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Things to Do in England

The leisure industry is very well organized in England and that means it’s easy to enjoy yourself! Many English people love a day-trip to the coast to stroll along beside the sea and eat fish and chips, watching the waves and perhaps have a ‘paddle’ too. Picnics, cinemas, the theatre and sports are all big here. Why not spend time at a cricket match? The rules are almost incomprehensible to outsiders but it is very English, as evidenced by the fact that after 5 days play with sometimes apparently very little action, there is absolutely no result whatsoever! You could also try antique-hunting at the Portobello Road Market (London) where there are over 1000 stalls, go hiking in the hills of the north or take a boat trip down the Thames or indeed be your own captain by hiring a boat for a few days on the Norfolk Broads (a large area of rivers and canals in eastern England). Many of these things won’t appear on typical tourist itineraries – and that’s why Withlocals’ London-based expertise is so important if you’re to see the REAL England.

  • Famous Londoners & Local Tastings
  • London's Horrible History Tour
  • London VIP Shopping Experience
  • Christmas Shopping Tour: Markets & Boutiques
  • Day Trip to Churchill's Stunning Family Home
  • 90 Minutes Kickstart Tour
  • Private Tour around the National Gallery
  • London's Swinging Sixties Tour
  • London's Swinging Sixties Tour
  • London Rock & Roll Legends Tour
  • Famous Londoners & Local Tastings
  • Dutch courage,  and mothers ruin, A gin tour of london
  • Art Gallery Tour: By London-based artist
  • London's Hampstead Heath with Cream Tea
  • Sherlock Holmes' London Tour

Top 10 ‘off the beaten track’ things to do in England

  • Eat fish and chips outside in the open (e.g. a park bench) out of its wrapping paper. A very English tradition in certain situations. Very impractical, messy and undignified but huge fun and it tastes good!
  • Visit a market and hunt for bargains. This is particularly a treat in London.
  • Take afternoon tea. Widespread in England (though mainly near tourist sites) this can involve cucumber sandwiches and fruit scones served with clotted cream and jam. Variations include toasted crumpets, pikelets or teacakes, with the butter melting into them.
  • Watch an odd sport. The English are highly eccentric when it comes to sports and some villages compete against each other by fighting over a large cheese, running rugby-like with a full barrel of beer or pushing tree trunks up hills etc. Fueled by beer, the results are usually chaos, mayhem and anarchy. Great to watch though not to participate in!
  • Watch a military tattoo. In the 17th century, England and Holland were very close in terms of religion and politics. The English corrupted the Dutch term “doe den tap toe” which signaled “stop the drum tapping” to “tattoo”. Today this signifies a display of military music and related exhibitions. It’s an art form, colorful and great fun.
  • Try East-End cuisine. The cuisine of the typical Londoner of the 16th-19th centuries has now almost entirely gone but is preserved in odd corners of London’s unfashionable East End – if you know where to look. Why not sample jellied eels, whelks, cockles, winkles, mussels, shrimps and “Pie-n-Mash” or hot eels?
  • Take in the Last Night of the Proms. This is a 19th century style evening of patriotic music and singing which is all about fun not nationalism. It’s almost impossible to get tickets for the Royal Albert Hall but the concert is relayed outside to Hyde Park where there will be tens of thousands of people singing along.
  • Walk one of the national pathways. They run through beautiful countryside between cities or monuments etc.
  • Visit a village fete. Very small scale, unexciting and English, they’re nevertheless charming in an ‘olde-worlde’ way. Cake baking contests, flower displays, raffles and arts – great for a summer’s day.
  • Watch some Morris Dancing. Originally with roots in pre-Christian rituals, these public dances had largely vanished over the centuries but were re-discovered in remoter locations and preserved. They now proposer.



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Highlights in England

  • A local cricket match. Hugely popular, quintessentially English and now a global big sport, at grass roots level a typical village match can go on for hours with very little apparently happening though the few spectators will still gently applaud – to the bafflement of foreigners. The locals will tell you that it’s not important whether anything’s happening or not!
  • Pub crawls. This involves visiting a number of specialist different pubs in one evening to sample and compare the various local ‘real ales’ as opposed to mass produced beer. Marvelous fun but WARNING – inebriation can and often does result!
  • Car boot sales. The English are inveterate traders and hundreds or thousands of cars and vans turn up in a field and people sell the contents of their boot (trunk). Fantastic fun and real bargains to be had - and there may be food and drinks available too.