More than a mere daytrip from London, South East England offers a glimpse into the heart, soul and history of England. Medieval villages, fortified ports, castles and cliffs pepper the region, while parks and forests offer an easily accessible rural respite. South East England’s proximity to continental Europe once made it the country’s military stronghold—but today, it’s all about kicking backing. What type of escape would you like? If you’re feeling historical, or just plain regal, take a trip to the fortified opulence of the Windsor Castle. Want to delve deeper into history? St. Alban’s 2000-year-old cathedral will suffice. If you want to romp with wild ponies, don’t miss the New Forest; if hiking and cycling are in order, head to the rolling hills of the Downs. Few places do seaside resort like quirky, charismatic Brighton, where you can frolic on sandy shores by day, then party the night away. If you want a little more, um, edge to your coastal retreat, a gaze down the 150-meter chalk cliffs of Beachy Head should get your pulse pounding. Or you can explore the fabric of fields and towns, and discover your own kind of getaway. It’s all waiting, and it’s all in South East England.