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My UK Travels


 

 
 

Introduction:

I have travelled extensively in the UK since I was a child and I even lived there for a little while during my student days. I love the British people, the culture, the landscape and quaint historic towns and I even like the food which doesn't always have a good reputation internationally. I love the traditional Sunday Lunch of roast beef, roast potatoes and Yorkshire Pudding and the Afternoon Tea (scones served with jam, cream and tea), Hobnob biscuits and Scottish shortbread fingers. I also like fish and chips and the sandwiches. Of course there are also a few things I don't like very much, Christmas pudding or Marmite for example, and I haven't tried Haggis yet (wouldn't be too keen on it). What I don't like is the weather, but here in Germany it's not much better anyway, so I guess this doesn't count very much.

When I didn't stay with friends, I usually stayed at bed & breakfast places (without advance reservations, but I didn't travel during high season). The UK has a good and ordinarily fast railway network. Cheap Day Return tickest usually offer the best price. Busses are a good and probably even cheaper alternative but I've never tried them apart from local busses.

Places I recommend seeing:

Edinburgh, Bath, Cornwall, the Scottish Highlands, the Lake District, Wales, Cambridge and Oxford and London of course, just to name a few.

The Beginning:

My first time in the UK was in the summer of 1976 during a camping trip with my parents and my sister when we still used a tent. We went to Devon, Cornwall (Land's End, Tintagel Castle, St. Michael's Mount), Wales, Chester, the Lake District, Scotland (Edinburgh, the Scottish Highlands, Eileen Donan Castle, the Hebrides, Holy Island), the Hadrian's Wall, Durham and Stratford-upon-Avon. I don't remember very much of this first trip. I was only 7.

From 1983 we regularly went on town-twinning exchanges to Hastings on the English south coast. Read more about my trips to Hastings and the south of England.

In the summer of 1986 our family went to Britain on holiday once again, this time travelling with a caravan. We took the  Zeebrugge-Dover ferry and made a short stop in Hastings to see our friends. Then we travelled through the New Forest where we saw the wild ponies it is famous for. We visited the Dorset coast with the Durdle Door (a natural rock arch) and the White Horse of Osmington (a chalk figure of a horse and rider, King George III), Cornwall (Fowey, Tintagel Castle, Boscastle), the Dartmoor (Widecombe in the Moor) with its wild ponies and Bodmin Moor with the Jamaica Inn from the Daphne du Maurier novel. Then we went up to Scotland where we saw many picturesque Scottish lochs, e.g. Loch Maree, and Cape Wrath (the most north-westerly point on the British mainland). We stayed on a campsite right on the lake (Loch Broom) in Ullapool. On my birthday Anja and I went horse-trekking. We visited the ruins of Dunnotar Castle on the Scottish coast, the Yorkshire Moors, Whitby and Whitby Abbey with Dracula's graveyard, York and York Minster (York Minster is one of the largest churches in Europe and York still boasts of many medieval houses and cobble-stone streets like The Shambles), Cambridge (Christ's College, King's College, Corpus Christi College, River Cam, etc.), the White Cliffs of Dover and Deal Castle.

Cemetery
Graveyard

Durdle Door
Durdle Door

Ullapool
Ullapool

Whitby Abbey
Whitby Abbey

York
York

Cambridge
Cambridge

White Cliffs of Dover
White Cliffs of Dover

My Student Days:

When I finished school in 1989 I got the chance to spend a couple of months with our friends in Hastings where I also had a summer job at a local restaurant. Read more about the details.

In the winter semester of 1991/1992 I spent five months studying at Reading University which was an experience I wouldn't want to miss. Click here to read more.

At the end of my time in Reading I went on a 2.5-weeks tour around Britain. I spent a weekend horse-riding in Wales and some days in the Lake District and I visited my penpals in Shropshire, Liverpool and Scotland. Read more.

In 1993 I combined a week of Aikido Summer School (with people from my Reading aikido club) in Durham with a little tour around the UK visiting friends. Find out more.

In 1995/1996 my ex-boyfriend spent a year at Birmingham University and I visited him frequently. We also went on short trips to Stratford-upon-Avon, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Hastings. Click here for the details.

In May 1996 we did a little tour around Wales. Read about the details of this trip.

This was followed by another Aikido Summer School in Durham in 1996. More.

Later Visits:

My last visit to Hastings was in 1998. After that I was in the UK only once more on a business trip. On Sunday afternoon, 16th July 2000, I took a BA flight to Birmingham at 16:35 and got picked up by an employee of company MEDC who took me to Pinxton near Nottingham which was about an hours drive. I spent two days (Monday and Tuesday) on a product training. On Monday evening I was invited for dinner at an Italian restaurant in the Derbyshire countryside by my company's contact and his wife. On Tuesday I had a return flight at 19:35. It was really interesting to get an impression of working life in Britain.

In August 2007 Volker and I went to London for a long weekend when we had the opportunity to stay at the flat of our Hastings friends. Read here about this trip.

 

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