate on this web site, you can explore the Cathedrals and Churches we visited, see photos of them, and go to the links we supply to learn as much about them as you wish.
Disadvantages Of course there are disadvantages, too. One is the expense, especially when the dollar is not doing well at all against European currencies, and especially against the pound sterling. Even when the dollar is strong against the Pound, England is expensive.  For example, in 2003, we lunched in a Burger King in London, and spent $14 for what would have been half that in the US. The prices on items in stores look comparable to prices in the US until you realize that those prices refer to pounds, not dollars, and a pound then was worth almost two of our dollars.
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Britain's Tourist Office
 
Other Useful Links for Great Britain 
Google Map
To:
47 places in England
 
6 places in Scotland
 
2 in Wales and
Dublin, Ireland
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The second disadvantage is, of course, driving the roads on the left instead of the right. But that proved not to hamper us very much. Our last two trips we were in our own American vehicle, with the steering wheel on the left. Ron had no trouble remembering to drive on the left and to enter roundabouts (rotaries) going left instead of right. He occasionally forgot himself when leaving a parking lot, but not very many times. And as long as he was in his own vehicle he could judge what space he needed to be able to drive through. This was not the case when, on a previous trip, we rented a car and he could not judge the car's boundry on the left because the steering wheel was on the right. We had three minor accidents within the first hour on that trip, all involving unmoveable objects on the left side.
 
Food One thing that is somewhat disappointing is the food, which, deservedly, we think, does not have a great reputation.  In France and Italy we looked forward expectantly to lunch. In Britain, lunch generally is not a thrilling prospect. One of the indigenous fast food "treats" is the meat pie in various forms--Cornish pasties, and sausage rolls, for example. These generally are greasy and do not have much taste. Sandwiches, too, are not very tasty. And everywhere, food in restaurants is pretty expensive by Continental and US standards. In a Winchester second floor cafeteria Ron had a ham sandwich consisting of two slices of tasteless white bread, one thin slice of ham and a similar slice of cheese---for four pounds, almost eight dollars.  And this cafeteria almost defined "downscale". 
 
Positives But there plenty of positives that more than compensate. For example, the whole look of the place. Great Britain is beautiful and clean. In England there is a characteristic look in country areas. The rolling countryside displays odd sized and shaped fields outlined by green hedge borders. In the Yorkshire area there are moors and large open spaces called dales. There are almost no billboards on the roads and highways. We almost never saw litter. (A road from Brighton to London was the only exception to this. There was much litter over about a 5 mile section.) Wherever you drive you encounter small inviting villages with strange names, like Unthank, Bury St Edmunds, and Pityme. (You can search for amusing names of towns in Britain here.) The roads are very good. The motorways are well designed and signed. On entering a roundabout one sees the routes of the different exits in large white lettering in each lane so you can get into the one that will lead you out onto the correct road. Most of the secondaries are wide enough two-lane roads on a par with similar roads on the Continent, and in the US, although there are some in Wales and in Cornwall that are quite narrow, one-lane roads. We have driven some that made us wonder what would happen if we encountered an oncoming car. Somehow this never happened.
 
Scotland's countryside also has characteristic looks: Heathered moors with lots of grouse in some areas, very tall hills and deep valleys in the highlands. Fairly common sights are shaggy long-horn cattle, and sheep looking like white cotton balls on the green hillsides. One also sees occasional small Roe deer as one drives along.
 
Wales' countryside look consists of craggy, steep wooded hills, with black abandoned slate quarries in the Snowdon area.
 
And, of course, whereever one goes on the British Isles one is never far from the sea.
 
Another large positive, at least for us, and one that compensates somewhat for the high prices, is that the national museums all are free.  No tickets to buy, no suggested contribution.  And the Brits really have great museums.  We will describe the ones we know and point you to others we have found on the internet.
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Advantages of England for American Travelers For Americans, England has two advantages over other countries.  First, we speak almost the same language.  That means we can understand radio and television broadcasts, can read the newspapers, and can converse with  the people who live in the country.  (Well, perhaps not so well in Glasgow.  We found it very difficult to understand some Glaswegians.)
British Personality  We found very little to support the stereotype of the reserved English person.  Quite the contrary we found that the British were extremely easy to get along with, extremely courteous, forthcoming, friendly in person and on the road.  If you stand in one place with a map in your hand  for more than a minute someone is sure to come over and ask if they can direct you anywhere.  If you are not so sure which way to turn on a road, cars will stop and allow you time to figure it out.
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