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294 Kms from Birch Vale
London is a magnificent melting pot and an exemplary showcase art, culture and beautiful urban spaces - both contemporar...
London is the capital of England and one of the top ten tourist destinations of the world. From history and culture to fine food and good times, this city has something for everyone! And guess what, you can now visit it on a transit visa if you have a long layover! You will require a Visitor-in-Transit visa and you can know all about it here.
2. England- The London Tube: There are a lot of things you can love about England, but nothing is more enchanting than having time to spare and watching the London tube at rush hour. From the unwritten rules of staying to the left on escalators to the packed like sardines carriages, the tube can give you new found respect for space. The tube stands for everything ‘London’. Add the fact that they scaled new heights in design whilst creating the new tube map.
The utter failure of his medical practice gave Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, plenty of time to write about a consulting detective who solves crimes by applying deduction and logic. It is believed that Sir Arthur was inspired by Dr Joseph Bell, one of his tutors from medical school in Edinburgh, while creating the character. Dr Bell’s great grandfather— Benjamin Bell was credited with the invention of the science of deduction. In the early drafts of A Study of Scarlet, which was initially called A Tangled Skein, Sir Arthur described ‘Sherringford Holmes’ as someone who works in a chemical laboratory and collects rare violins.However, he didn’t want Holmes to be the narrator of the story, so he created Ormond Sacker, who had seen military service in Sudan. In the story that finally got published in Beeton’s Christmas Annual in August 1887, Sir Arthur changed Sacker to Dr John Watson, an invalid military doctor who was shot in the shoulder in Afghanistan. Since then, the duo has gone to enjoy stellar careers in books, on stage, in film, and on television.
LEAVESDENDrink a glass of Butter Beer Actually, everything at the Warner Brother’s Studio for Harry Potter in Leavesden, can bring out the glee-ful child in you. From real Butter Beer, to walking through Diagon Alley, to exploring Snape’s table of potions. It’s truly magical ! wbstudiotour.co.uk
The best way to get around England would be to book your stay in its magnificent capital city, London. Of course, your stay here might be slightly more expensive than in other places, which aren’t so main stream. But you will certainly appreciate the ease with which you will find frequent transportation to all other parts of the country.
Download a London underground map from the internet and carry a print out with you for your comfort. We reach the station and at the station ask for the Oyster card, it's basically a prepaid card which is used for travelling in London underground trains. Just fill the card with a certain amount of money and flash it at the entry/exit in all stations. The money will get deducted from your card depending on the distance travelled by you.You can also use this card to travel in buses in and within London. We filled the card for 20 pounds each. This saves you the time and also money of buying tickets, every time you travel in train or bus. Do not take the taxis, unless you have lot of money to spend, as taxi travel is quiet expensive especially when you are holidaying on a shoe string budget.
London: Highly commercial but very safe and comfortable for solo travelers, London has attractions of all kinds – Wimbledon, Lords, Wembley stadium for sports aficionados, British Library and Shakespeare Globe Centre for literature fanatics, London Eye, Buckingham Place, Big Ben, London Bridge and many other buildings for heritage admirers, Southall for authentic Indian food lovers, Harrods and Oxford Street for fashionistas, Design Museum and art galleries for art devotees among others. You name it and London has it. Also known as the birthplace of the Metro or London Tube as they call it, Public transport here is impeccable. Climate is slightly grey and cold but the warmth of people will melt your heart. Huge Indian diaspora presence makes you feel at home. Global cuisine restaurants and cafes are everywhere. Only thing that makes it slightly unattractive is the cost on your wallet.
I was going for a packaged tour to Europe, covering 9 cities in a short span of 15 days. But luckily, my family decided to leave for UK 3 days earlier than the trip started and we stayed at a friend of my dad's. And that's what I'm going to talk about in my little article here. London, not through a bus the tour took me in, but through my own eyes, the way I liked it and the way I believe it should be traveled.The journey began when we reached UK around noon. We reached home, had lunch and spent some time resting to give the jet lag a break. Evening crept and we left with my uncle. We walked towards harrow street. It was a beautiful way surrounded by greenery and the prettiest houses ever. Not even half an hour around that area and I was already telling my mom that I wanted to settle back here someday when I grow old. That's the magic of that place. British houses can make you fall in love instantly. You can walk for hours and not get tired, that's how beautiful and soothing the weather is. It doesn't get dark till 8pm or 9pm there. It even goes onto 10pm at times.
477 Kms from Birch Vale
My last day in Ireland was definitely an emotional one. Even then, I decided to cover maximum places I could to make the...
