Our lovely design intern Megan is kindly sharing her three favourite spots outside of London and her experience of travelling around England. Here we go!
On a recent cool and sunny spring morning sitting in my favorite café having a nice cup of coffee to start off my day, I began flipping through the pages of my passport. I suddenly was brought back to the places I have visited and people I have met over the past year. My memorable journey all started while taking a travel literature class largely based on the European culture, England, and Ireland when I was a first year university student in Chicago. My university professor, Barbra Schaffer, had taught me the importance of traveling, engaging with the culture and meeting new people. Now, with a taste of foreign travel and the desire to further explore, I soon participated in a short-term study abroad program in Ireland. Having a tremendous experience in Ireland, I then ventured on to a full semester study abroad program in Sydney, Australia and New Zealand. Now, while traveling around the world is incredible, at times it was a bit of a stretch! To explain, the traveling portion and the logistics of flight times, connecting flights, luggage weight, car hires, buses, tour fees and so on, quickly became chaos! Somehow, everything always worked out for the best.
When I decided to continue my experience abroad and study in London, I had wanted to further engage in the culture and build upon what I had previously learned but in an efficient and hassle free manner!
One of the many fantastic things about Europe is the train system! Many rail companies offer train tickets to surrounding cities and countries for a budget friendly price and in just a couple of hours you can be in the countryside and out of the hustle and bustle of London! With that being said, while I enjoy living and studying in London, I think the best way to see and experience a country is to go to the smaller towns and cities for a day or two. Since England has so much history, enchanting architecture and great food why not book a train ticket and taste that experience in just a few short hours. Before you go ahead and book a ticket or google “Best Day Trips from London”, I will share the top three day trips that I have experienced since coming to England!
Time to get from London to Bath by train: Approximately 1 hour 45 minutes
Bath is well known for the famous “Roman-built baths” which makes it a great place to visit and enjoy the Georgian architecture from the Roman Era. For a bit of background, Bath Abbey had actually been founded around the 7th century and was widely known as being a religious center, but after being redone in the 12th & 16th centuries Bath Abbey had claimed a new fame and around the 17th century when the Roman-built baths became the center for spas.
So whether you are traveling solo, with a group, children or coming to London for business, I recommend making a pit-stop to Bath! Also, depending on how much time you have, I would recommend checking out some prehistoric stones otherwise known as Stonehenge! (The time it takes to get from Bath to Stonehenge is approximately 50 minutes by car)
Time to get from London to York by train: Approximately 2 hours
Now, if you are in need of a cute and quiet town, York may be your answer! York is located in northeast England and is well known for its 13th century Gothic Cathedral, York Minster. This cathedral steals the show with the vibrant stained glass that catches your eye and sparkles in the sun. Also, as you walk around the town and explore the side streets and alleyways, don’t worry you will still be able to see the spindles of York Minster pierce the sky. So board the train, pack as much as you want in that lovely bag of yours (don’t worry about how much your bag weighs, because you’re taking the train) and get ready to enjoy a nice cup of tea at a quaint café and wander the streets of York.
Time to get from London to the Lake District by train: Approximately 3 hours
I feel relaxed just thinking about the Lake District! The Lake District offers one the opportunity to get outdoors and experience the wonderful scenery, fresh air, hiking paths and of course all of the cute dogs that are also enjoying all that the Lake District has to offer! When thinking about taking a day trip or spending the weekend exploring the mountains, national parks, roaming the town of Windermere or indulging in the world of Beatrix Potter, this is the place for you! There are countless things to do in the Lake District between the cafes, cute shops, hiking trails and so many day tours on hand, it is a recipe for the perfect weekend!