England Travel Guides for Backpackers

What is important when visiting Greenwich?

It is without a doubt that Greenwich is the most idyllic centerpiece of the South East of England. However, it being apart of the country's capital  It is most obvious that it is very different from the other areas of East London. The fact that is that it is without a doubt filled with a sort of respectful peace that truly vibrates around the whole of Greenwich. This is what makes it all so different from the rest of East London. The area that is, of course, the focal point of Greenwich is not the newest addition to the O2 with the opening of the O2 Retail Outlet which offers some of the biggest names in High Street Fashion from LEVI’S, Cath Kidston, Clarks to premium fashion designers Hackett, Hobbs, Kurt Geiger and of course the Build- A- Bear shop which is our love of all for soft toy lovers. However this is not about the serene addition to the O2 but the centerpiece is, of course, the Greenwich Town center. Green Town Greenwich The Greenwich Town center boasts spectacular market stalls that offer everything from independent local artwork, the most delicious home baking and organic handmade cosmetic products and of course not to forget for the fashion lovers among us who are willing to file through the heaps of racks of stereotypically iconic East London Fashion. It reminds me of a mini Camden with a lot less cattle of people with more authenticity than the North London Market place. Then of course just a short walk from the main town center which is filled with restaurants and cafes galore. Then we come to the focal point of Greenwich of course none other than the Greenery of Greenwich Park with over 180 Acres of Greenspace. Greenwich Park During the Summer months, this park credits attention from tourists all over the world to make it up to the top of the hill to see the perfection of 17th Century Geometric architecture. Not to mention the ultra-impressive London skyline which has for sure transformed over the past 10 years due to the creation of Canary Wharf. With Ticket prices from just £7.20, this is the perfect day out for the family and friends. Not to mention and not to fear the hill that one might believe could end of life due to its steep pathway, I did this recently with my Grandmother at the ripe old age of 75 so if the old can do it then the young have nothing to complain about. Nearing the end of the day and the stars are sure to appear as Greenwich is one of the cleanest parts of London with the lowest light pollution you can lay on the grass on a good summers night and observe the universe above you will also see a green beam of light emanating from the observatory which will signify the meridian line you are in alignment with the center of the Earth. England's Historic Past There is […]

Middlesbrough England Travel Guide

Middlesbrough is an industrial town located in the North East side of England. Earlier, its county was Cleveland, now it is North Yorkshire. If you go on your car, it takes almost one hour to travel to Middlesbrough from New Castle, Sunderland, Bradford and York. There are several worth-visiting points in and around Middlesbrough. The best weather to go there is summer. People who visit this large town cannot forget enjoying at the Redcar Beach and White Water Course. Other worth-seeing surrounding areas are Whitby, Durham, Hartlepool, Bishop Auckland and Stockton-On-Tees. Let’s explore its parks, hotels, famous foods, museums and activities to do around: Parks There are 2 main parks in Middlesbrough, i.e. 1. Albert Park Albert Park is situated in the centre of this town. Its area is about thirty hectares. Here, you can find play places, a visitor centre, lake boat hire, roller skating rink, tennis courts, bandstand and cafes. Albert Park 2. Stewart Park The second big park is Stewart Park. In the South, there is the arboretum and woodland while in the North it has open parkland. Total area it covers is about one hundred and twenty acres. In this beautiful park, you can find 2 lakes, a pets corner (with goats, fallow deer, llamas, Highland cattle and many other domesticated animals) and play places for kids. There is also a museum in this park named the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum. Roseberry Topping Roseberry Topping Roseberry Topping is one of the most unique and biggest hills at a height of 320 meters. It is a stunning landmark in this area. Many visitors love to conquer the Roseberry Topping and also explore hidden treasures, heather moorland, a long quarry, bluebell woods and an awesome habitats array. Tees Transporter Bridge Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge Tees Transporter Bridge is the world’s longest bridge depicting the industrial heritage and engineering at Teesside. It was built in 1911. So, its a historic bridge with the distinct river crossing. Nowadays, it has become a great attraction for visitors. They like to visit this site for bungee jumps, abseils and zip slides. Dorman Museum Dorman Museum Dorman Museum provides a great learning environment. In Summer, a wild exhibition is held every year. You can set up safari camping. The museum items include the human skulls, dinosaurs model and spaceship. Interpretative themes contain the meteorites, asteroids, the universe origin, minerals, earth planet, local geology, evolution, comets and rocks. There are also pieces of meteorite rock that are supposed to be collected from Mars. A gallery specifically contains an amazing collection of Christopher Dresser who is considered to be the pioneer of designing. The items include glass, metalwork, textiles, ceramics, wallpapers, furniture and Linthorpe pottery. Nelson collection was also made a part of this museum in 1914. He was a top ornithologist and he published descriptive work first time on the Birds of Yorkshire. Other things to be seen in the Dorman Museum are Acklam plan Lordship and the Russian brown bear. RSPB Saltholme In the centre […]

Top 4 Cozy Cafes in Brighton, England

Brighton, England is known as a seaside, summer vacation destination. The pier, the seafront promenade, and eating fish and chips on the beach are all fun attractions that have drawn tourists to its shores for decades. But Brighton has as much to offer, in not more, within its city streets, as on the ocean. The best way to experience Brighton as a local is to visit some of the Brighton locals’ favourite spots. This is why I have compiled a list of Brighton’s top four cafés. After living in Brighton for two years, I have learned that Brightonions love a hot brew of coffee almost as much as they love a cold one. There seem to be just as many cafés in the city as there are pubs. After visiting as many of them as my bladder can handle, I have chosen four of my favourites. As I am not much of a coffee connoisseur, I have based my selections the following criteria: atmosphere, community bonding, and availability of food. With this list, I hope to guide you through Brighton beyond the postcard pictures, and into its very beating heart. Trading Post Coffee Roasters (Ship Street) Trading Post is a popular spot in Brighton for breakfast, brunch, and coffee. Their full breakfast menu offers many vegetarian and vegan options. The same goes for the sandwiches, cakes, and various baked goods they offer at the counter. They have two locations in Brighton: one in North Laine, and one on Ship St. in which they operate their roastery directly on the coffee shop floor. Using a Petroncini Roaster and artisanal methods, master roasters at Trading Post roast and blend the beans shortly before they are brewed to offer the freshest coffee possible. They also ethically source their beans and as much of their other ingredients as they can, sourcing locally whenever possible. The highlight of this company is easily their conscious and ethical mindset. Their café spaces reflect their passions. Both Brighton locations are relatively large, offering plenty of table space and outdoor seating. Upon entering, it is clear that people come to this place to socialize and connect. The place is almost always bustling with activity, and almost every table is shared between two or more people engaging in eating, drinking, and chatting. However, if you are going it alone, the Ship St. location has a spacious, upstairs seating area which is perfect for working, studying, or enjoying a solitary coffee in your own good company. Plant Room Espresso Bar (Brighton Square) Plant Room is a relatively new addition to Brighton, having only been open for three years from 2016. The renowned New Zealand coffee roasters, Allpress, provide their coffee. Plant Room also offers a selection of vegetarian and vegan cakes, pastries, and nibbles. The design exhibits the newness of the place, keeping it clean and modern. Cool blues and whites create a very slick interior accentuated with, as the name suggests, blooming, sprawling, green plants. The atmosphere, overall, is youthful […]