My last day in Ireland was definitely an emotional one. Even then, I decided to cover maximum places I could to make the most of the day. This is the day I understood what the coming days of solo traveling would look like! I walked up to the National Museum of Archaeology, National Gallery of Ireland, Kilmainham Gaol, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Guiness Brewery, and lastly went for shopping at Penneys and at Carrol’s Irish Gifts. I actually got lost that day when I was trying to reach Kilmainham Gaol. And that’s when I plugged in my earphones, started the Rick Steves Audio guide, and listened to Ireland’s history while I walked towards the Gaol (45 minutes walk), which closed down the minute I reached there! ???? I learned a lot about problem-solving, and managing my emotions in times of crisis that day!
Pictures: https://www.facebook.com/nivedita.tiwari.988/posts/1581768048514496 After two days of continuous hopping, I decided to take the third day relatively slowly. I bought a Lyca mobile sim for Ireland. I walked the streets of Dublin, totally smitten by its life, passed through the Fitzwilliam square and reached St. Stephen’s Green. After clicking hundreds of pictures of the various colored lilacs, swans, pigeons, and swimming dog, I reached the end of the park and saw the beautiful Dublin Unitarian church. I walked up to the Little Museum of Dublin & really enjoyed having a sneak peek at Dublin’s history in the literally little museum! I decided to go back to the St. Stephen’s green and sit for a while. While I sat there, I observed the passers by. Kids with their nannies, college students in groups, office going people who were there for a quick lunch break, couples, and tourists. I couldn’t help but write a journal entry there! I moved on to Trinity College. In the evening, I met my cousin in city center where we shopped a bit. We decided to have dinner at Langkawi Malaysian (we are crazy :D) and we ended up loving it!Day 4 @ Galway ❤Pictures: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1595689097122391.1073741846.100000439491566&type=1&l=855ed6e96c
Charming Dublin is accessible to all kinds of travellers despite its archaic walkways, cobblestone streets and stone stairways. The city is mostly flat and committed to being disabled-friendly. Almost all shopping areas and tourist attractions are accessible. There is a lot of ease of access, for example most pavements have lowered kerbs making crossing over in a wheelchair, easy. Traffic lights give lots of time to cross and even have an audible tone for the visually challenged. Buses in Dublin are easy to board and de-board for wheelchair users, and even have signs saying how many disabled people they have helped till now. All buses stop if they see a person with a long cane, guide dog, wheelchair etc. Dublin also has an abundance of accessible accommodation to make your stay pleasant. Besides the city, however, it is the Irish people who will leave an impression on you. They are warm, friendly and always ready to help.Handy tips:• River Liffey is bang in the middle of Dublin, and makes for a great place for a wheelchair walk. And yes, it is very accessible• The coastline of Dublin Bay is accessible, so when you need to get out of the city, stroll here for some fresh air• Abbeyglen Castle and Cabra Castle are two medieval-themed castles turned into hotels that are disabled-friendly• The Sandemans New Europe – Free Walking Tours offers a completely wheelchair-accessible tour of North Side Dublin
DublinThis was technically my last day of the trip and also the most fantastic day also. The Potter fan in me had been waiting for the day since the first day. Yep. The Cliffs of Moher, where the iconic Harry Potter wand scene was shot. You can book a guided tour to the Cliffs considering its a tedious job to reach the location. I booked mine on Viator, in case you need help and it was pretty good!The location is a good 4 hour away, enough to catch a nap considering this place requires a lot of walking. My booked tour included a ropewalk to one of the mountains before the cliffs and it was a fun adventurous walk crossing mountains on a rope bridge.Talking about the Cliffs of Moher, its one hell of an experience. The beautiful location is a mix of adventure and scenery. The walk to the cliffs can be a little tricky and stony and tiring but its worth it. Gets extremely windy at times, but the view is to watch for! DO NOT MISS THIS!Well, thats what unfolded on my 10 day Scotland/Ireland trip and its been a lifetime of an experience! Absolutely recommend these places for your next trip to the UK! Get Packing Folks!
Beer buddies of the world, unite! Dublin is really your place if all of you became friends because of your mutual love for alcohol, especially beer. With the Irish capital full of classic pubs alongside cobbled streets, Dublin still preserves its village-ish charm, in the midst of the greedy modernism of the rest of the world.Must do while here: Hear musical recitals at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Visit the legendary Guinness Storehouse for a couple of beers on the rooftop.Average cost per day per head (excluding flights): Rs. 4,000Best Hotels.Read more about Dublin.
