TRAVEL THE U.K

WEEKEND AND DAY TRAVELS IN THE U.K

As you may know, or heard about, England has numerous cities which are worth visiting. Therefore, I said to myself that I should take advantage of being on that side of the English Channel and get to know some places of the U.K before crossing the Channel and visiting the rest of Europe.
Traveling inside the United Kingdom was easy, because the railways are highly active and successful. I took the train to every city I visited in England.

WEEKEND TRAVELS:

MANCHESTER

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One of my best friends was doing an Exchange program in the City of Manchester, so my friend and I decided to visit her.
In Manchester we visited the Cathedral, and the Portico Library, walked through the Farmer´s Market and stopped by the Andy Warhol art exhibition at the Whitworth Art Gallery.
My favourite sight was the Portico Library, founded in 1806 which nowadays Works as a library and an art gallery.
We were there for only one whole day because in that same trip, we visited two other friends of mine who live in Halifax, West Yorkshire.
Even thought we were there for a day, I highly recommend visiting either the Manchester United Stadium or the Manchester City Stadium.
The one night we were there, we ate at the Manchester Smokehouse and Cellar, just around the corner of the City Hall, one of the prettiest sights of Manchester. At the City Hall, movies such as The Iron Lady and Victor Frankenstein.

HALIFAX:

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It is probably my favourite town in the U.K, apart from London of course. My friends say it is a farmers town, and that they don´t understand how I love that place, but I do. It is a very picturesque town, plenty of farms, hills and beautiful landscapes. Everything is green and the air is cold. It is not a place where tourists would go to, but I am glad I know it, because it is a classic and typical English town. The people there are very warm and welcoming. I love Halifax!
Since it was on a weekend that we stayed there, we decided to lead forward a ladies night. We went for Cocktails at the 53 Degrees North Bar. A very fancy place, perfect to go with your girl friends. Bartenders were cute and prepared the best cocktails. After having some drinks, we went out to Maggie´s, a nightclub. My friends knew everyone there and we had the best of time!
We also travel to Halifax on a second occasion, it was the 21st birthday of my friend who lives there, and she invited us to celebrate with her friends and family. She had organized a lovely gathering at the same bar we went for the first time: 53 Degrees North and later on, we went to a club called Liquid, which had more than three different dance floors. It was a perfect weekend.

On the following day we went for a Bowling game! We can say that I have had one of my favourite weekends in Halifax.

 

BRISTOL:

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City and county situated in South West England. City where the well-known British TV shows: Skins, takes place.
My best friend and I stayed one night in Bristol. For a whole day, we walked its streets and we fell in love with the city. Bristol has its own Marina and it is a port city.
My favourite touristic attraction of the place was the Clifton Suspension Bridge, built in the year 1864 joining the town of Clifton in Bristol with Leigh Woods in North Somerset. An imposing bridge, with spectacular views of the city.
Another touristic attraction is the Brunel´s SS Great Britain, a British transatlantic which nowadays is a museum ship. A very interesting museum, with historical information delivered in an Interactive way for both adults and children.
Also, the Cathedral of Bristol is an enormous and beautiful both from the inside and outside, worthwhile taking a look!

CARDIFF, Wales:

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From Bristol, we went to Cardiff, and we took a 1 hour train. Since we arrived late we went directly to the hotel to take a shower, eat and sleep. We knew that we were going to have an exciting day when we waked up on the following one.
Early in the morning we took a bus to the St Fagans National Museum of History. When we arrived we felt like we were in a Fairy-tale. It was an open-air museum presenting the historic lifestyle and architecture of Welsh people. It also displayed a contrast between how rich people lived and how servants and farmers lived.
We chose to visit the gardens and the St Fagans Castle first, which was one of the finest Elizabethan manor houses in Wales. The Gardens were beautiful. We felt like if we were princesses.
Then, we walked up to the historical “village”, where we walked into farmer’s houses, an old school, a church, and a tearoom, where we had a sandwich for lunch. The whole experience was wonderful, just like in the movies, but this was real life, people used to live there, it was fascinating. We spent half of the day there, and returned to the city at 4pm.

