In June I went on a 2 week trip around the British Isles starting with England!
We spent 2 days in London before boarding the cruise ship (more on this later!) to adjust to the time zone and explore London.
Food eaten, places visited and what I did
- Flew into Heathrow Airport and took the Heathrow Express into London close to the Gresham Hotel where we stayed for 2 nights. The Express took us to Paddington Station which was beautiful and hard to get around. We couldn’t figure out how to get out of the station for the longest time.
- Ate at Pret a Manger for the first time which is the best place. We need them in Canada. They have prepared, healthy foods that you can just grab and eat. And good coffee!
- Walked around Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens. Saw The Peter Pan Statue and Italian Gardens. Beautiful gardens, lots of people walking around, dogs kept jumping in the Italian Garden fountain (??), chairs were set out for people to sunbathe in. It was quite a nice place and I could walk around there for a while.
- After walking around, we had dinner at a little cafe down the road from the hotel. I had an omelette and salad since after travelling I wanted something not too fancy.
- The next day we were surprised with an English Breakfast at the hotel, then headed out on the Hop On, Hop Off tour.
- We saw all the major landmarks of London (Big Ben though it was being renovated, London Eye, Parliment, Buckingham Palace, Tower of London etc.) and got off of the bus at Buckingham, Trafalgar Square/National Gallery, and Tower of London to go on a cruise down the Thames. It was a long day but we saw so much and it was crazy to take in.
- Ate at Pret (of course) and had dinner at a little Greek restaurant close to the hotel. They surprised us with fruit after dinner. A day full of surprise food.
- The Hop on, Hop Off tour is great. We rode the full route through once to see everything and decide where we wanted to get off. They sometimes come with extras, like this one had the Thames River cruise included.
- The tap water was pretty gross. I brought a water bottle filter and you could still taste it. So hydrate lots when you can and bottled water is probably better.
- The Galleries admission was free but special exhibits were more.
Southampton & Guernsey
In order to board the cruise ship, we had to meet at the airport and then take a bus down to Southampton. The first full day we spent in St. Peter Port, Guernsey.
Places visited and what I did
- We only drove around Southampton a bit, but it was a cute city. There were ancient ruins of the Town Wall built in with the more modern parts of the city. The city has a rich history since it is a port. It was where the Titanic departed, not comforting when you’re about to board a cruise ship.
- Most of the day was spent waiting to board the ship, then exploring the ship and unpacking once our luggage arrived.
- The next morning we boarded tenders to take us into St. Peter Port. It is the definition of quaint. The town is colourful and looks straight out of a painting.
- We took a bus from the port, through the island and to the Little Chapel. The Chapel is made up of bits of old broken china and shells. It sits in a pretty garden up a hill. You can go downstairs in the chapel so it’s almost two levels? There are many little alters in the chapel.
- We went back to the ship where it was the first formal night. We had dinner (which I forgot to take pictures of, so I forgot what I ate that night) and saw a show onboard.
- Always be prepared for rain! Even if it says it’s not going to rain, it probably will because it’s Britain. Luckily we were very fortunate and it only sprinkled a little rain. It was still cooler outside than in Canada at the same time of year so I would’ve dressed more warmly if I had known.
Next up on the trip will be Ireland!