In light of my other posts taking a very long time to write (and the fact that I am lazy), I am going to keep this post a bit shorter for everyone’s sake.
This past weekend I took yet another train from Lancaster to London Euston. The journey is around three hours…but thanks to Virgin Trains movie app, Kingsman and Fantastic Beasts made that journey seem quite a bit shorter. Upon arrival in Euston I had to make my way to Victoria Station; the tube is extremely easy to figure out and there are signs everywhere that clearly show you where which lines are and how to get to them. If you have every used the metro in Washington D.C., the tube (I think) is even easier. From Victoria Station it was a quick 10 minute walk to my hotel (Belgrave House Hotel); thank god I planned it that way. Pictures of my hotel room can be found below (the cheapest private rooms were indeed “tiny”)[My room was also at the platform between the two staircases which was interesting][PRO TIP: If you can stay for two nights in London for $88 in a private room, take it! Private rooms for cheap are prime real estate in London]:
Friday night activities included going out to a Casino and Night Club with some friends I had made in Glasgow the weekend before; sadly, I do not have photos from the night out. Just know, if you stay at a club until 6:30 a.m. you will be tired when your tour picks you up at 7:30 a.m. Which brings me to the main point of my weekend…
The main reason of going to London was to take the tour I booked a few weeks back. The tour I embarked on was operated by GoldenTours (coach size of about 45 people), the driver and guide were absolutely hilarious, informative, and historical geniuses on all the locations we went to. What were these locations you ask? The tour took us to Windsor (w/admission to Windsor Castle), Stonehenge, and Bath (w/admission to the Roman Baths). The tour cost around 100GBP but was well, well worth it. For those of you that do not know, Stonehenge and the entire city of Bath are UNESCO world heritage sites (essentially these are areas picked by UNESCO because they have some sort of significance; these areas are also protected by international treaties). I try to get to as many of these as I can when presented with the opportunity…so this tour was perfect! The full list of UNESCO world heritage sites can be found here.
First up, Windsor Castle. The castle was stunning inside and out and acted essentially as both an indoor and open-air museum. There was the option for audio guided tours which were very informative. As a side note, pictures were only allowed in the outside areas, but let me tell you…if you like beautiful worship areas, St. George’s Chapel is stunning. Personally, I visited St. George’s Chapel, the State Apartments, the outside areas, and got to see the changing of the guard…sadly this all time allowed for. Pictures and a video from the changing of the guard can be seen below:
Next up, Stonehenge. I was very, very excited to see this. Ever since watching a documentary on how the solstices line up with the stones (probably 10 years ago), I have wanted to go here! The drive was about 1.5 hours from Windsor. Stonehenge itself is much more than the stones; the premises include hikes, burial mounds, and beautiful landscapes…but you can look that up later. Below you can find pictures of me at the Stones. I took one major lesson from this heritage site: No matter how much we study something from the past, no matter how much we try and understand, something like Stonehenge is still not understood. This meant to me that the past fuels how we create the future, and additionally that the pursuit of life-long learning truly never stops. So, get out there and see something today:
From Stonehenge, we headed to the City of Bath…specifically to see the Roman Baths. I utilized my time to speed-run the museum, which allowed me time to explore the center of Bath and get some pictures from the Pulteney Bridge. I also stopped for a Belgian Waffle at this Italian ice cream place and it was so, so good:
City of Bath:
And last but not least, that bitchin Belgian Waffle:
After finishing at Bath, we headed back to London to conclude the tour.
I grabbed dinner at Uno which was a nice Italian restaurant a couple minutes from my hotel (I actually went Friday when I first got to London but I’m putting it in here). I got spaghetti carbonara, a mixed salad, and some very, very good chocolate mousse:
I have made it my personal mission to eat spaghetti carbonara in every big city I go to…which is the best idea I have ever had.
Saturday night I also did a bit of walking to see the sites of London (at least the ones you can see at night). Like a silly idiot, I booked my train back for Sunday morning…so I did not have time to do a tour on Sunday! In any case, here are some pictures from the London Eye, what is currently left of Big Ben, the outside of Westminster Abbey, and a couple other shots:
Overall, the weekend was great and full of unique experiences. This post does not do any of the stuff I saw justice. This post also does not give any insight to the night life of London, which trust me is very fun. In any case, the trip to London and the guided tour I took was well worth the time and money. London may seem scary, but it is extremely easy to figure out and feels much smaller than you would think.