I’ve visited Bath in 2009 so it’s not on this list but it doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t want to visit it again
I don’t really do bucket lists. Occasionally I’ll write down a couple of places I’d like to visit but I don’t give myself a set time frame to accomplish those travel wishes. Also, I sometimes go to a place because I found a bargain flight not necessarily because it was on some sort of my bucket/travel wish list. I’m pretty keen on London as you might have gathered from my blog. I am also an anglophile (did the name give me out? 🙂 ) so I’d like to visit as many places in England as I possibly could. But there’s only one problem with that: money. England isn’t a cheap country and since I also want to visit some other countries too I can’t just spend all my travel money on multiple visits to England.
Some of the places have been on this bucket list for a long time while others are new entries (thanks to the fellow bloggers I now have an ever increasing travel wish list/bucket list). I’d hoped to visit more of England during my work experience in the UK and during my subsequent visits but London was always high up on my list so I didn’t cross off as many places as I’d hoped. However, I did visit quite a bit, especially in beautiful Suffolk (check my Places I’ve visited page). I just haven’t written about them much (you can read about Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds). I have visited Scotland too and fell in love with Edinburgh. I’d like to explore even more of Scotland but that’s a topic for some other post. Moreover, I’d really like to visit Wales and Northern Ireland some day too. But let me show you first my English bucket list.
My English bucket list
They call it London by the sea. I’d love to see the Royal Pavilion and to walk on the Pier and spend some time at the beach.
Visiting the royal castle would be a special treat for me.
Downton abbey was filmed here. Need I say more?
The picture perfect villages of Cotswolds have put a spell on many visitors so I’m sure I’d love them too.
I’ve visited Bath and Stonehenge but unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to see Salisbury’s cathedral too.
I’ve been lucky to see the Stonehenge
I’m sure that not many people have heard of Bury St Edmunds, a charming market town in Suffolk, England. It’s not well-known as nearby Newmarket of which you’ve probably heard of if you’re into horses. Somehow I have a feeling that even if you live in Britain you probably haven’t visited Bury St Edmunds. In 2008 I lived & worked for a couple of months in Suffolk. When I needed a bank, a post office or to do some shopping I went to Bury.
I’m a city girl and coming from a much bigger seaside town I found Bury to be small but delightfully old-fashioned with its shops with limited opening hours and medieval-looking houses. Moreover, to me it perfectly represented the English countryside town which I have seen only on TV until then. I have visited London before this work experience but London is quite another world. It didn’t prepare me for the delightful little surprise called Bury St Edmunds. Despite all the good and the bad that I’ve experienced during my brief time in England I still have a fond memory of Bury St Edmunds. The last time I visited Bury was in 2010. I toyed with the idea of visiting it again last year on my 11th trip to London but ….it just didn’t happen.
first time in Bury St Edmunds, Sep 2008
last time in BSE, Dec 2010
I loved walking around the Abbey gardens and taking photos of cute, friendly squirrels. I admired the wobbly old houses around the town. I had an excellent afternoon tea at Harriet’s Tearoom. I had drinks at quaint little pubs and delicious meals at lovely restaurants. In general, I loved the look and the feel of this perfectly English small town. While I was working in England I explored a bit East Anglia and visited places such as Cambridge, Ely, Norwich etc. It’s definitely one of the prettiest regions in England 🙂 (my very biased opinion).
A lot has changed in BSE since my time there. There’s a Christmas fayre now in Bury every year. Furthermore, a wolf trail was launched around the town which has been inspired by similar art trails around England such as the Chester Rhinos. Why a wolf? Because according to a legend a wolf guarded King Edmund’s head after he was slain by the Danes who invaded England in the 9th century. There’s an excellent live music venue now too, the Apex. But I’m sure that some things haven’t changed and that the town still smells of sugar from the local sugar factory.
What can you see in Bury St Edmunds?
The Abbey Gate-the symbol of BSE
Abbey gardens-beautiful gardens with very friendly squirrels
London is the best city in the world! But visiting London can also be overwhelming simply because there is so much to do and to see. You could spend a lifetime visiting London and you still wouldn’t see it all. If you’re visiting London for the first time and you’re only spending a day or two there don’t be temped to find that cool bookstore you saw on Instagram or that cute cat café you pinned on Pinterest just because you think you’re too cool to do tourist attractions. There’s a good reason everyone takes a photo at Westminster Bridge with Big Ben in the background. Why? Because it’s the symbol of London. Yes, you can visit that new hipster brunch place your best friend went to or go on that street art tour everyone’s raving about the next time you’re in London but if you miss seeing Big Ben or Tower Bridge you’ll regret it. So, what do you want to remember your trip by? By visiting a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Tower of London) or …?
