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Surprise — I’m in the land of union jacks and mandatory umbrellas! This trip has been in the works for a while now, but since it wasn’t even a twinkle in my eye when I wrote about my expected travel plans for 2016, I never really got around to announcing it.

After all, it’s not like returning here was burning a hole into my bucket list. I’ve been three times before and I haven’t been shy about sharing that at first, I struggled to find love for the capital of London. Yet as so many of my trips are, this one was born more of visiting friends and taking advantage of certain circumstances than spinning the globe and fulfilling one of my wildest travel dreams.

United Kingdom Map

So how did this one come about? Well, a late August trip to Newfoundland to visit Ian’s family once he was done with his summer tree planting contract was a must. After that, the world was wide open to us! We did in fact discuss taking one of our dream trips, like a Jamaica road trip or a hop around Uruguay. But in the back of my mind the whole time was the fact that two of our best friends in the world — Brian and Amy from Koh Tao — were going to be back in the UK visiting Amy’s family around the same time. And with London just a five and a half hour direct overnight flight from St. John’s — and prices under $200 USD one way when we first started searching! — we were definitely intrigued. (We ended up paying more because the universe hath cursed me with the inability to ever purchase a flight at the low price that I first find it at, but regardless it was still a good deal.) But at first, we just couldn’t get super excited about returning to a place we’d both been a few times and felt fairly familiar.

Yet not long after leaving Koh Tao this spring I was feeling ridiculously wistful and missing my crew there immensely, and in a fit of nostalgia I called Ian and told him I wanted to make the UK happen. So we did! But the agonizing wasn’t over — we then had to wrestle with creating an itinerary. I’ve been to England three times now and not seen anywhere outside London and Manchester, so for this trip I was determined to get a more well-rounded view of the country. As I’m not really one for castles or the culture of ye olden days, we focused more on the quirky and the fun of today — and of course, where we had friends. Over time our excitement for this trip grew and grew and now we truly could not be happier to be here. Here’s what we ended up with.

Brighton

Brighton was a no-brainer. It’s probably the UK city I’ve been most anxious to visit over my last few trips, and so we made it a top priority this time. Making things even easier was the fact that direct flights from St. John’s go straight to Gatwick Airport, conveniently located halfway between London and Brighton! It’s a quick and easy half hour train ride from boarding gates to boardwalk.

While many simply visit Brighton on a day trip from London, we really wanted time to get to know this quirky seaside town, and so we splurged on three nights at an adorable bed and breakfast and planned lazy days of enjoying the beach, checking out the town’s offbeat attractions, and enjoying some alone time after a summer spent apart followed by a few weeks of visiting each other’s families in the US and Canada.

Two Weeks in the UK

London

After three collective weeks spent in London over the last few years, I really have found an affection for it — and had a hard time dedicating just three days for this trip! But with so many places and people we wanted to see, sacrifices had to be made.

The part that really broke my heart is that many of my close friends in London are out of town the weekend we chose to be there, and as we’re popping in and out so fast I won’t have time to see some of them. That killed me! But focusing on the positive, I will get to spend plenty of time with my dear, dear friend Koh Tao friend Kat, who Ian and I are crashing with, and also catch up with other Koh Tao friend Freya. For the most part, we are handing the reigns over to Kat for our three nights in London — and I’m sure she has some wild nightlife adventures in store!

Leaving London, we’ve actually hired a car. With rail service being super efficient and driving somewhat of a hassle, it’s an unusual choice for traveling in England. But at one point in the planning process I was in talks with a travel brand about sponsoring this trip as a road trip and got pretty excited about some of the ideas I brainstormed. When the deal fell through — and to be honest, it’s a relief to be on a totally independent adventure at the moment — we still liked some of what we’d sketched out with a car hire. So since we’ll have our own wheels leaving London, we’ll be pausing at the beautiful Bombay Gin Distillery followed by a stop by Stonehenge.

Two Weeks in the UK

Bristol and Bath

Next stop, the neighboring cities of Bristol and Bath! Bristol really caught my eye as the home of Banksy, the iconic British street artist. It’s also home to one of Ian’s bartending friends from Koh Tao, who I too adore. We looked at accommodation in both historic Bath and modern Bristol, and while Bath is the more beloved of the two by tourists we ended up indulging a really hip AirBnB in Bristol that we absolutely fell in love with.