The Best Of Southport In One Day

Southport is an amazing town in Merseyside in England and it is just 20-30 minutes by train from Liverpool and 1 hour by train from Manchester. It has a great location, so it is really easy to be visited and all the spirit of the town is more like in a resort. So if you are in one of both big English cities you can also have a nice day walking tour to Southport and you can enjoy many sightseeings. Shopping streets If you are coming by train I will recommend you to go out of the train station on Chapel Street. It is a wonderful carfree shopping street where you can visit different stores to leading brands or have a nice walk and a coffee in some of the nice coffee places there. After that, you can take Eastbank Street in order to reach the main shopping street – Lord Street. This is a really spacious street with great English architecture and a lot of fine restaurants, shops of famous brands, benches, small garden places, main community buildings and a monument. Every small street aside is also a nice shopping street where are also situated all the night clubs and fish restaurants. Marine Lake If you want to see more of the sightseeings of the town you have to continue walking more closer to the sea and to reach the Marine Lake and the Promenade. This is exactly the place where you can feel on a vacation. You can just walk around the beautiful Princess Park or King’s Gardens or you can choose some of the amazing theme parks – Pleasure Land, Bowling Club, Southport Model Railway Village, The Theatre and Convention Centre, the cinema or to enjoy all the games in the Silcock’s Funland and Pier. So many things to do, but my favourite is a high-speed boat. It is an amazing adventure that you should not miss. You definitely have to walk all around the lake and you will be amazed by its beauty and the fun you can have there. When you cross the lake via Marine Parade you will reach a lot of restaurants where you can have a fine dinner or to choose an option from the fast food restaurants. Many of the restaurants have a view of Southport Beach. The combination of lake and sea could be really romantic for many couples. The beach & Southport Pier The beach is really romantic for walks or many families are going there for a picnic and fun beach games. The interesting thing is that sometimes there is no sea on the beach, because of the huge tides, but you should be also really careful because the sea could come really fast. One of the places I love is the Southport Pier that is entering really inside of the sea. You can experience there old tramway which is one of the biggest attractions. It drives you to the Southport Pier Pavillion where you can play some […]

3 Weekend Road Trips From London

London is a great city to enjoy small weekend road trips from, helping you to explore a little more of the U.K. even if you are short on time. Whether you crave idyllic English villages, historical sights or a bit of beach time, or just fancy being outside of the buzzing city lights for a little while, these weekend road trips from London will satisfy your open-road hunger. The Cotswolds Taking just over 2 hours to drive from London, the Cotswolds are a collection of market towns and villages north-west of the city perfect for romantic breaks for two, country lane driving and otherworldly experiences. Step into the countryside and surround yourself with wildflowers, vintage buildings and cobbled streets. The Cotswolds are the largest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales making them the ideal choice for a relaxing weekend break from London. Stonehenge If you’re keen to experience history and heritage outside of London, visit Stonehenge. This pre-historic monument is located in Wiltshire and is a pleasant 2-hour drive from London. Stay in the nearby town of Amesbury and then choose to pay for the visitor centre experience or simply admire Stonehenge from afar for free. From £19 per person for entry, the visitor centre is well worth the money and time. Learn about why Stonehenge is significant and understand the timing and placement of the stones in more detail. This official Wonder of the World will help you gain insight into England’s Neolithic ancestors. Brighton The popular seaside town of Brighton is a vibrant, diverse and exciting destination to spend a weekend. Visit the Brighton Palace Pier, enjoy beach walks and get a great view from the new British Airways i360 observation tower. Two hours south of London, Brighton is a typical British coastal town full of great places to eat, party and shop. Make your visit even more fulfilling by visiting for one of Brighton’s incredible events; a music concert maybe or Pride weekend. When planning your drive from London, consider where within the city you are starting from and when you will be leaving. Your journey time could be significantly longer if you need to either drive across or around central London, especially if doing so during peak times. Leaving on a Friday evening might be problematic so aim to leave work a little early or wait until after rush hour to start your road trip. Check out your route online before you get going and vary the direction you take in the city to minimise your journey time. Once out on the open road with the city behind you, enjoy the views, fewer people and local wildlife. Book your accommodation in advance for weekend visits when popular tourist destinations typically see more visitors. Consider if the accommodation you choose has parking included because the south of the U.K. is home to many tiny, traditional roads. Once you’ve dealt with all the necessities and organised your road trip from London, look forward to seeing […]

My Top 3 Beaches, Cornwall, England

Returning to England, for me, was an extremely hard thing for me to do. It was the middle of winter, I was leaving behind sunny Australia, and I did not want to go back to real life, even if it is only to save to travel again. Fortunately, I am lucky enough that for me, returning home means going to Cornwall. Which really, in all honestly softened the blow enormously. Cornwall is the most southern county on the mainland of England. Known famously for its sandy beaches, the wild coastline of the west and north coast surf. It has been a tourist hotspot in the UK for several years, growing massively in popularity after the financial crisis many years back when people stopped going abroad quite as much for their holidays, and honestly, it has stayed that way ever since. When the sun is out, there is endless choices of things to do, and as a local, having grown up and went to school here, I think I’m qualified to let you in on a few of the best things to do in Cornwall. Beaches are, by far, one of Cornwall’s biggest draws. It is so easy to see why. There is the bustling, easy to get to sea side town beaches of Newquay, where a surf lesson is always a fun activity. The most inviting, crystal clear, almost Adriatic looking sea of Kynance Cove on the Lizard point, where it would be rude not to take a dip. Or the rocky outcrops at Bedruthan Steps, that is also home to a spa and killing sunsets. There are so many beaches around that I’m going to give you a rundown of a handful of my favourites.   Polkerris Beach Between Fowey and St Austell this little beach is perfect on any summer day. Within St Austell bay and sheltered by the harbour wall it provides some calm seas. Perfect for trying out the water sports hire or lessons available on the beach. Booley If coastal walks are more your thing than you aren’t short here. To one side you have the walk towards Par, where you can take in the views from the edge of the cliff tops and stop off at a little secluded beach, locally known as Booley. This bit of coast I love being able to grab a kayak or paddle board to go and weave in and out of the rocks with. The Gribben Head To the other side, after going through a small section of woodland there is the walk up to the Gribben Head, where you can see for miles. It’s my aunty, who has migrated to New Zealand, favourite place in Cornwall. If you continue this leads you down through Polridmouth and onwards to the popular harbour of Fowey.   As well as the water sports hire, there are two places to eat on Polkerris Beach. These being the Rashleigh Inn, and Sam’s on the Beach. Sam’s is a popular restaurant with a […]

