European Adventures with Shelley: London and Countryside

For years, one of my dearest friends, Shelley, and I have always wanted to go on an adventure to the UK. And this year, we finally did it.

After a few months of planning, we arrived in London at approximately 6am. Knowing that we couldn’t fall asleep for fear of jet-lag, we dropped off our luggage at our hotel and immediately headed for Abbey Road.

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Unfortunately, it was under a little construction but we still crossed it in Beatles’ fashion.

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Afterwards, we felt royal and headed to Buckingham Palace, Westminster, and Big Ben. We decided to journey into Westminster because, well, if I get married, it would probably be here. But it was also incredibly cool to see where many royals along with Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Geoffrey Chaucer, Charles Dickens, and Laurence Olivier were all laid to rest.

As the day continued on, we found our way to a pub for lunch before visiting Trafalgar Square. And Shelley needed her first European Guinness.

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We randomly wondered into the National Gallery and found ourselves surrounded by Rembrandts, Monets, and da Vincis. Fun Fact: We saw the second version of the “Virgin on the Rocks” pained by da Vinci in London and the first version later in Paris. He made two. Crazy right?

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Soon, we needed to head to the interactive show: Alice’s Adventures Underground. I need to preface that, at this point, we’d been up for nearly 36 hours so we were delirious, confused, and not exactly sure what was happening. Now throw us into an “Alice in Wonderland” type environment and life was a struggle. A group of about 30 of us were herded from room to room, interacting with characters from Alice in Wonderland.

After the show ended, we headed to our hotel for some much needed sleep. After checking in…oh wait, just kidding. At 11pm, upon attempting to check-in, we realized that we were at the wrong hotel. Yes. The WRONG hotel. So we hauled our luggage a quarter of a mile to the correct hotel. Yes, Alice, we had our own above-ground adventure.

Regardless, we got some much needed sleep because the next day, we headed for the countryside.

We started in Windsor, England, visiting my future home, Windsor Castle.

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We even got to see the changing of the guard.

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Soon, we headed to Lacock where we ate lunch and took some time to explore. This place is special because several films have been made here. Think Harry Potter (his parent’s house in the movie below), Downton Abbey, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

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There was also the Church of St Cyriac where the first photograph was ever taken.

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After Lacock, we headed for Bath. We didn’t spend too much time here, but enough time for us to grab a famous bath bun and enjoy a beer. Oh! And Jane Austen spent some time in Bath so that was cool. AND the first letter ever mailed was from Bath to London.

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Finally, we ended the day at Stonehenge.

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This thing is over 5,000 years old. Each of these rocks weigh tons, yall. It’s crazy. Essentially, historians believe this was a place of healing and where people would make regular pilgrimages.

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Anyway, we ended the evening back in London where we only had one more day in town plus a trip to Paris ahead of us. Ready or not, the adventure continues…in the next blog post.

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3 thoughts on “European Adventures with Shelley: London and Countryside

  1. Hi Meg, this is Christine McCormick’s aunt Lyn. So interesting because I just returned from the UK as well. We stayed just outside of Oxford in a fantastic Airbnb. While a teen my father was stationed at R.A.F. Upper Heyford and I graduated from an American High School….Upper Heyford.

    At any rate I see that you all were able to do a bunch of things in a short amount of time. We managed to only get a couple of things done in a day due to traffic. We rented a car. My best friend did some research when we got back and found that traffic has increased 700% since we were there in the early 70’s. So how did you all manage to get so much done? Did you mostly rely on trains and busses or did you drive?
    We had a blast walking down memory lane and I do so love England. I often say that I could live there….if they had H.E.B’s.
    Enjoy your trip!!!

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