On the itinerary is an Ocean Film Festival, street art spotting, soaking in Bath’s healing waters, and meeting up with my friend Gwen who I met in Brazil. Considering we’ll be splitting them between two very enticing destinations, I have a feeling our three nights here are going to be a bit hectic!

Two Weeks in the UK

Liverpool

Leaving Bristol, we plan to spend a lazy day driving through the Cotswolds, an insanely scenic district on the way to Liverpool. There, we’ll connect with Brian and Amy, the reunion that this trip was dreamed up around! We’ll be spending just one night in Liverpool meeting Amy’s family before stealing away for a road trip to their cabin in Wales for a weekend.

After our little road trip, I’ll be swinging back through Liverpool for a second night to stay with my dear friend Becs from Indonesia and meet the little munchkin she was pregnant with when I was doing my Divemaster.

Two Weeks in the UK

Anglesey

Wales! I don’t care if the United Nations list of countries lumps this one in with the rest of the United Kingdom… I’m counting it as a new tick on the Wanderland list of countries, and that will bring my total to thirty four. I have absolutely no idea what to expect from our three nights waterfront in Anglesey, but I know we couldn’t ask for better company.

Two Weeks in the UK

Even with two weeks, we couldn’t fit in everywhere we wanted to go in this tiny island! We were dying to make it to Cornwall, but when our first choice of AirBnBs booked up nearly six months early, we took it as a sign that it just wasn’t our time. On top of that, one of my best London girlfriends Lou is moving there this year — I’d rather save it for my next visit when I can be shown around by a local.

Luckily, I think there will always be a “next time” for me and the United Kingdom. Here’s to sipping ciders, paying respects to the birthplace of the Spice Girls, and packing stylish rain gear.

Any advice for this trip, my brilliant travel friends?

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109 Comments...
  • Noelle Brahimi
    September 5 2016

    England outside London is really, really beautiful (London is fun, but can be so busy!). I’m heading to Bath and Cheltenham myself this weekend. The countryside in Wales and the Cotswolds are stunning as well. Enjoy your trip!

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      Thanks Noelle! I’m definitely crossing my fingers for some devastatingly gorgeous scenery on this trip 🙂

  • Ashley
    September 5 2016

    This sounds like such an awesome itinerary! Although I was a bit sad to see that you won’t be venturing a bit further north to Scotland 😉

    Bath, Brighton, and Wales are all on my UK travel wish list, so I’m looking forward to reading about your experiences there!
    Ashley recently posted..Expat in Edinburgh: Month 15

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      I absolutely loved my time in Scotland! Not rushing back just yet but won’t rule it out for someday!

  • Cate
    September 5 2016

    Omg this was such a surprise! I never expected you to be heading to the UK, as you’ve said before how it’s not really in your top ten. But that itinerary is perfect, I can’t wait to hear all about it!!
    Cate recently posted..Summer 2016 Travel Roundup!

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      I guess I just really love all my amazing friends there 🙂 So excited to see them!

  • Rosie
    September 5 2016

    Welcome to the UK 🙂 it’s really exciting to know you’ll be exploring this not-so-exotic (and pretty rainy at the moment) country! I live very close to Brighton and it is a great, vibrant city which I’m sure you’ll enjoy. Your blog is an inspiration for me and I look forward to reading what you think about the place I call home.
    A word of advice- if you go for fish and chips on Brighton seafront, guard them with your life as the seagulls are ruthless!
    Rosie
    Rosie recently posted..DIVING IN UTILA, HONDURAS

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      Ha, I’ve observed that! I died laughing the other day at how terrified one woman in particular was of them… she was literally dragging her child over the rocks to get away screaming like she was in a horror movie. And meanwhile I’m trying not to cry I’m laughing so hard! They must be brutal!

  • Angie Silver
    September 5 2016

    I live in London, I hope you enjoy my home country!
    Angie Silver recently posted..A Date Night Dinner at Dabbous

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      Always love your instagrams from London and beyond — you show England in a beautiful light <3

  • Sounds like a fun departure from your usual! I’ve loved London the two times I’ve visited and my next UK trip will definitely include the Lake District. Enjoy!
    Leigh | Campfires & Concierges recently posted..My All-Time Favorite Hotels

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      Just shaking things up a little 😉 It’s a very non-beachy summer for me!