Top 7 Things to Do on Your Next Trip to Canterbury

Canterbury is a small, historic city in the South-East of England. Situated in the heart of the British countryside, it’s the ideal country-break destination with the convenience of staying in a town. I moved here in September 2017, ready to start a new life as a student at one of Canterbury’s universities. Although originally just a stopover for me, within two years it became my dream home and it’s where I’m hoping to stay after graduating. The city has many museums, heritage and historic sites to offer, but to give you a more rounded experience I’m going to share with you my seven tips on what to do on your next trip here! Canterbury Cathedral from the high street Look for Historic Buildings While strolling down the streets of Canterbury, you’ll likely notice a few charming timber buildings scattered around town. These characterful ‘cottages’ provide a hint to what the city would have looked like hundreds of years ago – some dating as far back as the 14th century. Old townhouses in Canterbury Many of them are now home to restaurants, pubs and cafes, which means that you get to enjoy and experience them from the inside! Some of the most distinctive historical buildings to keep an eye out for are; Sir John Boys House, a 17th-century crooked house turned into a second-hand book store. Bishop’s Finger, a 16th-century, cosy alehouse near the Westgate gardens. The Old Weavers House, a 16th-century building sitting on the River Stour that is now a popular restaurant in the city centre. Side view of The Old Weavers House on the River Stour Oscar & Bentleys, a small bistro in the city centre Get Immersed in the Arts Canterbury has a lot to offer for the creative souls out there. Yes, we have a few beautiful galleries including The Beaney, but you don’t have to spend hours gazing at historical paintings to notice Canterbury’s creative spirit. Instead; Enjoy a cup of coffee at an interactive arts cafe, known as Expression. This little gem is a coffee place and an art studio in one! Join an art class at the Conquest House, where life-drawing sessions are held regularly. Visit The Canterbury Tales and watch one of Chaucer’s most famous tales come to life right in front of you. Explore quirky artisan and specialist stores run by the locals. Relax in the Westgate Gardens After a full day of exploring the city, pay a visit to the city’s public gardens. If you’re a nature lover like me, you simply have to make a stop here! The entrance is from the West end of the high street, near the medieval gateway. The gardens are a perfect place for a picnic, with its lush flower fields and buzzing wildlife. It can also be explored by the river, with summer punt rides. View of the river in the Westgate gardens Here, you can enjoy reading a book on the riverside, feed ducklings and spot some more historical buildings – such […]

Must See Music Landmarks in London

Take a musical trip with me to London, England and fill your camera roll with incredible music landmarks you won’t soon forget. It’s no secret that London is home to some of the most influential music icons and locations in the world. Tons of artists have chosen England’s historic streets for breathtaking and iconic cover art and music videos. After seeing some of these musical landmarks for myself I can tell you that they are worth visiting. Whether you like David Bowie or the Beatles you will want to stop and take in the musical history that lies in this city. England is a place where every genre can tell their story through music with an incredibly diverse culture. Any music lover can appreciate the history that lies in London’s vivacious streets. Start checking off your music bucket list with these harmonious landmarks in London, England!   Abbey Road – The Beatles It’s only fitting to begin this list with the world-famous Abbey Road. This residential street doesn’t look like a place where four music legends would choose for their cover photo but they sure did make history that day. The Beatles 11th studio album made a splash with this simple yet iconic cover photo. Who knew that walking across the street would result in a stunning photo that people all over the world could recognize decades later. Abbey Road should be your first stop on your music tour of London! Tip: Visit early in the day, Abbey Road is a busy street so you may have to dodge cars!   Aldwych Tube Station – The Prodigy The Prodigy chose a very creative place in London to film the music video for their song, Firestarter. The black and white video features the band in a now abandoned underground train track. How 90’s of them. The tube backdrop provides a dynamic video that you might not have realized was in London. This amazing landmark can only be accessed on special occasions during the year because it is no longer in service. Recreate the insane music video in this unique location. Tip: Research when you can see it!   The Archway Tavern – The Kinks The Archway tavern has been a London classic since the 1800s. Located in the neighborhood of Archway you will find a massive work of art that has stood the test of time. For the Kinks this was the ideal location for their Muswell Hillbillies album art. This cover art gives you a peek inside of the famous tavern filled with fun and interesting people. The Archway tavern is said to currently be in construction preparing for re-opening. Once it is back in its full glory you can recreate this iconic shot. Tip: Avoid high traffic times so you can get a clear photo.   Battersea Power Station – Pink Floyd It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a pig? Pink Floyd made a show-stopping cover photo for their album titled, Animals. This one of a kind photo […]

Visit the home of the British Monarch in Windsor, England

Windsor – steeped in British Royal history throughout its buildings and streets, regularly the residence of Her Majesty the Queen and the new home to Prince Harry & Meghan Markle at Frogmore Cottage. How to get to Windsor? Windsor is a rather quick train ride from Paddington Station – 17 minutes on the express or about half an hour on a normal train. The express train will take you straight to Slough, followed by a 6-minute train to Windsor and Eton Central where you find yourself in the heart of Windsor and only a 50m walk to the Travelodge for comfortable budget accommodation. So, what to do and see in Windsor? Windsor Castle  By far, the biggest attraction and highlight of this stunning town would be Windsor Castle. Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world and has been the family home of British kings and queens for almost 1,000 years. Home to Her Majesty the Queen on many of her weekends, and recently the magnificent location of the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. One entrance to the Windsor Castle featuring the town’s Christmas Tree. The Round Tower displaying Her Majesty’s flag when she is in residence. Just inside the castle grounds entrance and where the magic begins… Inside the magnificent grounds. Nearby are the State Apartments and Queen Anne’s Dolls House. Changing of the Guards – make sure you’re around at the right time of day to see it from the inside! Before you leave the castle grounds, don’t forget to enter one of the beautiful shops and take away some royal memorabilia – everything from stuffed Corgis to Her Majesty’s tea, French Wine, chocolate, embroidered tea towels or any number of royal books. St George’s Chapel St George’s Chapel – famously known for the 2018 Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The famous location of the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, a place of worship for Her Majesty and the Royal Family as well as a church serving the local community, and was constructed in 1475 by Edward IV and was completed by Henry VIII. Well worth a visit to see the magnificent interior, attend a service or just admire the history amongst the many tombs and resting places of the royal family including King George V & Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. The Crooked House of Windsor  Located at the top of the High Street and just outside the Windsor Castle, is the gravity defying ‘Crooked House of Windsor’. Built during 1592 and currently, a jewelry store called Jersey Pearl, but has previously been a butcher shop and tea house, while hiding a mysterious passageway under the basement thought to lead directly into Windsor Castle to deliver fresh vegetables from the original market square… The Long Walk The top of the Long Walk – entrance to the Windsor Castle. The magical Long Walk during Winter, with sparse rows of Elm trees.  Look to the left of […]

