We step away from the Essential Australia series for a moment and move back to our home in the UK. This is mainly inspired by a fellow blogger Samantha who is currently living in London, having moved from Canada. That in conjunction with the current world climate, including Brexit and the delight that is President Trump, I want you all to know that the UK is still a magnificent country full of wonder and bliss – an adventure like no other which is simply waiting for you.
Here are some of the essential elements to the beautiful, eclectic British Isles.
Bath, Somerset – The city of Bath in the south west is a mere two hours from London, but does offer a contrasting view of British cities. Set among the green English countryside, the town still houses some of the finest 18th century architecture in the world. The natural landscape is not only stunning but serene and peaceful. The real draw of this sensational town is it’s history, Bath was built on natural flowing hot springs, which were used by the Roman empire over 2000 years ago. Some of these baths are still present and although restored can still be visited – an experience not to be missed.
Stonehenge, Wiltshire – An iconic landmark the world over, Stonehenge is a true example of the ancient world. A prehistoric collection of huge stones built atop of small mound, in the middle of the countryside is believed to be constructed anywhere between 2000-3000 BC. The wonder and intrigue surrounding its meaning and creation is baffling, and standing within distance of the stones you get a real sense of uncertainty and insignificance.
Brighton, East Sussex – Known for being ‘London’s beach’ (due to its proximity), Brighton is far more than just the average beach town. It houses a wonder of possibilities, from the touristic entertainment Pier, to the Royal Pavilion and the marvelous ‘Lanes’. You can easily get lost for hours in the streets, watching the entertainers, eating street food and hopping from shop to shop. It is a trendy town with many festivals, activities, and nightlife that rivals even the bright lights of London. If none of that intrigues you – why not just walk along the beachfront, brave a swim and have some good old Fish and Chips – A true English experience.
Whitstable, Kent – A small town just north of Canterbury is a true gem in our eyes. Seemingly nothing more than a quiet fishing town, Whitsable’s fame comes from its Oysters- fresh British Oysters farmed in the bay itself. The beachfront although shingle is extremely picturesque, and littered with crab pots and old boats. Whitstable is also home to many galleries along its marvelous seafront, that are worth visiting. If you are looking for a unspoiled British town you can not go wrong with Whitstable.
New Forest National Park – In our opinion the most beautiful national park in the south of England, the New Forest encapsulates the beauty of the ancient British forests. With pathways, trails and tracks galore, you can easily lose yourself for hours exploring nature. The forest is also home to a host of wildlife, including deer, horses and a variety of bird life. A number of quaint villages are scattered through the forest, that truly define the British way of life.
Christchurch, Dorest – Located a few miles from the New Forest, Christchurch is the perfect getaway. Blessed with a beautiful stretch of coastline, quaint inlets and spectacular nature reserves are an example of British town life at its best. It’s beautiful castle and priory house a treasure trove of history and serene scenic delights. The locations proximity to the towns of Bournemouth and Poole also make it a top holiday destination whilst keeping a small piece of ambiance.
St Ives, Cornwall – Cornwall as a whole is one of the UK’s most incredible county’s, the majority is simply English countryside at its very purist. A number of towns litter the golden sandy beaches, however St Ives has always been a family favourite. The cobbled streets are filled with bakeries, independent retailers and galleries. Although the quaint town is a favourite among holiday makers, it is still very much recommended for lazy summer days on the beach.
Tenby, Pembrookshire – The small somewhat isolated community lies on the southern peninsula of Wales. This is a true beauty of a town with history that spans back to Norman times. A beautiful setting for a traditional British seaside town, with a number of deserted beaches all littering the coastline. Its true selling point is the coastal walks which run for miles with views worthy of any picture postcard.
The Channel Islands – Any list of the Essential UK locations would have to include at least one of these spectacular islands. Often overlooked as part of the UK due to their proximity to France, Jersey, Guernsey, Sark, Alderney, Hern and others all offer unique experiences of their own. A trip to one of these beautiful islands is around 3 hours by ferry (depending on departure and arrival towns), yet it is well worth it. Stunning landscapes include rolling green pastures, beautiful sandy beaches, rugged coastline and quaint traditional little villages & hamlets. The channel islands house a completely unique sense themselves, they have a relaxed way of life that is simply intoxicating – In fact I think we may head there this year
Of course this list is not as extensive as it could be as there are hundreds of places we have yet to visit. A few additions to these are the beautiful towns of St Albans, Leamington Spa, Cambridge, Oxford, Eastbourne, Poole (Sandbanks), Lime Regis and the Isle of White.
We will next be working our way further North in Part Two of Essential UK so stay tuned…