From Stonehenge and Tower Bridge to Eton and Oxford, England is loaded with cherished icons of past eras. But it also does modernity with a confidence and panache left over from its days in the never-setting sun. Fashion, fine dining, clubbing, shopping – England’s rates with the world’s best.
As a visitor, you can pick your favorite slice of “Englishness” and indulge yourself in a country with a notorious taste for nostalgia. The tales of King Arthur; the works of Shakespeare; the exploits of Drake (the explorer, not the rapper ;); the intellect of Johnson; the invention of Brunel; the leadership of Churchill; the cult of Diana – all are endlessly recycled in England, providing a cultural backdrop to an unparalleled range of historic buildings, monuments, and landscapes.
Of course, this isn’t anything like the whole story of England. For every tourist who wants to stand outside the gates of Buckingham Palace or visit Stratford-upon-Avon, there’s another who makes a beeline for the latest show at Tate Modern or the cityscape of downtown Manchester. Contemporary England has a richly multi-ethnic culture. Famously, fish and chips gave way some years ago to chicken tikka masala as the country’s favorite dish showing how the English increasingly embrace a continental lifestyle. Enjoy a fried English breakfast or a Devonshire cream tea by all means, but notice the locals at the next-door café-bar tucking into a croissant and a cappuccino.
API offers a summer high school program in cosmopolitan and historic London looking at the rich history of film and theatre in England!