Lovely little english village in the Kent ; Downe

In this article, I will be telling you everything you can do in the little and typical English village Downe. It is situated in the Kent, southeast of London. It is gorgeous and there are more things to do than you would imagine! Writing about Latin America soon – When I first thought of writing articles for the Writers Agency, already two years ago, I wrote numerous pages about my 8 months trip in Latin America. I don’t know if it was the lack of confidence or of time but I never ended up publishing them. And they stayed on my computer since then. Lurking me from their « Articles » file on my desktop. Today, I woke up and thought it was time for me to write something and actually publish it. And instead of going back to my one-year-old and a half articles, (to which I will eventually come back, as I think you readers could be interested in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru, Mexico or Nicaragua… right?). But today I decided to write about the present. And right now my present is England. Until then… Great Britain – I should maybe say a few words about my grandmother, Violet Jones. She was born in London and lived in England until she was 21 years old. She then moved to France, and stayed in Marseille until the end, until the 10th of December 2018, when she joined the grand tout. She was 89 years old. Thanks to her I’ve been going to England every year since I was a little girl, to our family cottage in Downe, a tiny village southeast of London. Thanks to her I am addicted to tea, I love sausages and beans and never say no to a scone, I know London better than Paris, I say okey dokey (quite a lot I reckon even if I absolutely never know how to spell it… anyone British reading this article; help most wanted). And I like to watch Inspector Barnaby on a rainy afternoon. To me, the smell of wet grass isn’t the smell of wet grass but of England and walking in a forest after rain is one of my favorite thing to do. Wherever I am, I can just close my eyes and here I am, back in the Kent. Things to do in Downe – Down House Downe is a gorgeous typical English village that is definitely worth a detour if you’re in the area, it is within the London borough of Bromley, in the Kent (15miles from London, about 24km). There are three main “attractions” in Downe: First of all Down House, which was the house of Charles Darwin for forty years. It is where he worked on his theory of evolution and where he died, in 1882. The house is now a museum, dedicated to Darwin’s life and work. You can also visit the gardens which are absolutely gorgeous (and quite big). Whatever the season of the year they are […]

Visit Hampshire in England

Last summer I spent a lovely holiday in Hampshire. Hampshire to me is that one piece of old England that always made me dream through movies and literature. It is so inspirational for inner searchers, everything sparks your attention and your senses. From nature to narrow streets and villages, from free-roaming animals (cows, ponies, donkeys) to quiet and warm people, far from the rush of everyday life. Nature makes you feel at ease with the rest of the world, and living your day at a slow pace will do so good to your body and soul. The New Forest in Hampshire offers lots of pretty towns and villages to visit. Let’s see some of them. Lyndhurst Amongst the places I have visited, I had to start with Lyndhurst, the largest village in the New Forest, also the birthplace of Alice Liddell,  the child who inspired Lewis Carroll’s novel. I saw her grave and visited the church where her memorial is. In fact, a must do is to visit this magnificent gothic church. From there you can walk up and down in this small and quiet village and let your thoughts float away. You can stop at the wooden craft shop to buy some little pretty souvenirs or you can treat yourself to a homemade cake and an afternoon tea at Peggy May’s Cafe. I loved this tea room, so bright, cheerful and colourful, surrounded by pinks, light greens and all shades of pastel colours, maybe you will feel like celebrating your UNbirthday too :). And if you want to dream for a couple of minutes a richer lifestyle you can always stop and stare at the Ferrari and Maserati latest models in their big central showrooms. After your walk, take the opportunity to relax by choosing within the wide range of tea rooms, pubs and restaurants that this stunning fairy-tale village has to offer you. a lovely tea room in Lyndhurst Lymington The first time I visited Lymington was on a cloudy day but I liked it so much that I had to go back and see this little and charming Georgian market town for a second time, this time luckily, it was bright and sunny. As you get to the marina, you find yourself surrounded by fishing boats and yachts and all you can think of is how good it is just to relax and appreciate little things in life: the warm sunlight on your face, a slow pace style of life, a tasty chocolate ice cream cone, and as you take a stroll around the little shops and boutiques, you fall in love with this ancient and colourful town. If you fancy shopping, Lymington High Street has several independent shops and designer boutiques, but if you are more into outdoor activities, you can opt for a sailing day off on your own or through a skippered yacht charter company. Lymington is the kind of place where you want to stop and learn to sail. Or you might just […]

5 Top Reasons to Visit Chichester

Chichester is a quaint, historical city that sits approximately halfway between Portsmouth and Worthing on the south coast of England. With both boutique and high street shops, a plethora of eateries, fascinating architecture along its cobbled streets and frequent transport links to beautiful surrounding countryside, there are so many reasons to visit. I have highlighted five of my most recommended places to see below. 1. Chichester Cathedral Nestled right in the heart of the city centre stands the prominent and imposing architecture of the 900-year-old Chichester cathedral. As well as its impressive appearance, the cathedral hosts many musical soirees throughout the year and the choir can regularly be heard practising as you walk through the grounds, so it’s the perfect place for any music lover. If relaxation and scenery are more your thing, within the grounds of the cathedral there is the delightful Cloisters café serving light meals and tasty treats at reasonable prices, as well as the beautiful Bishops Palace Gardens which are perfect for a short afternoon stroll or family picnic. The gardens can get quite crowded on a beautiful summer’s day though, so be sure to get there a little bit early to grab your spot! You may want to pack your binoculars too, as you might be fortunate enough to spot a pair of peregrine falcons who have nested on the South-Eastern turret of the cathedral for the last 18 years. The best part of all though, is that entrance to the cathedral is completely free, so there really is no reason not to visit! 2. Chichester Festival Theatre and Pallant House Gallery If the arts are more your scene, then Chichester festival theatre and Pallant House Gallery are definitely both well worth a visit. Since opening in 1962, the theatre has hosted many popular shows and featured several famous faces from British film and television. Depending on when you visit, there are also opportunities to take part in workshops and guided tours, including backstage access too. Pallant house gallery is home to a wide variety of art dating from 1900 to the 21st century. Housed in a beautiful 18th century Queen Anne townhouse, the exterior itself could be considered a work of art! Hosting a variety of exhibitions from renowned British artists, as well as public events for you to have a go at creating your own masterpiece, whether you are an appreciator of art or a more of a hands-on person, I would definitely recommend visiting.  3. South Downs National Park A short drive or bus ride from Chichester, you will find the beautiful South Downs National Park. Stretching across 4 counties and covering approximately 100 miles from East to West, there are plenty of places to visit within this area of outstanding natural beauty.  If you’re feeling ambitious, you can walk the entire 100mile trail that runs through the middle from Winchester to Eastbourne in approximately one week or cycle it within a weekend. For the slightly less ambitious or time restricted, the […]

