The Trip… It is really happening. AND I NEED YOU!

So a couple weeks ago I let ya’ll in on the big news… I am actually factually going to the United Kingdom for the month of March. Every time I set up an appointment or finish arranging something I have to hop out of my seat and jump for joy again while trying to fathom the fact that this trip is really going to happen.

With all the preparation, I could use some help/opinions from ya’ll. Have any of you been to/lived in the UK? Or maybe you just know something about the UK? I want to hear it all.

Here is the embryo stage of my plans. Please feel free to add your two cents in the comments.

Cardiff

We (my mom will be traveling with me for the first week) will arrive in London in the evening and head directly to Cardiff by coach. My mom will spend her whole time in Cardiff.

Cardiff University 

My mom wants to tour Cardiff university with me because I may or may not have applied to their history degree program and recently found out that I was accepted(!!!). You know, just had to make back-up plans in case I fell head over heels in love with the UK and decide that I can’t return to the  U.S… No big deal. Just kidding. VERY BIG DEAL!

Friend Time and sight seeing

A sweet family I know and love lives in Cardiff. So I expect to spend the first full week of my trip with them. Perhaps we can even do some sight seeing. Has anyone been to Wales before? What are the must sees? My head (and pinterest account) is swarming with possibilities!

London

There is  a bible school I am thinking about attending some day located near London. They allow university age kids to come for a week to see what it is like.

Aside from the time at the training center, I may have to give in and just be a full blown typical American tourist for a few days. (I will not be wearing sneakers – see below.)

Here is my list.

(Parliament and Westminster walk -10 Downing street, Buckingham Palace, Big Big Ben.)

(West minister Abbey)
(The British Museum and Trafalgar Square)

(Hyde Park)

Am I missing something blatantly obvious? 

Oxford or Cambridge

If I can find someone to go with me, I would absolutely love to take a day trip to Oxford or Cambridge. My mom has been to Cambridge and raves about it. Personally, I have always been more interested in Oxford. Have any of you been to either place? 

Edinburgh and/or Dublin 

I have a friend who is currently studying abroad in Germany. She is going to meet up with me to do some traveling. She wants to see Ireland. My brother desperately hopes I’ll make it to Scotland (I actually know a family who lives up there and could help host me and my buddy). I think they both sound spectacular. Perhaps we could visit both places for a short bit? If you had to choose one to spend a weekend in, where would you go? 

And now for the final problem. SHOES (the usual culprits). At first I was planning to bring my nice new sneakers – but apparently wearing sneakers for anything but excercising is basically the same as wearing a “hi I am an American tourist” sign on your forehead. In the interest of avoiding pickpockets, what shoes should I bring? I will be doing a whole lot of walking, but I don’t want to stand out too much.

If you have any tips for what to pack – I’ll take those too. In short, if you have any comments, ideas, thoughts, or tips for my trip… I NEED YOU AND LOVE YOU! 


Author: Susanna

I'm Susanna, a 20-year-old Christian girl incorrigibly addicted spontaneous adventures. My first dream was to become a pioneer. Unfortunately, I was born a couple centuries late, so I've decided to read, cook, run, and travel the world until my time machine is finished. You'll mostly likely find me getting into trouble and/or eating licorice. I am currently blogging the misadventures of a middle-school teacher in training. Come join me on my quest to become the next Ms. Frizzle!

12 thoughts on “The Trip… It is really happening. AND I NEED YOU!”

  1. Okay this made me all excited for you. There's so much I want to say I just don't know where to start 😦 Hmm…I'll make a list!

    1. Cardiff – are you a fan of Doctor Who? If so, check out the Doctor Who Experience.

    2. London – amazing city. Obviously. Westminster Abbey was my favorite place. Worth the line and fee. I also recommend taking the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus (we took one called The Original Tour London) It takes you to all the main tourist attractions, let's you spend as much time as you want there, and then you just hop on another bus to the next place.