  • Janice
    September 5 2016

    Hi Alex,
    You’ve come to good ol blighty… Yay.
    Well, if you fancy a pint and a plate of cockles whilst looking out over the Thames Estuary from Old Leigh – which is where we Southenders spend many hours of life and a wander round the boutiques in the trendy village of the same name, give me a shout. We’re only 50 minutes on the train from London and I’d love to show you about. Have a great trip!
    🙂
    Janice recently posted..Fizz Beachlounge Koh Tao

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      You are so sweet and I love your descriptions! Unfortunately our time in London is super limited and my friend Kat has planned every minute 🙂 But thank you thank you!

  • LC
    September 5 2016

    Argh! You’re in my hood. ? Bristol and Bath are great, could totally live in Brighton, Wales is gorgeous and the Cotswolds look like they’re straight out of an Enid Blyton book. Enjoy!
    LC recently posted..What’s in a Name? Visiting the Horniman Museum in London

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      Thanks chica! Sounds like an LC-approved itinerary. I like it!

  • Emma
    September 5 2016

    You’ve got a great set of locations planned. I’m exited that you’re going to be travelling through my neck of the woods, I grew up not too far from Bath.
    Depending on the route you take from London, if you get the chance to go through Avebury it’s worth the diversion. The stones are from the same period as Stonehenge, but as they’re more spread out you can get up close and personal (and there might still be the odd crop circle around), plus the village pub there always did great food and is rumoured to be haunted!

    Bath and Bristol are both great places to visit. I love some of the old pubs in Clifton and Bath is just beautiful. Enjoy!

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      Amazing tips, thank you Emma! I am very excited about finding some charming pubs to post up in on this trip…

  • Amy Loxton
    September 5 2016

    OMG! You should check out the Twisted Lemon for cocktails in Brighton! Have fun and I hope you get some of the good British weather not just the typical weather!
    Amy Loxton recently posted..Bucket List Item – River Cottage Experience

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      Ha, seriously… but I packed my vitamin d tablets just in case!

  • Kate
    September 5 2016

    Very cool, can’t wait to keep reading this blog. Brazil AND UK coming up! Keep up the excellent work and content!

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      Aw, thanks Kate! Lots to look forward to around here 🙂

  • Rick
    September 5 2016

    Although I have discovered beautiful and enchanting places in England I’ve come to realize it’s the people I enjoy the most.

    We have become so visually oriented that it often dominates our decisions.
    Enland has smart, quirky, funny and great people everywhere you go, and some great fish and chips!

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      Interesting points and I agree with you… British humor is quite unique!

  • Gemma
    September 5 2016

    Hello from Scotland! A (not so) warm welcome to the UK! Totally with you on the Brighton front, I’ve only spent half a day there but would like to do more. Dream plan was to spend summer there but we opted for Spain and Portugal instead (tough life!) I look forward to pictures, have some chips on the pier for me.
    Gemma recently posted..Female Travel Packing List: Bras, Backpacks & Big No-Nos

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      Omg, a summer in Brighton sounds like a dream. In love with it already!

  • Rob
    September 5 2016

    Omg I’ll take this as a good omen, I first discovered your blog while doing my research on the inca trail so has I sit here shxxing it in Heathrow about to fly out to Peru wondering what I have I got my self in to you have come to wish me good look lol

    But seriously while your in Anglesey it will be a shame if you don’t walk up Snowden’ taking the train up will be cheating

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      Oh that’s awesome Rob! Enjoy the Inca Trail… you’re going to do great! It’s a great omen 🙂 Off to Google Snowden…

  • Stacey Davies
    September 5 2016

    I’ve just come back from a long weekend at the Cotswolds and it’s beautiful! St Edward’s Church at Stow on the Wold has beautiful huge trees growing around the back door. Bourton on Water has a cute stream running through it with little bridges you can walk over. Chipping Campden is also nice with gorgeous cottages. Enjoy your trip!

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      I just googled the church… wow! Looks beautiful. We may have to add that to our itinerary!

  • Jana
    September 5 2016

    Welcome to the UK! I’ve been living in Liverpool for a year now, enjoy your stay! Definitely go to both cathedrals and the central library (might sound boring but the architecture is insane and if you go to the top, there is a balcony with a nice view – free of charge ;)), to Oh Me Oh My for breakfast (beautiful interior, great, not expensive food), to The Quarter for lunch if you fancy Italian food and Root Coffee for coffee (obviously haha). I also love cocktails and cheesecake in Turtle Bay.