I was in Dublin in June for a work trip, I had booked myself in a pretty good hotel (Fitzwilliam) right on the Grafton street - which is a hip and busy upmarket shopping hub owing to the number of high-end stores and shopping complexes. Dublin, as a city, is clean and almost every street is a treat to the eyes.Few of the must see places:
Day 6 (Dublin): I arrived in Dublin via Aer Lingus from London Gatwick. The flight takes about an hour and you have to pay for everything on-board like water, light snacks etc., but otherwise the flight was okay. After landing I went through the immigration at Dublin airport and it was very smooth, no questions asked. Outside the airport, I waited at a near by church, which is a Paddywagon bus pick-up/drop-off point to/from their office. Their bus picked me up at 4:00 pm and dropped me off at my hotel, opposite their office, in Dublin.
Ending in Dublin, we were staying with a friend, Lisa, who had been my nanny when I was 3 months old and she was 19. We were happy to be with such an awesome family for our last few days, but the trip had come to a halt. Everything had been rolling around our spokes for 10 weeks, then as I handed that bike over to be packed away in a small green shop in Dublin, everything crashed. Ten weeks of constant movement and new surrounding just piled up on top of me.
The cliffs at Sliever League deep in Co. Donegal are the tallest in Ireland (amidst some speculation - the tallest in Europe) at 600m. The hike up to the top is tiring and steep, but richly rewarding! Unfortunately, by the time we made it to the top, the whole place was smothered in mist & cloud and we were robbed off the promised views; we are told though, that these are just as spectacular as their counterparts in Moher, only lot less known and by extension, less crowded! Don't miss for anything if you're fit enough to climb!
319 Kms from Birch Vale
The benefit of being in one country in Europe is that every other place that seems far from here is actually so close to...
The benefit of being in one country in Europe is that every other place that seems far from here is actually so close to you. And one must always make optimum use of such geographical proximity between different countries in Europe. Having spent the initial days of my first solo trip in England, my next and most obvious destination was England’s gorgeous neighbor, Scotland.To start my trip, I had the option of flying out of London to Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland. Surely, it would have saved me a couple of not so important leisure hours but I chose the other option- rail route. And if you’ll do what I did, I’m sure you will not regret it. I booked my train ticket with Virgin Trains East Coast, which cost me almost the same as would a flight with Ryanair or Easyjet. These are the low-cost airlines that can be used if you’re not traveling with much baggage. They charge extra (and that’s a lot compared to the ticket price) if you exceed their cabin baggage allowance. Travelling on a train allowed me to carry all that I wanted to carry without worrying about shelling extra money. Countryside views and mesmerizing landscapes en route was just a cherry on the top. Additionally, if you’re a Potterhead, you may get to see King’s Cross station if your chosen train starts from there. Yes, King’s Cross station has a platform 9 3/4 as well as an extremely tempting Harry Potter souvenir and merchandise store. My train was supposed to start at 9:30 AM from a different platform and the store opened at 9 AM. I was still inside the store at 9:25 AM. That was close! Poof! Be careful and don’t miss the train.
Food: Local favourites include the national dish haggis with mashed potatoes and turnip. Cullen skink is a soup served with fresh toasted bread, comprising of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions, is a local speciality of the town of Cullen in the North-East. Get a steak pie or the popular fish and chips from any one of the numerous takeaway chips shops. And for dessert, try cranachan, which is a delectable mix of honey, whisky-soaked oats and raspberries.Suggested stay:
Squeeze in a day or more for these festivals – Edinburgh International Film Festival (15th to 26th June), Gardening Scotland (3rd to 5th June), The Moonwalk (11th June), Royal Highland Show (23rd to 26th June)
Things to Do: Get a taste of the local food movement at the Edinburgh Larder. Feast on Scottish hog roast at Oink and drink one of 200 whiskies at The Devil’s Advocate.Visit the Portobello Beach, the Turkish Baths and the Golf courses.
Sights: National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh Zoo, Edinburgh Castle, Royal Botanic Garden, The Scottish Parliament, Royal Yacht Britannia, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Scott Monument.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe takes place over a period of 12 days and is another reason to visit Edinburgh this June. While summer here is bustling with tourists, the inexpensive food, drinks and other activities in Edinburgh make up for it.
One of Europe’s most beautiful cities, enwrapped with rocky hills overlooking the sea, Edinburgh welcomes you with a skyline peppered with minarets and everyday buildings, sitting atop cliffs.