    3. I've heard great things about Cambridge, but Oxford is spectacular. My day there was an experience I'll never forget. (we went on a free walking tour, and it was lovely: http://www.footprints-tours.com/oxford-walking-tours/2-hour-free-oxford-walking-tour/ )

    4. Dublin and Edinburgh are both gorgeous and unique. If you want to experience a totally different culture, visit Dublin. You may be surprised how different Irish culture is from British! If you do visit Edinburgh, visit Holyrood Palace. (http://www.royalcollection.org.uk/visit/palace-of-holyroodhouse)

    5. About Shoes. You're right, American tourists are sort of known for their tennis shoes. It's certainly not a bad thing to be a tourist, but if you want to blend in here's the thing: the stereotype is mostly just about bright white or flashy neon tennis shoes. Black, gray, or other dark colored tennis shoes (or “runners”) will not stand out. People wear those here. Wear something comfy. Sore feet is no fun!

    Hehe, maybe that's a bit overboard. But I hope something up there is helpful!

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  2. Not overboard at all! Thank you SO much for your help. Your suggestions are great and I will take them all into account. Oh, and your comment about the shoes, that is basically a life saver : ) I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your help!

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  3. Wowwwww this is so crazy!!! 😀 I wish I had helpful advice, but *reads comments eagerly just in case I ever go on an Adventure like this one* Don't forget your CAMERA girl and please post for us. 😀

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  4. This is so exciting! I hope you have a blast on your trip! I can't wait to hear all about it!
    Unfortunately, I have never been to the UK, nor do I know of any great must-see sights, so I'm pretty much useless. :/

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  5. It's been five years since I went, but I highly recommend bringing a brolly, and waterproof shoes of some kind. I went in November, and I used them daily! I went to the Tower of London, and it was awesome, and I'm sure it's even better when you know your English history! (I was ten at the time, and that is my excuse for being almost entirely ignorant.) 😄 And I agree with Hannah, a bus tour is a great way to see the city! And if you do go to Oxford, please do post some pictures of Bodleian Library and The Eagle and Child. (-: Oooh, I'm so excited for you, and I can't wait to hear all about your trip!

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  6. Sorry! Me again – and as you asked for advice…
    As you're going in March do bring a scarf with you – I've lived in both Scotland and England and it really helps you keep warm when the cold wind blows. And believe me it blows a lot! Layers are a good idea – the stereotype of changeable weather is completely true. It might be an idea to bring a hooded coat or jacket as well as an umbrella too. A shoulder bag which zips up (and ideally has a zipped inner pocket) should deter pickpockets. I would also keep your bag at your front when you're in crowded areas. They aren't a huge problem in anywhere but London really but it's better to be safe than sorry.

    London: If you like Sherlock Holmes then the Sherlock Holmes museum (at 22a Baker Street!) is worth a visit. Keep an eye out for the Sherlock Holmes tiles at Baker Street Tube Station! Foyles is a large, famous London bookshop which is worth a visit. St. Paul's Cathedral is very very grand indeed and if you time your visit then you could attend a service – they have a beautiful choir. I'd also second the recommendation to visit the Tower of London – the Crown Jewels exhibit is really good and the staff are very enthusiastic and knowledgeable.
    I don't recommend going to Madame Tussauds unless you're absolutely desperate. It's very expensive for what it is and there are some additional charges to have your picture taken with popular waxworks.
    The Globe theatre is also really really well worth a visit. Unfortunately the Globe season doesn't start until April but there's the tour of the theatre and it's a really fascinating place. The walk down the South bank from Westminster Bridge (Earth hath not anything to show more fair!) to the Globe is really nice too.
    I also wouldn't recommend taking public transport in London during rush hour (8-9am & 5-6pm) as it can be very crushed and uncomfortable. It's also a good idea to bring a bottle of water with you in your bag in case you get too hot on the Tube.
    The British Museum is a great place to visit – I would take a bit of time to plan your visit beforehand as it's so huge you can spend an entire day in there! Perhaps choose the things you'd really like to see and make those galleries a priority. This is sage advice for any of the big London museums (Natural History, V&A, National Gallery, etc) as it's a shame to go in, get museum fatigue and then have no more memories than a blur of artifacts!

    Anyway, I've written you quite the essay – if you need any more advice feel free to email me at Katy_Pilley at hotmail.com

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  7. I really don't know how to thank you enough for all this valuable help! It is really incredible to be able to hear from someone who has lived there. I will take all your advice into account. I just really really appreciate it. THANK YOU.

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