This was one of the highlights of the trip. The Edinburgh castle is a must see, trudging all the way back to the 15th century. With the center courtyard greeting you into medieval times, there's also the Royal Palace and the Great Hall. You can spend an entire day roaming through the lush green hills overlooking the city of Edinburgh. A small gift shop also exists for your pleasure.
Contrary to popular belief, Tower bridge is not London bridge. London bridge is an ordinary-looking bridge that was built in 1973, and is walking distance from borough market. Tower bridge on the other hand is located at Tower hill tube station and is painted in white, blue and red for Queen Elizabeth II's silver jubilee in 1977. And because it spans across the River thames, it's extremely windy and cold during winter (there's a Starbucks on the lower south side of the Thames if you need to grab your cuppa warm joe to bear the chills).
Buckingham Palace is the residence of the Queen of England. No matter what time of the day you show up at the palace gates, it will be packed. Although the iron gates always stay bolted shut, a glimpse at the Queen's residence is enough to have you gaping. Plus, the change of guard is something worth checking out, though I'm not too sure of the exact time of day it happens.
When I stepped out of my Frances Lodge, the first place I visited was the Windsor Castle. It is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. It is the royal residence of Windsor. The beautiful architecture and the protective walls dominate the landscape of this delightful city. If you want to visit the castle with the added bonus of not having to pay, then go to the 6 p.m. Prayer service, held every evening in St Georges Chapel. You can also enjoy the panoramic view of the Great Windsor Park with the Long Walk.
The Giant’s Causeway is on the northern coast of Northern Ireland. The car trip was beautiful with vast landscapes and beautiful views. I think that instant trips are the best because you do not expect anything from the trip and are awed by all the beauty when it hits you.There are various formations of rocks over there which were formed due to volcanic activity millions of years ago. These rock formations make it a beautiful sunrise/sunset point and it is great to spend an evening here just lying in the sun or taking a walk around. You could walk around with your romantic partner and enjoy the shapes or enjoy the mythology of the place with your children. Children always love mythological stories and adding the stories add a certain fairytale like element to the travel place.There is a myth behind the rock formations of Giant’s Causeway which states that the structures are actually the remains of a causeway built by the Irish giant Fionn . He was challenged to fight the Scottish giant, Benandonner so he built the causeway so that the two giants could meet. As with every legend, there is confusion in the legend and one states that Fionn won, the other version shows Benandonner as the winner. Fionn’s wife tucks him in a cradle disguised as a baby and Benandonner, though a lot bigger thinks that Fionn is bigger looking at the size of the baby. This made the Irish giant win the challenge. This story intrigued me and the idea of there existing giants where I stood long before fascinated me. There is also evidence for the myth as there are similar structures beyond the sea on the Scottland side.Above all, I was intrigued by the beauty of the formations the most. Some of them were stacked up like a chimney one above the other and there were some which reached great heights. The varying heights of the rock formations gave it a magic mystery like feeling. Most of them were hexagonal shaped and were stacked one above the other but there were others which were straight like pillars reaching up to the sky. There were also a few rocks with holes inside and the closeness of the ocean caused them to fill up with water.We took a walk around the causeway and viewed the angry waves hitting the rocks. It gave the feeling of a beach with these basalt rock formations forming the shore. The feeling was very grand and fiction like. I realized that there can be places which make you feel like you are the part of a fictional movie in a set somewhere. The place had a magical and mystical aura to it. There is however not much to do at the Causeway. If you are a nature lover, you can spend about 2 hours taking a walk around and enjoying photography. I was set to leave in about 45 minutes. I yet remember the feeling of walking on those structures of basalt that are piled over each other like columns or pillars.
York City Walls
2000 years of history, in 2 miles (3.4km), in 2 hours! Being such an important city for kings and conquerors for over 2000 years, it is no wonder that York is impressively fortified. The old city wall is a marvel, with the Roman layers at the bottom and Norman layers at the top, lovingly restored by the Victorian English. You can walk all around it, taking in green manicured lawns, stately homes and daffodils, where there once lay deep moats and barricades!-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Other InformationGETTING THERE:Train: York is well connected by train to both London and Edinburgh. Avoiding rush-hour travel will get you the best prices. Check tickets at http://www.nationalrail.co.uk.Bus: National Express is the bus service and the best fares are on their websitehttp://www.nationalexpress.com/.Car: York is 210 miles north of London (covered in about 4-5 hours).WHERE TO STAY:Most B&Bs are located on Bootham Terrace and Bootham Crescent, a 15 min walk from the York train station.TIPS TO EAT:Around the York Minster is an inviting cluster of roads zig-zagging in all directions filled with quaint eateries and posh teahouses. Vegetarians can head to El Piano (Grape Lane) or Goji Café (Goodramgate).Savour evening tea at Earl Grey Tea Rooms (Shambles).OTHER SIGHTS:Children will love the train display at National Railway Museum and the sweet treats at York’s Chocolate Story.
Right after getting off at the station I went to the Royal Pavilion – which is a castle and was home to late King George IV. Nobody was allowed to take pictures inside the castle, but boy I can tell the king had fancy taste and a charming fetish for chinese culture. Such lavish and elaborate decors and architecture, I literally could feel myself wanting to live in the palace.
Get off at Canary Wharf and change over to the DLR. Hop off at Cutty Sark, climb out the station and you will be transported to a completely new place away from the buzz and crowds that define city of London. Here at Greenwich, you see quaint tea rooms, proper pubs and the vibe of a little seaside resort. Ideal as a day trip from London, it is amazing how 15 minutes on the DLR can bring you to a whole new place.