Must See Cerne Abbas in Dorset – historic sites with a US link

As I sat amongst fragrant herbs in the garden of the Cerne Abbas café, I mused to the waitress who served me a pot of tea and Victoria sponge cake, “You must love living here.”  She smiled and replied, “Those born in Dorset, never leave Dorset.” The Cosy Community of Cerne Situated in the lap of England, nestled within the undulating hills of beautiful Dorset downs, is the village of Cerne Abbas.  The wonderfully close-knit community of around 1,000 residents resides beside a labyrinth of pathways, stone dwellings, and medieval magic.  Though thrilled to see an English village crammed with a distinctive Olde Worlde charm, I could see its biggest attraction is the Giant. Unusually, no one knows who carved his massive 180ft image, but the National Trust puts forward two possibilities: Romans – honouring the Greek God Hercules English locals – making fun of Oliver Cromwell Regardless of where the responsibility lies, with his extra-ordinary member on display to the world, bashful visitors be warned. A short walk along the village’s cobbled pavements leads you to an information board demonstrating a community of active, caring folk.  A vibrant bunch of barn dancing enthusiasts, English cricketers, avid horticulturists, pernicious historians, and talented musicians gather together, even organising a voluntary car service for those without the means or ability to drive themselves. Typical English History? Today, Cerne Abbas is one of those peaceful English villages, with thatch cottages and roses growing around each door, but a sense of the centuries of battles and invasions by French Normans and Danish Vikings is never far away.  As such, the place offers more than simple visual delights. Stories of the marauding monks, the Benedictines, who founded Cerne Abbas in 987 abound.  Back in 1166, Father Bernard, disgusted with the uncontrollable rabble, left the monks who brewed and drank the ale. Sadly, the Abbey was dissolved in 1539, after Henry VIII’s divorce which meant only destruction and demolition for the building.  Thankfully, the Abbey’s ornately carved tower remains, tucked within the protective walled gardens of a private residence now owned by the Fulford-Dobson family who invested heavily in its restoration.  What is astonishing is, unlike the Cerne Abbey Guest House, there are not many businesses that can claim they’ve been trading for over 500 years.  Nestled cosily within the walls of the Abbey, let’s hope it is open for many more years to come. American Connection Almost 350 years ago, in 1672, another Cerne Abbas resident, Thomas Notely, travelled to America.  While there, he bought over a thousand acres of land and named it Cerne Abbas Manor.  That land’s most notable claim to fame is that, one hundred years later, Notely’s legatees signed it over to the government and it is now more familiarly known as the USA’s capital. Silver Well Wishes A short trek down a steep gravelled path leads you to the Silver Well near the Abbey.  Plenty of myths surround the Well.  One of them is about St. Augustine who offered either […]

Unusual things to do in London for the seasoned Londongoer

So you’ve seen Buckingham Palace a thousand times, you’ve been on The Eye (or turned your nose up at its long queues and claimed it’s only for tourists), and you’ve started complaining about the people who walk too slowly in the street or misunderstand on what side of the escalators they need to stand in the Tube. Sounds like you’re becoming a Londoner. I moved to England about a year ago, but even before then, London was a city in which I felt very at home. I still remember the first time I went there as a seventeen year old. Having just been on exchange in Paris for several months, I hadn’t realised how accustomed I’d grown to people ignoring you in the street, until I went to London and was taken aback by people greeting me in parks, or kindly offering me directions when I seemed lost. I’ll admit after that first visit I did feel a little jaded about returning as a tourist to London. I thought I’d done and seen it all. How wrong I was! On subsequent visits, I’ve made it a point to explore as many of London’s diverse neighbourhoods as possible. These suggestions should take you away from the hoards of tourists and allow you to come away with a fresh perspective. Free street art walking tour You don’t have to be an avid street art fan like me to enjoy this tour of Shoreditch. If anything, this is the tour that really got me interested in street art in the first place, and since I went on it, I’ve always made it a point to discover the graffiti in every city I travel to. The tour takes you past art by many household names like Pez, Thierry Noir, and Invader, not to mention original works by none other than Banksy. Our guide was passionate about the industry and I learned so much about these artists, how they create their masterpieces, and about the general culture of East London. Most tours are free, but I paid for mine as it included a graffiti workshop with stencilling. I paid to take the course and it was pretty awesome, and I also paid another fiver to make a t-shirt. Now I can say I painted a t-shirt of a gnome riding a skateboard. What’s not to love? Hampstead Heath I’m not ashamed to acknowledge the main reason I wanted to go to Hampstead Heath was because I  watched Notting Hill, and Hugh Grant goes to visit Julia Roberts there while she’s filming her movie. Sure, she totally snubs him in that scene, filmed at Kenwood House, but don’t let that put you off going. Jokes aside, I was drawn to Hampstead Heath as it is home to ancient woodlands — pretty awesome when you consider how modern so much of London is today. Not only this, but it boasts a brilliant view from Parliament Hill, a lido, and lots of public swimming ponds. I took my parents […]

Cornish Coasts and Countryside: Things to do in Cornwall, England

When traveling around England, generally people want to see the big cities; London, Manchester, Liverpool. Yet, England is famous for its beautiful, untainted countryside and Cornwall is one of the most popular parts of England for tourism, where you can see the natural beauty of this country at its finest. Surprisingly, many people have never even heard of Cornwall. This tiny county sits on the Southern most point of England and it only takes 2-3 hours to travel from one end to the other by car. Surrounded by beaches and coastal walks, Cornwall is the perfect summer getaway. I grew up in Cornwall and have enjoyed the serenity and beauty of my home all my life. Whilst studying in London, I would often make the long train journey back to Cornwall to breath the sea air and escape from the pressure of city life. As the train travels through miles and miles of open countryside, you can feel the stresses and strains of everyday life melting away. Finally, you reach a destination completely detached from the rest of the world. Here are some of my favorite and most recommended things to do, see and eat in Cornwall. Best Things to Eat in Cornwall All over England, Cornwall is famous for the Cornish pasty which is made of a thick pastry exterior and traditionally stuffed with seasoned meat and potato. This filling meal was used by miners to give them energy to keep working deep underground for several hours a day and has become a part of Cornwall’s heritage. Nowadays, you can find many gourmet variations of the traditional dish including chicken and chorizo or bacon and cheese. Another favorite for both travelers and locals alike, is the classic British meal: fish and chips. The fish is traditionally cod fillet deep fried in beer batter with crispy chips to accompany it. Often served with tartar sauce and mushy peas (peas crushed into a sweet paste), this is a beach-side must have and can be picked up from local takeaways in many beach-side towns. Finally, you can’t visit Cornwall without an afternoon tea. Traditional Cornish afternoon tea features your choice of different teas or coffees, scones with jam and cream and often champagne depending on how luxurious the venue is. Top Seaside Villages and Towns in Cornwall A big part of Cornwall’s charm is the many tiny seaside villages and towns which were once prosperous fishing ports. Although fishing is still a major part of Cornish economy, these smaller countryside towns and villages now rely more heavily on tourism and are filled with local food and ice cream shops as well as souvenirs and art galleries that display art and photography inspired by the stunning location. Penzance Penzance is a well-known fishing port. This town is the last stop on the train ride from London to Cornwall and the complete journey takes over 3 hours. Once a profitable fishing village, Penzance has had to make a lot of adjustments in the last […]

