Travels Across the United Kingdom

Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope you all are surviving the heat of summer.  I myself am adjusting back to Southern California after dealing with overcast and relatively cool London skies.  Yesterday, I shared a little taste of our London trip and today I’ll include some fun pics and stories from Meghan and my adventures around the rest of the United Kingdom.

I think we both were a bit worried that we would get sick of each other but we actually made it out alive and without any quarrels.  We would definitely be the best pair for the Amazing Race.  I think the reason we worked so well together is that we knew each other’s quirks, so we knew when to speak up and when to shut up. 🙂 We left our parents in London and used our BritRail passes to head north to York.

IMG_2806 IMG_2813 IMG_2827 IMG_2833 IMG_2846Yes, a chocolate tour.  Did you know York was pretty much the chocolate capitol?  Ever heard of Rowntree?  They were acquired by Nestle and are in charge of the infamous KitKat.  So I guess the rumor that KitKat stands for “Keep in touch Kappa Alpha Theta” is false.  Ah well, it was a good try.

We were served SO.MUCH.CHOCOLATE.  I’m not complaining at all, but boy it takes a toll on you. 🙂 Meghan and I subsequently decided to take a break from chocolate for awhile. IMG_2857From York, we traveled north to Scotland and experienced the best of Edinburgh.  The first day, it was raining, which equals problems for my TOMS shoes, and butt cold.  I guess that’s Scotland for you.  We lucked out with a free 3-hour tour by NewEdinburgh Tours, a company that has tours all over Europe.  Actually, I went on the NewAmsterdam tours when I was abroad with Liz.   IMG_2893 Drooling yet?  This is the famous Sticky Toffee Pudding and it was pure heavenIMG_2909Here’s our free guide taking us through the local graveyard.  He was talking about the loved dog (Greyfriars Bobby), known by the city, who was so loyal to his owner.  Don’t you just adore dogs?  I do 🙂 IMG_2912 IMG_2910Scotland was where J.K. Rowling started to write her Harry Potter novels.  Throughout the tour, we found hints of inspiration – the names of various characters including Moody and even Tom Riddle.  Even the school next to the graveyard has four houses or groups within it…ring a bell?IMG_2918The coffee shop where she wrote her stories. IMG_2922 IMG_8957 IMG_2996 IMG_3001 IMG_3007The firing of the 1pm gun at the top of Edinburgh Castle IMG_3049Hiking to Arthur’s Seat IMG_3069After Edinburgh, we traveled south to the Lake District and participated in a 5-hour Brit Movie Tour that covered most of Beatrix Potter’s home and surrounding area. This was a great way to enjoy the surrounding lands and lakes since Meghan and I didn’t have a car.  We traveled to her home at Hill Top, had a cruise on one of the local lakes, and enjoyed cream tea and the hotel Miss Potter owned.  IMG_3082 IMG_3116 IMG_3131 IMG_3136Once in Windermere, we checked into our B&B (probably the best one of our stay!) and walked the 25 minute trip into town for dinner.  Meghan and I had a number of items on our “itinerary” but it wasn’t nearly as structured as the trip through London.  It was fun to browse menus in order to decide where we wanted to lunch or dine.  IMG_3142 IMG_3154So…after Windermere, we were supposed to go to Oxford for a night. Well, after 5+ hours of transport (including a few delays), we made it to Oxford and realized our hostel was outside of town. Dragged our rolling suitcases around town, took a taxi to the hostel, waited for the lady for about 30 minutes and were subsequently told she had canceled our reservation (um, thanks for letting us know).  At that point we were a little disillusioned with the area and decided to head back into London.  Took a bus back into town, returned to the train station around 5:15, obtained some wi-fi, called and booked a last minute hostel/hotel across from Paddington station and caught the 5:31 train back into the city.  Boy, that was a tiring day to say the least.

A this point we were ready to be back in the states and just made the most of the remaining 1.5 days. A long run in Hyde Park, walk through the National Gallery, and a lovely afternoon in Hyde Park reading, enjoying ice cream, and people watching. IMG_9088One last meal outside the pub near Heathrow Lodge – bacon & chicken salad for M and ploughman’s platter for myself.  One last round of cheese before back to my veggies at home.  Ready to fly home and have a vacation from our vacation adjust back to the real world. 🙂 Being a tourist can be tiring and while I love sampling the food, I was ready to make some of my own meals rather than eat out. But, speaking of food, tomorrow is Wednesday (duh…) and that means WIAW.  I’ll be sharing some of the fare of the UK so stay tuned 🙂

“Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.”
– Benjamin Disraeli

6 thoughts on “Travels Across the United Kingdom

  1. Super jealous. I visited Edinburgh when I studied abroad and even though it was freezing (I visited in October) it was such a beautiful town! The view from the very tip top of Arthur’s Seat remains one of my favorite views I’ve ever seen in person. What a fun sister trip!

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