    I’ve written two short posts about my favourite spots if you want to check them out:

    http://www.janaintheworld.com/2-2016/my-favourite-spots-in-liverpool-1

    http://www.janaintheworld.com/6-2016/my-favourite-spots-in-liverpool-2

    Enjoy your time in England (and Wales), fingers crossed the weather will be at least mediocre, especially in the North :D.
    Jana recently posted..Happy Birthday: One Year of Blogging

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      Thanks so much for your recommendations Jana! And I love your very British blessing… weather that is at least mediocre. Ha ha!

  • Melanie Fontaine
    September 5 2016

    I’m so, so excited for you to visit Great Britain again! It may be a bit of an unusual thing to say, but Great Britain is pretty much my favorite place on earth (I’m not British, by the way! 😉 ) and I feel that – aside from London – it’s such an under-rated travel destination that deserves much more praise. So I hope you and Ian are going to have a blast! 🙂

    I was in Wales a few months ago and I really recommend a drive through Snowdonia National Park on the way there. It’s not the quickest way to get to Anglesey, but the views are going to be absolutely incredible and you might have trouble believing that you’re in the UK! I know that you have mentioned that castles aren’t your thing, but Wales has a few really interesting (& photogenic!) ones (Conwy, Caernarfon or Beaumaris) that would be worth a visit, just in case you find yourself with an extra hour or so – my favorite in terms of photography was the one in Conwy, which is also an adorable little town. Anyway, this comment is getting rather long… but I hope you’re going to have lots of fun! 🙂 Can’t wait to see your pictures on Instagram! 🙂
    Melanie Fontaine recently posted..How We Spent A Day In Betws-Y-Coed, Wales

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      Hm, you’re the second person to mentioned this Snowdonia National Park! We’ve pretty much handed the reigns over to Amy for that portion of the trip, but perhaps she has it on the itinerary 🙂 I hope so!

  • Timo
    September 5 2016

    Aahh … UK. A dream country to visit, especially visit the football stadium and take a tour perhaps! 😀
    Timo recently posted..Catching sunrise from Puncak Darma

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      I’m not much for football… unless it involves looking at David Beckham! 😛

  • Emma
    September 5 2016

    Hope you have a fab time in the UK, love that my hometown made the visit list – Bristol is all kinds of awesome and with so much to do. I’m impressed at that timescale for Bristol and Bath, busy, busy times! 🙂
    x

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      We were kind of working around our friends’ schedules, so some places are a bit rushed! That area will definitely only be getting a brief glance, but hopefully it will be a nice preview for a longer trip someday.

  • Kate
    September 5 2016

    Looks like a great trip round our little island!

    Brighton is great, you’ll love it. I spend hours wandering through the lanes every time I go looking in all the little shops and cafes – you should find Choccywoccydoodah, its a chocolate shop and cafe and does the most amazing looking sculpted chocolate cakes! Also you have to go to the pier and go on some of the rides, then wander along the seafront to the old pier which is now burnt out. Know you like to hike too, and there’s some really good walking round the Devils Dyke nearby.

    Bristol and Bath are also great cities, and I still really want to get to Liverpool. I spent a year working in North Wales and wasn’t that enamored with Anglesey, but maybe I went to the wrong bits! You should def check out Snowdonia though, and I’m desperate to go back and go on the giant zipline and underground trampoline…

    Next time you’re back you’ll have to come further north though 😉 You’ve still got the Lake District, Scotland and my patch of Newcastle and Northumberland to see..!

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      Ha, funny you mention the underground trampoline… Amy tagged us all in a post about it on Facebook recently and said we are going if there’s a rainy day! Ha!

      I have been to Scotland in the past and loved it 🙂

  • Jane
    September 5 2016

    Ah, so jealous! Haven’t been to Bristol but believe it’s very hip! Bath is beautiful. I just did a day trip there but when I did the local Rotary or Lions club offered free walking tours of the town. Worth finding out if they still do because it’s a great way to see the town and find out more about its history (which is actually really interesting!) if you have limited time.

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      Confession: we are mostly going to Bath to go to the Thermae, ha ha. I’m sure I’ll be pleasantly surprised by everything else around, though!

