Highlights of month in England and Scotland

Location MapDuration: 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.

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Enjoying the sun and planting beans

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!

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How the caber toss is done vs not done

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!

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What's so surprising about Surprise View?

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!

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Cute cottages Castle Combe

The Lake District also had its fair share of nice Cumbrian villages though. Ambleside, Keswick and Buttermere were stunners.

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Sunset at Kes(w)ick

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.

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Catching Pokémon at the Edinburgh Fringe

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.

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Tea and scones (plus carrot cake) at Stow-on-the-Wold

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!

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Riding in the 1926 Alvis

British Cuisine

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.

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Pies and ploughman's lunches

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

I can’t think of a better place to explore in Scotland than the Isle of Skye. A long way from everything in the Hebrides it screams adventure as much as this mountain biking video of Danny Macaskill.

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Exploring the Quiraing 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

I don’t have any direct family in the UK, but it sure was great to catch up with some extended family in Falkirk and Derby

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A catch up with Dr Berlie

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.

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The Roman Baths

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.

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Stonehenge looking surprisingly quiet

Being a well fed cheapskate

M&S

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.

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M&S scavenging

Free camping

Free camping is now legal in the UK, though finding a spot can sometimes be tricky. Check the rules on a website like this.

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Free camping at Loch Coriusk

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.

Split tickets

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?…

London

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!

Wales

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!

Ireland

Sadly I haven’t made it here again, but one day I’ll see the Emerald Isle.

Next stop: Lillehammer in Norway during September

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