Getting to know british culture through historical towns
Journeys | 15.07.2020
The United Kingdom has a rich and proud history that is celebrated across its towns and cities. The individual characteristics of Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and England have been shaped by a shared culture that can be traced all the way back to Roman times. When people visit the UK in search of a cultural experience, they don't have to look hard to find the places that are steeped in history and tradition. Today we will look at some of the places you can look to explore in search of a uniquely British experience.
York
Archaeologists have found evidence of human settlements in the Yorkshire region from as early as 8,000 BCE, so it's safe to say that there is a rich tapestry of history to be found in York itself! The defining feature of the town is the city walls that were originally built by the Romans. Within these ancient walls are all manners of antiquity showing the various influences on the city throughout the centuries.

A number of gatehouses or "bars" can be found across the town showing architecture from the 14thcentury. Today it is a vibrant and welcoming town with lots to see and do and attracts plenty of tourists. The main draw to the town is for people who want to see the range of cultures that have had an impact on this part of England throughout the years. This doesn't just include the Romans, but also the Danes, and the Anglo Saxons too.
St Andrews
When you ask people what the most famous thing to come of Scotland is, once they've mentioned whisky, tartan, and Sean Connery, the next thing likely to be on the list is golf. Scotland's favourite pastime has had an enduring impact across the world, and many people come North of the border to find the game's natural home. On the windswept East coast of the country, you'll find the pretty and historic seaside town of St Andrews. The aptly named Old Course here has the title of being the first modern course in the history and was played by King James IV as far back as the 14thCentury!

The town itself is a hub for golfers and many major tournaments are played here throughout the regular golfing calendar. Visitors should also pay a visit to the ancient St Andrews University. It was originally established in 1413 and has been attended by various members of the British royal family throughout the years. Tour here can give you an insight into the development of the town over the centuries and allow you to take in the ancient architecture that defines the main campus buildings.
Portsmouth
Being an island nation, the United Kingdom has a long and proud sea-faring tradition. This culture is felt more in some parts of the country than others, but if you want a real look into the mariner's lives, the city of Portsmouth is a good place to start. As a destination, the guides will show you that there is lots of different things you can see and do here. Portsmouth lies right on the English South coast, giving spectacular views of the English Channel.

The history here is rich and widely celebrated in museums like the Historic Dockyard, Southsea Castle and the Mary Rose Museum. The town is also notable as being the birthplace of Charles Dickens, the celebrated author of books including David Copperfield, Great Expectations, and a Christmas Carol. By exploring Portsmouth, you can gain a real understanding of how the nautical connection has influenced the culture of the town itself.
Glasgow
Another place that has benefitted from being a sea-port is Scotland's biggest city – Glasgow. During the age of British colonialism in the late 19thand early 20thCentury, Glasgow was known as the "Second City of the Empire". This was down to the geographical advantage the city had for sending and receiving goods to the West, as well as it's world-beating ship building industry. At the height of the industry, it was said that one fifth of all ships in the world were built in the yards of the River Clyde. You can learn about this rich history in places like the Riverside Museum, that celebrate the industrial past of Glasgow.

The city went into decline as British heavy industry waned in the post-war era of the fifties, but after the Glasgow was made the European City of Culture in 1990, it underwent a dramatic transformation into the multicultural and metropolitan centre it is today. Glasgow is recognised as having a thriving music scene with bands and artists including Franz Ferdinand, Simple Minds, Belle & Sebastian, Primal Scream, and Biffy Clyro all finding their musical heritage in and around the city.
Stratford-Upon-Avon
When people think of England beyond London, they have the view of the traditional postcard town in the countryside where life moves at a slower pace than the rest of us are used to. The home of William Shakespeare himself demonstrates this perfectly. In the town itself you can see the original birthplace of the Bard that dates all the way back to 16thCentury as well as the cottage home of Anne Hathaway. These buildings recall a different age of the country that still lives on to the modern era, and the museums that celebrate the life and history of Shakespeare give a great understanding of how life in England influenced his work.

Beyond Shakespeare, Stratford-Upon-Avon is set upon the stunning River Avon that is home to traditional canal barges and harks back to the Victorian era where waterways connected the industry of the country. The old town is well worth exploring as the streets have remained relatively unchanged over the centuries with all kinds of architecture from an earlier age on display. The town is a great place to spend a weekend with a range of high-quality restaurants on offer showcasing a number of different cooking styles set within the beautiful town itself.
As Britain has such a broad and rich history, there is so much culture on display across its towns and cities. Try visiting some of the places we have outlined above to discover the connection to the past the continues to influence the present across the whole United Kingdom.
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