Take this day to explore the cliffs of Edinburgh or visit the Arthurs seat. Its a lot of walk, but a good change to basic touristy things. You can also check out the Holyrood Palace and the Botanical Gardens. If you are a potter fan, YOU HAVE TO GO The Elephant House, the place where JK Rowling started writing Harry Potter. They also sell a painted postcard of the author sitting in a quaint corner writing the book. The whole of Victoria Street gives major HP feels and can surely be your drinking place for the evening. Also give The Devils Advocate a try. A very English pub with some great food and music.
EDINBURGHGetting there : Take a bus from the Inverness station to Edinburgh. The distance from Inverness to Edinburgh is really short like about 4 hours or so.Where to stay : Castle Rock Hostel. (Highly recommended) costs bout £30.Things to do : Edinburgh is vintagly pretty. It has its own old city charm with very artistic architecture. You can walk around the whole city, and that is really fun. Also, Edinburgh is called Edinburraahh. Did the inner Punjabi in you just do the burraahh? The mighty Edinburgh Castle is a must visit. If you are staying at the above mentioned Hostel, this castle is just on the opposite street. It roughly takes about 3-4 hours to see the castle in its whole splendid awe. Spend your evening with a view at the Royal Yacht Britannia, the royal vessel of the Queen. This place has Scotch/Whiskey museum. NO KIDDING. And, this is going to be the best time of your life. You can try local malts and shop for the finest whiskey. Also, eateries serve really nice whiskey cheese cake. Edinburgh is home to a lot of street plays and activities. The Fringe is a famous art festival, which I got to witness during my stay there. You can go climbing the Scott Monument if you want to get a whole view of the city. Its a 200 step steep tower which rewards you with a certificate after climbing, so YEP.
106 Kms from Birch Vale
Then, we booked accommodation in Liverpool (£30). Moose cafe for breakfast. The best breakfast I had! IT IS SO GOOD. ...
Liverpool is completely characterized by its most famous band: The Beatles and an definite bucket list point for every fan. But next to the Beatles Museum and all that stuff, I loved walking along the Albert Dock. They offer funny sightseeing tours with the yellow duckmarine. On land it’s a bus with wheels but on the other hand it’s a boat. The yellow duckmarine looks like a duck’s bill, I actually didn’t do the yellow Duck marine but in the case I will ever come back to Liverpool I will book a tour. We also visited an old church. It was destroyed in the Second World War and is only a ruin now without a roof. You need to wear helmet of construction workers, I don’t know if it’s seriously necessary, I don’t actually think so but it was fun. Inside the ruins there was kind of an alternative art gallery: Photographs and some statues, really nice hidden spot.
225 Kms from Birch Vale
The only August travel was a long weekend of partying in Bristol (one of my favourite UK cities) with friends.This blog...
The only August travel was a long weekend of partying in Bristol (one of my favourite UK cities) with friends.This blog was finally launched after 5 months of hard work and teaching myself how to use word press from scratch. Sh*t Just Got Real was my first post, which reflected that suddenly our upcoming adventure was becoming a realityAndy handed in his notice at work and we finished selling, giving away and storing our belongings, and put our Norwich house up for rent. We also spent hours working through our exit plan to ensure we had all loose ends tied up in The UK, a rough idea of our route to Cambodia and that we had the relevant visas sorted out.Selling belongings for long term travelI also spent much of the month caring for my Mum after she’d badly broken her arm falling off her bicycle. All in all it was quite a very busy and quite stressful month. At the end of August it was time to start saying farewell to our friends and family over a string of goodbye catch-ups and one final big leaving party. All great fun but also tinged with sadness!SeptemberAt long last we left the UK to travel, and to live and work abroad in early September.It started with a weeks villa holiday near Santanyi in Mallorca with my family, including my two little nephews. It was a gorgeous villa with a pool in a picturesque setting a bit bit out in the sticks. We had some time relaxing at the villa and a couple of day trips out to nearby beaches and towns. It was lovely to have that week with my family before we left Europe for the foreseeable future
On the train, it's not far to Oxford, or perhaps you'd like to pop over to Bristol or Bath for a day or two. There's also a lot to do in Birmingham, especially if you like shopping and good nightlife. It's also a two hour drive to Stonehenge, if you fancy a bit of a day out - although that's not really so cheap.So, to summarise - the cheapest you can probably do this is a Megabus to Birmingham (£2) then a bus into Stratford (£5.20). Find a cheap room on Airbnb (£35), try getting theatre tickets on the day, and try asking around to see if anybody has Birthplace tickets that you can borrow! Realistically, if you want to eat out, see a show and visit the houses, you're looking at something like:Breakfast: £3 (Yard of Ale)Lunch: £3 (Fresh and Funky)Dinner: £5 (Noodle Box)Theatre: £14 (restricted view)Birthplace Trust: £25Accommodation: £35 (assuming you just stay for one night)Getting in (from London): £7.20Total = £92.20.Not super-budget, but still a lot less than the average tourist will pay here.Of course, if you're really nice and can perhaps offer me accommodation/food somewhere else cool in the world, you promise to cook for me or teach me something interesting etc., I might be able to put you up here for free.... it's email@example.com... :)
465 Kms from Birch Vale
For all lucky Harry Potter fans, you may have heard of Warner Brother Studios which has most of the Harry Potter sets an...