Exploring London and its 5 cozy places (I am in love with)

London. It was love at first sight. I look forward to visiting my “beloved” in the nearest future again. My history with London, England began in 2011 when I decided to study English. I chose the school, I got a visa, I booked a hostel, and I finally took off, not having any expectations. During my next 3 visits and study courses, I discovered fantastic places that hold a very special place in my heart. I would love to share my experience and tell you about my favorite places to visit. If you have already seen these places, I hope you will understand why I decided to add them to the List of Must See Places in London. If you are going to visit London for the first time, then I hope that my tips will help you to see this famous city from a creative viewpoint. Walk across the Tower Bridge One of my favorite places to visit is Tower Bridge. Every time I come to the city, I cannot miss this great and beautiful landmark. I love its Victorian style, its greatness, but most important the feeling I experience when walking across the bridge. Expect to enjoy a stunning panoramic view. If you are interested in the history and the people behind this famous landmark, you can visit the museum inside. As I have mentioned above, you are going to have a magnificent view from the Tower Bridge. I would like to point out a few famous landmarks and sights that you can spot from the bridge: Tower of London London Bridge Potters Fields Park The famous “Gherkin” skyscraper Thames River Enjoy the royal atmosphere of Regents Park My second must see place in London is Regents Park. This place is absolutely magnificent. Whether you travel with your family, friends or having a romantic trip with your partner or even visiting the city alone, come here. The calm atmosphere of the park, beautiful green gardens with flowers, and the sounds of birds and ducks are worth your time. I believe that this park is an amazing place to balance the busy streets of London whether you are visiting during Christmas or summer holidays. The colors of Brick Lane The third place on my List of Things to Do in London is to visit Brick Lane market. It is located in East London and represents a mix of cultures. Since a lot of Asian people live in this area of the city, you will find a lot of curry restaurants here. The market is open every Sunday of the year. Expect to see the artistic crowd, featuring galleries and festivals. If you get hungry, there are a lot of places to eat cheap here. You will easily find halls with food from different chefs preparing home-made dishes from Chinese, Bangladesh, and Indian cuisines. I enjoyed my walks along Brick Lane almost every Sunday. Each building here has colorful graffiti which is implemented very professionally. I love handmade accessories and […]

Guildford – A Gem of a City outside London!

Guildford is a beautiful and historic city in the heart of Surrey (south-east England).  Located just a thirty-minute train ride from London, I am often surprised that it does not feature more prominently on the tourist map for visitors to the UK. Guildford is compact, easy to navigate, offers culture, arts, history, shopping, unique places for food and drink and with stunning architecture, alongside a scenic river and delightful parks and greenery, Guildford has something for everyone and provides an alternative to the crowds and congestion of London. Within this article I will highlight some of the key offerings Guildford provides to any visitor – whether you are visiting for a day, a weekend or longer – there is enough to keep you feeling cultured and entertained or merely to help you relax! Must See History and Culture: Guildford is a treasure trove of historic sites, locations and hidden gems, all within the city centre itself and include: Guildford House Gallery Located on the cobbled High Street, this 17th Century building offers temporary art exhibitions, a small craft and gift shop and a lovely cafe with courtyard.  With free entry, it is a building worth visiting for its beauty and history, as well as the current exhibits! Guildford Cathedral A hilltop landmark over the city, Guildford Cathedral is one of England’s youngest cathedrals, dating from 1936 and impressive to visit.  Free to enter, with guided tours available for a small fee.  Evensong is held most week-day evenings at 5.30pm and worth attending.  The cathedral also offers a cafe and shop. Castle Keep Dating from the 12th Century and a short walk from the historic High Street, set in beautiful grounds, is this castle ruin with a standing tower.  Conserved in 2003-2004, the tower now offers a visitor platform on the roof from which it is possible to obtain breath-taking 360-degree views across Guildford.  The tower does have a small entry fee. Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre A Grade II listed theatre sited by the River Wey in the heart of the city.  A fully working theatre offering an impressive program, including drama, shows pre or post-West End, comedy, opera, ballet and much more.  The building also has an onsite riverside restaurant for a meal pre or post-show. Guildhall Located at the top of the High Street visitors will find this 16th Century (Tudor) building with its impressive clock dating from 1683.  The Guildhall was originally a courtroom and council chamber and is now used for civic functions and private hire.  The Guildhall is open for tours on Sundays from May to September. The Spike Heritage Centre A building that is one of Guildford’s hidden gems – the Spike Heritage Centre is a fascinating old Poor Law Union Workhouse, dating from Victorian times.  Tours of the site are available on a Tuesday or Saturday between 10 am – 4 pm and relay its history and stories from the times it was a functioning workhouse. The River Wey Running through the heart of Guildford […]

Cambridge: the home of history, knowledge and – fun!

If you are as much into all things connected with England as I am, you must have thought about visiting Cambridge once or twice. It’s quite a Mecca, both for someone fancying knowledge, education and the power they give and for someone fascinated by architecture and history. So many famous prominent people walked those paved narrow streets that breathing the air they breathed is a must for a thorough tourist. I was lucky enough to become more than a mere tourist for almost a year while studying at Anglia Ruskin University and living in Cambridge in 2014-2015. This was a brilliant experience, yet pretty hard at times, and there’s much to share with you, ardent English fan. Must See Places In Cambridge Since Cambridge is first and foremost a university town, familiarizing yourself with different colleges and territories around them is what you should aim for. Don’t be surprised with the word “town” here, as it is really not that big. The town center is absolutely within walking distance of anyone who has steady shoes and passionate desire for adventure. King’s College   Speaking of colleges, there are 31, and I’d recommend starting with King’s College which is right in the center. You can’t miss it, as it is so grand and impressive. Hundreds of people are always piling up in front of its main entrance to take a picture. If you get a chance of going inside the yard (it might be closed for public admissions or you might not want to pay the ticket price), you will feel totally Harry Potter-ish, surrounded by movie-like buildings and meadows. Cambridge University Press Bookshop     If learning – or teaching – English is your thing, then visiting the Cambridge University Press shop not far from King’s College would be wise. You’ll find yourself among tons of student’s and teacher’s books, fiction and professional literature, dictionaries, guides and what not – all to make you want them all. Fitzwilliam Museum   Fitzwilliam Museum at Trumpington Street is also a place of interest for anyone enjoying art and historical objects. What’s more, the entrance is free. The Egyptian collection in this museum is profound, and there are lots of paintings too. Cambridge Botanic Gardens   When tired of being inside, the best option in almost any time of the year is going to Cambridge Botanical Gardens. There’s always something blooming, and the territory of 40 acres is vast and well suited for long walks and contemplation. The plant collection is really impressive, both outdoors and in the green houses. The café in the midst of the Garden provides refreshments for exhausted travelers. Things You Really Ought To Do When In Cambridge Mind you, Cambridge is expensive, I won’t lie here. It’s actually among the most expensive cities in England, especially when you’re a student on a budget. It should be easier for tourists though, yet be prepared still. However, there at least two things you should definitely invest into. Punting   Punting […]

