The capital is a whirlwind of glitzy West End theatres, energetic East End markets, green swathes of royal parkland and architectural feats. Think gothic spires, Georgian townhouses and abstract skyscrapers resembling razors and shards – even gherkins. Step outside the 'big smoke' and relax in green spaces including Kent's (known as the Garden of England), the undulating Sussex downs and Hampshire's lush New Forest – pack your bike and riding hat. History lessons in the Home Counties transport you back in time with Irons Age forts, motte-and-bailey castles and Jacobean mansions. The scenic southeast coastline is a Hollywood star, making cameos in iconic films like Brighton Rock and The White Cliffs of Dover.