For all lucky Harry Potter fans, you may have heard of Warner Brother Studios which has most of the Harry Potter sets and costumes and is just two hours away from the heart of London. For all Titanic fans who have seen the Titanic multiple times, here's the ultimate way for you to express your fandom. Belfast is a small town in Ireland where the Titanic was built. It is small but it is still the largest city and the capital of Northern Ireland. The entire town has remnants of the Titanic ranging from mementos to a small ship making factory to museums dedicated to the Titanic.
BelfastI spend the day chilling around my hostel and trying out some local food, however you can use it to go check the Photography Museum or Royal Court of Justice. Later, in the afternoon, me and a couple of people decided to go hike up a nearby mountain and its worth it. Gives a whole view of Belfast and can be much of a change from everyday tourist things.
BELFASTGETTING THERE : A lot of flights fly out to Belfast from Edinburgh and cost as low as £30.WHERE TO STAY : Vagabonds. Costs around £20 per night.Belfast is a very small English area, also the capital of Northern Ireland. Major reference of Belfast is Titanic. Yep, there is a museum of ruins from Titanic and some other ships. Just like every other English city this is also famous for castles and cathedrals and town halls. I would pretty much suggest you to walk around the place and visit places of interest if you do not want to repeat a castle or cathedral visit. There is a big fish and tower clock photo stops along with some other local architecture stops. Its famous for its Titanic and Rifle museum.
197 Kms from Birch Vale
Since we had a comfortable overnight journey, today we were all fresh and ready to have an exciting day ahead. Today, we...
Since we had a comfortable overnight journey, today we were all fresh and ready to have an exciting day ahead. Today, we are supposed to go to Oxford city in south east of London. It is a 2 hour train journey from London and we reach Oxford by 10 am. There was a city bus tour here again, but since we had the entire day to spend in Oxford our preferred choice of exploring the place was by walking around. We took a map of the city from the train station and we labeled the route we had to take, it was a circular walk around the city.The buildings in Oxford demonstrate an example of every English architectural period and its known as the "city of dreaming spires", a term coined in reference to the harmonious architecture of Oxford's university buildings. The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English speaking world. Our walk leads us through the heart of the historic city centre illustrating in itself the history of Oxford and its university and the map in our hand gave us the description of the architecture and traditions of its most famous buildings and institutions. Even though I was not a good student myself or much of a book reader, I felt it was a prolific day spent in Oxford, a city also prominent for its medieval university. Our day ended with some good coffee and we reached back home in London at around 8 in the evening.
It takes between two to three hours to get to Oxford from London. Of course, much depends on your choice of transport. If you are on a shoe-string budget, pick the bus as your preferred mode. There are bus services that take you to Oxford for only a pound if you book early enough, but the service, understandably, is not that great. There are other bus services, of course, and the buses are extremely regular. If you are a student, be sure to produce your ID because it will get you a hefty discount. A more accommodating budget might allow you to take the train, which will get you there faster and have more comfortable seats, but I'll recommend the bus. It allows you to take in the journey and the world outside the window. Where you stay also depends on your budget, and you will have plenty of options. And if you can find a friend of a friend of a friend who lives there, try and convince them to put you up for a couple of days. Otherwise, there is always a good old B&B.
Oxford – the city famous for its university and known as the „city of dreaming spires“ (due to its architecture). The university is amazing. I went to the famous Bodleian Library which was a unique experience. It’s one of the oldest libraries in Europe and also a setting of the Harry Potter Movies. But well…that’s probably almost every nice spot in the UK Oxford is also very green, right next to the uni there are parks where you can hang out with your friends or learn. Additionally, Oxford is like Amsterdam. You see bikes all over the city, it’s incredible – more bikes than cars. So due to this cozy atmosphere – it’s my number 1 city in the UK.