Can you believe I haven’t left the country in four months? Me neither, but my “dry spell” is ending next week when I head off to see the Royals (from a distance – if at all – since I don’t actually know them and they didn’t tweet me back), the Bard, and the Brexiteers in merry old England.
I have been to London before, with my aunt when I was eleven for two days. Other than that, the country remains a mystery to me from a personal experiential standpoint. Adding to it that I have a couple cousins there, a couple friends, and a reasonable knowledge of the language, and it seems a no-brainer to spend more time seeing the place. On top of it all, Scott’s Cheap Flights found me a great price on direct flights on American from LA!
Overall, I will be in England for four weeks, two in the English countryside (I think this is the term for anything not London) and two in London itself. So what is the particular itinerary? Here it is (items numbered on the map below):
1 – Norwich
My cousin recently moved here from New York, as her husband lives in this city north of London. I will have a few days to see them, and to explore their hometown!
2 – Cambridge
I am not sure about punting on the River Cam, but I will explore one of England’s two biggest college towns. There also may be a side trip to Ely and its spectacular looking cathedral.
3 – Birmingham
Really, I am here for a day in Stratford-Upon-Avon, but a free Hyatt night has me in the nearby larger city. Stratford is the birthplace of William Shakespeare, and as someone who has read nearly the entire canon, in addition to acting in a few, it has been on my list since I have had a travel bucket list.
4 – Bristol
A fairly large port, my time in Bristol will be divided. I’ll spend a day exploring here. I’ll spend a day down in Bath. And I’ll spend a day in Cardiff, capital of Wales. Busy, but awesome, and a chance to see a good friend I made in France who relocated to the area.
5 – Salisbury
Home to a renowned cathedral, Salisbury is also the gateway to Stonehenge. I’ve heard Stonehenge is underwhelming, but I want to see it anyway, and I’ll let you know if I corroborate those reviews.
6 – London
This, obviously, is the biggie. I will be staying in Notting Hill, seeing friends and family in the area, and have a long list of sights to see. Chief among those is the British Museum. After all, if I can’t go everywhere, I can at least go to the place where the cool stuff from everywhere was taken after the Brits stole it! Beyond that, I have a list of museums to see and other experiences to have in my first adult trip to one of the world’s most dynamic cities.
Complicating this trip is the fact that my return day is the current date for Brexit to happen. I am curious to feel the political vibe around the country behind what is currently going on, and to see how it might impact travel to the UK. I will, obviously, keep you all posted.
My map is below, but if you have any specific suggestions for any of these places, please let me know!