Category Archives: United Kingdom

Why There is More to Visit in the South East of England Than Just London!

Buckinghamshire

The South East of England is one of the most travelled to destinations in Europe, if not the world, for one big metropolitan reason – it is home to London. People from all over the world put London on their travel bucket lists, for its heritage, iconic landmarks, great nightlife and world renowned culture, and it is thought even by those who live there that it would take more than a lifetime to see everything the city has to offer.

However, if you are going to the South East of England, limiting your experience to London might be doing yourself and the region a disservice. There are loads of great towns and cities close to London, and getting out of the city into some vastly different surroundings is very easy with all of London’s train and coach connections. Here are some places you could see:

SurreySurrey

Surrey is a quintessentially English county, and one of the wealthiest in the UK. Many of the people who live in Surrey’s towns work in London, and you can get from the centre of the city to places like Guildford in under 40 minutes by train. Here you will find charming countryside and quaint villages, as well as good shopping and plenty to do in the larger towns like Woking and Guildford.

Bluewater

The Bluewater shopping centre in Dartford, Kent is a great destination for any kind of shopping, featuring 300 shops, 50 restaurants, and free parking for 13,000 cars. It is also, as you might expect, easy to get to by public transport. If you love to shop or are visiting the South East specifically for a major shopping spree, you may find this even more convenient than many of London’s major shopping locations like Oxford Street and Westfield.

Buckinghamshire

Another lovely county close to London you could explore is Buckinghamshire. Like Surrey, this is a well-to-do part of the UK, with plenty of attractive countryside and forests for walks – making it a great place to get some greenery after spending time in the city. A good place to stay here is this great hotel Milton Keynes, which is a fairly large, modern city with lots of amenities that will give you easy access to all Buckinghamshire’s more peaceful attractions.

brightonBrighton

If you want to check out the coast, a great place to visit from London is Brighton. Renowned for its vibrant nightlife as well as being a great example of British seaside towns, Brighton is now a particularly young and fashionable place, where you can find quirky, interesting shops and restaurants. Brighton was a popular place to go for London’s 1960’s mods, and you can still see a lot of the influence of that period in Brighton’s fashion and the décor of many of the hotels, restaurants, clubs and bars.

These are just a few of the great places you can take in if you leave London during your trip to the South East of England!

Top walking holidays in Britain

West highlands

If you’re planning a walking holiday soon, have you considered visiting Britain? From its luscious countryside to its epic beaches, the majestic scenery provides the perfect backdrop for any outdoor pursuit.

Below, you’ll find a rundown of the top destinations for walking holidays in Britain, with something to suit everyone. Before you go though, you’ll need to ensure you have the proper equipment.

If you’re restricted with luggage allowances, it may be cheaper for you to purchase your equipment while you’re in the UK. Discount shoe retailer Brantano has a great selection of quality walking boots, while high street sports stores will provide water bottles and other items you may need.

Now that you’re ready to go, let’s get started!

Whitby to Scarborough

Take in the incredible surroundings of these seaside towns via the Whitby to Scarborough trail. On route, you’ll take in magnificent views of Robin Hood’s Bay, as well as pass a number of cute tea rooms that are perfect for recharging.

More information about the trail can be found here.

Whitby TrailThe Dark Peak

Explore The Dark Peak, the most northernmost part of the Peak District. Leaving from Edale, you’ll pass through Jacob’s Ladder and The Nab, enjoying panoramic views of the hills and greenery of the region.

Norfolk Coast Path

No walking holiday in Britain would be complete without tackling the 47-mile Norfolk Coast Path. Running from Hunstanton to Cromer, you’ll enjoy views of the region’s spectacular beaches and may even be lucky enough to spot a seal at the Blakeney Point seal colony. It’s no wonder the path has won awards!

west highland trailWest Highland Way

You can’t afford to miss the beauty of the Scottish moors. Surrounded by glistening lochs, dense woodland and impressive mountains, you’ll enjoy exploring the very best of what Scotland has to offer. The walk is 96 miles in total, so you’ll need to split your trek across a few days or tackle it section by section!

You can find more information about this on the West Highland Way site.

There’s so many other exceptional routes to visit too, so you may have to take more than one walking holiday in Britain to explore them all!

Oxford vs. Cambridge; A Beautiful Visit

KingsCollegeChapelWest

The town of Oxford is beautiful, and booming with population growth and industry, as well as the beautiful university campus which seems to encompass most of the town. When I arrived at the hotel, the Oxford Holiday Inn, I noticed that it had a very cozy and welcoming feeling to it. The room itself is cozy and lovely, and is perfect for coming back to after touring Oxford and the surrounding areas and writing about it in my blog. The Oxford H.I. Hotel lends a great amount of accessibility to the town itself, and I was able to easily navigate to the sites I wished to visit.

Of course, my first stop beautiful Oxfordwas the beautiful university that is simply a must-see when in Oxford. I met with several professors and toured the campus. I was especially interested in the Christ Church College, which was absolutely amazing. Bodleian Library was also completely magnificent. After touring the university, I was able to visit several nearby museums, including the Museum of Art and Archaeology. While I had a splendid time touring Oxford, it was pleasant to return to a comfortable hotel room where I could peacefully write and relax after such a busy day of touring the town.

oxford from aboveMy next stop on my tour of England was Cambridge. Since I had such a wonderful experience with the Holiday Inn Oxford, I decided to stay at the sister hotel in Cambridge as well. I decided to stay in an executive room this time, and I was not disappointed in the quality and beauty of the room, as well as how wonderfully set up it was to work in. Since I was staying in Cambridge a bit longer than Oxford, this was the perfect arrangement and I highly recommend the H.I. Cambridge . This hotel was also nicely situated within the town, and it didn’t take me long at all to figure out how to navigate for sight seeing from the hotel.

cambridgeNot only did I visit the university here, but I also decided to do some fun activities while in town. I took a day wine class, and it was absolutely fabulous. I also decided to take a boat tour and a walking tour. Unfortunately the boat tour made me sea-sick, although the sites were fantastic. The walking tour was incredible and took me through the city to see truly amazing architecture. On my second day in Cambridge, I decided to take a flying tour of the city through the Aero club, and it was just breathtaking to see everything from the sky. Another exhausting trip and I was ready to get back to the hotel to sleep. When I arrived, the room felt welcoming and the bed itself was so comfortable that I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Overall I had a wonderful time visiting Oxford and Cambridge. While the sights themselves were truly captivating and a great experience to visit, the hotels I stayed in during my trip really helped to make for a fantastic trip. It’s important to find a place to stay during travel where you feel comfortable and welcome, and the Holiday Inns at Oxford and Cambridge are exactly that.

 

This article was written in collaboration with IHG