North Norfolk: A postage stamp view; culture, beauty & diversity

North Norfolk guide booklet Norfolk shopping bag What is on offer On my visits to North Norfolk, England, I have had the pleasure of sampling some of the best experiences this unique region has to offer. Norfolk boasts 93 miles (150kms) of coastline and 2,400 miles (3862kms) of footpaths to explore. Along with activities ranging from visiting art studios and beach huts, bird watching and photography it has a rich food culture that is as diverse as the region. There are large estates such as the royal families Sandringham and Blickling Hall, home to Ann Boleyn, quaint inland and seaside villages, animal sanctuaries and caravan parks. Norfolk map Signpost at the cafe, Reepham Norfolk coastal path signpost and wave break at Overstrand North Norfolk is a birdwatcher’s paradise where the mudflats and cliffs, forested hills and large open fields of grain, broad beans and village garden allotments create a place of great beauty for the birds to reside, breed and ‘belong’. The wild untamed coastline offers vast beach experiences for the family, birdwatchers and walking fraternity with or without the dogs. The area boasts a great number of characterful windmills where, in the past, they milled grain into a number of flour varieties used for baking and bread making. Artisan bread shops are still a feature of North Norfolk and, having sampled many a tasty loaf, I can testify the quality is superb. Garden sheds and plots in the allotments Broad bean fields on the walking lanes Windmill at Cley-Next-The-Sea   Outside ‘Bread Source’ bakery, Aylsham Bread Source bakery, Aylsham Gleaning information Pamphlets and local guide booklets also providing dog-friendly information can be found in almost every cafe, restaurant and pub, craft, kitchen shop and art studio, enticing you to explore, enjoy and come back for more. Information booklet, about unique North Norfolk Poppies on the walking lanes The Norfolk Broads The tangled waterways of the Norfolk Broads are magnificent for providing a relaxed way of drifting along in a small dingy or kayak, renting a pleasure boat or a self-owned cruiser. Out and about on a fine day, we see cows chomping on the sweet grass by the riverside and peaceful swans silently gliding against the tide leaving quiet ripples of water in their wake as reeds gently sway on a summer breeze. Thatched huts and boats on the Norfolk Broads, River Bure Cows grazing by the River Bure on the Norfolk Broads   Swan on the Norfolk Broads, Belaugh Boats and trains You can glide on into Norwich on your pleasure boat from the broads having walked or cycled the paths alongside the railway tracks – watch out for the heritage steam trains still running on the Bure Valley Railway from Aylsham to Wroxham. Ride the train on the ‘Bittern line’ from Norwich to Cromer or Sheringham on the coast for a day out or drive the narrow lanes crisscrossing the region, joining quaint villages and towns; but don’t bypass the opportunity to stop off and enjoy what […]

Walking the breathtaking coast paths of Cornwall

When visiting the UK it’s easy to be seduced by the breathtaking architecture, dense cultural history and exciting nightlife of its large cities, but if you want to venture beyond the urban sprawls of London, Manchester or Liverpool there is also a rich array of countryside to explore. Cornwall, the county at the very south-west tip of England, boasts rolling fields, dramatic cliff faces, picturesque coves and long clean beaches peppered with abandoned tin mines, quaint fishing villages and strange remnants of its Celtic past. Though part of England it is distinctly separate from its neighbours and signs of its people’s pride in their unique culture are evident at every turn. Walking and wandering Everything I’ve mentioned can be explored by walking on the meandering paths that make up the Cornish part of the South West Coast Path. The route starts at Cremyll, a short foot ferry ride from the city of Plymouth, and follows the perimeter of Cornwall’s coastal border right round to legendary Tintagel, the birthplace of King Arthur (or so they say)! It is over 295 miles, so you’ll probably want to pick a shorter section to suit your sightseeing desires. Walks on the path are graded from Easy to Hard so you can choose your route depending on your mobility and how much effort you’re willing to spare. Seasons and weather The path is a joy to walk at any time of year, though my personal preference is during the Spring (May and June) when flowers burst from borders and hedgerows, and butterflies and dragonflies dance around you as you go. In Summer it is possible to pick up a tan in heat which is unusual for the UK, and in Autumn the leaf mulch that gathers on forest paths offers a rich comforting aroma to your stroll. All along the path you will find glimpses of countryside and stunning sea views. Coast paths can be rough underfoot and if there has been any rain they can become boggy, so it is always advisable to wear good sturdy footwear and to have some sort of emergency wet weather gear about your person. In winter, a flask of hot drink or money for a pint of mulled cider from the nearest pub are an absolute must! If you’re lucky, you might find this lot dancing outside! A Cornish welcome: food and fun! Food and drink are an essential part of Cornish heritage. The “Cornish cream tea” – a scone with jam and clotted cream – is a great afternoon snack and can be bought all over the county. When you buy one, be wary and observe the local custom by putting the jam on your scone before the delicious cream. To do it the other way round suggests that you are from Devon, the neighbouring county and Cornwall’s fierce opponent when it comes to all matters scone related! Similarly, you may notice that the pasty, the most famous of all Cornwall’s foods, has a crimp down the […]

A fabulous day trip to York

York is a charming historic city lying serenely in North Yorkshire, England. I had never heard of York before moving to the UK for my Master’s Degree, but the moment I got to see its ancient walls and hear its locals speak with a particularly cute Yorkshire accent, I was instantly hooked. My first day trip to York was more than pleasant and here are the things I did during my limited time in this beautiful city. Wander around York’s Old Town For once, let yourself get lost in York! The best time I had in this lovely city was perhaps when I decided to just wander aimlessly around the York’s Old Town. I popped into pastry shops that smelled wonderfully of freshly-baked Yorkshire pies. I pinned my face onto glass windows of candy stores, trying to imagine the heavenly sweetness of chocolate fudge running down my throat. I grabbed a stuffed bear holding the flag of England, thinking of myself as one of the innocent and idealistic tourists who had bought many more souvenirs than they could possibly carry home. Wandering around York’s Old Town is like letting myself be a child again. It’s a sweet feeling you should also experience next time you’re here. York Old Town The beautiful miniature of York City Souvenirs sold in York Visit the must-see York Minster I never had the chance to enter York Minster and admire the amazing interior it had. However, the imposing sight of it alone left me in awe even when standing outside. If you have time, I highly recommend buying an entrance ticket (which is valid for 12 months and includes a guided tour!) to come inside York Minster and learn more about its extraordinary history. The captivating architecture of York Minster Be surprised at the National Railway Museum Children and adults alike will surely enjoy this special museum in York. At the National Railway Museum, you will find a wide variety of trains and locomotives that show the remarkable development of the railway industry for the past 300 years. I was particularly blown away by the train which was used in World War II for transporting injured soldiers. A well-designed 3D effect turned on the moment I climbed into the train, surrounding me with figures of busy nurses, injured soldiers and surreal sounds of pain like I had been standing right on that train 70 years ago. What an impressive display! Different types of trains and locomotives displayed at the National Railway Museum in York The wide collection of trains throughout Great Britain’s history Walk along the York City Walls Want to take photos of York’s best views from above? Simply climb up the striking York City Walls and take a walk! First built in Roman times, York City Walls nowadays feature the well-preserved longest medieval town walls in England, running at 3.4 kilometers. As I slowly counted my steps along the walls, my imagination flew back hundreds of years ago to the time when soldiers […]