  • Dominique
    September 5 2016

    I love Liverpool! I’ve lived in the UK (well.. if you call Wales a country I’m allowed to call Scotland a country 😉 ) for three years, but I haven’t been to most of the places your mentioning here! They’re high on my list if I would make my way to the UK soon though. I’ve always had a bit of an obsession with Bristol – but I’ve yet to make my way there. I’m curious to hear what you think about it!
    Dominique recently posted..Rotterdam – Van Nelle Factory

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      Yes I hear such great things about Bristol! I already wish we had more time there. Seems like such a hip and vibrant city.

  • Yasemin
    September 5 2016

    Long-term reader but infrequent commenter here! Crazy to hear your plans – I’m from Brighton and although I always struggle to think of tips, its a great city and very unique so I think and hope you’ll like it! As people have suggested, the Laines and North Lanes have lots of cute little shops, cafes and a might be a good place to try afternoon tea if you are interested, Snoopers Paradise is a famous flea market type shop in that area, the Pavillion Gardens are a nice spot to sit if the weathers nice and often has street performers nearby, fish and chips is a must, there is a banksy piece near Brighton station (kissing policemen), if you walk slightly out of the main city center the Duke of Yorks cinema is one of or is the oldest working cinema in the UK and the rockery is a nice green area. You can also do day or afternoon tips to the South Downs and the Seven sisters or a little nearby town called Lewes. I’m sure you’ve read about these things anyway but I hope you guys get a sense of the specialness of Brighton and how its residents are proud that it is such a welcoming city – only in Brighton is a phrase you hear often! Bristol is also compared to Brighton a lot although I’ve sadly never been and I love Liverpool. Enjoy your stay x

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      Duke of York Cinema is on the list… I love old movie theaters! Seven Sisters looks amazing too though we won’t have a car so not sure if we are ambitious enough to bus there ha ha. Maybe another time for that one.

  • Katie
    September 5 2016

    Enjoy – the UK is an incredible country, even if you aren’t into history. Lots of natural beauty to be found 🙂
    Katie recently posted..The Big Trip: Month Fourteen Round Up

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      I don’t want to paint myself as someone who slept through social studies class, ha ha… I do love certain periods of history but a lot of the English history hasn’t quite captured my imagination just yet!

  • Bethany
    September 5 2016

    So glad you’re going to Bristol, as most tourists just go straight through it to Bath, and it’s such an amazing city. I’ve lived there for two years, and it’s still got so many things I want to do. For cocktails, there’s loads of cool speakeasies, and then for clubbing you have to go to either Motion or Lakota, but you’ll need tickets. Stokes Croft is a really cool artsy place to look around, and Clifton is posh but so beautiful, and the Clifton Lido is dreamy. Have the best time!

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      We were looking into the Lido! Looks dreamy! I think we will have to play it by ear with the weather…

  • Harrie
    September 5 2016

    You should hit up Bewdley – Severn valley railway, beautiful forests and a Safari Park!

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      Never heard of any of them… off to Google 🙂 Thanks for the tips!

  • Kat
    September 5 2016

    You’re gonna LOVE Brighton! It’s got such an awesome vibe. Bristol is pretty similar, as well; if you’re into cider (as in, hard cider) you’re in for a treat there.

    There are so many beautiful places in the UK to see, like the Jurassic Coast and the Lake District – but the weather is so unpredictable..

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      I AM SO INTO CIDER. That’s half the reason we are going ha ha.

      • Kat
        September 6 2016

        Haha, same. My girlfriends and I have a trip to Bristol every September to drink our fill – I’ll be interested to see your coverage in case you unearth any new pubs to add to our roster.

        The one essential pub I’ll point you towards is the Apple – they have a great selection, plus it’s on a boat.

        Oh, and cider-wise, stay away from Stowford Press, Thatcher’s and Old Rosie as they’re standard fare all over England – get yourself some decent local stuff 🙂

  • Gage
    September 5 2016

    I’m from the UK and you’ve probably explored it more than I have! I need to up my game.
    Gage recently posted..Great Scuba Diving Gifts

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      It’s sometimes hard to dedicate time to exploring your own backyard… totally get it! I’ve only recently started appreciating all there is to do and see in America!

  • joannerambling
    September 5 2016

    How exciting I would love to go to the UK at some point I would love to see London at some point in my life
    joannerambling recently posted..Father’s Day Weekend

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      It certainly is one of those iconic cities. I feel lucky to have spent a bit of time there!

  • Scott
    September 5 2016

    At first I was thinking, London? Really? How unlike her! But then you pulled it out with a typical awesome itinerary, visiting places I haven’t been to yet, but would love to go to, and I ended up loving the post (as always).

