Duration: 30 days
Expenses: £1,570 or £53/day (AUD$2707 or AUD$90/day)
Well after a month travelling around Great Britain here are the highlights.
Soaking up sun in the English countryside
One of the best days of the trip was just parking on the side of the road near Hadrian’s Wall, soaking up the sun and playing card games on the grass.
Tossing the caber at the Scottish Highland Games
I’ve always wanted to go to The Highland Games in Scotland for the sake of my Scottish heritage. Not only that, but Petey and I competed and even tried the caber toss!
Surprises in The Lake District
A surprisingly nice cottage, surprisingly good weather, but unsurprisingly fantastic views. Having our own cottage and car in the The Lake District was the best way to see it all.
Plus we got to catch up with the Sexy Llamas!
Exploring quaint English villages
The Cotswolds had to be the best area to see beautiful villages in high density during the English summer. Cruising around the countryside with no firm itinerary was awesome!
The Lake District also had its fair share of nice Cumbrian villages though. Ambleside, Keswick and Buttermere were stunners.
Finding Pokémon at the Edinburgh Fringe
If the entertainment isn’t good enough for you, go find yourself a Pokémon. Even better though is finding Pokeball shaped cheesecake at Artisan Cheesecakes on Bruntsfield Pl. Probably the best cheesecake I have ever had in my life!
Seriously though, we did enjoy a few good comedy acts at the Edinburgh Fringe, but equally a bunch of terrible ones that were funnier laughing about later.
High Tea the English Way
The English love their afternoon tea and I think the best one was at Lucy’s in Stow during The Cotswolds trip.
A firm runner up was cream slice and tea in Derby.
Riding in an older than vintage car through the countryside
In Derby I also had the privilege of riding in a rebuilt 1926 Alvis through the English countryside. With the top down it was a bit chilly, but it was an amazing moment and the car drove like a dream!
Well let’s be honest, it isn’t really very exciting now is it. We had loads of meat pies, roasts, fish and chips, but sadly no pheasant.
I find it hard to get excited about British Food unless it’s a nice warm oven cooked meal in a cosy home.
We did try to appreciate the Scottish approach to frying everything though and tried out the deep fried Mars bar in Edinburgh
Adventures in the Isle of Skye
There’s also plenty of hiking opportunities and I really enjoyed my overnight hike to Loch Coriusk and spending a bit more time appreciating the Black Cuillin.
Catching up with friends who are family
Checking out the Roman Baths
Bath is actually a nice little English city with Roman ruins of all things. Something you’d probably associate more with Italy, but go check it out.
Contemplating the ancient wonder of Stonehenge
Last and certainly not least, Stonehenge. Ancient monoliths left behind by British ancestors that have stood the test of time so to say.
Being a well fed cheapskate
Thanks to Marks & Spencer, living on the cheap in the UK couldn’t be easier. Mosey on in around 5pm and snap up all the reduced to clear food. The food is really good! Especially the salads and you can eat for just a few £ per day this way while eating well.
Free camping is now legal in the UK, though finding a spot can sometimes be tricky. Check the rules on a website like this.
Booking in advance
Booking train tickets in advance is a must to avoid extortionate prices. In my experience buses were not such jerks and didn’t hike the price closer to the day.
I found that once price hikes occurred, you could bring it back down again by splitting your connections onto different tickets. Might not always work, but it saved me 50%.
But what about the others?…
Wait.. London wasn’t a highlight!? Well actually I completely avoided London this time. That’s not to say it’s not a nice city, but I’ve spent quite a while there before and it’s notoriously super expensive!
I realised that summer wasn’t the best time to see Wales and Scotland in the same trip. Otherwise Snowdonia probably would have looked a lot like the Scottish highlands and probably wouldn’t have looked snowy at all. An autumn or winter trip to both might make things more interesting with a dusting of snow!
Sadly I haven’t made it here again, but one day I’ll see the Emerald Isle.