Category Archives: UK

UK

Hello From The Cotswolds

In December I wrote a post on the places I’m hoping to visit in 2018 and now (only a few months in), I can finally cross off the first one! I went to the Cotswolds – even if you are not from the UK and the name doesn’t ring a bell, chances are you’ve seen pictures of the quaint brick houses in fairy tale-like villages where people seem to live the slow life.

And things are definitely slower in the Cotswolds – I get frustrated when I miss a tube/bus and have to wait 5 minutes – but if you miss the bus there you’re stuck for at least an hour if you’re lucky. A taxi came to the rescue and I was joined for a cab share with a local for a short ride to Stow-on-the-Wold where I learned that the recently opened Aldi and hospital are the talk of the day.

Cotswolds are a popular blogger destination so I have read a post here and there, but what no one mentioned was the noise pollution from the constant stream of cars, which is understandable as it’s the main way of going from A to B, but it does take away from the fairy tale/slow life feel.

”Speak, friend, and enter. ” The doors of the St Edwards Church inspired Tolkien’s Doors of Durin – the gates of Moria. Thankfully there was not a monster-filled mine behind these doors, but just a small, peaceful religious spot. It’s also worth noting that a pub in the nearby Moreton-in-Marsh inspired the Middle Earth’s most famous drinking hole, the Prancing Pony Inn. St. Edwards Church is only a few minutes away from the main square and a must stop, even if you are not a Tolkien fan, just to appreciate how the mastery of combining large trees into the architecture.

As I had time to kill before the hotelroom was ready I had the option to go to a pub, have an afternoon tea or walk to the nearby village of Broadwell. As the weather was great and I wanted to find that slow life I went for the walk, which was an easy one – mud is probably your only obstacle, plus the fact that the alpacas on the route are not interested in you and will avoid any form of communication (ghosted right!?). Broadwell itself is tiny, with one main street with a church, bus stop, lots of B&B places and one inn.

My favourite bit of Broadwell was watching these sheep – the one on top of the stone wall seemed to be on an adventure of his own and braved a perilous walk on the wall instead of taking the longer safe route on the ground. Better than anything Netflix released in the last 3 months.

During most of my teenage years I worked in a country hotel/restaurant that would fit the boutique hotel category these days and I love staying in similar places that bring back these memories. The Old Stock Inn did all of that and came with a lovely interior and map art work adorning its walls. There are restaurants/traditional inns in Stow and the rest of the area where you can head to for your lunch/dinner and as well as more afternoon tea place than Pret-A-Manger’s in Central London, but I opted for dinner at the Old Stock Inn where they focus on regional and seasonal dishes. I couldn’t be more happy about the onion tarte tatin and the beetroot/goats cheese starter.

The walking trails to nearby villages are adventures on their own as you have no idea where it will bring you next – Google Maps hasn’t caught up yet, but that’s a good thing. The yellow arrows on gates and fences will lead you from walking next to the main road to a muddy meadow where the horses and sheep come and greet you. More than once you’ll start to doubt the trail and your map and wonder if they are real walking trails or if the farmer will wait for you with a pitchfork. They didn’t.

Which destinations have you crossed off your 2018 list?

UK

3 daytrips from London – that aren’t Oxford, Cambridge or Brighton

If you’ve been to London once, chances are she’ll charm you back over and over and over again. But even Camden Town gets boring after your third visit right?

So to avoid death by boredom in yet another street market, I’m here to save you with some great day trips from London that will let you see a different side of UK that you won’t find in the capital.

To start off we’re looking at places which aren’t Oxford, Brighton or Cambridge (because you’ve probably already been there too) and that you can reach by train.

London – Canterbury Day trip By Train

Wandering the cobblestone streets criss crossing the small alleys felt like I had been wizarded away to an open air Harry Potter museum and heading from Hogsmeade towards Hogwarts … but that’s not all.

The cathedral grounds reminded me of the Hogwarts’ school grounds, the boarding school where kids in uniforms rushed to their class added a little extra to the feel and one bit in the cathedral made me feel I WAS in the Great Hall. I’m not the only one who thought this by the way…When scouting for film locations Warner Bros wanted to use the cathedral and turn it into Harry’s wizarding school, but was turned down by authorities concerned about the story’s ‘pagan’ themes. Thankfully for us – that means it’s still pretty empty if you go early, I can’t imagine how packed the place would be if it had been the actual home of Harry and co !

How to get there from Central London? Take the train from London St Pancras Intl, which will get you in 1 hour 12 minutes to Canterbury West

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Leigh-On-Sea: A Seaside Day Trip From London

Just a 45 minutes train ride away from London, Leigh-on-Sea is a world apart from the busy city life. It’s a place with quaint little streets, lots of eateries/pubs and tea-houses, and not forgetting benches to sit and enjoy the view.

This place is not a hidden or undiscovered gem by any means and if it hasn’t rained that morning it’ll be pretty busy by midday. But if you get there early morning, you’ll most likely have the entire promenade to yourself and a few lost dogs here and there. The tide going out is quite impressive to see, with dozens of boats strewn across the sand waiting for the water to come back in and rescue them from the crabs.

How to get there from Central London? Take the train from Fenchurch Street Station to Leigh-on-Sea

Eltham Palace: Daytrip Within London

Way way back in the 14th century Elham Palace was the place to be but it fell into disrepair and ruins until it was saved by the new owners who put a definite Art Deco spin on their new digs. The couple were the ‘talk of the town’ at the time, the celebs you wanted to get to know, and if you were lucky enough be invited to one of their famed extravagant parties.

What I love about the place is that it allows you to pretty much explore every room in the palace and all the rooms have books, diaries and personal touches to feel like you’re looking at a living, breathing house, rather than a stuffy, cold exhibit behind glass.

How to get there from Central London? Take the train from Charing Cross or London Bridge to Mottingham and from there it’s about a 10 minute walk.

Leeds Daytrip From London

Check the Leeds in one day itinerary here

Hever Castle Daytip By Train From London

York – London Daytrip From London

Things to see and do in York

Seven Sisters Daytrip From London