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      Aw, thanks Scott! Hope you’ll love the trip coverage just as much!

  • michelle
    September 6 2016

    I can’t wait to see some of the amazing experiences you have in each of those cities! I am an american expat in Germany, and I often travel to London for work, but I still haven’t made it ANYWHERE else in the UK. I’m sure i’ll get inspired by you!
    michelle recently posted..Siem Reap | The Angkor Wat Temple

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      Considering how quick some of these places are to get to from London, maybe you can tack one onto your next trip 🙂 I’ll make it a goal to convince you!

  • Laura
    September 6 2016

    Oooh, hope you have/had a lovely time – especially in my home town of Brighton, and Bristol, my other favourite city. Wales totally counts as a new country 🙂
    Laura recently posted..What to do in Bath, Somerset

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      How did I not know I have so many Brighton readers?! No wonder you are all such a fun bunch 😉

  • Maria del mar
    September 6 2016

    Every time I go to Englans, I always stay in London. All the stuff I’m missing out! Thanks for the post. Stop by my blog anytime to spread the love!
    xoxo

    • Alex
      September 6 2016

      Tell me about it, that’s what I’ve been doing for years! Finally cracking the mold on this trip!

  • Eva Casey
    September 6 2016

    Have fun in the UK!! I was just in London for the 4th time about a month ago! I would love to explore more of the UK, but it never seems to work out when I’m there. Honestly I would go your route and drive everywhere, because trains are expensive there! Are you hiring a driver, or will you guys be driving yourselves? I would be scared to drive on the other side of the road!
    Eva Casey recently posted..A Weekend Trip To Delaware Water Gap

    • Alex
      September 9 2016

      “We” will be driving ourselves… and by we I mean Ian, ha ha. Many have warned me against it so we will see how it goes!

  • Leah
    September 6 2016

    I had no idea Brighton was so accessible! Definitely makes a case for visiting the next time I’m in the UK. There’s so much more to see than just London 🙂
    Leah recently posted..I Don’t Want to Travel the World for a Living

    • Alex
      September 9 2016

      Yes it’s crazy easy to get to! Our friend Kat who lives and works in London even popped down for a night just to see us. Totally do-able as a day trip thanks to convenient train connections.

  • Sian
    September 6 2016

    Most people would think that Ice Cream and Wales don’t really go together, and normally I would agree, but no trip is complete to Snowdonia National Park without a trip to the ice cream shop in Beddgelert – their ice creams are amazing! Enjoy your trip around the UK, i’m really looking forward to reading about what you get up to.

    • Alex
      September 9 2016

      Personally, I think ice cream goes with EVERYTHING! 😛 Thanks for the tip!

  • Kate Storm
    September 6 2016

    Sounds like a great itinerary! The UK is one of those places that I’ve always wanted to see… but apparently not badly enough, because it keeps getting bumped for other adventures that seem more exciting in the moment. Looking forward to reading about it!

    • Alex
      September 9 2016

      Ha, I know how you feel! Having friends there that we were dying to see (plus the convenience of getting there) is definitely what pushed us over the edge.

  • Niamh O'Connor
    September 6 2016

    England and Wales are lovely countries and everything but you’re missing out by not stopping one island closer to home and visiting Ireland… #biased

    • Alex
      September 9 2016

      Another trip 🙂 Ian LOVES Ireland!

  • Stacey
    September 6 2016

    No Doubt you have a lot of things scheduled in. I am not sure if you are still in Brighton but I recently did a walk from Eastbourne to Seaford (15km – 2-3 hrs) which was stunning, the walk includes seven sisters (which I saw someone mentioned) We took the bus from Brighton there its really easy.
    We ate dinner here which we happened upon (luckily) it was delicious https://grow40.com/ The pork was so tasty.
    A few people have mentioned it by Snowdon is great, if you have time to do some walks (or just take the train up the hill).
    Make sure you head to Bibury when you are in the Cotswolds, such a magical little town
    As you have friends in London sure they know the best things here, but if you want a great view of the city, skip the ones that cost money (London eye, the shard viewing platform) and go to the Sky gardens which is free and has reasonably priced drinks (you may need to book) https://skygarden.london/
    Food wise make sure you go to Borough Market. St Stephens tavern is just a normal pub by Westminster station but has a great view of Big Ben. Great place for a pint (of cider) (https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/ststephenstavern/)
    Can’t wait to see what you think about Bath and the thermal spa, I have been here for 9 years and I still have never been but really want to go.

