Hi Guys! Today, I wanted to tell you a little about my trips to England. England was a special place for me from the beginning. I was an English major in college so I was quite fascinated by everything English. From its colorful history to its architecture to the royal aspect of its culture, everything was exciting and foreign to me. I have been to England twice. Once in 2001 for about 5 days and then again in 2016 for about 6 days. Even though London is expensive, I highly suggest staying in London for about 10 days so you can totally immerse yourself in its culture. You can also make day trips to many historical places like Bath and Stonehenge.
During my 2001 trip, we stayed at our cousin’s house. It was a great way to meet up with family, but it was also a great way to save money as well. We were able to see many sites quickly because we had our uncle show us around in his car. Parking is a nightmare in London and cabs are expensive. I would highly recommend using their superb public transportation like the tube as a cheaper and quicker alternative. In 2016 when they became available, we purchased an “Owl Card” from online. An Owl Card is a money loaded card that you swipe each time you use the tube. No worries about making exact change or making time to purchase a ticket each way. Very convenient and highly recommended! With our Moazzam uncle we were able to see Hampton Court and Gardens, Tower of London and Wimbledon. The rest we saw on our own using the tube. I would also recommend Westminster Abbey, Parliament Buildings (you can’t go inside unless you are a British citizen), London Eye, Oxford Street, Buckingham Palace (the changing of guards ceremony is a must), Tower Bridge and Kensington Palace and Gardens.
If you have more time, you can visit the Globe theater, the Millennium Bridge, their markets or go watch a Broadway show. In 2016, I reserved a table for High Tea at the Kensington’s Palace’s The Orangery. I highly recommend making reservations rather than showing up without making them. The experience is worth every penny and the little pastries and sandwiches placed delicately in fine china, the silverware, and the tea are absolutely glorious like the English history.
We were able to make some day trips during both our trips. In 2001, we visited the prestigious Cambridge University and in 2016, we were able to make trips to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge, and Oxford University. Other places I would love to see in the future are Bath, the Harry Potter Studio, and Canterbury because I read about them in college. Maybe a third visit is a must ;)?
One thing I wasn’t impressed by was the food scene. Although there are a variety of global cuisines available, the prices and taste is nothing impressive. I tried Fish n’ Chips at a restaurant near Tower of London and I am not lying, I have had better in San Francisco.
Another tip I would give is to wear comfortable shoes. There is a lot of standing and walking in London. In 2016, I made a mistake of packing “cute” shoes (hey you are in London once in a lifetime or twice in this case) so I could look cute for photographs and I paid the price. My feet and body ached by the end of the trip because of this travel inappropriateness. Also, pack an umbrella always, even for your summer trips there. There are random pourings of rain then too.
Well guys, I hope you enjoyed my trip details and learned some tips to consider before traveling here. Happy Travelling!