England for Business : Enjoy London

So here I was at the beginning of the spring: London for a Business trip. So I decided to make the most out of it and find ways to enjoy so that it does not feel so much like work! I have to say I was quite lucky with the weather! Yes, for us Southern European, England has a connotation of rain… However it has been a sunny 2-day stay, and pretty warm for a month of March! You got to be lucky sometimes! I had a great experience, London is always a place I enjoy, whether that be for leisure or for business. I like this international feeling, especially for food, and I love their accent! One that you can actually understand perfectly when you are a foreigner! How to Travel hassle free from London Gatwick airport Take a train from the airport So I landed in London Gatwick… Well, that was not the best option for me, because I travelled alone and with achy back and feet, it was a long journey with my luggage… But the fact is that flights are much cheaper when landing in Gatwick airport… It’s not that far though. There is a train, the Gatwick express, which was great! Advantages of the Gatwick Express: it's fast seats are comfortable trains are busy enough to feel secure even late in the evening plenty of space to sit you can load up your mobile devices you arrive at Victoria station, which is central. Tube or Cab in the city From Victoria, you can take the tube, but I was too tired for that… Especially because I didn’t feel like taking the stairs down with my luggage so… I went outside and took a cab. Which was a good option since my hotel was at the Chelsea Football Club! Only 15 GBP! If you have the internet on your phone, you can even download some apps with cheaper options, but I did not like the fact that they were giving me an appointment in a specific meeting point to pick me up. As I was not familiar with the area, I found it much easier to just get out of the station and take a cab right out the door! Tips to save time When I landed in England, I made one little mistake: I took my ID instead of my passport. If you are a European, even if you don’t need to, take your passport! It will allow you to skip the line… Cause in Gatwick you have machines allowing you to scan your passport and pass way quicker than if you go with your ID… Altogether it took me just over an hour and a half from the moment I got my luggage until I checked in at my hotel, which is alright for London! I left my house in Barcelona at around 2:30 pm and I was in my hotel room at 9 pm so it seemed long. But really it was not […]

A day trip to Whitby, Yorkshire

As a child living in Yorkshire, my family went on many holidays and day trips to Whitby and it’s a place I have wanted to revisit for a long time. International exploration has taken me to different corners of the globe since then and I haven’t been back in around 30 years – until now. This week I drove the two-hour journey from my family home near Leeds to show my fiancé the beautiful seaside town. The drive itself is beautiful and goes through the heart of the North York Moors, offering stunning views on either side of the road. As Whitby gets closer, the sea takes up more and more of the horizon. The road takes you to the Marina car parks, which are also next to the railway station, in case you prefer to take the train. The car park we chose overlooks the Marina and was less than a 5-minute walk from the main town. Wooden statue in the car park. Whitby Swivel Bridge We wanted to see St Marys Church and Whitby Abbey first so we crossed the old swivel bridge to get to the upper harbor area. A plague half way along the single lane bridge says it opened in 1909. The bridge can be opened by the operatives for two hours either side of high tide for taller boats to pass along the River Elk. St Mary’s Church As a child, the 199 steps up to St Mary’s Church seemed like a very long and high stairway, which seemed to go on forever. I remember trying to challenge myself to run all the way up to the top without stopping. On the rainy day that we went last week, as an adult, the steps didn’t seem anywhere near as far as I remember and we were at the top in no time at all! The graveyard starts at the top of the steps and from there we could see the St Mary’s Church on the left. We could see the Abbey in the distance in front of us. We went inside the church and went through to the chapel on the right. All of the aisles within the church are separated by high booth walls to separate the locals from the strangers and the rich from the poor. This is unlike any other church we’ve seen on our travels around the world and made for an interesting visit. Some of the booths are still ‘for strangers only’ and much of the inside of the church doesn’t appear to have been changed for decades, if not longer. Inside St Mary's Church, Whitby. Whitby Abbey As we were trying to keep costs low, we chose not go inside the English Heritage owned Whitby Abbey. Admission is under £8 for adults or under £5 for children should you wish to explore the area that inspired Bran Stoker to write the gothic novel Dracula. Whitby Abbey […]

A journey throughout Cambridge and Oxford

What springs to your mind when you hear about Cambridge and Oxford? Probably you imagine the two old and famous Universities, right? Not to mention some important names in Sciences and Arts such as Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis and many others. The simple mention of these two cities always made me shudder, and getting to know them seemed something extremally distant and even unreal to me. However, the opportunity knocked on my door when I lived in England for 1 year, between 2015 and 2016. Now I'll share here my memorable experiences in the unforgettable cities of Cambridge and Oxford. The breathtaking city of Cambridge City of Cambridge Pride of Cambridgeshire County Only a month after my arrival in England, I went with my Korean roommate to Cambridge, which was my second city visited in England (the first was London). The capital of Cambridgeshire County, Cambridge has only 122.000 inhabitants, it's 80 kilometers distant from London and has a completely different atmosphere from the English capital. Flat town, very few big buildings, cozy restaurants and cafes and a very welcoming people. Special highlight for the locals' accent: clear and easy to understand. The University of Cambridge and its attractions Most of the attractions of the city are related to the University of Cambridge, founded in 1209 and one of the 10 oldest in the world still in operation. Our first stop was the Sedwick Museum of Earth Sciences, which belongs to the University. A fascinating place to discover and appreciate the geology studies of such great scientists as Charles Darwin, observe fossils of dinosaurs, plants and animals, discover all the information contained in the nature in the Cambridge region and understand how the University has contributed so much (and still contributes) to this field of science. After the museum, we walked down the lanes heading to the Colleges (that is, each one of the 31 subdivisions f the University) which were located to the right and left bank of the Cam River. We entered the College of the Main Library and there we had the fascinating sensation of walking between bright minds that may become “Darwins” of the future. It's important to note that you can visit the Library and College premises where it's located, but not inside – only if you have an international student card. The Main Library College Then we went to King's College, where is located the University's official chapel, the King's College chapel. Religious services are held daily there. Stunning architecture, from the outer façade to the details on the altars on the inside, passing by the staggering vault and the pictures on the walls. Extremely busy, full of tourists (it closes during the daily services). Entry ticket costs 8 pounds. You better punting Finally, there was no better way to end the adventure: we walked along the river banks until we reached a busy spot full of pubs and restaurants, and at this place we did a tour that, in my opinion, […]
Load More