Entrance of the castle itself is amazing with huge gardens filled with greenery. We booked our tickets online with 10% discount and moreover tickets are valid for one year. Main Castle is bit far from the entrance approximately one mile. You have two options to get to castle: Either you can go walking through gardens and woodlands or small train will take you there for 50 pence. Castle surrounded by a huge lake is simply an amazing view. Lake is generally referred to as MOAT (Water Defence in ancient time). At the start, you will encounter an exhibition telling about the castle structural transformations over the year. You enter the castle through back side and enters through wine storage room. Wines as old as 500 years ago are still preserved over there. Then we came across royal halls of the King and Queens (State Apartments, Meeting Rooms, Library,Dinner Rooms). I liked the Library part most because of its huge book stand structure and amazing lake view in the reading room. This castle was a private property of Lady Bellie till 1974. After her death, according to her wish Castle got opened to public. You will feel the royality in every part of the castle.
Dover Castle has guarded the Strait of Dover (the narrowest point from England to continental Europe) for around 6,000 years. Some of the most famous names in history have walked the halls of this medieval castle, from William the Conqueror to King Henry II. (The latter of whom I had a pleasure of meeting during my visit.) Dover Castle is just one part of the history that has played through time on Dover’s hilltop. You can still visit the ruins of a lighthouse built by the Romans in the second century AD, a beautiful Saxon church from 1000 AD, and the secret wartime tunnels from World War II where some of Britain’s most famous war strategies were played out. Dover castle has recently gone through a major renovation to make the rooms appear how they might have looked in the 1100′s. Bright tapestries adorn the walls, royal red and blues and golds throughout. It really adds a bit of magic as you pass through the rooms, almost like you are visiting a working royal castle. The details throughout Dover Castle are incredible, and you can see everything from a royal toilet chamber to a chess set copied from an original at the British Museum. I enjoyed seeing the original features best of all. Gorgeous wood beams, fireplaces used hundreds of years ago, and the beautiful chapel dedicated to Thomas Beckett who King Henry II had killed.
Eilean Donan Castle
Don’t miss: A walk by the Ness River and watching the sun go down from Inverness Castle – that’s how I fruitfully spent the first day. The next day I took the tour of Isle of Skye, an island, and drove past the famous Loch Ness, a gleaming lake known for a monster. Next came the picturesque and iconic Eilean Donan Castle, the setting for many films. The rugged, magnificent Scottish landscapes just got better as we moved to the Isle of Skye – lofty mountains, velvety grasslands and soaring sea cliffs.Eat: Traditional Scottish cheese platter and fresh seafood. During the journey, munch on traditional buttery shortbread. Do visit Gellions Bar, one of the oldest pubs in Inverness and guzzle down Scottish brewed beer.Day 4 & 5: GlasgowDistance from Inverness: 271km
Rochester Castle surprised me, as it had the opposite atmosphere of Dover Castle. The touristy feeling one often gets visiting famous sites, was seemingly absent from Rochester Castle, except for a small gift shop. This made it love at first sight for this girl. It is easy to see why Charles Dickens preferred this English town above all others. The walk to the castle from the train station is full of history, and you will notice plaques on every other building hinting at their varied backgrounds. The fantastic thing about this castle is that it is, in fact, in ruins. There have been no fancy renovations recreating the rooms of the former occupants, there is no banquet hall to see (as the floor it once stood on is long gone) and there are not costumed characters walking the grounds. Yet, the ruins transport you. Without all the tourist distractions you are left to your own devices; imagination is allowed to take over.
The Cardiff Castle is huge and majestic. It is a medieval castle and Victorian Gothic revival mansion situated in Cardiff, Wales. As the castle is so big, the visitors are given a map of the whole castle and they can choose with ease which parts interests them the most. For me, I visited the House, the Keep and the Clock Tower. There is a gift shop too from where one can buy souvenirs. Average ticket price is: Adults (17-59yrs) £9.00 Senior citizens (60+yrs) £7.50 Students £7.50 Children (5-16 yrs) £7.00
Little Venice is so dazzling! The bright colour of moss growing on the canal might not sound glamorous but it does look amazing. I suggest you start from Warwick Avenue tube station and walk along the canal until Paddington station. You will get to see some very quaint house boats and take some great pictures. It's not quite Venice but thumbs up for trying!Goodwins Court | Tube Station: Leicester Square
Clifford's Tower stands as a proud symbol of the power of England's medieval kings. Originally built by William the Conqueror to subdue the rebels of the north, it was twice burned to the ground, before being rebuilt by Henry III in the 13th century. The tower takes its name from one grisly incident in its long history, when Roger de Clifford was executed for treason against Edward II and hanged in chains from the tower walls.
Deal is located on the English Channel, in south-east England. It was once the busiest port in England due to it’s close location to France, which is only 25 miles across the water. (A neighbouring small town called Walmer is believed to be the location where Julius Caesar first arrived in Britain.) These days Deal is a quiet city that comes to life a couple of months a year when the tourists come for some time by the sea. It is most known for the castle that remains here from the 16th century. The best thing about visiting Deal Castle is that they give you total free reign on the property. Explore the rooms on your own, discover secret passages, walk the moat. Entirely unsupervised. It makes it feel like you have discovered your own special abandoned castle. I especially loved the ‘dungeon’ area. The water was above our ankles in places, and there was no electric lighting. So much water has been dripping down there over the centuries that stalactites have begun to form from the ceiling.