World ? Europe ? England

England: The Best Modern Sites

  • Tate Modern (London; tel. 020/7887-8888; www.tate.org.uk): A Bankside Power Station in Southwark was transformed into a vast collection of modern art, even 21st century avant-garde works. Favorite artists are showcased here, including every painter from Matisse to Andy Warhol, from Salvador Dalȷ to Picasso and Francis Bacon. In addition to the permanent collection, there are first-rate changing exhibitions.

  • British Airways London Eye (tel. 0870/5000-600; www.londoneye.com): Taking a ride in this "pod," you can see for 40km (25 miles) on a clear day. It's London viewed as a bird might see it. For nearly half an hour, you hover over the city in a slow-motion flight.

  • The Eden Project (Bodelva, St. Austell; tel. 01726/811-911; www.edenproject.com): Lying 48km (30 miles) west of Plymouth, this geodesic dome shelters some of the world's most exotic plants, including those rare species that grow in the Amazon, and it's set in breezy Cornwall. The gardens spread over 51 hectares (125 acres) in a former clay quarry. Locals refer to the attraction as "the Garden of Eden."

  • Castlefield: In the city of Manchester, this historic core has been designated as an urban heritage park, inviting exploration. In a feat of gentrification, city authorities are turning this once-blighted area of warehouses and canals into a thriving community full of restaurants, bars, museums, and art galleries. The first railway station in the world, dating from 1830, has been converted into The Museum of Science and Industry.

  • National Space Centre (Leicester; tel. 0870/607-7223; www.nssc.co.uk): Crowned by a futuristic rocket tower, this is Britain's only attraction dedicated to space science and astronomy. Visitors are taken through eight themed galleries, where they see space rockets, satellites, and capsules. Many attractions are hands-on.

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