    Have an amazing time, looking forward to see more about your adventures.

    • Alex
      September 9 2016

      Thank you so much for all these tips Stacey! Oh I’m so sad we aren’t in Brighton anymore, because Grow40 looks AMAZING! Ugh I loved Brighton so much, didn’t want to leave. And wow Sky Garden is gorgeous too, great finds! I am definitely bookmarking allll of this 🙂

  • Rachel Taylor
    September 6 2016

    I am so excited you are in the UK! Anglesey was where I spent so many childhood holidays and I still take weekend trips there. If you have time head to Plas Newydd house on the Menai Straits for its beautiful views and a painting by Rex Whistler who had fallen in love with one of the house owners daughters and created one of his last masterpieces before heading to WW2. Also, have a go at saying llanfairpwllgwyngll the longest place name in the UK ( I am still working on that one…)
    Rachel Taylor recently posted..Some Bhutan photos to inspire Wanderlust

    • Alex
      September 9 2016

      Oh how fun! I can’t wait to cross the “border” into Wales and declare I’ve now been to another new corner of the world 🙂

  • Welcome! Usually I’m nervous about how people sum up the UK, but I think cider, the Spice Girls & stylish raincoats pretty much hits the nail on the head. Hope you have an amazing trip! Have you ever made it up to Cumbria / the Lake District? Definitely one to add to your next trip if you don’t have time for it this time around.
    Katie @ the tea break project recently posted..25 Reasons Why New Zealand May Just Be My Favourite Country on Earth (in pictures)

    • Alex
      September 9 2016

      Ha ha thank you for appreciating that description 😛 Haven’t made it to the Lake District but seems to be the top of everyone’s list! Have to add it to the “next time” list with Cornwall!

  • Amy
    September 6 2016

    I live in Liverpool, it’s so underrated but the North is so different from the South of England so I hope you enjoy it! The Albert Dock is beautiful (on a sunny day… The rain somehow makes everything gloomy) and if you were to go on a night out I’m guaranteed you would have a brilliant time 🙂 enjoy the UK

    • Alex
      September 9 2016

      I have heard the nightlife in Liverpool is a blast! I’m not sure if that will be on the agenda this trip but if not… next time!

  • Tammyonthemove
    September 6 2016

    You want quirky? As a former civil servant for Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs I can recommend (I’m obviously biased!) Seized-The Border Force National Museum in Liverpool that displays all the weird things custom officials have seized over the years. Kind of fits your travel theme too. 🙂
    Tammyonthemove recently posted..Living in a conflict zone – Misconceptions about life and travel in Colombia

    • Alex
      September 9 2016

      Omg! That does sound hilarious and quirky! I’m going to ask my friend Amy if she’s ever been!

  • Thuc Do
    September 6 2016

    SO jealous you are in Europe!!! I’m missing that place badly!
    Thuc Do recently posted..3 Easy Central Oregon Activities For The Star-Gazer & Waterfall-Chaser

    • Alex
      September 9 2016

      It’s not usually my first choice of places to go but once I’m here… I am happy!

  • Fatima
    September 7 2016

    OH god! Brighton (L)… I love that city, is simply amazing! Well in fact i love east sussex… If you have time next time you should rent a car and visit the whole region… Eastbourne is fantastic, Rye is beautiful, hastings… is ok lol, lewes… I don’t know there are so many fantastic cities in this region… England offers stunning places… lovely post (L) bring me good memories of my days in England…
    Fatima recently posted..5 Fantastic destinations for a nice getaway in autumn

    • Alex
      September 9 2016

      Brighton is kind of our “chill” spot this trip so we are taking the time to just enjoy what is in walking distance but in the future I’d love to explore the surrounding area more thoroughly!

  • Paul
    September 7 2016

    Fun! I love the U.K.. Jealous of your time in Brighton – it’s the one place in England I haven’t explored yet but am hoping to get to soon. Enjoy!
    Paul recently posted..Paris – Sacre Coeur and the Magic of Montmartre

    • Alex
      September 9 2016

      It’s definitely been the place I’ve been most excited to visit on this trip. Something about it has been calling to me!

