Hi all. Yes, another itinerary for you, to one of my absolute favourite countries in the world. In mental preparation for writing about the UK, I realised that despite four trips to the UK thus far, I really have sold myself short on the UK because there are loads of places I have not yet been that sound interesting, worthwhile or a quintessential part of the UK. For example – Brighton, Stratford on Avon, northern Scotland. Throw in Manchester and Liverpool too!
And so I will have to stick to what I know, and where I’ve been. I realise the main reason that I haven’t seen as much as I would like of the UK is that I tend to spend a lot of time in London whenever I visit the UK. It’s one of my favourite cities in the entire world, it’s got its charm, its history, its eccentricities. Museums, theatre, Big Ben, gardens, the tube, Oxford street, the Tower Bridge, the Thames, Greenwich… So I advise any trip to the United Kingdom is going to need to include some serious time in the capital.
Getting around the UK is fairly straightforward. British Rail can get you most places, and there are passes available like a Eurail Pass for BritRail. Also there is National Express, the national bus service, which I’ve had a pass for before which actually wasn’t too bad and much cheaper than the train, but all in all I definitely prefer the train. As I pretty much do in any country!
So where would I recommend you go? I’ve been to… Bristol, the Devon Coast, Northampton, Glasgow, Edinburgh, York, Sheffield, Cardiff and a few other less known places. Obviously. I’m not going to include all of these.
But I will certainly include the two Scottish cities which I found really nice. Glasgow is worth a couple of days, Edinburgh is a really special little place with a castle at the top of the hill that looks over the city, little alleyways, cobblestones, and once a year one of the world’s best festivals.
In the north of England you have the brilliant city of York, with city walks you can walk on and so much history to see. Learn about Richard the Third for example in the quaint Richard III museum. And there is a brilliant train museum there too.
Oxford and Cambridge are both interesting University towns. Oxford has a little more history, you can see the dining hall they used for the first two Harry Potter films in Christchurch College, explore the colleges, there are a couple of churches worth seeing, learn about the King James Bible. Cambridge is worth visiting just for the vibe if nothing else. The River Cam and the greenery – beautiful. The colleges in Cambridge are probably more impressive and interesting than the ones in Oxford too – that’s not a criticism of Oxford though!
Cardiff is surprisingly interesting too, a really pleasant city by the sea. It has a castle worth visiting, a great place to walk around and a bus ride out from the centre to St Fagin’s National History Museum, a great open air little town of yesteryear which is now a museum.
Bristol is a seaside town not that far from Cardiff which I don’t remember that much about to be honest – other than it was quite nice.
So for a route – starting in London, go north via Cambridge and York to Glasgow and Edinburgh, then southwards to Oxford, down to Cardiff, back to Bristol and then to London before heading off. Sneak in Stratford Upon Avon if you’re a fan of the Bard, and there’s always the cities on the other side of the countries in Manchester and Liverpool if they take your fancy (Football Fans? Beatles fans?)
Extrapolated and compressed (at the same time!) to thirty days –
Day One to Seven – London
Day Eight to Ten – Cambridge
Day Eleven to Fourteen – York
Day Fifteen to Sixteen – Glasgow
Day Seventeen to Nineteen – Edinburgh
Day Twenty to Twenty-Three – Oxford
Day Twenty-Four to Twenty-Five – Bristol
Day Twenty-Six – Twenty-Nine – Cardiff
Day Thirty – Return to London and fly out.
What do you think? What would you include in an itinerary for the UK? Please comment! And May the Journey Never End!