Do visit the well-known tourist attractions and cultural and historical landmarks on your first visit to London and leave the trendy new places for your next visit especially if you’ve only got a day or two to enjoy London.
Here’s the list of 5 Unmissable London Sights
1. Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament
Did you know that Big Ben is actually the name of the giant bell inside the clock tower? The real name of this clock tower is Elizabeth’s tower nowadays but its name used to be St Stephen’s tower.
The current Westminster palace aka the Houses of Parliament was built in 1870. You can visit it if you book a guided tour (for more information click here ).
2. Tower Bridge
Walk across the Tower Bridge and take hundreds of photos of it. It’s very Instagram worthy!:) If you’re lucky you’ll see it raised to let the ship pass under it. Moreover, if you want to learn about the bridge mechanics or walk on the glass floor 42 m above the Thames visit the Tower Bridge Exhibition.
3. Tower of London
During the history the Tower of London has been a fortress, a royal palace and a prison. Nowadays a tourist attraction as well as the home of the Crown Jewels. The oldest part of this UNESCO site is the White Tower which was built for William I (the Conqueror) in the eleventh century. You can admire it from the outside or buy a ticket and visit it. For more information click here.
Back in 2008 I visited Cambridge several times. Why? A simple reason really: I worked only a short train ride away. I’ve only been to London before my work experience in the UK so I had no idea how the rest of the country looks like. I had a couple of vague romantic ideas which I mainly got from many English movies and books that I devoured like a kid on a sugar rush. Cambridge lived up to those ideas. And more so!
This photo was taken in October, 2009. I guess this beach is full of cheerful families on a warm summer day. Don’t you just love these colourful beach huts? I hear they’re quite expensive though. So what’s your favourite seaside town in England? Is the sea too cold for swimming? My last beach snaps post is due next week and then it’s back to business as normal e.g publishing city posts!:)
p.s. I’ve recently opened a Google+ account! Do join me there too!thanks:)
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There’s no better way to start a day but to indulge in a bit of commercial magic: taking my photo at the 9 ¾ platform at King’s Cross was a fun experience. After my Harry Potter’s fan moment I was ready to do something completely different. I wanted to wander around beautiful Hampstead. Armed with nothing but a printed out blog post by A Lady in London I was eager to explore an affluent London’s neighbourhood often described as a colorful charming village full of Aston Martins.
Leaving the tube station Hampstead I looked around and smiled. I could smell the promise of a great day in the crisp air. I turned right and started walking uphill Heath Street while admiring the beautiful houses and their immaculate gardens. I actually felt like I was walking around an English village. I couldn’t believe that I was still in London. It was sunny but at 10 am there weren’t a lot of people out and about. Soon I saw a sign for Holly Bush pub but I didn’t come across Church Row street which I was supposed to according to the directions that I was following.
Never mind, I continued to walk on and soon reached a sculpture of Churchill in front of a shop. Why was he there? And was that his American counterpart with him? I marched on and came to a roundabout with a small lake/pond and saw a Jack Straws Castle. Wasn’t that a pub before? Now it seemed to be some sort of fitness center. I figured I went on too far and decided to go back down the street towards the tube station to try to find the Church Row street.
I couldn’t wait for the morning to arrive so I could start my second day of sightseeing in London. It was slightly overcast and chilly. I like crisp mornings so I decided to be brave and to leave my jacket at the hotel in hope of a warmer and sunnier weather later in the day. Despite having a tummy issue the previous day I managed to walk all the way from the Sky garden to the Trafalgar square but I didn’t say hello to Big Ben. This morning I felt all right and decided to begin my day by visiting Big Ben. As soon as I saw it as I was climbing out of Westminster station my face broke out in a big smile. Yes, I was in London. And it finally felt like I was in London.
I walked to the Westminster Bridge to take photos of Big Ben and the London Eye for the eleventh time 🙂 What will be my legacy one day? Thousands of pictures of London, I presume (no, I won’t leave any chocolate or other significant material possessions). It was quite windy at the bridge and I almost had a Marilyn Monroe moment since I wore a red skirt which the wind kept pulling up. Just when I thought that I would need to get back to my hotel before I do the Tower Bridge Exhibition the sun came out and I didn’t feel the cold anymore (no need for a jacket after all). After asking some random strangers to please take my photo (yes, I don’t have a selfie stick and I’m kind of proud of it, but on this trip I did feel the need for one) I walked behind the Houses of Parliament towards the small but lovely Victoria Tower Gardens.
yes, it was that windy:)