Day 1 - 30 Dec 2021
Content: You can get to Salisbury directly from London Heathrow by a three hour bus ride. I took the National Express. Salisbury is one of the oldest cities in all of UK with the oldest records dating back to Year 900, although some evidence points to parts of the city being constructed between 600-300BC. Additionally the city’s cathedral has the tallest church spire in the UK and is featured in the photograph on the left.
Content: Take a taxi over from Salisbury to the great Stonehenge. For all you history junkies, if you’re ever in Salisbury it is almost impossible for you to miss this famous heritage site. The mystery that surrounds the Stonehenge is extremely fascinating. It was built in 2500 BC by pre-historic people which dates back to nearly 5000 years ago. Till date there are no proven records of what technology was used to build these structures, where the stones were brought from and the mode of transportation that was used. For someone like me that’s always intrigued by ancient worlds and pre-historic life, this was a bucket list experience. Purchase your tickets in advance online to avoid lines and get a preference on the time slot that works best for you.
Content: Head back to Salisbury to end your day at this 700 year old historic pub that dates back to the Renaissance period. Note that everything in Salisbury is at a walkable distance so you’ll be sure to check out plenty of other bars, live music and open markets while you’re there. There are plenty of Airbnb option at Salisbury which is the way to go and stay like a local.
Content: Hotels are limited within Salisbury. I recommend getting an Airbnb in downtown and be cost efficient as well as an easy walkable distance to the city center with access to local food spots and bars.
Day 2 - 31 Dec 2021
Content: As the name suggest, this city is most famously known as the home of Oxford University: one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the world. Fun fact - The Oxford Dictionary (the first official Dictionary) was written and published over a period of 70 years at the Oxford Press in 1884. J
Content: It amazes me how much thought used to be put into architectural aesthetics back in the day. This bridge purely serves the purpose of connecting two college buildings and wow. Overtime this “skyway” has become a symbol of the city.
Content: The city of Oxford was famously featured in the early Harry Potter movies which helped create the iconic gothic backdrop that’s globally recognized as the Hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry. I promise you that when you take a walk around this city, you’ll be taken to another world!
Day 2 - 31 Dec 2021
Content: The best part of travel within the UK is the proximity of all these historic cities. Birmingham is located right in between Oxford and the city of Leicester (my next destination), so this city was a quick stop and a must see.
Day 3 - 1 Jan 2022
Content: Leicester is usually not as popular of a destination for most tourists! I got lucky to explore this town as I had friends living here. As much as I love a city’s hustle and bustle, deep down I crave the quiet and calm the suburbs offer. This is one such city that is quietly hidden away from all the noise of a major city such as Oxford or London. Nevertheless, the history and architecture here is just as eye catching.
Content: Take a stroll around Leicester city center and find the cutest little cafes, restaurants and cobble stone streets. Every corner here is just as picturesque and gives you that old town European feel.
Content: When in Leicester, make sure to stop by the Leicester Cathedral that was built around 900 years ago at the site of on old Roman ruins. Be taken back in time while you step into this church and feel the grandeur architecture of this place.
Day 4 - 2 Jan 2022
Content: London was one of the last cities I explored before returning to the US and it was an absolute dream come true. Its got the hustle and bustle of any major city yet the calm and charm of an old small town. I took the underground tubes (aka subway trains) to get to several locations. This is the quickest and most affordable way to get around. The bridge behind me is widely mistaken to be the “London Bridge”, however the bridge here is actually the “Tower Bridge” built in 1886 across the Thames River.
Content: Just like the Tower Bridge above, you know you’ve got to atleast take a look at The London Eye. The largest cantilever wheel in the world. If time had allowed, I would have take that 45 min ride on it as well. Oh well, there’s something for next time!
Content: Take a stroll through Covent Garden. This is one of London’s most luxurious spots with high end fashion and beauty stores. Also if you’re interested in checking out some local cafes, restaurants and bars this is your place to be. I really enjoyed munching on some macarons from the world famous Ladurée while I was there.
Day 5 - 3 Jan 2022
Content: Besides all the must see iconic spots, I throughly enjoyed just strolling through these London streets! The spring/summer inspired decorations outside every little cafe or boutique was just as gorgeous as this flower arrangement below. You cannot NOT stop by for a picture or two!
Content: If you’re in London, this historic landmark is a must see. Located in Westminster, you’ll be taken back by the grandeur of this place. You may even get the chance to see the guards change ceremony depending on the time of day you’re there and even the palace gates open for a Royal entry or exit.
Content: The vibe of the people here, gathering for a quick snack or a coffee break while chitchatting was an energizer, especially after a long day of running around the city. As I said before, one of the biggest pluses of the UK is the close proximity of major cities and excellent public transportation services. All you need to bring is the drive and hunger in you to explore. I remember just having minimal grab and go type meals and running on barely three hours of sleep a night to be able to catch 4am buses in the morning to make it to my next planned destinations. Not gonna lie, I absolutely loved every minute of it.
Content: As you’re ready to say goodbye to London, grab lunch or dinner at one of its famous pubs. No trip to London is complete without a classic Fish & Chips meal. Until later, keep calm and carry on.