Photo by Jack Finnigan on Unsplash
Time is not purely about watches. It’s also about the time we spend doing interesting things on this planet.
Traditionally August is the month when most families go on vacation. As the pound sinks lower by the day thanks to chaotic Brexit ‘deal or no deal’ uncertainty, there has never been a better or cheaper time to visit the rocky, subsiding shores of the United Kingdom.
But instead of heading for all the expected tourist traps, the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Harrods…get off the beaten track and discover the real Britain where nothing much happens and everything has that rusty, faded glory feel about it.
With the help of some gifted photographers with a marvelous eye for what Britain is all about, we now bring you Britain’s Top Tourist Attractions for people who prefer not to be tourists.
All pictures are free to use from Unsplash.com
HIT THE STREETS
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash
While in London, after you’ve done Regent Street and Oxford Circus, discover the backstreets, the alleyways and the grubbier streets where the real London comes to life. You could head to Euston to the British Library’s Treasures Gallery. This incredible collection houses written artifacts of all kinds: from Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks to John Lennon’s lyrics to ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ Handel’s handwritten copy of his ‘Messiah’ to the actual Lindisfarne Gospels and the Magna Carta.
EXPLORE AN OLD TUNNEL
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Britain is full of old waterways and railway tunnels, many of them disused. In fact, best estimates suggest that there are around 600 disused railway tunnels in the UK. Some of them are extraordinary structures with remnants of prehistoric times. Fan Bay Deep Shelter is hidden beneath the White Cliffs of Dover, it’s a tunnel complex constructed in 1940/41 as accommodation for the gun battery above. Today this network of abandoned tunnels is virtually all that remains of these long-forgotten defenses. A fascinating glimpse into wartime Britain.
GO TO A JUMBLE SALE
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Whatever the time of year, somewhere in Britain there will be dozens of jumble sales taking place in parish halls and community centers, selling all kinds of things you never knew you needed. All the items are pre-owned and usually, go for ridiculously low prices. It’s the perfect opportunity to walk away with a few bits of British ephemera or even a bargain watch buy.
READ A BOOK
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Just about every town has a good second-hand book store, you just have to search around a little. And when you find it, you will search around a lot more at the thousands of books, both old and new, fiction and non-fiction on sale for small money.
TAKE A SEAT
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Britain has park and scenic benches everywhere throughout the land. You’re sure to be able to find one that’s not being used. Bring a picnic and enjoy the view. You can sit for hours in silent contemplation, or read the book you picked up at the secondhand book store. Bring a sweater and a jacket, the weather can change at any time.
WALK ON DIAMONDS
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Wherever you go you will find diamond plated industrial flooring, in railway stations, factory floors and on motorway overpasses. In the London Underground they even appear to glitter. No wonder they say the streets of London are paved with gold.
GO TO THE BEACH
Photo by Alex Read on Unsplash
Finally, get yourself down to the beach. Britain has well over 7,000 miles of coastline to explore, with both sandy and rocky beaches in abundance. The one thing all British beaches have in common is that whichever time of the year you visit, even if the sun is beating down, the water is reliably freezing. And a seagull will most likely try and steal your ice cream.