  • Julia Nix
    September 8 2016

    While you are at it, listen to Fatboy Slim (an all time legendary dj from Brighton)

    UK have many great top djs & musicians/bands. It goes beyond (ahem!)one direction and adele. LOL Whenever I’m in the UK, I always like to look out for live gigs of bands.

    Too bad you don’t like castles 🙁
    Chillingham Castle in Northumberland is a must.

    • Alex
      September 9 2016

      Yes we learned all about Fatboy Slim at the Brighton Museum! Loved it!

  • Clazz - An Orcadian Abroad
    September 11 2016

    Ahhhh I hope you loved Brighton! I lived around there for a few years and actually just came back two days ago, so it looks like I’ve just missed you! So many quirky places and cute lanes, I definitely miss it. Enjoy the rest of your UK trip, it sounds amazing! Bath is actually somewhere that’s been on my list for so long and I never seem to make it there, I’m sure you’ll love it.
    Clazz – An Orcadian Abroad recently posted..Surrounding Cairns: Beaches, Rainforests & Waterfalls

    • Alex
      September 14 2016

      Brighton is far and away my favorite stop of the trip so far! Such a magical place, can’t wait to post about it…

  • Amy
    September 12 2016

    Interesting trip, it’s nice to see people visit the UK and get out of London as I don’t feel the Capital is anything like the rest of the country. Bristol was my University city and I loved living there! Can’t wait to hear about what you think of it!
    Amy recently posted..Life in Thailand and Taming our Wanderlust

    • Alex
      September 14 2016

      I can see why! Such a quirky and colorful city. I really enjoyed it, and wish I’d had longer to explore!

  • becky hutner
    September 14 2016

    Alex! I keep meaning to welcome you to my current home and now it’s woefully belated. But I see from Insta you’re having a whale of a time (if a frustrating one admin-wise, ugh!) so that is swell.

    I won’t bother with rec’s as it sounds like your schedule is packed but I will say that as far as the UK goes, I see you as a southwest girl so definitely make a point of getting there next time (I guess Bristol & Bath could be considered the gateway? Never been, dying to go!). I know Cornwall is on your list. North Devon is my personal, totally biased, absolute slam dunk favourite part of England. #1 because it’s my husband’s birthplace and therefore full of family and friends – the only place since college where I can’t walk down the street without bumping into someone I know! #2 It’s like the California of England…beautiful beaches, surf culture, super creative, well traveled people and a focus on health and sustainability that I don’t see as much in London (cafes with yummy locally sourced food, our friend’s seaside vegan food truck, farmshops, plenty of yoga and bootcamps…). Also on my southwest list & worth googling, Dorset & the jurassic coast, St Ives & the New Forest!! (ok New Forest is simply south. Still, I wanna go!)

    • Alex
      September 14 2016

      Wow you’ve sold North Devon to me — that sounds amazing! Have you been to Brighton? I’ve never seen so much vegan fare in my life! Love it!

  • Lucy Knight
    September 14 2016

    Iv recently moved from Brighton to Swansea in South Wales and both so beautiful in their own ways! The Gower in South Wales is a must for your next trip across the pond! Enjoy your time in the UK!

    • Alex
      September 14 2016

      Thanks for the tips, Lucy! I’m sure there will be a next time!

  • Bryony Clapperton
    September 18 2016

    If you need any advice on Liverpool give me a shout. I’ve been here for four years now and I’m obsessed with the city. There are so many incredible independent restaurants and bars. Check out Independent Liverpool for the best blogger-style lists of places to eat and cocktail bars. Hope you have the best time.
    Bryony Clapperton recently posted..Visiting Central America – Itineraries

    • Alex
      September 22 2016

      Hey Bryony! Thanks for all the advice, though I ended up really just having one day in Liverpool and I spent it just hangin’ with my friend Becs 🙂 She was a great tour guide though — stay tuned for my post!

  • Jhonny
    November 27 2016

    I can’t see London Eye, Big ben, London Bridge…
    are you sure in London? hehehe just kidding..

    keep up the great work

    • Alex
      December 5 2016

      Four trips and I still haven’t been to the London Eye! One of these days I’ll make it!

  • Jack
    November 27 2016

    Hey Alex,

    Am wondering when you’re gonna visit Marrakech (Morocco)!!
    When in Marrakech, Time Well Spent.

    • Alex
      December 5 2016

      I’d love to visit Morocco someday, thought it’s not currently on my immediate radar! Readers here will be the first to know when it is 🙂

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