England has a long, rich history that is reflected in its architecture. Its monuments, palaces, towers, and bridges are unlike any other, and definitely deserve a visit. Some of these architectural sites are thousands of years old, while others are a bit more recent, but no less impressive. Here is a look at three fascinating architectural sites in England to start your next trip off right.
When it comes to architecture, you can't get much more awe-inspiring than Stonehenge. Located 10 miles north of Salisbury, this mysterious, prehistoric collection of megaliths was built between 3000 and 1500 BC. You can see more than 250 different ancient artifacts here, including a 5,500-year-old man made of stone. The best time to visit is in the early morning or late evening, when those with special access passes can actually walk inside the circle of Neolithic monuments to see them from all sides. You can also visit the replicas of a Neolithic city nearby, where people reenact the things people used to do in that era using the same tools as their ancestors. This site is extremely popular among tourists, so remember to buy a ticket in advance!
The City of Bath
The entire city of Bath is an architectural marvel, so much so that the whole town has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city was founded by the Romans in the 1st century A.D. on top of natural hot springs, which made it perfect for them to use as a thermal spa. You can still visit the remains of this spa today, as well as the town that sprang up around it in the centuries that followed. Although Bath briefly became a hub for the wool industry during the Middle Ages, it became an "elegant spa city" again under three different King Georges (I, II, and III) in the 18th century. They preserved the Romans' legacy, and now this site is considered to be the most important collection of the remains of the Roman era north of the Alps.
The Tower of London
No list of English architecture would be complete without a mention of the Tower of London. This is another World Heritage Site due to the fact that it has served many purposes since it was first built in 1078 by William the Conqueror. It has been a prison, a palace, an observatory, a menagerie (it was once home to a polar bear who was allowed to go swimming and fishing in the Thames), and has long held the treasures of royalty. Its White Tower centerpiece stands tall, inviting visitors to stop by and see what it holds inside, including the Crown Jewels and seven ravens that are said to guard the tower. Legend has it that if the ravens that live in the tower were to leave, terrible things would happen. If that wasn't enough to pique your interest, the Tower of London is also home to the Line of Kings, a display of multiple suits of armor which makes up the world's oldest tourist attraction.