Almost everybody who comes to England talks about how they visited Buckingham Palace, watched the Changing of the Guards and took a selfie in front of ‘Big Ben’.
Quite frankly, why wouldn’t they?
It would be amiss to visit England without taking in some of the iconic historical sights dotted around London.
However, there are plenty of cool and unusual things to do in England.
Here are our favourites:
Go Puffin Spotting
Wildlife doesn’t often come high on the list of all things that make the UK unique. But off the coast of Northumberland, the summer offers a rare opportunity to spot breeding Puffins. 150,000 pairs of them flock to the Farne Islands every year. Adding to the natural spectacle is England’s largest community of grey seals, often seen lazily bathing on the rocks. Taking to the waters in the UK doesn’t get much more peculiar than this.
Visit the Hall of Heads
Inject some eerie into your unique UK adventure by browsing the nation’s largest collection of preserved human bones. There are over 1,022 skulls alone at The Crypt, an exhibition at St Leonard’s Church in Hythe. Sounds terrifying, but we promise it’s super interesting, and there’s no denying it’s out there. Apparently, it’s family-friendly too. Tickets are around a pound for adults and half price for kids.
Sleep in an Old Sea Fort
Built in the 19th century as a deterrent to French invaders during the time of Napoleon III, No Man’s Fort – situated 1.5 miles off the Isle of Wight – once housed a 70-strong garrison of soldiers. It’s since been converted into a hotel that sleeps 44 guests and includes a billiards room, hot tub, sauna and even a laser tag arena.
Uncover the Mystery of Stonehenge
Stonehenge is an iconic landmark in the UK, famous the world over. But that doesn’t mean it’s not unique. Stonehenge, which is said to be up to five thousand years old, is the nation’s largest Neolithic monument. To this day, historians and archaeologists debate its original purpose. Burial site? Sacrificial monument? Who knows? All we do know for sure is that Stonehenge adds an element of mystery to the UK’s history. Given it’s a British cultural icon, we highly recommend perusing our Stonehenge tours.
Leave the Muggle World Behind
While discussing British cultural icons, we need to give Harry Potter a mention. J K Rowling’s wizard hero has taken the world by storm, both in the original novels and the hugely successful feature movies. And, being a British invention, much of the flicks were shot in the UK. You can view plenty of filming spots in London, but the most impressive collection of sets is on display at the Warner Brothers Studios. During a Harry Potter Studio Tour, you’ll see sets such as Hagrid’s Hut and enjoy what is probably the world’s most immersive Potter experience.
Take a Selfie with the Vimto Statue
Plenty of inventions have come from Great Britain, and some of the most delicious deserve a lasting tribute. In Manchester, you can take a snap of a large, wooden bottle of Vimto, which has been built in the same place where the original fruity drink was first created back in 1908. Complete with oversized ingredients, this statue is definitely one-of-a-kind in the UK.
Visit an Unusual Museum
There are well over 250 museums and galleries in London. Unsurprisingly, this diversity makes for some unique exhibitions. One of our favourites is the Museum of Brands, where you can view over 12,000 products in their original packaging. Here, you can see some of the earliest staples of the modern kitchen cupboard, including Oxo, Fairy and Kellogg’s.
Explore a Hidden Neon Paradise
Hidden in an unassuming area of London in an industrial unit is God’s Own Junkyard – the largest collection of vintage neon signs in Europe. This psychedelic paradise of neon lights is littered with film props, religious statues, disco balls and a tonne of retro signs. Its late owner, Chris Bracey, was well-known in Hollywood and created props for legendary directors Tim Burton, Stanley Kubrick and Christopher Nolan.
Looking for more UK adventure ideas? From cultural tours to extraordinary excursions, you’ll find something at Evan and Evans to make your trip unique.