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So, what is the real England?

London, United...
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So, what is the real England?

I have read this a few times on the forum where people say, get out of London and see the real England. But, what is the real England?

Surely England is a sum of all it's part i.e the countryside, the villages, the towns and also the big cities. So by maybe just concentrating on London, you are seeing a bit of England that is just as real as all the others. For me who was born in London, raised in London, went to school and works in London for someone to tell me that is not the real England, what is it about their environment that makes their England any more real than my England.

Before I start sounding like some little Londoner (although I haven't been little since I left school), I agree that people should see more of the UK. It just annoys me that people seem to think that London is some how not part of the real Endland.

Watford
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41. Re: So, what is the real England?

London just IS and that is very hard to explain to someone, whether they are from Melbourne Florida, Melbourne Australia or Melbourne Derbyshire.

I'm not totally sure of the relevance of what I write below but anyway I was with a group from Burton in central London this weekend. It's a medium sized lively town in the Midlands with a long history. Because of where our hotel was located it made sense for them to take the tube (or bus) to and from the hotel rather than to offer the usual coach transfer.

For quite a few the concept of actually walking around and especially using the tube was quite frightening and alien to them. In the end they got by without a problem but the thought of having to use the tube was certainly difficult for some.

Malibu, CA / N.Y.C
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42. Re: So, what is the real England?

I'm just back from visiting my Mom in London & agree with 'LondonBob' that if real England exists then it's certainly not in the capital ... As the weather was pretty nice last week I walked rather than use 1 of the cars & it's astonishing the lack of british voices / accents you hear ... on thurs i walked from my moms house along the bottom of kensington gdns / hyde park & down into knightsbridge ... i heard very few english accents then i walked down sloane street & don't actually think I spoke to 1 british shop assistant in every store i shopped in ... i think as london is one of the few 'capitals of the world' then it's expected that it has millions of foreign residents but now you're pushed to actually hear a british voice .... on my moms street the majority of the cars are foreign registered ... lots of arab, french, swiss, german, monegasque registrations & a few I have no idea about ... & thats not counting all the foreigners on the street that have british registered cars - my moms neighbours on both sides are russian families - I don't know how many brits (born) are on street but i think it is few ... don't get me wrong, i think all the different nationalities make london what it is but how can London be the 'real england' when there are few 'real english' ... my moms a londoner but shes was born in Cairo to Egyptian / Persian parents .... just before anyone thinks im hating on the non-brits in london!

Brisbane, Australia
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43. Re: So, what is the real England?

London is a massive cosmopolitan metropolis. It is definetly the administrative heart of England but to really appreciate the country you need to get out and about a bit.

I don;t think there is any one place that could be defined as the "real England" as the Uk is one of the most diverse natural habitats in the world. In addition, our history means that everywhere is different. So if you really want to appreciate England you need to go somewhere other than London as it is all so very different.

Oh and Donny isn't so bad.... is it... well I suppose so !

And the A15 is remarkably straight, being Roman and all, and in being so straight, is incredibly tedious to drive !!!

As a final note. You would not find anyone who lives North of London saying "Going Up to London" for a start off, many have never been because its so far away and the trains are so extortionately expensive. And because we're a real peculiar lot regards up and down. If going North, then it is always up, South is down, East or west are 'across'. Except, if you live in a valley and are going to visit a friend who lives on a hill, then its always Up ... and if you're going to the nearest town then its "down the shops" - go figure (I can't help it if we're wierd !)

warrensburg,MO
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44. Re: So, what is the real England?

In railway terms the tracks where trains are London bound are called the up line and those heading away from London are the down line, so the down 'Flying Scotsman' is the one that leaves King's Cross for Edinburgh.

Santiago, Chile
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45. Re: So, what is the real England?

It is all real, of course. No one part of the mosaic is more important than any other...or less so. London is no less 'real' because it is multi-cultural and the Cotswolds are no more real because they have pretty villages. Mick's right, it is a sum of all the parts.

York
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46. Re: So, what is the real England?

adamhornets, you missed out Melbourne near York!

York
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47. Re: So, what is the real England?

adamhornets, you missed out Melbourne near York!

Watford
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48. Re: So, what is the real England?

Apologies Robin and to all other inhabitants of any Melbournes that I may have missed!

England
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49. Re: So, what is the real England?

London is a great town. However take out the historic monuments and landmarks and the centre could be anywhere, since, as has already been mentioned there is very little that is English about many inhabitants and visitors in central London. I was going to suggest visiting Peckham, Dulwich, Stratford or Stanmore to see some natives, but you're just as likely to hear a foreign voice there as in central London! Just spent a marvellous weekend in a part of north Devon I don't want to advertise too much as the fact that it is relatively 'untouristy', apart from surfers, is what makes it so attractive. Yes, there were the chocolate box thatch roofed cottages, the traditional pubs and the horseriders down country lanes. There were the quaint accents and friendly welcomes with the cream teas. On the way home up the M6 I saw an equally English sight - a 15 mile tailback going in the direction of south. Sometimes it's nice to just head off into the quiety tranquility of places such as Exmoor or Derbyshire and get away from all the hubbub of London.

PS. Last time I looked Ben Nevis was in Scotland and Snowdonia in Wales? Both fantastic places but not England!

Glenlyon, Australia
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50. Re: So, what is the real England?

I think people try to theorise to much on what is and what is not the real England. Personally, given that the majority of the country now live in built up urban area's then one must say that the "real england" is in fact its cities. And while the countryside(or some parts) may portray the image of Ye olde england is it no more than a museum in apsic - preserved by wealthy economic forces against an urban tide but no longer representative of the nation at large. As much as we like to think not - the Chav and the like are the new "pearly kings and queens"