UNITED KINGDOM – A Royal trip

IMG_1655Thanks to watching all those English movies, reading Shakespeare and Jane Austin there was this picture painted in my head about United Kingdom (UK) so when I finally came around to visit UK, I knew I had to bring life to those visuals (which helped me decide where to go) and also have plenty of time to soak it all in to carry back memories for life (which helped in my total duration of stay). Keeping all that in mind, I planned a getaway for almost 2 weeks which was just enough to cover most everything I wanted to see. I say “most everything” because there’s never enough time to see it all. 🙂

IMG_9972-25-4From hanging out in a pub dating back to Shakespearean era to hop scotching through the meadows of English countryside (like Marianne Dashwood would’ve in Sense & Sensibility .. ok I’ll stop right there) to being awestruck by historic London to getting the first taste of Scottish highlands, the memories UK gave me were more than I had imagined. Not to mention, the famous British sarcastic humor struck me even before I could enter the country. Not seeing any payphones so far in the airport I happen to innocently ask the immigration officer if there is one at the baggage claim area, and comes his classic response with a very straight face ofcourse, “we have had phonebooths in this country for centuries”, Ha! Got to love ’em. By the end of my trip I was craving for more tea than coffee, searching for Sticky Toffee Pudding in every dessert menu, missing fish & chips and chicken tikka in the pubs and finally my new found favorite drink, the Pimms.

Well, what I will not miss much will probably be the two taps in the bathroom sink, yes two taps, one for hot & one for cold water. My hand was always either burning or freezing and I simply don’t get the logic behind it.

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The 15 day itinerary was a success for me but I understand not everyone has the same flexibility with time. Hence to keep things organized in small pockets and to be fair to each one of these amazing places, I broke down my trip into six different posts with detailed information. Here, I highlighted the minimum number of days I personally think one needs to see and enjoy each of these places.

  1. Stafford Upon Avon & Cotswold: 3 days
  2. London: 3 days
  3. Edingburgh, Scotland: 2-3 days
  4. Windsor & Eaton: 1 day (day trip from London)
  5. Stonehenge & Bath: 1 day (day trip from London)
  6. Oxford: 1 day (day trip from London)

IMG_0492-6This also happened to be my first solo trip (well in most parts), many thanks to a dear friend for inspiring me to do this and also hopping along with me on her weekend breaks. TIP: Don’t let a missing companion stop you from traveling and exploring! Finally, I must say how humbled I was by the hospitality and warmth of people in UK. Every stranger I met had a story to tell, like the older English couple in Cotswold on their time they had spent in India or the boys biking from one town to another who stopped to chat with the girls they thought were lost or even that drunk chap in the tube who did not approve my usage of the word “ridiculous” (that was too American for him) and deemed “rubbish” as more appropriate.

Back to the point, there is plenty to see and experience in UK beyond what I have talked about and I am sure you will plan your own unique itinerary which is close to your heart but hopefully the information here will help you judge whether or not these places are worth your dime and time.

Happy Travelling.

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