I’ve always been instinctively drawn to the misty moors, crumbling castles, and cozy pubs of England. My mom grew up in England, so my childhood was filled with British foods, books and stories. When I visited England for the first time, the sights, sounds and smells were so familiar, that it felt as if I was returning back to a place I had already been. I visited England once with my family when I was a teenager, and then returned briefly again during Brent and I’s trip through Europe. Despite having visited twice, there are still an endless number of cities and places that I’m longing to visit. Here are just a few of the places that are on the list for my next trip (whenever that might be):
The Lake District
This romantic British countryside inspired countless poets, and served as the setting of Beatrix Potter’s famous children’s book, Peter Rabbit. The area is home to some of the largest natural lakes in Britain, and attracts all kinds of outdoorsy types. The time I spent in Wales’ hiker hub, Snowdonia, left me with a deep love for long walks through rolling fields and up scree-covered slopes. I want to fuel myself with a full English breakfast and then get lost wandering around the lakes and mountains of the Lake District. The tourist track through the Lake District is certainly well-beaten in places like Windermere, but it still seems possible to find quiet towns, and more secluded lakes.
Since visiting Llanduduno, a Welsh seaside resort, I’ve completely fallen in love with the atmosphere of British coastal towns. Devon draws me in with its promises of quaint seaside towns and sandy shores in the North and South, National Parks in Dartmoor and Exmoor, as well as medieval architecture in Exeter. The food is a good enough reason alone for me to visit this county. I could try proper Devonshire Tea, which is tea served alongside a scone topped with jam and clotted cream. It would be amazing to take a long train ride, or to stay at one of the idyllic campsites in Devon, to further enjoy the beautiful and varied scenery of this county.
What can I say? I never cease to be impressed by things that are really big and really old, and Hadrian’s Wall is both. Construction of this 73-mile wall began in 122AD in order “to separate the Romans from the barbarians”. Whenever I see pictures of the stone wall winding through the British countryside, I feel compelled to walk at least part of the Hadrian’s Wall Path. There are associated forts, milecastles and temples found along the length of the wall, as well as small towns and villages where I could stop for a mid-walk pint.
Last New Year’s Eve when we were working at the B&B in Wales, we met 2 women visiting from Liverpool. Like a lot of people, I didn’t know anything about this city beyond the Beatles and Liverpool Football Club, but these women sang its praises so passionately that I’ve wanted to visit ever since. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its historic waterfront. It is also home to the second largest collection of museums and art galleries in England. Plus, like the two women that we met, Liverpudlians are supposedly exceptional friendly people who love their city almost as much as they love telling people about how wonderful it is. It’s a city that I once never thought about visiting, but now I’m very curious about it.
It’s possible that I’m the only person living in sunny Thailand while daydreaming about countryside walks, and gathering around pub fireplaces. England isn’t on the itinerary at the moment, but who knows what this year has in store?
This article was written in collaboration with Devon holidays specialists Woolacombe.co.uk