Adventure Team | Jun 20, 2017
My friend and I are huge Anglophiles, and have been wanting to visit the U.K. for so long. In November 2016, we came across plane tickets that were just too good to be true, and just had to go! Fast forward several months, through various planning and booking sessions, to April 2017. After a drive to Chicago, we eagerly boarded our non-stop flight to Heathrow.
We touched down the next morning in London, and hopped a cab to our hostel. Pro-tip: Always use Uber if it’s available. A £65 cab ride was NOT a fun way to start the day. We dropped off our things in the hostel, and began to explore the city, and get familiar with the “tube.” We checked out Harrods, Buckingham Palace, and Trafalgar Square.
The next three days brought such sights as Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Portobello Rd., and a ride in the London Eye. We also took a double decker bus out to the Warner Bro’s Studios for a Harry Potter tour.
Leaving London, we headed for Oxford. But not before taking a detour to Highclere Castle. After all, I couldn’t come to England without geeking out over and walking through the set of Downton Abbey. After Oxford came Bath. The drive in was absolutely gorgeous, and the town itself was beautiful and quaint. I have always been fond of history and antiquated architecture, and this city has so much of it. Plus, I’m a huge Jane Austen fan, so having afternoon tea in the Regency Tea Room above the Jane Austen center was a must.
After Bath we drove through back country roads into Edinburgh, Scotland. On the way we had to make another Harry Potter stop to Alnwick Castle. This castle was used as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies. It looked like something out of a King Arthur story on the outside, but the inside was beyond decadent. Each room had several fire places, and the library looked like it came out of Beauty and the Beast.
From Edinburgh we visited Glasgow to see Glasgow Cathedral, Necropolis, and the Duke of Wellington Statue. He is astride his horse, and they both have orange parking cones on their heads. I don’t know the significance, but it’s pretty funny-looking.
A short puddle jumper to Dublin for the best food and night-life of the entire trip. We went on a pub crawl with our hostel, and met several students from Indiana who were studying over there. Dublin had a lot to see and do, including the Guinness Storehouse, the Jameson Distillery, Dublin Castle, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and more.
Our last few days brought us back to London, with a day at the beach in Brighton. It was awesome to see all of our months of planning finally come to fruition. We got to see and do everything we had planned. After two weeks away, we were exhausted, and happy to be heading home. That truly was the trip of a lifetime!