When we arrived, we went on a walk to the Pontcanna Fields and Sophia Gardens, which are located right next to the Cardiff Castle and the Bute Park. These fields were enormous; we spent all of our afternoon walking them and taking pictures. After that exhausting day, we went back to the hotel to rest and prepare ourselves for the next.
As soon as we woke up, we went directly to the Cardiff Castle, got our audio guides and started the tour. The castle was very ancient and gothic. It was built by the Norman invaders, and attacked several times. In mid 18th century the castle belonged to John Stuart, the Marquees of Bute. The Bute family brought wealth to Cardiff, and owned the Castle until 1947. An interesting fact about this castle is that during the Second World War, raid shelters were built under the castle. Up to 18000 people were sheltered there. When we finished the tour, we took a bus to Castell Coch, also established by the Normans, and later acquired by the Bute family. When the Bute Family acquired it, they hired William Burges to reconstruct the castle. On the outside the castle has a Gothic architecture, but its interiors are highly Victorian. A beautiful castle, and I highly recommend its visit.
As soon as we left the castle, we went back to the city to take the Hop On and Off bus tour. As soon as it finished, we hurried to the train station to go back to London.

 

DAY TRAVELS:

CAMBRIDGE:

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It is one of the most well known cities in the United Kingdom. Cambridge is a University City. You can find all of the universities established in Cambridge in just one street.

We rented bikes and biked Cambridge for a while, until it started snowing.

We entered King’s College, a beautiful well known University and Chapel; The Chapel is considered one of the finest gothic English architectures. And let me tell you, it was very imposing.

Thankfully, it stopped snowing, so we went to the Great St Mary’s Church for a panoramic view. And something magical happened, the sun came out and it was perfect! From the tower of the Church you can identify King’s College, St’Johns College, The Holly Trinity Church and many more!

BRIGHTON:

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If you are looking for a day travel, I highly recommend going to Brighton. It is a city situated at the south coast of England, therefore it is the perfect place to go to the beach during summer. Unluckily we were there on a cold, rainy and windy day, but it was worth the visit.
We walked all the way to the Brighton Pier which, is also known as a Pleasure Pier with rides and attractions, which were all closed except the fairground games.

The rain and the cold got as lazy so we entered a pizza restaurant, ate one, drunk a beer, and headed back to London.

WINDSOR CASTLE:

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When in London, the Windsor castle is a MUST. Before going, check if it is open because during Easter, the Queen lives there.
I believe that it is my favourite castle of the Royal Family because it is still in use. It gives me goose bumps knowing that the Royal family might have walked the corridors that I’m visiting.
To get there, you just need to take a 1-hour train. Make sure to look out the window when you are in the train, so as to appreciate the British landscapes. Simply beautiful.
The castle has many attractions, even for children, such as the Queen’s doll collection.

BATH:

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Located in the county of Somerset. It is one of the most popular touristic attractions of England. Just a 1 hour and 30 min train from London.
It is mainly know for its Roman thermal Baths.
The city itself is a College town, and it is beautiful.
I highly recommend going in the morning so as to take the Roman Baths tour, walk around Bath and discover its unique streets and have lunch before taking the train back to London town.

HAMPTON COURT:

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It is a Royal Palace from the Tudor Age. It is the palace where Henry VIII and his family lived. He had grand balls taking place there and royal gatherings.
One of the most beautiful things of this Palace is the garden. Henry VIII spent a lot of money in those gardens and you can tell, because they are huge and stunning, perfectly taken care of.
If you love the Tudor history, this is the perfect tour for you. You just need to take a train and walk a few blocks to arrive to this outstanding Palace.

WARWICK CASTLE, STARTFORD UPON AVON, THE COTSWOLDS & OXFORD:

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We took a pre-organized tour for the whole day. They picked us up early in the morning near Marble Arch and then started the tour towards our first stop: Warwick Castle. William the Conqueror originally built this medieval castle. It is old, but has its own charm. It has a panoramic view spot, which gives you the perfect views of the fields around the castle.
Stratford upon Avon is the city where one of my favourite playwrights lived. I am talking about William Shakespeare. I felt like a little kid on its birthday party. I was visiting the house were Shakespeare lived and created his well-known plays. Stratford is a small town with tourist attractions near each other, so it can be done in less than two hours.
While heading towards Oxford, the bus drove through the Cotswolds, which are a range of beautiful rolling hills.
When we arrived to Oxford we walked the streets with the tour guide. Oxford, just like Cambridge is a University city and one of the Universities situated there, Christ Church College, is well know for being the filming location for different Harry Potter scenes. When we were there the College was closed so we couldn’t take the tour and visit the Harry Potter locations. Therefore, I recommend checking in advance the closing times and if possible, acquiring the tickets before hand.

I hope that this post helped you and made you travel with me. Hopefully you’ll visit these places one day! X.

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