Hi everyone! First I want to thank the lovely, gorgeous and generous Heather for having me at her place today, I'm Kristen and I blog about a whole lot of nothing over at See You In A Porridge. Clearly Heather forgot to take me with her on her awesome vacation, so instead, I thought I would chit chat about one of my favourite countries, which also just happens to be one of the places Heather is going.
England. The place that sent convicts to my country, allowing me to one day be born. So naturally, I have a soft place for England.
When most people think of England, they probably think of London. Nothing wrong with that, I love London. I have been twice, and actually have family just outside of London in Croydon. If you ever make your way to England, London is a no brainer, must see destination.
Well I shall tell you my reasons why.
1. History. The Tower of London is without a doubt, my favourite part of London. If you only have 24 hours in London, you have.to.go.here.
The Tower of London is one of the top tourist destinations in London, and with good reason. It's great for adults and kids alike, it has so much history, the crown jewels are there, it's super easy to get there, and you get to take a photo like this.
2. Sightseeing. My next favourite thing to do in London is to hit up the other the landmarks and attractions. Of course, I had to get a cheesy photo (or two) with Big Ben, which is like Times Square in NYC - you have to go because you've seen it in all the movies, right?
The London Eye is a great way to see London, albeit a bit expensive and if you go on a day with crappy weather, it can be a bit of a bust. It was really foggy and dark when we went in 2010, and we were pretty disappointed. Other must see things are Buckingham Palace, St Paul's Cathedral (stunning!), Hyde Park & Kensington Gardens and Tower Bridge (not London Bridge, no offense London Bridge).
3. Museums. London has it going on with the museums. From the Tate Modern to the Victoria and Albert, there is something for everyone. KC and I loved the Imperial War Museum & the Science Museum.
4. Shopping. Oxford Street is crazy busy and Harrods is beyond expensive. But, hey. They are both good fun. Primark is one of my favourite shops in the world, and I can't wait to go back. Their stuff is very F21-esque, cheap and not the most fabulous quality, but you can really get some great stuff sometimes. I have a top that I bought in 2007 and I still wear it regularly.
5. Theatre. To me, London will always be the first place I saw something on stage. It was amazing. We saw Mary Poppins, and I'm not a huge Poppins fan, but it was one of the highlights of my whole life. I loved it so much I bought a t-shirt (see Big Ben photo above) and I still remember how fabulous the show was, and how happy it made me. My friends went to London last Christmas and they were able to see a show starring David Tennant, colour me jealous! One day I'll see a show at the Shakespeare Globe Theatre.
Wow, I really got carried away, didn't I? Clearly, London is amazing. But London is not the only place in England worth seeing. Here are my top 5 picks:
If you've ever read my blog then you probably saw this one coming. Jane Austen lived in Bath, even if she didn't seem to love it, she attended functions there and wrote about Bath in Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. Besides the Jane Austen appeal, Bath is worth visiting for the Roman Baths alone. Walking though the streets of Bath in all it's Georgian splendour will appeal to anyone interested in history or architecture. In the Regency era, the spa town was a fashionable place to visit for the wealthy and influential, and balls and such were regularly hosted in the city.
Plus there is a Jane Austen Centre with a gift shop, so...
I mean, just look at the pictures, and that should be enough. But if you really need another reason, this is Shakespeare's birthplace, and Anne Hathaway's cottage is there as well (Shakespeare's wife, not Devil Wears Prada). Not to mention to Royal Shakespeare Theatre, gardens, a butterfly farm and a museum or two.
Oh Brighton, I love you so. Yes, those are pebbles. Besides that, Brighton is such a cute wacky place. Flea markets, street markets, great food (fish & chips, duh), Brighton Dome is a great place to catch shows, plays etc. Live music is a must do in Brighton, as is a trip to the tourist trap but still totally awesome Brighton Pier. I would love to do the Brighton Marathon one day. Maybe.
I'm sure you've heard of it. If it's your cup of tea, surround yourself in academia and the architecture of the many colleges in this famous university town. Cambridge University has seen many famous scientists and artists graduate through its doors including Newton and Darwin. But besides that, the town of Cambridge has so much to offer and would make a great day trip or overnight stay. Gardens, museums, markets, medieval buildings, shops, bars and restaurants. Definitely worth a visit.
Last but certainly not least, York is a gorgeous and historic city with plenty to offer besides castles and walls. It has fabulous shopping, including cute open air markets, and unique boutiques, not to mention a plethora of great places to eat. It's the perfect place to walk around and browse, absorbing everything slowly.
Wow. That was a lot - props to you if you read the whole thing! Though I love London so much, England is so much more than that, and I could live there for 5 years and not see or do everything I wanted to.
Have you ever been to England? Favourite part? Needless to say, I cannot wait for Heather's recap when she returns!