It's been a little bit of a break in between posts, real life and all that, but here is my final *sobs* part in my UK Adventures from a few weeks ago! In case you missed the first two parts here's how I spent my time in Scotland and London. Today I'm focusing on all the different day/weekend trips I took! I love London and Britain in general because of how easy it is to get to so many different places simply by train. The train and I were BFFs by the time I left and I don't regret one second I spent on it (cancelled trains and detours not included) because it always brought me to somewhere incredible.
A 3.5 hours train ride from London, Cardiff, Wales is a beautiful place to be close to the water, partake in some beautiful greenery, and a little bit of history. The town city center has a great pedestrian street, these incredible alleys of shops and boutiques and more food options than you know what to do with. I loved my time in Cardiff and it's a perfect destination for a short weekend trip.
My other favorite part of Cardiff was the Bay. A cheap water taxi takes you from Cardiff to the Bay down the river and it gorgeous! Its about 15 minutes by boat otherwise about a 25 minute walk. Tons of shops and restaurants along the water as you can see from my gorgeous lunch view above. There's also a handful or parks and reserves you can walk through that are also lovely.
With all the incredible day trips I did it's hard to rate them but Oxford is very close to the top. I've read about this city and its literary history for years. Narnia, Alice in Wonderland, Lord of the Rings, Discovery of Witches, The Bone Season, all prevalent history in Oxford. The city is beautiful. It is old beautiful and so enriched with history of all kinds, you will never be bored. There are so many stories and anecdotes I could share but it really is something you have to experience yourself. FYI Oxford is only about 45 minutes to an hour train ride from London.
While Oxford was a highly anticipated day trip and blew me away, Bath was the surprise I didn't know I wanted. My lovely friend Hannah suggested it before I left and I kept it in the back of my mind for sure, but it wasn't until I saw Sarah Maas' pictures and heard how much she loved it that I booked my ticket the day before I left. Construction was under way so after 2 trains and a bus transfer a 90 minute train ride took about 2.5 hours but it was totally worth it. One of the most incredibly beautiful cities I have EVER been to! Every historical romance novel I've ever read played through my mind. I wish I could post a thousand pictures from Bath because it's absolutely gorgeous. Words cannot describe the ethereal feeling I had while there. The parks, the streets, the buildings, beyond incredible! THIS is a destination you have to add to your bucket list for a day, a weekend, or longer! Oh, and the Roman Baths aren't too shabby either :)
An easy 40 minute Overground ride from London (depending where in the city you're coming from), Greenwich was a beautiful way to spend the day. The Queen's House, the Naval Museum and Academy, and the Market was uh-may-zing! The food and atmosphere and energy of this place is the reason I travel. Stumbling upon this crazy cool marketplace with all these different types of food from so many different countries and the music playing was surreal. It was such an acute moment of me thinking 'this is why I travel. For moments like this where you find a place you didn't expect to and can just feel the positive energy in the air.' Simply amazing. The buildings and architecture is on another level and I highly suggest this day trip (as I really do all the places I'm talking about).
Anybody that knows me knows my obsession and deep soul love for Anne Boleyn. Her childhood home is Hever Castle and to be able to go to this place was on another level for me. This whole morning was one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had. The reason? I had a spiritual moment when I got off the train at Hever. I'm very into feelings and intuition and the quiet of Hever and my 15 minutes walk to the castle was an experience. The adorable houses in this town, the scenery, the landscape. EVERYTHING! I walked through the woods and I kid you not, I don't care that I wasn't in France, I'm convinced I found the field that Belle runs through in Beauty and the Beast. Don't argue with me, you won't win. I felt it. I took pictures but they do no justice to the actual beauty of this place. It's indescribable. THAT added to how quaint and beautiful I found the town (I could live there, I swear, who wants to move?), the castle itself and seeing where Anne grew up and the gardens I mention below made for an amazing day. (Just over an hour from London by train)
If Hampton Court Palace is Henry VIII's domain and Hever Castle is Anne's, Anne totally wins on the Gardens. The Hever Gardens are nothing short of a fairy tale. These are epic. I was there in Fall and I can only imagine how much more beautiful they are in Summer. I was already impressed and could have spent all day there.
About an hour train from London, Brighton is right on the sea and gives you that coastal vibe immediately. Very hipster in feeling, the shops and streets, and street art gives off a very young and art edgey vibe. I loved walking along the water and there's a super cool Boardwalk with all the fixings of a carnival.
I hope you enjoyed my UK Adventures throughout Scotland, London, and the surrounding area! Have you been to Britain? What are your favorite parts?