England, The Nation of Tea and Tales
Take yourself to the land of England - known for its tea, royals, national pride and much more. England is one of the most visited countries in the world and has many things to offer for Muslim tourists. With large Muslim populations in the major cities, you will always find yourself on familiar ground. Like a real-life global village, you will find the locals share many different cultures and languages meaning that you will always feel at home. Whilst still holding on to traditional values, England has moved forward with the times and become a country that celebrates differences in culture.
The nation is full of captivating castles and historic sites as well as scenic landscapes, quaint towns and ancient streets to meander through. It is also home to a bustling art scene, family-fun adventures and culinary experiences with both authentic English cuisine and world-class international establishments. With inspiration on every corner, it is no wonder that English literature contains some of the most fascinating works that have ever been written.
Halal Hotels in England
With the Muslim population well-established in England, more hotels are offering halal-friendly packages. Whether that may be non-alcohol rooms, halal food options, prayer facilities or women-only areas, you will always find a hotel to cater for your halal break. Luxury hotels such as the Shangri-La London now provide halal food options upon request with a beautiful top-floor view of the Thames skyline. Other boutique hotels, such as the Bukhari Hotel in Blackpool urge Muslim tourists to visit, offering halal food and prayer facilities welcoming you on your Muslim getaway.
The rise of the glamping experience is also worth a mention. The blend of glamour and camping in treehouses, yurts and cabins offers a chance to sleep under the stars and become one with nature, all with the luxury of comfort. There are different amenities available such as private hot tubs perfect for the Muslim family holiday.
Places to Visit in England
England is a patchwork of serene countryside combined with the bustling atmosphere of the major cities. Chase the golden hour as there is always a picturesque view to cherish all around. Here are a few places well worth visiting.
The streets of Bath and its terraces surrounded by blooming gardens, host one of the most spectacular historic sites - the Roman Baths with their spring waters and picturesque views are unmissable. You will enjoy visiting the well-preserved remains and finding out more about the Roman way of life and bath traditions.
Cornwall is home to some of England’s most beautiful coastline, with sandy bays, dunes and cliffs. Watergate Bay, with stunning coastal views and St Michaels, a tidal island with rich history, are just two of Cornwall’s finest treasures, as well as the Eden Project - a tropical garden in two biomes, unlike any other.
Full of colourful cottages and a welcoming atmosphere, the Cotswolds is a land of fairytales, with quaint paths and blooming flowers and gardens. If you enjoy exploring pretty villages and beautiful countryside, there is plenty to do whatever the season. Perfect for a weekend getaway!
Each of the areas in London is unique, and expresses the diversity of the city, with its bustling street markets, restaurants and sunset river views. There is an unrivalled choice of halal food, from every corner of the globe, and even halal boat river cruises are available, making London perfect for the Muslim tourist.
Manchester is known for its friendly locals and is one of the best cities in England for tourists to explore, due to its museums, shopping scene, street art and overall welcoming atmosphere.
Known as ‘God’s Own Country’, Yorkshire, is home to national parks and villages, green valleys and waterfalls - the perfect place for your dose of fresh air. Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay are two of the seaside towns in Yorkshire, known for their fish and chips and beautiful views.
Mosques in England
Islam is the second biggest religion in England, with most of the country’s Muslim population living in cities and larger towns. This means that you will never find yourself too far from a place of worship and inspiration. Many cities have impressive mosques, which are well worth visiting. One of the country’s newest mosques is the Cambridge eco-mosque, billed as Europe’s first. It combines Islamic and English architectural traditions.
Halal Experiences in England
There are many unique experiences for the Muslim traveller in England during any season, including bungee jumping, indoor ski slopes, skydiving, quad biking, ice skating and roller skating. One thing that may appeal particularly to the Muslim tourist is the prophetic sport of archery. Historically, archery was an important skill in the era of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) for warfare and sport and the prophet actually encouraged people to learn the skill. Today, the revival of archery can be seen across England - become one with the traditions of the past and have fun reaping the physical benefits of archery, as well as the Islamic rewards on your Muslim travels.
Other sports celebrated across England include football and cricket, where guided stadium tours are available in the many famous stadiums of England. Tickets for matches can also be bought online for the sport-fanatics out there.
The county has a rich collection of arts to offer. Cities like Manchester, London and Bristol are known for their mural art and street graffiti, and are home to galleries expressing the colourful flare and creativity. Museums such as London’s National Gallery hosts historic works by famous artists of the past and its Tate Modern is renowned worldwide for contemporary arts. The creativity will be sure to bring you inspiration.
Halal Food in England
Home to one of the best food scenes, England has found itself evolving, adapting to other cultures and foods. International cuisine has become deeply ingrained within the English culture, and a Kebab, Chinese or Curry have even become a weekly ritual for many English people. For the Muslim traveller, there are many halal options, ranging from Turkish or Lebanese to Indian, with halal Korean, Thai, Caribbean and much more available within major cities. Many fast-food and chain restaurants, especially those in big cities, do use halal meat - it’s always worth checking.
- For those looking for a more authentic English dinner, you are not out of luck. If you want to try the traditional English dish of fish and chips, you need to double-check that it is fried in vegetable oil - traditionally, the south of the country fries in vegetable oil and the north in beef dripping. Popular chains, such as Harry Ramsden’s, however, now use only vegetable oil - they hold the Guinness World Record for being the largest in the world, seating 250 people.
- The traditional Sunday roast, might once have been inaccessible to the Muslim traveller due to a lack of halal dining, however, these days plenty of restaurants offer halal meat options - chicken is usually the most readily available halal meat in England. Many bistros such as the Fig and Olive in Blackburn now offer halal Sunday dinners.
- And lastly, the most English experience we know is the humble scone with afternoon tea. English people arguably consume more tea than anybody else, and afternoon tea is one of the traditions that have lasted the test of time. Many hotels and cafes offer this tradition - tea or coffee with a selection of cakes and treats, and finger food. Places like Betty’s in Yorkshire, and the Marriott Hotel County Hall, London offer the perfect experience with courteous staff dressed up and ready to offer whatever your taste buds desire. Most places will be happy to offer a halal or vegetarian option. This is one English experience not to miss.
British flare combined with Muslim friendly travel makes England an unforgettable halal holiday destination. A country where diversity and the pleasure in enjoying traditional experiences is balanced harmoniously, travel to England, find inspiration amongst the streets filled with the aroma of tea and coffee and make your own memories to tell your own tale.